June 7, 2016
How are you? Fine, I hope.
I can explain my absence. Give me time, but please know that I keep trying to stage a come-back. Five postcards, two single page letters, and a package were all I managed before the next collapse blocked my way. I cannot drive; it's been over two weeks since my last stint behind a steering wheel. My lap desk needs dusting. Beautiful mail needs scanning. Posts need writing. Life in on hold here. JC is in charge now, and does a decent job, but draws the line at cooking, doing my hair, and answering my lovely mail. I don't blame him. I'm a picky eater, I have a severe case of bedhead, and he hasn't written a letter since Hector was a pup.
The mail in this photo is at least nine to fourteen days in the past. Writing it was such a feat I had to take a photograph. Who knows when I can write again? Or draw? Or read more than a five line paragraph, or an entire page in one prop-up? I don't.
Remember the Lame Duck Drawing? The Lame, the Halt, and Then There's Me? Well, I figure I'm doing well if I can laugh at the situation and my role in it. One can only try, right? So, a Berd with a hump, a crutch, and a cane pretty much summed up my situation. Only, I didn't have a clue. I didn't know scoliosis was such a big deal if your body didn't curl in a C. No one told me I had scoliosis until I was over thirty. I discovered it then because my daughter was diagnosed. Her pediatrician said we should monitor it throughout her life. I blocked the news that the condition was inherited. It wasn't until recently that I realized I'd inherited it from my mother's side (no pun intended), and passed it on to Erin. I've apologized too many times and she always says, "It's not your fault," yet guilt still eats at me. Its frequency is commensurate with the amount of pain I am afflicted with--hoping and praying it won't be my daughter's someday.
Most of you know I've been battling pain for awhile. I've not been able to roll, fall, or get out of bed most mornings for the last two weeks or so. My orthopedic appointment was cancelled because doc couldn't get to his office. We're contemplating designs for an ark, there's so much water! I told Dodson, D. it feels like "Jesus wept" and, He and the angels couldn't stop. Houston has a problem. Even the USPS can't make it through the waters left in the wake of recent storms.
Saying a thing makes it so. That's my reason for not even thinking "degenerative scoliosis." Or "rib hump." Who wants to be associated with the word "degenerate?" Drawing humps doesn't help either but it makes me laugh. A little. Most days I forget to smile. I don't laugh. I can't. It hurts too much. Last night I slept in my clothes. The pain meds don't work. The muscle relaxers make me sleep round the clock. JC worries that I've died. My grandmother's back hump was so big . . . How big was it? My sister and I asked if her spine straightened after she died. She spent most of my life in a wheel chair. She never complained. She answered every letter I ever wrote, although her handwriting bore evidence of the crippling arthritis she was also afflicted with. She wrote with a pencil. She never used the eraser. I believe she planned every word before she wrote it down.
Grandmother always asked, "How are you? Fine, I hope." Yes, I've told you this before. Forgive me? I, in turn, made sure to ask after her health too, but in a different way. I'd begun using those familiar words in letters to pen friends who might recognize them too, as a holler-at-my-grand, before I wore it out. Grandmother was a McDaniel who married an Armstrong. I'm the only one of my parents' children to take after the McDaniels. And although I don't know them very well, I identify with them for the first time in my life. They were strong, stoic, accepting of the hard, and not at all surprised by the good. I've been the exact opposite. I've always expected good, am shaken to the core by the hard it rattles my head. So, surprise!
There's always a silver lining. You should see our back yard. All that rain has turned it into a jungle. Sure, the largest pomegranate is rotting from too much water, as are the champagne grapes, and ants are seeking high ground; the willow's branches reach the mean neighbor's roof, the sunflower drowned, humidity makes breathing a conscious effort . . . I've been forced to use the Canon. Four bluejays perched on the same branch! Inspiration comes when and how it must.
The dove was intentional. The rat not at all! Didn't even know it was there until I was scanning them on my Mac.
He's become a regular at Chez Limner. He's too smart for the catch and release trap; I cannot give the order for a kill trap, Tom Cat. So, I named him Toby.
Mine has become a small world after all. A back yard is better than a mall. So what if I can't wield a pen or a pencil right now? Typing is no small feat either; neither is walking, sitting, or lying down. I have not been downstairs all day. JC positioned two clay trays on the grass where I can view them from upstairs. There's something new to see throughout the day. He also reads the backs of your postcards before he mails them. It's funny. I wonder what he makes of what I write? Tell me. Would you read or force yourself not to?
I'm not in a good place right now but hope to be. I promise to write back. When I can. Thanks for thinking of me!
P.S. See the time? It's 3:14 A.M. Wow. Pain trumps time everytime.