I loved school, and I was good at it. They gave us these little name badges to wear that proclaimed we were all Medical Assistants, and lab coats, and to make us feel really official, stethoscopes. I felt so grown up. I drew blood and learned to chart. My grades were good. School gave me a goal, a sense of self worth.
I volunteered with the Red Cross at the Naval Hospital, so I would have my foot in the door there. It was the best paying job available, but I had to know someone if I had any hopes of getting on there. I had no spare time. I kept myself busy. Filling up my waking hours so as not to feel, or think too much. I had no time to mourn my marriage or miss my Husband. Three weeks before I graduated, with a job already lined up, I fell. It was no big deal. A jammed pack Friday night at work, a little grease on a concrete floor and down I went. Right onto my knees. I was fine. I iced it, took some motrin and went home. I could't get out of bed. That was how I knew something was wrong. I could put no weight on my knee. I called my mother, I had yet to discover the pattern of me calling out to her and her answering me. I was not ready to see her back then. She drove me to Urgent Care. I was frustrated, angry. Mad at my body and at myself. I hated relying on others. I hated having to ask for help. I knew it would only be a matter of time until she let me down, through her actions, her judgements her lack of all things, I felt were mother-like. I would need surgery. I tried to bargain with my body. I tied to work still. I needed my job. I need the money. My children depended on me. This couldn't have been happening. No, I refused to admit my injury was real. I treated it like I had all my inner wounds, but my knee would have none of it. I relented, I had no choice. I felt helpless, but I knew I couldn't power through this like everything else.
I kept up with school, a classmate came and drove the kids and me everyday and I did my physical therapy. I graduation was bittersweet. I had the qualifications, the desired job placement but my knee would not heal. I couldn't stand on it for long. I could put no extra weight on it. I was filled with an inner frustration. I took another job working at another restaurant. I had a great boss and he worked around my knee. I ran the front of the house and he ran the kitchen. I made good money, but no benefits. I continued in PT and tried to refocus my goals. My husband started counseling. He spent time with the children. He offered to help around the house. It was easy to lean on him. To fall back into the familiar. He had a great job so he was happy. He wooed me endlessly. He bowled me over with his attention. He wrote love letters and apologized. I fell back in love with the man I knew he could be. I wanted our family so badly. I can't express that strongly enough. I ached for it. So, we patched up old wounds, painted over old disappointments and tried again. Everyone one deserves a second chance at a happy life. Things went well. I stayed home with the children and My Husband worked hard. We weren't well off, but we were fine.
A family member called. She wanted to meet, to talk. She was interested in counseling. She had found a group. She asked me to go with her. How could I not? I was so happy for her and honored that she would trust me to share such an intimate thing. On the very few times I question faith, a higher power, I don't care how you define it- I remember that meeting. I think of the lives that were changed. Of what came after and I am in awe of God.