Recovery and Renewal

By Georgie Bright Kunkel

Just as we think that nothing can upset our world, we may literally be brought to our knees. It is at times like these that we realize that we are being offered a chance to contemplate life and use the “down” time to take stock of ourselves and our world.

It was just this realization that descended upon me when my legs went to sleep while in my recliner and the telephone, which in my day could never be ignored, rang. You guessed it. I lunged forward and fell sprawled onto the carpet which was relatively new with wonderful padding. Nevertheless I injured both ankles bigtime.

My nurse daughter came to my rescue by dropping by on her way home from swing shift at the hospital. She set me up for the night with water and other necessities. The next day my fellow drove me to the doctor who announced, “You are not to walk until the swelling in your ankles subsides.” It had been three years since I had been similarly grounded and of course I didn’t expect it to ever happen again. For an active person like I am the news that I was not to walk crushed me. Now what was I to do cooped up in my chair with my feet elevated? Well, as we all know, a down time allows for doing what is often put off—you guessed it—income tax preparation. Putting off the income tax has been my way of life for many years. Lying down with cold applications on both ankles, however, gave me time to think about tackling this abhorrent task.

Later, my older daughter set up my laptop in the living room and suffered through my complaints about the mouse being too difficult to use and the keyboard stiff and awkward. In my office I still plug in my old mouse and keyboard as it is more user friendly for me. I must admit that my rapid fire manipulation of the keyboard has managed to keep my fingers limber.

Since I am an on-the-go person who might possibly have been called a real activist in years gone by I am not as contemplative as some others. However, lying here with my legs elevated has given me time to contemplate my navel, as they say. My mind has conjured up all sorts of ideas including how my way of life could be improved when I recover. The activities that I have had to cancel will be sorely missed but on the plus side putting off some serious dentistry was something I didn’t mind so much.

When I wrote emails to all my friends about my mishap I got back words of solace rather than the usual forwarded attachments. I felt closer to my family and friends. People whom I hadn’t heard from in a long time found out about me and called to offer assistance. It was like the floodgates opened up and warm thoughts and offers of caring attention came from everywhere.

I marvel at the machine that is my body, a fairly well functioning machine most of the time. It takes a period of malfunctioning to appreciate what a body can be when it is working properly. No engineer has ever been able to build a machine so marvelous—a machine that can think, store memory, interact with other beings and feel empathy. It is only when this machine is not working properly that we realize how marvelous it really is. I feel so fortunate that I will soon feel no pain and that I will once more resume my life of going on the comedy stage, telling stories to school children and going places with my fellow and looking forward to presenting a program at my neighborhood Southwest Library on March 19th at 6:30 p.m.. So if you would like to hear about the book UNBROKEN and share your thoughts about it as I add more information about my track star brother Norman Bright who was written up in the book, I’ll see you there.

Georgie Bright Kunkel is a freelance writer who can be reached at or 206-935-8663.

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