One minute I'm pinning a quilt to the wall and the next minute I'm not. I fell off and then onto the step ladder, the rigid edge of the ladder fractured my femur as I came down on it before hitting the floor.
I knew I wouldn't die from a broken leg, but as I laid there on the floor, I felt like I was, just for a moment, maybe longer. The why of things happening will never make sense, I could rage at my predicament, but I'm reminded instead of a proverb, you fall down seven times, get up eight. And so I did. I screamed one time as I aligned the leg and then down the stairs an inch at a time, taking hours or maybe a day, I don't remember. In the end, I made it downstairs. I pulled myself onto my bed, I just wanted to be comfortable, a moment in my bed, that would make it better, at least for the moment. I wake up again. I can hear the phone ringing. I hear a message from a friend, we're on our way over to see you. She's not going to believe what I need her to do. My friend and her husband arrive at the house ahead of the emergency responders.
Nearly three weeks later after extensive surgery and rehab, I'm home, using a walker until I can bear weight on the injured leg, that will come, have to work hard on my physical therapy and be patient. I could tell you about the worst of these past days, but instead I'll tell you about an elderly woman I met at the rehab facility. One of those angels on earth, or maybe I'm just looking for the spiritual when things have gone awry, that seem to appear when you need them. A woman of quiet strength and grace. We watched the birds every day in the aviary. All kinds of birds living together, nesting and providing us hours of enjoyment during an otherwise depressing day. We watched one pair of nesting doves, me telling her what I knew about doves.
I told her Jim's story. One egg hatched and we watched the little one being taken care of by the parents. We caught the first time it attempted to fly from the nest, laughing that we were as proud as the parents. She missed the moment the baby dove flew through the open door while the birds were being fed, I got to tell her about the escape and return of it to safety. We fretted over the weekend when no one came to feed or replace the water, I went on and on that the birds will die without water, she did the same until the staff got tired of listening to us and someone was found who knew what to do. She failed to go home on schedule due to her surgeon having to perform emergency surgery on a patient and not being able to see her. No anger or regret on her part, simply that she was glad that her surgeon was able to take care of someone else in greater need. I only wish to have that kind of empathy. The day I left, she came to my room and waited with me, not saying much, keeping me company. I hated to leave her. I hope she is home as well now.