Editor's Picks Opinion

Life on The Outside

Thank You Jesus! I have enough strength in my right leg to bear my own weight for a few seconds. Another “baby step” in my journey toward recovery, but I am grateful for every step forward. The exhilaration I felt (and continue to feel) is indescribable.

Yvonne Stegner
Guest Columnist

One day was planned for tidying up the yard and around the house. I could do little but pick up small pieces of trash, give directions on what I wanted to accomplish, and drive the powerchair back-and-forth retrieving lightweight tools and other needed objects. Later that day, my kind neighbor cut some of the grass bordering the highway, and I just had to inhale the unique scent of fresh-cut grass. At the time, I qualified this as “the best day of my life” – helping accomplish something in the fresh outside air, readying areas for planting the few flowers and vegetables I can manage to care for, planning for future yard ornaments, and savoring the fragrance of spring. Little did I imagine life would get even better!

First, some bad news keeps me sleepless all night one day. In the morning, a verse from the book of Proverbs comes to mind: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” Prov 3:5 KJV. Did I feel stupid. All that worrying for nothing.

Another “best day of my life”: directing my eldest daughter in creating a favorite recipe of mine. Something I felt qualified to do! I recalled nursing home days when, during worship service, we residents were instructed that our prayers for others were much desired. So important, because the feeling of being useful is yearned for by so many folks.

Yet another memorable day: attending an outdoor track meet here in Bowman, in which my youngest daughter participated. In spite of the spurts of light rain and intermittent gusts of frigid air, I felt almost normal as friends, acquaintances, and I interacted. The concern for my safety and comfort was much appreciated, yet I questioned whether I should have been present at the meet because the last thing I want is to trouble others with anxiety about my well-being. Carefully driving the powerchair back home without an escort was such a sensation of freedom, though. Never mind that I got in trouble with my oldest daughter for seemingly not texting her that I had arrived home without a hitch! (Actually my text to her was “Not delivered”, and I didn’t hear her phone calls to me because the volume on my phone was accidentally muted.) Oh well, it’s not the first time I’ve been chewed out…

The “new normal” of my life is frustrating at times, yet I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to do so many things unaided. Laundering, folding, and putting away most items from the wonderful washer/dryer combo provided by a group of kind people I am proud to call friends of mine. Washing most dishes is satisfying, as is dusting furniture and emptying trash receptacles in the house. Choosing my own meals and cooking some of them in the microwave is rewarding. Unfortunately I do everything painstakingly slowly, but I am content that I am doing things for myself. Thank You Jesus, I am blessed!