The Blessings of a Broken Kneecap

My husband went to extraordinary trouble to bring us the blessings of an extended stay in Vancouver. Now that his care (and mine) is in place, he is exercising every day, taking charge of planning and cooking our evening meals. and using his walker to shop for groceries and visit local eateries. He appears to be making good progress. For all the tribulations, our extended stay in Vancouver is bringing us many unexpected benefits. Just to list a few.

  1. The rain which depressed even me February through mid-April has now stopped, the sun is shining, and the cherry and plum trees, magnolias, and early rhodos are in unbelievably beautiful bloom. At their peak, they are breath-taking. I never would have guessed that our local community here was endowed with such a splendid display.
  2. Living here, grounded, without any possibility of touring elsewhere, has caused us to use the resources and the merchants of the local community as never before. It’s been an eye-opening “welcome wagon” of new experiences.

  3. We live next door to the West Vancouver Memorial Library, but have hardly used it in the past. This week, the Library Foundation streamed, live and free of charge, the 2017 TED Talks which other people paid big bucks to hear at the downtown Vancouver site or in selected theatres. I happened upon a session on “Mind, Meaning” at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, and was awestruck by what I heard and saw. Lots of material for posts there.

  4. I have now spent much time with the WVML Information Librarian. When I asked for a couple of books that were out locally, she told me that they were available at the Vancouver Public Library downtown, and that I could pick them up there and return them here. She also did a computer search of recent Globe and Mail book reviews to find an essayist whom I wanted to read but whose name I had forgotten. Once she had identified the author, she put me on a waitlist for both her books which are now on order. Undoubtedly, these same services are available at the Toronto Public Library. I just have never used them before. My loss.

  5. The proprietor of the local Kerrisdale Camera Shop referred me to Advanced Digital Training in North Vancouver where I have had two simply superb private lessons on how to operate the mirrorless compact camera I bought a couple of years ago.  Utterly intimidated by the complexity of what is effectively a very sophisticated computer, I have hardly used the camera all this time. Peter Levey at ADT is an enthusiastic and gifted teacher who has made my camera accessible. Next week, he is going to show me how to organize and manage my photo files, something that I should have learned years ago but never did. Finding Peter, and working with him, has been a real coup.

  6. Last night, my husband and I went for turkey dinner and all the trimmings at the spacious Garden Side Café at the Seniors’ (over 55) Centre nearby. Run by volunteers, the café serves breakfast and lunch every day, and full hot dinners twice a week, at a very modest cost. My husband, who has avoided the Seniors’ Centre until now, even conceded that it was a good meal, that the company was congenial, and that the dinner menu for May looks more interesting than he would have expected.

  7. Walking on the Seawalk, the people I run into at about the same time each day are beginning to become friends. As my Sixth Floor Caregiver friend has told me, these early morning walks come with all sorts of benefits, apart from the exercise itself. Among other things, I suspect that these new friends will bring some great stories to inspire future posts.

  8. Last week, one of the texts for the writing program I am starting this summer arrived unexpectedly early. This single book is a revelation which already is making the rewrite of my first book go better and faster. With a regular routine and few distractions, my writing is on a roll. I now think it likely that my forthcoming book will be published this year after all, thanks in no small measure to my husband’s broken kneecap.

  9. As a couple, we have been slow to think of ourselves as “seniors,” an illusion now shattered. We are coming to realize that dealing with the medical issues inevitable with aging requires proactive thought and a modicum of grace. Achieving that, or not, may well be a measure of character, part of “growing up.” Those people who have met the challenges of medical issues all their lives set an example. They are the experts in how to relate to and benefit from the health care system. We’d do well to emulate their courage, resilience and their joie de vivre, no matter what comes. Maybe this is one of the secrets to successful aging. And to successful living?

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6 comments

  1. Frances

    This was so wonderful to hear, especially after the terrible experience you spoke of in your last article.
    Frances

  2. Marlene

    Once again, thanks for a stimulating post. So glad to hear of Bill’s progress and that you are keeping up your own activities of learning, walking and wriiting. Although we have been spared significant health and injury concerns, Dan and I also reflect frequently on this interesting stage of life we have entered and the value of taking advantage of what is available to make life easier and reasonably pleasant. Glad you have your 2nd home in West Van and were able to leave the snow and stairs of your Toronto home behind.

  3. Cheryl

    honestly, Marion – there could not be a better way to describe you than “The Effervescent Bubble”. You are just the best! Glad to hear that Bill is mending and that Vancouver weather is kind to you. all the best Cheryl

  4. Marion

    Thanks to everyone for your good wishes. We much appreciate your support. Your feedback on my writing is also invaluable, an encouraging incentive to shape the work I’m doing on my upcoming book.

  5. John F

    Marion, your effervescence often pops a memory bubble for me. I perused that library’s resources a lot my grade 12 year, scanning the stacks for works on prehistory, a fascination for me at the time. Talk about making the best of circumstances. Good for you two.

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