Friday, 13 June 2014

Please Turn Over.

The Greater Spotted Ladybird appears in the garden. Summer has come and I'm here to appreciate it all.
But I'm also thinking of having Please Turn Over tattooed on my back, and Do Not Resuscitate on the front because I've been given the realisation that I am no longer invincible, and that when you get to three score years and fourteen things can go wrong and can't always be put right. Ageing is not something that you recover from, but something that you must acknowledge and accept with a strong dose of realism.
Nine weeks after surgery and I have learned a lot. I begin to emerge, battered, scarred and humbled from a series of unexpected events.

Life will not be the same, for a variety of complex reasons, but as my recent weeks have been so full of waiting rooms and appointments relating to health matters I don't want to write about that.
What I want to write about is the overwhelming kindness and support from so many people.

I am not good at asking for help, and I haven't had to ask.
In hospital I was touched by the kindness of people who knew the exact angle to bend a drinking straw, and who made time, one long and painful weekend, to come and sit with me and tell me their stories. I was touched by the thoughtfulness of a lady in the kitchen who made tiny pots of jelly in the hope that I might be allowed to eat them, and the nurse who was determined to find some pain control that worked.
I was made to feel a great success for being able to sit up, stand up and walk. I was assured that I was doing so well, so much better than most people, being brave and determined. Brilliant in fact. (Also rubbish - I was a mess, but it's still very powerful to be made to feel good, especially in one's most fragile moments.)

Then I came home, and people appeared and told me what they were going to do - make me a drink, change my compression socks, weed the garden, put me in the car and take me up the hills (and bring me back again!), do some shopping, escort me to my many appointments, bring a meal and share it with me.
Sons and wife and partner have travelled considerable distances and cut lawns and vines and hedges, moved heavy things, made me smile and reinforced the message that life goes on.
Grand-daughter has come and sat on my lap, reading books very carefully and then danced and pranced and run around and made me laugh.
Fellow bloggers have expressed concerns and sent kind thoughts, and one has the specialised ability to be very, very supportive (you know who you are, especially Zhoen). And I have not been able to respond, but still the kindness and thoughtfulness has poured in. I am very grateful.

I begin to emerge, accepting that life has changed and I must change with it, acknowledging the things I can no longer do, and getting on with what I can and must do. The tattoo, or at least the clear recording of my wishes is important. But even more important has been the realisation and acceptance of the kindness and thoughtfulness that surrounds me.
I am a lucky old person.


Marigold Jam said...

How good it was to see your name pop up on my reading list once again. I am glad that you feel able to sit and write a post and hope that you will continue to make good progress if not back to the person you once were than to one you recognise and can accept! None of us know just when something might happen to knock us off our pedestals as it were and if/when that day arrives I hope we all have the same courageous attitude that you obviously have. Welcome back - just in time for summery days eh? Enjoy some time sitting in your garden in the sunshine.

mm said...

So glad you are back, RR. You have been much on my mind of late. It sounds as if these past few months have been gruelling, to say the least, and it is good to know that you have been so well supported and taken care of.

Rest, enjoy the summer and I hope the progress continues.

That photograph is lovely, btw.

Zhoen said...

So glad you got the help you needed, in the right package. So much easier to accept specific, "I'm already doing it.." help, and nearly impossible to suggest when offered "anything."

Cheers me to know of others in my profession doing what we should be doing. We are an odd breed, when we do it right.

Life changes in an instant, at any age. We get what everyone gets, a lifetime. Savor the sight of ladybugs in gardens, pour out gratitude, life is fabulous.

And I did nothing special. Selfishly wanted more time with you.

Elephant's Child said...

I love that you received care, concern and kindness. And that you acknowledge it.
Both are wonderful - as are Ladybirds.
I hope you continue to do well. Or better than that.

Frances said...

Yes, it's so good to see you back, Relatively Retiring, after such an ordeal. Very best wishes for a restorative convalescence.

gz said...

Glad you're back! Did you know that you're the same age as The Pirate?
It is good to appreciate what is around you- and be appreciated too.

Relatively Retiring said...

Thank you all for your very kind comments.

Peregrina said...

So pleased to see you are feeling well enough to write again, R.R. I've been thinking of you.

I'm glad to see you have your own special ladybird. They're wonderful little creatures to have in the garden!

pohanginapete said...

Your suggested tattoos remind me of a climber's helmet I once saw. On the top of the helmet were just two words: 'Dig here'.

I'm looking forward to meeting that ladybird. Soon, I trust.

Leslee said...

So glad to see you back here! Sorry to hear that it's been so grueling, though happy to see that you've had lots of help from many lovely people around you. Wishing you continued healing. As others have said, at least you can recuperate in the long days of summer and not while trying to combat winter. Be well!

Isabelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isabelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isabelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isabelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isabelle said...

Argh, the comment thing is not behaving!! It said my code thing was wrong so I kept trying to post the comment and then it posted it 5 times and I tried to delete 4 of them and all 5 deleted themselves. Gah. Anyway - lovely to see you back.

Fire Bird said...

Welcome back to blogsville. Sounds like quite a journey you've been on. So glad you have been loved and looked after.

Anonymous said...

Balance your spiritual energy and get in harmony with your soul by practicing these Radha-Krishna meditations.

Sri Gita Govinda
-A book written in the 12th century, this is a description of the intimate loving affairs of Radha and Krishna

Govinda Lilamrta
-An 400 year old book which poetically describes the eternal daily pastimes of Radha and Krishna

Ananda Vrindavan Campu
-This is probably the most poetic and intimate portrayal of Sri Krsna’s life in Vrndavana that has ever been written.

Prayers of Service to Radha and Krishna (Sankalpa Kalpadruma)

Prema Samputa The Treasure Chest of Love

And the following four are taken from Visvanath Cakravarti's Camatkara Candrika, a 300 year old scripture that talks about the love meeting of Radha and Krishna:

The Meeting in the Box

The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as a Female Doctor

The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as a Female Singer

The Meeting of Sri Krishna Disguised as Abhimanyu

And lastly, we have the supreme scripture which describes the 24 hour daily loving affairs of Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan, called Bhavanasara Sangraha. This book is now available on Amazon for Kindle, for only $3.49

Here is a 41 page sample of Bhavanasara Sangraha:

The above book can also be read on your PC using Amazon Kindle for PC, download here for free: