Making Space for the Unforeseen


It seems our five-year-old friend was wise in giving his advice. We landed in a small apartment on Main Street in Ephrata, five minutes from his house. His dad and a friend of theirs helped us move our furniture into the apartment on Saturday, July 15. Then it took David and me three days to unpack and move our furniture into place. We were getting to know the area. One day I was out with a friend, and she pointed out where the local hospital is. A few days later, I landed in that hospital with a gall bladder attack. I was told I needed gall bladder surgery. They admitted me, and the next day they performed the operation. They deemed it successful, though I had adverse reactions to the opiate drugs they used for the general anesthesia when I awoke from the operation. I had tried talking the anesthesiologist into using alternatives because I knew of the history of the women in my family having these reactions to opiates, all to no avail. I hope I will never have to go through that again.

I am in day five of recovery. This is my best day so far. I’ve encountered pain from the four incisions, bouts of dizziness, pain from the tube they put down my throat, a nasty rash because of an allergy to the adhesive material they used during surgery, and depression from the trauma of it all. When I awoke yesterday, my bedroom was spinning, and I realized that recovery is not a linear process. So I will take the good hours when I can get them. This morning I sat out on the brick patio in the sun and listened to the birds until I fell asleep while soaking in the sun rays. And finally I have the energy to publish a blog post.

Love and support are coming from many places. I am so grateful for David’s unwavering care and support. His patience and understanding knows no bounds. Our son, Paul, drove down from Vermont on the day of my surgery. Tim and Niina are planning to come down this weekend. Our young family and their friends are bringing food to us. One friend from Wisconsin had a beautiful orchid delivered to our door. Friends from near and far are sending their love and prayers. We are ever so grateful for this outpouring of support.

One of the gifts I received from a good friend in Harrisonburg just before we moved turns out to be a healing balm for my soul. It is a book of blessings by John O’Donohue called, To Bless the Space Between Us. When I read these profound passages, I feel like the author knows me better than I know myself. It seems before I can move forward in a job search or a house search, I need to first dwell in those inner spaces this encounter forces me into. Introspection seems to be a necessary part of my healing after the hectic last two months of our moving process.

I thought it would be appropriate to publish this update on where we landed and the unforeseen situation we find ourselves in. I plan to publish Aleta Schrock’s story next. It deserves to have its own space.

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Saloma Furlong


  1. Bruce Stambaugh on July 25, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    Blessings to you, Saloma, as you heal.

    • Saloma Furlong on July 25, 2023 at 1:44 pm

      Thank you, Bruce. We send our blessings to you and Neva as well.

  2. Kensi on July 25, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Oh no! What a terrible welcome to the neighborhood. If you have the strength to answer at some point, did your MA insurance carry over to PA? One of my conundrums with moving is getting new insurance. (We emailed briefly that I’d like to move to Lancaster too. I just got back from 5 days there.) Healing wishes!

    • Saloma Furlong on July 25, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you for your good wishes. Yes, my VA insurance did carry over to PA, which I’m glad for. I had checked with my insurance rep and found I didn’t need to change anything.

      Wishing you all the best with your move.

      • Kensi on August 2, 2023 at 1:33 pm

        Thank you! Mine probably won’t as it is a special NY state insurance. But who knows. I need to find out. Interesting that you landed in Ephrata. I’ll be curious to see how you feel about being so thickly among the Amish again. Memories? Triggers? Feelings. Perhaps a future blog post.

        Also have you ever thought about writing fiction?

        • Saloma Furlong on August 2, 2023 at 1:41 pm

          My insurance is with Everence, so it easily carried over. Yes, I will be writing about my response to living this close to the Amish in a future post.

          I have thought about writing fiction. But I’m afraid I’m not very good at it. Some writers can pull stories out of their gray matter. My writing is induced by experiences.

          Though I did write a story of fiction about my maternal grandmother that was published in Calyx Magazine. That was back in the 90s.

  3. Aleta on July 25, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Moving is stressful enough by itself. I wish you a quick and complete healing!

    • Saloma Furlong on August 2, 2023 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you, Aleta. This move has been more stressful than any other we’ve gone through, and we’ve moved a number of times in our married life.

  4. pamela lakits on August 1, 2023 at 9:13 am

    Dear Saloma, I am so sorry I’m so late in reading this blog!!!! We were away to our camper in Slippery Rock (something we don’t get to do very often) and there isn’t WiFi and our phone is constantly roaming. I’m so sorry to read of your surgery and all you have had to endure in the middle of moving!!!!! UGH!!!!!!!!
    Hope this finds you feeling better. If I lived closer I’d make you some soup and bring it over.
    Will be remembering you in my daily prayer time for complete healing and finding the perfect home for you and David.

    • Saloma Furlong on August 1, 2023 at 1:39 pm

      Pamela, thank you for your prayer and care. I’m doing well in my recovery, due to David’s TLC, and the thoughts and prayers of friends near and far. So grateful for all of that!

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