Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rushing from Full Steam Ahead #2

As I worked on the small project with Reg he said, “Murray, I am so happy. This has been a great day! It is one of the best ones that I have had for a long time.”

Reg was sitting with me in the garage. We are doing wood carving together. He loves wood carving and the small things that he cannot do – I help him to complete the project.

It was a struggle to get there from his house to mine. When I picked him up he struggled to get out of the house, down the steps, up another set of steps and then walk over to the van. As we pulled out he commented, “Your vehicle is sure a lot easier to get into than the other cars. Thanks for picking me up.”

Reg walks with a single arm brace/cane on his left arm. His right arm doesn’t work anymore.

Earlier in the day we had celebrated together by going downtown to get a hair cut together. There was a parking space not far away so he didn’t have to walk far. It took a bit to get his right leg to cooperate as the muscles are now making strange reactions to the signal they are getting from the brain.

As we walked into the barber shop he told the barber that he wanted a hair cut like mine. It has been over two months since he had his last hair cut – and it was long and bugging him.

After his time in the chair he stood slowly and looked at his left and right legs. Then he reached out to take hold of the arm of the chair. It was a chore to move this much after sitting so long for the hair cut – new signals were needed for the limbs to work.

Why so much difficulty? Reg has a large brain tumor on the left side of his brain. It is intertwined in the brain and is now crossing over to the right side of his brain. The signals that are normally sent to the limbs have been interrupted or are being interrupted… and he has to wait to send more down to the good left leg and good left arm.

As I climbed into the barber’s chair He sat off to the side rubbing his leg vigorously trying to get the pain to leave. It seems that the signals now being sent down are making all the muscles work against each other…kind of like a massive cramp.

His speech is slower now…words are hard to get.

We walked back to the van slowly while his leg was cramping and pulling up. He said again, “This is a wonderful day. Thank you so much for taking me to get my hair cut. It feels so good to get this done. This is wonderful.”

Reg’s wife now want to divorce him. She wants to the house too. He has not seen his kids for over two years. It is a sad story and much more than I can tell here. She has her reasons that are likely legitimate. Someday soon I am going to meet her when I drive Reg over to where they all live – about three hours from Peterborough. It will be a long trip.

The tumor is spreading. There likely isn’t a whole lot of time left for Reg. But it takes time to get the officials that are involved in complicated family struggles to move on anything. They are on holidays over the summer and it takes time. It takes meetings and more phone calls. And when the person you called is now on holidays you need to wait. But when they come back they are promoted to another case or job – and you wait until the new person gets up to speed.

Reg’s life is about that complicated and the tumor is growing.

We were in the garage to complete an important step in the carving for his son. He has completed one carving and is now doing the second one.

As I went to sleep last night, the last words he said echoed over and over again….

“Murray, I am so happy. This has been a great day! It is one of the best ones that I have had for a long time.”

It sure has been Reg… it sure has.

“Oh God help Reg today… and then help me to help Reg. Help me to not be so busy being busy. Help me to help.”

Reg said one more thing that kind of stopped me… “Murray, this is how I think I will feel in heaven some day. It is really neat. I love it.”

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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