Hi! I wrote a post about a month ago and I didn’t publish it because I didn’t want to sound like a whiny complainer. But today, the Monday before Easter, I realize that sometimes we ALL have dark times, sad, tempestuous seasons, that happen without warning and seem to endure, even regenerate-regurgitate themselves like a curse, well beyond their unwelcome time.
But today I know in my heart and by the aspiring robins, hyacinths, and tulips outdoors, that “spring always comes!” Easter tells its story once again. The continuous mini-crucifixions and resurrections that I have experienced throughout my life are the times that can change me. My only hope is that they change me for the better.
But how? This time I once again reflect upon the blessings of family, friends and faith. Can’t be afraid to ask for help! I learned that somebody’s really got my back when I reach out! Even found lingering inspiration from a lovely book on the power of gratitude that I am currently savoring with a cup of coffee every morning. If you’ve never read One Thousand Gifts, I highly recommend it…
And so, I got through the tough time described below and learned or re-learned a lot. More about that after you see the story written one month ago…
It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and Spring is just around the corner in Michigan. Or is it? Right now, a mid-March snowstorm is raging outside my front door! The wind blows fiercely, swirling three inches of fresh snow off rooftops onto the sidewalks and streets below. This winter’s weather has been confusing for us in the Midwest–warm enough for green spike daffodil leaves to emerge three inches up from the garden ground. Balmy enough for bright bluebirds to excitedly flit through the air, joyfully teasing mates.
But wait! Suddenly now the flowers and birds hide. Millions of people huddle together in warming centers to battle frigid temperatures. They’ve had no power or heat for five days. Brrrr!
In fact, it’s been a pretty crazy winter for me too. Machines that I depend upon have been either getting wrecked or suddenly fallen apart. First, an inexperienced driver illegally tried to careen left across five lanes of thick Christmastime traffic and hit my adapted van. Luckily there were no bodily injuries. But that ended up being seven thousand dollars of auto damage and left me stranded without any personal transportation/community mobility for six weeks. I became a prisoner in my house! Weird. It was like someone cut off my legs. It reminded me of being stuck in bed–a four-year-old, paralyzed with polio. Then my microwave and clothes dryer both overheated. One caught on fire. No injuries once again, whew! But both appliances had to be discarded and replaced. Then last week, one of my pet parakeets suddenly died, leaving her lonely parakeet partner and me behind to mourn. Within a few days after that, I was on my electric scooter, zooming in front of a grocery store entrance when a young woman who looked like Beyonce came barreling full speed ahead through the automatic entrance door, t-boning her big metal grocery cart right into me! She banged my knee. Good Grief! Rattled for about an hour afterward, I remained lucky enough to be relatively unharmed. Have also been grappling with ominous fiscal and post-polio physical threats that have been insidiously tormenting me. How can I cut costs and earn enough new income to continue to support myself? Should I have surgery or not? Would I be able to withstand the debilitating and expensive rehab process afterward?
I know, “life is messy,” but needless to say, I am really ready for a new season.
Here’s what I learned:
- If a car insurance company wants to total your adapted van because they don’t know what the adaptations are worth, you must teach them over and over again on the phone until they understand.
- If your doctor’s office doesn’t understand why it’s urgent to get a form into the transportation company for a disabled transport pass, tell them.
- Overcoming obstacles involves both learning new methods for success and being open to seeing the miracles all around. My friends can teach me a lot.
- Trusting your instincts is useful.
- Talk to good doctors and therapists.
- Ask for assistance. Let your friends and family help you. Giving gifts and help strengthens the givers! Sometimes even more than the receivers.
- Give thanks over and over.
- Seek the good in everything. Yes, everything.
Each one of these points could be the topic of so many good conversations!
Finally my challenging, rather tiring winter has passed.
Ah…Spring! Easter comes soon. I see flowers. Lots of colorful flowers as I begin to think about the joys of my garden. Do you have a garden too?