Monday, September 24, 2012

The Stairs

I never imagined how fine the needles: finer than pine; finer than silver loops topping vintage Christmas ornaments; finer, even, than threads of silk hanging, unraveling, from those balls.

I can't do it, I thought, when she said: "Prick your finger fours times a day."

I can't do it, I thought, when he said: "Give yourself a shot every morning." Crying, I picked up my beloved's cell and dialed "Brother," wanting mine, getting his. But that was almost four years ago, and, as it turns out, I can do all things; my body has produced two healthy girls since that time.

I prick my fingers over and over with fine needles and cross my fingers for insulin because my body's become a grinding food processor. I eat a cheeseburger, no bun, for breakfast and feel the lurch, the protesting engine, of my body. I yawn on the couch. I sit on a stool to wash dishes. I sing from a chair in the choir loft, the others standing around me like golf tees on a Cracker Barrel Peg Puzzle.

I broke my tailbone, once, falling down stairs. The doctor prescribed pain meds (How does one take pain meds while mothering a toddler and driving two hours, each way, for grad school?) and time. I befriended a donut pillow.

Interesting, those pains in the ass that cannot be seen.

I am ready to put a needle in the hand of my beloved and bend over.

David Salle's Flying Down, 2006

**My thanks to Tess Kincaid and Amber Haines for the prompts that inspired this post. I am pleased to share with them and their communities.


  1. My mother broke her tailbone as a child falling out of a tree and it hurt every day after. I've just learned quite a bit about you in this post. Thanks for being honest.

  2. oh, brandee... i have found myself in shoes like yours - having to inject myself with blood thinner twice a day for both of my pregs., my daughter breaking my tail bone on her way out... this pain, this body broken but carrying us on-ward... love and peace to you today sweet one.

  3. Brandee, I'm so moved by your honesty and courage. Thank you for these words.

  4. Never stop give me courage...

  5. This piece is so raw. Oh my friend, continue to cling to Jesus. Thank you for sharing your strength through Him. I, too, broke my tail bone while carrying my newborn down a hill toward the lake. I didn't drop him. ps. I continue to hole you and your fam in prayer. :)

  6. You really are an amazing writer. Thank you for doing this. I still sense such strength from you, your sense of humor still trumping pain.

  7. you are brave beyond reckoning, my girl. i'm so glad you're mine.

    1. I'm pretty glad about that, too, to be honest. If I'm yours, I've arrived.

  8. I've begun a pretty strong medical treatment, myself, that lasts for 6 mos. What you wrote here I surely related to. I try pacing myself and not caring too much when things fall apart. I sleep more when I don't feel well, and I surround myself as much as possible with people who laugh and make me laugh too, fun films and inspirational songs. Cheers

  9. I can't stop thinking about this post! You have a gift.

  10. and of course my favorite line, with its at least DOUBLE meaning, was this one, "Interesting, those pains in the ass that cannot be seen." I got both of the meanings – and probably a couple of extra ones. Thank you. God bless and keep you and each of those in your care Brandee.

  11. Oh those hidden pains...

    what a poignant write. I always learn so much about you when I stop by.
    This one hit me hard...
    thank you.

  12. Thank you for sharing this touching story. Praying for you.
    Love in Him,

  13. In spite of the pain you found a way to make it beautiful and touch our hearts. What a blessing your courage is to me. I am glad to have found your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine.
    Blessings to you.