Sunday, April 20, 2008

FLOWERS THAT LAST

wilma's flowers

I started this post twelve days ago, but I was too tired to finish it. In fact, "too tired" has pretty much defined my life for the past two weeks. Too tired to fix my own tea, or to answer a comment on the blog, or to talk longer than three minutes on the phone. A flight of stairs was a mountain; and a shower a days work. I listened; I read; I enjoyed and appreciated, but I had nothing to give back. It was as if the effects of five major surgeries in three months descended all at once. My blood pressure plummeted. Blood tests and my ghostly pallor confirmed I was anemic and dehydrated.

The past two days have been a bit better. I walked a half block--today one house further than I did yesterday. I didn't realize how slow I was until I noticed that that my lame twelve-year old dog was yards ahead of me. But I'm not complaining. I was all dressed up in a pair of old gym pants, and I was outside.

When I passed the grumpy neighbor who never responds to my greetings, I felt a tinge of old resentment. No matter what, I wasn't saying hello to that guy again! I stared straight ahead, determined to ignore him. But he was working so close to the street, I couldn't quite pull it off. I called out a listless, head-down, "How you doin?" Then I kept going, prepared for another snub. But to my surprise, my taciturn neighbor looked up, put down his spade, and asked me where I'd been. Excuse me?

"I haven't seen you in months," he said. I didn't know he'd ever seen me AT ALL, but I didn't say so. Instead, I complimented him on his neat flower beds. He leaned on his fence and told me about the trouble he's been having with his underground sprinkler system. I'm not much interested in sprinkler systems, nor do I understand their workings, but it felt good to be talking to another human, and even better to realize my resentment had been unfounded. People are always more complex than we think. Damn. Shouldn't I know that by now?

But this post, the one I began a couple of weeks ago, wasn't supposed to be about my health problems, or my snail walk around half a block, or my neighbor's sprinkler system. It was supposed to be about flowers! Yellow and orange tulips to be specific.

Wilma, a student in the nurse practitioner program delivered them in their citron yellow bucket a few hours before I left the hospital. Wilma wasn't one of the wonderful nurses who'd been responsible for my direct care, but she'd come in to take my blood pressure a couple of times and I'd met her in the hallway during my daily walks. I liked her gentle manner, and the soft whispery voice that seemed to draw her listener closer.

During the three weeks I'd spent on her floor, Wilma and I had talked a few times. I learned she was the single mother of two adolescents, that she often worried about the neighborhood where her boys were growing up, and the many hours they spent alone while she worked and studied. These were concerns I understood well.

After I admired the gorgeous flowers Wilma had placed in my window, I wondered out loud who had sent them. "There doesn't seem to be a card..."

Wilma smiled shyly. "They're from me," she said. "I know you've been through a lot and I just wanted to give you a goodbye gift."

I was stunned. I knew how exhorbitant the prices in the gift shop were, and I also knew enough about Wilma's life to guess they weren't in her budget. Undoubtedly, I embarrassed her with my hugs, and my insistence that everyone on the floor come in to admire my tulips--and the extraordinary kindness they represented.

The flowers only lasted a few days, but Wilma's gift is still with me. So often we tell stories about other people's mistakes and failings. "I never would have done that..." we say, attempting to prove to our ego and our listeners that we are better, stronger, more compassionate. But in the end, those judgmental stories we love to tell (the kind I once told about my unfriendly neighbor!) only prove the opposite.

I might not ignore a neighbor on the street, but I wouldn't have done what Wilma did either--at least, not in the past. If the idea of buying flowers for a passing acquaintance arose, I would have quickly quashed it. I'd fall back on the beliefs that govern my life more than they should, beliefs like "You can't afford that!" or "Gift shop flowers are only for close friends and family." Well, who says?

I hope Wilma's radical generosity taught me another way. I hope it reminded me that life is too short NOT to give more than we think we have, too short to miss out on the joy of bringing tulips to strangers.

85 comments:

Dale said...

Oh, thank you, Patry! What a lovely post. & timely reminder.

chiefbiscuit said...

