Saturday, February 08, 2014

a month of me

I returned one crutch to the pharmacy today. I still need one for room-to-room walking, but I can hobble around the kitchen on two feet, preparing a simple meal or in today's case, baking a birthday cake for my mother-in-law.

It's astounding how liberating it feels to have the use of my hands, easily, and to have one hand now free to carry stuff around.
To take be able to take photographs.

I wrote about my wheelchair experience, but this whole month of disability has been rare and exceptional.

I was crushed that my year started on this foot (ha ha), but in hindsight (isn't it always?), it's been a gift.

Could the cry of that Fish Eagle that enticed me out on to the lawn (and I must write about my Fish Eagle thing soon), have been another instance of one telling me that this was good, that this was right?

For one month I've not been required to be anything much for anyone else. I've naturally done what I can for the girls - I've had them home every weekday afternoon, I'd throw together sandwiches, read stories etc - but there were vast tracts of their care that I couldn't do - bath, bedtime upstairs, endlessly searching for assorted crap, driving them around - and so, I couldn't.
I spent a lot of time just being me.

What a gift right?

I've had moments I haven't had since before being a parent.

I've sat on the stoop and watched evening fall like the lightest gossamer veil over the earth, the most beautiful guise of summer.
I've lain in deep baths and had long rememberings - childhood holidays, the houses of friends I had growing up, moments in our early relationship (20+ years ago!).
I've spent so much time with my cat.
I've been silent for hours.
I've hung out. With me.

There have been many less desirable moments. I've been in pain obviously - but besides the physical, I've had restless days. 'Pacing my cage' as an insightful friend put it. I've felt isolated and redundant, sorry for myself.
I've been working (and thank god I work from home) and I've been utilising social media big time, so it's not like I've been a total hermit. But I miss people.

And I've some bad habits to break. Wearing sweatpants for one. Very long morning coffee breaks outside. Twitter. Netflix.

But this evening, as I prepared supper for the girls, topped up their juice bottles, I felt such satisfaction in these mundane domestic tasks. Was it because I was caring for my family, I asked myself?
No, it was because I wasn't having to ask my poor husband to do it.

I'm grateful. For this time I've had. For my wonderful mother and husband who've picked up the reins so open-heartedly. For my daughters who've shown compassion and patience with my 'silly foot' every day of the last month.
For the beauty of my cage.
For this month of me.

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