Letting Go and Letting Others Help

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I’ll admit it, I’ve always been a “glass half full” person, but this summer was a test for me!

At the end of June I tripped, sailed through the air, and landed badly. I ended up in the ER with two broken arms, three cuts on my hand/wrist needing stitches, and a cut on my head. I had two useless arms and hands. Apparently my husband saw this more clearly than I did in the beginning because he snuck out to call an adult daughter to ask “but how is she going to go to the bathroom????”

Everyone says it was a tragedy; single women especially project themselves into that scenario and show fear on their faces. I understand where they all are coming from – I felt scared the first few days, totally unable to care for myself.

But for five days, my husband never left my side. He fed, showered and dressed me, and yes, helped me in the bathroom. My eldest daughter, who is an occupational therapist, was out of work with a hurt back so we convalesced together while she taught us the tricks of her trade to help me feel some independence. My youngest daughter arrived with a juicer and big can of protein powder. She made me a large assortment of fruit-based and vegetable-based protein shakes, that I could hold between my casted hands, and filled my refrigerator and freezer. My middle daughter helped organize my home to make it more accessible for me and reduce my stress.

Friends helped take care of my dog and two cats, brought casseroles that my husband could heat up for dinner, visited and phoned to help my days go by faster, even delivered a big bag of Spiritual Cinema films. My instructor allowed me to take my class via speaker phone so I felt included, and Visiting Nurse Services sent nurses, a PT, an OT, and CNAs to help with showers and dressing.

Because of all this, I refer to this summer as my Six Weeks of Inconvenience. I understand from the doctors that I was fortunate not to have lost consciousness nor have a concussion; I also had a cut on my wrist that just missed a vein. I am very fortunate to have a loving family and caring friends. God reminded me that I am truly blessed. I have learned great humility being fed, cleaned and showered. I have learned patience letting go and allowing others to do things on their own timetable and using their methods. And I have really worked my gratitude muscles!

Eileen Santos

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Pat Hastings

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