I should not be up this late…I know I will regret it. But I just could not imagine shutting down for a bit for surgery without a word or two about the past few days which although have been tiring, challenging and emotional have been more rewarding than anything else.
Fretting almost frantically that I was ill prepared for this weeks big undertaking, I decided to press on best I could with a different plan in mind: what was important to me. Not the constant upkeep of the house, the food shopping or getting all my “ducks in a row” so to speak…but to just do what I needed to do. After all my last blog was about the fact that I had been feeling extremely anxious and ill at ease because of this. So be it.
But it is strange how what you really seek can come about in unexpected packages.
Last week, a simple post on my friends Facebook Timeline alerted the community of artists here in the LA area connected to her that a family was desperately in need because their child has a life threatening and rare health condition, and current insurance conditions are not available or adequate. Although the website posted by the family tells their heartbreaking story (they have sadly already lost one precious child to this type of illness, an unfortunate experience I can identify with) with opportunities to donate money directly, that was not the idea here. A selfless friend, already experiencing her own big-life issues (her mother was expected to pass away this week and her father very ill as well) had quickly organized an art show for artists to create artwork or donate existing artwork for an auction to see if money could be raised to help the family. It was like striking a match to hay.
Within just 48 hours I saw this post take hold as people dropped everything and went to work creating art or digging through their existing collections and portfolios for something worthy of the cause. I saw myself as my friends posted my friends post. And not long after, that art started to appear. People scanned what they had did, or had done, and posted it to their pages. Inspired, I went to work on my own. My new thing lately is-just create it. It does not have to be perfect, just go for it. So Sunday afternoon, after catching up on my sleep from another event in which I participated to raise money for the museum my husband works for, I came up with a little piece to donate to the show. My mother also donated one of her past beautiful works and my cousin sent three original pottery pieces she created perfectly boxed and shipped faster than I had even expected. And one of my favorite parts of this little adventure is it brought an old friend back into my life I had gone to high school with and worked with during college. We chatted for an hour catching up whilst making arrangements to get her piece here and talked about that there had to be a bigger reason this little boy is was very ill had brought so many people together. The next day my two close friends and their children got together with me so I could transfer all the artwork to them for the auction and accompany me to visit the grave of my daughter at the cemetery with beautiful flowers and Easter trinkets. I, along with one of my friends, had a screaming migraine during all of this, but somehow we managed as usual to ignore the “background noise” and be as present as possible. At the end of a long day with little sleep and a lot of pain, I was filled with nothing but gratitude for my family and friends love, my health, and my life in general.
As I folded laundry tonight anticipating a week or more of needing clean and comfortable sweats and pajamas for the initial recovery, I thought, wow. I am standing here folding laundry. I was able to get something I enjoyed doing in my studio this week. I just had a great dinner with my Mom and husband and my father and step mom visit tomorrow to help take care of me. My friends cared and loved me enough to be sure I was not alone (since my husband had to work) to visit my precious daughter at the cemetery as they always have. That I had a great lunch out with them and my Godson and the other children laughing and having a good time. That I am HERE. That I will be ok. And I might grumble and complain, but I am HERE. It hit me again how lucky I am.
So if I am lucky enough to be writing this right now then I can try, in even the smallest way, to change something. Maybe not just myself, but the lives of others, for good. My long lost high school friend said my posts had been very inspiring to people I did not even know. I was very touched and encouraged by this. And now I will get to the point…(hey, cut me some slack here, it is late, and this is not the New York Times or anything like that!)
The chiropractor I work for a few days a week always has me put a new quote up on the dry erase board each month to inspire patients. Today’s quote: "If you don't like something, change it: if you can't change it, change the way you think about it." from artist Mary Engelbreit. Interestingly enough, this same quote was shared this evening on Facebook by cancer survivor and blogger from The Silver Pen:
Dr. Angelou's might be slightly different, but it is all the same. And I take this as a sign. Change the way I think about stuff I cannot change. I do not like the fact that I have to go back into surgery this Friday and do the whole process over again. As a matter of fact I have been downright selfish about it moaning and complaining to my husband and family and select friends that I just dread it. That I hate that my life is getting interrupted again with days on end of healing and not being able to do much- not to mention having to rely on others for help. That all over again, it will leave me tired and out of shape and behind in all I want to do and accomplish in the face of Fibromyalgia. That I am so incredibly exhausted I feel like I have barely recovered from the last ordeal. But I also do not like the fact that we live in a country where an innocent child has to suffer because he or she has health issues that are out of financial reach. But you cannot fight city hall or the attitudes of those in this country who feel health care is a privilege. In the meantime, I can change the way I think about things like this. I can try to participate in helping the situation. I can change the way I think about my surgery this week because I am far luckier that is all I have to worry about when this child and this family times millions the world over, have way bigger and scarier life threatening things to deal with than I do. I often call this “getting out of yourself.” When my fibro allows me, it can be very liberating.
I am not minimizing what us spoonies go through on a daily basis. We can only do what we can do sometimes. We are not always able to get out and help others because our health simply will not allow it. But the times that we can do it? WATCH OUT!!
My very best to the Adam’s Family and although I will not be able to participate in the auction tomorrow night, I will be there in spirit, hoping every piece sells and provides some relief for them. And perhaps, it is just a start.
If you happen to be in the LA area, and you want to browse the amazing talented art of animation as well as other artists with good company, food and drink on Thursday April 5th, here is the information: