In Sweet Company

In Sweet Company


Rising to the Occassion

posted by Margaret Wolff

“ The only way to restore harmony is to act with wisdom, integrity, stability and dignity.” — Grandmother Twylah Nitsch, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE

Six weeks ago I took a flying leap in a fancy restaurant, missed a couple of stairs and came crashing to my knees on an elegant white marble floor. The whole thing took me by surprise as things like this often do. At least until I landed and my thigh felt like it fast-tracked into my eyeball. That really got my attention.

I was in the front of the restaurant walking toward a friend we were meeting for dinner, attempting to get his attention. Someone opened the glass door onto the patio in the back of the restaurant. The flare of the setting sun ricocheted off the moving glass, flitted about the ceiling like Tinkerbell, and found a resting place in my eyes. The light was so bright and pure and encompassing that — until I hit the ground — I thought I was having a spiritual experience.

Everyone came to gawk. A handsome young doctor standing at the bar saw me fly through the air. He  rushed to my aid: “Hi! I’m a doctor, a pain management specialist. It would be a verrry good idea to have the EMT’s take you for an xray of that kneecap.” Long story short, I tore my quadriceps tendon and bruised parts of my knee I never knew I had. I took my femur out of my eye and began PT.

A month into my adventure, my husband and I decided to attend a conference in LA we had long planned to go to. There was no way I could walk around the hotel under my own steam, so after a great deal of hemming and hawing and whining, I rented a wheelchair from an agency in L.A. to get me where we wanted to go.

I don’t like to be hovered or fretted over. I absolutely don’t like to be dependent on others. Or be source of concern or a burden. My first instinct was to ditch the professional conference attire and get T-shirts made that said, “I fell. I’m fine. Not to worry. It’s temporary.” The entire situation was a perfect set-up to learn grace and patience, and to see myself as whole no matter how broken I appeared. I sucked it up and got on the plane.

When we arrived at the hotel, I had to talk myself into the chair. The ante had been upped. The rental company sent a portable wheelchair that looked like a throwback to the 19th century, a big, high-back, honking model with 36” wheels. I whined a bit, then decided that if this was the way the Universe wanted to play it, I would meet the challenge head on. Wagons ho!

People were kind. People were curious. Some made jokes. Some were horrified when they caught sight of me, mostly out of concern for me, occasionally out of fear that if “this” — whatever “this” was — could happen to me, it could happen to them, too. Someone asked me if I had Parkinson’s. A lot of strangers could not look me in the eye. My friend Steve, a former jet pilot, pushed me around the hotel like I was his personal F 18.

From my perch, I observed a lot I’d never never otherwise see bustling around a busy hotel on my hind legs: Mail slots. Wallets bulging out of back pockets. And a subculture of other wheelchair- bound attendees who instantly made me one of their own. They had never seen a chair like mine before. Was it comfortable? could I maneuver it myself? had I considered an electric model? They gave me tips to make the ride smoother. Waved as we passed in the halls. I was very glad I’d decided not to get those T-shirts made. I was embarrassed I’d been annoyed at having to sit in a wheelchair for one short week of my life.

Grace and patience come when we rise to occasion — not, I discovered, in the short term, but over time when we welcome what we cannot change by changing ourselves.

Your thoughts?



Advertisement
Comments read comments(1)
post a comment
paula

posted August 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm


well, mags, i did a similar trick about three months ago, two weeks after i finished radiation for breast cancer. i fell and broke my hip; worst kind of break possible, so i will be in a wheelchair for a year. i now can stand on my “good leg” for some pt exercises, and i feel like i’m milles from floors, furniture, et. i’m used to being munchkin height!
best 2 you!



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

In Sweet Company
Writing to an invisible audience, sweeping your heart out into a boundless Universe not knowing who is listening to it beat or whether the thump will be embraced or cast aside, is a courageous act. Fortunately for me, at some point during the writing of my last book, In Sweet Company: Conversations

posted 11:49:59am Aug. 29, 2012 | read full post »

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting In Sweet Company. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 2:07:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Hardwired for Compassion
... we grow in our understanding of God as we come to understand our own stories more fully. -- Rabbi Laura Geller, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE Recently a small group of kindred spirits gathered together at our house to celebrate the succ

posted 11:50:47am Jun. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Daddy's Girl
“... for me, spiritual practice is making the bed, defrosting dinner, and so on. It’s not magical or removed; it’s about how I discover and reveal myself as I do things that are ordinary.” -- Miriam Polster, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING THE SPIRITUAL

posted 5:35:03pm Jun. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Courting the Divine Mother
“Getting in touch with [this feminine, receptive side of our nature] can be a life-transforming experience because what we’re really talking about when we talk about receptivity is how we can be open to growing and evolving into more enlightened human beings.”  -- Lauren Artress, IN SWEET COM

posted 12:03:32pm May. 09, 2012 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.