Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Life sure as hell doesn't go as planned, does it?

Two weeks ago, I set out for a vacation of a lifetime with an old childhood friend and we were drunk on life and possibility. We were headed for a Mediterranean cruise, and were going to Italy, Greece, Turkey and Spain. We each left from our separate homes, and met in Paris in the airport. We hugged excitedly, headed for the currency exchange, and I pulled out my wallet. A few hours later, my credit cards were gone. All of them.

Sarah left for Venice, and I stayed behind for 3 hours until my flight. I landed in Venice at 11pm, actually GOT my luggage, and headed out to find the cruise reps who were supposed to be meeting me. No one was there. I had no money, didn't speak the language, and the airport was closing. I was making frantic calls and found an old man who offered to drive me to the ship (at least, I assumed that's what he was saying. He DID drive me to the ship, even though as we drove along winding Italian roads at midnight, I realized that he could kill me right then and there and absolutely no one would ever, ever know).

I made it on the ship. My friend and I had a blissful day and a half...until I slipped down one slippery step, and broke my ankle severely.


So severe, in fact, that I had to have emergency surgery the next day in Athens, Greece. Yes. That was my sight-seeing adventure in Athens. The medical staff on the ship was wonderful, as I cried and sobbed to Sarah that I'd ruined our trip, her trip, why did my life have to be so hard, ohpleasegodjustkillmenowthishurtssobad rants because the pain was so out of this world awful.

In Athens, people stood over me shouting in Greek, as they took off my clothes and put me under so they could set the break. Two days later, Sarah and I were issued Turkish visas and flown out of Istanbul. We landed exhausted back home to DC, where I had surgery AGAIN last Friday...and here I sit.

In two weeks, I'm supposed to be starting a new job. I'm supposed to still on be on vacation. I'm supposed to be going to Kentucky in a couple of days to see the kiddos. I'm supposed to be able to walk. Instead...I am sitting on my couch, five days post-op, with my mother scrubbing things with bleach water in my kitchen as we speak.  I wish I were writing this with more flowery words, with more emotion, with more life lessons that I've learned threaded throughout...but I have told this story so many times that I am weary.

My family and friends have been wonderful, and I haven't been alone for a second since this happened. Mom's here for two weeks, then Dad comes. Dad told me he got physically sick when he heard what happened -- from a combination of knowing I was in horrible physical pain (pain like i've never experienced) and from the heavy feeling that his child just could.not. seem to ever have it easy. He was so happy that I was finally on a trip of a lifetime, finally able to do something wonderful for myself....only to literally be knocked down and slammed back into hard reality.

I told my friend who was with me, Sarah, that i keep waiting to hear on the news that our cruise ship is actually on the bottom of the ocean. Because we clearly (clearly) were not supposed to be on it. It was almost as if the universe was TRYING to make it to where I couldn't get on board. And once I did, I sure as hell couldn't stay. I laid in the medical center the whole first night it happened, shivering as morphine was pumped into me continuously but somehow not even able to touch the pain. They didn't even set it that night, I had to wait til official surgery for that the next day. It was one of my lowest life moments, I think.

It's just a broken ankle. Just. But it's sure as hell disrupted my life, and shaken a few hard lessons into me. I have four screws and a plate in my ankle now, but I'm expected to make a full recovery. Six more weeks.

If it happened for a reason...I've got my eyes wide open, trying desperately, straining, to see it.


liv said...

Oh my gosh, I first read your blog last week and was so excited to keep reading about your trip to Italy.

I too broke my ankle last year at just about this time. I know that pain and my heart breaks for you, your pain and your missed trip. I did learn something from it....but it was hard.

The good news is , you'll heal and your safe at home. Best wishes.

Mel said...

Oh dear Lord. This is wrong. Not fair. I don't even know what to say except I'm so sorry everything went awry, and sorrier still that you are in so much pain. I'll be looking for a reason or a lesson in all this, there needs to be one.
Maybe it's that you get all the awful out of the way now and the awesome comes later. I sure hope you have nothing but awesome ahead.
Heal those bones, and take care of yourself, and let those who love you take care of you too.
I'd hug you if I could, because when things are awful, hugs seem to help. XO

SJ said...

Mel, I think my comments on your blog disappeared so trying again. Thanks first for your sweet comment! I am healing well, I hope, and am really just trying to make the best of things. I am very happy to have trotted over to your blog and found my next book to read! I am in the middle of the Hunger Games right now, but I'm downloading that one next.

Liv, thanks for coming by! Please keep reading :) I hope your ankle is doing very well now.

Ms. Moon said...

This is just so horrible. And look- I don't think that things necessarily happen for a reason. Honestly. I just think that things happen and then you make out of them what you can. If you can learn some things, fine. If you can discover that you can survive things you did not even have the slightest idea you could survive and that you are stronger than you ever knew- GREAT! If you come out of this knowing that people love you more than you even began to know- terrific!
All good things to know.
But were you "meant" to break your ankle and not have the trip of your dreams?
No. It just happened.
Now. Rest. Heal.
Accept the love.

Bethany said...

I just can't even believe this. I don't know what to say. UGH!
Damn damn damn.
You're amazing you know.
I'm so sorry about all this.
Big hugs.

May said...

I am so sorry. I haven't been reading and now I catch up and there's this. I am so sorry. Sorry I haven't called, sorry I haven't been reading. I love you.