In college, I studied countless hours of Shakespeare and Chaucer, thinking like most college students these things could never be relevant to "real life." I find myself thinking back to several quotes again tonight from one of my favorite Shakespearean plays: Henry V.
I was so moved from the king's soliloquy to his soldiers in rallying them to take up arms and fight, I still look back on that scene when I need to muster strength to face a challenge. Out numbered in soldiers 5 to 1, the English army is clearly fearful of going into battle with the French. Until the king, shown below from my favorite 1989 film with Kenneth Branagh as Henry, moves them to be brave "for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother." The scene moves me to tears.
At the end of this soliloquy, Henry says, "All things are ready if our minds be so."
I think of this tonight. Today has been difficult. Even simple things, like showering, seem to exhaust me. It seems like an uphill battle, repairing. Sometimes it's hard to not focus on the pain and all that's happened.
It was two weeks ago tonight my belly was sliced open to reveal a scary world inside, an infection that was taking over my entire abdomen. A lot of it is a blur. I remember the pain. I remember hearing a doc say I would be moved to the ICU and intubated if I didn't start improving, pronto. I remember being terrified.
In the aftermath, now that I'm home, I realize I can never be the person I once was. I am forever changed.
I tear up often. Little things take on great meaning. Last night, sleepless, I wandered into the kitchen to savor a delicious, ruby red grapefruit. It was unlike anything I'd ever tasted before, so sweet and juicy and luscious.
I think of all the things I love that I almost never saw, tasted, smelled or felt again.
I am ready, in mind, to get strong again and heal. I just need to be patient with my body.
Here is that soliloquy from Henry V, with Kenneth Branagh. "Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars and say these wounds I had on Crispin's Day." Someday, maybe I'll be proud of these battle scars.