Certain Man’s Wife Stays Home
Now it came to pass that the second Wednesday of September in the year of our Lord, 2007, was a beautiful day indeed. And Certain Man’s Wife was delighted at the opportunity to open windows and air out the house and get some things done.
She was especially looking forward to this particular day, because she was invited to a luncheon with some special friends on the lawn of a Xanga friend, Curtsellie. Indeed, she was greatly anticipating an encouraging afternoon.
It hasn’t been an exactly fun week for CMW. Somehow, though she doesn’t remember when or how, she bumped her head. She thinks it happened on Wednesday past when she went to Dover, and managed to tangle with the car door, but the details are very fuzzy in her brain. What she does know is that when she combs her hair, there is a very tender spot there. However, what really got her attention was a very stiff, very painful kink in her neck. This pain radiates out her right arm and makes many daily chores difficult. Like combing her hair. And giving showers to Cecilia. And hanging up laundry.
Last Friday, when it first became apparent that there was a problem, she called her good Chiropractor, Dr. R, and was dismayed to hear that there were no openings at all for that day. So she took a Monday morning appointment and prayed that the weekend would be okay. Saturday was rather uncomfortable, and Sunday morning, she sat in her beloved La-Z-boy with an ice pack and tried not to cry.
Certain Man, from the other La-Z-boy looked on with concern. “Hon, do you really think you should even go to church?”
“I need to go. I have the casserole for the Leadership Team meeting. Besides, I’m afraid I will miss something important.”
“Sometimes you just have to miss.”
“I know, but it seems like every time I do, I am so sorry. Like last weekend at Retreat. Sunday morning, I was feeling more than a little depleted, and I left the service to make sure the lunch was in the oven, then just went over to my cabin and sat there for a little, and missed the best part of the whole weekend! I came in on the tail end of things, and that was sweet, but I’ve been mad ever since that I wasn’t there for the whole thing!”
Certain Man just shook his head, and said no more. He knew she wasn’t staying home. Some ice and some Advil and a prayer did their part, and she managed to get through the day quite well. Better than she expected, actually.
Then Monday morning dawned and she headed out to the Chiropractor bright and early. This was important, because Our Girl Nettie needed blood work, and in the afternoon, CMW was scheduled to have a molar pulled. Dr. R is young and exuberant and encouraging. He is daddy to six young children, and CMW likes to hear him talk about his life and his theories and his family. He was quick and efficient as he adjusted the hurting neck.
“Not only did you do a number on that neck,” he said, “you also rotated some ribs. I think I had better see you back again this week.” So an appointment was made for Wednesday morning early enough that CMW could make it to the luncheon, and then she headed out to pick up Our Girl Nettie for blood work, and eventually, ended up at the dentist’s office with great dread and trepidation.
This dentist was CMW’s Daddy’s dentist through the last years of his life. He was incredibly kind and accommodating during the last few difficult months when, in addition to the chemo and the lymphoma, The Daddy got a bad toothache. CMW trusts him as much as she would almost any dentist, but that isn’t necessarily saying anything profound. He is professional and good, but he still was pulling her molar, and there just is no fun way to do that. The procedure went well, and there was very little alarming noise on the part of the patient or the tools needed to do the extraction. It’s just that there is something so devastating about having a tooth extracted. But eventually, after sectioning it and pulling it, one root at a time, it was all done, and CMW was on her way.
So the past few days have been of the kind that made CMW want to just climb into bed and stay there. Of course, that wasn’t to be. Our Girl Nettie had an appointment in Millsboro yesterday, and CMW’s Sweet Mama was leaving on a trip, so it seemed like there were lots of things to demand attention.
Today. Ah, today! CMW was looking forward to this day!
