On Little Mercies

Sleeping in…

Our Sunday began slowly, peacefully. Usually we are up at the crack of dawn, but Dan didn’t sleep well and I delighted in lingering in bed and cuddling with the animals as he got a few extra Z’s. Sleep has been a challenge for me of late, my mind a constant hamster on a wheel, worrying about anything and everything. Even when I can’t sleep, listening to Dan and Marley’s gentle breathing is calming; such a peaceful meditation.Rainy times in Birmingham…

Today I’m off on another adventure, this time to Utah for some school clinics and to be a guest artist at the Utah Clarinet Festival at BYU- all made more challenging by my diagnosis yesterday of a torn rotator cuff, the inadvertent gift of an obviously poorly-executed chaturanga in Dan’s yoga class. I made some travel adjustments; repacked my favorite backpack suitcase into a regular bag that could be checked, and I’ve let my hosts know that I will need some help lifting things. Playing is not comfortable at all right now, but I’ll do the best I can.Marley watching the rain…

It is funny how life ebbs and flows; not in a ‘belly-shaking-with-laughter’ humorous way, but in a ‘wildly-reeling-from-joy-to-sorrow-to-everything-in-between’ sort of way. There is no stasis, but I suppose that is a good thing, the bumpy parts bringing with them gratitude for the smoother sailing of calmer times. Last year was full of amazing things career-wise, truly beyond my wildest dreams. This year has already had its share of challenges; the loss of our precious Sophie, my ‘heart attack’ that turned out to be anxiety and depression, and now this rotator cuff issue that has me worrying about a possible surgery and a monkey wrench tossed into my performance schedule. What is that quote about God laughing as we make plans?

Before I left on this trip, I attended a colleague’s vocal recital. It has been difficult for me to drag myself out of the house lately, but I wanted so badly to support my friend. As I sat in the recital hall between Dan and our dear friend Wayne, favorite colleagues and friends sitting all around us, I felt the pull of the music on my anxiety-ravaged heart and mind. My friend sang so beautifully and with such passion and conviction. As music has the power to do when wielded by the right person, it soothed my jangled nerves, transporting me away from my cares for a brief time. How glad I was that I fought my hermit tendencies and ventured out. I left feeling uplifted and grateful to work with such talented people in a career that has always brought me great joy.

Yes, I am going through some challenges, but many, many people are going through so much worse than I. I have a loving and supportive husband who is there for me every step of the way, a home that is a peaceful refuge, amazing, caring friends, animals that I love, a great job working with people I respect and admire, and I have skilled doctors and good medicine to help heal my body and mind. Everywhere I look there are signs of hope for me and the world around me. Challenge walks hand in hand with love and hope. I need to always remember that. Little mercies abound.

And when all else fails, I hear my mother’s words echo in my mind, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Hear me roar.


4 thoughts on “On Little Mercies

  1. The small mercies feed the hope and that is a wonderful thing. I think that God smiles on our plans and doesn’t smirk and plan to disrupt things. I hope your shoulder can heal quickly without surgery. I’ve had 2 friends who had rotator cuff surgeries and both are now better than ever…Modern medicine is marvelous.

    1. Thank you- I have an MRI scheduled for Wednesday, and I’m hoping that the result will be therapy and not surgery- we shall see. Either way, I have a great orthopedic doctor who has operated on both Dan and I before. I think we put his children through college. 😜
      Yes, the small mercies feed hope, and I am so grateful for them. ❤️

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