Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Lucy Pacemaker

Yesterday I wandered

Yesterday
I wandered up and down
Through early promises
Of Spring’s new life.

As though being born
Yet again, old friends
Emerged from hiding
And new babies bounced
In warm drafts of fragrance
Flowing through layers
Of warmed air and mist
Accompanied by the soft
Shuffle of feet making
Their way through a rite
Of late winter willing the
Appearance of swaying
Orchids proudly presenting
Their newly birthed faces
And colors of the rainbow
Lit by shafts of light falling
Through portals in clear ceilings
Waving invitations to the ball

That’s right folks! We visited Longwood Gardens yesterday, where orchids are featured at this time every year. An annual cold-weather reminder that Spring is just around the corner.

I’m working on a photo post for later. In the meantime, I voted to write and post this poem today, rather than revisiting last night’s tortuous yet transparent State of the Union address. I will say, however, that it made my heart leap to see so many women willing to step up, step out, and make their presence and voices known at this event.

Tomorrow morning I visit one of my heart doctors. Nothing pressing, just a regular checkup with my Lucy Pacemaker doctor. Did you know Lucy collects a huge amount of data on my heartbeats (or lack thereof)? Once a year I get a full report and printout full of charts and graphs. I’ll get one tomorrow. Hopefully I’m at least holding my own.

Here’s to a relaxing day/evening/afternoon or whatever it is when you read this poem. Just imagine yourself in your favorite garden or conservatory!

Cheers!
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 6 February 2019
Photo taken by DAFraser, 5 February 2019 at in the Longwood Gardens Conservatory

Catching up with myself

One of my faithful readers has challenged me (informally, of course) to tell you the story behind the photo above. It was my last photo in the Valley Forge National Park post about a week ago.

I immediately thought of three true stories, but another turned up this morning. Nonetheless, just so you don’t feel deprived, here’s a one sentence version of each story I’ve chosen not to tell in detail.

  1. Because Elouise is the firstborn of four daughters, she feels the need to keep running or walking faster in order to stay ahead of the pack breathing down her neck.
  2. Elouise and D love to go for walks during which D takes pictures while E just keeps walking ahead and circling back and then walking ahead again, again and again for as long as it takes.
  3. This was a very long walk with restroom facilities and a comfortable car at the end of the journey which Elouise has now almost reached.

OK. All true, and I could produce more of the same. However, on a more serious note, I’ve never thought of myself as needing to catch up with myself. Which means my self knows where it’s going and I need to learn to follow it. So I’ve chosen to see the photo as a kind of allegory of my current life: learning to listen to what I need and can deliver to myself.

Just over two years ago my life changed. Full stop. Don’t move. Breathe deeply, relax and learn to accept.

Short version: Multiple heart problems partially resolved by lovely Lucy Pacemaker. Two weeks later, nasty fall on sidewalk and a broken jaw that forever changed my walking and eating habits. Slow slide afterwards into adrenal fatigue with improvement, not yet resolved. And just over a year ago, a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease.

The impact on my life was sudden and confusing. I never dreamed recovery would be a long, slow forever slog. Or that other issues already residing in my body would be discovered and need attention as well.

The upshot was that I can no longer predict with certainty what I’ll need or be able to do day-to-day. I know the general limits and possibilities of each day, yet I never know how each day will play out. Things that seemed easy yesterday often feel impossible the next day. There isn’t much I can count on except that I have to eat, sleep, listen to and follow my body.

I remember when I first heard the phrase ‘listening to our bodies.’ I thought I knew what that meant. Yet I now know this is an invitation to controlled chaos. In the midst of this chaos, my body is the only reliable indicator I have to get me from here to there. That is, to a place of acceptance and gratitude without becoming bitter, cynical or despairing. And without making presumptions about tomorrow.

The photo reminds me that though this is a lonely task, beauty accompanies me. Sometimes it isn’t as obvious as Valley Forge National Park. Yet it’s always there waiting to be discovered. Sometimes in my backyard; sometimes in other people; sometimes in music or writing or the wanderings of my mind. I may seem alone and feel lonely; yet there’s more going on than loneliness when I’m willing to receive it. That’s when I truly catch up with myself and am grateful.

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 16 May 2018
Photo taken by DAFraser at Valley Forge National Park, 6 May 2018

Happy Happy Happy!

This afternoon I’m happy and relieved. D and I took off right after breakfast to drive to Longwood Gardens. The weather was picture perfect.

Why so happy? Because this was my first attempt at (slow!) hiking in the meadow since before I broke my jaw and lost all my energy. I was hesitant about doing it, but decided I’d never know until I tried. Here’s a lightning quick look.

Butterflies, bees and dragonflies were out in droves
on this side of the meadow.
We walked to the top, sat in the shade a bit,
then returned and exited via the forest path.


Next we walked over to the café for a little lunch. I had a mildly spicy vegetarian chili and a cup of fresh fruit. D settled for a turkey sandwich. Then we walked through part of the conservatory, did a short visit to the flower walk, and headed home.

Good health news: Yesterday I saw my Lucy (pacemaker) cardiologist and his wonderful assistant who makes sure Lucy is working properly. She’s doing an outstanding job, I’m happy to say!

I’m eager to try a few more external activities, in addition to daily walks here in our neighborhood. No big social events, just lovely strolls outside that let nature do its work renewing me for whatever comes next.

Cheers!
Elouise 

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 9 August 2017
Photo credit: DAFraser, 9 August 2017, Longwood Gardens Meadow
Response (sort of) to WordPress Daily Prompt: Spicy

Why I Love Lucy

I still crack up watching this 1950s episode–
Lucy at her creative, in your face, unrehearsed and unashamed best!
The secret ingredient, of course, is alcohol….
a side-splitting spoof on all the snake oil remedies being foisted on us.

Lucy Pacemaker is soooooo excited I’m posting this.
I hope she doesn’t have a heart attack!

Happy Tuesday!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 28 March 2013
With thanks to the hands that recorded, edited and uploaded this to YouTube.
Response to Daily Prompt: Elixir

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