Resuming normal life

so, how does your wife feel about that?

It will be 3 months tomorrow since that scary day when Jeff went into emergency vascular surgery. And during those 3 months, Jeff has been able to recover at home, slowly build his strength, get his golf swing back, and regain his stamina. We both know that he is almost there – we are so thrilled, grateful… and other words that cannot possibly describe in full how we truly feel.

But the operative word for me is “almost.” Getting back to normal, the way life was for us before the incident feels like an asymptotic journey… I’m always getting closer but will I arrive at place where I don’t worry anymore? Where I don’t even think about where he is, how tired he might be, whether or not he’s been standing too long, out too long, etc. I even worry when I see him napping – did he overdo it? Why does he need a nap? Nevermind that I need naps from time to time just from the stress of living a normal life. He’s allowed to nap like a normal person!

Next weekend, on July 2nd, Jeff will play his first concert, and that will be a huge victory. It will feel like his triumphant return from battle, and I will be there celebrating it. I know that he is excited to play the oboe again, and I cannot wait to hear him spin out beautiful phrases in that tone so rich and full that it stops time for me, no matter how many times I’ve heard it. I need to make a mental note not to worry but to be in that moment, and to fill that experience with gratitude rather than my own anxiety. That first concert back will be a musical celebration of all that we have been given, the gift of life, the gift of hope and of renewed love.

Over time, I will worry less and less, and one day, I will find that I am not worried at all. I guess these first steps to doing normal things again, reclaiming the life that we had before, those are the most daunting. Once we take the first step, the subsequent steps will return like a breeze… like riding a bicycle. As the saying goes… I only know in theory because I never learned how to ride a bike, and trying to ride one is never a breeze for me! In fact, I can only make left turns on a bike. But that’s for another post, perhaps.

Just before performing Bach together at St. Paul’s for Christmas 2018

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