Friday, July 8, 2011

What I Know... 6 Months Later

I know that the sun comes up each and every day. It pays no attention to how I feel. It's there, daring me to do something other than participate in the world around me.

I know that progress is never as fast as I want it to be. Worse, over time it is measured in smaller and smaller increments.

I know that other people are much more impressed with my abilities than I am. It's fortunate that three of them are as invested in my recovery as I am : Marcus the Master Manipulator and world's best physical therapist; Kirya Sabin, who learned from the master who learned from Joseph Pilates himself; and TBG, husband extraordinaire. Not one of them is inclined toward false compliments. 

I know that I wish it were easier to believe them

I know that the people who told me that “in 6 months you'll be fine” were right.... as far as they went. I am not great, but I am fine. I can do anything I want to do, albeit slowly and cautiously. 

Of course, I also know that my wants have adjusted to my capabilities.

I know that over the course of 6 months the sun continues to move in a northerly direction, hitting the pillars outside in a gradually turning arc that makes you notice the world on its axis. I have a special relationship with the late afternoon and this living room and Douglas and Nellie the Netbook and you who are reading these words right now.

I know that you've helped me heal by letting me vent and sending your love and your strength when I needed it along the way.

I know that TBG is right when he says that writing organizes my thoughts in a way that talking to me does not approximate. I'd take him at his word, denizens; he's been listening to me for 41 years. 

I know that publicly sharing my words has been cathartic in a way that having others write or speak about me has not been. Not at all. Sometimes the media is accurate, sometimes it captures the moment, but all too often it's a little bit off. Not that anyone would notice, but I do. It's about me after all.

I know that while it's fun to notice Mike Taibbi on NBC's Nightly News and think about the fact that he's been in my living room, it's weird to have another station's anchor refer to me as someone close to Congressman Giffords. Unless he was speaking literally – I was 10' away from her when the shooting began – it's just not true. I'm still waiting to shake her hand for the first time. But it's out there, forever and ever, uncorrectable and false. It's a good thing that

I know
  • not to sweat the small stuff anymore.
  • that I will heal
  • that the justice system cannot give me what I have lost
  • that crime does not pay and vengeance serves no earthly purpose
And I know that I'm glad to be here to enjoy the sunrise..... each and every day.


  1. ...and so are we all!! If not, there would be a very big sad hole in your family and friends heart. But! here you are getting better all the time! the human body is an amazing thing, sometimes it just takes it's time....debbbie

  2. As i was sitting here at my computer, feeling sorry for myself for no reason whatsoever, your post gave me the jolt i needed. It's a beautiful post (as are many of your posts) and i'm thankful that i found your blog. God's work in you isn't done yet, my friend....and i'm also glad that you are here, sharing your heart.

  3. Some day after one of those glorious mornings where we awaken to another day maybe I will meet you and we can chat for a minute or two about things not violent, processes that inspire, being in love with the use of words on a page, or being damn fine women of a certain age. Anniversaries are strange things. Sometimes I wish I didn't notice them, but then I realize that fence posts give us boundaries in this fertile life field that we can safely stay within, or vault with gleeful defiance. Reading you gives me hope. Thank you.

  4. I'm kind of sad today. Realizing it's been six months since that horrible day. Time seems to have gone by really fast and yet for some, it has almost stood still. Hearts are still broken and that will take a lot longer to heal than just six months (if they ever heal at all).

    Sending a hug not just for you, but for me too.

    Megan xxx

  5. Thanks, everyone. Today has been a real watershed. Next week's posts on this subject are already being written... there is lots to think about right now.

  6. Hard to believe it's been six months... continued healing and I'm looking forward to meeting the real live you in August!

  7. I was startled when I heard on NPR this morning that it has been six months. Then I thought, of course it has. You have made remarkable strides while most of the rest of us have just been muddling through. xoxoxo

  8. It has been awhile since I have responded to your posts but I was genuinely drawn to your site today not for the usual reason ( 6 months from that horrible day today) but to comment about your enduring spirit and your philosophy of life now. You have recovered in leaps and bounds from that horrible day and you are a survivor just like me. You are a caring, thoughtful, and genuine person who speaks the truth and meets life head on without any doubts.
    A quick transgression about my late mother who passed away May 6, 2011 at the age of 85. I do not know why I did not die first at the age of 48 from Cardiomyopathy 6 years ago but I did not thanks to a loving family and the grace of God. I will only know that answer on the day I die which I pray is a long ways off. All I know is the sun rises everyday from the east and sets in the west and I can count another day as a blessing. I know this will happen everyday until the day I am taken by our Lord and I have fulfilled my earthly journey. Obviously, God is not done with me yet just like every other good person on earth. Likewise, for the bad apples out there, judgement day awaits them. I know I would not want to be on our Lord's bad side when I meet him !
    Finally, I know progress seems slow right now compared to when you first started to recover just like myself after my heart transplant but you will be amazed at how fast time flies when you do not think you are progressing fast enough. It is all part of the recovery process which you are very familiar with. God bless you, TBG, the Green family (John, Roxanna, and especially Dallas Green, Jr.)

    P.S. I Saw an interview with the Green family (John and Roxanna )tonight on the Fox affiliate in Tucson, Arizona and they are a truly exceptional family. You, TBG, and the rest of your family are very lucky to personally
    know this extraordinary family !

  9. Oddly enough, your words make me think of the future. A year ago you were a different person living your life pretty much in a pleasant and purposeful way. At that time you could not even comprehend the abrupt and horrifying turn that your life would take.

    And I sit here calmly going about my business -- now wondering what my future holds. Will I be jerked out of my complacency by some unforeseen event -- something incomprehensible to me now? If so -- I pray that I can handle it as well as you.

  10. Solid. That's the word that comes to mind with this post, these learnings. Solid. Grounded. Reliably rooted.

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