I have been home from the hospital a week now, and we’ve settled into a kind of rhythm. It’s taken all three of us–me, Don and Sarah–to master the medication regimen. After an initial miscalculation of one of the drugs in the first days, and the scary rise in blood pressure, all three of us get involved in my twice daily ingestion of pills, some cut in half, and spread out on the green cutting board, as we double check the bottles for directions and the sheet of paper given to us by the doctor. I choose a delicious flavor of pudding to get them down my still dysfunctional throat. I may be the only person to have gained weight on a pureed diet. Between the milkshakes and Cream of Wheat with a big dollop of butter and heap of sugar in the middle, I am getting plenty of calories.
Now that I’m home, and starting to put the pieces together of what has happened to me since March 11th, I sometimes worry about this new journey I am on and what will become of me, as I lie awake in the bewitching hours of the night. Other than two times in which I dreamed I was falling, there have been no dreams in my nighttime head, and I am so used to wonderful adventures up there. But, the bedroom has been filled with luminous moonlight this past week, and when I close my eyes, instead of stories in my brain, there’s a slow-moving video of beautiful scenes which flow by in a clockwise direction. Last night, there was a winter forest with meadows glittering in the moonshine. Sometimes I’ve opened my eyes in the morning and thought for a moment that maybe this was all a bad dream. Even so, I can tell throughout the day that I am incrementally improving.
It’s been a thoroughly predictable end to the month of March with sunshine and snowflakes, calm water and raging winds. Part of our rhythm in this week has been late afternoons in the living room with streaming sunshine through the glass doors. I’m usually lying on the sofa, and Sarah sits in the big chair facing the water, with Chatpeau lying at her feet on the ottoman. We talk about how we can maybe put the kitty in her backpack when she flies home to California on Friday. As bedtime approaches during the lovely l’heure bleue , and the three of us sit together by the waning fire, the conversation is a soothing hum as my eyes begin to close.
Tomorrow we move into April. I used to grumble about April as a frustrating transition month between winter and summertime, full of wind and showers and too much cold. April requires patience and faith, reminding us that that there is, indeed, a ‘necessary and cyclical giving away,’ and belief that we will arrive in an unfolding new life.
“We are constantly astonished to find, that fully one half of any life and any conversation is mediated through disappearance and loss, which means that most human beings, not quite believing that this could be true, are at war with reality at least half of our time on this earth. Making peace with this necessary and cyclical giving away in our moveable, transient, hardly touchable world, is not only to make peace with our very selves, but to further our journey along the pilgrim journey of generosity, of giving the gift which to begin with, is hidden even from ourselves. Our vitality is linked to our vulnerability, to our willingness to be undone as much as to do, to let go as much as to take on, to allow ourselves to be found as much as to seek, to find our arrivals in having made great departures, even against our seemingly conscious will.” David Whyte