"The night air was warm and heavy, weighed down by recent rains and the proximity of the lake. I could hear it, my lake, heaving away, down across the lawns in the darkness, and smell its mossy perfume. I wanted to go stand on its shore, raise my arms and invoke its power to protect me. That’s how I feel about Lake Erie. Like it is the earthly deputy of God."
~ Somebody's Bound to Wind Up Dead
Saturday, November 27, 2010
What I'm Thankful For
For starters, I'm thankful to Winston Churchill for having liberated us all from the No Prepositions At The End Of A Sentence rule. Well, most of us. I know there are a few clenched-jawed hold-outs. Keep clenching, folks. You connect us to our Puritan roots.
So what am I really thankful for? Look. Anytime you yield consciousness and control to a man who's about to take a saw to your leg, you are grateful to wake up. As a particularly delightful bonus, you are grateful to wake up, feeling quite happy to be looking out a sunshiny window with a lot of kind people just finishing up on your new knee and talking to you nicely. Miss I Cannot Remember Your Name: You were SO NICE. Thank you!
So for starters, I am seriously thankful to be alive and walking excellently. I am also thankful for never getting shot in the leg (or any part of me) during the American Civil War (or any war for that matter.) I know how lucky I am. In so many, many ways.
While I'm being thankful, I should throw in ALL the people, every single one at the Cleveland Clinic. I agree with Robin Williams that I wish for all people everywhere that kind of medical care and emotional support. From the guy with the seeing eye dog who hears you coming and welcomes you to the Orthopaedics Department, to the lady playing the harp like an angel in the main lobby, to the nurses and aides who are insanely patient with patients, to the surgeon who totally knows what he's doing and acts like it, to Mary Ann, the surgeon's nurse clinician who totally knows what YOU should be doing and helps you do that with even more patience and good humor than the nurses, if such a thing were possible. And Patsy, the Physical Therapist, who made me laugh so I didn't notice she was breaking off my limbs. I am thankful unto you all. Even, maybe especially, the dog who so warmed my heart with his steadfastness.
I'm thankful for my fabulous, irreplaceable friends and family members who clucked so sweetly about how was I doing and did I need anything and then showered us with cards, food, flowers and food that looks like flowers, gifts, visits, phone calls, emails, and tender concern. If I do any "especiallys" here I'm sure I'll leave somebody wonderful out. But folks, you know who you are. I am thinking of you ... yes YOU ... right now, with such gratitude, not just for how kind and generous you were on this occasions but what miraculous friends you are to me always forever and as-a-rule. I see your faces as I write.
And if I have your plastic container, I swear you'll get it back.
Which enumeration brings us, of course, to immediate family:
Cujo was okay. He has such a penchant for jumping on the very spot of my knee that should never be touched by cat claws and he did not respond to my condition with either sympathy or empathy. However, he gets a pass because he's genetically incapable, being a felidae and a true carnivore. And he's been warm and furry on my behalf. Every recuperating person should be tended to by a warm and furry friend. And learn to fend off a furry Knee Attacker.
John's been great. Solicitous would be the word. Helpful would be another. Concerned like you would be if you really, really liked the limping person. A mother lives for such moments. Enough said. Thank you, John, for being my kind and wonderful son. And for bringing Allie (and her pies) into the picture at just the perfect moment.
But here at the end of all thankfulnessworthy things, who gets the Oscar for Best Picture? Who showed up and was incredibly nice about it, every single time I got him up in the darkest section of the night. (Multiple, multiple times.) Who brought me things, even things I didn't deserve, ALL THE TIME? And told me I was being strong when I was actually whining (or at least groaning) quite a bit. (To be honest there was a lot of groaning and considerable moaning, much of it merely on principle, because if stuff didn't hurt, it seemed to me as if it should. Or might. At some point.) Who was worried and caring and vigilant? Who counted pills and bugged me about the therapy exercises even when I was snarly? And did I mention who was kind? And not merely kind of kind? Who made me laugh? And helped me feel pretty and lovable even when I was ... not.
Bill. My Billy.
He has so many points hoarded up in the magnificent guy/excellent husband department, it scares me. I'll never be able to pay him back. I think he may have covered the "sickness and health" clause forever.
I also think, skimming back over what I've written here, that the thing I'm most thankful for in all of this is love of one kind or another. Every clumsy step of the way, I have felt amazingly, luckily, undeservedly loved. And Bill has loved me in the most generous, forgiving, and encouraging manner for the past way too many years -- and especially for the last month. Thank you forever, Bill.
So, thank you, all you loving people mentioned and alluded to here. Like I said, you know who you are. And so do I.