This time of recovery from the hysterectomy I had nineteen days ago has been such a period of reflection and – I hope- growth for me. Just two days ago, it was rainy, dreary, and chilly here in Birmingham, but I woke up feeling like me for the first time since my surgery. I felt the old rumblings of energy and the call to move and be active coursing through my veins, and it was so very welcome. Of course, I went for my first real ‘hood walk instead of just traversing up and down the street to celebrate…and toward the end of my walk, ten minutes away from home, I hit a wall, feeling like my cement shoes were back on. That’s okay- it was a good learning experience for me to not go hog wild as I begin to feel stronger, and I just took my time getting home. Totally worth it.
During that walk, as well as during my quiet time resting at home, my mind has been all over the place, thinking about the past, thinking about the now, and dreaming about the future. I have gone through things I’ve not had (or made) the time to deal with before- both mentally and physically- and took some trips down Memory Lane. I cherish those ‘trips’- not to cling to nostalgia, but to remember the gifts of loved ones no longer with me, as well as the lessons I learned along the way. That is an important role of the past- it is a great teacher and a reminder of the power of love in our lives.
All that reflection reminded me of two big things- I have very persistent angels who watch over me, and- in a huge nod to my oldest brother Bud who embraced our family’s Scottish heritage with great enthusiam before he died- I also have a soft ‘heid’ (head) sometimes. That second one is the reason that I need such persistent angels, and I have no doubt that they often shake their heads and draw their wings over their eyes at some of my greater missteps (sorry Mom!). I have made so many mistakes over the years- some because of a soft heart, some out of ignorance, and some just out of dumb ‘luck’. I’ve hurt myself, and sometimes most sadly, I have unintentionally hurt others. I can only hope that in each instance that I learned from those mistakes and have done my best to make things right where possible. Mom used to tell me that’s all we can really do- and then try to do and be better each day. My life’s mission.
During the rainiest part of the two wet days, I got the bug to make cookies, baking peanut butter one day and Tollhouse the next. I’m getting back in cookie baking shape for an upcoming visit to The Home for Wayward Seniors next week. I gave some to our neighbors to thank them for their kindness during my recovery, some to colleagues and friends who have been incredibly sweet to me, and some to our wonderful staff in the Department of Music who always take such good care of me. The house smelled absolutely wonderful, and it reminded me of coming home from school as a child, smelling my mom’s amazing peanut butter cookies as I walked up to the screen door. I’m not a great cook by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I seem to have gotten Mom’s cookie making gene- a good thing, as cookies have the ability to make people smile much more than a pot roast, I think.
Queen Heavy D cheesin’ it up for her audience…
When I delivered some cookies to one of our very sweet neighbors who was my mom’s buddy, she said something that touched me to no end, telling me that my mother would be proud of me, that I was so much like her. I think I really needed to hear those words. For so long I wanted to be my independent self, separate and different from my mother, but as time passes, I find myself wanting more and more to know that I carry a part of her with me, most especially her kindness and unflagging spirit. Everyone loved my mother- how could they not? She was self-effacing and funny- and unfailingly sweet and kind to everyone she met. I want to become the cool old(ER….she wouldn’t let you say ‘old’…had to be oldER) lady if I have the good fortune to live that long, just with my own twist. I do have my own brand of wackiness to wield on the world, after all.
I am hoping to begin playing again this week, and I know that in itself will bring much-needed routine and normalcy back to my life…and that it will be hard work to get back in playing shape after this time away from my instrument. I’m going to keep up with my ‘hood walks- no dogs, yet, but hopefully not too long from now my body will be ready to have them join me. I just know that each day is leading to more healing, more strength, more resolve to feel good again and get on with life. However, each day also brings with it an acceptance of where I am right now on my path of healing, and deep gratitude for the time to reflect, remember, as well as to let go of the things that don’t serve me anymore. Hopefully as each year passes, my angels won’t have to work quite so hard, and just maybe my heid will be a little less soft. No promises, but I do promise that I’m trying.