February 20, 1993

            When I woke up, I felt happy. I could go home today! I packed my things so I would be ready. (Well, my Mom and Dad helped me pack my stuff.)

            In the afternoon, a nurse helped me into a wheelchair. They pushed me downstairs to the door. I had to put my coat on because it was cold outside. They stood me up for the first time in almost a week. I felt like I was going to fall. My legs were wobbly.

…I was stuck at home for about six weeks…

After a couple of weeks, I was able to stand in my walker. I couldn’t go anywhere. I had to learn to walk again. It was weird!

…My walking improved as I did it more. I practiced in physical therapy. After a while, I was walking as good as I had before the surgery.

Stuck at home. That was the theme for some years of my childhood. At least I felt stuck as a young girl.

The year of my back surgery was the first year I remember staying home for an extended time. I didn’t mind completing the assignments on my own and with the help of a homebound teacher. I also didn’t mind the harder physical therapy routine.

But I missed my friends. I wanted to be in the classroom with them. The get-well cards and sweet notes back and forth brought me cheer when I was tired of the recovery process. Six weeks felt like forever to me as a child.

I adjusted to staying home in third grade. When the time to return finally arrived, I was ready.

A few years later I would learn to push through different seasons of missing school.

There was the year I broke my leg and couldn’t attend the first day of eighth grade. There was the year I was sick for a month in the middle of ninth grade.

I will tell you these stories another day.


If you missed the introduction to this series, go back and read it. Or continue with Part Two.