A few days before Thanksgiving a doctor came into my room and said, "Good news today, Mr. Stingley."
"Yeah, what is it?" I said.
"The halo's coming off today."
"Hallelujah!" I said. "Hallelujah!"
One orderly took a screwdriver and, instead of twisting the screws deeper into my scalp, unscrewed them. Another orderly disconnected the apparatus that hitched the 80-pound weight to the halo. That done, the doctor then bandaged the area where the screws had been implanted in my scalp.
"Now I can look at myself in the mirror," I said. "And now I can see my boys."
I asked my nurse to call Tina and tell her to bring Hank and Derek to the rehab as quickly as possible. They wouldn't be scared when they saw me now. And I wouldn't be too embarrassed to see them.
We had a tearful reunion. "I love you guys," I said to them. "I'm really proud of both of you." They said the same things to me. I told them that it didn't look as though we'd ever get to throw the old football around again or play any catch with a baseball, but that didn't seem to bother them.
"Nice to see you again," Hank kept saying. "That's what counts."
I cried myself to sleep after they left.