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Tracie Skarbo was motivated to write by her father, who was her biggest supporter. “He was always behind me, rallying me on with my writing. I would always see him with a book in hand. He gave me a great appreciation for the written word, and the power and responsibility that writers have to shape those who read their words. He also taught me to respect nature and to value the beauty within it; my reflections on my environment are just an extension of this.” Skarbo was raised on Vancouver Island and is working on her next two books.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Lesson in Appreciation

When in an accident one year, I had been knocked around pretty good: whiplash, a knee the size of a grapefruit from where the keys had gone into the actual joint, and lower back pain that had resulted in the difference of opinion between spine cracking forces of physics and my seatbelt keeping its promise.

Recovery from such an incident was long and painful, the first week I was bedridden only getting up to use the bathroom.  There was no television or computer in the bedroom so I was forced to contemplate my demise, read or sleep.  I couldn’t write because sitting up was painful and laying on the bed on my stomach seemed to inflame things as well. 

Mostly I had long conversations with myself in my head about all the things I could be doing at that moment if I had not been in the accident.  I thought about plot lines,  I tried to envision what my characters were up to in their make believe worlds, and not to think about how much fun my friends and family were having at that moment.  Then came thoughts of the fragility of life, and how lucky I was to be at home recuperating rather than at the hospital in traction.  Really I had nothing to complain about.  I was still breathing wasn’t I?  Enough moping. 

I began thinking and making lists, things I wanted to do in my life.  What had I not experienced?  What had I experienced and liked but hadn’t done for a while?  This cheered me up and gave me a goal to work towards when I had to go through physiotherapy and procedures that were painful. 

These promised events would also help when I was feeling down about how hard it was to do the simple tasks in life like laundry.  It was an excruciating chore to go down the two flights of stairs in the apartment building and grab the laundry out of the machine then lug it back up stair by stair which left me exhausted and sweating profusely.  I had always been an active person, and to have to slow down to this level of movement was frustrating. 

I didn’t give up, day by day things got better, some days held victories, in others there were setbacks.  Some held more tears then others.  I held on to the fact that time was my best ally, that it would be the salve to heal my wounds.  Eventually I was walking faster, longer and then pain free, years later I could run again.  This would at times aggravate the back or the knee but it would settle down with use and with proper icing.  I have to be careful gardening that I don’t twist on my knee wrong, or that I don’t kneel for too long or it is apt to swell, but it is holding up just fine none the less.

What stayed with me is the appreciation of my body, and all it allows me to do, the knowledge that my life and its routines could change in an instant, and that even though things looked bleak at the time, with determination, strong will and patience, I can get through the hard times. 

5 comments:

  1. I don't know if it is a matter of being tough... just a matter of having no choice if I wanted to get better...:) Thanks for coming by!

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  2. Having had a few recuperations to go through from surgeries and some accidents, I understand the frustration that you must have felt. It's so hard to just be still when you want to get up and go. It's actually ironic because usually I would be so busy that I'd wish that I could just sit with nothing to do but when you actually get that wish come true, you discover that you didn't really want it after all. I'm glad that you've made it through your therapy and are able to get back to your activities again. Nice writing.

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  3. Yep - In reality we are thought beings inhabiting a human machine - A most wonderful, beautiful, natural and seemingly magical creation of the Universe. Created of stardust and yet our thoughts can take us beyond the Cosmos for we are interdimensional in thought..... sorry to ramble but your story sparked me.
    mj

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  4. June and MJ thanks so much for coming by to read and your comments! :)

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