We did something today that we thought we'd never do again.
We knocked on Tessa's door.
Yesterday, as I was shopping for snow globes, the phone rang. I asked the clerk to put my top five on the counter so that I could consult with Joe, who was paying for out tea in another shop. I scooted out into the mall to answer the phone and wait for Joe. I am, indeed, a multi-tasker. On the other end of the line was Tessa. She was calling to tell me that there was a possibility that she'd be able to come home to her apartment for a few hours, maybe even a couple days. She then dove into asking questions.
My disability is, or was, more significant in it's impact on my life than Tessa's was on hers. She now wanted to ask questions about how we'd adapted our apartment. Personal questions about toileting and dressing, questions about a life adapted. I appreciated that she knew that she knew me well enough to ask some deeply personal questions. I answered willing, with as much detail as I thought she needed. Then, on information overload, she said goodbye. Joe arrived. We picked out two snow globes.
I had a deep sense of satisfaction. Being able to answer questions out of personal experience not out of theory or training was a profound experience for me. I knew she knew that I knew. More. I knew that I knew that what I knew, I knew. A couple of weeks ago, when talking with a visiting lecturer about something he'd said during a training he said to me, 'Your disability has been very instructive for you, it's now forming how you think about what we do and how we do it.' It's all true. Disability is an experience, but it's also a kind of 'training' in living adaptively, living creatively, and living differently. It's about living with barriers and prejudices and it's also about living deeply in interdependence and deeply in connection.
This morning, talking with Tessa, she was scared. Really scared. She had gone into palliative care believing that she had only days left. Then weeks passed. Now, there is the opportunity to go home, for hours, maybe even for a sleep. It scares her. I suggested that she try to turn fear into anticipation if she could. She said that she thought that she might be able to do that. She ended by asking for prayers.
We were out when she arrived home. So there we were, knocking on her door. It was answered by one of her friends, Tessa was in bed and sleeping off the exhaustion from the trip. It had gone smoothly, she was thrilled to be home. She was only there for a couple of hours. We tried to stop in again for tea, but she was again napping. It didn't matter. Her visit was to her home. She knew we were over here across the hall. We knew she was over there across the hall.
We knew that she knew.
She knew that we knew.
Sometimes that really is good enough.