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A Heartfelt Thank You

The Post-surgery notes, knitted items and a gnome

May 2024

by Margo Oxendine, Contributing Columnist

My heart is full. And, half of it, anyway, is repaired after my first surgery in April. I was amazed at how “easily” it was done, and it was also easy to recover.

I am walking every day again, and that is a joy. I may be a bit slower, and I may not go quite as far, but to be out in nature and among trees and wildlife does wonders for me.

What my heart is filled with, though, is gratitude to you, Cooperative Living readers. I have a stack of at least 100 cards and notes and well wishes from you. I just can’t convey how much each one means to me. Almost every card included words of encouragement and prayer. Thank you!

Some cards included things I’d never expected. One day, I came home to find my mailbox filled with a big brown package someone had spent $11 to send. What could it be, I wondered as I parked the car.

It was a lovely hand-knit “prayer shawl” in shades of pink and purple — my favorites! Also in the package was a cute little gnome sporting a hand-knitted cap with a pompom. I named him Homer. He’s a good luck charm. The prayer shawl came in very handy at UVA hospital. I used it to keep warm in the chilly room and, of course, prayed mightily while I was wearing it. Thank you, talented reader!

One fine artist, “Driver Dave,” sent me several hand-drawn cards that made me smile. Thank you, Driver Dave!

Another reader sent a tiny square of cloth with a cross inside. She suggested I carry it in my purse. I do.

Many of you, knowing of my love for Brownie, sent cards picturing beagles, or in one, a pile of pug puppies surrounding a surprised-looking kitty. It was hilarious.

I received quite a few handwritten letters, telling me of the writer’s own experience with what I am going through, and offering lots of heartfelt support and soothing words.

The “thinking of you” emails were another deluge that made me grateful. I think and hope I answered every single one. The emails were sent to the newspaper office so, in addition to their other “real” duties, Samantha and Emily, who received them, had to forward them to me. I appreciate that too.

My full intention is to send a thank-you note to everyone who went to the trouble to send me a card. I plan to get started on that very, very soon, but I don’t know how long it may take me to whittle down the pile, and then finish it. I hope all of you know, though, I appreciated and treasure every single one.

Here’s another thing I am grateful for: rides to and from Charlottesville. It is difficult to  find someone who will agree to give up an entire day, sitting behind the wheel of a car, or in a waiting room chair, for someone who is not their closest friend or relative. The gentleman who drove to Charlottesville to bring me home after surgery went above and beyond, really. He was a good conversationalist, and an even better driver. He even carted my suitcase into the house.  ank you, Mr. D.A.

So, my heart is overflowing with gratitude, and my aorta is healing. After my next surgery, I plan to be “up and at ‘em” again.

Wouldn’t you know: When I called a friend to get another friend’s number to beg for a ride, she offered to do it herself. Ain’t life grand? Yes, friends, it is.

Thank you all very much. For everything.

To order a copy of Margo’s “A Party of One,” call 540-468-2147 Mon.-Wed., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., or email [email protected].