It was one year ago this summer I entered Georgetown University Hospital in critical condition unable to walk or breathe due to complications from a fall on concrete.
My hospital stay and ten-week home recovery required a new way to thinking about life and work. An amazing network of supporters surfaced. On a daily, weekly and monthly basis, they checked in and checked-up on me. They brought groceries, coffee, leg-warmers, chocolate, flowers, good books, great conversations, and when necessary, packed me into a car for a day long drive into the country.
On Yom Kippur, I promised myself t’shuva – forgiveness. My promise meant that “to repair the world” I had to create a new road for myself. I learn to ask for help. I learn to recognize myself without a title, campaign, institution, or issues to frame my identity. I gave up things a cherished because I had to come first in order to heal. I regained strength in some areas and show marked improvement in others. My respiratory system recovered fully; mobility, still a challenge, improves each week. For example, I take public transportation to appointments. Six months ago, public transportation was not possible. In offering myself forgiveness, I’m emerging with a renewed respect for my resilience, creativity, spirit and vision.
I also emerged with new work.
This spring I received a small grant from the Diverse City Fund for Aftermath an oral history project that explores the impact of the nuclear industrial complex on lives, community, environment, and health of African American women, children and men in the southeast.