Patry, not only the goodness of people shines through here - but the goodness that is in yourself too. That is what Wilma responded to - who else has talked to her and found out 'her story'?
Thinking of you. May all good things come your way as you regain your strength. Keep writing! it's wonderful.

Zhoen said...

I think I know Wilma. If it is the same person, well, I can't imagine it being anyone but her.

Anonymous said...

This was lovely to read first thing this Sunday morning. Thank you for sharing out here in the blogosphere.

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Patry, you give each of us a lasting gift every time you post and I'm sure Wilma felt your generosity as well. Please take care and continue to regain your strength. My thoughts are with you always.

easywriter said...

Patry thank you for finding the time and strength to visit my blog and leave me a message.

I wish you strength, healing light, love and joy in abundance. This was a wonderful post as usual. People are full of surprises aren't they?

Maryanne Stahl said...

Wilma clearly was touched by you--by your goodness, your strength--and moved. No doubt you inspired her in her own difficulties. Beauty and grace exchanged. Everything's connected.

I needed this today. Thank you! xxx

jzr said...

Thank you for your light and beauty! Prayers and blessings are being sent your way.

leslee said...

Lovely story, Patry. Wishing you much restored energy. Hopefully the spring sunshine and the tulips now sprouting up everywhere will do its part, too.

NoVA Dad said...

What a beautiful post; thanks so much for sharing. It was wonderful to hear from you yesterday and get an update on how things continue to improve for you. Enjoy the song:-)

Anonymous said...

Oh! Two great great stories! What a treat. I love the way they are about ordinary daily interactions that we all have and never really pay attention to...thanks for the reminder.

Susan

Therese said...

Lovely points about the value of shedding assumptions--those about others and about ourselves.

I'm glad to know you're improving, Patry, and I wish you the equivalent of unexpected tulips every day.

Patry Francis said...

dale: Thanks for being here.

chiefbiscuit: Thank you for such a beautiful, generous comment and for all your powerful good wishes.

zhoen: We're connected more than we know!

anon: Thank you for the Sunday morning visit, and for taking the time to ponder my tulips!

sharon: There was no way I could not tell this story; I knew that even when I was too tired to string words together. Wilma's flowers needed to be shared. Thank you for all your good thoughts. They make a difference; I know they do.

easy: My visit to your blog was a pleasure. It's good to see you writing again!!

maryanne: Your comments are always so kind, but I do think you're right: everything is connected, and when we look around, we find our own and those we wish to become.

jzr: Prayers and blessings are always appreciated!

leslee: Spring is a wonderful time for healing, isn't it? I look forward to seeing it captured at your place.

Matt: If there's anything more as healing as a bucket of yellow and orange tulips, it's a song. Thank you!

Susan: I'm not sure; in fact, I feel as if I'm just beginning to learn about the world, but maybe there are no ordinary encounters.

Therese: "the equivalent of unexpected tulips"--I can't imagine a nicer wish. Thank you for it, and for your presence here.

fivehusbands said...

Patry,

I am happy that you have been able to enjoy the early bits of spring, even if only for a half a block.

I was delighted to find today's post - you are in my prayers. As someone who has benefited from "radical generosity" I know first hand what a blessed and wonderful thing it is.

The difference between despair and hope is often a gesture given by an open and loving heart.

Thank you for sharing your gift.

Todd said...

Glad to know you have been up and around. Stay strong.

Patry Francis said...

five husbands: Your comment about despair and hope is so true. In my most desperate moments, it seemed that some generous soul with joy to spare always came along and tilted the balance toward the other side.

todd: Thank you. I'm hoping to make a whole block today! Hope you're enjoying the spring, too.

Annie said...

I was so happy to see a new post, so worth the wait. I get worried when there isn't anything for a while. I am so glad you are feeling more energy and I can totally understand Wilma wanting to buy you flowers! I would send a whole shop full to you if I could :-). Lots, of love your way...Annie

daisy said...

Oh my. You are so right

steve said...

