Steps Toward Renewing Life

Kage Baker was leery of miracles. She appreciated them as much as anyone else, but her view of them was influenced by an old physics cartoon. A scholarly fellow is standing in front of an enormous blackboard covered in complicated formulae. He is gesturing at the final answer, saying “There’s the answer.” And at the very bottom right of the blackboard are the words: AND HERE A MIRACLE HAPPENS.

Too easy, was Kage’s view. Miracles take work, and often some sort of repayment. Kage was well aware of that, having been lighting candles beside her mother in church from an early age. Saying thank you to the Virgin Mary, she was taught. Her own thank yous and presents veered a little off the true Catholic norm as the years passed, but there were always candles in there somewhere. Her faith never veered at all.

Personally, I was never really a Christian, but I too knew how the system worked. At the present time, I owe a young oak tree to the Lord for the gift of my second chance at life. I’m not sure where Kimberly will want me to plant it, but I owe the debt. I will plant an oak.

Every day, as my recovery advances, I am reminded of it. Tonight, I am exhausted – because I am now walking! I arrived at my present abode on the Hollywood Memorial Medical Center campus – a rehab facility called the Chateau, la dee da – speechless, hallucinating, unable to breathe, walk or eat. Today, I walked 260 feet, wearing actual shoes, and chatting with my Physical Therapist as we went along. And I was breathing on my own.

At the moment, I have been off the ventilator for 14 hours. Dear Readers, I hope you never have cause to find out, but the joy of being able to breathe without the assistance of a machine is … miraculous. A few more expansions of my hours off, and we will be able to start capping the trach tube to see how I tolerate that. And then – I get to go home.

I’ll still have work to do. There will be doctor visits and continued therapy, and I shall be using a walker for a while. I’m already thinking of mounting squirt guns and a klaxon on it, so I can get people out of my way. Hey, I’m a crippled old lady, they can’t yell at me!

In the meantime, I rest between treatments and therapies, walk my legs off when I can, and fill my falling asleep time with prayers of gratitude. Alleluia, alleluia, thank You for this second chance.

I’ll buy you a tree, Old Man.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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4 Responses to Steps Toward Renewing Life

  1. Tom Barclay says:

    I recommend some of the mid-sized Super-Soakers for your armament. Lots of range and lots of capacity.
    So good to see you back, Kate.


  2. buggybite says:

    So glad you’re back— your power over words undiminished. Being outside your circle of actual friends who would have kept me in the loop, I was really worried. I knew the long silence had to be due to more than you just getting fed up with doing a blog.

    I’m tempted to say “Aside from that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you like the play?” Did the repair of the heart valve work? Once you recover from the horrendous effects of the op itself, you should be better than you were before this started? I hope?


  3. Luisa Puig says:

    My new most favorite quotes of yours:

    “And I was breathing on my own.”
    “And then – I get to go home.”

    Tonight I shall envision You, Kimberly, Michael, the corgis (sp?), the cat, and parrot
    *all* dancing under the moonlight, around a sturdy old oak in the forest,
    while you hold in your heart the young oak yet to be planted.

    I feel JOY again!

    Thank you for this wonderful, FABULOUS News!



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