In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

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…and when it’s all over, I get to sing with you and play for you again!!

The last month for me has been challenging and enlightening in ways I hadn’t expected.  In mid-February, I stepped away from my everyday routine to have that “wee bit of back surgery”. All went well. They took a few things out, put a few things in, sewed me back up and sent me home a few days later. And from here forward I’ll set off the metal detector every time I pass through.

Meghan Cary singing at The Rockwood Music Hall in NYC

Three days in the hospital were a blur of sleeping, waking, rolling over (which took a good 5 minutes and intense mental effort each time) and sipping water through a straw. I was very dehydrated, and I remember trying at one point to eat a graham cracker…not a good idea when one has absolutely no saliva. There were small triumphs made momentous by the effort that went into them: standing for the first time, walking, brushing my teeth, using the loo, finally being hydrated enough to eat that damn cracker! The nurses rotated in and out every 12 hours, and in the time they spent with us (Peter stayed through it all, leaving my side only to feed himself, and bring back treats from Au Bon Pain to tempt me to try eating again) they were compassionate and encouraging. I thank God for those who have answered the call to serve others in the healing arts. They made a profound difference in the course of my recovery.

A nor’easter blew through while I was cacooned at HUP, and when the skies cleared, the sun beckoned, and it was time to go. We climbed into the min-van (with the focus and effort of ascending Mt Everest) and headed home.

I’ve been here healing with fervor ever since. I spent 2 weeks unplugged form the world to focus solely on re-growing bone, reconnecting muscle-fibers and nerve endings. I accepted help from friends and family who brought us meals, ran children to and fro, picked up groceries…all that stuff that we do without a thought until our body demands rest and a fancy neurosurgeon tells you “no bending, no twisting, no lifting anything heavier than a half gallon of milk.” I don’t know how I’ll ever repay all of you for your love and support. If a song could get me some of the way, I’ll certainly write you a few!!

I’ve been feeling better every day, and now I’m able to stay awake, work at my computer in 20-30 minute spurts (like now!), load the dishwasher (with the help of my handy-dandy grabber), cook a meal, and even put on my own socks…triumph!! And so, the challenge this past week has been how to keep it in low gear. More than once I’ve come to the end of the day achy and rung out, and realized I forgot. Forgot to listen to my body, forgot to let you help, forgot that it’s not all up to me anymore…never was.

Here’s what I’ve learned from this adventure so far:

  • Slow and steady gets it done
  • It doesn’t all need to get done
  • If it does need to get done, it doesn’t necessarily need to be done by me
  • People want to help
  • People don’t know you need help unless you ask them
  • Urgent and Important are too different things
  • Urgent is often an illusion


I’ve a ways to go in my recovery, but I’m pleased with how far I’ve come, and so happy I took care of it all now rather than later. Bonus: I will no longer need to play half the show standing on one leg! But…I may still do it just because I can. And because I think subconsciously you may have come to expect it, and might feel something lacking from a show – something you can’t put your finger on – if I stand firmly planted on two feet start to finish.

Two footed or one, soon I’ll step back on the stage to share music, stories, tears and laughter with you. And the hardest part will be over. You’re my scarecrow. I missed you most of all.

I can’t wait to see you again…somewhere along the road!

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