Monday, June 18, 2012

Pondering on the Porch

A porch with a view
I have spent a lot of time on our front porch since last August when Jonny's trigeminal neuralgia reared its head again. I planted out my garden to be an oasis, a place to contemplate, breath deeply and slowly,  a haven in which to recharge. (See Rabbit Wars)

Through all four seasons I sat out there drinking gallons of tea, often alone, sometimes making plans with Jonny, regularly chatting with friends. I listened, laughed and lamented about many things.  Often I watched our visitors come for a while and leave again and sometimes I  had a wistful fleeting wish to follow them........
...........I  also wanted to get up out of my chair and leave, just for a small amount of time. Not physically but metaphorically-walk away from being the caregiver, walk away from Jonny's pain from trigeminal neuralgia and surgical recovery, away from being on constant hyper alert,  away from the relentless lonely, heavy weight of responsibility a caregiver has for their beloved spouse. I realized there was a tremendous luxury in someone's challenging situation not being my immediate problem. You can come and take it on for a while and then leave it at the door.

 As I contemplated this, what also came to mind was that I often had no idea about the problems people who left our porch and situation, were going back home to: unemployment, infertility, living in a new country, an elderly parent, a complicated family relationship, a child with a severe learning disability, a nephew in a tragic accident, a sibling with a drug problem, a spouse with a life threatening illness. It is so easy to think that everyone else's life is perfectly fine, completely perfect and  unremarkable, untouched by sadness, anxiety, tragedy, illness or stress. But the truth is, I have learned that most people have a situation or relationship  in their lives that is complicated. Something they are grappling with. What you see is not what you get. Behind closed doors there may be a very different story.

And when I was looking out at those closed doors, I found it helped me to remember that I was not alone in having a messy, complex life, (although I wished for all of us that perhaps life could give us a break sometimes.) And  in spite of the health challenges our family has had in the last four years and how these issues have overshadowed other things, at a grass roots level, I still have what matters to me most - a loving, generous, brilliant husband and three amazing sons and I would still choose my wonderful, complicated, crazy life with all its trials and tribulations.

So I'm staying on my front porch reflecting on the ups and downs of our life- If you would like to take a break from yours, you are welcome to come and visit! Stay a while and have a cup of tea.

Gilly

Many thanks to you all for your support of  Brainstorm. If             Pondering on the porch gave you food for thought, please help spread the blog readership by sharing this post or others to your face book page. It's very simple to do.  Click on the F icon at the very bottom of this post, write a comment if you like and post the link. 
Thank you!


* Please email me at gilly@bringingbooksofcomfort.org or leave a comment on this post below. I'd love to have your feedback. 

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20 comments:

  1. I becvame a little wistful while reading this post - about my lack of a front porch. If I had that beatiful green view I'd also sit outside for hours.

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    1. Well I hope one day you will come over and have a cup of tea with me and we can sit out for hours!

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  2. wonderful words....
    Lynn

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    1. Thank you very much for commenting Lynn.

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  3. Oh Gilly, you are absolutely not alone! Not in any way shape or form. You never know what lies behind those doors. Fortunately we live in a very supportive community. I actually love the view from your Cul De Sac. I almost always finish my runs through there. It adds a little extra distance and there is something tranquil about it.

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    1. Thank you Corey.
      Yes I agree the cul de sac is lovely and I really enjoy living in it.
      Gilly

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  4. Shared this with our facial pain patients on TNA The Facial Pain Association's Facebook & Twitter pages. http://facebook.com/facialpainassociation. Jon also posted the link on our online support group site: http://fpa-support.ning.com. Your words help so many. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you so much for letting me know. Knowing that my posts might help others, was the main reason I started the blog and motivates me to keep writing. Your site is an incredible source of information for people suffering with facial pain and I am honored to be a part of it. Thank you for everything you are doing to highlight facial pain and help people find relief and support.
      Gilly

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    1. I always appreciate your feedback Kara. Thank you.( how did you get your name to appear?)
      Gillyx

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  6. I enjoyed reading your post, beautifully written. I will wave next time I'll see you sitting at the porch sipping your English tea :)

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    1. Irene- thank you very much for commenting. Please wave and then come over and sit with me awhile. I can even make coffee if you prefer.(I think)

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  7. Gilly, I enjoyed this. I often wonder how I would have coped with this pain back in the days before internet. I feel like you have opened up your porch to me and so many others.

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  8. Thank you Liz for your beautiful comment.
    The plus side of TN? -we connected! You are welcome on my virtual porch any time....as I know a trip from Scotland would makes it rather difficult to do in reality.
    Gilly

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  9. Gilly,
    Thank you for your blog. I'm glad I found it this morning. I live in Maryland, just outside of DC as well. I have been suffering from Atypical TN as a result from a tumor/tumor removal. I spend much time on my front porch & back deck contemplating and drinking my iced tea. I have a wonderful husband & 3 sons (ages 19, 17 & 10) that support me daily. I look forward to following your postings.

    Cyndi

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    1. Cyndi- I am so glad you have found Brainstorm and that you have written to me. We have a lot in common! I am so sorry to hear you are living with Atypical TN. I hope you have found a way to manage some of the constant pain. I am glad you have such a supportive family. I know my husband feels the same way. Perhaps one day you will come and sip tea with me? Take care and thank you very much for reading.
      Gilly

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    2. Hi Gilly,
      Thank you for your reply. I had time to read some of your other postings today and enjoyed them very much. Each made me smile! I would love to come sip tea with you one day!
      Cyndi

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    3. Hi Cyndi,
      Tea would be great. I know TN is very unpredictable but please email me at gilly@bringingbooksofcomfort.org and let me know when you might feel up for a conversation.
      Gilly

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  10. Hi Gilly,
    What a lovely and moving piece.
    What you say is so very true and as the saying goes " if we all put your problems in a basket and put that basket in the middle of a circle all of us would want to take our own basket back."
    Through all my own personal trials and tribulations I have learnt that we human beings simply have two basic needs - to be heard and to be loved. You my dear Gilly, on the two occasions I have seen you recently (unfortunately not happy ones) have given both to all those that needed it most .. it is so lovely to see. You are the porch and the warm cup of tea.

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  11. Lisa -Thank you for visiting Brainstorm and for your beautiful comment.I was very touched.
    I think the challenges in life really help us define what is truly important.
    You might also enjoy my post about how tea brings comfort-
    enjoy http://gillycannon.blogspot.com/2013/05/when-theres-trouble-brewing-do-this.html

    and the post I wrote most recently about balancing the joys and tragedies of life
    http://gillycannon.blogspot.com/2013/06/sunshine-and-rain-how-to-live-with-both.html

    Both posts are connected with the times we have met in the last few weeks.
    I hope the sun is coming out for you and that I see you soon at a happier occasion.
    Gillyx

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