Patry,

It's a lovely and uplifting post as usual. But the best thing about it is that it's here, and that you've gained enough strength to write. I was worried when I kept checking back and seeing the same post. The world so much needs your loving and compassionate outlook. Thank you.

saraarts said...

I love both of these stories, the neighbor story and the Wilma story. I am so very glad you have been receiving kindness from unexpected sources as well as from all the usual suspects. :)

Always very happy to see you here, whenever you can show up. All this perfectly natural fatigue feels ridiculous, I know, but I have absolute faith that you will get to the other side of it and return when your body's ready to your more typical energy levels. Meanwhile, I'm so glad I got to see you on an internet version of one of your neighborhood outings.

Hang in there, kiddo. You're doing great!

Patry Francis said...

annie: Thank you for the shop full of blossoms! The thought is almost as wonderful as the flowers would be.

daisy: Thank you--

Steve: Thanks for checking in regularly--and of course, for the kind words.

sara: "Kindness from unexpected sources..." More than anywhere else, I've found that HERE. I'm glad to see you are flourishing, too!

marja-leena said...

How inspiring a post, and you inspire us with your strength and courage and love. Keep on getting better, Patry!

Sky said...

it is all so true. since giving makes us feel so good, we should all do more of it! :) and you are such a treat to give to - just look at what you give to others.

so glad you are feeling a bit stronger - see how many responses you have made here AND you finished this post AND took a walk. i say you are making progress. i will be glad when you feel that progress all the way to the tips of your toes and when those toes jump into your flying shoes and land right here!

Susan M said...

Hey, Patry. It's a pleasure and a relief to see a new story here from you. A pleasure because . . . well, you tell such great stories. And a relief because it means you must be feeling stronger. Keep healing, girl. Blueberry season is coming.

robin andrea said...

I'm so glad to see a post here, Patry. Your perceptions are both sharpened and softened. It is a deep pleasure and honor to read where you've been and what you've seen. I hope your good health and strength grows everyday.

Anonymous said...

Patry,

Add me to the long list of people happy to see your post. You say you wouldn't (in the past) have done what Wilma did, have made the kind of gift she did. At the risk of making a dreaded assumption, I doubt Wilma would make the gift you do with every post, the unbudgeted words and insights and sharing of your heart. I love the gut level similarity between you and Wilma: acknowledging the importance of the act of giving. And even really in your grumpy neighbor: he stepped out of his comfort zone just enough to say he cared.

Hope you continue getting your strength back!
m

Fred Garber said...

"Radical generosity" ....man that says it all!

Anonymous said...

Patry, you've given so much to everyone around you that you deserve to just sit back, rest, enjoy your little walks, and receive beautiful flowers. Everything else can wait.

Wishing you bundles of energy--

xoxo

Tish - not sure why Google doesn't recognize me today.

Left-handed Trees... said...

Patry,
As always, your words...
you..
ARE BEAUTIFUL.
Love,
D.

Dave said...

Nice to see that all you've been through hasn't done anything to diminish your mastery of this much-maligned art form, the personal blog post. Brava, and thanks.

RobinSlick said...

Can I ever read your posts without bursting into tears and totally re-evaluating my own life?

In a good way, in a good way.

I hope you are finally on your way to recovery, Patry. Stopping by here has become a daily habit and I have been panicking, not seeing any new posts. And yet I also know you are a writer and have many more books to finish and blogging is, well, blogging, and I know first hand how it eats up time.

Love you,
xo

Kim Smith said...

Patry, you are such an inspiration. Nearly every time I read your blog I come away with a life lesson. Thank you so much! I learned today that in order to really live our lives and understand the gift we have, we have to learn to LISTEN to people. You took the time to really listen to the people in your blog post today. Maybe if we spent more time listening, we'd understand humans just a tad better.

debra said...

There are moments in life that are just that: m-o-m-e-n-t-s. It is a gift to be able to take the time to see them, isn't it. Ten years after, I still remember the hospital secretary who brought my mother a small basket of clementines. She knew my Mom was on restricted liquids and that Clementines quenched her thirst.
Best warm wishes.

Scot said...

