Waiting on a Masterpiece #SOL17

Last Wednesday I was admitted to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York to investigate the root of my foot infections. To date, I have had three surgeries on my left foot all stemming from a fall, tripping over my then black lab puppy, Lucy. It’s hard to believe so much destruction could occur from such a cute little face.

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Lucy at eight weeks

This has been my third hospitalization in the last six months dealing with foot wounds. The first time, I was released on Thanksgiving, and this time I celebrated Easter in New York. All three trips to the hospital have been under emergency circumstances, but I was still able to pack sufficiently from home. And “by sufficiently” I mean I have my notebooks, favorite pens, my Nook, my laptop, my daily devotional, my make-up and comfort clothes. If I had to rely on my husband to pack those items, I’d be sunk. Let’s face it, as readers and writers we can bear any situation or delay in our lives as long as we have those few lifelines.

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59th Street Bridge

When I arrived to the hospital on Wednesday night, I was pleasantly surprised to be placed in a private, corner room, six floors up on the East River with clear views of the 59th Street Bridge, also know as the Ed Koch Queensborough Bridge. Although it doesn’t have the history and beauty of the Brooklyn Bridge or the GW, it evokes an industrial message – something raw and vulnerable that appeals to me.

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Erector Set analogy

The view from Manhattan over to Long Island City, Queens lacks the drama of a city skyline, yet serves as a reminder of the practicality of city life. People live and work here, but due to the high costs of living in Manhattan, most commute from the outlying boroughs. After some brief research, I learned that, from an engineering standpoint, it is a cantilever bridge, which means there is one long continuous beam from one support to the other. A close-up view of the bridge, reminds me of a gigantic Erector set.

When it was originally constructed in the early 1900’s, the bridge was built for cars, trains and a trolley car system. Although the plans were clearly developed, there were many setbacks in getting started on this engineering masterpiece. Through the years, the rails and trolly car lanes were replaced by car lanes and a pedestrian walkway. Although in form it was and still is an engineering wonder, now it functions more efficiently as a means of transportation.

As I researched a bit more, I also discovered that Simon and Garfunkel immortalized the bridge in their 59th Street Bridge song aka “Feelin Groovy.” Art Garfunkel wrote the lyrics when he returned to New York from England, and was subsequently dealing with a new level of fame. During his initiation into fame and a new fast paced life, he was willing himself to “slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last….”

FootEngineeringThat could be the message for me as well. Right now, I’ve reached

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Hardware – my own personal erector set

day seven on my hospital stay, which is quickly turning into day eight. On Friday, I had a fourth surgery; this time to remove hardware, which was cultured for bacteria. Unfortunately it has yielded a positive reading, which means I will need a PICC line inserted for at-home infusion of antibiotics. Although my surgeries have forced me to “slow down,” and I’ve tried to rest productively through all three set-backs, this time around, I’ll have to Wait and See  believing that, “he’s not finished with me yet…”

Participating in this weekly Slice of Life challenge, has helped to develop my writing muscles. I am always amazed at what “turns up” on the page. Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for providing this opportunity to write within such a supportive community.

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8 thoughts on “Waiting on a Masterpiece #SOL17

  1. This post moved me in so many ways, Laurie. First, you are in my thoughts as you continue to heal. Second, I love how you created such an impactful metaphor with the bridge to your foot. I was enjoying reading all you put into the bridge itself: the details, the research, the musical connection to the always fabulous Simon & Garfunkel. I was so engrossed that I didn’t expect your connection to lessons learned from this experience. Many interesting feelings happened at once: the joy & comfort of reading a really great experiential piece, and the sorrow & sympathy I have for you as you are going through it.

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    • Thank you, Lorie… My foot has gone through so many changes – 12/14 initial surgery the pins broke, 6/15 second surgery pins and plate broke, 5/16 bolts inserted… injury healed, but skin ulcers developed. It’s no longer about form, but rather function. I just want to walk normally again! Your feedback on my writing really lifted my day. My PICC line has been inserted, and I am heading home!

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  2. As soon as you mentioned the 59th Street bridge, I started humming Simon and Garfunkle’s song in my head. Thanks for the background on the song and also on the bridge – a truly fascinating and well-thought-out post. Many well wishes are coming your way for a speedy recovery!

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    • Thanks, Rose. I always thought the song was entitled, “Feelin Groovy.” I love this bridge… one time a contestant on Project Runway used the bridge as an inspiration to create a graphic for material. He focused on the many triangles that are part of its design. Thanks again for your well wished and feedback.

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  3. You have taken me down a delightful pathway this morning… your 6th floor view of 59th Street Bridge, memory lane with Simon and Garfunkle, the wonder of creation through the work of Leonardo da Vinci, the marvels of medical science, to the feet of the One who’s “not finished with [you] yet.” Praying for your recovery, Laurie.

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    • Thank you, Alice. That’s the real mystery… “not finished with me yet” I am heading up to MA this weekend to Eastern Point Jesuit House for a silent retreat weekend. Father James Martin, Jesuit and author of many books, is running this retreat. Even though I have to infuse antibiotics twice a day, I am not letting that stop me! Hopefully, I’ll discern and discover some answers. Thank you for your feedback and prayers.

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  4. Laurie, I’m sure you’re convalescing in style! I recall your scooter-style. I do hope that the health issues will resolve and that you’ll be back with teachers and kids as soon as possible. Lots of love to you!

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  5. Well, Kathy – I’ve added a wheelchair to the mix, since I had to stay off both feet for two months. I thought about adding baseball cards to the spokes, that might be fun! I’ll tell you another thing, when you glide around your house at that level, you realize the spots that need dusting – yikes! Hoping to be back to school by May 1st. Thanks for stopping by!

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