What I have learned over the past week is that I cannot just instantly get up and do something, and so I tell myself, be still and breathe.

It is Monday again. It’s been 7 days now since my ankle surgery. Hopefully, in 7 more days I will get this cast off my leg.

The Pumpkin Seed Question:

I’ve conceded that the pumpkin seed/bug is in fact a pumpkin seed.

In Be Still & Breathe, I sit in my chair with a cast on my leg and stare out the patio door of my living room.

I laid one of the pumpkin seeds I found on the floor on the kitchen countertop overnight.

And I said to myself: If this is still here in the morning, then it is either a dead bug or a pumpkin seed.

It was still there. And so it must be a pumpkin seed.

The Lovely Bones:

I finished reading “The Lovely Bones” for the second time, quite a few years apart. It was published in 2004.

On the second reading, it still brought tears to my eyes. The way the author turned a phrase; the way it then turned something in me.

The main character is a 14 year old girl who was murdered by a neighbor. The book is about what she sees from her place in heaven after her heart stopped beating and she left it behind.

The book "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold

These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence; the connections – sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent – that happened after I was gone.

And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events that my death wrought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future…

The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life.

The New York Times Book Review was right in my estimation – “The Lovely Bones takes the stuff of neighborhood tragedy and turns it into literature.”

The World Inside My Apartment:

My world has been small for the past week. I have not been outside to see my flowers. But I hope they haven’t died of thirst. I’m trying to remain calm and not worry too much about it.

Kendra says she’ll come over today and water my plants.

I wonder if the allium bud has bloomed?

My world in the past 7 days has been within these walls. A mirror here, a hanging quilt there. These things I see every day, and yet I still find them to be lovely.

The burbling water has been like another heartbeat for me. Constantly flowing. Water over the rocks. Over and over again. The sound is so serene..

I watch the light in the kitchen window from my chair.

The window is covered with red and white buffalo checked curtains. But still, the light peeks through them and changes as the hours of the day pass.

As the sun moves across the roof, the light dims and fades away into darkness.

In Be Still & Breathe, I show my open kitchen cabinets with the red and white dishware.

Just Me & Ivy:

I read books and look at pretty photos online. Ivy tends to lay right behind my chair.

I look at the quilt that covers the back of the couch, which I made long ago. And I wonder how many hours it took to stitch it together.

And how many hours it took to quilt the three layers together.

It has moved with me many times now. From home to home; and apartment to apartment. The colors of the fabric have cheered me as I sit here.

As I am just still and not moving, or planning to do anything or go anywhere.

Breathe, I tell myself. Just breathe. You don’t have to constantly be moving. And now I cannot move about my apartment unless it is with one foot on the scooter.

It is a time of learning, being alone here with Ivy, and knowing that it is okay to just breathe.

To just be still and breathe.

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26 Comments

  1. Brenda,
    You won’t get addicted to the pain meds if you only use them to the level of your pain. In other words, meds meant to relieve a level 10 pain (on a level of 1-10, 10 being excruciating pain) would not be meds you would need if the pain level is at a 5. People get addicted when they continue to take strong pain meds as prescribed for weeks when pain has basically become controllable with Motrin or less. You have the strength and will power to medicate sensibly. Good luck and if you have questions, call the doctor’s office and talk to them. Allow them to guide you through the leveling off as needed. They prescribed, they should advise. It’s good to hear you are taking it easy and resting! Good luck! *by you above, I mean any patient, not you in particular.

    1. I keep thinking I can stop taking Hydrocodone. But then the pain gets bad again and Tylenol Arthritis won’t take care of it. I ordered Aleve yesterday. Maybe that will be better than the Tylenol.

  2. Brenda,
    I am sorry that the scooter didn’t really work out as you had hoped, I guess God had other plans. Perhaps after all of your pain this past year, and the move, etc you need to sit and rest. I am sure that it is hard but thankfully you have your daughters to check on you and Ivy to keep you company.
    I had the Lovely Bones years ago and I have never forgotten it.
    Take care,
    Elizabeth

  3. Ask Kendra if she’ll take some pics of your flowers on her phone and then send them to u! That way u can see how your flowers are doing.

    My dog is starting to bark again bc of the firecrackers again! I’ve heard them since the beginning of June off and on! I go run outside bc I like to see the colorful fireworks!

  4. Someone once reminded me that we are human beings, not human doings. There are times when we need to stop doing and just be. Sometimes we are forced to stop doing, and at other times, we can choose to stop. Hope your forced stop doesn’t get you down and that you can focus on how good it will be to once again, be up and about and doing.

