The other day I got some news that could have been scary concerning the rehabilitation of my broken elbow. Yes the famous complex fracture as it has come to be known. Thats what happens when your elbow explodes and is then put back together by an amazingly gifted surgeon who stuffs your arm with a shit ton of metal and is able to ensure that you don’t loose use of your left hand due to nerve damage.
I had never broken a single bone, and I’d never had surgery until January 4th, 2016. Great way to start the new year! But if you’re going to incur a major injury such as this what better place to do it than in the south of France, where your hospital stay includes a view of the sea at sunrise AND there just happens to be orthopedic trauma specialists who specialise in broken arms ( I don’t know the techinical terms; Im not sure if my surgeon specialises in broken arms, or broken elbows, but I do know that a broken elbow is one of the most complex bone fractures there is). I was informed by the Italians that had I incured this injury here, in the south of Italy where I am currently living, there would have been no specialist and therefor a very high chance that I would have lost the use of my left hand all together, yeah nerve damage is serious shit.
So there’s the first gift from the universe where my elbow is concerned.
Secondly, it just so happens that my Italian host mom is a doctor…who knows a specialist, and a physiotherapist, and a radiologist…its almost as if I had to break my elbow! So after my amazing French surgeon, I have to thank my Italian mom for all that shes done; arranging for me to see all of these people, taking me to appointments, finding out different medications to help with the pain…yes I teach your adorable children English, and play with them and I adore them, but I can’t see how or why you do so much for me, none the less I have no words for your kindness, and the way you go out of your way for me, but would never think of it as such. You take good care of me, you look out for me, you give me good advice, and always have my best interests at heart; you are a good mom!
This was my first taste of a type of generosity and kindness that I have no words for, I guess I’m surprised, taken aback. And then there’s my physiotherapists, these lovely ladies whom I see everyday. They shower me with affection, I feel like a little girl surrounded by a bunch of adoring aunties. They’ve seen me cry from the physical pain of my rehabilitation, and the emotional pain of a broken heart (which in the midst of physical pain, is harder to keep control of), they give me my beloved cornetto con nutella every morning, and now we’ve become so close I’ve met their whole families and we go on outings around the Salento/Puglia region together. They adore me, and I am so thankful for their hugs, their jokes, the way that they look out for me, and their desperate attempts to find a way for me to stay here with them forever; adoption (which I’m unfortunatly too old for), finding me a boyfriend (which I assure them is not a requirement of me staying or moving here), finding me a job (tour guide, because I love history or English teacher naturally).
The point of this whole piece is that in being astonished by the kindness, generosity and warmth of the people Im surrounded with here, it clicked; Karma. I’ve asked myself many times in the last decade, why I give and give and never get anything back. I thought I had bad luck, I thought I was cursed. Even when I tried to do better, or do the right thing, or when I thought I had solved all of my problems, more shit was always thrown at me, and I always wondered why? When would it end? What did I do to deserve always being shit on?
I don’t know if its because I’ve changed my prespective, if its because I’m committed to having peace in my life, to forgiving, to taking responsibility for my own pain, if its because I’m more aware and my heart is more open, or because I love myself more, or because I’m finally listening and open to the Universe…but in any case I feel like Karma is at work here, and all the times I wondered why I never got anything back, now its all coming around, back to me. My heart is bursting having discovered that there are so many different versions of love in this world. I am so grateful and so thankful for these people. My broken elbow has given me so much and taught me so much.
Funny how things work out…
** A special note on this piece; my best friend and her awesome husband deserve a major shout out for taking care of me as well. I stayed with them immidiately after my surgery and they were amazing. I’ve known my bestie for 22 years now, since we were 7 years old, and after going through this experience with her at my side, my heart was bursting at having found new and deeper levels of friendship than we’d ever had. I always knew we were forever friends, but this is a whole different level!