A thoughtful and sensitive friend sent me an email including the proverb גם זה יעבו “this too shall pass” and the Jewish folklore from which it originates. King Solomon requested that the most renowned jeweller in the land fashion a ring with the power to “make me happy when I am sad, but keep me humble when I am happy”. After days of careful contemplation, the jeweller returned to the king with a gold ring inscribed גם זה יעבור .
A week ago, the sentiment of “this too shall pass” I deeply knew to be true but I had no concept of how it would come to transpire, nor any timeframe to work within. The days of acute pain, immobility and sickness, despite their elements of wonder, when friends or family distracted me, seemed endless. They were becoming harder and harder to manage mentally, as the weeks of no physical improvement continued to increase.
Now the aphorism “this too shall pass” is much more tangible. In my mind I can map how the events of next 8 weeks are going to transpire. I have a plan. Once again, I have targets to achieve and deadlines to work to. The 5th of January is the first date in the diary, which is associated with large expectations. This is the deadline of the first draft. I am having an investigatory test to further confirm the surgeon’s hypothesis and plan of action. The next date, is the one that makes all others fall into insignificance, it is the day of my major surgery. In once sense, it is the end. It will be the end to a tumultuous journey that although in most respects has been truly horrific, has also revealed how incredibly fortunate I am to have so many remarkable and supportive people surrounding me. On the other hand, it will be the beginning. The beginning of a life where my lower back is constructed predominantly of metal and polyether ether… something or other. The beginning of a long and intensive recovery period and also hopefully the beginning of me being able to look beyond this period to new plans and ambitions that are in absolutely no way related to the spine; that is, of course, unless some eminent doctor happens to read my blog and offer me some cutting edge spinal research… in which case I will reconsider.