A Time for Healing

Glad that week is behind us. Thankfully, the healing has begun.

Recovery from Mr. T's shoulder surgery is going well. He feels much better as he heads into the second week, although the localized pain around the surgery site is pretty intense at times. Most thankful for his pain pills, now that he no longer has the benefit of the On-Q pain block thingee. For some reason, he has the most pain from a spot on his back/shoulder blade that doesn't appear to have been involved in the operation. No stitches, no redness, no lump, bump, or bruise. Odd. Well, maybe we can learn more about it at his upcoming follow-up visit on Friday. We shall see.

"The kiss of sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth."
          -- Dorothy Frances Gurney

Those lines from Gurney's poem are on a metal plaque that Momma purchased for her garden in Smithville...then I had in every garden since 1990...until Missy M "inherited" it during the move from MO to NC. At our house, as you are no doubt aware, the garden is a source of much solace and healing. And, with our current situation, we are relying on what we know to help make us better. Since Mr. T's usual vigorous participation in yardening activities is limited (ever tried hoeing with one hand, your non-dominant hand at that...the dominant arm being trapped in a sling?), our weekend Fall clean-up was briefer than usual. Still, he probably did WAY more than he was supposed to...any surprises there? Paid for it the next morning, of course...but he's back out there today, playing with Abbie. (Post is up on our garden blog, Gardening with the Giants. Click here to go there.)

John F. Kennedy - 11/2013
Of course, flowers always make boo-boo's heal faster, don't you agree? Here (left) is a picture of one of the most beautiful blooms that we've had this year from the John F. Kennedy rosebush. It went into Mr. T's "Get Well" bouquet.

'Gethsemane Moonlight’ mums
Actually, we have two JFK bushes in the back yard, along with a couple of Sheer Bliss roses and one Miss All American Beauty, and they are ALL putting on buds like crazy...most of which will be nipped when this latest 'artic front' blows through tonight ("they" are saying possible snow mixed with the rain!) . Everything else is pretty much spent, with the exception of the perfect-for-Fall persimmon-colored Pat Austin roses in the Rose Garden and the Chrysanthemum X ‘Gethsemane Moonlight’...clumps of which are now scattered throughout the property, thanks to my unexpected success with turning late Spring prunings (when you clip off the early growth in order to encourage lush flowering later on) into rooted cuttings. Here's a shot of the clumps growing at the mailbox (right).

So, that's how the physical healing is progressing. The emotional healing from the loss of our dear Elmo is happening...albeit at a slower pace. We have moved beyond hourly showers to just a few daily sprinkles. And we are more aggressive in moving into the phase of "remember when Elmo..."  The grief is still there, still close to the surface...but telling his story makes it much easier to contend with.


From our walk...
The day I took that picture of the mums at the mailbox (above) was a lovely Fall day: bright, crisp, with a bit of a cool breeze. The sky was the most brilliant blue...it took absolutely my breath away. Had to take a picture of it! (left)

I had taken Abbie for her walk (those are going very well, I might add) and stopped at the mailbox for the picture and the mail. There was the usual pile of circulars, ads, etc.; a bill or two; a "get well" card for Mr. T from Cousin H & S (cute card...thanks!); and a large, padded envelope. I tossed the first bunch in the green toter as I passed it in the driveway...garbage in, recycle out. When I got inside, something else caught my attention, so I dropped the surviving mail on the counter and headed off to take care of the something else. An hour or so later, when I came back into the kitchen to start supper, I noticed the mail and started opening the envelopes.

The padded one was heavier than I'd originally thought. I zipped the strip along the short edge and pulled a beautiful card from the interior. It was from the Emergency Animal Clinic in Greensboro, signed by the whole staff, sending their sympathy on Elmo's loss. The tears started flowing.

Then, from the depths of the envelope, I pulled a smooth, cream-colored disc...with his paw print captured in clay, baked into an ornament. Literally, took my breath away. I had to sit down...and then I had to jump up and find the box of tissues. The flood gates were open. I'm tearing up just writing about the experience. Showing the thoughtful gift to Mr. T, I had a partner in crying. We continued until we were both exhausted. Start supper? Forget about it. PBJs were about all I could manage.

The next morning, I knew I needed to let someone at the Clinic know how much we appreciated this beautiful gesture, but I couldn't bring myself to make the call. I just didn't think I could make it through a whole conversation without becoming weepy and incoherent.


I woke up this morning, much earlier than I'd intended since I'd stayed up last night watching Monday Night Football (not sure why...since I could care less about either Miami or Tampa Bay). And, something told me that I could make that call...now. Since the Emergency part of the Clinic closes at 8:00 a.m., I hustled into the kitchen and found the number. I spoke with the sweetest-sounding young lady...who took the time to listen and be gentle and kind in her responses...as she was aware that the emotion was still raw for me.

Breath in...breath out.

So, there you have it. Evidence that healing is indeed happening here at Casa 3917. And that's a good thing.


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