It's been a busy week for our Luce. She and I "skipped school" Wednesday to make the 1 1/2 hour drive back to Greenville, NC where Dr. Zeri's office lies next to the hospital that we called home for that long week three months ago. Three months! That span feels so long to NOT use one leg and so short for her to have healed so much from what it was back in July. Dr. Z said, upon examining her leg, "It just goes to show, youth rules!" He gave us the green light to graduate from crutches to "air boot" which will still protect her Achilles while allowing her to begin putting weight on it. At the time of the attack, her Achilles tendon was not just severed but shredded. Dr. Zeri had to trim up the edges before repairing it. So, not only has it not been in use for three months, it was also shortened.
Lucy has a lot of stretching to do.
But to answer the question that everyone asks, she is doing SO well. We see Lizzy, her wonderful physical therapist once a week. She throws balls, bending her knees to catch them. She pushes and pulls on stretchy bands with her toes. She gets a massage. She balances. She's dying to hop on that trampoline!
But Dr. Zeri says, "No jumping. And especially no jumping off walls."
At least for, uh, maybe...another six months? Which will be just in time for her 7th birthday, which is when her goal to start ballet was set.
We may just make it.
Leaving her PT appointment yesterday evening, we stood outside the elevator and a tall, handsome, silver-haired gentleman sauntered over with a huge grin and a drawl to match it. He inquired after the cause for the crutches and I told him. He didn't act surprised and knew her story well. His mother was born and raised on Ocracoke Island, where Lucy's shark likes to hang.
"We have a beautiful home there. If you ever go back, you can stay in it. It's beautiful", he said.
Our elevator door opened. We exchanged names and well wishes. I've already forgotten his but I have a feeling we'll run into him again.
When Dr. Zeri came into the exam room, we greeted one another. I offered my hand, but he reached out for a hug. When he left he did the same to Lucy, bending down for an embrace and adding a kiss on her cheek.
Dr. Zeri is a reserved man though kind. Conservative in his care, and careful with his concern. I don't think he hugs everyone that passes through that room. I don't know if he knows that in the middle of the night back in July the heavens paired his skills with our daughter's mangled leg. I don't know if he knows that his hands were guided by God through thousands of prayers shot to heaven on that day. I don't know if he knows, but, after the affection he displayed, I think he might know.
I'm drafting a letter to Lucy. In it, I will include all the little kindnesses (not just offers of beach homes and hugs) that came her way after she became accidental shark bait. I posted a picture of her standing (carefully) on both feet on Facebook. The response is 10 times the amount my posts usually draw. I want her to know that people are moved by her miracle.
But, even more than that. I want her to remember. Because, EVERYONE has a wound that requires a miracle plus all the kindness we can muster. I want her to learn to succor those that suffer physically or emotionally and to use her joyfulness, her light, to lift.
Just as she (and we) have been lifted by you.
*We are "getting back on the horse" this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes...