Every time I meet someone new at the office, we exchange smiles and pleasantries, and I always get a question about why I’m on crutches. I suppose it’s just human nature to ask what happened and offer support and sympathy. It’s the same for acquaintances, like someone at church, to ask the same question. It’s tiring, but I appreciate the caring and kind words. I guess we all have challenges in our lives. I can look across the conference table with a new client and not really know what challenges they face. I carry mine openly for everyone to see.
I go through all kinds of feelings with the healing of my leg. Sometimes I think it’s a harder burden to bear than chemotherapy was for me. I mean chemo was just a few days of sickness, and the side effects were bearable. But with a leg that I cannot fully use, I can’t do the simplest of things — like carrying a glass of water into the living room. I can’t carry anything really. Or I have to get creative — find a bag with handles to carry items in. I’ve even ordered these screw-on ice picks for the bottom of my crutches. I’ve been worrying about the coming snow and ice. This infliction is the most fear and suffering I’ve ever endured.
For physical therapy, I have to pack the night before. Tom has to carry the heavy bag to the car, along with my purse and computer. Every. Single. Day. And then it takes me 10 minutes to get down the stairs to my car, only after the two hours to get ready in the morning. At least I can drive using my right leg. Then someone at the office has to come down and unload my SUV so that I can climb the three flights of stairs at work. I guess have lots of angels in my life and many blessings too, but it’s a horrible place to be dependent on someone else. When my husband said his vows at our wedding, I don’t think he ever imagined anything like this. I told him he’s made his penance for the rest of his lifetime. But I think he’s secretly counting down the days until I can wait on him hand and foot — and trust me, I’ll be so glad to do that!!!
It’s hard to always be positive. I have had more tears in the past six months than I’ve had in my whole lifetime. Nobody see those tears. Only smiles. Again, if I didn’t have the crutches, nobody would know there was a challenge in my life. But, I’ve made the best of it. I completely trust in God, and somewhere deep down, I know this too shall end.
We put the summer on somewhat of a hold, but managed to get through the important things. Things like Megan’s graduation party, a tour of Heinz Field with my cousins from Charleston, SC, MarketSpace’s 10th anniversary celebration at Kennywood Park and our team building event at Nemacolin. Sure, we had to modify things, and someone else always had to do things for me — all those angels in my life. We did site visits for MarketSpace’s new office space, took a disastrous trip to the Outer Banks, NC and managed to still take our vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. We rated it our top vacation of all time. Now, I’m looking at an island off the coast of Seattle! Sadly, we had to cancel our Aruba trip. The airport is just too much for me, and Tom learned from the other trips that managing both sets of luggage is a major chore for him. And of course, I can only stand there feeling guilty. But, we still took a couple of days off work and went to Bronner’s Christmas Store in Frankenmuth, MI instead. Tom and I planned our company Christmas party during that road trip — it was the perfect time to do that. And we celebrated Christmas with our team last Friday.
I know you haven’t heard from me much this summer. It’s just been hard for me to find the inspiration. But thinking back over the summer, I realized that God had provided so many opportunities to be thankful for the blessings in my life. And just yesterday, one of my staff text me their appreciation for the Christmas party, “I’m so grateful that I found you and MarketSpace!” My heart just melted, and that one line changed the course of my Christmas.
I had been praying for God to send me an angel to help me get through this. And he surely did — they’re all around me. It really confirmed that they are those who love me — those angels who are always there, always ready to lend a hand, never expecting anything in return. My family and my friends — Tom, Debbie, Dona, Jen, Trish, Mo and all the staff at MarketSpace, my Mom, Fr. Bob, Megan and Tara, and Gert, Val and my closest friends from St. Gregory’s, my dear friends Karen, Greg, and Tracy. And for all those friends and colleagues that I missed mentioning here and those that pray for me or are thinking of me. I’m thinking of you too. And right now, the tears that roll down my face are tears of joy and not sadness.
And as I go through this Christmas season, I’m going to pray for those who struggle every day, yet I do not know their need. For everyone is struggling with something. And for all my angels. I promise to try to always appreciate and pray for you.
Always B E L I E V E !
PS: I learned that making 250 meatballs in a roaster without being able to do it all by myself is not a good idea. Tom, you really are a saint.