460. T-Shirt

 

It Got Better.

“It Got Better.”

 

Thank you for praying for Mom Bjorlie – surgery went well and she woke up in good time. Please continue to pray for a fast and full recovery!

The day after Peter was born all of us were together so we went swimming with the kids at the hotel. Ezra was just becoming conscious of the difference between his swimming attire and the “big boys” and had recently declared his intention to go shirtless in the pool. But when he saw me in my pool therapy get-up, rash guard and all, he was puzzled. “Aunty Ning Ning,” he asked, “Why are you wearing your shirt in the pool?”

Tee hee. Poor guy. He asked me very solemnly but it was hard not to laugh and squeeze him with his skinny little arms sticking out of an impressive flotation device.   I considered joining a regular pool when I left Pool Therapy and before I found my Trainers. I had plans to go talk to the Life Guard on duty when I showed up since I didn’t want anyone to be nervous, but abandoned the idea when I read that there were no flotation devices allowed in the pool I hoped to join except Coast Guard vests.

So this ruled my Aqua Jogger out. I learned to wear a belted floatie in Pool Therapy. I also learned to wear a rash guard at Pool Therapy. I know at least two other Pool Therapy patients who wear a shirt in the pool to cover their scars.

19.  Pool Therapy

19. Pool Therapy

One of them I met while I was in the water one day. He was in a wheelchair but was so strong he eschewed the lift customarily used to get wheelchair patients into the pool and just used his arms to lift himself down the ladder. We smiled at each other politely and his demeanor was so gentle and he seemed like he was my age so my curiosity got the better of me. It helps that when you’re in a Therapy Pool it’s obvious that stuff has happened to both of you so it’s a lot easier to ask and answer questions. Is the goal for you to walk again? I asked nosily.

Yes, he answered. Then I think he asked what happened to me, and then he volunteered, I was shot three times in the chest.

Wow. You don’t meet someone like that every day. He told me this very matter of factly. I seem to invite a higher and more immediate level of trust now that this has happened to me and I know from experience that it can be a relief to share information without the fear of freaking people out, so I try not to freak out when people tell me stuff. Trauma hardens you to a lot of things – you’re better equipped to handle it when someone else tells you what’s happened to them – but it still makes me sad :(.

Especially this guy, who went on to explain that he had been shot three times in the chest bc of the lifestyle he had been living and now that he had been in a chair for three years he was working on walking again and living better now that he knew the consequences for living how he used to, and now that he had a daughter to care for.

Lately I have realized that even people I think I know well are often carefully controlling the flow of information that populates the background of our relationship. They do it out of necessity – it’s how you learn how to deal and maintain a certain level of functionality in life. I know because I do it myself.  But there are times and situations that lend themselves to information sharing. And even though I flatter myself that I’m tough enough to handle whatever you’re going to disclose, it might still break my heart…but I won’t tell you. If you lived through it I can listen to it.  In fact it’s my honor to do so.  I’ll just pay you the compliment of not flinching, thank you for sharing that information with me because I know it cost you something to say that out loud, and take your need straight to the One who carries all of our griefs and sorrows.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Isaiah 53.4

 

2 thoughts on “460. T-Shirt

  1. You have always been easy for me to talk to – I always felt comfortable and not judged. I’m glad the Lord has widened this “ministry of listening” (don’t know if I just made that term up) for you even more.

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