Moving Along

Today has been rather an exhausting day, so after I post a few words (or even a lot of words), I’m going to rest my knee.

I woke at first light as I have been doing the past couple of months. This early rising began with The Bob and resulting isolation, and it is still holding true, even if I wear a sleep mask to block the light in the hopes of sleeping later. What I did at the beginning of this early rising was lie in bed and scroll through Facebook looking for articles of interest, which, in retrospect, was so not a good thing to do — it started the day off with all sorts of crap in my head I didn’t want there. Now, I look at the weather, check my emails, pick a tarot card for the day and try to puzzle out how it refers to me, and then wander around the house a bit until the sun comes up.

I did all that today, then I went out and unlocked my garage. (What wonderful words those are!) I dragged out a ladder and reset the button on the light-sensitive and motion-activated light we installed over the walk-in door. (I thought we turned it on, but apparently, we turned it off because it didn’t come on last night.) Luckily, I only had to climb two rungs because I’m not sure how my knee would have held out if I had to climb higher.

Then I watered my baby bushes and the timid transplanted ones that have not yet settled into their new location.

And then . . . Ta dum!

I took a walk. It wasn’t anything to speak of, just a few blocks — maybe a half mile at most — but since my knee had prevented any sort of walking except some painful hobbling from room to room inside the house for the past several weeks, it was a real triumph. Oddly, my knees and legs don’t hurt from the exercise (though behind the knees ached for a while) but my arms are very sore. No, I didn’t walk on my hands, but the trekking poles I used take some of the weight off my knees and onto my arms. During all that time of healing, I didn’t do much of anything except rest, and I’m paying for it now. Or maybe, a better way of looking at it is that I’m now reaping the benefits of all the resting because I was able to take a walk today. Slowly. But I walked.

And yes, for all you who suggested it, I did use a brace. The brace I got didn’t fit, and since I couldn’t get around to shop for one that did fit, I cut up and rearranged the one I have so it does some good. What is helping even more is massaging the knee (though how manipulating a loose knee cap helps, I don’t know) and using an herbal poultice with frankincense and myrrh. And ice. And heat. (Heat seems to help more now than ice does, though to be honest, with as hot as it is, I’d prefer the ice.)

So, now I’m exhausted.

Time to rest.

As for the garage — the door is up and on track, the framework is finished, and the lock on the walk-in door is installed. Things are moving along!


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator


A Gift of Frankincense and Myrrh

Once, long ago and far away, three wise men gave gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to a baby. Today, a wise woman gave me a gift of frankincense and myrrh, which could prove as valuable as gold if they work as promised to relieve the pain of my poorly functioning hand.

It seems odd to know of those ancient substances without ever knowing what they were or what they were for. Seems even odder to take the story of the wise men and their gifts for granted. I mean, really — would you bring something so obscure to a baby shower? No, you’d stick with something practical like . . . I don’t know . . .  whatever is practical to give to a baby. But perhaps those aromatics weren’t merely valued for their scents. (I think that is what we were told, I don’t really remember.) Maybe the frankincense and myrrh were valued for medicinal purposes, for keeping the baby healthy and the mother pain-free.

One of the many weird aspects of growing older is the way the body’s fat migrates. The protective fat pads from my feet and hands have disappeared, which makes long distance walking painful (the tops of my feet, oddly, not the bottoms). Perhaps these gifts from the wise woman will enable me to ramble again (though, admittedly, when I did ramble for hours, it was not during a time I was taking dance classes. Those classes range from an hour on the shortest day to four hours on the longest day, as well the mile walk to and from class, so I am not actually as lazy as I think I am).

If nothing else, these mythic gifts bring me a wonderful feeling of strange, as if somehow I am connected to the ancient story of the magi and that journey they took so very long ago.

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.