A Bittersweet Day

25 Feb

Yesterday was Susie’s last day of physical therapy. It should have been a happy day, as she has progressed a lot in the last year. She is physically stronger, is more aware of her balance and now can continue with an exercise regiment at home. All of which should be celebrated. Whether she likes the exercise regiment with me at home, I can understand her feeling reticent.

Nevertheless, Susie dearly loves her physical therapist and saying good bye was difficult. Her physical therapist went home to Ukraine back in November/ December, so Susie jumped between a few different therapists. All were good, but she worked best with this one. When her physical therapist returned, Susie got back on her schedule immediately.

They work well together. When Susie hurt or was exhausted, she would speak up. When her therapist wanted her to try something new, she would try. Susie has a great attitude, provided she can rest when exhausted. She might initially respond with, “You must be crazy” but then she would say “Okay, I’ll try it.” I guess Susie trying every Tuesday and Thursday worked well for both of them. We’ll see how she does with me.

Susie working her core on the physio exercise ball.

Our departure feelings were further compounded as Susie’s physical therapist obviously has family in Ukraine, who are in the midst of a Russian invasion by Vladimir Putin. We talked with her about her family, where they are and what they were doing/ planning to do. She was troubled by the events happening and had very valid concerns for their safety. Yet somehow, she showed up for work yesterday, and worked with Susie in her usual kind, caring, professional and thoughtful fashion.

Susie doing leg lifts on the raised exercise mat.

I have quite a few work colleagues from Ukraine, and have chatted with them over the last few weeks. My view is President Biden and European Leaders preparation and response has been less than satisfactory. I can only imagine how someone living in the US or UK with family in Ukraine feels. This article from The Atlantic echoes some of my thoughts.

And yes, the above article is written by the US National Security Council member who was part of the impeachment proceedings against the previous President (Trump). Vindman clearly does not carry water for the Republican Party, so this is not a partisan bash against President Biden article.

I do not envision Putin stopping his invasion without NATO ground forces engaging. After listening to the NATO Secretary General today, I doubt we will hear such a commitment (until too late). How the history books treat this invasion I really don’t care. I care about the loved ones of friends of ours, like Susie’s physical therapist.