Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's been 15 years and this is still my favorite quote:

From an address delivered on 22 September 1996 at the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
By President Gordon B. Hinckley

I have enjoyed these words of Jenkins Lloyd Jones, which I clipped from the newspaper some years ago. Said he:

“[The fact is] most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. …

“Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.

“The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride” (Jenkins Lloyd Jones, “Big Rock Candy Mountains,” Deseret News, 12 June 1973, A4).

Here is my next favorite.

“You Have Nothing to Fear from the Journey"
Elder M. Russell Ballard
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
May 1997
No matter how difficult the trail … we can take comfort in knowing
that others before us have borne life’s most grievous trials and tragedies by looking to heaven.

Life isn’t always easy. At some point in our journey we may feel much as the pioneers did as they crossed Iowa—up to our knees in mud, forced to bury some of our dreams along the way. We all face rocky ridges, with the wind in our face and winter coming on too soon. Sometimes it seems as though there is no end to the dust that stings our eyes and clouds our vision. Sharp edges of despair and discouragement jut out of the terrain to slow our passage. Always, there is a Devil’s Gate, which will swing wide open to lure us in. Those who are wise and faithful will steer a course as far from such temptation as possible, while others—sometimes those who are nearest and dearest to us—succumb to the attraction of ease, comfort, convenience, and rest. Occasionally we reach the top of one summit in life, as the pioneers did, only to see more mountain peaks ahead, higher and more challenging than the one we have just traversed. Tapping unseen reservoirs of faith and endurance, we, as did our forebears, inch ever forward toward that day when our voices can join with those of all pioneers who have endured in faith, singing: “All is well! All is well!” (Hymns, no. 30).

This blog post is years in the writing. As I started I realized this is going to be more than one post. This is about me and my rail journey. There will be fellow travelers mentioned. There will be tears and joy, bumps, jolts, delays, sidetracks and some beautiful vistas. The story is not over, it has reached the point where I can tell it in my own way and at my own speed. I can share what I want.

May 17, 1997 was a Saturday. We had just got home from vacation the night before and had done yard work all day. We went for a ride on the Harley and got hit by a car. It was that simple. There were somethings like the voice I heard that asked me what I would do if something happened and my response to the voice. The simple fact is we got hit.

I remember it happening. I remember the people on the highway that stopped to help. I remember the ambulance ride. I remember the emergency room and knowing people there (I worked at ths hospital).
Then I remember waking up a few days later. Then remember mom and dad leaving me at the hospital and me going back to surgery. I remember my sister coming and staying with me because of my bad dreams. I remember hurting and crying. I really do remember it all.

I am so grateful for the visitors that I had, for the wonderful nurses, LPN's, CNA's, PT's, social workers and all the people that took care of me.

Yes that following are pictures, gross maybe a little.

The scab, it was huge and really cool. Dr Omar (not his real name), was sad he wasn't there when it came off. That is all.

My big toe and the missing nail. I never knew anything could hurt as bad as that did and sometimes still does. Those who weren't in the know would try and lift my leg by grabbing my toes. They usually only made the mistake once. I loved it when someone would go to lift my leg or try and put a blanket over my foot and a shout would come from the hall "Don't touch her toe!" I learned to levitate.

I did ask Dr. Omar what he used to lash my leg together, cause that's what the stitch scars look like. I do have some really cool scars. I don't need tattoos. I counted them once I think there are 37 scars, I have stopped finding new ones, that was always a surprise when it happened.
There are many stories I can tell you about my left leg and it's various wounds. Thank you "Sir Joseph" for taking over and cleaning the donor site. Oh, thanks Corky for the corkie-cloths. I did just about squeeze the cotton out of those wash cloths. I will never forget the leg shaving parties, Geoff, you are one of my heros.

My external fixator or device of medival torture. What can I say. I know. I really could write a book about "pin care". I think about having the pins cleaned twice a day, everyday and it brings a flood of memories. When it hurt it really, really hurt. When it didn't hurt having the pins cleaned was a fun chat session. Thank you Dr. H for putting up with me and putting my pelvis back together. I was knee deep in mud.

One of the things I learned is not to measure with the wrong yardstick. You can't measure wellnes at all with it.
My baby turned 13 while I was in the hospital. She got to have her party at the hospital, it wasn't what she wanted, it wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to go buy her presents and make a cake and be home with her. If I could sit up for 15 minutes I was going to be allowed to go via wheelchair to the gift shop and buy her a birthday card. It was only 15 minutes and I couldn't do it. It still makes me cry. I was reminded, thanks Reese, that my daughter still had a mother, that was more important. I could sit up. I had parents that went to the gift shop, picked out some cards, brought them to me and I got to choose which one I wanted for her. I felt like I had to bury a dream. Wonderful nurses decorated my room door for her.

The day I left the hospital. Janet fly to Oregon with me. I am so grateful for Janet and her family. I was discharged from the hospital via cabulance to the airport to another cabulance to my sister's house. Talk about disrupting a household and I did it well. Thanks for letting Heather and I stay there.
Here are Linette, Sandy and Reese and the grand farewell. Reese holds a special place in my heart.

Loaded up and ready to go. Leaving the known for the unknown. "Beyond this place there be dragons", this is from "Out of Africa" during a discussion of ancient maps and map makers.

I have a notebook that visitors were able to write in. Many of my caregivers also wrote things to me. I treasure each one. This however is my favorite after the notes from Heather.
It will be discussed more in the future.

hmmm, didn't take as long as I thought...there is stay tuned...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh the memories! There were a lot of laughs and a few tears shared in the hospital room. Do you know that I still think about braiding leg hair when I go a little long between shaves? I love you!
Emily Lloyd Nielson