But things are different. Or, should I say, very, very "different" things happened.
At the airport coming in, we called for a wheelchair for me. It was, I must admit, a good idea. But I haven't even sat in a wheelchair since I took the traditional wheelchair trip out of the hospital after a tonsillectomy at age 14. Now, every time I walk, I wonder whether whatever problems are upon me that day are a sign that walking is coming to an end and soon it'll be time for The Chair. And when we landed in Hartford... we actually asked for a chair. I wouldn't call my experience of that weird, or even disturbing... but it was very, very... different.
Yesterday, walking across campus... if you can call it that, "walking," and you probably wouldn't have, had you seen it... I was barely able to walk. I mean, really quite literally "barely able." Fortunately, lying down for an hour restored what currently passes for "normal" functionality, and I'm back up to "pretty much walking well enough, I guess."
The last time I was here, for my own reunion, there was an energy in the air, and excitement, a thrill; something about the air said to me, "This is your 'place of power.' This is where you truly belong. This is what you're really all about." Today... it's just a place. Maybe what I was feeling was the presence of my own classmates, rather than the place... but today, it's just a place. Still, I really enjoyed the softness in the air, a gentle wind; those were really magical. But there was not the electric, transformational thrill that I got the last time I was here.
Which, I suppose, is good, because coming back here is both not possible and a bad idea (for many reasons, only some of which are related to The Disease) and having my home where it is, is the Right Thing, right now.
But still, it has been a very... different... couple of days, so far.