New Years

Memories have a way of washing over one another like the water washes over the sand; some remain at the surface while overs sink, buried by things heavier than them. As I close out 2013, it’s hard for me to remember how great our life was before October; before my surgery, before I had thirteen levels of my spine fused. I have photos and written tales written by a girl that was much freer than the girl I am today; she wrote funny tales of motherhood, I write about perspective because clinging to a positive one feels like all I can do some days.
I’m nearly three months post-op and it’s bittersweet.
Before my surgery, the three-month-mark was thrown out there as the potential time I could return to work and, thus, the time I presumed my life would be more or less ordinary. There was a time, when I was pregnant, that a confused patient hit me over the head from behind with the phone in the room. I think about that experience, coupled with the fact I’m still physically and restrictively unable to lift my children, and I now know that expecting to return to normalcy at three months was a lofty I’m-gonna-tell-you-what-you-want-to-hear-because-you-need-this-surgery tale from my surgeon. 
And so, while I feel better than I have thus far, I feel far from normal. My life is not normal. Some days my every thought is consumed by pain. Other days I feel better and my thoughts are consumed with a fear of overdoing it and returning back to the state of pain I just spent 5 days in bed recovering from.
I don’t have New Year’s resolutions this year. I’m not resolving to do anything, per say. Rather, I want to be happy. If that means nurturing my body more than I’ve needed to in years past, then so be it. If it means a change of perspective because my attitude is down in the gutter, then so be it. If it means keeping a running list of things I want to do with my family but I can’t because of my limitations, then I’ll do that too. I’m resolving to stay hopeful because I know normalcy is just around the corner and I’m using all the fuel left in my tank to get there.
I’ve been listening to music again and it’s been getting into my bloodstream and feeding my soul in a way it used to when I hurt – in other ways – in the past. When I was a nursing student, I had the privilege of caring for a man named Delaney Bramlett; a singer, songwriter, musician, and producer. He died during the same hospital stay and he was magical. Two of my favorites of his are this one and this one. I hope it does for you, what it does for me.
And I hope all of you can stay happy and healthy in the New Year because beyond those two things – I’ve learned – you really don’t need anything else.
Photos taken on New Years Eve, spent on the beach with family. And thank you to all who left us comments wishing us well. I am finally feeling better… just in time to take care of Hooper who couldn’t make it in the door from preschool yesterday without laying down on our walkway and throwing up. Come on 2014, what else ya got?!

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6 Responses

  • Ashley, things will get better in time. I wanted to say this before, my sister has Scoliosis and she is only 17. Im scared for her, she is my baby sister. I’ve never read the exact tales of the surgery and recovery, not to mention leading up to it all, then what you wrote… and its helped so much. Im more aware of her condition and what it means, and as a big sister you try to protect your younger siblings as best you can..but this is something i fear i can’t save her from… Thanks for continuing to write.

    p.s I posted your “Banner” on to our blog,

    • I wouldn’t worry too much about your sister. A lot of people have scoliosis that never require the surgery I had. To give you some comparison, at 17 my curve measured around 40 degrees. They don’t do surgery until you have a curve that measures 50 degrees or more. At the time of my surgery, my curve had progressed to 62 degrees. You can learn more about scoliosis by going to Thanks for the comment.

  • This is such a sweet post. Happy and healthy — the only things that matter in my book, too.

    Loved this: “I have photos and written tales written by a girl that was much freer than the girl I am today; she wrote funny tales of motherhood, I write about perspective because clinging to a positive one feels like all I can do some days.”

    You are taking it all in stride, from my point of view at least. I love you, Beeze. Going to check out those songs now.


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