In the days immediately following my accident in which I fractured two bones in my right ankle, I got verklempt every time someone was kind or helpful. When Hillary, one of the mother runners I was running with, let me hold her hand as we waited for Jonna to arrive with a ride to the ER, I silently sobbed. The next day, when Jonna took me to get my hair professionally washed at the hotel salon, my breath caught in my throat and tears streaked my cheeks. When Jonna hopped in the car to drive me home to Portland (five+ hours, through the night!) rather than put me on a plane, I cried some more. When my son, John, patted my arm and asked if I was feeling sad, the floodgates opened again. When Natalie, a Wisconsin mother runner at our Retreat, shared a mantra with me pre-surgery via text, I wept and nodded.
Yeah, I was pretty much an emotional wreck.
But now that I've been carried along these past three weeks on a veritable river of kindness and generosity by countless mother runners, neighbors, family members, and friends, I can remain dry eyed most of the time and even smile and laugh. I've been buoyed by mother runner love from all directions--a novel from Rachel in Australia; a beautiful bouquet from Ragnar teammates; a badass coaster from Jen in N.C.; a care package from No Limits ladies in Wisconsin and Minnesota, overflowing with chocolates, puzzles, nuts, a lip gloss, and books; scrumptious meals; and cards.
So many heart-warming cards and letters, like this one tucked into an exchange from our store from Annie in Denver: "Dear Sarah, I am so sorry about your accident. I offer up prayers for a quick (and full) healing every time I run. Also, I hope you are able to be free of all the heartache that comes with not being able to do what you love."
Okay, so I thought I could remain weep-free as I typed that message; I was mistaken. It's sentiments like that I'm trying to embrace during this healing period. I'm focusing on the short term, not the long term. Last night, on an incredibly slow walk around the block with my BRF, Molly, I told her it's too tough to look too far into the future. As much as I want this recovery time to speed by in a blur, it's not. And since I usually lament how my kids are growing up too fast and I'll be collecting Social Security any day now, I have vowed to not be a hypocrite and wish it all away. Instead, I'm prodding my children for details from their outside lives--anecdotes of Daphne's classic soccer practices; stories from John about crushes his classmates are sporting; tales of "masters drama" tryouts from Phoebe.
Because, it turns out, it's the impact of my injury on my family life that still makes me sad. Yes, I miss morning workouts with Molly something fierce; and yes, I wish I could be getting my sweat on during sunny spring days, but I'm enough of an optimist to believe those experiences are out there waiting for me. But it was spending most of Mother's Day inside instead of making our annual family pilgrimage to an iris garden that had me teary two weekends ago, and missing a Native American canoe expedition with the twins on a class field trip that sank me the deepest into despair. The runs and conversations often merge into a brilliant blur that can be resumed, but it's unique missed experiences with my family that still make me, well, verklempt.
I composed the previous portion of this post before first post-surgical appointment with ortho surgeon. The splint was removed, and docs were pleased with what they saw, both on the exterior and on the X-rays. They took the stitches out, but then came the part I'd been dreading: a cast. A non-weight-bearing cast. For at least three weeks, then hopefully transition to a weight-bearing boot.
Turns out my fibula was more shattered than they had first thought (surgeons discovered this during surgery so it wasn't news...but I was so hazy post-operation, it actually was a tear-inducing revelation to me), so my recovery is going to take longer than the initial prognosis. One surgeon, the more conservative of the two, said she thought maybe I'd be running five miles by six months post-surgery (so early November). But she has concerns about pain and possible arthritis.
I'm still sorting it all out in my somewhat-addled mind: a fresh batch (or two) of tears at the doctors office, but Optimism is my middle name, so I'm sticking with that. I'll keep you posted, and please know I literally can feel the healing vibes you all are sending me. The other day I quieted my mind, thought of the AMR tribe, and I swear I could feel my bones knitting back together. I'll just try not to cry every time someone tweets a positive affirmation or writes an encouraging comment on Instagram. XO