Once Gabrielle had sent her optimistic email to Bill and Jenny she returned to her husband’s side. “There. That ought to get the good news telegram rolling down the tracks.”
“You do know telegrams don’t roll down tracks, right?” he said.
“Adriel, I don’t think we need to be quite so literal today,” she said as she hugged him to her. “How’s it looking outside?”
“Sun’s shining and the weather reports a pleasant 84 degrees. Perfect day for a little neighborhood roll and stroll. I gotta hit the head first though.”
“No surprise there. Just urine?”
“Yep. You know me, Mr. Regular.”
“Well thank God for that. You are a big bundle to move on and off the toilet.” Even as she said it Gabrielle realized that her statement likely stung for more than she had intended. “Sorry, lovey. That was entirely insensitive of me. Let’s take care of business and then get out into the fresh air, shall we?”
After helping her husband relieve himself and washing all four of their hands she filled his cup with water, said, “Drink, please,” and held it to his lips while he drained it. “Thank you,” she added as she refilled it and put it in its holder on his wheelchair. “Ready to go?”
“Ready,” he answered as they made their way out of their house. Once they were outside and rolling he added, “You know we may be getting to a time when you’re going to have to put me in a care facility, right?”
Gabrielle stopped walking and waited for her husband to stop his chair. “No, we’re not,” she said simply. “I’m not saying that isn’t going to happen, I’m just saying we’re not there yet and that I don’t see any need to borrow trouble.”
“See any need?” he responded.
“Har-har. I can take care of you and when I can’t then we’ll move to the next phase but that isn’t yet. Please don’t leave me before you have to, Adriel.” Her voice trailed off and she softly added, “You’re all I really have.”
“I just want us to be thinking about it, you know? What happens if you have to stay in Philadelphia for your treatment? I’m going to need a care center.” All of his words were produced by the same inflection-less computer generated voder but somehow the tenderness came across.
“I know, sweetie. I know.”