The poet Lorie Hill states in one of her poems that March roars in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. I don’t know if it’s a U.S. thing or a northern hemisphere thing, but this is how I was raised. It’s fitting that my March post is about transition.
A lot of people ask me why I’m such a big baseball fan and there are several reasons. But for me, it’s a very social thing. It connects me to something else (other than the stroke) and lets me share something with others. Even people who aren’t big baseball fans get that it is important. The main reason I love baseball is a childhood thing which always connects me to that time and place. I am a big fan of March Madness. It is the college basketball championship tournament in the U.S. Now you may be asking yourself what does basketball have to do with baseball? Transition! I know when March Madness comes around that it’s the start of the baseball season. We have Stanford baseball season tickets (college) and that way I can start watching live baseball in February.
I’ve said before that the house cleaners come every other Tuesday. I have to put it in the calendar because I can’t remember which Tuesday it is. Before they come, we clean for the cleaners. We actually tidy up because I don’t want them spending their time doing that. Whenever we do something, I am aware that it affects the cleaning. There are somethings that I just make a decision that I’ll tidy up before the cleaners come and other things that I just put away as I use them. We also have somebody else clean to make sure that cleaning is done regularly for me as a stroke survivor and something we can do for Matt as the caregiver. A clean house is important for anybody especially a stroke survivor. It says a lot about the value of a person.
I’ve said when I had the stroke, I lost my sense of taste and smell and I was thrilled when the taste and smell of lemons came back. I have been disappointed that I can’t taste things when I can’t see them. Many spices are “wasted” on me. Recently Matt went to a cooking class and the instructor said a little lemon zest enhances the flavor of many pastas and people can’t see it. The last time Matt made some pasta, that’s what he did. I could smell the lemon zest! After 9 1/2 years, Matt is still mindful of that and it is a part of our lives. That is an example of the whole thing about transitions, our actions are like spices, we don’t always see them!
It was the author Mark Twain who said ‘everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it’. There are just somethings beyond our control. As transition for various aspects of weather, we dress accordingly. There are some things we wear for summer and somethings we wear just for winter. The whole idea of a wardrobe for the various seasons is a great start to the process!
Things don’t have to change for a transition, maybe just our description or perspective. I had many migraines before the stroke. The dark is best for a migraine. I just got used to the dark and I no longer have migraines. Matt calls me a mole. Before the stroke I would say dark is best for a migraine, now I just like it. I’ve used this quote by C.S. Lewis on prayer. (I think it’s a great example of transition.) “It doesn’t change God, it changes me.”
For the last three years, I watched a TV show on HBO titled The Newsroom. It was well written. On the last episode, they did the Tom T. Hall song That’s How I Got To Memphis. It’s a great song and not really about Memphis but rather how he got there and we can take it as how any of us get to the place where we currently are. I think it’s about the fact of what are we going to do now? I’ve said before that I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I had the stroke. (I never got an answer that I liked!) May is Stroke Awareness month. I see that as very different than prevention. The source of my stroke was an AVM. It was congenital. I had it at birth. The fact that it burst when I was 49 is phenomenal! That’s the thing about transitions. We have to always be mindful of things. I can summarize all my transitions from the last few years in a single sentence. Whatever I’m supposed to learn from this adventure, I’m going to because I am not repeating this!