For 8 weeks this past summer I couldn’t drive, or dress myself, or haul the heavy ropes of wet laundry out of the washer and ‘thunk’ it into the drier. I had had the dread rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder, which left me hurting like the dickens, both day and night. Also, as a righty, I could eat only with my left hand, which meant I spent a lot of meals feeding my ear.
Then, ten days ago, I had a second and unrelated fix-it repair and am now sporting a tidy zipper of stitches on my insides.
I am grateful today to be on the mend from both interventions. I can drive again, a good thing since some of those Uber drivers gave me a hard time for asking to be brought what they considered too-short distances to be worth their while. Once, still very early in my recovery, to spare myself the sulky lamentations of those few, I tried walking to my destination in my sling and brace, on a 93-degree day, along a road whose sidewalk suddenly gave out, such that I found myself picking my way in flip-flops along a trash-littered soil embankment that was tilted toward, rather than away from, the road – along which cars were zooming by, 15 inches from my teetering body.
Big mistake, that effort. I learned from it though, and am grateful for that. I’m grateful too that now I CAN haul stuff out of the washing machine. And almost dress myself without help. And deftly just fine with my right hand (and don’t I have a fresh little batter of fat to prove it!)
But really today I am grateful for so much more, as well all no doubt should be.
- I’m grateful for the help of my family and for my women friends whose candor and open heartedness have created a kind of shelter in the storm for us all.
- I’m grateful for the guys at Kevin Ryan’s Fells Hardware, who routinely offer to cut the wrongly sized curtain rod I have brought in for a consult instead of having me buy the $40 shears that would let me to the job at home. “Why spend the money?” Kevin will say, he whose presumed goal is to get people to do exactly that. I have had such great talks with these folks over the years – about the pain of Shingles, about depression, about the War of Northern Aggression, as some Southern historians still refer to it.
- I’m grateful for Jimmy at the Post Office, who lost his wife last winter and lets me now and then gently inquire as to how he is doing.
- I’m grateful for John at the Shoe Hospital who gave me the name of a guy he said was the best window repair guy he had seen in his 87 years. The guy himself turned out to be on another project but he introduced us to his brother Mike Sheridan, who every day for 90 days from 7 ’til 3, came to this house and worked, both on ladders and in the machine shop he set up in our garage, so as to give new life to every single window and piece of trim on this gracious old lady of a house. Mike, your gifts with the living wood, as well as your meticulousness and work ethic, are remarkable and I hope you know that.
I go on too long here so I will have to get to the many others in another post.
My husband ALMOST went out to rake earlier but on seeing these frigid temps, settled for a morning indoors. He is in the shower now. Our son Michael and his Jen, here from the big city, are still sleeping. And our daughters are texting hilariously back and forth to us all about the foods they’re trying to prepare for this afternoon’s feast. Soon we will get to be with all of them, plus a harvest of grandbabies and more family beyond that.
My assignment is only to provide two autumn salads and a raw vegetable plate, and maybe offer a consult on the gravy when that crucial moment comes. I need to be about that work now, but how could I let this lovely claret-colored morning pass without saying how lucky I feel right now for my many blessings, I am who am no more deserving than the many who this day are hungry or far from home? May we all feel ourselves cradled in Hands far larger than our own, and in so feeling. do more and more and yet more for others.