07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A SEASON FOR LOVE by Michelle Somers

So, as most of you may already know, I live in the Land Down Under. 
A beautiful continent that boasts a wide spectrum of weather, sun and sand being our signature for the Summer season.
But being Down Under means our seasons are all topsy turvy in relation to the top half of the globe.
Hence, whilst the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying a solid dose of sultry summer sun, we’re inundated with wind, rain and a kind of cold that bites through your clothing and seeps into your bones. Not the kind of weather that inspires warmth and love and all that goes with it. Yet, I must say that there are times at the moment when I’ve never felt more loved or cherished.
Sounds weird, right?
Perhaps not after I explain.
A couple of months ago I was carting a heavy (VERY HEAVY) load of shopping down some stairs.
My foot slipped out from under me, I fell, the shopping in my right hand went one way and my body the other.

Unfortunately when the shopping jerked back, it took my thumb with it. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice to say it was painful and debilitating and most inconvenient. I had several events booked in the next week, some that involved book signing. I couldn’t lose the use of my right hand.
So, I waited, hoping time would heal whatever had happened to my thumb.
It didn’t. So, eventually I trundled off to the doctor, had an x-ray and ultrasound, and discovered that I’d quite cleverly detached a tendon from a bone.
Yay, me.
The only way this can be fixed is via surgery.
Double yay, me.
Again I had events coming up. I didn’t have time for surgery. I had a library panel and book signing.

A writing retreat.

I was attending RWA Australia’s annual conference, and for the first time I was presenting a workshop. I’d applied and booked the following year – missing out was not an option.

Luckily, I managed to schedule an operation for the day after I returned from conference – 3 months after the initial injury.
That’s three months of inconvenience and pain and partial use of my right hand.

Now, whilst this diatribe might sound like a moan session, and as far away from a display of love as it can be, it’s actually not. You see, it’s times like these when the beautiful people come out and show themselves.
Friends who pop over and help out and offer assistance in case you need it (and even if you don’t). A good friend who offered to drive over an hour and a half out of her way so that I could make it to our monthly writing meeting. Another two who – on two separate occasions – drove from the other side of Melbourne to meet me for coffee and then offered to chauffeur me around to do the things I couldn’t do now I can’t drive.
Family who step in and take over the mundane tasks that we all do without second thought until we can’t.
The four men in my life – one big, three small – have been the best.
My husband is my lifeline.

Despite running two full time businesses, hubby has donned so many other hats these past weeks. Where he finds the energy and time I have no idea. But he does – and it’s without comment or complaint. He’s the sole taxi driver to our three very busy, very over-committed boys – taekwondo, soccer, football, piano, cubs, scouts . . . you name it, they’re doing it! He’s helping out with the housework. He’s understanding when there’s nothing but pasta or takeout for dinner. He’s pretty much Superman without the tights.
My kids have really stepped up. I have three boys, aged 13, 12 and 10.

Everyday my youngest arrives home from school and his first words are ‘how’s your hand, Mummy?’ When I start to do something or struggle with a task, three voices pipe up asking ‘can we help?’ They now make their own breakfast and lunches, put on washing, sort and put away washing, help with dinner – that’s preparation and dishes – and pretty much do anything, on top of school and homework. I even get help with shoelaces, buttons and zips!
They really are little superheroes in the making. No doubt from the example they get from Dad.
‘Love’ – the caring, nurturing kind – is easy when times are easy. But when times are tough and everything seems stacked against you – these are the times when love and caring and nurturing mean the most.
With everything else going on in the periphery of our life right now – the stress and not-so-good stuff I won't go into here because that's not what this is about – these small acts become grand gestures, and their subtext makes me wake up each morning, grateful. For all I have and all this universe has given me.
Thankfully my thumb will heal, the scars will fade, and life will return to normal. Soon, the pain and inconvenience of my injury will become a distant memory. Not so the love. That’s what keeps me warm inside, even when the storms and cold of winter continue to rage outside.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
What’s your idea of LOVE? How do you or others around you show their loved ones they are special and cherished and, well, loved?
I’d love to hear your stories or your ‘take’ on this topic.
As always, have a fabulous month, and I look forward to seeing you all again in October.
Michelle Somers is a bookworm from way back. An ex-Kiwi who now calls Australia home, she's a professional killer and matchmaker, a storyteller and a romantic. Words are her power and her passion. Her heroes and heroines always get their happy ever after, but she'll put them through one hell of a journey to get there.
Michelle lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her real life hero and three little heroes in the making. And Emmie, a furry black feline who thinks she’s a dog. Her debut novel, Lethal in Love won the Romance Writers of Australia's 2016 Romantic Book of the Year (RuBY) and the 2013 Valerie Parv Award. 

