who has now powered through
7 surgeries in 17 days.
The first: October 11, the day of the accident. The last: this past Monday, October 28.
Today, for Halloween, she showed us that a Warrior Woman can also easily transform into a superheroine
(costume courtesy of brilliant friend Janice Seele).
I repeat: doesn't Kelly look awesome?! This is the first I've seen her out of that hospital bed in the past 3 weeks. Yeehaw!
Share photos of your Halloween costume with Kelly by tagging #goodvibesKelly on instagram, and they'll show up in the keeping in touch part of this site!
Kelly is now closing the surgery chapter of this recovery tale, turning a new page to focus on physical therapy and rehab--a milestone worth celebrating! The surgeons were able to close up all of Kelly's incisions, and perform some plastic surgery where needed to reduce future scarring on her leg. When I heard that Monday's surgery was successful, and likely the last, I felt as if I'd been holding my breath in for 17 days without knowing it until I finally let it out--that type of relief. This step brings smiles, along with the inevitable anxiety for Kelly of the long road yet ahead. The past few days, pain management has been a struggle as she's transitioned from liquid drip medication to oral pills. Every shift in regiment requires adjustment until it fits her body just right. She will likely be in her brightly decorated hospital room through the end of the week, when she'll transfer to an in-patient rehab facility on the same campus to begin gaining back strength and motion. She's already been bending her knee slightly, and getting out of the hospital bed with the help of a walker! Depending on how physical therapy goes, she'll be there for a couple weeks until shifting to out-patient. Again: one step at a time.
When this site was born to communicate Kelly's recovery to her broad community (officially deemed Kelly's Krew, which I LOVE, by her St. Louis neighbor Elizabeth), I knew from the beginning she'd join the ranks as a Warrior Woman. Her immediately positive attitude, humble poise, relentless wit and pragmatic approach reminded me of a few special women in my life I call my Warrior Women. They're strong and fierce. They wake up facing every day as a new challenging adventure. To pull directly from a magazine clipping I received from one of those Women in a recent letter, I could say this about each one:
"A girl with a mind,
a woman with attitude
and a lady with class."
Cousins, freshman year roommates, instant and constant friends... separate connections eventually brought us together. Our clan has strengthened and grown since. Flocks happen for a reason; I think it's to do with the magnetic ways of kindred spirits. With these Warrior Women, I've howled from mountain tops down to the valley, collapsing in piles of exhaustion and laughter. We've wondered and wandered near and far--on bikes and boats, along rivers and trails, through the tidal rhythms of love, the glories and vulnerabilities of the decisions and opportunities that life in our twenties presents.
From my first visit to Kelly in the hospital, the day after this accident and surgery #1, I could tell she'd be tackling this challenging recovery head-on, with confidence, faith and patience. She embodied the spirit of a true Warrior Woman, earned herself the title, and so her tale here began. Since we all know that everything is better shared (at least, that's our Arkansas Family living philosophy), she's brought YOU, Kelly's Krew, along for the ride! So, once again, thanks for tuning in, checking in, visiting, sending your love from afar, and surrounding her with your generosity and support.
Another Warrior Woman I know, perhaps the most inspiring free spirit of them all, recently wrote an email introducing us to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi. It resonated with me as a nice reminder: "Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." Kind of a refreshing worldview, right? As I read more, I thought of Kelly. A wabi-sabi approach is cherishing the here & now... because this is it. It's also knowing that any suffering you feel now... it, too, will pass. It's embracing change, preparing for a constant ebb & flow. It's absolving any struggles for perfection, knowing no such thing exists. There's comfort in knowing we can let go of some of the tension held in these idealisms. In doing so, I think we can take what comes our way with greater nimbleness and ease.
So why did my gut tell me my friend Kelly would step up to face this challenge as the Warrior Woman she's proven to be? She's a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude and a lady with class. She's also an incredible example of the mantra that we can't control events, but we can, to a degree, control our reactions to events. Warrior Woman Kelly, and her Warrior Family Debbie, Todd and Paul, have all been incredibly grounded, pragmatic and positive in their approach to taking this recovery one step at a time. Perhaps they were already attuned to the wabi-sabi way (I just like saying that word... but for real: Kelly's parents are solid people I've grown to love).
On that note, I wanted to add that Kelly's father, Todd, was here in DC for a solid week, flying back to St. Louis at the beginning of last week. His presence here is missed, but strongly felt. Todd is working hard to communicate Kelly's progress quickly to close family and friends, and he's been forwarding along amazing pictures like the Wonder Woman one above.
Don't forget to tag pics of your SPOOKY Halloween costume
with #goodvibesKelly to share some of the holiday cheer with our
Wonder Warrior Woman Kelly!
This is my favorite thus far (aside from Kelly's) from our roommate Erica (@ericaefox)
of her adorable nephew in his costume:
I'll sign off with a haiku, and a caveat that I don't write poetry.
beauty in imperfection;
with dignity, grace.
Happy Halloween from DC everyone!
With lots of spoooooooooky love,
Maggie & Kelly's Krew at Arkansas Manor