It all started with a twinge.
A little sharp pain and an instant loss of appetite.
Then some days of a supposed stomach bug, an ER visit and then some surgery and six days in the hospital.
That’s how I seem to have missed out on the entire month of March.
It turns out the statute of limitations on c-section scar tissue potentially cutting off your small intestine just doesn’t exist….no matter that I had my last c-section for sweet baby Audrey 11 and a half years ago.
These detours in life are valuable….right?
Tell me they are.
Do they teach us persistence? I hope so.
Remind us of the fragility of life? Probably.
I want this unexpected, unwelcome interruption to have SOME benefit.
As I slowly recover from the prolonged illness followed by the surgery, I sometimes feel like a little snail on the sidewalk of a major city. I don’t worry about being stepped on. I just realize that life’s pace DOES NOT subside. It is fascinating to watch all the people keep doing all the things that beg for their attention at a merciless rate.
And before long I’ll be right back in that race but I’ve learned a few things about the beauty of a day with absolutely nothing in it.
Family and Friends
I can’t even…without tearing up…describe what a rallying effort went into caring for me and helping me have a quick recovery. Prayer, meals, visits, flowers, walks, texts, calls, cards – oh! I just cannot do this life without them and they know that.
Spring Break Ruled
Marvin, Jack and Audrey literally went from looking forward to a weeklong trip for Spring Break to essentially the exact opposite. Marvin worked a little bit during Spring Break but essentially Jack and Audrey and I left the house 2 times TOTAL during the week since I couldn’t drive and they were solidly committed to taking care of me.
Listen to me: This is a gift of time, selflessness and energy I will NEVER get over.
And I could never describe what each action shown to me meant. But I am pretty sure that as they all trailed out the door this Monday to work and school, we all kind of felt some sorrow that this luxurious home-bound gift of time together was over. Goodness.
Yes just sweet goodness. Can’t describe it any other way.
And goodness mixed with the relief that maybe this health crisis is passing and we can all hop onto that busy highway of life again.
I ran across this old quote from Anne Lamott that just sort of matches my heart as I slowly pull out of this speed bump:
"It's funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. but then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools - friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty - and said 'do the best you can with these, they will have to do.' And mostly, against all odds, they do."
Amen and Amen.
I have two questions for you:
What would convince you that more time in your life with NO PLANS and NO STRUCTURE is worth pursuing in your routine?
How do YOU react to curve balls, detours and the unpredicted hiccups in your life?
Talk about writing in pencill!! You are seriously one of the strongest women I know. Must be those Hungarian roots. Smile. I am moved by your reflection here. I prefer to keep curve balls and detours far from my vernacular. Although, I suppose it's precisely these things that tell us what we're really made of. And that's always enlightening (for better or for worse). The question is, what do we do if we recognize something inside ourselves that is less than desirable? I do love surrounding myself with people like you -- people who can keep faith and perspective even in the toughest circumstances. Plus, you don't look half bad with a plastic tube up your nose. My favorite part is when you told the intake staff that you'd really "prefer not to be admitted." That's gold. Love you, girl!! God speed in your recovery. Enjoy the pace. And take something of what you've learned into the next season. That will be a testimony to all of us.
How do I react to curveballs??? Depends on the day. If I'm in the middle of the mess, I have no perspective whatsoever. If I have the time to get off the busy highway and consider the truths of life and Jesus, I can muster enough thoughts to pull myself out of the mire and act like a mature adult. I now know that there will never be a stretch of life that was as care free as my first 30 years. But now, as life hands us aging parents, difficulties with children, various surgeries, blending families, etc. . . I feel like the quest is now finding peace in the storm. Learning how to trust, for reals, that God is with us and for us and for our kids and for friends and for our parents, is so much harder than I thought, now that hard things are here. However, if we could find that kind of permanent peace, wouldn't life feel so different? I suppose it takes the random surgery, the death of someone close to you, the realities of hard in life to continue to learn to surrender our control over circumstances, put off worry entirely and accept the peace that only God can provide.