You can find out all about Michelle, her adventures and her books at www.michelle-somers.com


Judith Ashley said...

Glad your real-life story has such a happy ending!!! I totally agree with everything you've said and have too many stories I could share where friends and family have gone the extra mile for me at different times in my life.

What I would add is that you Accepted this with grace. It took me many decades into my life before 1. I could even ask someone to help me and 2. If someone offered, to accept. That "I can do it myself", my need to be Independent was a deep thread that negatively impacted my life for years and years.

In 2004 I was in an auto accident and head injured. My brain was scrambled. It was then when I finally accepted the love, care and compassion that had been offered over the years. Life is so much better on this side. I've found the balance between being independent and self-sufficient and asking for and accepting help.

So glad you are healing and learning how important left hands are. I'm much more ambidextrous since having surgery on my right hand - oh, and moving to a left-handed mouse.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Beautiful post, Michelle.

Like you, I was held back by an injury and helped by loved ones. In my case, I broke my right shoulder falling on the ice five winters ago. They couldn't do surgery on it, so I had to wait for it to heal, which meant about 3 months sitting on the couch. I learned to type one-handed with my left hand and tried not to go stir crazy--and most of all, learned how to ask for help. My husband was the chief cook and bottle-washer, plus chauffeur, nurse's aide, you name it. He is a prince, like yours is, and did it all with a smile. And my writer friends and others were great about taking me places and keeping in touch. It is times like those that really make you grateful for the people in your life.

Diana McCollum said...

Awesome post! I think it is hard for us women, the family caretaker, to accept help. My hubby stepped up and took care of me, the house, the meals and mom, 91 yrs old who lives with us, for Six weeks while i recovered from knee surgery. He was and is my super hero! Great post!

Barbara Strickland said...

beautiful post, beautiful family and beautiful lady. That's what life should be about, people doing things for others.

Michelle Somers said...

Hi Judith
You are so right. I don't know why but initially I didn't want to ask for help and wanted to continue as I had before. It was hard to accept I couldn't do everything I used to. Then I was making breakfast for my oldest son and dropped everything all over the floor. I couldn't even clean it up! So frustrating! From that moment I realised I had to step back gracefully Just because I couldn't do all I'd done for the family before, it didn't mean I'd become redundant. That was a difficult concept for me to grasp.
I'm so glad you found balance 😊
Help is often as as rewarding for the giver as it is for the reciever.
And that left mouse sounds like a fabulous idea! 🐭
Thank so much for sharing your experience.
Michelle xxx

Michelle Somers said...

Hi Lynn
Wow, three months is an incredibly long time! I'm so glad you were surrounded by people who were there for you. This makes such a difference to recovery and our state of mind. Just being able to get out and about is huge.
We are so blessed to have these special people in our lives ❤️
Thanks so much for popping by and sharing your experience.
Michelle xxx

Michelle Somers said...

Hi Diana
Yes! You are so right. I felt as if I wasn't caring properly for my family by not being able to do things for them. But care and love are so much more than merely 'doing things'.
And sometimes it's nice for kids to learn the value and good feeling you get doing things for others.
Aren't super heros the best? We are so very lucky.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience.
Michelle xx

Michelle Somers said...

Thanks so much Barbara ❤️
Family and friends are so important. And so intrinsic to our psychological and emotional health. And it's times like this that I realize how lucky I am.
Lovely to have you pop by! I hope you have a wonderful rest of September.
Michelle xxx