Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Saturday, September 27, 2014

There is an appointed time for everything.....

I've always loved the scripture reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes that outlines a time for everything...a time to weep, a time to dance......  For me there was an appointed time to walk, hike, ride a bike, kayak, drive my car, and be smug because of my perfect health!  But, in a flash that all changed in Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine.

In a matter of minutes I went from this picture of health in front of Bubble Pond
to this after I fell off my bike
God sent several angels to make sure I'd get to the hospital safely.  The man on the right told me he was an EMT and also volunteered for Ski Patrol.  The man on the left is an anethesiologist who got a floor mat out of his car to rig up a splint for the trip to the hospital. 
I never once felt any pain!  
Mt. Desert Island Hospital - Karen said she knew it was a small hospital because the Main Entrance and the ER entrance are through the same door!
Pain Free through the check in process.
Seeing the X-Ray made it seem more real.  How lucky could I be that the 25 bed hospital had a full time orthopedic surgeon on call day and night?  Dr. Stuart Davidson performed surgery around 6 PM,  stabilized my ankle with plates and lots of screws!

Dr. Davidson overseeing the outcome of his work!
By 9 AM the next day I was ready to get up and walk with this cute therapist.  He seemed impressed that I already knew how to use a walker.  "Well, I learned something over 25 years as a director of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities," I told him.  I often reminded the residents who struggled with their walkers to get close in, don't stretch too far etc.  The morphine and hydros really kept me pain free and vitals were good so we exited this sweet hospital around 2 PM and headed to Cape Cod in Dena's rented car.  

I breathed a sigh of gratitude when Karen and Dena were willing to continue our planned trip to Cape Cod.  I'd rented a house and the three of us planned to continue exploring, biking, and watching sunsets on the historic Cape.  We talked about other options, but I could not imagine getting on an airplane and enduring that journey right after surgery.  So, Dena, our angel project manager, took to the wheel and drove seven hours in the rain to Dennis Port, Cape Cod!  The house proved to be perfect for my recovery.  We each had our own bedroom and they gave me the biggest, most comfortable bed.  I felt so loved and cared for - lots of time to sleep, rest, and enjoy their stories of walking in the neighborhood, finding their way to several beaches, and discovering the best clam chowder I've ever eaten.
The house, a typical Cape Cod style, built in the 1960's provided so much comfort for the 3 days we stayed there.  The owner, Jerry, called us several times on the house land line.  He offered several suggestions for sight seeing - places I could enjoy.  
Dena took this picture of turkeys in a house close by and the morning view of Haigis Beach.
West Dennis Beach
Karen loved the sweet houses, many with colored shutters and doors.
I didn't miss a thing!  We rented a wheelchair one day and drove up the Cape to Provincetown!  Someone in our group had Lobster everyday.

On Tuesday Karen and Dena rented bicycles and rode the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  I enjoyed it with them via the pictures that were taken.  
We saw some gorgeous sunsets!  Dena took this lovely picture of the Harwich Port Harbor the night before we left. 

Back home now I have a lot of time to sit and reflect on the blessings of my life, the daily scripture readings, and the "if only I would've stayed on the trail."  The traumatic episode taught me to focus on God's incredible love for me and I found myself relieving my anxiety by breathing in God's love and breathing out gratitude for all the people caring for me.  I've learned it does no good to re-live the event and criticize myself for getting off the bike trail and taking a short cut through the trees.  I can't have a do-over.   Today I read a section of Psalm 90 - a message about the beautiful fragility of human life.  Quoting from Macrina Weiderkehr's reflection, "For God, time is just a yesterday--a day gone by--but for human beings, time can be problematic.  We are always losing it, wasting it, trying to make it last forever.  It does not last forever....while there is yet time, embrace it just as God embraces the hours of our lives."  I heard Macrina's suggestion for me as I prepare for weeks of healing, "walk through these weeks, enjoying the daybreaks, the rising and setting sun.  Honor the wisdom you are gathering each day.  While you still have the breath of life, honor that breath.  Breathe with awareness."  The scripture and reflection helps me to know that this healing time will be a precious time of awareness.  How often do I really enjoy the daybreak?  Or appreciate a phone call and visit from family and friends?  Now I have time to rest, to work on projects never finished, do a little writing, and truly pray for family and friends suffering in many ways.  I pray for the strength to embrace the gift of time and breathe with awareness!  

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