Sunday, September 10, 2017

You know that feeling when the adrenaline drops because your body senses the danger is over and exhaustion ensues?

It was like hitting the wall. As soon as we got the very good news that, while the tumor they removed from Ivan's kidney was cancerous, the tissue around it was clear, it felt like someone popped my balloon and all the air whizzed out. I could finally relax and, boy, did I! I found it hard to keep my head propped up, so I just laid the seat back, put my eye mask on and relaxed all the way home. When we got back, as soon as I'd put away all the clean laundry and things we'd taken for overnight, I climbed into bed and just laid there a while. I couldn't sleep but I couldn't move either.  I was completely immobilized.

Dinner was simple: roast chicken, green beans I cooked the other day and reheated, and a caprese salad made with tomatoes picked fresh that morning from Tina's raised bed garden. I couldn't have done more than that. My mind, which has been on overdrive for months now, is finally feeling like it can rest. This is a real problem for me. I'd love to be able to turn my brain off when I go to bed but I can't. I waste useless hours going over what has happened, thinking about all that might happen, completely overwhelmed.

That fizzled out feeling has persisted all weekend, and I woke up with a sore throat this morning. I'm gargling like crazy in hopes I can reverse the sore throat trend, and also keeping my distance from Ivan, who has a raging head cold. I'm not nearly as worried about me as I am about my sister-in-law. I can't help her if I'm sick, because it could literally be life threatening at this point in her fight against cancer. She really cannot afford to get sick!

So we are hunkered down today, resting and recuperating and praying for healthy bodies. Ours and others. Not just those we know but those we'll probably never meet. We're listening to reports of Hurricane Irma ramming Florida, while the news on the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana is still fresh. I'm reminded of how small we are in the whole scheme of things; how insignificant our problems, when others face such devastating loss. Who hasn't been brought to tears by the stories coming out of Houston, Port Arthur and other places? It's one thing to hear the numbers (which are staggering) and another to listen to the individual stories of people. It's one thing to hear an entire island is uninhabitable after Irma, but as the camera pans over the landscape of Barbuda, I wonder about the people who lived in those homes, most now razed to the ground. What is their life going to look like moving forward?

And my tired brain cannot even process what they must be going through. I've made two major moves in the past decade but had time to prepare for each of those. Gotta be honest, now feeling a little embarrassed that I whined about how hard it was to pack up and move in five months when we returned to the U.S. this last time.

I moved. They've been displaced. Their adrenaline is probably still pumping like crazy and it might be a while before their bodies sense the danger is over and they can relax, falling into exhausted heaps like I did this weekend.

Displacement. It's a word we're hearing a lot these days. I'd like to start a discussion on the topic, but broaden it to include what it means to be displaced for whatever reason: natural catastrophe, war, poverty, religious persecution... I know I don't have a ton of readers on this little blog, but I also know we come from a wide background in terms of politics, religion, geography. I'd like to maybe open all our minds a bit, to see what it means on a personal level, to be displaced. It's so easy to lump everyone into categories, isn't it? To put all "those" people in a neat little box, and assign them all the same beliefs, feelings, life. But it's not that simple. It's actually a lot more complicated and messy and beautiful and I'm hoping to find some people who are willing to share their stories with us. Because we aren't just numbers, are we? I promise to do my best not to get all preachy on you, and I'm asking you to keep an open mind and be a part of the conversation. Deal?

1 comment:

The Bug said...

I'm so glad to hear that Ivan's tumor requires no further treatment! I sure don't blame your body for saying, "ok I'm done now!" Hope the sore throat does NOT stick around!

Maybe I've always been fortunate, and haven't had to fight for limited resources, but my default position has always been "Welcome all the people! The more the merrier! Have a seat at the table! Can I get you some wine or chocolate?" However, I know that in reality it IS messy to welcome the displaced. It disrupts our lives - and we have to watch to make sure we don't develop Savior Syndrome.