Change is the only constant.
Back in the good old days, I used to be someone with a five year plan. I knew where I was going, or at least I was naive enough to think that I did. Older and somewhat wiser now, I've come to realize that no one knows what life has in store for us or what's around the next curve in the road. Today's February 1. It's the day that I had promised myself that I would start catching up with everything that I've let slide during January. I would read my friends' blogs, answer emails and sort through the pile of paperwork on my desk. What a silly notion. As if I could predict the future!
Instead of hugging our daughter goodbye at Charles de Gaulle Airport as planned, I spent the morning leaving rambling, and possibly incoherent, messages on the answering machines of several home health care nurses in an effort to find someone who could change Sara's post-surgical bandages.
February 2 (It's a new day). Since my time at the computer was cut short yesterday and I've forgotten where I was going with the above post, I'll just quickly say that Sara had some unexpected surgery last week. As the surgeon explained during the initial consultation, it was an inconvenient but absolutely necessary procedure that she had to have as soon as possible. Faced with the choice between having surgery in the USA or France, she decided to have it here because the insurance policy that she had through her university had stopped at the end of December. Before Sara even knew that she had to have surgery, she made numerous calls to insurance companies in New York to get a new policy but quickly realized that she's in a Catch-22 situation: it's virtually impossible to get reasonably priced insurance in the States if you're not already insured. Thus, she became one of the 48.6 million Americans without insurance. To put that in some sort of meaningful context, that's more than the entire population of Canada (35 million).
To add even more emotional complexity to the story, Sara had been invited to join a research cruise in the Caribbean. When the trip was suddenly cancelled because the boat was sold, she was sad that she wouldn't spend the month of February collecting coral samples near the islands of St. Thomas and Aruba. Her disappointment disappeared when she received another email from her former advisor the morning after her surgery asking her to join a research team at her dream destination, Palau. Unfortunately, Sara's excitement at seeing some of the world's most spectacular coral reefs firsthand only lasted about half an hour, right up until the moment when her surgeon said that she won't be able to dive for 6 weeks.
So, here we are on February 2 and unsure when Sara will be able to return to New York because her post-surgery care is more complicated than we had initially realized. The good news is that she may be able to join the research team in Palau at a later date and that she'll have to come back to Paris in a couple of months...for more surgery (to avoid confusion, this part falls in the "bad news" category!).
As Sara rests and recovers, we've been watching movies that lift our spirits, including The Sessions. Based on the real life story of a sex therapist who helps a man in an iron lung lose his virginity, Helen Hunt and John Hawkes give outstanding performances in this poignant and sensitive film. While the subject matter may not appeal to everyone, it made us look more positively at our own lives and left us with smiles on our faces. Please let me know if you have any other movie suggestions, otherwise I may be forced to watch the rest of The Twilight Saga!