I broke my leg a couple of weeks before Christmas walking on The Sussex Downs, ironic really when GP's (in Scotland anyway) are now dishing out the open air and walking as medicine! (I actually agree with this prescription and the outdoors has helped me enormously, but that's another blog).
I'll do anything to get out of Christmas! And I did – get out of Christmas.
Friends rallied round, picked me up by car, drove me to their house, cooked, entertained and delivered me back home. Friends did my shopping, and when I was able to hobble around, drove me to the supermarket. Friends cooked for me or brought me food and reading material, dropped by to say "hello" to keep me company, texted, phoned and one way or another, looked out for me and looked after me.
I had to learn to ask and I had to learn to accept. I did both and I feel that my already fabulous friends have become even more incredibly so.
This was going to be a blog about friendship and gratitude.
Or a blog about how a crutch helps someone who is physically "broken" to get around and how the aid is welcomed without embarrassment or shame.
Writing this blog though, I have only just made this connection with my mother dying at Christmas time 5 years ago.
It has been a rough ride over the last 5 years to make a gross understatement.
The first Christmas after she died, I went for a long walk on my own, it was a beautiful sunny (but sharp) day and I was doing exactly what I wanted to do (really?). There were plenty of other walkers around and I did not feel alone, many people had chosen to enjoy the winter sunshine, working up an appetite for the family feast ahead - who knows? Loneliness though, that was another matter, but as long as I was walking, I could keep it at bay, there was much to see and stimulate afterall.
I look back on the last five years and I have absolutely no idea how I managed, yet here I am - friendships again having played a huge part in my surviving the stormy waters. Following my mother's death (my father died several years earlier), two of my three siblings categorically told me never to contact them again and so I have not. The other did not say so exactly, but we have not had any contact. All three siblings see each other, travelling from the UK to the USA to do so, as seen on social media sites (pictures of my sister's wedding posted with my other sister and brother present, sit alongside pictures of siblings and their family in black tie, celebrating milestone birthdays.) I knew of none of the events until sometime afterwards. I can't tell you how much it hurt.
A broken bone takes 6 weeks to mend and I am told, will be stronger than before. How long broken relationships? Can fractured relationships too be knitted together stronger than before?
I'm walking really well unaided and am hoping the x-ray booked in a weeks' time will tell me that the bone has healed and I'm good to go! I'll be back on The Downs in no time and am again planning to walk The South Downs 28 mile marathon early summer if I can, with a renewed appreciation for the intricate workings of how the hip bone connects to the thigh bone...
For me for sure, the physical body heals faster than the mind.
A Moodscope member.