Friday, April 28, 2006

5 WEEKS WORTH ... AND COUNTING!

I am at the end of my 5th week of being restricted in everything I do. I have obeyed instructions completely and hopefully this will result in my doctor freeing me from the confines of the sling on May 5th when I next see him.

I have never been able to get into silent meditation. I have done any number of TM courses, re-birthing in the 80’s and a host of other workshops in an attempt to sit in one place, silently and be in the moment. I believe there are other ways of achieving the goals of silent meditation. These past 5 weeks have been a sort-of meditation for me. It has been an interesting experience being an observer of my life. The only time I am ever forced to step out of things completely is when I have the bouts of my recurring cough. This is the first time I have ever been confined to sitting on my butt and not participating in things regardless of how much I might have wanted to.

Here are some of the moments and things that stand out in my mind from the last five weeks.

The day I fell and broke my shoulder:
At the Emergency Room. Recognize Doctor and she us from when I fractured same shoulder in 2004. Daniel mentions that it is probably because she sees him often in the ER as part of his ambulance duty being a volunteer for the emergency services in our town. “No,” she says. “I remember you because my sister’s boyfriend is South African and I always remember your accent.”

The next thing a very nice nurse jabs a needle into my butt for pain.
“What was that medication?” I ask.
“Morphine.” As she leaves the cubicle I look at Daniel and we discuss how I will probably start growing horns or something as I really don’t respond well to this kind of medication. The Doc then calls Daniel to come view the X-Rays. I am left alone in the cubicle and soon start feeling really weird. I manage to eek out in the smallest voice a pathetic little “Daniel!?” The nurse looks up from her desk and says, “Are you ok?”
“No.” I say and she comes over. Daniel is there now too and I tell them I am feeling light headed and sweaty. The nurse takes my blood pressure and says, “It’s all ok. I’m not sure how else to say this, but basically, you’re stoned.”
I look up at her from the chair. “Honey, I grew up in South Africa and lived on a houseboat in Amsterdam for 6 months. I’ve done stoned, and even at its worst, it never felt anything like this!”

A few days later, on the phone with my nephew:
“So Dee, have you got pain medication?”
“Yes. They gave me Percocet. I don’t respond well to this kind of medication so I haven’t taken any yet. The prescription is for two at a time.”
“You should try maybe one Dee. They work really well. I had them when I injured my toe.”
“I hate how I feel though if they don’t agree with me and I don’t think I could cope with that right now.”
“Trust me, Dee. All you will want is your mattress and some Ben and Jerry’s ‘Cherry Garcia.”
In an email I wrote to him about ten days later: “Oh how right you were about the painkillers – had to bite my tongue to prevent me from asking the doc for a renewal prescription when I last saw him – just too darn nice! (and I’m not even an ice cream lover usually!).

While standing in my livingroom one day I said to my Mom:
“I can’t believe there are 11 floral arrangements that have been delivered here. I wasn’t even aware this many people know my address. The place looks like a florist!” I was inundated with the most beautiful flowers and messages of love and support and good wishes that came with them.

A parent from Ross’ class arrived here on a Friday afternoon with a Shabbas (Sabbath) meal for my family. There were matzah balls with chicken soup. Three roast chickens, an assortment of veggies, roast potatoes, two salads and dessert. With this, a huge, most beautiful bouquet of flowers with a poster size get well card signed by every kid in the class and all their teachers. When you live away from the people that you share your past with, it can take a very long time to re-establish yourself and gain a sense of place.

Taking in the beauty of all the flowers and this enormous gesture of this meal, I felt the love and it was quite overwhelming. This is ultimately what it is all about. Feeling cared for, valued and noticed!

On April 25th:
My brother would have turned 60 years old on this day. When I woke up, I took a quiet moment to remember him. The first memory that came to the surface was from some 42 years ago when I was 4 years old and he was 18. I remembered my parents, me and my sister being at the Johannesburg station to see my brother off. As part of the then compulsory military training, he was going to South West Africa. He boarded the train and was leaning out of a window talking to us on the platform. My Dad lifted me up to him. I had my arms tight around his neck and I was sobbing. I didn’t want him to go. With my eyes closed I could remember his smell and feel the stiffness of the collar on his khaki army issue shirt. I remembered the shine of his boots. I remembered that feeling of emptiness in the pit of my belly knowing he was going away.
While he was away, I got ill with tonsillitis. I remember my throat being so sore and generally feeling horrible and miserable. One of his friends who lived close by to us came to visit. His name was Harold, but in the intimacy of the bonds of friendship that was my brother’s crowd, there was no problem joking about how Harold looked like a fish. He became known to everyone by his nick-name which was “Vissie.” It is an Afrikaans word from the word “fish.” In Afrikaans the ‘v’ is pronounced like an ‘f’. ‘Vis’ means fish. So, Vissie sat on my bed and hugged me and tried to comfort me and all I could do was cry and whimper, “I want Willlie.” No-one could lift my spirit like Willie used to. On the morning of April 25th, 2006 – I sat in my chair, without my tonsils, with my arm in a sling and pouted. “I want Willie!” I yearned for him to walk in the door and give me a hug. It took me a while but I got in touch with the warmth of feeling him with me. If I could have, I would have turned the clock back to the day he came home from the army. I wanted to feel that love again.

On the phone to my cousin in South Africa:
He is arriving here on Sunday morning. I haven’t seen him in 6 years. I am so excited.
“When you get on the plane, change your watch to New Jersey time. It is supposed to help with the jet lag.” I told him. Ross came into the room so I asked him if he had any travel tips to give Roy before he leaves South Africa to come visit us.
“Yes,” says Ross. “Roy, if you get to the airport and see sushi advertised for sale for a buck, don’t buy it. Beware of discount sushi!”

There you have it. Could anyone ask for more sound travel advice? I don’t think so!

All day, every day, now and for ever:
One of the many movies I have watched recently was IN HER SHOES. I am always in a dilemma about whether I like Cameron Diaz or not and I can’t decide whether she is a good actress or not. In this movie however, I was very clear about the beauty she brought to the poem by E E Cummings that she recited. I dedicate with so much love and so much gratitude to my husband and son for the endless love and compassion they extend to me in everything they do, and for the joy they bring to my life wanting nothing more than to make me happy and keep me well.

i carry your heart with me – i carry it in my heart
i am never without it – anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling

i fear not fate – for you are my fate, my sweet
i want no world – for beautiful you are my world, my true
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart.

i carry your heart – i carry it in my heart

 
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