During Christmas break, the girls went on a bike ride. Monica turned sharply to go up a curb and had a fall. She got back on the bike after a hug from her sister and rode home. That night we heard her noisily going into the bathroom. When we checked on her, she was crawling down the hall. When asked why, she explained that she could not walk. A visit to the emergency room showed a broken ankle.
Like much of life with Monica, this was a great adventure.
We thought you might find it interesting to know how this experience is different from other kids. Monica has no capacity for worrying about the future. She never had the disappointed realization that she can’t play basketball this year. She is not discouraged about how long it will be before she can ride her bike again. She is simply living the adventure of getting thru her day without putting her foot down. She is figuring out how to turn on the light switch and take a shower and get dressed and get in the van. And it’s all a fascinating fun challenge to her.
At the emergency waiting room, she was looking at all the downtrodden ill or injured around her and making cheerful conversation…asking people ‘how was your Christmas?’ As others would get called in, she would tell them, ‘have a happy new year!’ The TV that day was full of death (James Brown, President Ford and Saddam Hussein). She would tell people, ‘don’t watch that, want to play I Spy?’ Each person who attended her was told, ‘thank you for taking care of me’. She truly brings out the best in people; they just can’t help but hold their head a little higher after she commends them. When it was time for the cast, she was not swayed by the kid in the next bed choosing orange; she was so happy to choose green. She told the orthopedic assistant doing her cast that he did a very nice job of it. When John fell down the other day, she slid off her chair and scooted on her bottom as fast as anyone else on foot, to see if he was alright. If anyone new sees her in the cast, she tells them ‘it’s getting better already’. We all need to see the world a little more the way Monica does – it’s getting better already.