Saturday, June 26, 2010

Like a pregnant lady

While we no longer have a rental car, Biruk noted how nice it was for me to drive around on my own (as his car is a standard and I only drive automatics). I'm back to taking the bus, but the option of having my own car in Edmonton was nothing I had considered before. Thankfully, for a few weeks I will have my own personal chauffeur, which should help in that respect. I really don't mind the bus; I can sit and read, do a few errands like update some things or write reports.

Biruk is going to be off work for a while; 1- doctor's orders, 2- he cannot bend his back. He bends his knees and reaches his arms as long as they will go, similar to a heavily pregnant woman, which is humorous to watch. Not that I watch- I pick up whatever is one the ground for him. So, I asked my boss for extra shifts, which I have gladly been offered. Putting the baby to bed (which is easy), getting the 3-year-old to sleep (which is incredibly challenging), cleaning the house, and taking the kids to the park have been added to my regular work meeting with clients one-on-one. It's been great, I feel just busy enough without being over-whelmed.

I'm not sure what was the turning point: the independence of having a car for a week, more hours at work, the change in weather or a mental shift from what I want in the future and want I have in the present. But, suddenly, I am beginning to enjoy living in Edmonton. It feels like my home and I actually am enjoying it here.
To be truthful- I think the summer weather is playing a HUGE part. When the snow starts I will be ready to cut this city and up down. But in the summer- oh! There are parks, and the river and it seems that the entire city is either riding a bike or having a barbecue. And the farmers' markets with purple and white bell peppers and the flowers flooding out onto the streets. So I'll enjoy it and soak as much in as I can before I begin hating anything touched with cold.
I noticed the shift one night as I returned from work; I was driving home in our rental car and the sun had already set- the sky was a light purple color and driving down the winding hills, about to cross over the river and head toward the vertical light rows of downtown when I smiled at how pretty the city looked and realized I liked Edmonton!
It seems inappropriate to begin liking my home amidst my husband's attack, while he is in the hospital. I'm a mover, and as the title of my blog suggests, I have trouble staying 'put' for a while. Since I began moving, I haven't stayed in any one place for more than 2 years. I've been in Edmonton for almost one year now, which I know is not a long time, but for me it is. I am looking forward to our honeymoon, future vacations and the next country we will live in.
I joke that I have 'commitment issues', but only with cell phones and locations, never with people. Only, it's proving more and more true. And I do, even as I enjoy living in Edmonton, have a queasiness about living here for 3 or even 5 years.
But- suddenly as I drove down the hill in the purpled sky I liked Edmonton.

My husband is going to be just fine, soon he will be able to run and bend down again. But my dreaming of the future and constant looking forward was halted and now has been slowed; the present is precious and unless you hold that in importance, the future will never be reached. So, while I do still hope for a move in the future, and I am excited for our vacations and adventures, I am enjoying now in a way that I didn't before.
And that mental shift is bringing me to like Edmonton instead of survive it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

rainbows form when there is sun and rain together

Biruk's name means 'blessed' in Amharic. I think it's a namesake that truly speaks of his life.

This past week has been intense, hard and really wonderful. The picture of the past week and a half might seem bleak, but every edge is bright in blessings and I can't focus on the dark areas, because all I feel is God's movement in our life.

Thank God we got in a car accident. It was such a blessing in every way. We were side-swiped by a little old man who was not paying attention. The bumper and headlight were ripped off, but that's about it. On the little old man's car, his hubcaps flew off and he jumped out of the car, dashing around the highway to put them back on and then asked Biruk to 'go to auto body shop now?' Biruk said no. Thankfully as the man got into his car and attempted to drive away, a police officer arrived and made him remain at the scene of the accident.
We quickly managed to get a rental car and, being an automatic, I was able to drive it. Having a car with the hecticness of the past few days, and driving Biruk around has been great. Not to mention- our car was determined a write-off because parts are too expensive; which is exactly what we wanted! So now, we get to go car-shopping with the money we get from the insurance company.

I can't explain the fear of the next incident; its a different type of fear than I ever felt. The most scared I've ever felt was when I woke up to a crashing and pounding in a remote area in Northern Uganda and all I could imagine was that the world was about to end- or we were being bombed, turns out it was just a heavy rain on a thin, tin roof. I wasn't scared when I visited my sister and we had to move away from the windows and she pointed out which 'boom' was the grenade. Or yesterday, when I fell asleep in my hammock and woke up to a squirrel running around my legs- I screamed in panic and my heart raced.
But this? I simply woke up to the phone ringing. There was little information given and I dashed out of the apartment in a blur, as I literally was not wearing my glasses. But everything was blurry and there was little explanation, except that an ambulance was on the way.
I still felt asleep and that all of my responses were delayed, like I was looking at my life through a piece of clear plastic wrap. When I was really awake, there was nothing gradual about it, I was suddenly alert. I remember exactly where I woke up; 111th street and 116 Ave. The siren was blaring over my head as I sat in the passenger side of the ambulance and a paramedic was calling out my husband's vitals. He had a heart rate of 140 and his blood pressure contained the number 118 in it.
But I didn't feel scared. Not in the way I've felt frightened before. My heart rate didn't fluctuate and my breathing was normal. I didn't cry or feel the need to cry. I was calm, truly and really calm. Maybe it was my background and training taking over about staying calm for the sake of the injured person, and I do remember talking calmly and telling him that everything was going to be okay and that I was right  here with him. I don't remember praying, in the way that people address God and finish with an 'Amen'. Actually, I don't remember uttering a thought-out prayer in my mind, but more of a focus without articulated words. Even without my prayers, prior to my knowledge of the incident, God had already intervened and done his saving work as stabs avoided spleen and spinal chord, to the right of the heart and shallow.
After we arrived at the emergency room, I felt even more at ease; he was at the hospital now and any damages would be taken care of.
The only fear I had was of being alone. I felt that I would fall apart completely if I sat alone. So I talked with the intoxicated girl and the two police officers supervising her, as she continually asked me if I had a cigarette. I just couldn't be alone.
I asked the police why they were still there, hovering over him in his small Trauma 1 room. I wasn't even frightened when they explained it was because if he did end up dying, they would have to make adjustments for the investigation of the crime. I really wasn't afraid, I knew it would all be okay.

And today, we have a fridge full of left-over birthday cake and far too much juice that friends have brought. My husband is walking, and even took a few steps running yesterday. He laughed so hard I saw tears form in his eyes.
We're blessed. People need not feel sorry for us, because we are truly blessed. Not only in the big things; such as living and breathing-free of machines. But we're blessed in the small things, which we can see and feel and won't step over lightly as we once did.

Thursday, June 03, 2010