Saturday, October 13, 2007

Brilliant day, melancholy night, a symbolic pillow

Ah, what a day. Just the view out our living room window was enough to suffice me today. The oak tree on the front lawn has finally started to turn color. There are actually two of them on the lawn, and they have stayed green longer than the others that are scattered about our property, I figure that is because of being watered as I kept the lawn green this summer.

The temperature was at least 70 degrees today. I did a little bit of staining on our front wheelchair ramp railing. I have found I can do things by just puttering at doing it. Do 15 minutes at a time. With the staining, I taped a paintbrush to the bottom of a broom handle, put the bucket of stain on the floor of the ramp and dipped and brushed, dipped and brushed. I enjoyed it.

I put up new curtains in the living room, taking down the shorter, off-white damask drapes with valance and sheers, replacing them with country style curtains, on a black, wrought-iron-type rod with matching steel hold-backs. The curtains are a red-wine color and they frame that view of the golden oaks perfectly!

I also tried a little bit of engraving on a piece of brass, with a Dremel engraver. I would love to be able to make some accent pieces and customized plates for my husband's spurs that he makes and sells. It would feel good to be a part of that.

All in all, it was a good day.

Tonight, though, I feel melancholy. I think of some friends who seem to have given up on me, not answering my emails. Some I worked with at my last job and because of my injury, I had to stop working. We were really close. I thought we'd remain that way and I endeavor to keep in touch, but they do not reply.

Guess I feel a little lonely. And my doctor hasn't responded to me at all since I wrote him over a week ago about the fluttering in my chest. All in all, just feeling a little lost at sea.

Right after my injury, my sister sent me a sweet, little tapesty pillow, with a picture of a horse's head on it, and the saying: "Life without Horses? I don't think so."

I really clung to that pillow, figuratively. I would keep it displayed out where people could see my philosophy in life. I remember my first neurosurgeon telling me that I'd never return to riding professionally, and I said, "I bet I do!"

Then, the NY neurosurgeon I have now told me in January that riding for me would be suicidal.

And the pillow began to haunt me. For months, I would turn it over so I wouldn't read a line that I could not live up to. I'd look at it and think sarcastically, "Yeah, right."

The other day, I put it in a box in my closet along with a lot of other little horse things. I'll send them to a friend who rides and has students she can share these things with.

Isn't it strange how an innocuous, decorative pillow could bother me?

My friend online who has so many challenges, medically in her life, was a life-long dancer. I asked her if she could watch the dance competitions that are on these days. She said no, that they hurt too much for her to watch. She knows I understand. I don't watch horse shows either.

How do we survive having to give up so large an integral piece of who we once were? I know it takes a lot of coping skills, it helps if we have a supportive partner or family. Faith plays a big part in it all. But it takes years to master it.

Another friend wrote and described how she went riding with a friend, ponying two colts for training. There was a lot of detail. And my heart just cried, "I wish I'd been there. That was my kind of thing. That was ME!"

Someone else wrote about going to a bluegrass festival and wishing I could have gone, too. My banjo sits in its case in the closet and at least once a week, I think about taking it out, but I know if I do, I will experience some very bad symptoms from positioning my neck while playing. I can't play the banjo anymore...I can't go to festivals....I can't ride even a decrepit old horse anymore.

Yes, there is so much that I CAN do, and I'm thankful. But every once in awhile, I succumb to a bit of melancholy.

Losing those things we love is harder than it looks.


Anonymous said...

hi agian. i am the same way, from cheerleading as you know. that was my whole life, that is what defined me and that is what reinforced my self worth. i tried to go back to coaching as i was told i could not cheer myself anymore, but it was too much. it is hard, but its okay to have those moments to remember who you were before. they get easier to deal with and thank God you have good memories to hold onto!
talk to ya soon! -krista

By His Grace said...

Thanks Krista!! You are right, good memories abound!


Cleo said...

As you know, I am usually a very positive person and am able to maintain a cheerful countenance. Every now and then I need a little turn on the "pity pot" and time to shed a few tears. Afterwards I feel much better and can focus on the joys and blessings that remain. The time between gets further apart, but after almost 15 years I still have my moments.

Love you! --Cleo