Once I got over my preoccupation with the challenge of caring for Ella myself, I realized just how strong The Wife is; just how challenging this week is for her.
After almost a year away, she returned to work: three 12-hour shifts per week. To the very floor, the very hospital, the very staff where she herself gave birth. To help other mothers deliver babies both healthy and headed to the very NICU where they took our Will. She’s quite something: facing her fears and putting the past behind her by entering into the very middle of the fray. Moving toward the future from the middle of everything.
Inspired by her example, I went on a run this afternoon. I did a couple of laps through a wooded park until the multihued carpet of leaves gave me vertigo. So I headed into the circuitous neighborhood streets, where I proceeded to half-heartedly get myself lost. I took a few random turns as I tried not to look behind me; tried not to remember how I’d come. Then for a while, I took only left turns, after which I considered maintaining a heading based on the setting sun. Then, I just tried to run straight, turning only when I needed to, thinking that I’d eventually come upon some familiar street. As dusk fell, I even stopped to ask for directions, but the nice man and I didn’t share a language. Finally, I came upon Valley Lane, turned left, raced two cars up the last hill, and found my way back home.