TITLE: ANOTHER STONE ADDED TOTHE PILE
By Lorene Weaver
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It’s a beautiful spring day. The world is birthing new life in various shades of green and bright
yellows. Garden supply catalogues are scattered about the table as Lori tries to make head or tail about her orders put in last fall. “Oh, why can’t I remember? Why didn’t I mark these down?
I guess it will be like Christmas when they all come in. Oh, please don’t let them all come at once!” The very thought set waves of shudders through her already wracked body. “I refuse to think about it.”
She wanders out to take another look at her garden beds, imagining them filled to overflowing with all sorts of wonderful things. Last year’s perennials are already popping through the trodden earth covered with dried, curled up bronze and brown leaves. “Tomorrow will be the best day to tackle all this work,’’ states Lori.
Off to swimming and rehab, Lori finds herself singing praises of thanksgiving. Her spirit seems rejuvenated and she is looking for that hour of power in the 95 degree therapy pool. She meets her friends and between working out there’s plenty of time to talk. And talk they do. At the end of the hour she feels so exhausted and using all of her reserved strength, pulls herself up the pool steps. As she tries getting her scuffie on, she experiences enormous pain that just about brings her to the ground. Not being one wanting to be noticed, she takes a very deep breath and continues on. The pain goes away quickly. Again a praise of thanksgiving hits the airwaves.
Once in her car, she notices it hurt using the accelerator. Once home she tells her husband what happened and discovers a toe, that could not be moved due to past surgery, is now movable. A few days later she mournfully makes another discovery. Her whole right foot is swollen and ever so sore. She goes to her osteopath and he works on the huge knot of muscle on the sole of her foot. As always it hurts beyond hurt, but knowing the final outcome is always worth the temporary pain, she says nothing. The next four days she uses her crutches and then she goes to her osteopath again. He is fearful he has done her in. As he works on her foot he says, “Lori, you need to have this x-rayed. I think you have broken something here.”
That is definitely nothing she wants to hear. Flashes of garden work flow rapidly through her mind. She begins to feel the discouragement of it all.
The next day her worst thoughts are found to be true. She indeed has broken her foot and, in addition, it will take surgery to correct it. It will take two weeks before she sees her surgeon, then another week or two before the surgery, and finally, the most cruel thing of all, six weeks of non-weight bearing. “That means no driving! I won’t be able to cheat as I am now and take the boot off to drive. Freedom taken away. Putting up with Paul’s driving me places takes all the patience in the world. I barely survived the last time. My favorite time of year. Why couldn’t this have happened in the winter? Woe is me!” She curls up into as much of a ball as her body would allow feeling the huge leather chair and knowing this would be home for at least six weeks. The tears come non-stop, and then the wailing. Trixie, the cat, most concerned, hops up on Lori’s back trying to bring her comfort. Lori recognizes what Trixie is trying to do, but chooses to surround herself with her own pity party. She recalls all her physical restrictions - polyneuropathy, fibromyalgia, arthritis, some yet undeclared, but probable form of dystonia, myoclonic jerks, kidney stone, and heart problems, one of which can result in sudden death. That sounds very good to her - sudden death.
Totally exhausted from her wet emotional outburst, Lori drifts off in a light sleep. She heard a voice ask, “Why are you so distraught? You could just as easily be happy. It’s your choice.”
“Be happy! You have to be nuts. Look at this mess I’m in. You should try living in this body and then show me how happy you’d be.”
“I know what your life is like and how your body dysfunctions. I also know what it is you can do. Have you thought of those things?”
“Yup! I can sit in this chair all day. I can use the telephone and computer. I can even still get a meal together most of the time. Man, what excitement. Steady heart - oh, what the hey - go for it heart, go all the way.”
“Pretty bound up, aren’t you? Who has you in those tight binds?”
“I really don’t want to talk about it.”
“You haven’t wanted to talk about it for 50 some years. Sounds to be like you’re way overdue. What’s the basic problem? What are you afraid of? “
“Afraid of? I will try to work on this. Let’s see. Wow, I fear a lot of things. This is too scary.”
“It won’t be as I am here to help you go through these things.”
“I am so afraid of pain, yet I deal with it every day. I’m almost used to the amount I have but the thought of even more freaks me out. Being useless is awful - how can I pay back what has been done or not done for me? I feel emotionally crippled as well as physically dysfunctional in so many ways. My life has no meaning being disabled and unable to work. What do I bring to the household, to anybody? I fear being forgotten and unloved. The thoughts that others see me as insane and totally unsociable, a really strange one, are frightening to me. I fear people in general. I have a few friends and that’s all the people I care to be around. I have been treated so badly most of my life by people and by myself.” Her tears are dropping as a loud, pounding rain. Her whole body is shaking.
Time passes. She feels a release and a warmth comforting her. The sorrow, she discovers, is leaving ever so slowly and a strange calm permeates her very being.
“ All that you have said is truth as you have seen it, but, in fact, most of what was said is a pack of lies fed into your very being and taken on by you as truth because of the choices you have made. In your early years, much of this was sown into you and , yes, you were treated badly. You did the best you could to survive. Did you realize I was there all that time? You believed in me. Your heart was so open. I felt the emotional abuse even when you didn’t recognize it. You were protected for years during your childhood by a mind that was too young to interpret and understand all that was happening and this protection continues yet today. But it is time to face and be free of the deeply planted hurts of the past. Come, hold my hands.”
The warmth of those hands floods her body and Lori totally collapses in a sense of peace and joy. She doesn’t want to leave, she doesn’t want the moment to end.
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