Thursday

I screwed up again.


My dad used to say, “Sheila’s got more guts than brains.”  Post coma, I did not want sympathy; I wanted for no one to notice. 
 
Couches, chairs, wherever we found room, atop the kitchen table, my family read. It was two years before I could try and lift a book. With my left side, the only one that worked, I slapped it open to a page and saw blurry nothingness. I tried to cover an eye and keep the book open at the same time.  I looked up at a brother, sister, parent, and pretended to be like them.  I pretended it made sense and after a lot of pretending, it did.  

Family members pointed at a map - I re learned where Chicago was, why politics exist, how not to get electrocuted or set myself on fire.

Whoever said, “Fake it, ‘til you make it”, knew what they were talking about.

Then when I could hold my upper body straight enough look in a mirror, I saw what I wanted to, instead of the crippled shell of a person reflected.  My second shot waited.  I stuck some words together, took a couple of steps, gained minor independence, and I really started to screw up again.  But at least I was getting the knack of reading, a habit appreciated much later.  Second chances I also learned to appreciate, almost too late.  Do wonder why I call myself lucky?