Memory Care

Quick update tonight: I had a headache this morning, but I went to the gym anyway and by the time I was done doing a ridiculous number of squats it had gone away. One of my partners had to call out sick today after their second dose, though. Your mileage may vary. 


Today’s everyday superpower I have manifested: being home in time to say goodnight to all three of my children. 


I’m unlikely to get to a full Vaccine Diary tonight;  on Tuesdays I come home late, eat dinner while my shower warms up, and then go back to all of the less-urgent messages I didn’t answer during the day.  So here is a vignette instead. 


Tuesdays are nursing home days, and no matter how much time I spend there these days, it’s never enough. I find myself holding hands in the memory care wing, carrying on conversations born in Wonderland, finding graceful ways to exit a never-ending loop of unlost memories.  


We had a coronavirus outbreak in this facility. Many of the patients whose hands I am holding today are survivors of it. They are more fragile than I remember them being before; less fragile than they were when I came – clad in disposable gown and gloves, surgical booties and bonnet, face shield and N-95 mask – to see them on the isolation ward. 


None of them are the same as they were. 


And neither, really, am I.


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