The bridge behind the Library
Several years ago I was on the phone with a friend who had hit one of life’s rough patches. Before we hung up I struggled to find the right way to express myself.
“I’m rooting for you,” I said.
A few weeks later I said, “Hey, remember when I told you I was rooting for you?”
“That was code for, ‘I’m praying for you,’”
“Ning,” my friend said, “That wasn’t a hard code to break.”
Side note: as I explain in my FAQ, please don’t be confused or troubled about my name. I went by “Ning” (one of my middle names) a lot in my Old Life. I go by “Ann” (my first name) more often now when I meet new people, and it has kind of become my Medical Alter-Ego. Call me whatever you know me as, or whatever you feel most comfortable with. Thanks 🙂
Hee hee. I honestly thought I had been somewhat opaque in my original language. I was trying hard not to be overwhelmingly given to talking about God, but it didn’t work. Now that I think of it, I take my friend’s observation as a great compliment. She graciously received my support knowing it’s the best way I know of to be a friend, and I think it’s hysterical that she knew exactly what I was saying even though I tried to be not obvious about it.
Well, I’ve given up on being subtle. Not entirely, but hey – I still feel overwhelmingly given to talking about God but less apologetic about it. Although my social filter is compromised, I still try to not freak people out too badly, but given what’s happened I can’t NOT talk about God since a) I’m alive, b) I’m as “spirited” as ever, perhaps more than before, and c) many are interested to know why.
A left a comment for me on Facebook last week. “We love you, and are rooting for you.” she said. Thanks, guys – you all are the best. I speak code fluently, so I know A was alluding to the prayer support coming from the Pacific NW (and other areas of the globe).
I found a picture I used as a bookmark in my copy of The Valley of Vision – it’s Mom and Dad at the Hillsboro Library on a gorgeous spring day. They had come to visit me so I took them around to some of my favorite haunts. The walking path behind the library was always well populated (moms with strollers, men fishing, couples taking wedding photos), and I went there several times a week for my exercise. I would walk/run around the lake and congratulate myself on being so healthy. One time I passed a family walking in the opposite direction and they were like, Really? That’s like the 4th time you’ve been around the lake. [You can stop now.] I kept on going.
When my last Neuropsych taught me a visualization technique for pain management she told me to pick a place to think about. I chose the Library. Then she clarified that it should not be a place that elicited any sad feelings, so the Library did not suit, after all. I’m talking about the Library bc I have major Oregon angst. I know I have to go back, and I want to go, but I’m nervous about it. I’d better pull it together now or else I’ll be a raging mess when the time comes to get on a plane so I can go get my stuff out of storage and see my friends. So in the interest of me pulling myself together I have compiled the following list so I can get this out of my system. It is not exhaustive and items appear in no particular order:
Things I miss about Oregon [my Old Life]
- Going to the café with my colleagues for a drink or a piece of fruit
- Earning a living
- Being able to haul all of my groceries up to the 3rd floor in one trip (there was no elevator in my apartment complex)
- Picking up donuts or bagels when it was my turn to bring treats in to work
- Getting coffee and pumpkin spice donut holes from the stand in the Library
- Watching the trees turn different colors as the seasons changed on my walks behind the Library
- Avoiding the ducks/geese if they got too friendly and I was sitting on my favorite bench behind the Library
- Reading on my patio
- Sitting in my easy chair in my apartment
- Making experimental pies
- Popping popcorn in my wok
- Getting my coffee maker ready every night so I could flip the switch in the morning
- Walking to Whole Foods and buying those wonderful marshmallows from the bakery
- Driving to work with D…(driving in general)
- Playing my piano until I realized it was really late and I should be in bed already
- Buying rainier cherries from the stand on 26
- Walking around Pittock Mansion
- Going to Manzanita and spending Saturday morning reading on the beach
- Enjoying the breakfast buns (cream cheese blueberry or orange walnut) from Bread & Ocean at Manzanita
- Eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted
- Stopping at Tillamook for ice cream on the way home
- Going to the farmers’ market at Orenco or Cornell
- Buying fresh strawberries (Thank you so much for bringing me strawberries at RIO, A!)
- Showing up at L’s apartment in time to watch Wonder Pets with B and have a snack
- Driving up that big hill to visit the N’s on “The Farm” in Forest Grove
- My ESL class making me laugh
- The skyline (the trees look different in OR) as I drove to Niteline at K’s house on Mondays and the sun was setting
- Going to care group
- Singing with everyone else at church
- Carrying all of my devotional books/journals etc. in a basket with my Bible so I could tote it from room to room or outside
- The giant burritos and the pickle bar at the Mexican restaurant behind church
- Doing mundane things like getting my oil changed and congratulating myself on being a responsible adult
- Doing whatever I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it
Being cognitively intact is an inestimable blessing. But it also means that I remember.