Six weeks ago yesterday, Dr. Brains-On-Call walked into my hospital room and told me I was good to go home. That I was free to sleep uninterrupted, eat when I wanted, and wear my own clothes. That it was time for me to start healing on my own.
I now know what a baby bird feels like when it gets kicked out of nest.
I was anxious to get back my house, my family, my comfortable places...but at the hospital I had found a great deal of comfort in the hospital with its doctors and nurses and check-ups and constant knowledge that my body was okay. At home? I would just have to trust myself and the non-medically trained people around me. No offense to my family because they are brilliant and Dr. C is a doctor of sorts...but he only knows how to help fix problems in corn, not people.
Not super helpful after brain surgery even though I do tend to be a bit corny. Ha!
Dr. Brains-On-Call was confident we could do it--and home we went.
It's hard to describe what it is like to walk into your house for the first time after leaving it and not knowing if you would ever be there again.
The best word to describe it is Gratitude.
My hand-me-down kitchen table with its hand-me-down chairs was bigger and nicer than I remembered. My half-way decorated family room with Dr. C's beautiful handmade shelves felt perfect and soothing. My children's rooms with their piles of stuffed animals and made-at-school artwork were better than anything in a magazine. My completely undecorated bedroom was a sanctuary.
It was Home and there was no other place I would rather be. All thoughts of missing the security of the hospital vanished. Home was where I could be safe. Home is where I could rest. Home is where I could thrive. Home is where I could heal.
Home is where I belong.
Six weeks ago today, my sister brought my kids Home too. They had been at her house for the entire week I was in the hospital; my sister mothering them when I could not.
T-Man walked in, saw my scarf-covered head, asked me how I was doing, gave me a hug, then ran off to play with Legos.
Fearless walked in, saw my scarf-covered head, stared for a bit, whispered "hi", then ran off after T-Man.
Miss Banana walked in, saw my scarf-covered head and didn't want to have anything to do with me. She went to Dr. C and asked to watch Signing Time! while consciously avoiding looking at me.
It was several hours before she would look at me again. When she finally did, she decided I was still okay and crawled up in my lap. Blessedly, my scarf-covered head hasn't bothered her since. Fearless eventually got used to my scarf-head but if you ask him about it, he will tell you he can't wait for my hair to grow back.
That makes two of us, Little Love.
It hasn't been an easy six weeks but that doesn't mean that they haven't been Good. As I have recovered, I have gotten to know my husband, my children, my extended family, my friends, and my Savior in new ways. The roots of those relationships have dug in deeper while the fruits of those relationships have become sweeter.
That growth, that change is more than worth the challenges I've gone through.
People keep asking me if I feel like I'm "back to normal". And my first answer is No because my leg is still weird and I'm still tired all the time and I still struggle with sensory overload.
But on second thought, I don't even want to be "back to normal".
I want to be better than my old normal.
I want to immerse myself in service to others just as others have served me. I want to live in thanksgiving daily and show gratitude for the many blessings I have received. I want to strengthen my faith and trust my Heavenly Father more.
That is the normal I want.
Six weeks Home, I've made progress. I haven't arrived yet, but thankfully I have the rest of my life to get there.