Morphine is definitely the drug I intend to have on hand when my final days are approaching. I was reminded of the sweetness of its effect a few weeks ago when I finished a 73 mile bike ride into Starved Rock park and was thinking about food, a swim, a shower, hanging out with my friends on my annual bike trip and instead woke up in an ambulance in excruciating pain asking what had happened. I had a severely broken shoulder, a mild concussion, a horribly bruised hip and an intense need to apologize to everyone taking care of me and worrying about their health, dinner and the burden of my mistake. This goes back to an accident prone childhood combined with indifferent parents. When it was suggested my husband and son be told I said they wouldn't be willing to help me because they were busy.

Eventually I'd be taken to the hospital with the gangrenous appendix, the broken arm, the severely burned leg (my father described the lemon pudding I covered myself with as "napalm"). When I was in the 60th hour of back labor with my son I suggested that everyone should just ignore me since I was too much trouble. The morphine I received after my appendix was removed gave me a sense of well being and inspired a short speech to the doctor and nurses about their skill and kindness. The morphine shot I was given last week allowed me to forget the pain of my x-rays and accept being cared for. Also, I suggested a party in my hotel room which was vetoed by my husband and friends.

Right now my condo is being gutted as the windows are removed and replaced because of the mistakes made by the developer. My dad is back in Hospice, my mother's heart is broken and I' m getting ready to move to the  Middle East to teach. And my shoulder is still broken.

 I was a tough little girl, brave and good until I started drinking and lost my way. But that hasn't been an issue for decades now. Yet, I still apologize for  accidents and assume people don't want to waste their valuable time helping me although I know better. I am exhausted by my inability to accept help
and compassion. But, I am trying and yesterday was able to ask my sweet son to tie my shoes remembering all those years we spent together when he would turn around to look for me and I was always there. When he fell from the monkey bars he knew to tell me he was scared and hurt and I realized I had raised a healthy child. I stroked his hair as he bent over my sneakers and he let me.


  1. Molly,
    what God has in store for you is probably to slow down on your large life and get your nose closer to the smell of roses. I am in your club with the challenges of bodily disfunctions. Our best asset at this time are to allow our fingers to be busier and do all the walking or biking and peace to a great writer. My eyes really enjoyed your lines of wisdowm.


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