Coming home


I was released from the hospital on October 26, 2012.  I could walk short distances but was mostly wheelchair bound.  I had to let my wife do the cooking (an agony in itself).  Halloween was coming up soon and I wouldn’t be able to take the kids out. The dog was overjoyed to see me, but I couldn’t remember her name.  There were many rooms in the house I couldn’t go (this is an older home and not built to accommodate the wheelchair bound).

I couldn’t go to work (found out that I was a video editor and master control operator at a TV station) and even if I could, I couldn’t operate any of the equipment.  I was basically stuck at home, left to figure out who I was before the stroke.  I loved movies – that was apparent from the vast DVD collection sitting on the wood shelves I built.  Apparently I did some basic woodworking.  On the computer I found the program AutoCAD and vast numbers of blueprints I had drawn.  I was a draftsman, freelance I found out, working for an engineer.  I found out that I had been going to school for animation, and that I had known quite a bit about art had done a quite a bit of work on my own.

I found several stories that I had written, but apparently never published.  Apparently I was in to science fiction and loved Star Trek.  I found a time travel epic I had not completed, and several stories about super heroes from a fictitious city called Syntropolis.  Who was ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic and why did I seem obsessed with him?  What was this model of the Glass Tower that I had been working on in AutoCAD?  Why did I have a fascination with MAD Magazine?  Who was I?

Yes, some of my memories had been restored.  I knew how to operate a cell phone.  I could operate a computer (mostly) and navigate the internet (sort of).  I remembered my bank account number (backwards now).  But how was I going to pay bills now since I was out of work?  Who would buy the groceries?   Who would save me from my wife’s terrible cooking?

It was my wife that suggested that I go to church.  Apparently I was super religious from all the Bibles (I counted at least five) in my library, along with a plethora of books on other religions and end time conspiracies.  Did I know who Mark Twain was?  Yes, but what was his relation with Hal Lindsey and who was this Shakespeare?

I agreed to go, even though I was angry about it, not having the foggiest idea of why.  I had no memory of ever going.  I wasn’t even able to vocalize my objections properly and was frustrated that I couldn’t even take a shower without help, so I relented.  I allowed my wife to drive me to the church a quarter mile from the house.  The people there were very friendly.  They helped me in, seeing that I was in a wheelchair.  When the service started, the song Amazing Grace started.  But then there was addition I had never heard,

“My chains are gone!

I’ve been set free!

My God, my Savior has ransomed me!

And like a flood, His mercy reigns!

Unending love, amazing grace!”

I began to weep openly, but I didn’t know why.  A couple of days later, a member of the church came by the house to check on me, to welcome me, to say they were glad to have me and that I would be welcomed to return.  I knew then that I was home…




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