I was not allowed to drive for the first six weeks of my recovery. For me, this wasn’t a big deal. I don’t like to drive and anyway most of those six weeks I was either too stoned on painkillers, too tired, or too weak to do anything as difficult as drive.
However, eventually I grew stronger and more cognizant and weaned myself off the painkillers and was once again granted my driving privileges. But I’ve never been in a hurry in my life. So when I began driving myself to cardiac rehab appointments, I avoided the highways and interstates that could get me to the hospital quickly and instead opted for the neighborhood thoroughfares and city streets. After all, you see so much more when you’re meandering through town than you do when you’re cruising down the interstate or highway.
For instance, had I taken the highway, I never would have seen a crudely spray painted message on a pylon holding said highway up:
“Keep faith,” it says.
“In what?” I wonder everyday I make my way to rehab (three times a week, folks). “In God?” The wobbly cross makes it seem that way. But it doesn’t have to be. And for me it’s not. Every day I drive by and read those words I know to keep faith in myself, in my ability to get healthier, to grow, to come out the other side of open heart surgery as a better man. Did a benevolent deity make sure those words were placed there for me to see as I struggle through cardiac rehab?
I don’t know. Maybe. After all, rehab is difficult and those first few weeks were especially so and seeing that message every day has consistently proven helpful.
Do I stumble? Do I make mistakes? Do I fall?
But when I do, I get up, dust myself off, and try again because I know how to keep faith if in nothing else, at least in myself.