Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yesterday was an exciting day

Yesterday was an exciting day.

First, Juan Martin Del Potro won the US Open. A guy after my own heart (I wish!). Being Argentine raised, I love seeing my ‘hometown’ athletes win!

Del Potro is from the town of Tandil, in the humid pampas south of Buenos Aires. My dad took us to Tandil when I was about 10. What I remember most about the town was the Monte Calvario, reflecting the stations of the Cross and the crucifixion of Christ.

Anyway, way to go Juan! We were cheering for you.

My husband is on a road trip and currently is in Wisconsin. He grew up there. His best friend from school days, Alex, still lives there. Alex’s 15 year old son, Cole, recently suffered a severe stroke and is hospitalized at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

E. spent the a great deal of the day with Alex and Cole yesterday. He attended Cole’s physical and speech therapy drills. E. reports that Cole is still unable to speak, so he communicates with his right hand. 1 finger means ‘yes’. Two fingers mean ‘no’. The middle finger means ‘hi, dad!’.

Cole’s mom and younger brother have had to return to their home in central Wisconsin, so many days Cole is on his own with his rehab. The exciting part is that Cole recognized E. and waved hello! E. took him for a walk (ok, guided him in his wheelchair) around the hospital. The day was nice enough that they could go outside and buzz around.

Two years ago, E and I went back to Wisconsin
with several Estes Rockets in tow.

We built them during the summer with plans to launch them on Alex’s land, an old farm. There isn’t any place safe to launch rockets around our neighborhood, so we were both looking forward to a couple of evenings being 14 years old again with Alex and Cole. We loaded up our rockets (including one that Cole made), drove down the farm lane to a safe launch site, and set up.

We laughed and expressed “oohs” and “ahhs” at each launch.

E. would set up the launch, I would conduct the countdown and take photos, Cole would hit the launch button, and Alex would retrieve the rockets.

This is Cole launching the Big Bertha.

Occasionally we swapped roles. A few rockets were lost; one got hung up on a power line. And one’s parachute didn’t open until after the THUD of impact on the ground.

We had so much fun that we launched rockets a SECOND DAY!

On this trip, E. took a rocket kit back to Cole to build someday. He said Cole was excited about it. I don’t know how fast a 15 year old heals from a stroke – but you can bet we will be launching rockets and laughing all over again when Cole is ready.


sealaura said...

thanks for sharing cole's story. I do pray he heals soon. lovely pictures.

Ashley said...

Neat story. My husband is also from a farm in Wisconsin. A great state for launching rockets and fireworks! We did the same thing with his family earlier this summer.

altadenahiker said...

Didn't Del Potro confound everyone? I loved it. Those are some lovely photos of Cole with the rockets. I'm sure he'll surprise everyone as well.