Today I washed my hair in the bath tub. With one arm glued to my side (more out of fear of intense pain, than due to actual intense pain) and a red keg cup in my free hand, I struggled with my innate clutziness. It was frustrating. I fought down my instinct to let the right hand assist the left. I dropped cupful after cupful of water on my matted hair until it was wet enough to add shampoo, then awkwardly lathered, one-handed. We were nearly out of conditioner, and extracting a quarter-sized blob into my hand felt pretty close to a miracle. That's when it struck me: I was kinda enjoying myself.
On Friday I had surgery. My first. I had no idea what to expect. Well, I expected pain. And that I would probably wish for my mom to be by my side (even though I'd reassured her countless times that I would be fine. Really, fine). The procedure would stitch up a cartiledge tear in my shoulder, hopefully giving me back a relatively pain-free yoga practice. It has been so long.
I did not expect to learn so much from this surgery, especially in a groggy, pain pill-filled somnambulant state.
Pulling off the gauze and pressure wraps from my surgery I was overwhelmed with nausea, light-headedness, chills. I was sore, sensitive, raw. My husband gently, gently unwound the bandages. Carefully he helped ease me into a warm bath and sponged the iodine and adhesive off of my aching shoulder. He clumsily tied my hair back and passed a warm washcloth across my face, easing the sleep out of my eyes. I sat, slumped, swollen, and weary while he took care of me. And he did the same all weekend--making me exotic varieties of smoothie when I didn't feel like eating real food, helping me carry the same four pillows back up and down the hallway as I grew restless sitting in one place, and never once complaining.
I did miss my mom this weekend. She is the most nurturing person I have ever met, and I am always happy to have her near. But this weekend I fully realized that marriage has made me a part of a new family. A family of two. With much love and much respect in our hearts, we will take care of each other through the painful times and the sweet times. And occasionally be surprised when they are one in the same.