It is now four weeks after my appendix, ovary and Fallopian tube were removed along with the offending 16cm cyst. My belly is no longer purple and I can do things like drive and shower without pain. Unfortunately, a slow walk to drop off our six year old at school resulted in an emergency stop at a park bench in the middle of my walk and a two hour recovery in bed with lingering pain for the rest of the day.
My physical therapist friend saw me out and texted congratulations for such a feat. I replied with moans and this is what she said, “The middle of recovery it is the hardest to appreciate both how far you have come, and how much your body will continue to heal.”
At this moment I feel as though truer words have yet to be spoken.
As I hugged my beloved friends one last time before their return home to Uruguay, my belly filled with peanut butter covered butterflies- a fluttering grief that could not take flight but rather stationed itself in my ribs. While I deeply love the people in my life, I rarely grieve their departure or lack of presence.
Today I learned I need to make room for the heavy butterflies because they don’t seem to be flying away soon…and chances are, their residency will teach me something I need to know. In other words, it’s time to get comfortable with grief.
We relished in the meals provided by loved ones after our children were born. Seven years after the first round of deliciousness, we still reminisce about the perfect baked ziti and the homemade place and bake cookies. The twins were born over a year ago and our house is at full capacity so we assumed that era of homemade deliveries to have ended. Lo and behold, our former neighbors showed up at the door tonight with a full meal. Not only was the food fabulous, and the company exceptional, they also pitched in with the dishes.
It what ways can we all provide a happy surprise, just because?
My wife has a dry, sarcastic, sense of humor. While I appreciate the art, I don’t know how to dish it back. Thankfully my best friend’s husband is the king of sarcasm. Their banter and smiles commence before they are fully out of their cars. Their repartee, is like a perfectly written script. As an audience member, I realized it had been way too long since the stage had been set for this performance in which we were all perfectly cast, and incredibly content.
How do we make time for the company that makes us smile to our toes?
Historically, when friends came to the house I would clean it first. Today, last minute change of plans meant that new friends were coming over instead of meeting us for a hike. As I was playing translator between my two oldest kids and our Uruguayan neighbors and appeasing two teething babies, it occurred to me that the disaster zone I call home had no chance of improving its façade. I immediately knew these friends were “keepers” when they made themselves as home, complemented my muffins and helped pour tea while I wrangled clean diapers on squirmy twins…all within three minutes of their arrival. This experience made me so grateful for the people in my life that forego judgment and appreciate who we are as a family, sticky floors and all.
How can we all live our lives with an abundance of appreciation and a scarcity of judgment regardless of the “mess”?