Patry,

Sometimes yellow and orange tulips can be just the thing we need when we're not feeling well, especially when given as a gift by a stranger. For me, your essay was the perfect pick-me-up to long, frustrating day.

I wish you well,

Scot

http://slcunningham.blogspot.com

Beth said...

Patry, it's so good to see you here again. Wilma's tulips and your two stories were a gift to me today, and to so many more of us - it's always wonderful when our fellow human being surprise us with their goodness, and remind us to open our hearts even wider. Keep walking and getting stronger, one house at a time - I've been there after surgery, I know how it feels. Will be thinking of you.

Patry Francis said...

marja-leena: thank you for the encouraging words you always leave behind. I'm feeling a little stronger by the day--finally!

sky: I could fill several posts, writing about all your many kindnesses to Ted and me. Like Wilma, you've taught me a lot about radical generosity.

susan m: We are going to have a LOT to celebrate this year on blueberry day! My prediction, when they hear your news, writers will be baking pies from coast to coast. MR would be proud of us.

Robin: "softened"--yes, definitely, though I didn't realize it till I read your comment. Thank you--

m: One particular act of radical generosity that stays with me is the gift of a song...always love to see you here.

fred: I suspect you and your wife practice it every day...

tish: I just hope I don't become TOO comfortable on my couch. p.s. Google might not recognize you, but I would know your positive, encouraging voice even if I didn't see your name.

delia: Thank you, dear friend. Next time we get a chance to meet in New York--or wherever--I won't miss it.

dave: To me, it seems that ALL blog posts are personal--though I know what you mean. Thank you for the good words.

(dinner time...more later.)

Kurt Kuden said...

'life is too short to miss out on the joy of bringing tulips to strangers'

it touched my very soul. Smiling or talking to strangers or even my new neighbor/boy next door is one of my biggest fears..

Gillian said...

IN addition to thanking you {Thank You!} for reading my blog and leaving such a generous and sweet comment too...I want to thank you for inspiring me to do something nice for someone. I just loved your story, about not judging, about giving people more credit than we sometimes think they are due.
As for Wilma, her gift does mean so much more because it came straight from her heart...the best place to give from.
I know not why you had so many surgeries, I'll have to read backwards from here as time allows...but I wanted to drop in and meet you for myself!
xo
Speedy healing to you Patry!~

KG said...

Your posts always help me look at life in an expanded way -- thank you, as always. :)

Keep resting and taking good care of yourself! Taking time to do the healing is important.

Patry Francis said...

robin: I wish I could say that writing books has been eating up my time, but I've been mostly lying on the couch being spoiled by my family (not altogether a bad thing...) Anyway, thanks for stopping in like a good neighbor to check on me and for all the positive energy you always leave behind.

kim: Thank you. I'm learning, too...and very slowly. But I try to be patient with myself. I also find inspiration in comments like yours.

debra: What a wonderful story about the secretary who brought your mother clementines! Thanks for sharing it here. I know what it's like to be on a liquid restricted diet, and I can almost taste their sweetness.

Scot: Seeing that an old blog friend has returned after such a long absence was the perfect pick me up to my day. Welcome back!

Beth: Thank you for your soothing words. One house and one story at a time--that's how it's going.

Kurt: I understand! I was painfully shy when I was younger, and it cost me many potential friendships. But time and curiosity has gone a long way to change that...I trust it will for you, too.

Patry Francis said...

gillian: There's nothing I enjoy more than wandering from one friend's blog to another's until I meet someone new. Thanks for returning the visit. And yes, I think that what made Wilma's gift so special was that she would never see me again, and she had nothing to gain from it. It was, as you say, pure heart.

kg: I'm feeling so good right now that I can't wait to get up in the morning and do some serious writing! Now that's healing! Thanks for all your good thoughts. Clearly, they've helped!

Larramie said...

Gifts from the heart, those are always the ones that last, Patry.

And here's to more spring in your step from now on!

MB said...

Thank you, Patry. This is so fine.

And I am so glad to see one of your wonderful posts here again.

Michelle Gregory said...

