By now we’d planned to be on Sea Bear, our 32-foot boat, getting ready for our summer cruise in the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands. The boat has a fresh coat of paint and new rub-rails. The new slip at Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes, Washington, is ready.
Fate had another idea.
I’m writing this in a hospital room, watching my husband struggling to move lifeless limbs on the left side of his body.
I’m grateful my husband’s stroke wasn’t fatal and his mind was unaffected. He understands questions and can answer them, although speech isn’t totally clear yet. Muscles will eventually respond to commands from the brain and remember what they’re supposed to do. But it hurts to see him lying in a bed when he had so many plans and was always the most active of the two of us.
I’m relieved there were delays in our boat repairs that kept us in a metropolitan area when this happened. We’d made it to Washington when we discovered the boat wouldn’t be ready for another ten days, so we left the car at the Seattle airport and flew home. Here paramedics came quickly and hospitals were nearby. If we’d been at anchor in a remote area, we might have had a different outcome.
The summer plans now are different. The focus is on recovery and the hard work my husband has ahead of him. He’s strong and focused. He’ll get through this.
The slip will be cancelled. The boat will remain in the boatyard out of the water. At the end of summer it will be transported back to the Bay Area. The car will be retrieved and driven back.
Lessons in this? Take nothing for granted. Your life can change in an instant. Asleep one minute, in a hospital the next. Live one day at a time and enjoy what that day brings. It might not be what you expected, but you can find small positives in almost every situation.
And tell your loved ones how much you care every day. Don’t wait. They might not be there tomorrow.