To all fellow bloggers
I am sorry that I have not written here for such along time. My life had become increasingly busy and had squeezed out any room for writing and contemplation. The pace of my life instead of a well-controlled stream became like a flooding torrent bursting out of its banks. I was stressed… and anxious and had no time to reflect.
By March I was well ready and in need of a holiday. We had arranged to go for a week to Majorca. Some old friends had been in touch at Christmas and invited us to stay at an apartment they rent out to close friends in Porta de Pollensa. We jumped at this fine idea.
The first day I was still wound up and even felt homesick. The next morning I woke up and relaxed. It was before the start of the main tourist season; not everywhere was open. Hotels, shops and cafes were getting themselves ready; there was building work; painting; cleaning and signs of preparation. I enjoyed the sense of anticipation and new places opening each day.
We were lucky with the weather and we gazed each day from our apartment into the blue sky and deeper blue sea. The evenings were cool and so Kevin and I snuggled together under a warm throw to watch TV. We ate a little too much and drank a little too much and strolled each day down to the harbour’s edge.
On Friday, 17 March, St Patrick’s Day we were hastening along the promenade to the hotel at the end. I had a very important appointment for a relaxing facial and hairstyle at 11 am. I was wearing dark glasses and in the shade of a tree did not notice roots projecting from the stone pavement. I tripped, ran forward trying to regain my balance; failed; and fell heavily onto the stone. I sat up shocked and dazed; I had grazed the left side of my face; the dark plastic glasses had bumped my nose breaking the skin; my watch face was smashed and blood spurted from my little finger.
Kevin was the hero and took charge. Despite loads of blood, he held my wrist and hand tight to stem the scarlet fountain. He asked a couple of English tourists for more tissues and a young Majorcan girl called the police and ambulance. We ended up in an ambulance having a police escort to the local medical Centre. In pigeon English we explained and had things explained to us. A young woman; a trainee I think, with an older woman supervising; stitched up my finger beautifully; bandaged it not so well; and I was on my way.
It hurt but I tolerated it until we came back home. It was the good old NHS who discovered the fracture, the day after our return. What happened next is another story! The bone in my little finger had not begun to set in a good functional position. So since then, I have had an operation. I now have wires that look like nails, inserted into my hand to stabilize the fracture and hold it in a better position while it heals.
The operation brought its own complications. I was told that I took a long time to come round after the general anaesthetic. All I remember is the female Consultant Anaesthetist shouting: “123, time to wake up Julia.” I don’t recall seeing her face again or remember how I got back to the ward. I felt very relaxed and comfortable though, just like I feel after a cozy night’s sleep. The staff nurse kept me in overnight to be sure that I was fully recovered. I was too sleepy to go anywhere.
The second complication occurred with the strong painkillers the following day. Morphine causes me to vomit. I will say no more. I was carrying a sick bowl on my journey home. I am sure you can imagine. Once home, I have stuck to paracetamol.
Myra, from Church rang me to see how I was doing. As we chatted Myra said, reflecting: “I think sometimes when we sustain a fracture, it can happen for a reason.” She cited her own example when she broke her leg. It forces us to stop.
My hand injury had certainly done that. I could not drive; or go back to work as by now my whole left hand was affected and had become increasingly weak and immobile.
I agreed. I need to stop and take stock.
However, even with this unexpected opportunity to have time on my own, I felt distracted. I read and watched TV and generally frittered away the time. Sadly my prayer life was even more bitty and distant. Where is God in this I thought?
Through Lent I had been re-reading the book “the heart’s time” by Janet Morley. It has a poem a day for Lent and Easter. I came to the poem: “Sheep fair Day”
“I took God with me to the sheep fair. I said, “Look
there’s Liv, sitting on the wall, waiting;
these are pens, these are sheep,
This is their shit we are walking in, this is their fear.”
And the poem continues like this until the end of the author’s day. At the beginning of the poem there is a quote: “The real aim is not to see God in all things, it is that God, through us, should see the things that we see.” Simone Weil
Janet Morley encourages us to write a similar poem inviting God into our lives and to see it from our perspective. I said to Mum perhaps that’s what I need to do. Perhaps I need to invite God through a poem to see things with me in this experience. I encourage you to do this too whatever you are currently experiencing.
It was on Good Friday it struck me. Of course, God is here in this. Jesus knows exactly how I am feeling; and so much more. I can feel the heaviness of a nail in my left hand after an operation-a nail to promote healing. The nail in the left hand of Jesus, a hand that was pierced for me, was to promote death. Jesus, my Friend and Saviour, perhaps you are inviting me to imagine a tiny fraction of Your physical suffering on that holy day of Good Friday and in so doing increase my awareness of Your Love. Perhaps that is how I can come closer to you and all that is needed from me at present- just to feel this experience.
Love and Blessings, Julia