One of the most difficult things I’ve experienced is giving myself credit for an accomplishment. The recent March of Dimes for Babies, my donation page is still up at http://marchforbabies.org/personal_page.asp?pp=5262488&ct=4&w=6650627&u=carolyninjoy&bt=15 My contribution was overall successful. I was able to collect $380 on behalf of premature babies & the issues that special needs babies experience. It was also for the babies that DON’T get to go home.
My life before my Beloved Hubby & I got together is a cloudy mass of nebulous & murky pain-filled memories. I started measuring time from before I met him, until after I met him.
In my life during the period of time before…I gave birth to my first son, David Michael, who was full-term still birth (aka born sleeping). He would have been 48 this August had he lived. That period of time was nightmarish. He was born in a military hospital. Then they put me in the maternity ward where all the new mothers & infants were since they didn’t have staff to put me in another location of the small hospital. A nurse walked into the room carrying a crying infant & almost handed it to me. My breasts were leaking milk in response to its cry. At the last minute she halted, said “Oh, you’re the one whose baby died.”
She turned about-face & walked out of the room. I was left alone with tears flowing down my cheeks & the front of my gown drenched with milk. While they did NOT allow me to see him, they told me he was perfectly formed. Because he was full term, he required burial. Picking out the tiny coffin was something my parents did since my ex-husband was on his way back from Viet Nam. As a grandparent now myself, I can only begin to imagine how they must have felt at the time.
Now there are greatly needed organizations that make angel dresses & suits for the babies that don’t get to go home. There are even specialized photographers who take pictures of the parents & their deceased infant. I’m grateful grieving parents have these choices now. I feel sure it doesn’t lessen the grief, but perhaps it can permit the smallest bit of closure.
The picture below was of me planting an ‘angel flower’ in the MOD garden on his behalf. My walker is behind me & you can see a small butterfly chime hanging on the handle. I wanted the thought that every time a bell rings, an angel gets their wings to be with me every step of the way.
The walk was four miles. I had hoped to complete it. I was able to walk only one mile before I was encouraged to stop by my Hubby & friends. I wanted to continue but could tell I was on the verge of a heat stroke so I conceded. Perhaps next year I can go the distance.
The following day, I received an email that brought tears of joy to my eyes. A friend & her husband completed the walk on my behalf as members of my support team. That warmed my heart.
This time a year ago, I did not have a knee. My artificial joint had become infected along with some of the bones around it. The artificial knee was removed, packed with antibiotics & I was on intravenous antibiotics through a PICC line for twelve LONG weeks. I consulted an infectious disease specialist who told my Hubby “If you had waited another two weeks for treatment, you would be burying your wife.”
There were weeks when I was too weak to turn over by myself. I was almost a month in a rehab center where I was taught physical therapy for how to manage when I was ‘toe touch’ only with zero weight bearing. So I was quite sick for most of 2013. It started in January & continued through August when I got my new knee revision. I have 16 inches of steel stems inserted into the femur & the tibia of my left leg. I can walk short distances without canes or a walker but I took the rolling walker with a seat so I could rest when I needed to do so.
I’m sharing this amount of detail, because I wanted to bear witness to where I WAS versus where I am now. I was able to complete one mile of walking, yet instead of celebrating the joy of that, I was berating myself for not being able to finish.
Why am I so harsh a judge of myself? Why is is so difficult to acknowledge accomplishment? I KNOW it’s nearly a miracle that I was able to get that far. I’ve had dozens of people tell me they couldn’t do it. So the fact that I started this meandering blog with the title: “Accomplishment, I’m uncertain” is the best truth I can express.
By God’s grace I’ll be stronger next year & can go further.