It has been five weeks since my surgeries. If it doesn’t snow too much Saturday I will once again be in the presence of my church community for a Saturday dinner church-like event that will honor the participants sense of being a community. I expect that my emotions will be running strong as I consecrate the communion elements again and we honor the sacrament of friendship — but the gathering is rather intimate and emotions feel welcome in smaller settings.
You see I am coming back wounded AND also more whole than before.
I am not done recovering, but I am healing. I am still processing how my brush with my mortality is not so different from more common losses such as grieving, suffering physical pain, feeling emotionally confused, having to redefine what you thought you knew about so many things. The loss of old patterns and adapting to new life practices is something we experience all the time.
That first week in the hospital after open heart surgery was an eye opener. The view from a critical care room is stark and clear – you are traumatized, vulnerable and reliant on others like never before. Wheelchairs and walkers and oxygen tanks attune a person to a different speed of moving through life.
Support belts (just in case) remind you for your need for someone to have your back.
Our bodies tell us the truth of life that our minds can deny. Right now, my body does not allow me to postpone consequences. If I visit too long and use up my energy then it is time for a nap. If I hold my breath while changing positions it will hurt more than breathing through it. Forgetting to hydrate properly and my internal digestive, circulatory and neurology departments will each send out their reminders. This week I began exercising my arms (instead of just my legs) and later in the day each breath I drew became painful from my sternum soreness.
So I am listening to my body even as I look forward to rejoining the body of Christ at Prince of Peace.