25 July 2006


I've used that old hack, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." so often that I've forgotten what lemons taste like. I've incorporated it so deeply into my life that lemons just automatically become lemonade. For many years I've thought that to be positive was a good and necessary trait. This morning I realized it's not always so. I think that it's a tragedy of our culture that we do not allow ourselves to engage with the lemons before turning them into lemonade. To feel them, smell them, taste them ... in short allow ourselves to feel whatever pain we need to feel in order to move on.

In April of 1998, LightHusband suffered what we thought was a short term back injury. It turned into a three year odyssey which included weekly doctor visits to Walter Reed, a year and a half on convalescent leave and high-powered narcotics. His condition remained undiagnosed for more than two-thirds of that time. Many of the treatments actually aggravated his condition and made it life-long. Much of the time he couldn't sit or stand for more than ten minute periods. The children were quite small; it began shortly after LightBoy's first birthday and we knew we were finally out of the woods around his fifth birthday. It was, to put it mildly, a nightmare.

We met way back when. Way back when we were both enthralled with fife and drum music. He was in The Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps. We both belonged to a civilian corps. We wrote music together, put together shows, wrote marching drill, taught students. But mostly we dreamed about the day when he would retire from the Army and we'd go back to New England with our own children and march in a fife and drum corps back there. That dream was shattered forever in April of 1998. He will never ever be able to march again. He can barely play his snare drum through a song or two without being in pain for several days. We're still enthralled with the music. I love to play. I'm still quite good, the fingers remember. But how can I? It just hurts too much.

The Israelites called it "mara" or bitter water. I think it's lemon water ... lemonade with no sugar. I'm learning to experience the lemons; to feel the pain in order to move on.


Blogger kate said...

Nice, Sonja. Anything else I could say would sound super trite, so I'll stick with: Nice. :)

7/25/2006 12:13:00 PM  

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