Episode 1034: WonderlandJesse and Caroline lay on their backs on the grass, letting the soft breeze cool their labor heated skin as they watched clouds drift by overhead.
“This is nice,” Jesse said and it felt like the ultimate understatement.
“I know,” Caroline said or more like sighed. “My back is so happy to be laying down for a few minutes after being bent over those flowerbeds all morning.”
“Yeah,” Jesse agreed. “But it’s about more than a break from work.”
He sat up, propped up by his arms. He looked over and smiled at Caroline’s little sister Abby a few feet away practicing and failing at cartwheels, giggling with each tumble. “She gets it.”
Caroline sat up, copying his pose with her arms, stretching her spine in the process. “What does Abby get? Definitely not gymnastics.”
Jesse chuckled with her. “Yeah, definitely not gymnastics. I meant life. Abby gets life. She appreciates the little stuff, it doesn’t take much for her to enjoy life.”
“Are you okay?” Caroline asked, the languid relaxation of a moment earlier vanished from her body, everything in her rigid. He’d been well for so long now, it probably shouldn’t still be so easy to jump to a worst case scenario. But the fear refused to entirely go away.
She reached over and placed a hand atop his. “Are you sick again Is that why you’re waxing philosophical about life? Is that why you’re-” Her voice broke. “Is that why you’re talking about appreciating the small stuff?”
“No, don’t freak out. I feel fine.” He collected her hand that covered his, twined their fingers. I’m better than fine, I promise. I just, it’s, you know, this job for my dad, it’s hard, sweaty work, but at the same time it feels good that I can do it. It feels good that I’m here to enjoy this peaceful break with you and Abs. I mean, at one point it was possible I wouldn’t be here.”
Tears sprang into Caroline’s eyes.
“I’m fine,” he reiterated. “And when I’m feeling this fine that’s when yeah, I think about how lucky I am to be alive. I should appreciate it all more than I do. The smell of the grass. The sound of Abs giggling at herself. Having a job that lets me spend the summer outside with my really good friend.” He raised their joined hands. “I’m lucky to be here. I’m lucky to be experiencing these simple great things. I wish my donor knew how thankful I am.”