I Can Tie My Shoes!

Last week as I began my daily walk, I fell. Splat on the sidewalk.The doctor at Urgent Care neglected to order x-rays of my right hand, even though I mentioned the bruising and pain there. She did have x-rays of my chest: no broken ribs or bleeding there. But as the week wore on, the pain in my right hand increased to where I couldn’t use it.

Back to Urgent Care. X-rays showed the hand is broken and a cast was wrapped around it, from my fingertips to almost my elbow. All this by way of saying I have to do everything with my left hand. Aaaarrrrggghhh! Including typing this blog. I won’t get into all the frustrating trials and failures: brushing teeth, washing/combing my hair, driving the car so the cast doesn’t keep turning the windshield wipers on, getting dressed/undressed, jewelry/earrings? Forget about it!

But, as so often happens when a hardship befalls you, I began to think of those people who LIVE, every day, with such a handicap. The frustration and inconvenience never go away. NEVER. My miserable four weeks or so are nothing in comparison.

Think of our enlisted people and veterans. Especially those who have been deployed. I will tell you that none–not one–of them comes back unscathed. They walk and talk like they always did before? Don’t believe for one minute there isn’t a landmine ready to go off inside.

I know of one young man, physically healthy looking/acting, a veteran of Afghanistan, Iraq, and “Actions” in two other Mid-Eastern countries I don’t remember, who suffers from PTSD. He was driving to work one quiet Sunday morning when a sudden loud noise startled him. Thinking it was enemy fire, he swerved and hit a utility pole head-on. He survived, but not without brain damage. Now he has memory problems serious enough to prevent him from finding work and from utilizing the bachelor’s degree  for which he’d worked so long and hard.

So I have it easy. Easy-peasy. And this morning, I figured out how to tie my sneakers!

If you’d like to join me in helping our brave and suffering veterans, click on this link.  http://www.gofundme.com/daveswalk    Support Dave’s Walk as he walks across the country to help homeless veterans. Believe me, any help they receive will be SO appreciated,

Love is a Blanket

Britt, Scott and I celebrating their last night at Fin's Restaurant

Britt, Scott and I celebrating their last night at Fin’s Restaurant

I was talking to my daughter-in-law, Barb, today. She told me how exciting it was to see her grandsons learn and excel in Karate. She said they had learned the precepts they were to say in the beginning of class and spoke them proudly and confidently. They also knew the steps involved in working through the class. These accomplishments were after only a couple classes.

As she related some of the other activities she and Jack had had with their grandsons, all four between ages 2 ½ and 6, I said those little guys will never forget those special times. They will always remember the distinctive experiences they had with you and will carry the love that grew from them forever.

I then told her Brittany and Scorr, two of my adult grandchildren who spent several days with me here in Florida. The ties that bind them to me didn’t grow in recent years. We’ve nurtured them all through their lives via all those childhood experiences we’ve shared. Britt’s ballet and Scott’s swimming. A 2-3 day vacation in Toronto with them and their Mom. Picnics in the field behind their home, that field now populated with new housing. Holiday celebrations together with my whole family, their aunts, uncles and cousins. Our relationship today, and that with all my grandchildren, is a result of all those special little moments and memories that we shared as they grew from infancy.

I told Barb I wanted to write my blog about the love we feel from and toward our kids/grandkids, especially after we’ve spent some quality time together. And she said, “Yes. Love is like a blanket. It warms us; it makes us feel cuddled and cozy; it protects us from the elements, whether those elements are of Nature or human-generated.”

And she’s absolutely right. Brittany drove me down to Florida; she made the trip very comfortable and safe for me. Part of my comfort level came from the fact that she drives a lot like I do. But then, I had a lot to do with her driving education. See what I mean?

She spent two whole weeks with me before her brother, Scott, came down. Our days flew by with quiet space between us and stimulating conversations when we talked. She and Scott had a great time going to the beach and the pool together every day, soaking up that sun so that their new pigmentation evidenced their southern vacation to their friends back north. They did a great job of it!


Scott and Britt... waiting for our dinners. Fin's on Venice Beach.

Scott and Britt… waiting for our dinners. Fin’s on Venice Beach.

On Valentine’s Day, they went shopping on their way home from the beach. They bought the ingredients for the special dinner they prepared for me and then served it graciously. Britt did the hors d’oeuvres and dessert and Scott did the entrée. They also presented me with candy and a bouquet of carnations

Of course, there are many forms of love, many kinds of blankets. There’s the blanket of friendship and I’ve certainly enjoyed the warmth of that recently, too. My BFF, Mary, very concerned after I’d fallen on the sidewalk in front of my house and hurt my chest and right hand, drove me to the Urgent Care Center. She sat with me through the wait, the xrays, the prognosis (contusion of the right rib and right hand), and drove me home. And when the kids had to make their 5:00 a.m. flight in Ft. Myers Monday, Mary’s husband, Don, insisted (he kept telling me to be gracious and accept his offer) that he drive them. He said he couldn’t allow me to drive home alone from there in the middle of the night.

Yes, I’ve sure had my share of blankets lately, embroidered with the art and intricacies of love and caring and friendship and neighborliness. (Two women neighbors kindly came to check on me.) Warm, fuzzy, cuddly, comfortable, and strong. Very, very strong.