As some of you know, my husband has undergone two detached retina surgeries in the last month. As part of each surgery, a gas bubble was inserted in the his eye, and the recovery regimen requires that he looks down for 45 minutes out of every hour.
While after the first surgery, he did not have to sleep looking down, because of the difficulty and size of the gas bubble after the second surgery, he has also had to sleep looking directly down for the last 10 days. If you have ever tried sleeping looking directly down, you will see the obvious difficulty.
In an earlier blog, I noted the irony of Charlie Chaplain's quote, "You will never find rainbows if you are looking down" while noting the many rainbows we have found in this difficult month with the kindnesses of so many friends, neighbors, co-workers and even complete strangers.
One of my co-workers and good friends, Bob, came over to the house to put together a medical ergonomic chair that we rented after the second surgery. Jeff desperately needed assistance in holding his head downward without continuing to strain the muscles in his neck and back. What a rainbow this chair has been!
Yes, Bob created a rainbow of this wondrous chair, as did our neighbor Mike. Mike saw me struggling to shovel our fresh 5" snowfall and came across the street with his huge snowblower to finish our driveway. Thank goodness Mike moved to Ohio from Minnesota!
And the rainbows continued all week. My special education department filled bags of my favorite snack foods such as cranberrry drinks, pistachios, dark chocolate, apples, oranges, bananas and mixed nuts snack mix. So so thoughtful. Even more, they also filled a card with gift cards from a number of our favorite restaurants including Rusty Bucket and Max and Erma's. Every intervention specialist, parapro, and related arts teacher had signed this card, including even those who are not even in our building full-time. An avalanche of rainbows!!
More cards came from Jeff's work, and numerous text messages containing prayer messages and prayer chains flooded in this week. My secretary and her husband delivered two full dinners from Olive Garden, and Girl Scout cookies Thin Mints were donated and placed on my desk. Our athletic trainer even delivered a special angled pillow to a school in which I had a meeting so that I could take it home to Jeff to improve his likelihood of sleep. (And yes, it has helped!)
It is hard to put into words what all this has meant to us. After about 23 consecutive days of Jeff spending hours on end looking downward, without being able to drive or work and after two retinal detachment surgeries, our lives have largely revolved around surgical appointments, eye drops four times per day, and restless attempts at sleeping.
Can you find rainbows looking down? You bet you can. Williams Wordsworth wrote, "My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky." Every single one of these kindnesses have made our hearts leap up too!
And to my dear sweet husband, who reads every one of my blogs (yes-- even using the double mirror or by looking straight downwards), I end with what I hope is a rainbow of my own:
As Anne Bradstreet wrote in her poem To my dear and loving husband, "If ever two were one, then surely we." We recited this quote at our wedding ceremony, and it is still true today. You have always been my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.