As I continue my surgery recovery journey, I have difficulty even forming words regarding the care I have received. The only word that could possibly fit is gratitude. Extreme gratitude. In the weeks before my surgery, I had friends who gave up their evenings to entertain me and keep me company when my pain was worsening. Following the surgery, the care I received from my congregations is immeasurable: cards, balloons, candy, short visits, flowers, delicious meals, and other gifts – even a fun “gift a day” box to keep me from getting bored! My family selflessly gave of their time and resources to make sure I had everything I needed and was not alone: my parents arrived two days before surgery to help me prepare and stayed over two weeks tending to my every need; then my sister arrived, overlapping one night with my parents, continuing that care for nearly another week. And now, nearly three weeks post-op, as I tearfully wave goodbye to my sister, I think I’m ready to do this thing on my own. I think. That’s an extremely hard thing for this self-sufficient, independent soul to admit.
Prior to my surgery, as my family and I were considering my post-op care, I thought their plans might be going just a wee bit overboard. I was determined that I would be just fine after a week or so and wouldn’t really need help or people fussing over me for very long. As one who happily lives alone and needs her “space,” I honestly thought that three weeks of care would drive me bonkers! But I was wrong. Yes, I really said that. I was wrong.
Throughout this ordeal I have learned some invaluable lessons. No matter how self-sufficient I am, I really do need others. This realization has implications for me both personally and professionally. Receiving help from others is not a sign of weakness, but an indicator of the strength of a community. That community can be a family, a church, a civic organization, a sports team or any other organized (however loosely) group of individuals. Together we can accomplish so much more than any one of us can do on our own. I am surrounded by amazingly strong, caring, giving, loving people and I could not have survived the last few weeks without them. I knew this a few weeks ago, but now I have a very tangible illustration of it. Of course, my independent, self-sufficient soul will likely forget this at some point in the near future, but I’m counting on you – my faithful blog readers – to remind me of it. J
Until next time, peace …