Settling in at home, the wonderful phone calls, cards, prayers and visits left me in awe of my family and friends. Mom and Dad had already been through a lot and without them, I don’t know how I could have maintained a positive attitude.
Friends, new and long-time, gave me so much support that I was amazed at how it could be that I knew so many dear and loving people? Ancillary to that, I wondered if that meant that I was a real pain in the neck, since it seems that annoying people have nice friends and nice people have annoying ones. I was even getting prayers and support from people in our church who did not know me.
My oldest and dearest friends decided to throw a party for me at our house. It was a lot of fun. We used to have two parties a year at our house: an Oktoberfest (complete with live music) and a Regifting party after the New Year. That year, we had an Oktoberfest after all. Everyone came, even friends I hadn’t seen in years!
It was wonderful! Everyone brought something and we laughed and talked. I felt so supported by their visit. We normally have an Oktoberfest that time of year and the attendees can get to be over thirty. One year, I think that we had fifty people. Live music,awkward chicken dancing, life was good.
We also had visits and calls from family and friends all over.
My aunt is a medical doctor and she was very helpful in listening to my progress. She had first called when I was in the hospital back in August and we kept up on a regular basis. I enjoyed and still enjoy her calls.
Friends from work, friends from church, friends from the senior center, friends everywhere either came by or sent cards.
Becoming sick isn’t anything that I would wish for anyone. But in many ways, I was finding God’s blessings every day. I’d already thought that every day was a gift but how much more so to find ways in which God shows His love and shows us how to share it with others?
I learned a lot from my friends here and those who lived far away. Several friends and new acquaintances would tell me of someone they knew who had had an acoustic neuroma and they shared their experiences.
I learned that the tingling on the tongue or burnt tongue feeling was a sign of a large tumor. In fact, I don’t think about this much anymore but it was fairly intense.
I learned that the barometer could affect how stable or dizzy I would be. Rainy days would be particularly bad for dizzy spells.
And I learned that everyone who shared a family story told of how the family member recovered well and had a happy life afterward.
All of this was encouraging.
Spiritually, I’d learned about the Rosary Novena. This is a prayer of 27 days of saying the rosary to the Blessed Mother to ask her in petition, followed by 27 days of saying the rosary thanking the Blessed Mother for her help, whether what was requested was received or not.
By this time, I had heard from the surgeon’s office that my surgery date was the week before Thanksgiving! I was disappointed as I had hoped for surgery in October. This was a whole month later!
I started praying the Rosary Novena to request an earlier date for my surgery, and for the surgery to go well and to keep my parents healthy and happy.
This helped to encourage me to think positively and it also was wonderful for my prayer life. I’d mentioned that I was saying a Rosary Novena when I met with my pastor to thank him for visiting me in the hospital. Father Peter suggested that I keep a prayer journal to write down what I was thinking and feeling during prayer. It was when I was meeting with him that I asked him if it was wrong to pray to God for a parking space. I have done that and I was never sure if it was okay.
He laughed and laughed at that. He nodded, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
He did find books for me in the library that would help with my prayer and I thanked him once again.
The prayer journal was an excellent companion to my prayer. I’ve gone back to re-read what I’ve written and some of it is very good.
The most important take away I had was that God wants us to pray, but we don’t always open ourselves to Him. When we do feel as though we should pray, that’s when we really should, as we are feeling God making His presence and love known to us. God wants us to be close to Him and we should want it too.
Mom was a member of a book group with the Church. This group met weekly for a few hours. They were reading a book about women in the Old Testament. Each book group member would be responsible for a chapter in the book. Some of the women in the group really researched and prepared for the discussion and it could be very engaging. I was glad to join for the discussions and friendships that I found there.
She also led a monthly book club at the senior center. This was more relaxed. We read fun series, such as Maisie Dobbs, who has a surprising following of war veterans along with readers in general who enjoy detective stories. Her grandfather had suffered from shell shock after the war and she takes care to write about what veterans had to go through when they came home.
Book club at the senior center was a lot less serious and a lot more lively. We all seemed to like detective stories best – Maisie Dobbs being a favorite. I’d stumbled across the No. ! Ladies’ Detective Series and those were fun as well, but paled in comparison to the stories set out by Jacqueline Winspear.