Waiting to Recover

This pandemic has gone on long enough. It can feel like we are stuck in a time warp. This week, saw the second year of us hosting a small family gathering for the twins’ 4th birthday with limited numbers and staying outdoors (the weather was glorious to be fair). I couldn’t help but wonder will we be doing the same again next year despite the progress with vaccines? Any then that got me wondering about the importance of waiting  - what waiting can teach us, even when we don’t like it.

 When ill or injured, people are often forced to wait – it’s not uncommon to be advised by a doctor to ‘give it time’…. at which point you want to give her a box because all we want is a wonder-drug to sort us out as quickly as possible so that we can play the next match or compete in the next event, or just to get our lives back to ‘normal’.

 As a child, I had dislocated hips – a congenital condition that robbed me of the ability to walk or move much from an infant to about the age of 5. We lived about 30 minutes’ drive from the hospital where I had multiple surgeries to try to correct it. My mother didn’t drive, and Dad worked full time, so it was difficult for them to get in to see me. I was often in ‘traction’ with my hips suspended in some awkward mid-air position to help set bones in place. I had a huge plaster of Paris set across both hips. I was often bored in hospital and couldn’t move.

Looking back on that time now though, it offered me one of the best gifts that keeps on giving: the ability to read. The nurses used to bring me books or a comic that had been left behind by some other kid that had been released. I was so thrilled to receive them and soon graduated to copies of the ‘Ireland’s Own’ or ‘Woman’s Way’ such was my boredom.

 Eventually, everyone knew not to leave the hospital without passing on any reading material to me. The upshot was, that when I did eventually leave hospital without my walker, and joined my peers in school, I had the reading ability of a 10-year-old. I remember the teacher being quite astonished that I could read so well. That waiting period was the foundation of my entire education, work and most treasured hobby. If that wasn’t a blessing, I don’t know what is.

 Here’s to waiting to recover – you never know where it will lead.



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