Undoubtedly, one of the biggest factors in the success of my post-op recovery was having my best friend, Robin, here to help me. Robin and I met almost 30 years ago, when both of us were avid spinners (spinning fiber into yarn.) I made luxury fiber blends of pretty colors to sell to spinners, and Robin had a fiber and yarn shop attached to her big barn, where she sold to other spinners. One day she approached me and asked if I would be interested in selling my fiber to her at a wholesale rate so she could stock it in her shop. I sent her a very complex (some might say convoluted) list of how much/how discounted I could sell it for. And so we began a little business arrangement. We still laugh about that selling list that I sent to her. Then one day Robin sent out a flyer for a “Fiber Retreat” that she was going to have on her farm, with classes and everything. I worked up all my nerve, and called her and asked in a squeaky voice if she would be interested in having me teach. I didn’t know until years later that I actually asked to be paid more than any of the other teachers! And so for several years we spent a week together (along with about a hundred other ladies) on her wonderful farm. One day, Robin’s husband was given tickets to an Elton John concert. He had no interest in going, and so Robin asked if I wanted to go with her. Did I?!!!! Boy, that was a fun night. And then one day I asked Robin if she wanted to come down to my house for a visit. Robin came in, sat down, and started talking all about her family and life. Robin still remembers the surprised look on my face. Whoa, were we actually going to talk about something other than fiber and spinning and knitting and weaving? And that was the start of our friendship. That was also the weekend that Robin brought a special coffee cake. And my two dachshunds got up on the table TWICE to eat the coffee cake. Robin dubbed them “the bad little girls.”
Robin and I have so many things in common–our love of fiber-related arts (we both transitioned from spinning and knitting to quilting,) our faith, and a good sense of humor.
So when Robin, who cares for her husband, her parents, and her grandchildren, offered to come and take care of me after surgery so I wouldn’t have to go to a rehab facility, it was a big deal. I had so many little worries. I think my little worries were my way of dealing with the bigger situation–I wasn’t at all worried about the surgery or the outcome of the surgery. Instead I concentrated on all the little things–
- would my dogs be brats when Robin came?
- would I be in a lot of pain and be crabby with Robin?
- would I be able to bend down to feed the little girls, or even pet them?
- would I be able to get into bed by myself and into the shower by myself?
The list of little worries went on and on. And almost all of them were unnecessary. Yes, my girls were brats when Robin came. But fortunately, Robin likes dogs. Surprisingly, I could bend down to feed the dogs and pet them after just a couple of days. I could get into bed by myself, and I got into the shower by myself. And Robin was wise and let me do the things I enjoyed doing–“cooking dinner” which sometimes involved thawing pre-cooked frozen shrimp and microwaving ears of corn. Before she left, I was feeding the dogs by myself. And the pain was so much less than either of us had anticipated that we were able to enjoy each other’s company and have a little fun. There was a LOT of sitting and watching movies. Robin brought lots of little quilty projects to work on.
Before my surgery I had found a nice nightgown at Walmart for only $5! Robin went to Walmart, and got me a second one, and got herself two of the same. We called it our post-op uniform 🙂
Chloe adopted Robin. She stayed in Robin’s lap, and Bess stayed with me, to keep the fights to a minimum. Zoey also got her fair share of Robin’s lap time.
By the time Robin left, I was ready to take care of myself. I called my “babysitter” and told her I wouldn’t need her to help me (I had arranged for my doggie babysitter to come and help me after Robin left.)
After Robin left, I saw Zoey sitting in the dining room staring at Robin’s empty chair. And then she trotted over and jumped up to look out the window to see if she was coming back. It was so cute.
Finding friends is not always easy. And finding a best friend like Robin is a treasure.