When we returned to Lexington, we slowly managed to get a temporarily upright Dave into the house, down the hall and onto the bed. Our neighbor Pat emerged from across the street, followed by two of her four children, to help bring all our stuff into the house while I nursed Debbie, and Tanyalee and Sean rediscovered their toys and friends.
Dave volunteered to answer the phone. Since they were all landlines with cords in 1977, this was a giant gift because the whole town seemed to be calling to check on us. His fifth-grade students sent notes and pictures. Their parents appeared at the door with food – a ham, a turkey, casseroles and more. Our friends, Connie and Jim, offered to haul our trash to the dump once a week. We lived three miles out of town, so the trash truck was our station wagon when the cans got full. I gratefully accepted their thoughtful help.
Dave’s swelling was alarming after the trip home, but day after day it did decrease until he was back to normal size and without pain. He returned to teaching a few hours a day, gaining strength and normalcy in a week or two.
Life returned to a more normal routine of an infant, a toddler and a kindergartner. Dave taught school during the day while I parented. Connie kept the little ones when I did speech therapy twice a week with a cerebral palsied high school boy. I taught Adult Basic Education two evenings a week while Dave took care of the children and worked on the perpetual homework of an elementary school teacher.
When I think back on the year and a half after Dave’s hospitalization, I notice the many ways we’d begun to trust our intuition. At the time, we weren’t conscious of any change, but we shared hunches, inspirations and trust in life’s changes more openly with each other. Without verbalizing it, we had come to trust each other’s intuition implicitly.
Little did we know what was behind that door… not until about eighteen months later.