every path i take

it had been just four days since calvin's last grand mal. still, i sensed it coming on. his agitation and mania. his restlessness and intensity. his peculiar noises and expressions. last night, while walking smellie along a familiar path at dusk, it arrived. it was the cusp of the new moon. i returned home to find my husband cradling a postictal calvin, who had bitten his check or tongue till it bled.

after the seizure, i spooned my sleeping child. wide awake, my hand on his chest, i reminisced on recent events: finally jogging the trails with my dog; nice, longish visits with a few, familiar, back-roads strangers i had finally and very happily met; a kind invitation from one of them to sit by the sea; chatting under stars and strings of lights on a girlfriend's back deck; sipping the delicious blackberry, mint, gin cocktail her daughter had concocted; meeting an unknown runner who stopped mid-workout just to visit with me and calvin on the sidewalk; four separate gatherings with new and old friends; my glorious bike ride to simpson's point and back again; along the way, hearing a hermit thrush's haunting song; eating lobster rolls and corn on the cob; a conversation about pity and compassion with my visiting sister-in-law.

finally, sleep arrived. like life sometimes, my dreams were vivid and difficult. at five o'clock, we awoke to a second grand mal and, when it was over, i crawled in next to calvin again. this time, shut-eye proved impossible. instead, i mused on recent expressions of compassion and love from friends and strangers:

i've had deep sympathy for you from day one; i think about you and calvin all the time; i couldn't handle your situation with the grace you show; i wish there were something i could do; i love you then now always; you break open the heart and the stories; thank you for the little window into your world; wish that the pain i genuinely feel for you could somehow make your days easier; all you want is to live in your full motherhood and not as a caregiver, too. not too much to ask, my friend. not at all. 

knowing i'd be mostly stuck indoors for the next day or two, i laid awake imagining travels, like my next back-roads adventure, a bike ride to the rise where i can see the salt marsh meeting the sea, hearing that hermit thrush croon, rolling up my jeans and wading into the bay at simpson's point, running the shaded trails on a gorgeous morning like today. most of all, receiving love and compassion from friends and strangers along every path i take.

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