This past week I had a small glimpse into what it must be like to need help for everything; from brushing my teeth to going to the bathroom to simply rolling over in bed. All this happened just three days after a wonderful Saturday spent celebrating my daughter’s wedding, dancing with my son and my husband, and being with my dearest friends and family.
On Tuesday, I had back surgery. I had a catheter, a port in my neck so they could take blood every day, a port in my wrist for direct injections, a drain in my back, and an IV. I had noisy things on my legs to prevent blood clots and I was hooked up to a machine that took my blood pressure and monitored my oxygen levels constantly and pinged incessantly. I went from someone who could walk five miles every day to someone who was applauded for making it down the hall of the hospital. When I saw my husband walk in the door of my room after my first night in the hospital, I cried. This morning, when he asked me what I was writing about and I said it out loud, I cried.
I’m back home now and getting around without a walker and improving every day. But not everyone is as lucky as I am, including my mom. For years, she and I used to walk the same way and, for a little while this week, we walked the same again. These past few days are just a brief moment in time in what I hope will be a very long, very productive life. I was able to walk away from relying on someone, sometimes someone I didn’t know, for the smallest things. So many of the people we love never will.
Christmas is such a busy time of the year and we all get pulled in so many directions. This year, I have no choice but to slow down, take a long look at the people I love and be thankful. So very thankful.