The Ugly Truth
todays post is one i know will get to your heart. it is from my sweet gitz. the woman i go to for wisdom and perspective and a good kick in the butt!
Confessions of a Homebound Girl: The Ugly Truth
Ok, so when I told Tam I’d love to do a guest post for her, as long as she picked the topic for me, this is the title she chose:Confessions of a Homebound Girl: The Ugly Truth. It sounds like there should be a dun dun dun after it, does it? 🙂
I had to sit with it for a day or so, because I’m not a girl who usually looks at my life as having an ugly truth. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the ugly truth is this: Life isn’t fair. And balance has nothing to do with things being equal.
I wasn’t always sick. I used to be outgoing and on the move. I was a singer, loved to work out and dance and volunteer for anything and everything. I was the first to throw a get-together and the first to RSVP when someone else did. I grew up an Iowa farm girl, loved being outside and spent as much time at the lake skiing and enjoying the sunshine as our schedule allowed.
Now, I’m confined to a small condo with my sweet pup Riley. I won’t feel sunshine on my skin or breathe the fresh air ever again. Being on the go for me now consists of ambling behind my walker [which I affectionately named George] from one room to the next when I have enough energy. Life isn’t fair.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
What we tend to forget is that we created the idea of fair… God didn’t. He never told us we deserve a perfect existence. He never told us life would be simple if we were faithful. He just told us to be faithful, and that He would be, too. I embraced that concept and realized that as long as I stay focused on Him and what He needs from me, rather than what I want for me, my life will be full and balanced. Not fair. Not good and bad in what I consider equal measure. But balanced with His mercy… an ugly truth partnered with a beautiful one.
The ugly truth is that I wake up in the morning, after a fitful night of sleep, with more pain than my brain can register. I wake up, take my meds and spend about an hour trying to figure out the best way to get out of bed that day. The beautiful truth is that I have this little white pup who lays with me regardless of how long it takes. He’s like my own physical therapy as I pet him and try to get my fingers and arms moving. If I close my eyes again, he snuggles with me, and if I open them he plays hide and seek with the covers to keep me entertained until I can sit up and start moving.
The ugly truth is that it became dangerous for me to do something as simple as shower because stepping into the tub was a major feat. Taking a bath, while therapeutic, was impossible because I couldn’t get down into the tub, and if I did I certainly would never have been able to get back up. The beautiful truth is that my Ill and Handicap Waiver provided me with a walk-in bathtub, ensuring my safety and comfort… but more importantly, it ensured my independence.
The ugly truth is that I spend at least 95% of my life in seclusion. I can only let perfectly healthy people into my condo. If you come in with an ear infection, I could wind up with pneumonia. The ugly truth is that while my life came to a standstill, everyone else’s lives continued to get busier, which means I can go long periods of time alone. I sometimes go many months not seeing anyone but my home nurses, Dawn [who cleans my home every other week] and Linda [who delivers groceries]. And sometimes I don’t even see them if they are sick or around sick people. The beautiful truth is that I feel connected. My friends call, they Skype, they videotape the school concerts I’m missing of their kids, they tell me in detail about the events I miss and the daily happenings I so want to be a part of.
The ugly truth is that I don’t care about what I can’t do for myself… I care about what I can’t do for others. I care about not being there for my nieces and nephews… their future graduations and weddings and joys and sorrows. I care about not being there for people I love when someone dies, when they need consoling and my arms can’t be wrapped around them. The ugly truth is that I’m fine with what I have lost… I’m not fine with what I can no longer give.
The beautiful truth is that I was able to spend many years establishing relationships that last beyond the physical boundaries. The beautiful truth is that, while I can’t leave my home to be with them, I am always home to take their calls. I get to be their refuge away from their realities. The beautiful truth is that I still get to serve them, I just serve them differently.
The ugly truth is that I had to let go of my dream of writing to make a living, but once I started blogging I realized I was writing to make a life. To meet new people. To open up my world. To fill my life with authentic relationships I would never have been exposed to had I been given the chance to live the busy life I always dreamed of having.
The beautiful truth is that being homebound isn’t limiting my life. It’s just limiting my location.