Slow and steady burn….

peace

Wild rains pelted the windows
as I waited for my husband
to return from surgery
attached to his new part,
a brand spanking new knee,~sipping lukewarm water
from a styrofoam cup
….waiting,
waiting
for the pain of damage and disease
to end
and healing pain to begin.

The hospital lobby was decked with poinsettias
and people like me,
our lives pulled off road
and parked
while big pieces of our hearts
are wheeled away,
laying loopy on gurneys
and
hooked up to tubes dispensing liquid courage.

Long hours later,
they emerge,
their wounded parts tucked under layers of bandages
and piled high with warm blankets
as we pour over their gray faces
and swell with relief over dear ones returned to us,
still smelling like soap and home.
They’ve never seemed more vulnerable
or precious.

And now,
days later,
unshowered and undone
by the pain of progress
and frustrating limitations,
the fatigue of caregiving has set in with a vengeance
in a tiny hospital room
crowded with rehab equipment
and the droning of bored television
and pleading call bells
and the sleepy sounds of sickness
and slow recovery.

I sit squeezing back tired tears
and longing for beauty,
aching to open just one sealed window
into the sky I feel sure is still blue.

A crane lifts more steel beams as, all day, the construction
on a new hospital wing continues.
The small wing where my husband recovers
is littered with building material
and construction equipment.
Outside his window
an enormous heating and air unit
lays stranded,
covered in black plastic shredded by high winds.
I walk down the long hall to gather a drink of sky;
now this large picture window is boarded up.

Seriously?
This has taken on a nightmarish quality
for my air-hungry heart.

I quietly cry “Lord, help.
I need perspective.”
As I trudged back to the room,
my eyes locked onto a sign that seemed
to jump from the ugly wallpaper
“Please be patient with us; renovation in progress.”

There it was

…the beauty.
Renovation.~Bryan’s knee,
~our lives,
~our dreams,
~our hearts
…..all under renovation.

Sometimes staying broken is more tidy,
less demanding,
less offensive.
Becoming whole can be messy business.

(I love that healing is happening
even when it’s a slow burn
and I’ve wished for instant combustion.)

Comments

  1. O Jen my heart goes out to you and to your man. Painful healing…bless your heart you found words in the middle of fatigue, stress heart yearnings. Praying for you and yours, that going home is just around the corner and healing well is God's blessing to you all.

  2. Just Be Real says

    Glad the surgery is done, now the recovery. Praying for you both dear one. For strength and inner peace and guidance for the days ahead. Blessings.

  3. Precious one, your words flow from your heart regardless of your circumstances……..I will be praying for both of you as the healing process and recovery begins….that you both will sense God's presence in a strong and powerful way all through this process..

    Hugs and blessings

  4. what a perfect sign for you eyes to land on!!

    though the recovery is painful, what waits on the other side will be wonderful. both hear and now, and later.

    grace and peace to you both!

  5. "Healing is painful" … how we wish it otherwise.

    How wonderful when it comes.

  6. Your perception is impeccable. Absolutely love how this entry reads and comes a close. Aren't we all works in progress…

  7. Poetic chronicles says

    May the healing be as quick as possible! All my best wishes to Bryan. Hospitals…I know the craving for opening tight-sealed windows, and the need for open and fresh air. It will soon be back, I wish you all the best, for very soon. Good luck Jennifer!
    Valérie

  8. Moving, perceptive, amazing. And I almost wrote,"…as usual." Miraculous writing doesn't happen usually. And it's hard work. The fact that you can make it seem effortless is part of the miracle. Question: Why is the last canto parenthetical?

  9. I am blown away by your ability to untangle life with your words…truly a gift! I will be praying for you and Bryan.

  10. "Sometimes staying broken is more tidy,
    less demanding,
    less offensive.
    Becoming whole can be messy business."

    Ain't it the truth!
    Pardon my English but that just fits how I read your post.
    The healing may be a slow process but well worth the effort and wait.

  11. well it sounds like it might be a long haul back to normalcy…and if your hubby is optimistic like you….oh, the road will be so easy…let him know we're all thinking of him in that hospital gown with body parts possibly showing…..hee hee….hopefully he'll laugh, too 🙂

  12. Erin Butson says

    So beautiful Jennifer. Becoming whole can be messy business. How true this really is. I want to keep everything in a neat little box, but this life isn't neat, especially where there is growth, healing, and renewal. I always have to make a huge mess before i can really clean out… thank you for all of your sweet encouragement xxxooo

  13. Oh my goodness Jennifer, I know just what you mean and I felt the same thing recently when I had to have a biopsy surgery. Ready for new sunshine and life to emerge as I waited to leave that hospital and then waiting to hear what the results were as I healed at home. Somehow God gave me the most wonderful peace as I waited and then came the wonderful news of NO CANCER seen! As I'm getting older, I'm so glad that I'm learning (and I said learning not have learned) to be more patient. Maybe that is more because I move slower and have to be more patient, but none the less, being patient brings forth such great gifts.

    Once again, you capture such pure and true emotion in your words. I cannot wait to buy your book once it is published.

    Love ya dear friend!
    Lee Ann

  14. Oh my goodness Jennifer, I know just what you mean and I felt the same thing recently when I had to have a biopsy surgery. Ready for new sunshine and life to emerge as I waited to leave that hospital and then waiting to hear what the results were as I healed at home. Somehow God gave me the most wonderful peace as I waited and then came the wonderful news of NO CANCER seen! As I'm getting older, I'm so glad that I'm learning (and I said learning not have learned) to be more patient. Maybe that is more because I move slower and have to be more patient, but none the less, being patient brings forth such great gifts.

    Once again, you capture such pure and true emotion in your words. I cannot wait to buy your book once it is published.

    Love ya dear friend!
    Lee Ann

  15. Cheri Wollenberg says

    I will look at the word "renovation" in a more thoughtful way from now on. I just came from a Christmas program at church, and it was a most wonderful worship time. But, after reading your post I am thankful for an enlightened view of this word, I will think on Christ during this season as being a "Renovator" as well as the many other roles that He came to fulfill. Blessings to you and Bryan. I pray that healing would be quick and you will be a very good nurse (smile). Cheri

  16. That you can find beauty anywhere, in every circumstance is such a blessing to us all. I think you quick prayer brought the analgesic for your soul.

  17. "Please be patient with us; renovation in progress." Your poetry always provides meaningful metaphorical connections. It seems we all have hearts and lives in the process of renewal.

  18. rachel awes says

    your otter friend
    celebrates w/you
    by flapping her body
    between water & sky,
    that you've eyes to see
    the language of renovation
    all around you,
    even in the puzzle of
    messiness.
    & my love & understanding
    hug you
    in your yearning cries..
    xoxox

  19. Sharon Leaf says

    Among the rubble of renovation
    and your brutally honest, heartfelt words,
    what I read, heard, and felt was NEW Life!
    That is something to look forward to.
    It is within your grasp, and I'm so thrilled that you are
    taking hold of it…new life.
    Oceans of blessings from a friend who is feeling for you.

  20. Oh Jen…..you are GIFT.

    Timely, beautiful, encouragement for my trajectory……….

    Oh Jen…….if you were wrapped up pretty with a bow on top I wouldn't be surprised a bit.

  21. Praying for you and for Bryan.

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