Monday, January 12, 2009

Dusty Rainbows

As the winter of 2003 progressed, Bob’s health began to spiral downward. The pain in his shoulder spread to his knee and turned severe. One cold Saturday afternoon Henry and I were playing at the bottom of the stairs. The sun shone through the stained glass windows in our foyer, making small dusty rainbows that floated in the air.

Henry liked to pile his blocks on the patches of red, yellow and green that filtered through the pocket door and landed on the tan carpet. He was fascinated by the way the reflections changed the color of the wood in his hands.

Bob was in the pantry rearranging our dwindling stock of canned peaches and pears, methodically moving the Ball jars from one side of the pantry to the other, the phone balanced between his shoulder and cheek. He was telling the on-call nurse about the pain he was experiencing, explaining to her that he had taken some Vicodin he left over from some earlier situation.

I suddenly felt uneasy, “My God, what is going on?” I thought to myself. “He sounds like a junkie on the phone, are we in trouble here?” I wondered.

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