Respite. We needs it.
So it’s been a few weeks, I know. Between my last post and this current one, my life has been upended. My paternal grandmother—and last grandparent—passed away from Alzheimer’s, and my mother suffered two strokes and a seizure that put her, and kept her, in the hospital for nearly two and a half weeks. The scariest part was when she lost consciousness and stopped breathing from the seizure. The second scariest part was when, to recover from it, she spent five days in ICU, sedated and intubated for three of them.
I am still processing all that has happened; sometimes I feel like it was all a very bad dream. One peppered with incredibly supportive family members, friends, and co-workers.
Though it was one of the most surreal—or perhaps most real—times in my life (at one point I was helping one of the techs situate my mom in bed while coordinating with my sister, via phone, my grandmother’s funeral home paperwork that my dad needed to send to my aunt in Texas) I am happy and grateful to say that Mom is recovering steadily. And though I am sad she has walked on and will miss her very much, I am thankful that my grandmother is no longer suffering. I hope peace has found you, dear Grandma Daisy.
I feel blessed that my family members and I have managed to make it through this time without completely losing our collective marbles. We are looking toward the future—and to life settling down as much as it is inclined to do so.
And I am so, so, so, so, glad Mom is finally back home and continuing to recover. She’s received—and still is getting—exceptional care and rehab throughout this whole experience and for that, I am incredibly appreciative. Props to all the nurses, techs, doctors, therapists, cafeteria workers, housekeepers, etc., at Hillcrest. You all are a bunch of seriously beautiful people.
This was the view I saw from my mom’s room the morning she woke up; it was the probably the prettiest sunrise I’ve seen to date, overcast and all.
Life has a way of making us appreciate even the the cloudy days, and it teaches us lessons… or at least underscores the heck out of them. If I have learned anything from this turn of events, it is that relaxing when you can, doing things that bring you joy, spending time in the sun and outdoors, hanging with loved ones, are not luxuries in life, but necessities.
After Mom had was well enough to move to rehab at the Kaiser Rehabilitation Center, I took a little time out (with Mom’s blessing, naturally) to hit up Guthrie Green for a pre-game Roughnecks rally and enjoy time in the sun, listen to music, people watch, and chat with friends.
These guys rocked our socks off. Seriously, I took my shoes off and sat barefoot in the grass.
Though it was just a couple hours, it was a break I very much needed, and I am glad that such a community space exists in Tulsa. Every event that is put on there is free and open to the public. It is a gathering place for concerts, food festivals, celebrations, rallies, farmer’s and art markets, 5K events, and marathon finish lines. Basically, if you can think of a community event that celebrates and inspires, Guthrie Green has hosted it, or would probably be down for hosting it.
Now, I don’t work there, so you may want to contact the folks who do first before quoting me on that statement.
Anyway, like I said, the Green has shown us how important a community space is to a city. Around it, art galleries, restaurants, and museums have sprung up and flourished, and the monthly Art Crawl attracts thousands of people each first Friday of each month. The Brady Arts District is still renovating and repurposing old spaces in the area, and I imagine this next phase of construction will only bring more awesomeness and economic growth to the district.
The place has come a long way since days of old. My husband remembers just how bleak and creeptacular the virtually abandoned industrial park that used to occupy this area was. He’d go to The Gypsy with his high school friends and walk past the abandoned buildings and empty lots which he tells me, and I quote, “looked like a scene out of Robocop with less gunfire. The original one, not the remake we don’t speak of.”
The importance of accessible green space to a person’s well-being is indisputable. Sometimes us city dwellers forget that we are still solar-powered creatures who enjoy grass, trees, and nature, but when we remember, we flock to outdoor events. Even the ones with allergies drug themselves up with antihistamines and anti-inflammatories in order to soak in the great outdoors.
Such beauty may bring you to tears. Or maybe it’s just the pollen making your eyes water.
Guthrie Green is a place I have visited often. And scenes like the one above are a familiar sight to me, but I appreciated it on a whole new level when I went two Saturdays ago. It was alive with activity and filled with people of all ages enjoying the day; and trust me, these days, I am working on enjoying all my days.
There was even a little boy who looked like a tiny Bruno Mars getting his groove on to the music. He knows what’s up.
So lemme break it down for you: If you’re feeling down, or if you’re not, if you just want to get out, get some fresh air and sun, hear some music, join in a community event, meet up with friends… you get the picture, check out the Green’s website and calendar of events. And keep up with the goings on via social media; share the events with the people in your life!
Spring has definitely sprung, (my un-mowed lawn can attest to that) and festival and market season is truly upon us. And the folks at Guthrie Green know how to work it.