Sunday, April 29, 2007

Out of the hospital and on the sofa

I’m so grateful and overcome by my friends' and family's expressions of love and support these last couple of weeks. Food, flowers, phone calls, letters, and offers of help… It’s difficult to describe the feelings of reassurance and comfort these gifts have brought, or how moved I have been by everyone’s kindness.

The events of the last two weeks have been pretty shocking, and Ben and I are both still reeling from the staggering trauma of it. As you know, this most recent scrape of mine was gotten into very suddenly, which made everything all the more frightening. But, after two surgeries that saved my leg and my life, it is so consoling to be home with Ben again. The day I returned, our home seemed to me full of sunshine as we entered it. The dog was waiting (on the sofa) and light filled every room. I’ll never forget it.

I’m grateful that Ben—my devoted ally and the greatest good fortune of my life—has been updating all of you about my illness and slow recovery. I expect that his posts are instilled with Ben’s usual modesty, but, as many of you know, I have followed the man with what can only be described as abject worship since the day of our first meeting several years ago, and that adoration has only had grounds to grow during our recent upset. If you could see Ben in his numberless roles these last couple of weeks! Nurse (and this is serieux business—he has to change the IV every day, for example), housekeeper, personal/gourmet chef, and final-semester law student are the paramount ones. But he also walks Belladonna an impressive three times a day, fetches wool sweaters from my intimidating closet, returns novels to the library, takes time to drink strong coffee with me each morning, washes the dishes, and persists in all things with good humor and bravery.

As for me, I walk (which is a generous way to describe my very sad hobble) with a cane and, for a week more at least, carry an intravenous pump in a FANNY PACK around my ass! Yes, I have never been more awesome! If the kids at the Croc could see me now! Additionally, I’ve gained 20 pounds from the drugs and can’t shave my legs—not that I often used to, but I liked to keep my options open. I’m not disposed to take this stuff seriously, of course, considering all that has been at stake in the last two weeks, but I won’t be putting up any current photos of myself over at Blogspot, either.

I have DVDs, and the great literature of our language, and an endless sweater I’ve been knitting since times immemorial, to occupy me—but I mostly sleep. I do have more energy each day, though, and the cold spring sunshine is calling me to go outside to practice walking. Since Professor Ben accepted a job as a clinical instructor at the law school, we’ll be here in Madison this summer. It’s really an amazing job and a special opportunity for him, and the situation leaves me the whole summer to heal before our move to Minneapolis in August. We are happy to remain in our home for a few more months; summer in Madison in beautiful and bright.

Friends, none of this has been easy but your support makes it easier. And—as one of our favorite songs goes—for each inch cut, the roots grown ten where we can’t see them.

And hopefully our troubles make us kinder.


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