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…