So it appears that finding time to visit the Soldiers Home now that I have two jobs won’t be my only challenge: Now I’m also a little concerned about finding time to write about visiting the Soldiers Home. Hence, the following two-days-in-one wrapup:
When I got to Mike’s room Sunday, his new roommate’s TV was turned up to 11, and Mike’s was louder than usual, too—probably to compensate. It actually was painful to hear, but none of it was bothering Mike. To say he was out of it would be an insult to things that are merely out of it. Mike was Out Of It. I rattled his feet. No response. I said, “Mike? Hey, Mike!” Nothing. Finally, after I made sure he really was breathing, I jimmied his shoulder until his mouth snapped shut and woke him up. (We are way beyond the “Oh, I’ll just let him sleep" phase. Especially now that I am challenged to find time to visit.)
He was happy to see me, but he kept drifting off. I asked him whether he’d like some hot coffee, and by the time I got back with it, he was sound asleep again.
“It’s a brand-new pot,” I chirped.
He took a sip and declared it perfect. And then he fell asleep and tipped the full cup against his chest. I woke him up again, to tell him to get some rest, and told him I’d call during the week to see how he was, and come back next weekend, once my mom is here.
“Hang in there,” I said.
“I’ll do it for your mom and you,” he said.
I patted his feet. “Do it for you, too,” I told him.
I called Mike this evening on my way home from Job No. 2. He sounded alert.
“Do you remember that I was there yesterday?” I asked him.
“No,” he said. “Were you?”
I reminded him I’d brought coffee and cookies.
“My God! Was that you?” Mike laughed. “That was the best coffee I’d ever had. Thank you!”
Mike sounded much, much better. He asked about my son’s golf game. He said he thinks the medicine is making him extra groggy, but he’s glad for the rest. “I’ve just got to get my wheels on straight,” he said.
That sounded like Mike. And when I told him I’d call again during the week and come see him this weekend with my mom, he sounded happy—and he sounded as if he’s looking forward to it.