Flight, not fight

Airport. Am lying on a bench in rather odd posture because of its shape, but much better supine than trying to sit, especially in the huge wheelchair provided by the airline. You could get three of me in it!

Have done so many flights into the dawn. From the original back from exploring Canada and making the life altering decision to bring our family, lock, stock and barrel across the Atlantic. Dizzy and almost drunk on success: my husband had got a job against the odds – one interviewer dropped dead before he could make a decision; another was snowed up in Montreal and couldn't do the interview at all. Two years later I flew back for my sister's wedding, our older daughter bubbling with excitement at being a bridesmaid, wriggling in the seat next to me. As the dawn bloomed, through homesick tears, I whispered Shakespeare's words: “this sceptred isle; this precious stone set in a silver sea.”

And years later, a lonely flight to my mother's deathbed. How bright the sun, how soft the clouds, and through a misty hole I could see gray and rain sodden England – and all that lay ahead. “We must remember the sunlight,” I said to the man next to me, who was flying to the death of a brother. A metaphor for hope over tragedy.”

Now it is dot and carry one. I am doped on higher dose of painkillers than usual, wired with a TENS to distract the nerves and fool them into ignoring the pain. My pelvis feels on fire with a red hot poker boring through my sacrum, and there is a long night ahead, yet my spirit is strangely at peace. It comes across so clearly: I can't stop the pain, but I CAN create a good and loving life. It is up to me how I interpret each moment. It is my choice to grow or diminish God. I am so grateful for the gift of life; what I can give back is a life played as well and with as much grace, moment by moment as I can muster.

So one more flight, back to our English family, to welcome and affection. The kids and grandkids are gathering to celebrate our Golden Wedding. Our daughter and her sons are already there, staying with our younger daughter; our son flies tomorrow with his kids from Vancouver. We are blessed – and somehow pain is irrelevant.


About UntraveledRoads

Fascinated by life, looking for answers to chronic pain and finding unexpected gifts. Interested in people, ideas, healing and humour. I am very happily married with three children and a kitten. As English born immigrants to Canada, we have family spread overseas, a daughter in South Africa and one in England. We also run a charity in South Africa to educate black, rural South African Women. Our first girl from a rural township has just graduated as an accountant from Johannesburg University and got a good job in a bank.
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