Patry,
Thank you for the kind comment you left on my blog.

Blessings to you,
Michelle

Thora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thora said...

It goes to show we do not know when what we do will help or inspire others.There is always a ripple effect.I remember when my mum was terminal with cancer a nurse caring, beyond her duty-or so I thought. But her reply was."I treat her like she is my mother."It turned out her mother was dying in Poland and she was far away across the ocean.It all comes around when we share a kindness.People need people and it is when we really take the time to listen that we live a full life-when we are truly alive.We also need to be able to accept with gratitude what others offer us-then we truly connect.Sorry about removing my post above,I got all my spelling jumbled and hit the publish button too soon.

Kurt Kuden said...

Thanks Patry for reading my blog! ;-)

Well, nasi lemak can be considered our national food.

Nasi Lemak literally means 'rice in cream'. The rice is soaked rich in coconut cream and then the mixture steamed. The fragrance is catalyzed by screwpine leaves and lemon grass.

It comes with anchovies, fresh cucumber slices and hot spicy sauce (sambal). And the sambal can be contained with everything from chicken to beef to cuttlefish! You should try it.

tinker said...

Simply beautiful, Patry - the flowers and the post. Kindness begets kindness - something that's easy to forget in our busy lives. Thank you for that reminder.
Wishing you the best, as you regain your energy and strength.
XOXO

Lorna said...

"Practice random acts of kindness" is my favourite bumper sticker.

Mary Ann said...

It's good to see your post, your beautiful post. People are complex. I keep forgetting that, too.

Becca said...

These are the stories that restore faith in humanity. And remind us never to underestimate the power of a simple, kind gesture.

I hope your strength continues to blossom, along with all the spring flowers :)

twoblueday said...

We have a grumpy across the street neighbor couple. For a while, if I was outside and one of them was also, I'd give some greeting, which neither of them ever returned. He complained to my yard guy once that he was parked too far from the curb. He left a note on my car once when I left it parked at the curb overnight--not allowed in our 'hood. My driveway threshhold had just been repaired, and I couldn't drive over the fresh concrete.

Now, if either of them uttered a word to me, I don't think I'd reply, maybe faint. I've see realtors over there, I think they'll be gone soon. I'm not terribly sociable or neighborly, but I'm friendly enough given the chance.

I like flowers, too.

CrsWrdLvr22 said...

Hi Patry-

I found your blog after googling to find the reader's guide for The Liar's Diary. I needed a book for my Book Club (I hosted last night and was responsible for choosing next month's selection. After everyone left, I started your book and am enjoying it very much. I put it down around 2AM when my eyes couldn't take it anymore.
I apologize for not writing to your current blog specifically - just wanted you to know that I am enjoying your book.

Sincerely,

Mary Rose

Anonymous said...

Patry,
Right now you are the bravest soul I know. I think of you all the time and find so much hope and faith for all things good through how you see the world, your life, and the challenges of the present. You are right. We are all quite complex and constantly I am wrongfully assuming, misjudging...AND WILL you please email me your address ASAP??? I have had a care package to send your way that has been sitting on my table for a few weeks now! I know I use to have your MA address but it is long gone now so I order you to send it to me. Trust me, you'll love this one! xo
Alex (the one in Portland!)

Lisa said...

You, and likely many of us will remember Wilma's kindness for the rest of our lives. You never know when something that seems like a small action can take root and spread. People really can change the world.

Sandy Kessler said...

pay it forward oh yes. Each day go further mentally emotionally and physically - a survivor..sandy

lisaalber said...

Seems so true that at times it's the people we meet in passing who end up being the kindest.

As a fellow writer, I'm reminded of many a moment in coffee houses because I couldn't bear to be alone with my computer a second longer -- I've met so many great folks, had so many great conversations, been inspired...

Thanks for another great post.

datinggod said...

i wish i could make you one of my famous Green Smoothies for energy and happy joyjoy enzymes and all around local honey goodness. you might not like me very much right before you tasted it (it is bright green and kinda scary looking for a beverage), but afterwards you'd like me very much! :) (i wonder if fed ex allows smoothies??? :)

Laura said...

