Why is it so difficult to write about what happened in November? The month began with foreshadowing that a health issue would require treatment in a three-to-five-year window. Nine days into the month, tests shortened the timeline to available slots for more extensive surgery the next week. By the middle of November, I had had major surgery, my first time being hospitalized except for delivering babies.
There is a lot I could write about attempting to fill the freezer with food, set up auto-pay for bills, finish a grandchild’s Advent calendar and locate an adult child’s birthday gift within seven days. In retrospect some parts of preparation were successful, and some missed the mark. A hospital rookie, I packed a bag that included a hair dryer, curling iron, underwear, t-shirts, leggings and more than one book. Weak during that first shower I was very happy with clean, natural hair. Nurses didn’t want a t-shirt sleeve in the way of monitors, cuffs or iv’s. My attention span didn’t last through a comparison of humidifiers much less beginning a new novel.
Returning home was great. Our daughter had stocked individual meals for a few days. She and our daughter-in-law made Thanksgiving dinner. My plan to fill the freezer had dropped off the earlier lists. Something much better happened: MealTrain, coordinated by friends, some from our neighborhood and some from other parts of our lives, created a predictable safe zone as we figured out how to get through each day.
For two weeks the kindness of friends fed us one hot meal each day. Pasta, soup, quiche, chicken marsala, tacos, pork tenderloin, hot sandwiches, each supplemented with salads, vegetables, and breads. Sometimes homemade bread. Plus our friends believe in dessert. One Sunday brunch was delivered and served to our entire family, an incredible gift on many levels.
My husband received daily notices from MealTrain telling who was bringing dinner and what was planned. These wonderful friends gave generously of themselves showing up every afternoon with food and a few minutes of visiting. They saved Tom, who does not cook much, a lot of stress while making both of us feel supported and inching toward ‘normal’ as we sat at our table eating dinner.
Stuff happens, some scary and necessary, some amazingly helpful and kind. To all involved, thank you. Take care.