Page 23: Joe and Michael Jordan

Joe tried to rest, but he was finding it difficult to relax.  He kept seeing himself and Tessie playing in the apple orchard.  The visions and the nightmares wouldn’t stop.  He told Dr. Spitzack about them, but he said eventually they would go away.  Why did he have to remember this, when he couldn’t remember anything else?

Joe’s sister, Sharon, poked her head into Joe’s room.  “Joe, you alright? Mom said you had a rough time at the grocery store.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Joe said.  “Sharon, do you see Tessie or is it just me?”

“Joe, you know Tessie is gone, and she ain’t comin’ back.  It’s OK, it was an accident,” Sharon decided to try and get Joe’s mind off of everything that was bothering him.  “Hey, let’s go for a walk, come on….”

Joe reluctantly got up and put his shoes on.  “Sharon, can you help me tie my shoes?  They showed me in the hospital, but I can’t quite get it.”

Sharon got down on her knees and tied Joe’s shoes for him.  Being seven years younger than her big brother, it was ironic that Sharon was helping Joe tie his shoes.  Just as a mother would teach her little child how to tie a shoe, so Sharon explained the process to Joe. 
“Now, let’s go!”  Out the door the two of them went and they started walking down the driveway and then up the hill on the gravel road that traveled past their house.  “Let’s talk about something that’s fun,” Sharon said enthusiastically.  “How about Michael Jordan?”  Sharon remembered how much Joe loved Michael Jordan.  Joe thought they were “soul brothers” because they had the same birthday, February 17th.  Sharon sometimes secretly wondered if the fact that Michael Jordan retired from basketball to play minor league baseball contributed to some of Joe’s depression. 

Joe didn’t say anything, so Sharon just kept on talking.  As Sharon rambled on and on, Joe stopped dead in his tracks, falling to his knees, shaking his head and clenching his fists.  “Stop, stop!”

“Joe, what’s wrong?” Sharon urgently asked.

“I don’t know who…who did you say?  Michael Jordan?  I don’t know who Michael Jordan is!” Joe was frustrated.  “Don’t you understand? I don’t know…I don’t know…I don’t know anything!”

Sharon dropped to the ground and knelt next to Joe.  “Joe, I’m so sorry.  I thought maybe you would start to remember if I told you all about him.  I’m so so sorry that I upset you.”

Facts:  Joe kept seeing visions and dreaming about Tessie and the accident.  Joe and Michael Jordan share the same birthday.  Michael Jordan was Joe’s hero.

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