First Day Out


Photo: Sue Vincent


It’s been a long time since she was able to hold her head up.

She knew every crack in the ceiling. Every shade of light on the walls. Every spider web.

They kept the latter undisturbed.

“Let them be,” she’d asked when the housekeeper had come in one day, armed with an upended broom. The matronly women had frowned only to have understanding effuse her face with something between pity and compassion.

“You keep ’em company, then,” the housekeeper had said.

She’d cried a little after the woman had left the room, tears accumulating small pools in her ears. In them was the relief for the small thing she could still control to protect, and the hollowing despair for how much of it she’d lost, that she begs company of arachnids.

Months passed since.

The webs accumulated. Elaborated.

The seasons changed.

She watched the spiders, and found her own cobweb to hang on to and get stronger.

She learned how to control a torso that would no longer answer to her command. She found ways to manage the awful dizziness of gravity. She made peace with her chair and its straps as her adopted exoskeleton.

And she was strong enough, finally. To hold her head up.

A gentle sun licked the edge of the gate. The mostly overcast sky offered her pallid indoor skin a needed measure of protection. A glint danced on the fence’s wall and she practically felt it.

As tender and tenacious as a spider web strand.

“I’m ready,” she smiled. “For my first day out.”




For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto prompt



29 thoughts on “First Day Out

    • Hi Sue,
      I’m sorry if my words awoke pain. I hope that your son recovered well, or well enough. It is so very difficult to appreciate, sometimes, the depth of losses one encounters (personally or by proxy by witnessing another’s struggles to find purchase in some quality of life, however newly redefined everything needs to become). Those of us who know it in some way, may understand it more intrinsically. And though perhaps sometimes we may wish we didn’t know it, maybe we are more tempered for it.
      Sending a hug … and some sunshine – it is glorious outside …

      Liked by 1 person

      • My son was stabbed through the brain in a random attack several years ago and left for dead. He lived and recovered enough to be able to pester me daily, Na’ama. πŸ™‚ He has many physical challenges, but seems to rise to them all. The tears were only memories.
        We learned, and continue to learn, a great deal from his journey and although he would not now go back to the life he had before, as his mother, I wish he had no had to learn a new way in such a drastic fashion. x

        Liked by 2 people

      • Wow. Wow. Oy. Ugh. Wow.
        I’m so sorry for what he’d endured and all you, too, had to go through, even as I’m glad to know he’d found meaning in his journey and that you have learned — as we all often can — from walking a difficult path. And … yes, I agree that as gratifying as finding a way to manage, even thrive, over adversity can be, it does mean that one thinks that is the best manual for arriving at a more enlightened destination …
        Drastic fashion indeed, that.
        Thanks for sharing this. I feel richer for knowing it.


      • It is no secret ( it couldn’t be… it made the news worldwide at the time!) and I share mch of Nick’s story on the blog. Including the wonderful things he has achieved since the attack πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I’m gonna go looking. I didn’t know — I visited many posts on your blog, but mostly the ones you post of submissions/entries to the prompts. Time to go hiking in your blog! And … thank you for directing me there. Stories of triumph are important to tell, and hear.

        Liked by 1 person

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