But we have more opportunity in this part of the world to make good lives, knowing the darkness might drop at any moment.
--me, yesterday

We scrape and crawl each day, hoping to find traction and gain ground.
--an email received today

I've written about Carrie here and Carrie and Dan (briefly!) here. Short version: I variously dated and hung around with Carrie in university. I stayed with her and Dan in 1992 and (with my wife) in 1998. They'd then just had their first child. We met in non-virtual space again in 2018, the year the baby from '98 turned twenty. We only sporadically sent texts or emails but we always responded. That stopped last spring and, conditions being what they have been, I didn't pursue the matter.

I received an email from Dan today.

On a late spring day, Carrie experienced a massive stroke. She was airlifted from their small community to a hospital in London, Ontario. The medical people did not hold a strong hope of recovery. They clearly didn't know her. She has a stubborn streak. I'm not so optimistic as to imagine anyone will cheat Death and I recognize disease can lay anyone low, but strength of personality oft works wonders.

She returned home a month later. She cannot see out of her left eye and has almost no use of her right arm. She's in a wheelchair, but can now walk small distances with a cane. She will be working for some time to regain and rebuild expressive speech.

She has always had tremendous strength, and if anyone can find their way out of this particular labyrinth, it would be her. Their son, twenty-three, has returned home to help. And she always spoke in glowing terms about the helpful nature of their daughter, who looks almost exactly as she did at the same age. She has support and love and her own powerful will. We can hope.

Some days it seems the present is a foreign country.

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