  5. I will look for the book The Lovely Bones…..I have watched the movie and it was very good the book is probably even better. Happy 4th to you and yours.

      1. Yes.
        The film was excellent.
        Many of my favorite actors.
        They played their characters so well.
        Of course, no denying it’s a sad movie. 😔
        Completely disrupts a close and loving family that once had a sense of security.
        Gone instantly.
        Would be difficult 😕 for me to watch the film again.
        Almost like the movie “Room” ,,,, the same level.
        Sadness is too great.
        Cannot sit through it again.

  6. Just breathe, sometimes that’s all we can do. I think it is our body’s gentle reminder that we can’t do it all now.

    You mentioned yesterday you aren’t taking pain meds now only once in awhile. That is wonderful. Do you feel like there is less pain now or is it still too early to tell?

    Tonight is the 4th and our town set off fireworks Saturday night about five miles from us. We dosed our three dogs but one little guy about 50 lbs shook til 2 am! Last night was fairly quiet. And I heard they arrested a guy Saturday night not far from us for setting off fireworks from 8-12!! Happy 4th🎉🇺🇸🍉

    1. I am feeling more pain now because the nerves, etc., are waking up. At least I think that’s what it is. But it’s from having had surgery, not that day in and day out pain I had before. I hope I got rid of that. I just don’t want to get addicted to pain pills.

  7. Your quiet days sound like many of mine. The song There is a Time for every Purpose from the Proverbs comes to mind. You will remember these days as a kind of respite when you feel better and are mobile once again. I am hopeful those days of activity will come soon for you.
    Thinking of you, take care.

  8. Happy🇺🇸4th of 🇺🇸July! We are blessed to have treasures in our homes that we enjoy and bring us fond memories. I would love to have a handmade quilt. The Amish aren’t to far away and sell them. I’ll have to stop and see what kind of prices they are asking. I can appreciate all the love and hard work evolved. No family members made quilts that I can remember. Glad your daughters are taking care of you, Ivy and the plants. Quiet days are nice once in awhile. Take it easy, you will be on the go soon enough! We will enjoy the fireworks and patriotic music on t.v. this evening.

      1. My maternal grandmother crocheted. (Hope I spelled that right). We had ponchos and baby items. My paternal grandmother made the fancy doilies, and had an old treadle? sewing machine. Every year she would wash her handmade dresses from the old country, Czechoslovakia. She had 9 granddaughters and 1 grandson. She would go to the store and buy all of them a dress, show the “pretty dresses” she bought to my Mother. She never bought me one because she didn’t know my size. I was granddaughter number 3 and my brother is the only one to carry on the last name. He has 2 boys. I never found out where her sewing machine or dresses went. I would have loved to have had them. Sorry about the rant, when you mentioned about giving something to your daughters, it struck a nerve. I am fine and I know none of us are perfect. Some people don’t even want such things.

  9. I live a very quiet and simple life. I spend most of my time with my fabric, needle and thread and I “Just Breathe”. In recent weeks I’ve faced and had to deal with some heavy mental challenges, and I’ve had to remind myself to “Just Breathe”. I share this because I do understand what you’re experiencing on a daily basis as you sit in your lovely home allowing your body to heal. Brenda, “Just Breathe”.
    On a lighter note, I’m glad the pumpkin seed/bug was just a pumpkin seed. I’m sure you felt very relieved.
    Happy 4th of July – “Just Breathe”.

    1. Oh, how I loved to look at my fabric, the feel of it, working with it. But I no longer have fabric because my fingers just can’t do what they used to do. I don’t have fine motor skills anymore. But I so loved it in those years when I could sit down with my needle and thread and sew. I love embroidery and also applique. Good memories.

  10. Some may think this isn’t anything. Or just stupid.
    I started taking Moringa capsules less than a month ago. You will find those on you tube taking it. Many comments and people are getting relief. I was a mess with arthritis and nerve pain. I am much better. I still have to stand and wait with much stiffness before I can walk. My upper body is much better. I can do dishes, take care of my two cats. Take care of the litter pan. Walk my daughters elderly dog. Buy groceries. Not nearly as discouraged or depressed as before. I don’t sell this product.

  11. Some parts of life, as we age especially, consist of resting and waiting for the illness and recovery time to pass…hoping for better days. We have had bad arthritis the past week…so we have only done what HAD to be done…so much yet in trying to settle into this apt that needs doing. But when in pain, often resting is all we can do. You certainly made some gorgeous quilts…so glad you have them to cheer you…and that there was a time when you could sew such things. I so hope your recovery will be excellent and you will be able to do more than you have for a long time!!

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. My arthritis has been bad this past week too. I know how much it takes out of you to get settled in all over again.

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