Bumps in the Road

Ever feel as if your life is a smooth, well-paved highway with plenty of room in all lanes for all traffic? Nope, me, either. We can count on many bumps in the road as we make our way through life. Some we can see coming in the distance; others trip us up unaware.

We can be as careful and as conscious of everything around us as possible, but the bumps will come, no matter what. However, I’ve found that every one of those bumps has taught me something. But this isn’t to say that I’ve been thrilled about them—far from it.

When I had a huge tear in my rotater cuff a few years ago, I had to wear a heavy and uncomfortable sling for a few weeks. This was after the neck surgery I had to have prior to the shoulder surgery, requiring me to wear a neck brace.

The pain was bearable afterwards, but the worst part was that I needed help with everything; and I do mean everything. Thank God for the Crankee Yankee. He helped me shower, potty, get dressed and just about everything a person needs when they don’t have the use of their dominant arm.

It drove me up the wall until I realized that I had badly needed this time to heal. More than that, I needed to slow down. When the Universe, God, Spirit, whatever, notices that you are not listening to their gentle hints that you should change your life, well, then—they will slow you down. I finally stopped fighting this particular bump, and life was a lot better. One bump = one lesson learned.

Right now my poor, sweet, dear Crankee Yankee has a bad case of shingles on the right side of his back, side and chest. Long story short, shingles is an painful and itchy rash that presents on one area of the body. You can have it with or without the rash; I had it years ago, located in my left shoulder. While I didn’t get the rash, I certainly had the pain; it felt like someone had stabbed me in the shoulder with an ice pick.

Even with the meds and daily and nightly applications of calamine lotion, he is not a happy camper. My heart breaks for him. It’s hard for him to get comfortable enough to sleep, and all this hot and humid weather we’ve been having here in New Hampshire hasn’t helped. However, the Crankee Yankee is the type of person who prefers to hole up and lay low until the illness has run its course. He is smart enough to realize that he needs to give in to the “bump.”

So it is what it is, and we are dealing with it. As with anything that is uncomfortable, painful, unexpected or inconvenient, we dealing with this new bump as well as we can. Plus the Crankee Yankee is a lot smarter and a lot less stubborn that I was.

Here’s the thing: we never know what’s coming down our particular path in life; good or bad. I’m fond of saying, ‘look for the good in whatever’s happening now,’ but it’s hard to apply that when someone you love is suffering. The best we can do is to just be there, apply whatever balm or sympathy we can give, and just love them through it.

The take-away on this particular bump in the road for me is this: be present, be kind and be aware of any needs not met. Patience helps, too. We have all had times where we can’t function on our own. That’s when our family and friends mean so much to us. Plus, it is a time to learn.

Just remember, those bumps in the road are ultimately for our good. It may not seem so at the time, but believe it; there will be a time when you will see that that bump was a learning experience you had to have in order to get to where you needed to go.

The Jews in their wry and wonderful  wisdom have an all-purpose word in Yiddish that describes this and many other like situations; “Oy!” or “vey iz mir,” which means “woe is to me.”

Oy, indeed….