Solitude. Even when you’re not alone you can feel a sense of solitude, as I’m beginning to discover as I get older. I always find this picture of my mother, sitting at the Chicago Botanic Garden, rather poignant. Although she lived with us and was very rarely on her own, I knew that she felt lonely. Most of her contemporaries had already died and she was far away from a place that she had known as home for almost seventy years. When she passed away a few years ago, she left me with my own kind of solitude, taking with her shared memories of people, places and events that no one else but me remembers.
Sometimes, even when you’re standing right next to a crowd of people, you can feel like you’re the only person on earth.
Up until recently I have always enjoyed what I considered to be reasonably good health. Admittedly, the blood clots in 2009 threw me for a loop. I wasn’t expecting that, but once I had recovered I felt pretty good so when this year’s annual check-up revealed high calcium levels in the blood it came as something of a surprise to learn, after several blood tests and scans, that I had a silent stalker, namely significant osteoporosis and something called hyperparathyroidism. Go figure!
I had no idea that all this was going on inside me. I felt fine! So it was a difficult call to make. Should I go ahead and have the recommended surgery or leave well alone. For better or worse, after much soul-searching and weighing up the pros and cons, I decided to go ahead and have the op on Tuesday.
Things apparently went very well. The surgeon seemed pleased with the results and if I hadn’t had rather an unpleasant reaction to the anesthetic I probably would have gone home the same day. As it was, I languished in hospital overnight and was sent home the next day.
Naturally there have been some severe restrictions on my activities for the past couple of days and taking short walks around the garden has me itching to get back to work, pulling weeds and tidying things up. No! Must not!
So what do you do when you can’t get your hands dirty, get down on your knees and get in amongst the flowers? Why, you take pictures of them, of course! Hopefully in another week or so I’ll be back to somewhat normal.