There is nothing about February 5, 1997 that stands out. I can imagine that I got up like every other day. I took a shower, checked on the kids before they went to school, ate a bagel, kissed my husband good-bye and went to work. I had a full day at work.
AARP 697 would have a meeting that afternoon since it was the first Wednesday of the month. I would sit on the stage looking important and make announcements concerning the Senior and Disabled Center. There would be an upcoming birthday party for February birthdays. There would be an announcement about Project Homeshare. I am sure I made very good announcements that day.
I don’t remember what I ate for lunch or supper. Perhaps I got a delicious chicken salad sandwich from Steve’s or a roast beef sandwich from another deli. I talked to Diane, and probably Bob. I wrote memos, answered calls, checked emails and budget reports. I was a high-level administrator back in those days.
Later I would miss church because I would sit with the Commission on Aging and Disabled. They also met on the first Wednesday of the month. I imagine it was cold in Connecticut that night. I don’t remember snow on the ground. Maybe my husband came by to grab a sandwich for supper with me; maybe he picked up food and took it to the kids. I really don’t remember. It was an ordinary day.
I came home, checked on our son. My husband and I discussed our plans to take the day off to take our son to the hospital. The situation with our son was the only thing unusual about that day. Otherwise, it was an ordinary Wednesday.
Other than the inconvenience of living in two apartments, the only concern we had was our son. He had been so healthy. Now he couldn’t move without pain.
When he was a baby, he wasn’t healthy. Diagnosed with glaucoma at six weeks, we faced an uncertain future. We were told he might be retarded; we were told he might have seizures. His first year of life was spent in and out of a hospital. Waiting for a child in surgery is hard. Waiting to hear if he still has both of his eyes, is hard. Wondering if he’d be blind and ever be normal is harder.
He did lose the sight in one eye but he has his eye. Otherwise, he was a healthy normal boy. It is a miracle, a story for another day.
We went to sleep that night worried about our son for the first time since he was small. It took a long time to find out what was wrong with him. After the funeral, I spent time in the hospital with him again. At first, they put him in isolation for fear of meningitis. It was Rheumatic Fever. He only returned to school that year to attend graduation of eighth grade.
Otherwise, it was such an ordinary day. Have you ever thought that the day before a crisis, the moment before a crisis, the second before a crisis is ordinary? Sometimes when I am bored, I thank God that I am bored and life is ordinary. Thirteen years ago, it was an ordinary night. I slept well that night. It was the last ordinary night for a very long time.