Healing Rays

Curvy path
When our bodies undergo a surgery or health challenge, there are a few facets that comprise the healing process: physical, mental, and the support of others. The road to recovery is not always a straight smooth path nor easy. Once we accept to expect the unexpected, and remain strong and confident that we are physically and mentally capable of overcoming the task at hand, we will recover to the best of our abilities.

I was instructed by my surgeon to be on bed rest for four days following my second back surgery. I was fully committed to do whatever it would take to protect my body from any complications; yet ready to move knowing that being active is imperative to healing. I was a little anxious to how my body would respond from all the stress it had endured. I slowly raised my hospital bed, from lying flat to an upright position, over a time span of several hours. When I stood up for the first time, my blood pressure dropped to 98/36. I returned to a resting position for a couple hours then proceeded to stand up and walk for the first time. It felt so good to move. I was amazed at how well I was able to walk and quickly reminded of how strong our bodies are and how their mission is to heal.

I have learned that there are physical and mental aspects to healing. Our bodies need to be respected knowing that we will not feel better overnight. How even though there is one part of our body afflicted by pain and healing, that our entire body is under stress. We must do our best to find the balance of caring for ourselves and regaining our strength, yet not overdoing it. Whenever we are recovering from a traumatic situation, we are not only physically healing, but need to give ourselves time to mentally heal.

Healing rays

Emotional healing can come from love and support of those around us. It can also be inspired when we least expect it. A few days ago, mom and I pulled out of my parents’ driveway to go on a short car ride. I looked out the car window and up towards the sky. I was immediately shocked by what I saw. I said, “Mom, look it’s a rainbow over the house.” She turned around and we pulled back in their driveway to soak in the beauty before us. It was a vision I had never seen before, a beautiful rainbow around the sun. I stood in the driveway and looked up at the magical sky. I turned around and smiled at mom, as I knew this was a special moment. I proceeded to soak in the sun. I closed my eyes and raised my chin towards the sky with a grateful heart. The healing rays rejuvenated me physically and inspired me mentally as I forge ahead on the path to recovery.


  1. Rosemarie Bartus

    Always so inspiring to read your stories of triumph over adversity. You are a very special lady.

    • Valen Keefer

      Thank you for sharing your sweet words of support and for reading my blog.

  2. Cathy

    A beautiful sun rainbow, just for you Valen! You are extraordinary; just look at you walk down the road on your own! I love how you find the beauty in each new moment of life. Keep up your excellent work at healing…so many good things are still to come!

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Cathy,
      Thank you very much for your kind sentiments and encouragement. I smile while reading your positive thoughts that “so many good things are still to come.”

  3. adriana

    I really appreciated this post (how do I assign a % of ‘love’ to all your posts?). They all ‘reach my insides’ but this when was extra ‘touching’ because you speak of ‘patience and baby steps’. “Once we accept to expect the unexpected” speaks loudly to me. I do have trouble ‘at first though’ with acceptance. The whole ‘what, did I just hear this, am I actually going through this’…The mental process is sometimes harder than physical pain I think. That balance you speak of has always been (and will continue to be) my personal lesson to learn. I so want to ‘hurry up the process’ and know it does not work like that. I am speaking ‘in general’ because anxiety has always been a part of my life period. Part of healing is to let time work it’s magic. You are the wisest ‘old soul’ in a beautiful smart young woman. I always seem to have an emotional strong reaction to everything you write (can you tell? 🙂

    • Valen Keefer

      Dear Adriana,
      I deeply appreciate your amazing support in my life and my blog. Knowing that you connect and enjoy my writing really encourages me to continue to share. I feel as though I need to start a collection of some of your thoughts in your responses for me to read to myself when I’m in need of a smile and encouragement. This week it would be, “You are the wisest ‘old soul’ in a beautiful smart young woman.” Thank you for your friendship. I am really looking forward to the day that we meet. I’m grateful for you.

  4. Carolyn Morris

    Valen, you have a beautiful insight to life. You are unforgettable, physically beautiful and very articulate! You spoke at a North Texas PKD event a number of years ago and people that attended the event still remember you vividly. I have asked a number of people that attended the event if they remember you and all have say “yes” and spoke of you in glowing terms. I have asked for their prayers for you at this time. Please know you have many friends and admirers pulling for you.

    • Valen Keefer

      Dearest Carolyn,
      I treasure you and our friendship. It was so special to be a part of a couple of your events in Texas. It meant so much to have the opportunity to be involved, stay at your home and meet the wonderful people that help to make your PKD chapter special. Thank you for your love, prayers, support and believing in me.


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