It’s been two-plus weeks now since coming home from hip replacement surgery. Needless to say that’s major surgery. I was hugely grateful that my immensely popular surgeon (whose operations are routinely booked several months in advance) slipped me into a cancellation, after a year of increasing pain. Each day is an improvement in minor but important ways, but it takes work and discipline (not always my strength) to do the exercises and listen to my body’s need for rest or treatment.

Nevertheless, I’m repeatedly grateful for so many things, including a physical therapist who helped my body prepare for the operation, and a Home Healthcare team that got me through the most crucial days. Most of all has been my incredible husband, who suddenly became a fulltime caretaker and maintainer of the household – including constant looking after a very young puppy who has taken over the house!

I thank God also for a surprising comfort that helps me through nights of little sleep: an afghan my mom used often over the years when she sat down to read, to work word puzzles, or to write. I don’t know what makes something become a symbol pointing to so much more than its simple self, but the touch of this blanket brings back memories of times with her in her more vigorous days. For much of my life she was my closest friend, confidante, and more. Even now, years after her passing into heaven, I think of her almost daily, and look forward to seeing her again when the time comes.

It’s amazing that a single afghan could hold so much life and goodness, and bring such healing to someone aching for rest. It’s also evidence that “the Holy Spirit prays for us with sighs too deep for words.” God is compassionate beyond measure, and for that I am grateful.

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub