The next few weeks were kind of a blur. Every day I would get a report from Julie on Stella’s condition. It slightly improved but I found out she would be needing rehab and they would be transferring her to a nursing home. I knew Stella would hate that and I constantly worried about her. Every time I would ask Julie about going to see her, she would tell me she didn’t think it was a good idea and I would say okay. Why did I do that?
I stayed in my room mostly and occasionally Clara would come to see me but I wasn’t very talkative. She would always ask about Stella and then she would leave. I was the same with the nurses and aides. Even when Jerry and Julie called to say they would be coming, I told them not to. I knew they were concerned but I just wanted to wallow for a while. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
I was constantly knitting. It had become almost an obsession. Somewhere along the way I decided to get it done so I could get in to Stella. I had it in my mind that it would help her somehow.
Finally Clara came into the room one afternoon and said “Okay, enough is enough. Get ready we’re going to the orchard today.”
“I thought that wasn’t until the day before Thanksgiving?”
“It IS the day before Thanksgiving Annie.”
“Oh my, I’ve most definitely lost my mind. I know Julie mentioned something about picking me up for Thanksgiving but I didn’t realize it was tomorrow.”
“You haven’t lost your mind. You’ve been so worried about your friend that’s all you’ve been able to concentrate on. You’ve been acting like she died and you’re in mourning. Give your friend more credit. She seems to be pulling through.”
“I know your right. I have a lot of guilt that I didn’t call her before her stroke.”
“She’s your friend Annie. I’m sure she knew how difficult the transition would be for you moving here. I’m positive that she doesn’t hold anything against you.”
“It is rather silly. Isn’t it?”
“Now you’re talking. The bus will be here in a half hour so hop to it” and she laughed.
“Yes mam” I said and she left.
I hurried and got ready and then went to the day-room. Everyone was lining up and starting to file out. I was getting excited because this would be the first time on an outing and the first time I would be out since I got here. The people who could walk were the first ones on the bus. Then they brought the wheelchair people on and fastened their wheelchairs to the floor and put seatbelts on them and even put a strap on their leg that fastened to the floor and we were off. In all, there were about 10 of us.
We all sang the usual bus songs that I remembered from when I went on field trips with my children. It hadn’t been that long but it was so nice to see houses and trees again even though the leaves were mostly gone.
It took about an hour to get to the orchard. When we got there we were met by a car with some aides that helped push people in their wheelchairs. We went over to a hill that had benches where you could sit and look out at the apple trees. It was a pretty warm and sunny day for November. Then some people from the orchard came and brought everyone warm apple cider and a piece of apple cake. It was scrumptious.
I turned to Clara who was sitting in her wheelchair and said “Thanks for the kick in the pants.”
“Glad to oblige” and we both laughed.
Before we left they took us into the little bakery and gift shop. I bought an apple cake to take with me on Thanksgiving.
When we got back, it was suppertime and we went to the tables. I wasn’t really hungry but I did eat a little.
I thanked Clara again for making me go to the orchard and then told her I was calling it a night after we ate. I had to get my clothes ready for the next day.
I got all my clothes laid out and the phone rang. “Hello?”
“Hi mom, I’ll pick you up around 1:00 tomorrow is that okay?”
“Sure, I’ll be ready. Any news on Stella today?”
“You can ask her yourself. I thought we’d stop by the hospital before we went to Jerry’s. Ralph and the kids will meet us at Jerry’s.”
“I would really like that. See you tomorrow.”
I only had a little bit to finish on the afghan and I decided to sit down and finish it so I could take it to Stella.
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