Monday, June 29, 2009


I am practicing walking now. I use the walker still, but I can slowly roll along, one foot in front of the other, step by step.

There were mornings I would roll my wheelchair to the front veranda as the sun was coming up over the bay, and watch all the many people walking and jogging past my house. I wanted to shout out, "Be grateful you can walk!" But I thought they would think me a nut.

I was trying to come down some stairs yesterday with a crutch, my beloved was standing in front of me as my safety net, waiting. I was willing my foot to move. It would wiggle and twitch, but it would not move. I kept sending it messages from my brain to my foot, but it stayed firmly planted. My beloved looked up at me with a "so nu? what's taking you so long?" look and I finally just said, "my foot won't move, can you goose it for me?" He did, it moved, and I kept stepping to the car.

What a blessed gift we have that we (generally) have two legs, that we have hips, knees, ankles, moveable toes -- muscles, bones, ligament, veins carrying nutrients -- and these appendages carry us wherever we want to go.

Yet, how often do we count our blessings when we rise in the morning and can walk from our bedroom? When we can walk our dog outside and enjoy the fresh smells of nature? When we can walk to the car, or to visit a friend, or even just to get ourselves a drink of water. Each step is a blessing.

Many of us wind up in walkers or wheelchairs during parts of our lives. And I guess there is gratitude that there are tools to help us keep mobile. When I was in the ER/trauma with my broken leg, the woman next to me was homeless and only had a stick which she used to hop around on. What is that adage - I complained about my crutches until I met a woman who only had a stick.

You can bet that each time I stand up (I am allowed 50% pressure on the broken leg which means I can stand straight up, equally balanced on both feet), I say a blessing of gratitude. And each step I take, even though it hurts my body, and even though I am still clinging to my walker -- wow! another blessing. I am walking toward my goals of my life.....step by step, to be able to walk in nature; step by step, to be able to walk on the bimah and read Torah standing up; step by step, to be able to get back to my hospital chaplaincy work; step by step --- yes, someday I even hope to take Ruby for a walk again.......although, I picture myself wearing knee pads, elbow pads, a mouth guard, shoulder pads, and a helmet. Maybe we'll just build a potty pen for her -- she is indeed a powerful pooch.

Wishing you blessings with each step you take -- and may you be healthy enough to take many, many more steps along your journey.


Jan said...

Another wonderful post, Ann! I'm grateful for so many things, not just my legs. Years ago I inherited my grandparents' dairy farm in California, complete with the house my grandfather had built from used lumber in 1927. The well pump had been purchased used in 1927 too and parts for it were no longer available and, if needed, had to be specially fabricated by the very clever pump repairmen who lived nearby. I was frequently without running water...and even now, about 33 years later, I never turn on a faucet without a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the water that comes gushing out.

kayak woman said...

Wow. I have never broken a bone (knock on wood big-time) and am one of those who takes walking for granted. Actually I go a little crazy if I don't get at least a few miles in every day. This post humbled me so much and I hope your recovery continues to progress.