If I had to summarize my experience in 2021, it would be both humbling and healing.
I was humbled in ways I have never been before. Post reconstructive surgery, I needed help to drive, to get to appointments, to shower, to wash my clothes, and to remember what day it was. I am fiercely independent by nature and relied heavily on others to keep me going and marching in the right direction (on a scooter that is.) 2021 was immensely humbling.
I didn’t know where the next mortgage payment would come from or how to repair everything that needed fixing at my newly purchased home. I wasn’t sure I’d have a job to come back to after my leave of absence. Never before in life had so much control and planning been stripped from me.
There were months when my full time job was to lay on a couch and grow bone. The difference between 2020 and 2021 in my life was this: in 2020, everything was taken away and I didn’t know what to do. I’d lost my stability and waited for a resolution. 2021 brought resolution and actions to engage in to help with the healing process. Even if, for a lengthy period of time, the required action was solely to elevate my leg on a couch and grow bone.
So, yes, 2021 was the most humbling of years, but it is also when the healing started.
I grew bone. I attended weekly physical therapy appointments for 9 months. I did my assigned exercises daily. I went to counseling. I made a budget. I returned to work. I returned to my own home. I began to heal all the rifts of what had been lost.
People will see me walking now and if they don’t know my story, they might not notice my limp or orthotics, or my need to stretch and warm up before moving forward again. But I see those and feel those changes. It is still humbling as they remind me of what I’ve been through.
People will often ask if I’m better and I’m not always sure how to respond to that question. Yes, I am better than I was. I am able to walk and work and maintain my balance, but no I’m not not all better. I still have wounds that need attention, muscles that are weak, joints that are stiff, and memories that haunt me. Better and all better are vastly different outcomes.
The healing began in 2021, but may it not end there. And for that matter, the humbling began in 2021, but may it not end there either. I have been humbled in loss, but also humbled in blessing.
I have all foot related pictures in an album on my phone entitled “The Dark Night of the Sole.” It has pictures of bruises and swelling, x-rays and therapy exercises. The Kenny Season has lasted a long time.
But, my humbling allowed others to care for me, serve me, and love me in times and ways that I often avoid. I was loved well in 2021 and because of that I can say that “It is Well with my Sole”. Kenny and I have worked hard and even if the recovery never reaches 100% of my previous foot capacities, I can still pursue healing knowing that my foot saga is not over. 2022 may not be the year that makes things all better in my life or yours, but I believe we can be better as we forge steadily onward in humility, healing, and hope.