This writing is not about marketing my recent art work, or reminding people of upcoming holidays. Instead, it’s an expression of my gratitude for the people in my life….
About a week and a half ago I had shoulder surgery on my right side. In February, I obliterated the joint. In March there were two failed attempts at repairing the damage I’d suffered. Instead of shoulder repair during rounds one and two in March, I ended up with new parts in my heart and circulatory system that I hadn’t counted on. Shoulder surgery was delayed until the heart healed.
In the months prior to the arm operation and with fair warning from the surgeon, and on-going “discomfort” on my entire right side, I “practiced” functioning around here, left-handed. Feeding Skip left-handed. Cooking bacon and eggs left-handed. Doing laundry left-handed. Work on the rocking horses AND my artwork, left-handed. Having lived alone for a number of years, I even practiced driving the car left-handed, knowing that after the operation, there would be follow-up doctor calls… Trips to the grocery or lumber yard…
Up until a few days ago I thought I was ready. Early on, with Roxannes help, I’d prepared quite a few meals and had them stored in the freezer, where all I had to do was pop them in the microwave. I’d bought nearly a case of tomato juice, several bags of “greenies” for Skip, two or three litres of ginger ale, several containers of “Natures Blessed” cherry juice (one of my favorites), a couple of gallons of milk, and most importantly, 3 pounds of “Black Silk” coffee. After all, there are several things in life one cannot live without. Tomato juice. Milk. Oreo cookies… Coffee.
I have done nothing but complain since my operation. The pain has been intolerable and I’ve fussed about THAT a lot. But, thank goodness Dr. Truman didn’t completely immobilize me. Instead of the threatened body cast, I STILL had limited use of my right hand after the operation. BUT, my stubbornness and unwillingness to accept defeat and limitations and try to ignore the pain has caused some difficulty… I am NOT a good patient.
With the combination of Oxycodone, cyclobenzaprine and hydrocodone, I ignore the pain that is there… Quite frankly, this combination doesn’t erase the pain. It just makes me not care. I’ve missed a couple of previously committed social events because of the pain and inability to safely get around. A couple of days ago a package arrived in the mail, containing MANY of my favorites; Bite sized Oreo cookies, peanut butter crackers, cream cheese & chives crackers AND an ultra-soft, purple ribbon-adorned teddy bear! My dear friend Karen included a note, almost apologizing for things she may have forgotten in the care package! The gifts were unexpected, and certainly a welcomed surprise. Arrival of the package brought me to tears. Ok, so maybe even without the meds I’m somewhat emotional over such things. It felt nice to be thought of!
That same afternoon, tragedy befelled me… I was making coffee when a bolt of lightning ran through my shoulder down my arm and into my hand… Which resulted in a shattered coffee pot, a REAL mess on the kitchen floor, and Skip hiding under the covers in the living room as a result of my swearing. I swept up the mess (left-handed) and began to ponder what I was going to do for coffee the next day. MANY year ago in college, Ron and I shared one of those coffee pots made out of tin, or aluminum I think. The kind where you fill it with water, drop in a little metal basket with the coffee in it, then bring it to a boil on the stove. I later used that same coffee pot on hunting and camping trips…
I made an entry that night on Facebook, that I was turning into a klutz or at least was not as talented trying to function with one arm as I thought I was. I was soliciting from my 3,000 plus friends, any suggestions they may have had, regarding the preparation of coffee in such circumstances with the equipment I have on hand.. I didn’t want to risk a left handed run to the store for a stupid coffee pot… One person, especially important to me, spoke up and said, “You will have a new coffee pot on Tuesday.” I didn’t give it a lot of thought, her commitment to a new coffee pot. Instead, I floundered around the house in my pain-killer induced stupor the rest of the evening..
Yesterday morning, the UPS man knocked on my door with a box tucked under his arm. “Dennis Buckman?” “Yes?” “Here ya’ go…” Good sized box in hand! I told Skip, “I’m getting close to having the studio completed, but I haven’t ordered anything lately.” I started laughing as I struggled to get the box open. Inside, another box with the name “Hamilton Beach” on the lid. I didn’t stop laughing until the new treasure was rinsed out, filled with water and brewing up a fresh cup of coffee! Now, anytime I pass through the kitchen and see that new coffee maker sitting there, I smile. There was more in that box than a new coffee pot. There was an expression of friendship, and people and being nice to each other, and a lot of other little things we forget about.
It’s the little things that create that ray of sunshine in my life. It’s the little things that inspire me.. Gandhi said, “Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” And so, about the time I’m getting down on myself, grumbling about the way ‘things’ seem to be going, someone steps up and restores my faith in all things good.
Because I didn’t ask permission to use her name, I can’t mention her here BUT… Please accept my extreme gratitude. Not only for the coffee pot which was desperately needed, but also for the smiles and laughter that were also included in the box! It’s true what they say. Laughter really is the best medicine… Thank you.