The Anniversary Of That First Dawn

the Palinode asleep

One year ago today was the Palinode's first day back at home after having back surgery for both a broken vertebrae and a herniated disc larger than any the surgeon had ever seen. There was still a 15% chance that he would be crippled forever, but as I watched the sun come up over pill bottles, a massage wand, and a walker on that first morning, I felt such hopeful relief. My cancer was gone, and he had finally had his surgery and could move without screaming. We were somewhere different than we were the day before.

I looked forward to his being able to reach into the cupboard for a water glass again. I looked forward to not having to live like elderly shut-ins. There would hopefully be no more begging for larger doses of pain medication and doctors asking me whether he wet the bed at night yet. That first sunrise felt like the dawn of a new age to my weary spirit.

Over the last few months, I have been struggling through an uphill battle against pretty heavy waves of anxiety and depression, and the same man who could barely move a year ago is the one who now strokes my brow, holds my hand, and brings home gyoza from our favourite sushi restaurant when I have had a particularly hard day.

This is why, when I came across the above picture from 365 days ago, I wept.

That feels like lying. I did more than weep a few pansy tears. I sobbed. Tears poured down my face and dripped from my chin. They ran down my throat in salty streams. My eyeglasses spattered with salt water. I pushed the laptop away when tears started to fall through the keys on the keyboard. I do not remember when I last cried with such chest-heaving abandon. It took two muscle relaxants, an extra-strength ibuprofen, and a heaping bowl of spinach fettuccine to come down from the assault.

I cried out of both gratitude and painful emotions. Life is not an easy process, a fact which has been made quite plain over the last more than 35 years. It is a measure of both blessing and curse, and the Palinode is my blessing, one that empowers and inspires me. I said it a year ago, and I still believe it today: this is "...a life I would have no other way."

I am a participant in NaBloPoMo 2008, a challenge to write 30 posts in 30 days during the month of November. "National Blog Posting Month is the epicenter of daily blogging!"

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