I read this with such joy, Patry! I'm so glad to hear your voice (well, your writing voice, which is so like you). I had been checking in every day, but then the last two days I'd been off the computer. And here you are like the red tulips that surprised me in my front yard this week--so much rain woke them from their years-long slumber. I'm as delighted as the hummingbird (the season's first!) who spied them this late afternoon.

I hope you're two houses further along today! xo

Allie said...

Congratulations on being able to get up and out and go half a block.

What a beautiful story!

Heidi the Hick said...

I tend to be cheap instead of generous. My husband is a big tipper and always gives more of anything instead of less. I have to force myself to not be irritated by it!

Wilma reminds me of a vaguely remembered Bible story about a poor woman who gave a gift to Jesus... and he valued her tiny contribution more than those from the rich people who gave more. Hers was more meaningful.

Well, I hope you have a nice chat with your neighbour today. (Just nod and smile when he talks about his sprinkler system. That's what I do; it works pretty good!)

Wishing you strength!

Robin said...

Patry,

I was thinking about you this weekend when I visited my father. Despite a very rough treatment period, he's in complete remission. Hubby double-checks his scans and when he looked at the last one he used a word I seldom hear come out of his mouth: miracle.

So I was able to take two walks around my parents' property with him this past weekend, wherein he showed me how to tell the difference between doe and buck prints, and also pointed out the obvious way to tell which way the water flows as it cuts into fields (the way the grass is leaning, of course, but still I hadn't thought about it, really).

He isn't the same dad I grew up with and he isn't the same dad he was before he got sick. Not even close.

The reason I wanted to tell you about him, though, is because he talked about when he felt like you're feeling right now: deathly tired, pummeled, devastated.

And now he smiles and helps my sister care for her animals and sometimes tramps through the mud in tall boots with his daughter around his field.

He still leaves the toilet seat up, though. I guess there's no cure for that.

xoxo

♥nova-san said...

There's always an invaluable lesson that I learn here everytime I read your entries. You have such a wonderful eye for the little blessings in life. Thank you for opening up my eyes to them.

Oh! and I wanted to let you know that I am reading your book right now, and I'm all wrapped up in it! It's wonderful!

Hugs, hugs and hugs,
Nova

TheElementary said...

People are constantly surprising, and we just never know who's noticing us.
I live in a neighbourhood where people desperately avoid eye contact and I too have begun to give up making an effort. Your writing is a small miracle and a reminder to keep hope alive.
I will be reading you regularly. Fabulous stories, with a kind and caring message underneath.
Cheers.

katrina said...

Patry you are so wise and lovely. Thank you for this necessary reminder.

xoxoxKat

Laura said...

My Fred and I are glad you are on the mend! You're truly amazing, and we admire your inner strength that keeps you going strong in spite of everything you've been through!

Best wishes,

Laura and Fred

rdl said...

another wonderful post. glad you're feeling better!!!

Patry Francis said...

larramie: Isn't spring wonderful? Every year I forget, and am surprised all over again...

mb: Thank you. It feels good to be here, chatting with friends again.

Michelle: Thanks...I enjoyed my visit.

Thora: What a beautiful story about the nurse whose mother was dying in Poland. If only more people could see and live the truth that nurse saw...but as you say, sometimes it only takes one to begin the ripple.

kurt: Thanks for sharing more about your national
dish. It sounds delicious...Now if I can just find a restaurant that serves Malaysian food!

tinker: Still thinking about your beautiful roses...and smiling.

lorna: That's a good one, isn't it?

Catching up slowly here...more later.

Bill said...

spring morning
the unfriendly neighbor
tends his garden

after a storm
the unfriendly neighbor
joins in the cleanup

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Patry,
This is just a wonderful story and your blog I just cannot find the words for right now. I wish you well and though I do not know you my thoughts are with you. Kia kaha, which is Maori for Remain Strong. Have a wonderful day.
Ka kite ano,
Robb

Nicole said...

