We Don’t Heal in Isolation, But in Community

Sheila- Fruitland Park, FL

Some people who have impacted me in a BIG way are my co-workers, my students, and my family.  October of 2015, one second I was walking and the next second I hit the concrete hard, shattering my right elbow.  My co-workers immediately rallied together and assembled delicious meals and wrapped up gift cards with encouraging notes. Since it was my right arm I found myself unable to do just about everything. I had to train myself to eat with my left hand and cooking was impossible at first. The scheduling of meals was all arranged by my special friends. The meals meant so much more what you would expect and it made me feel so thankful that they cared.

 When I was released to go back to work I still couldn’t drive so my good friend insisted on picking me up for work for several weeks and made me laugh on the way. I wonder how many people have true friends like that?

 When I got to my classroom, I faced a mountain of hurdles because I could barely write and I couldn’t lift my arm up to write on the board or do anything.  My students wrote on the board and adjusted to a situation that involved more cooperation and patience. Their level of compassion was something that I never expected from nine and ten year olds. They would practically cheer when any signs of improvement came, making me cry on several occasions.

 At that same time, my sister and mother sat up at night and graded so many papers so that I would not get behind. They also came to my house every morning and fixed my hair (good thing) since I couldn’t even reach my head.

For some reason my arm did not respond correctly to my first surgery so my healing has been a very slow process. Sadly, my arm kept seizing up and I had to have another surgery. My two children never let me get defeated, always texting positive words that keep me going. Just recently I was finally able to put a necklace on after 15 months. That’s when my kids said, “baby steps”. I truly believe that I would have been totally overwhelmed and shut down without the love, care, and encouragement of all of these people in my life.