7/31/2018

End of July.



CLOSING THE CALENDAR ON JULY 2018





a bit of a story to tell.















I had hip replacement surgery June 25. 4 days later I was transferred to a resident rehab facility fifteen minutes from my home to get back on my feet and get started walking. Thought I would be there for two weeks but it worked out that I was there three weeks. The extra week provided more strength for my hip, knee, and leg and strong motivation to go home

Being home is great although initially a I was a bit unsure. I came home on Friday and my health aide did not come on until Monday. I managed over the week-end by moving very carefully especially on the seven stairs taking me down to the kitchen level.

When my aide arrived I was so happy to see her - the same woman that helped me several years ago when I had surgery on my shoulder. Felt so lucky to reconnect with her.

So winding down July began.

A marvelous Physical Therapist comes to my house three times a week and gets me back to focusing on exercises, walking and strengthening my leg.

Sunday I showered on my own for the first time since the surgery. I felt warm, clean and empowered.
When the Physical Therapist arrived we went outside to walk - a first for me. It was liberating to feel breezes and smell fresh cut grass.

A friend stopped by. We had a long conversation catching up. It was another high moment on a good day. So how do I explain that I made too quick  amove at the bottom of the steps and WHAM - - -

Hurt my "good" leg. It scared me. Would this mean going back to "go".
I am so grateful it was not serious and I am up on both feet

And - - moving more slowly like a sensible person.






7/21/2018

Choices


So many possibilities available that they bump into each other.

Choices, choices, choices.

What about mistakes?

Be careful....think it through.

7/19/2018

A Step At A Time

Early to the dining room so it’s quiet for breakfast. Grateful. Usually the first sounds on my hall are the piercing screams from a woman a few doors away from me. She is not injured or bleeding her pain comes from deep inside her mind. 

Today is my last breakfast here. After 21 days the dining room is familiar. I will be packed and leaving in a couple of hours. Surgical pain brought me here .. a hip replacement which hurt and frightened me as I wondered how I would walk again. This morning I walked 100 feet alone from my room using a walker. Yesterday I walked the distance four times with only a cane and my PT therapist following close behind. It has been quite a journey.

In a few hours I will leave and my daughter Karen will drive me home in my car. Probably 3 weeks before I can drive.

I have learned one thing ... go slow and steady...one step at a time.


7/18/2018

Catching Up






On June 25 I marched over to Holy Cross Hospital for a long needed hip replacement. The surgery went well. Four days later I was transported to
a live-in REHAB facility near my home. After almost three weeks I will finally be going home in two days. I am eager to be back home.

Have you ever been painfully homesick like a kid sent to camp for the first time. That's how I have been feeling as I entered the 3rd week.  Only my own bed and being surrounded by years of familiar things will take care of that.

This REHAB facility  is a good place and the physical therapy to get me back on my feet and walking has been excellent. When people tell me I am moving along well - much faster than expected - I am grateful!

My family has been wonderfully supportive - coming in often to visit and eat meals with me - even when the food has been disappointing.  They formed a committee and shared their time generously which helped me through every day.

Friends have stopped by and good conversations have been welcome and encouraging. Cards, calls and social media have knit together warm connections.

Later I will probably add some stories to share my glimpses of the daily lives of others here who have lived on my hall and will not be fully restored in body, mind or spirit.
I had not expected that in addition to my physical treatments I would be fully engaged in an emotional education of days of infirm elders. I leave here filled with things to think about and ponder. I expect
some changes in how I will prioritize what's important.

Grateful storytelling will give me ways to sort things out.

2/26/2018

Traveling to Myself 2

A repeat to remind my self of this poem.


Traveling to Myself





Last night I watched a movie I had seen before but only sort-of remembered -
Night Train to Lisbon with Jeremy Irons.
I watched it because I did not recall the story but I felt that there was something in it I wanted to "catch' again.

And - there was.

The story is a mix of mystery, romance, and discovery set in Lisbon - in a non-specific modern time. The characters too are rather universal and yet non-discript- soft identities that do not take away from the story itself. The Irons character , a middle-age professor, saved a girl from jumping off a bridge in Bern, she runs away and he impetuously hops on a train to follow her to Lisbon to find her and discover her story. You guess soon into the movie that who he eventually finds, along with an interesting story, will be himself.

The key to the search for the girl is a haunting memoir by a young doctor - the other driving character. The heart of the story rests in the book.

All of this was familiar to me as I re-visited the movie - but then in the ending - - AH, HA - I found what I was looking for - a piece of verse:

I spent some time this morning capturing it - I don't want to lose it again because the poem speaks to why I am tied to memoir and to capturing my past. Its the reason for my own personal searches  - and at 80 years old I have a lot of ground to cover as I find bits of myself and quilt them together.

From the movie: Night Train to Lisbon
This is the passage one of the characters writes into his journal which will become his book.

  
We leave something of ourselves behind in a place we have been

We stay there even though we go away

There are things in ourselves we find again only by going back there

We travel to ourselves when we go back to a place where we have covered a stretch of our life 


No matter how brief it may have been.

Ah, yes.

2/13/2018

On the Home Front








Glad to catch up with you and - thanks for your report.
Are you sure you mean it when you ask what I am doing ?

All right  - you asked.

Talking with my dear childhood friend Betsy every week is an important connection for me - - 
we keep up with the state of the world today, 
drop back to the past we share 
and then just go on blabbing about anything that comes up.

Are you, like me, very grateful for Alexander Graham Bell and his telephone - even though - who dreamed we would be carrying it in our pockets?  Maybe Dick Tracey - he was a prophet on that score.

Sorry to say I am taking a pass on the FRINGE this year after eight consecutive seasons. It was a tough decision for me. I LOVE introducing a story at the Fringe -  

My original plan was to introduce a new WWI show at the Fringe - but now I will be introducing it in November in Charlotte,NC where it started. Its a family story about my grand uncle and his mother.  The WWI doughboy buried in France is from Charlotte and November 2 will be the 100th anniversary of his death during the War. 
His mother, a Gold Star Mother, visited his grave in 1930. 

Sponsored by the Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society I will tell that story. Probably November 9. I feel as though I am bringing him home.

In a way I will bring him home. I am placing a Centopath Stone in Elmwood Cemetery on the family plot with his parents and other family members.

Tom Wolfe says you can't go home again - - -- what has been made clear to me - is that you can go back where you were once "at home" but its not exactly the same . I am very grateful to Obie Osborne, a Central High School classmate and Marilyn Hall Jones, a cousin who is a member of the OMGS for helping to make this happen.

Saturday I had a great time at a workshop on writing monologues and dialogue. It was good stuff for writers and also just plain fun. It was a cold rainy day.  We were meeting in a 19th century small and livable, once-a-church, house in College Park across from the University of Maryland campus.  I was the oldest in the 20 mixed age group of men and women -  strangers to me -  gathered around a huge table talking and laughing all day. We had 2  excellent leaders, author Mary Amato and playwright John Feffer. I am ready to go again. Being wrapped in laughter felt medicinal.

For Valentine's my daughter Karen and I are going to a play - "HAND-BAGGED".  It is running an additional month at the Round HouseTheater in Bethesda which says a lot!
The cast is small - two characters performed by four women - 2 as Queen Elizabeth - young and older - and 2 as Margaret Thatcher - young and older. They talk from the four perspectives.  Sounds intriguing doesn't it? I will be paying attention to the dialogue and monologues.

Well, that's it for me today.
Love to all of you!!!