In the Hallway: Bless My Compression Socks

compressionIt has come to this, friends.

Compression socks and flip-flops.

A valiant if not stylish effort to keep me walking and upright without subjecting sweet Maddie to more drugs and the other children to our own special episode of the Walking Dead, aka “Summer of the Zombie Mommy.”

C’mon, admit it. You, too, are now running to your local CVS so that you can be this classy. Just make sure you also pick up a cane because the look really loses something without it.

What. A. Hoot.

This journey.  This road. This life.

A. Hoot.

But even as I find myself in a place I’ve been before, I am navigating its familiarity and yet embracing its many differences.  Before this, pregnancy for me meant relief.  Rocking immune system, no systemic joint pain, muscles without a million knots and ENERGY.

(Imagine that, pregnancy giving you energy?!?!?)

I was, hands down, the most IRRITATING first-time pregnant woman.  I was delighted to be able to move without pain.  I was jazzed to eat something and NOT throw up.

I actually felt HUMAN while all my contemporaries were like, “Nausea, swelling, peeing a million times over, back pain, WHAT??? This girl needs to calm down before I hit her.”

But I couldn’t help it.  Really, I couldn’t. Quite simply, I radiated joy.

You see, for nine months, I got a glimpse into the relief of heaven after three years of being a mess AND I got this cute baby at the end of it all!!!

What. A. Deal.

But this time, friends, remission has decided to pass me by and bless my compression socks, I seem to growing more geriatric by the blessed minute.

(And by-the-by when I say geriatric, I don’t mean the “sure am feeling my 37 years, having to use Ben Gay” kind of realization. I’m talking the “standing in the medical supply aisle at Walgreens and realizing the only other people there have a good 40-50 years on you” kind.  I’m talking I would gladly call the marketing departments of every device and volunteer to ride a jazzy in front of the Statue of Liberty, flit through flowers or have a picnic with my kiddos in whatever commercial just to help another sister feel less…well…geriatric.)

Heaven sounds so good right now I cannot even tell you…

But Maddie.

She’s worth it.

The compression socks.  The mind-numbing fatigue.  The joint and muscle pain out the yin-yang.

She’s worth it all.

So much so that every time tears come over pain or fatigue or failure, her little “Hi-Ya!” kicks send me back to joy quicker than even chocolate.  (And anyone who knows me and my love affair with all things  chocolate knows that is SERIOUS.) But even in that place of joy, I am struggling with my friends, lonely and isolated.

Not because I don’t have a ridiculous amount of people who love me, but the things that feed me (getting together with my girls, going out for coffee, play dates) are beyond this little body’s capacity right now. And I’ll admit that some days and some moments are just stinking hard.

But I will also tell you something else.  There is a sacred place that has pulled me out of the “Woe is me, I’m all alone” pity that comes from camping in my own stuff. And that, my friends, is standing in someone else’s hallway.

I see glimpses of them every time I slowly shuffle through the hospital.

Watching a husband smooth his wife’s head scarf and gently take her hand as they walk into the cancer center together for chemo…

Walking by radiology every time I head to the OB/High-risk floor and seeing the oxygen tanks and the wheelchairs and the frailty…

Greeting my sweet high-risk appointment scheduler and finding out how her fertility treatments are going (or not going…)

Sitting in the ER…

Standing in the heart center…

Holding the elevator door for an amputee…

Hallway after hallway after hallway.

And I remember that my purpose here is not just to wait for eternity and the relief of what is coming but instead, it is to love the wounded, broken and weary of this world…

Even when I am weary and broken and lonely…

Even when I want to sit on the floor and cry buckets…

Even when I am defeated…

I remember how He in His suffering reached out and rescued me.  How in the moment of His greatest pain, He looked to His right and His left and offered, “Come with me.”  How even in His shame, He turned to John and said, “Take care of my mama.”

It all reminds me that even as I stand in the weight of my hallway, someone is waiting….

In a hallway similar to my own or in one wholly unfamiliar…

But always in desperate need of my love, my smile, my touch, my heart…

Yes, heaven is coming.  Relief is coming.  Maddie is coming!!!

But in the in-between, there is still work left to be done.

For I am needed in another hallway…

And so, sweet friends, are you.


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