After the final trip to Bethesda, Tim was alive, and well. This time, we all told each other the Bethesda treatment was the miracle cure. Irene didn’t teach during the summer while the kids were out of school. Tim taught the kids to sail. He spent the summer celebrating his healing, sailing, working on the new boat with Jack, doing cookouts for all his friends at the log house in Zigzag.
He had various new deficits, but he was well. The miracle had been Bethesda. Or maybe the miracle had been his change of perception. This was how he described his attitude: “When you can’t change the direction of your wind you can always adjust your sails.”
I did my usual work at my attitudinal healing center, The Healing Place, and Mom’s Miracles Center. Facilitated groups, taught classes, staffed the office, answered the phone. At the samae time, I built up a reservoir of energy for what my heart knew was coming but my mind said was not.
At the end of July we celebrated Jack’s birthday by launching the 12” remote control model boat Jack had just finished building—a replica of a full-size Chris Craft Runabout. Jack made invitations with pictures of the boat, Photoshopped ourselves into the boat, and asked all of our friends to the launching at WillamettePark on the river. They thought it was a full-size boat, and came prepared to go boating. Tim showed up trailering his 15’ sailboat Sweetheart. He called it the chase boat. It was a hilarious celebration, goofy and giddy.
Except for Tim. His leg was back in the brace, and he limped. He seemed distracted and distant.
First I cornered Jack. “Jack, why didn’t you tell me his leg was bothering him?”
“Because he didn’t tell me,” Jack said. “Yeah, he limped a little, but who wouldn’t, after all those surgeries. He’s been doing his share on the boat, didn’t seem to be in pain. This is the first time I’ve seen him back in the brace.”
It wasn’t until after the birthday cake that I could sit down next to Tim and ask.
“Tim, what’s with the brace?”
“My leg. Where they put the pins in.”
“Have you seen a doctor?”
“Yes. He gave me more morphine.”
More morphine. Omifreakinlordy.
Tim’s face showed no emotion at all.
“He seemed happy enough, working in the boat shop,” Jack said on the way home. “But maybe that was the morphine.”