Friday was a very good day.
Last December one of the kids who used to help out from time to time in the kitchen at the project i volunteer to cook for every Friday went missing, and was rumored to have fallen of a bridge and been killed. As we never note kids’ last names we could not inquire at the hospitals about him, and so we simple had to believe the rumors.
Mid-April came and the weather was very warm, so we decided it would be nice to cook out in the yard for the first time this year. This was very hard for me, because this had always been this kids favorite. He had been very particular about how he grilled the food and had done a wonderful job of it. I let on to one of the student interns while getting stuff prepared for lunch that i was missing someone that day, and told him what had happened.
The week before last, the same intern greeted me at the door with, “You won’t believe who was here yesterday!” My kitchen helper had survived his accident because he had landed on the fence around a construction area below which had not only broken many of his bones, his skull and his spine, but also his fall, and he had lived. After 1 month on intensive care and 4 months of rehab one of the first places he had rolled his wheelchair down to was the project to visit the staff. They had taken a picture and sure enough, he was a bit plumper than he had been at Christmas time, and right side of his face had some paralysis, but otherwise he was surprisingly unchanged. I let out a yelp, and spent the entire week with a funny smile on my face.
Last week he apparently had other plans because there was no sign of him, which was just as well, because i had been a bit pressed for time that day, and had made instant mashed potato rather than fresh, and i would never have heard the end of it from him. His mash is especially good.
Friday i am putting the roast in the oven, and get passed the telephone. Guess who? “I am at [didn’t get it – his speech is a bit slurred], and i will be right there. I hope you have salad fixings to prepare, ‘cuz i’m gonna do that.” – “I got cabbage and carrots here just waitin’ for you to make slaw. ‘see ya when you get here.” Get there he did. Nearly made me slip a disk when he hugged me back. Asked him what exactly was on his mind to do a damn fool thing like fall off of a bridge, just testing gravity? It wouldn’t happen again or i’d finish ‘im off myself. Here’s your knife, and there’s the cabbage … chopped fine, please!
He worked (standing up) for two and a half hours. He has a new girlfriend, and his own room in an assisted living place he can’t wait to get out of. Medical insurance is getting him his own racing chair in powder grey metallic. This week i was serving rice or roast vegetables. Next week i’ll buy fresh potatoes.
Image (bottom): India_-_Koyambedu_Market_-_Potatoes_01_(3987050638).jpg). By: McKay Savage @ flickr.com. License: CC BY 2.0.
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