noun: beatitude; plural noun: beatitudes
Having been laid up for a week, my life has been narrowed down to a series of simple blessings. And for these, I am truly grateful.
I wake up naturally, without having to use narcotics because while there is discomfort there is no true pain. I paddle about, brushing teeth, combing hair, throw on a cardigan, then go to greet my mother-in-law, who smiles broadly and hugs me. She bustles me onto a seat, makes me coffee. We talk a little bit, in these small hours, waiting for the menfolk to get up. Then, my mother gets up and does the same. Generally, our three dogs have already been fed – thankfully. The two cats are lurking about, possibly chasing geckos. By the time we’ve talked ourselves out a bit, my father-in-law has taken over the kitchen, examined the refrigerator and decided on what he’s making for breakfast. All that’s left is to tell him where the appropriate items are kept.
Mostly, I am so fortunate that these people, from very different perspectives, lives, parts of the country, and nearly everything else you can name, can afford the time, energy, funds, etc. to come together to take care of all of us in this household at this time. Blessings, all. Mundane things that too often get taken for granted when the scope of things are often so much bigger. A breakfast made by a father-in-law, taking care of his daughter-in-law who just had surgery. A mother-in-law chattering nonsense to a grandcat, who naughtily stayed out all night and scared us. A mother who re-organized a kitchen and now we’re all struggling to find things. Yes, it all makes so much more sense this way, its just that we can’t *find* anything this way. Most especially the wine opener, which is a tragedy of epic proportions.
Mostly, we cannot stop laughing. There’s likely someone out there who will wonder at the sanity of five adults who find humor during a Hyster-Reunion, but we’re that sort of people. The furkids are mischievous and playing it up for us. The neighbors are dropping in to check on us, then stay to tell delightful stories of us, their strange cul-de-sac inhabitants (but mostly, the furkids). We shop for our new home online. We trade stories about each other growing up. We tattle like crazy. We pray. We pick fur off of everything we own. It is all blessings.
I try not to look in the mirror much right now. I’m in my forties and things don’t look the way I think they should. My face is red from anesthesia or so they tell me. And my abdomen is swollen from the gas they used during the laparoscopy (aka “swelly belly”). Some mornings everything seems swollen and I splash the coldest water I can stand on my face to compensate. When your world is very small, vanity and ego become over-sized in proportioned. I remind myself daily of this daily. It’s a silly thing, really.
The mundane is so very magical, especially when anesthesia lingers in the brain! I’m waddling around, moving slowly, seeing things I’m often moving too quickly to see. Our elder cat rolling around in a sunbeam, Flemish bunnies grooming each other and enjoying the breeze, Bassets sniffing the air and presenting their snouts through the fence for neighbors to pet and speak nonsense words to them. All these very small things in my world and I may have missed them if I wasn’t taking the time to sit with my in-laws on our back patio and just be.
There’s a marvelous courtesy in recovery. An excuse not to attend to our everyday woes, challenges and distractions. An opportunity for those who love us to show it in every moment. Conversations that occur that have been held up by the mundane. This surgery has been a gift, above and beyond that of wellness. I’ll remember this recovery time as one of the most precious our family has experienced together. The laughter alone is a healing salve unmatched by ancient or modern healers.