I’m in bed. Recuperating from a hysterectomy.
I have a way of downplaying things that happen to me. I tend to speak about seemingly big things like they aren’t big things at all. I think if I do this I am in effect minimising the magnitude of what has happened to me.
I downplayed my surgery. I acted like the 4-6 week recuperation period did not apply to me. I acted like a dumbass.
And I paid for it.
Last night, just one week after my surgery, I ended up in considerable pain with an awful pinching feeling in the place where my oversized adenomyotic* uterus used to be. I thought my bowels were going to fall out of my vagina. It was scary and it wasn’t pleasant.
And so for the bulk of the day today I have been lamenting in bed.
We spend up to a third of our lives in bed and yet I have never really thought about our view from our bed. As I look around my room, whilst I find it aesthetically pleasing, I have never really pondered just how much each item that is placed within it means to me. And sadly for my husband almost everything does probably mean more to me than it does to him.
First of all next to me, I have a gift that was given to me by my best friend, Tess, for my birthday this year. I love the colour teal, a recent discovery, and knowing this, my beautiful friend, who never ever shops, braved that dreaded place of commerce to find me the things she knew I would love in the colour that I adore (though the photo has come up green for some reason). Every time I look at these, I am reminded of just how much she means to me, how wonderful our friendship is and how much I am so honoured to have her in my life.
Moving around the room, I can look through our plantation blinds to the plants outside. Our garden looks quite tropical, though it resides in Melbourne which is not tropical at all. When we first bought our house, the garden had only just been planted, the plants so small. Now it is fully formed with a palm tree and banana trees so tall that swaysferociously in the stormy winds that we get to experience so often. As I look at them outside, I feel so blessed to have a garden that bends and sways to the rhythms of nature and that I don’t even have to get out of bed to witness it.
Two quotes adorn the wall. These quotes were recently purchased, but reflect my general philosophy on life, and living.
This portrait. My mom, more than 20 years ago now, wanted us to have a portrait done. “Just us girls,” she had said. She had an idea in her head of how she wanted the portrait to look. I wasn’t allowed to smile, which is hard for me, for I do love to smile. And my head shot had to be contained within a silhouette of my side profile. I remember her being very specific. The photographer was confused as he spoke to my mom. My sister and I were rolling our eyes wishing like hell she didn’t have to be quite so insistent as she explained again what was required. Eventually, the photographer agreed to give it a go.
I posed. “Look at the wall,” he said. I heard the analogue camera click. I then watched as he rolled the film back, and then asked me to look at him. I heard another click. “I have no idea if this will work,” he said to my mom, but it’s good to experiment I suppose.
That blown-up, framed photo stood in his shop window for about 5 years until my then new husband asked if he could buy it as a present for my birthday. I remember walking past the photography shop during that time, seeing myself in the window, cringing as you do. I would hear people wonder at this new technique, asking how it could be done. I reckon my mom’s creativity brought that photographer a fair income during that period. But that was my mom – bold, creative, brave.
The bears that lie on the ground represent beginnings. The large one was given to me by my father on the day I was born. For over thirty years it sat in the loft, dejected. But some time ago, my dad brought it over to Australia from the UK. The smaller bear was given to my husband on his birth. I think it says a lot about both our parents – my dad could be, and still can be, extravagant; Mr C’s parents are older, war children, prone to frugality.
The chairs are simply decoration, not even that comfortable. Whilst I like the aesthetic, I will probably replace them with something more comfortable. I had at one time wanted to have a chaise longe in that space, but couldn’t quite make it work. I’d always envisaged this space as my personal reading space. Once, I would pour over and Pinterest the hell out of Unusual Libraries and Reading Nooks. Perhaps one day.
That cabinet, which I have spoken about before, is a treasure to me. It is old fashioned, and contains old fashioned figurines. They are a living history of the females in both my paternal and maternal blood line. There were my mother’s collection, and I inherited them when she died. I remember the joy she would display when she would find another figurine to add to her collection. I could almost feel how gently she would handle them, how her fingers would run over them, committing to memory the person they would represent. My dad recently added to my collection when he found in an antique shop a figurine that my mother had not been able to find. I admit to feeling the same joy. One day, I will create a written family tree to go with these figurines so that whoever inherits them will know where these wonderful women sit in our family line.
And then there are the round mirrors. These are a Kmart acquisition and I love them. They remind me of portholes and thus remind me of the ocean. I love that depending on where I am in the room, I get a different view. Mr C has succumbed to the most recent craze of Pop figurines. Well, in fairness, he got given two of the Monty Python pop figures by Master J for Christmas. “It would be rude not to complete the set,” said Mr C. Yes, indeed.
We celebrated our 20th anniversary this year, but Mr C has been out of work for quite some time, and so money is a little thin on the ground. I saw an image which gave me inspiration to create this poster for Mr C. It pretty much has our love story wrapped up in a nutshell. A picture does truly say a thousand words – or 20 years of life experience.
And then finally, from my bed, I wake up to this every single morning. It is really the first thing I look at and the last thing I see before I go to bed. I love this quote so much. I am very lucky to be living it. Because, truly, I am living with the one I can’t live without. You see, Mr C has been incredible during my incarceration. He has fed me, watered me and admonished me when I find relying on him so difficult. It is rare, I think, to have someone in your life that you know cares for you so utterly, that even in your most vulnerable hour, in your most undignified state, they still manage to utter the words, “Hey sexy, fancy a cup of tea?”
What is the view from your bed like? Are you filled with memories and stories as you glance around? I really would love to know and to hear all about it.
* Adenomyotic is not a real word as far as I am aware. I had Adenomyosis but needed adenomyotic to make the sentence work. It’s called poetic licence. HA!