I keep trying to think of a way to express how I feel right now, and no matter what I say it just sounds a bit over-the-top sentimental…
This time last year I was lying in a hospital bed, unable to even stand on my left leg. I was getting megadoses of any antibiotic that I could tolerate. My arms were riddled with IV holes & were raw and swollen from the endless effort to find good veins. I was feverish & exhausted. Vicodin was my constant companion. My friends were caring for my children as I was in the midst of a battle between several medical teams. I knew surgery was looming, the only question was exactly where and when. John was absolutely spent from the emotional and physical burdens placed on his shoulders.
And then this year….while John and the kiddos were at ComiCon, I raced in the State Champs Sprints with my outrigger canoe team and graduated from a ‘novice’ paddler to a full-fledged member of the team. I thought nothing of strolling all around Old Town Santa Barbara with friends, my left leg now strong and sure, only a deep pink seam and an indentation along the muscle on the inside of my calf as evidence of last year’s trauma.
Perhaps ironically, I am sick right now–fighting a nasty cough that’s left over from a bout with the flu last week. But it seems hardly anything to me in the larger scheme of things…
Life has such a fascinating and sometimes awful way of keeping me on my toes (literally and figuratively!). As I went swimming with my family this morning and dove down deep into the blue water, moving strongly & surely with each stroke, I couldn’t help but be grateful for experiencing the contrast between health and sickness. Knowing both makes me appreciate just how precious and beautiful every moment is–getting me through the dark days and helping me to recognize the light for just how very precious it is.
A favorite quotation of mine is “Quocunque Jeceris Stabit”* (you’ll occasionally see this phrase rotate through the various taglines that appear under my blogtitle). It’s the motto of the Isle of Man, the small UK nation of my maternal ancestors. Translated
from the Manx it means “Whichever Way You Throw Me, I Shall Stand.” I think of that phrase often on my life’s journey. I’ve been thrown and pummeled. I’ve lost some pretty significant chunks of my self along the way. But I also like knowing that–even if takes awhile–I will eventually overcome and emerge even stronger than before.
And thank you, friends, for all of your support and encouragement along this journey. There have been moments when I was carried by the love & goodwill from each of you. You are wonderful. :)
*UPDATE: As several of my language-savvy readers have pointed out, the phrase is Latin rather than Manx (I’m sure even my Latin-speaking son could’ve told me this!!). Here’s some background on the phrase from wikipedia:
For centuries, the island’s symbol has been its ancient triskelion, a device similar to Sicily’s Trinacria: three bent legs, each with a spur, joined at the thigh…
The three legs refer to the island’s motto (adopted late in the symbol’s history): Quocunque Jeceris Stabit, traditionally translated from Latin as ‘Whithersoever you throw it, it will stand’, or ‘Whichever way you throw it, it will stand’.
The origin of the ‘Three Legs of Man’ (as they are usually called) is explained in the Manx legend that Manannan repelled an invasion by transforming into the three legs and rolling down the hill and defeating the invaders.