A hundred years ago, in 2004, I fell down a flight of steps rushing to my classroom. I tore ligaments in my ankle. Though we didn't know that at the time. I was already going for physical therapy for my knees, we just added the ankle. R was my physical therapist. By the time we found out I needed surgery almost a year later, he was my boyfriend.
Around the New Year, things started to shift for me. I started to soften. Angry less. Bewildered more. Upset less. Content more. Unsure less. Confused more. So I did what I do. I made lists. Lots of lists. Pros/cons. Yay/Nay. Maybe/Maybe not. To do lists. Check lists. Haves/Have nots. All with my many colored markers. Maybe some post-it flags. I'll never tell.
The lists were fairly clear. So I did what I do. I talked to my therapist. Outlining my lists and my confusion. My softening. My gut. My undying optimism. (Honestly? I have found that trait of mine SUPER annoying these past two years.) My hope. My superpower.
That was fairly clear. So I did what I do. I prayed. Maybe you don't know me as a person of faith. But I am. I have, for years, by my bedside had a page from my childhood church's address book framed - "Stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught". So I prayed. And everywhere came love. A painted angel my friend gave me where on the back it talks about Sophia (my daughter) and her daughters - Faith, Hope and Love. A sign front and center at the craft store with my favorite passage from Corinthians about love. A check-in from a recently reunited friend of mine - huh. That's weird. To me, you always seemed like love.
Clear enough? Hah. I am who I am. Ummm, not yet...
In the beginning of February, I fell down our stairs rushing to my classroom. Pain potent enough that I spent most of the student-no-show throwing up in a bucket. (FYI, I screamed, toppled and thought I broke something. Did a kid wake up? Nope. But if I carefully, painstakingly, silently open a package of oreos like a surgeon? I have two ninjas at my side in seconds.) I called R knowing I could not get our children to school. I called him because he was their dad. I called him because he was who I had to call. I called him because...I did.
That's not to say I had gotten the message yet. It took a couple more weeks before the Universe knocked me on my ass enough times (again) to sink it. But it eventually did. I offered my home. I offered my heart. After weeks of listing all the logic, I listened to my self. I said with faith, hope and love - come home.