This was the day that Youngest Daughter had a dentist appointment at 8:30. She does not have her car right now because Eldest Son is using her car while his is in the body shop. (That is another story that I am not at liberty to tell.) CMW had a Chiropractor appointment at 9:30 in Milford. Lunch at Curtsellie’s was starting at 11:00. CMW was supposed to take a dish of food to share. Then Cecilia’s’s bus was late, and Our Girl Nettie was almost in reverse when it came to getting dressed. CMW sent out a frantic SOS for Middle Daughter who was just getting off work at eight, to please come and put Cecilia on the bus so that she could take Youngest Daughter to the Dentist appointment. Middle Daughter was cheerfully obliging.
There was general melee when Beeba’s Bug, the DART Bus and the Family Van were all occupying the driveway at the same time, but eventually, CMW and Youngest Daughter got on their way. Ten minutes late, and minus CMW’s checkbook and billfold. After dropping Youngest Daughter off, CMW flew back home to cook some eggs for the egg salad sandwiches she was taking to the luncheon. She loaded the dishwasher, and got Our Girl Nettie on her bus, listened to Middle Daughter’s account of her night, and collected her billfold and checkbook. By now, it was obvious that someone besides CMW would need to pick up Youngest Daughter and take her to school. So Middle Daughter willingly agreed to do that, and CMW was off for her appointment at the Chiropractor.
The appointment went well, and when the staff heard that she had a luncheon to attend, they were able to speed things up a little, though not enough to insure that CMW would be able to make it by 11. This concerned CMW, but a conversation with Middle Sister made her feel like being late would be better than not going, and she was looking forward to it so much, that she decided that she would persevere and go!
So, she went home and made her egg salad and put it on her homemade bread that she had remembered to set out from the freezer, and cut the sandwiches in little squares and arranged them on a Corningware tray and covered them over with plastic wrap. She turned out the lights in her house, and she gathered her stuff together. Come to think about it, she needed her camera. And maybe the batteries weren’t fresh. So she added a pack of batteries to the things she was carrying and mentally ticked off her list. Camera. Batteries. Phone. Egg salad sandwiches. Glass bottle of ice tea to drink on the way. Everything was just fine.
So she headed out the door to her van, arms full, but happy to not be any later than she was. She came around the end of the van on her way to the driver’s door when her left foot went off the edge of the concrete, and just that quick, she was on the floor of the garage. Her camera and phone bounced across the concrete, her tray of sandwiches slid unceremoniously out of reach. The glass bottle of tea landed “Ker-shlam!” but didn’t break. The left foot was doubled in half with the little toe turned under and the right knee was in a most uncomfortable position. CMW knew that there was no one that was going to come flying over and ask stupid questions, so she took her time in unraveling herself to a straight position. She laid on the hard floor and thought dismal thoughts of discouragement.
But she wanted to go to the luncheon. She wasn’t broken. She wasn’t bleeding. She was not even brush burned as far as she could tell. And she really wanted to go. So she picked herself up from the garage floor. She gathered her scattered possessions. She put things into the car, and started it and backed it out of the garage.
Once outside the garage, she began to think. Her foot was hurting. Her knee was hurting. Her shoulder and neck were still hurting. And the jaw, where the molar had come out was hurting. She looked at her poor, almost squished sandwiches and started to cry.
And she called Eldest Daughter and she didn’t answer her phone. So she cried some more and left a message that she wasn’t coming. And she called Middle Sister to see if she had left for the luncheon yet, and cried some more and told her that she wasn’t coming.
Then she put her sandwiches in the refrigerator and took her things into the house and cried some more. There were things that she needed to do, so she changed the washer and folded some laundry and swept the entry. Nothing she put on her foot felt good, but she took some strong pain medicine and rubbed everything down with Blue Emu Cream and decided that it was time to stop crying.
It was time to get perspective. There were no busted lips, no concussions, no need to call for help. Sometimes we don’t know what we have been spared by what we miss. And this is one of those times when CMW believes that she may never know the reason, but senses that she should be content in what is. Not everything in life is hers to know, though she often wishes it were.
And that is the news from Shady Acres, where there have been great expressions of sympathy and caring. Eldest Daughter came home from the luncheon with a card that brightened the day considerably, and CMW is awaiting the morrow to see if she will be able to walk.