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Adelaide recognized the voice immediately and smiled, “This seat is not taken, but when did you become an old fool?”
“When I left the hospital without getting your phone number or address. I tried to get it from the nurse, but she started babbling something about hippos not letting her divulge that information. I couldn’t believe it when I spotted you in the first floor elevator this morning. I’m awfully glad you ended up here, too.”
“Well, I’m really not sure I’m supposed to be here, but my Doctor says I can’t go home to my apartment. He thinks my daughter and granddaughter are the source of too much stress for me right now. He said he would send me here for a few days so I could have the time to work out another arrangement. And by the way, it’s not hippos, it’s HIPPA—government regulations regarding patient privacy,” Addie laughed. It was good to laugh again, she thought.
“So your daughter and granddaughter stress you out?”
“Not my granddaughter,” said Addie. “It’s my daughter, really. I’m afraid I spoiled her when she was a child, and now she’s going through a divorce and is not a very pleasant adult. She created a scene in my room at Meadowview and I suspect the nurse told Doc Wilson about it. Now he thinks I need some time to mend without her getting me riled up on a regular basis, which she is quite capable of doing.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” said Michael. “What will you do?”
“I have a sister who lives in Rockland; I guess I’m going to go stay with her for a while.”
The server brought their lunches and they stopped talking while they sampled the fare.
“This is really good,” remarked Addie, as she munched on a turkey club sandwich on whole wheat bread. She had not expected the food to be good at a large facility like Langdon Rehab. The sandwich, the fruit salad, and the fresh lemonade were delicious. The kitchen had found a way to make healthy meals appetizing!
“Yes, they do a nice job,” rejoined Michael.
The couple finished their meal in silence, enjoying just being in each other’s presence again. Neither could believe their good fortune in winding up at Langdon Rehabilitation together. Smiles were exchanged between bites, and they both were somewhat lost in their own thoughts.
As the server took away their plates, Michael stood and immediately pulled out Addie’s chair. “What’s on the agenda this afternoon,” he asked.
“Nutrition class; I need to learn what to eat and what to avoid. I think my dietary habits are passable, but I guess ‘all who enter here’ must endure nutritional training.”
“It’s not bad. You’ll be surprised how much and what you can eat. They basically steer you away from fat and salt. Food wasn’t my problems as much as lack of exercise,” offered Michael. “Will you save me a seat for dinner?”
“You, bet,” promised Addie. “I’ll look forward to it.” The prospect of having to spend a few days at Langdon Rehab suddenly didn’t seem that bad.
(to be continued.)
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