Jim and Colleen Whittaker stood back as the airport shuttle driver unloaded their luggage onto a hotel trolley. When he was done, he hopped into his shuttle van and drove away. Jim reached for the trolley handle, and tried to turn it around. She wanted to help him, but he would get mad, because he would feel weak and useless.
Jim still hadn't accepted the physical limitations that had been forced on him by his illness and neurosurgery. He had always been the one in charge of any project, he was always the one to do the heavy lifting. He had been born fiercely independent, and it galled him to ask for help. She had to walk a fine line between helping, and and impeding his recovery by babying him.
Colleen quickly and quietly called the front desk of the hotel. Within minutes, a burly young man strode down to the curb, and put one hand on the trolley to stop Jim's frustrating efforts.
"Are you Mr. And Mrs. Whittaker?" They both nodded.
"Hi, I'm Liam. I'll be your steward for the entire month you'll be visiting us. There's a page button on the phone in your private cottage. Pressing that will get me any time during the day, until midnight. After that, just call the front desk for whatever you need, and they'll send out someone. I'll get you checked in, then I'll escort you to your 'home away from home' for the next month."
Liam manhandled the trolley up over the curb, and headed up the flower strewn path to the hotel's main building. The private cottages were behind it, amid well kept lawns, and a huge central swimming pool. Jim took Colleen's hand, and they walked slowly toward the reception area.
"Does our vacation package include a steward?' Jim asked his wife of thirty five years. He thought he knew the answer, but he wasn't sure. His fact retention wasn't what it once was, especially after his surgery.
"It does now," she grinned up at him. She loved this man more than life itself. She fervently hoped that this month of vacation would give him the rest he so badly needed to recover from the worst year of their lives.
When they reached the reception area, Jim stepped forward to register, as Colleen browsed through the display of pamphlets by the desk. She chose one that praised the virtues of the hotel's fully equipped gym and physio therapy unit, praying that it would help.