Last night J was as good as he's been for many months: lucid, standing up with new strength, transferring between bed and wheelchair without any gadgetry but the walker, aware and proud of his own progress. I too dared to stand up taller, stretch, shake out my shoulders, take a deep breath.
"You're some kind of a miracle," I said to him.
"I'm an asshole," he replied, completely in character.
This morning he came down with another of his aspiration pre-pneumonias, and tumbled all the way back to infancy.
UPDATE: Welcome, Althouse readers. And for those of you who are going "WTF," yeah, I am kicking myself for not having categories so you could get a sense of the backstory. Too little too late:
UPDATE II: A clarification I e-mailed to a reader might be helpful:
Saying "I'm an asshole" was just my husband's way of being funny and self-deprecating. It's a way he often responds to pride or praise. So he was being completely himself when he said that. Since he's suffered from some dementia as well as physical impairments (he's 79 and has a neurological illness of unknown origin), that was another good sign.