Gorgeous, as usual. You're writing from a depth right now that touches those same depths in your readers, Patry. And that's a rare gift indeed. Blessings to you.

Patry Francis said...

Mary Ann: I'm sure I'll have to be reminded again tomorrow.

Becca: I used to promise myself that I wouldn't let a day pass without writing a line. Now I try not to let one slip by that doesn't include a kind gesture--however small.

Gerry: A die hard "grumpy" who sounds similar to your neighbor moved next door last year. Not only does he refuse to speak, but he fired up his old motor boat just outside my home office almost every day last summer. When I politely told him that the noxious fumes were coming directly in my window and polluting my house, he just responded that he was paying a lot of rent to live there and he would do what he wanted. We haven't
spoken since. And just yesterday, he got the boat out again...

Mary Rose: Oh, please don't apologize! Nothing could please me more than to hear that you're reading and enjoying the novel. I hope you found the reading group guide. If not, you can email me and I'll make sure you get one. Thanks for stopping by.

Alex: I'm e-mailing you tonight!!

lisa: That's what convinced me that radical generosity is always worth it--even when you feel as if you can't afford it--because it frequently buys more than a tangible gift. It buys a change of consciousness.

sandy: "pay it forward" is a beautiful concept...I've been looking for the right chance to do that with Wilma's gift.

lisaalber: Lately, I've been missing my old waitressing job because of all the great people I encountered every day. Yours is a good reminder that writers can "go to work" and meet people, too.

datinggod: Bright green doesn't scare me at all, and I feel more healthy just thinking about your honey laden smoothie. Maybe you can send me your secret recipe....I'll email you.

laura: Red tulips and a hummingbird, too? Clearly, the gods are shining on you--as well they should be!

allie: Thanks for cheering me on. Yesterday I went the whole block and didn't feel a bit tired...another small victory.

heidi: Forcing yourself not to be irritated is a kind of generosity, too--don't you think? My husband has been doing the laundry since I've been sick, but he washes whites with coloreds and never brings it up to be folded till it's cold and wrinkled. Today I had to force myself not to be irritated about that--and to remind myself how lucky I am to have people to help me, even if they don't do always do things "my way."

Robin: Thanks for sharing your dad's miracle. Stories like that are so encouraging to me. And thanks, too, for sharing such a beautiful piece of writing here.

nova san: I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying the book. Hope you'll check in and let me know what you think when you finish.

(Almost caught up! More tomorrow...)

Jean said...

Much love, Patry, and gratitude for what you're sharing.

Sustenance Scout said...

Ditto, kiddo! Much love all around. K.

i beati said...

I sent you an award on my April 29 website and hope you love it - that's how you make me feel when I read your stories

colleen said...

After reading about your neighbor talking to you and Wilma's gift, I feel so much better about the world in general. What a pick me up.

I was happy to "see you" walking in the neighborhood in your gym pants and with your dog too. xo

Carleen Brice said...

Happy May Day, Patry. It's snowy/rainy here in Denver, but I hope it's sunny and warm and bursting with flowers where you are.

deb said...

Delicious my friend; just delicious. (nice to see you writing more again ...) xo D

sue said...

Although I've not gotten over here for awhile, I've been thinking about you and hoping things were going well for you.

What a beautiful post.

Peregrina said...

Patry, so good to learn that you have now had the strength to walk right around the block. My own experience is that recovery is very slow at the beginning, but it does seem to increase exponentially once it gets under way.

In late February, for the first time ever, I was ill enough to be admitted to hospital. I'd only recently discovered your blog and I found myself thinking about some of the things of which you'd written. In a strange way, it helped. Thank you.

I send you my best wishes for your return to health and strength.

Kip de Moll said...

Very nice to find a blog rich in feeling and thought, with more gifts to the reader than advertisements for recently published stories. Thankyou, for your contribution to the genre I'd like to call "literary blogs".
Kip
http://piecesofheartvt.blogspot.com

paris parfait said...

I've always found that people are absolutely full of surprises - when you least expect it they do something remarkable or generous that means the world. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Hope you are continuing to feel stronger every day. xoxox

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