S CLAY WILSON…The night that changed his life….
S Clay Wilson was trying to get home from a friend’s house November 1, 2008, the night his life changed forever. We will never be certain if he fell or was attacked, since he has no memory of it. The numerous injuries on his face and head made him look like he was beat up. Two good samaritans found him unconscious between parked cars, face down in the rain, and called an ambulance. (I have tried to find them in order to express my gratitude for saving his life, but have had no success.) He’d suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, bleeding in three hemispheres of his brain. He spent three weeks in a coma, and we had no idea how severely impaired he was for many months. Once he began to speak again we realized he hadn’t just “awakened” to resume life as it had been before.
We’d been flirting since we met in 1968. I have been living with him since June 2000, visited him every day for the year he was in the hospital, and brought him home November 10, 2009. Taking care of him 24 hours a day is a daunting task, but one I am devoted to. He cannot go out on his own or he would get lost immediately, nor can he be left alone in the house. He cannot problem-solve, nor do anything for himself. Yet somehow he is aware of this loss of freedom, and some days I can tell it saddens him.
The days he spent drawing were his happiest, but after the first year at home, he stopped doing it. He did about 15 drawings the first summer he was home, but by the next Christmas he would no longer go in his studio. Yet he thinks about drawing all the time, and frequently brings piles of his art supplies onto the bed. I continue to hope this means one day he will resume drawing. He loves movies, so we haunt the libraries, renting up to 20 at a time. We exercise every day, take walks, and friends sometimes take him to lunch, museums, or art shows.