Sunday, October 28, 2007

Showers of Blessing

I woke up this morning feeling crippled. My left knee was injured badly. Last evening, my sister called; she and my brother-in-law were coming through town, and they offered to transport some of my mother's belongings [if I had sorted through them] down to their farm, to stage them for the estate sale we're planning to have next weekend. I had been assiduously avoiding that sorting chore, but I flew into a flurry of doing some gross sorting in the couple of hours before they arrived. As my sister and I were carrying a heavy box downstairs, I lost my balance and went tumbling. My back slammed against a post, and my knee got stuck between gravity and this box. I didn't know I was hurt until this morning. What woke me up was the awareness that my knee was screaming at me.

I considered skipping church. My knee hurt a lot; it was difficult to stand or walk. But I knew I needed to be with my parish today, so I made coffee and set about my morning preparations.

Photo courtesy of
this site.

You know what? I think showers are a Gift from God. Absolutely every morning, I enjoy my time in the shower. My head clears – literally and metaphorically. My mind is free to wander as I go through the motions of my daily ablutions. I don't have to think about the motions: wash hair, wash face, rinse, lather body, rinse …

But today it was not so. I couldn't put any weight on my bad left knee. And these other motor-control problems I'm having complicated the whole darn thing. I did not dare lift my right foot to wash it, for I feared the left knee could not support me and I'd tumble to my death in the shower. And my hands aren't exactly following my instructions.

And that's when it struck me: What a blessing are these little things that we scarcely even notice! The ability to take a hot shower in the morning. The ability to stand at the stove and cook. The ability to button one's own blouse. To put on make-up. The ability to feed one's cats as they curl about one's legs.

I take these abilities – these gifts – so much for granted. It will make me so sad [that's a huge understatement] if I lose them. I don't know how I would cope with the kind of dependence that many people face with dignity every day, every hour. This is being a learning experience for me.

As fate would have it, I unexpectedly got to serve as crucifer at "big church" today. Usually, adults only serve as acolytes at the boring 8:00 Rite-I-no-music-thankyouverymuch service. But they were down one at 10:30 and – woohoo! – I was tapped. With the motor control problems, it took all my concentration to carry the cross as I usually do. And with the gimpy knee, it was a challenge to walk "normally" in the processional, recessional, and Gospel procession – where it seems important not to draw attention to oneself – and especially not to one's gimpiness. But I was tremendously grateful to get this opportunity. I think it was helpful that this ministry moved me beyond myself.

Between all these manifestations of gimpiness and my mother's death, I'm having just entirely too many reminders that we are but dust, and to dust we return.


Blogger Ann said...

Healing prayers for your knee and other bits. I think about these issues as another birthday approaches. So far so good - but one day it will be like this

10/29/2007 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Prayers for your poor knee, and for everything else. :)


10/29/2007 3:15 PM  
Blogger Caminante said...

Prayers for your sister body who is talking a bit too much to you these days.

10/30/2007 6:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I give thanks for you all, and I am grateful for your prayers and support. You're right: Too much stuff is hitting me all at once.

10/30/2007 9:06 PM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

Prayers for you and especially for your knee, Lisa. You have had a series of unfortunate events in a short period of time.

God bless you, my dear.

10/31/2007 6:30 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Good news: My knee is pretty much back to normal. It was just an ordinary injury. Dealing with my mother's death ... and dealing with the ongoing questions of my motor control issues ... not so much. But I'm thankful for progress forward.

And ya know what? Comments from you friends have reminded me that I need to get back to my typical mode -- which is a "glass half-ful" mode ... not the miserable "glass half empty" mode I've been in over the past three weeks.

Thanks for your patience and your encouragement.

10/31/2007 8:47 PM  

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