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Monday, August 24, 2015

Tea Time... An excerpt from Twenty-Seconds



This a small sample of what you will find in the book.  It is funny, horrific, and moving.  Hope is the key.  Sometimes you just have to make a game of it my Dad always said.  That I have always done well.  It was always important to laugh during the journey.  It might explain volumes in how I actually survived.  I hope you enjoy

Portion Chapter 6 Dark Skies


As the days in rehab clicked by, it became apparent I had to be able to function alone before leaving this place. The things I couldn't do, I would bullshit my way through. My personality had changed greatly and I was kinder and more peaceful. I still was a charmer and people generally remembered me along the journey. At a minimum, I was likeable and my efforts were applauded by therapists. I just simply wouldn't give up. There were multiple times at rehab I pushed so hard that I lost the use of my legs for a day or so. It wouldn't be the last time.
Towards the end of my rehab in a final test of living skills, I was asked to make tea for my mother and the therapist. A simple task. I had wanted to make an omelet and joked with them but tea was the call. I boiled the water and engaged the therapist with my witty banter. I laughed and joked and flirted always throughout my journey. Why the hell wouldn't ya? As the water boiled on the stove, I set up three mugs and went about gathering three tea bags and promptly slipped them into the boiling pot on the stove. We continued to joke and play until that point. My therapist asked why I would put the tea bags in the water instead of the cups. Thinking quickly and with the typical balderdash skills of my youth, I explained that in Europe this was the preferred method of steeping tea in ancient times, as the vigorous boil on the stove would activate tea leaves usually left dormant in the traditional bag steep. It had obviously dawned on me that I wasn't even making tea right, but I recovered quickly with the Europe story. As I explained how tea had changed throughout history (which was all made up), I suddenly saw the small paper tabs attached to the string of the tea bags that were hanging over the boiling pot suddenly and without notice burst into flames. I quickly grabbed a towel and extinguished the flames and removed the boiling pot from the stove. All while explaining that this was the European sign that the tea was ready and nothing to worry about. While doing that, the bags inside the pot had exploded, emptying the contents of the tea bags into the water. This too was an important part of tea making, I explained, as how would anyone be able to read tea leaves in my cup if they were still in the bags? I really can be an idiot sometimes, but I can sell nearly anything when I need to. I needed to get out of that hospital and rehab. Also I pointed out that allowing the tea to flow freely through the water improved the taste and strength of the tea. I remember looking back as I passionately explained this to the therapist and my mom. The look on my mother's face was priceless. I poured the tea and we sat and drank it together and discussed my pass/fail grade. The whole time the therapist had bits of tea in her teeth and it was all I could do to not laugh out loud. This was the test to get me out of here and she knew it. I am not sure why she signed off after that experience, but she did. I was free to go. The therapist wrote me sometime later about the experience and told me the reason she passed me was passion. She quite simply said everyone loved me there at rehab and she wouldn't have dreamed of holding me back and pissing off her peers. She said she tells the story all the time now as a story of determination. She often includes the line, "when you can't dazzle them with brilliance....baffle them with bullshit". She said it was all she could do to stay serious and it was the fondest memory for her and would be for life. She said I had a personality that was rare and contagious. I was always in a good mood and nearly always cracking a joke. She thought that was an important part of any healing. She also used to sneak me strawberry shakes at 2 am when I couldn't sleep. Having lost so much weight, concern of a diet was a mute issue even with the diabetes recently discovered. I needed the strength. My diet for the next two years I called the “eat whatever you can diet”. There were obviously bigger concerns. I chose my battles carefully.
Walking had been an issue that I hadn't considered. I was unsteady and weak and it took every ounce of effort to show the physical therapists my determination. More times than I want to mention I would fall and resist help in getting back up. On one occasion, my therapist cried watching my passion for independence.  Pride is a funny thing...


Balboa Press...A Division of Hay House Publishing


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