Winter snow melts into greening grass unfolding in my front yard. Tulips and day lilies emerge amid leafy fall debris residue; the forsythia and pussy willows adorn my front planter. First markers of welcome seasonal change abound.
Amid this emerging glory I’m celebrating another unlikely welcome marker, this one in my journey of life. Today marks the anniversary of the last of my seven recent falls.
One year ago today I sported a black eye marking a painful encounter with the bedside table. In trying to get up I fell back partly landing on the bed and then dove left to the floor hitting my head just over my left eye on the sharp edge of the side table — an impressive cut above my left brow and goose egg and prize-winning black eye my colorful trophies. I looked like I won the fight.
I look back today remembering each fall and the markers they left: two of them earned me broken ribs, one netted a bruised knee, one a fat lip, and one a fractured vertebra—L7 to be exact. That one bothers me still.
Life’s full of surprises. Some welcome. Some not.
So I’m sure this March 27 does not mark the end of my trials. Barring a miracle (which I still pray for), my path won’t be a bed of roses from now on just because of one encouraging milestone.
We all rejoice with a resolved plot or with the last pieces of the jigsaw in place—no unanswered questions or missing parts.
Unfortunately life isn’t always that neatly packaged, is it?
I still have trouble walking and limited use of my left hand. My new friends still include two pills every four hours 24/7/365, a cane, walker, and, on occasion, a wheelchair.
Pain and perplexities, broken pieces, unanswered questions, the nagging doubts, and the messy realities of Parkinson’s disease collide with my vision of life as it should be in the Pleasantville world and I am still stunned.
At first I tried denial. It didn’t do much for my body or soul. So I began to share more openly with my worlds, not just because misery loves company, though it surely does—but also to acknowledge and point to the encouragement and redemption of suffering as I begin to see the resurrection beyond the cross in Christ’s life and, hopefully, in my own as well.
Easter season reminds us vividly that Christ “bore our griefs and carried our sorrows.“ So as I write this today in the midst of this ‘messy reality’ of a mysterious puzzle, I am thankful and hopeful. I’m thankful for strong support from family and friends. I’m also hopeful that as I experience the unlikely gifts of Christ’s joy and peace this suffering will yield its own unique redemption stories.
Someday. Yesterday. Today.
I’ll close with a favorite poem by Luci Shaw and a response reflection by me that show clearly the past, present, and future tangle in my March 27 mind.
Someday I will walk around the sun
And turn and touch Orion’s Belt
With more than hands.
Then I will survey Andromeda
Understanding all I see.
For the hand that spanned in light years
Has rested torn and bloody upon me.
Today I will walk tied to earth;
Bound to frailty with cords of clay.
Ephemeral mist in the Siberian morning.
So easy to slip on the ice.
So prone to lose my balance.
Uncertainty beneath my feet.
Yet You say You will
and give me songs
in the night.”
In this mist of ice and snow,
I will walk with You.
Bound to earth and to heaven.
I may fall. I will fall.
But I will not be “hurled headlong”.
I will feel Your hand lifting me up and
I will know that even though
“…weeping may endure for a night,
Shouts of Joy will come in the morning”.
“Someday “ by Luci Shaw in Shaw, Luci. Listen to the Green. Wheaton: Harold Shaw, 1971. Print.
“Today” by Barbara LaTondresse. Unpublished poem. ©1996 Barbara A. LaTondresse – All rights reserved.
Psalms 30:5; Psalms 37:23-24; Isaiah 53:4-6. The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments: Revised Standard Version. New York: American Bible Society, 1952. Print.
“Redeemed: How I Love to Proclaim It” – lyrics by Fanny Crosby, 1882. Public Domain hymn.
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