Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Laughing through the pain.

Well, my writing ability is a bit compromised tonight. Not because of any type of emotional, or cognitive problem, just due to the simple fact that my left arm is quite swollen. After having Monday's tattoo work done on my arm, which covers the length of my left fore arm, it is now very sore. Any time I lower my arm too far, and the blood rushes downward, the pain then increases. I actually find it a bit humorous, because I can see the "I told you so" looks that Michael would be throwing my way about now. And after that I would likely pout for a bit, so he would, without thinking, put his arms around me, and crush that same swollen and sore arm. That was his style. So keeping him present in my life, I have to smile, laugh a little, and well up.

What is also funny, is that while eating my lunch at my desk today, I was reading a story about a guy who tried to cut off his own arm off when it got caught in a furnace he was trying to fix. When nobody came to help, after many hours mind you, he decided to cut himself free. As I was reading this I was feeling this intense pain in my arm. Now at the end of the day, I'm starting to see what might lead someone to do such a desperate act.

You know, the condition of my swollen and sore arm, and the fact that I can see humor in the pain, is very similar to how I am feeling about my grief these days. I can be sitting here in tears, thinking about Michael, then quickly find myself laughing at how he would be responding to me. I like this. This is how Michael and I were. There were so many serious things that we had to face each day for the past couple of years, but we always managed to make some snide remark about a situation that would have us both laughing. It's moments like that, memories like that, that put a big smile on my face, and his. I can certainly feel him smiling right now.


  1. I hope your arm is better tonight. How long does the pain and swelling usually last? I love the photo that you used in this post. It's nice when those moments happen when you know what the other person would have said, or thought about something, or reacted.
    Today has been an odd day for me. A mover arrived with all of the stuff that I put into storage last year before I put the farm for sale. Most of our belongings have been packed since a month after Don's death, so I haven't seen a lot of our things in about 20 months. I didn't unpack anything at all today as I was just too tired after unloading boxes. The place is in utter chaos and probably will be for several days. I'm looking forward to seeing some of our things - especially our pottery. We collected pieces at the studio shows of favourite artisans for about 20 years. Each piece was very meaningful to us. I know it is going to feel very strange to see and handle these pieces again, especially those that were Don's favourites. I realize this is going to be very hard and I'll have to be in the right mood.

  2. Hi bev, I don't usually experience so much swelling and pain, but this tattoo is larger and more complicated than my others. I have to keep in mind that there were four layers of color being pressed into my skin by the needles for about 3 1/2 hours. So of course there is going to be some swelling. It was very painful at work today, but now that I am at home I can feel the swelling going down. It's worth it.

    That sounds like quite an intense delivery today. In a way it will be like uncovering little treasures all over again. Maybe spaces the opening of boxes will help from feeling overwhelmed, and also allow you to appreciate the memory that each piece reminds you of.

    I hope you are doing well. I'm just sitting here enjoying the quiet in my house. Both animals are asleep near me which adds to the peacefulness.

  3. Dan - it was quite an intense delivery! The fellow hired to bring the stuff here does trips between Ontario and Nova Scotia - moves furniture, office equipment, etc.. His rig was very strange and he had a hard time getting into my yard due to how the lane comes up a hill on a curve. He could not get the vehicle close to the house so his helper and I ended up doing a lot of walking!

    I agree that unpacking will be like uncovering little treasures. We collected interesting things on our travels -- well, I should say, these are things that we happened to find interesting - such a a spiral-shaped 3 foot long piece of cedar driftwood that was from one of some very ancient cedar that grow out of a huge rock that towers over that lake - it looks like a piece of narwhale tusk or a unicorn's horn! Lots of other funny things like that - shells of all kinds - pottery - my pine folk art carvings such as a mobile of icarus flying around the sun. I also have family heirlooms - but odd things, like a funky big metal toolbox with my dad's initials on one end, that was his toolbox when he was a young man working as a mechanic before he went on to do other things. His mom's laundry basket which was a basket brought to her by one of her sea-faring brothers before 1900 when she came to Canada. Not the usual kind of stuff you see in people's houses these days. More like cabinet-of-curiosities objects in an old museum. A story attached to each thing. (-:

    I will probably space out the unwrapping just so that I can have time to think about the memories attached to these objects. No need to rush as I have so much else to do here. I'm doing okay, but it was a hectic week as I was trying to get the downstairs rooms of the house fixed up before the mover arrived. I'd done a ton of plaster repairs, but then wanted to give the place a paint job and just got it done Wednesday night. Whew! Maybe a blog post about all of this coming up soon.