I would not be honoring myself if I didn't post this today.
Yup - 5 years ago today I had my right hip replaced. At age 45 it's not what I thought I'd be doing in the early months of 2009; recovering from the most major orthopedic surgery there is. But - recover I did.
And went on to actually have a pain-free life. I learned how to LIVE my life, for the first time. Unburdened from stage 4 osteo-arthritis and a joint literally crumbling out from underneath me - I bounded into living a wholehearted life.
There were bumps along the way that first year after surgery - physical and some unexpected emotional turmoil - but the end result of all of that is a person who lives life pretty fully; no restrictions and certainly no regrets.
When 3 years passed and it was revealed that my left hip would need to be replaced as well - the only thing I could say to my much-adored surgeon was - how soon can we get it scheduled?
Happy Birthday to my right hip!
I'm a little off-schedule right now. I continue to battle the off-again/on-again jaw pain from the bruised tooth, which has lead to some fairly epic sinus headaches. And yesterday there was no rest for the wicked or weary.
That - was all in good fun and family. One of The Oracle's Aunts won, in a silent auction, a dinner for 6 at the Rectory of her Parish; her main intent, as she told us, was to share it with US so that we could share our conversion story with her priest. This wouldn't be just a dinner cooked by a friend - it was one planned and executed by the gourmet chef brother of the priest, Fr. Roy. As with every year there was a theme and this year's was favorite dishes of Popes.
Well I have to say - the chef is truly gifted. He produced magic for the 6 of us in the form of 6 delectable, rich and exotic courses. From an olive oil & anchovie fondue called Bagna Cauda to start (which, despite the presence of the disgusting furry fish - was quite tasty, served with various raw veggies and crusty bread) to a decadent Polish Papal Cream Cake - we gorged ourselves on shrimp, scallops, risotto, braised short ribs, parmesan polenta, fantastic wine pairings and delicious conversation.
Oh - the conversation! Sharing our conversion story with the Aunt's favorite priest was an amazing experience. His questions, his interest, his pleasure in hearing about our journey was the final course of frosting and sweetness.
Instrumental versions of songs like the one above and below played softly in the background. It was, simply, an amazing evening spent with the Aunt, The Oracle's parents and a wonderfully sweet man who happens to be a priest. And while The Oracle and I were, in essence, the evening's "entertainment"...it didn't feel like that at all. We shared our experiences with great joy and willingness.
The conversation wasn't all about us, thank goodness. Mixed in were discussions about faith, religion in general and the revelation of a great poem that, I'm sure, will engross me for weeks to come.
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat-and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet-
'All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.'
The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson, first verse above. At 182 lines it's a very long read and yet - the beauty, the harshness of the language - is intoxicating. Written in the late 19th century by a tortured, drug addicted gentleman it speaks to a desperation to find meaning in what seems to be a meaningless life. To find - and be found by - God. Simply heartbreaking and breathtaking.
And so today...I pay for the very long day yesterday. We didn't get home until midnight and while I slept very late today...I feel like I've been run over by a truck. I also feel like my head is still stuck underneath one of the wheels.
I had great plans for today - nice deep clean of the house, finishing hanging some decorations in the kitchen, get the laundry done, work on the journal for my class, perhaps put together some bags of clothes to be donated.
If I can get the journal work done - I'll be very happy with that single accomplishment. Well, that and the endless piles of laundry.
And now for something completely different - here is a reworked version of the great Guns 'n Roses "Sweet Child o' Mine" as envisioned by a New Orleans jazz group.
Now - isn't she something else and something else again?!
We are also glad that the Olympics are over. We love watching them but they have completely messed up our sleep cycles, which I am well-aware is one of the contributing factors to the way I'm feeling today. Tonite we shall skip getting sucked into the closing ceremonies and shall, instead, get caught up on Downton Abbey.
With temps close to 50 degrees today I have half of the windows in the house thrown wide open. The heat is off, the birds are singing and I am catching the scent of ... well, if not spring than something other than winter.
For tomorrow we will be back in the 20s for a high and my mid-week the polar vortex will be upon us once again with lows in the single digits.
Ah, winter in New England. And so I turn my ear to the sounds outside the open window behind my head - and dream of green grass and bright blue skies. And the sounds of my beloved birds.
I would be remiss if I didn't provide a brief update to the office kerfuffle of last week.
She told me she values our friendship ... because we were friendly ... and felt genuinely horrible at what she said and how it made me feel.
I...believe her. I was shocked at the gesture and also felt very nurtured at the same time. It's not just the act of the apology, it's the fact that she made sure it was delivered as soon as she got into the office (she still had her coat on).
And it was also that she knew I deserved the apology. So often people hurt others with their words or actions and never once feel anything even approaching remorse. They believe they have the right to say whatever they feel because it's all about them.
To come to me and, in essence, beg for my forgiveness was truly a genuine act of humility. I didn't ask for further apologies from B; she did, as I mentioned before, apologize in the moment. The fact that she made a point to come to me in-person reveals much about her character.