My brain does not want to do the plans today, so I bring you this list of yesterday’s victories in place of prose:
The jelly beans did not win.
I made ketones.
I walked farther than I have since the surgery out of spite for my surgeon.
I made it home before my migraine halo gave way to the screwdriver through the eye stage.
I remembered that there was a drug I am not on.
I did not die.
I run on a liturgical rhythm. I like to think it prophetic, but it’s probably psychosomatic. Just as day four, Maundy Thursday, ended on a fairly dark note, day five and six, Good Friday and Holy Saturday were equally quiet, agitated, and somewhat cranky. The word is disappointed.
I was disappointed that after a string of such good, bright days, that my leg hurt so bad, that after swallowing all those pills, I felt so sad for no good reason. Disappointed that even though I was being given all of these roses, my first response every time was to mock them.
Today is day eight of #powerrehab and it is Eastertide. I woke up without a voice, with a headache, with a hip that burns, and a mind that absolutely refuses to focus, but with a bright green egg on my desk. “It’s your favorite color,” my redhead did not whisper as she scampered out of my room, fully re-dressed in her Easter garb, all the way to her pink sparkling Mary Janes. Today I am wondering what will happen if I just choose to take what is given to me for the gift that it is, not the gift that it isn’t.
The walk, the roses, the steady line in the green boxes are what I am given. And I swear to you, as I sit here and type this, as I get to the point in the post where I am supposed to have the pithy closing statement I realize I do not know what these things are. I do not know what this gift is. I do not understand gentleness, steadiness, flowers of the fieldness.
Good thing, as my equally liturgically minded seven year old informed me this morning, as she counted her jelly beans, I have the 48 days till Pentecost to figure it out.
Breakthrough depression and migraines are tantruming children, kicking, biting, continuing to scream even with their mother’s hand clasped over their foaming mouths. Yesterday attacked me with both, and because I have three real life children and all the other things, I summoned the power of the YMCA and my life rules.
I took several very deep breaths, fed everyone, put on my ridiculous shoes that I hate but bought on the internet and can’t return, and drove us all to our favorite place on earth, the Town Lake YMCA. The girls found their friends in childwatch and I found, surprise surprise, this rose out on the trail. But, I also saw Thong Man, who I also see around town with some frequency but choose not to photograph, so I’m hopeful this isn’t a theme.
I mediated on my rules. I did not judge Thong Man. I admired his tan, his confidence, his commitment. I did not judge the women judging Thong Man, nor the tourists taking pictures of him as he strolled smiling along the crushed granite path, his water bottle casting a glimmering shadow against his leathery thigh. I hoped they got the bluebonnets in the background. I considered this to satisfy rule number 4.
I satisfied all of my rules, took all of my medicines, used all of my resources, pushed through the sweetest Maundy Thursday rituals with my daughters, and went to bed with the migraine and the deep sadness, and the stabbing pain.
And I am beginning to wonder when I turn the corner into acceptance? When do I become the person who can accept pain as a gift, drink the cup and whatnot? Because I am not that person yet. I am not that woman who gracefully suffers with Christlike dignity, who falls asleep of Maundy Thursday thinking about how special it is to know him in this small measure of his suffering.
I am still that woman in her ugly shoes, dragging her screaming pain along the trail, just trying shut it up.