When a person spends nearly eight decades in one town they can gather a lot of friends and admirers if they live their life right. This was a life obviously lived right. By the time I arrived the only available parking was several blocks away. My only black shoes were a size too small, but I had worn them anyway. I figured I would only be riding in the car or sitting in the parlor. I never imagined I’d be walking four blocks in those awful tight heels to go to a funeral.

For the first few weeks I put a bandage and antibiotic cream on my toe.  Then, I went to soaking it.  Months went by, and it didn’t get better.  It got worse.  The mere weight of a sheet felt like an ice pick was being shoved under my toenail.  I could hardly bear weight.  It was red, swollen, and throbbed continually.  My mind was dim, and I was exhausted; I wondered if it was from the lack of sleep due to the throbbing pain or if the infection had spread to my brain!

I finally saw the surgeon to have it lanced and drained.  Unfortunately, I had waited too long and he had to remove the toenail and shave away the outer part of my toe.  It had been infected too long, and the tissue was dead.  He assured me it would heal and eventually fill in to the point the removal would be barely noticeable.  It took nearly two years before my toe looked normal and I felt comfortable wearing sandals in public.

However, almost immediately following the procedure I felt better.  My mind was clear.  I took pain pills and slept peacefully.  The toe was sore but not throbbing.  I was prescribed antibiotics, and my joints no longer ached.  I couldn’t weight bear yet, but I had energy again and suddenly felt like doing things I was not yet able to do.

I feel a bit like I lanced and drained an old wound here the last couple of days.  The thick, foul smelling discharge was cleaned away and, though I’m still bleeding a bit, I feel better already.  My energy is back.

Yesterday morning I woke up and started coffee and built a fire like every other morning.  But, then I decided to clean up outside a bit.  I wandered the yard, picking up garbage and praying, and it occurred to me that I should just start a bonfire and burn that junk.  So, I did.  When I came in I started laundry and got the kids going on their studies.  While they worked I ran back and forth between teaching and cooking.  By late afternoon I had two dishes in the freezer, one in the crock pot, and another on the stove.  I ran the younger two to swim lessons and made them raw protein smoothies when we got home.  My youngest sat on my bed and we chatted while I folded the clean laundry.

And, I felt good!  I wasn’t tired.  I went to bed at 11 and was awakened by my usual nightmares of him at 5.  I laid there in bed for awhile, listening to my son moan and feeling my daughter’s soft, wispy hair tickle my face, and I prayed.  I got up, started coffee, and built a fire like every other morning.  I felt a little shell shocked, still not really believing that I’d exposed my wound to the air like that, showed people my swollen, red, infected heart.  I was sore but not throbbing.  I was able to practice Chi Gung, cook a hot breakfast for the kids, and get ready for work.  After dropping the kids off I tried to mentally psyche myself up for being away from them all day and for the laborious job of cleaning.  However, noon arrived before I knew it.  The first house was clean.  I was paid.  And, I was on my way to pick up lunch.

I stopped at Albertson’s.  They were still out of those chocolate husbands, deep fat fried, and smothered in money, so I just grabbed some hummus and a coffee.  For working so hard all morning, I wasn’t very hungry.  I had plenty of energy.

The next three hours flew by, and I was done.  Bathrooms sparkled and floors shined, and I was off to pick up my babies an hour early!  I ran home to stoke the fire before running my son to driving class and then back into town to get my hair done.  I was still feeling good!

I know I have to be careful a secondary infection doesn’t set in (metaphoric reference to my vulnerability to other potential abusers).  I still can’t do all the things I did before or all the things I may feel like doing, but I’m getting my energy back.  I’m sore but no longer throbbing.  I’m resting better.

A lot of my wounds are very old.  Some are fairly new.  Lancing and draining were the necessary first steps.  The Lord is removing a lot of my flesh, but He assures me that new growth will occur and someday I’ll barely notice the places where so much was removed.  It may take a long time, but I will heal.