Sometimes living with a chronic illness can be a bummer. Okay, who are we kiddin’? A lot of times it can be a bummer! Take yesterday, for example.
I thought, ‘Today it is raining. Today Boo and I will bake. Today Boo and I will bake banana bread. After all, we have nine very brown and mushy bananas and Grammie must teach Boo good stewardship of the things God has entrusted to us, and that includes brown bananas. So today we will bake. Today Boo will have a blast getting flour all over the floor as she dons her little pink apron and assists me in the process.’
And she did have a blast. Sure there was flour most everywhere. But she had a great time. A little flour, some chocolate sprinkles, some grainy, raw sugar… didn’t take much else in her own blue and orange bowls to make her day.
While Grammie mixed the pureed bananas with some flour and sugar of her own, little Boo was scooping ‘humongous and teeny tiny’ tablespoonfuls of flour, identifying each one as she scooped. After all, ‘humongous’ is often the word on the street on Sesame Street, according to Murray.
After adding some chocolate chips and walnuts to the mixture, we pushed the loaves (4½, to be exact) into the preheated oven. One hour later, we pulled them out. After allowing them to cool, we cut into one. It was still warm and the chocolate chips gooey. They passed the taste test and so I wrapped one in foil and Boo and I walked next door to our neighbor. After taking Boo home, I came back and wrapped up two other loaves and walked them across the street to our other neighbors. The first neighbor accepted it graciously. I walked down the stairs of that house and over to the next. The rain was coming down hard, but I didn’t mind.
I walked up the stairs of the second home and knocked. The man of the house answered and his eyes lit up as he saw what I held. After a few seconds of conversation, I bid him farewell and turned to walk down the stairs. Only, I didn’t walk. I took one step and literally slid down the five steps to the concrete below.
Pulling myself up slowly, I realized nothing was broken but my pride. The man of the house felt terrible. I wanted to assure him that I felt worse – physically and emotionally – but I didn’t say anything, for the pain that seared through my leg was enough to keep me from adding my two cents worth. It was slick. It was raining. But I also know I misjudged that first step because of this stupid (I’m not supposed to say that word around Boo) disease. Bummer. Add that to the slick part and… super bummer.
So, today I have a two to three inch bruise that runs from my hip to my ankle on my left side, a lump the size of a half chocolate Bordeaux Easter egg from See’s (yum), and a scrape the length of a banana slug on my shin and oh, I should mention it hurts like the dickens. But you know what? Today I went for a walk with my neighbor in the rain and it was wonderful because she also walks slow and while we walked, she told me one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard but I can’t ever repeat it. And today Boo giggled harder than I’ve ever seen her giggle – after she had some banana bread, of course. And tonight my son smiled (there was a point in his life where he didn’t). And this afternoon I finally got a hold of my daughter and heard her sweet voice. And my wonderful husband made dinner. I don’t remember what it was but it was good (I do remember that!). He also did the dishes.
I can sit and question why things happen the way they do, but it is such a waste of my time. Life is so short and each day seems to get shorter, with one more ache or pain, to choose or not to focus on. Instead, I want to wake up each morning asking, “Just one, Lord. Let me do something good today for just one person.” And sometimes it might mean taking a loaf of warm bread to a neighbor and, for whatever reason, landing on your butt. But I’d do it again…
…and next time – take a different exit home.