This morning before heading to the hospital to visit Jessica’s mom, Namine made Mother’s Day cards for Jessica’s mom and sisters (the ones who are mothers, at any rate). We didn’t know what we were going to do after that, but we were pleasantly surprised.

Namine works on Mother's Day cards.
Namine works on Mother’s Day cards.

On the way to the hospital, Jessica said to me, “It’s such a nice day, it’s perfect for grilling.”

“Yeah. Too bad we don’t have a grill.”

“But your mom does.”

So I called my mom, who said that they didn’t have plans for dinner. She agreed that grilling out was a great idea. They were at a recital, and after leaving the hospital, we ended up beating them to their house. Namine and I raced up and down the driveway for a while, then she asked me to get her walker out of the trunk of the car.

This is the reason for her strength, and her physical therapist’s amazement: Namine loves to walk. In any and every opportunity, she looks to improve her ability to walk. This is her drive, her passion. She pushes herself to the limit — not because she has to, but because she chooses to.

What is especially impressive about Namine tooling around in her walker and wheelchair is that she was doing this in her everyday shoes. When she goes to therapy, she walks in her braces. They provide additional support, preventing — or lessening, at least — the pain that comes so easily to her twice-operated-on feet. But today? She walked in her shoes, which provide no such support. Even so, she did not complain.

When my parents and sister arrived home, we fired up the grill. My sister and I pushed Namine on the swing in the back yard while my mom cooked the food.

Some nights we skip Namine’s bath, but not tonight. It was akin to a day of therapy; Namine was sore and tired, and sweaty to boot. But long day or not, she still insisted on being wheelbarrowed into the living room. And not only that, but did a record number of eleven pushups before we said our goodnight prayers.

She fell asleep quickly enough.


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