It Comes in Waves

Making the Bed

As I was running around this morning going about my morning routine and “jobs,” I was overcome with sadness as I was making my daughter’s bed. It was totally unexpected. How many mornings have I woken up wishing I didn’t have to “make the beds?”  Wouldn’t it be nice to just get up and go about your day without having to make the bed? As I shook out her comforter I had to stop to let myself sob as I realized what a privilege it actually is to make the bed. How lucky I am to be able to shake out the comforter and duvet, smooth out the sheets and fluff up the pillows? Because let’s face it after the bed is made there’s a sense of accomplishment. It’s a fresh start to the day. It sets the tone for the new-ness of what’s to come. A freshly made bed. This is a task that Tracy will never be able to take pride in again as result of her spinal cord injury. It’s seems so mundane and so simple to those of us who are able-bodied, but in that wave of emotion this morning it represented something much more.

Wiping the Counter

As I was putting the dishes in the dishwasher and cleaning up the kitchen this morning, yet another wave hit me as I was wiping the kitchen countertop. I take great pride in a clean countertop. No one in our house can wipe the countertop the way I like it. I always have to re-do it. It needs to be streak free, without any crumbs or tidbits showing. I stand back to look at it to see if there are any spots I may have missed and will often re do it several times until I feel its right. I know, it’s controlling and a bit OCD, but again it gives me great comfort and satisfaction. I feel like once it’s done perfectly I can then go on about my day with a sense of order and accomplishment. But, as I wiped and re-wiped vigorously this morning I sobbed, thinking… how would I cope if I couldn’t wipe my countertop ever again? What would I do? Where would those small moments of accomplishment, order, freshness come from? Having to rely on other people to do everything for you and hopefully they get it right.

Be Grateful for being able to do daily chores!

  • nancy johnston

    “It comes in waves” is an elegant and heartbreaking take on the clarity that comes with loss.
    My heart breaks for you and your sister and the loss of the life and freedom she had.
    I have no doubt that you and she will come to inspire so many with your courage and strength as you both already have.
    When I left my marriage, my mother said “let people in, let them help, it is generous of you” I loved that and had never considered it this way.
    God bless you both.

  • Bette

    I think it’s only natural to have those moments. I know that since hearing of Tracy’s accident, I have those moments too. I used to hate sweeping my kitchen floors, and now I actually look forward to it, just because I can. I can’t imagine what Tracy is going through feeling trapped in her body. She was such an active and involved person, and now has to stay still. It’s going to be quite a challenge for her to let others do things their own way, and not necessarily her way and being able to let go of the control.