Saturday was the one-month mark for my surgery and I am grateful to be feeling a bit better each day. I've pondered and wondered about the best way to thank the many people who have helped me and my family over the past month. Traditional types would say I should write thank you notes to each person for each act performed. I've actually started this approach and floundered. There are, quite simply, too many people to thank. Too many people who have cooked for us, washed our clothes, driven our children around, done countless tasks to help us make it through. It is, in fact, overwhelming. Even as I type this, my eyes fill with tears to recall how long we have needed help and how willing people have been to give it.
So please bear with me as I express a bit of gratitude. It will be small in proportion to the help received, but I suppose that is always the way...
Thank you if you encouraged me
Just before my surgery two or three people e-mailed me to tell me how much they enjoy reading this blog. While I think it's important for me to stretch and share my writing with others, it continues to be a scary process. The encouragement came just when I needed it.
One friend sent me a card in the mail with verses she was praying for me during my recovery.
Another friend called on what turned out to be one of my worst recovery days and told me it wasn't unusual to feel so poorly a week after the surgery itself.
Thank you if you cooked for me
It's been more than a month since I cooked for my family. Even tonight, the first night we've been officially off of meal rotation, I heated up quiche from one friend and soup from another.
For nearly three weeks, it would have been impossible for me to stand for long enough to cook. For the first two weeks, I couldn't even heat the food. J had to heat it and serve it to me and the girls. Before the surgery, I thought we would be fine without meals. I thought we'd eat a bit of cereal and get back on track. Little did I know.
My kind friend who organized meals for the first two weeks didn't even ask me about extending our meals - she simply e-mailed me to tell me who was bringing food for the next two weeks. At that point, I was so tired, so discouraged and still in such pain, that all I could do was offer a humble thank you.
I have friends who made us dinner, brought me lunch, and even drove me to lunch when I was well enough to leave the house. You provided nourishment for our bodies and our souls.
Thank you if you drove my children to or from school or anywhere else
I've never realized how hard it is to be unable to drive or just how much driving I do. For three weeks, I couldn't drive at all. My girls attend a school with no bus service and also each take dance at least once weekly. You can do the math on all of the car trips required. And if you were one of the many, many people who helped our children get around, thank you for not only driving them around, but listening to K, who surely talked your ear off the entire car ride.
Thank you if you washed our clothes, unloaded our dishwasher, swept our floor or performed other thankless household tasks
Some things can wait until recovery is over. Laundry is not one of those things. J did an admirable job of doing not only his own job, but mine for weeks on end. But there simply is not enough time in the day, in the week, to do everything.
I have a high tolerance for dirt and did an admirable job of ignoring our floors when I could barely stand on them, much less sweep them. But I also have a black and white kitchen floor (a lesson in humility) that shows every speck of dirt, every flake of cereal, every drip, drop and drabble. And it needed sweeping long before I was able to do so.
Thank you if you called me, stopped by to see me, sent me a card or e-mailed me to see how I was doing
Even an introvert like yours truly finds more than two weeks of house arrest a bit stifling. And while there were days that I didn't even feel well enough to talk on the phone, I am so very grateful to friends near and far who picked up the phone to see how I was really doing and to let me know I was cared for, even when I felt alone.
If you e-mailed me and I didn't respond, thank you for forgiving my feeble brain and limited energy. Your words still reached me and helped me through a rough day.
If you sat and talked with me while I was stuck on the couch or in bed, you know you're a dear friend, because who else would do that for me?
Thank you if you brought me a book to read
This doesn't really need much explanation, does it? I haven't yet read all of the books loaned and given to me during my recovery, but that doesn't mean I won't and it certainly doesn't mean it didn't make my heart sing to have friends who know the way to my heart is through a good book.
Thank you if you prayed for me
In person or in privateAnd, finally...
Whether I knew it or not
Thank you if you have stayed married to me or still let me be your mom
and have loved me so well through it all.