Cast Off

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Her doctor explained it this way: It’s not that today was the day the leg was healed or even that it’s fully healed. It’s simply that, what makes today different from all other days, is, it’s the day the cast comes off.

Despite having decades of experience (and a fancy resume), the orthopedist admitted there is no predictable path going forward. Every kid is different, but they all kind of figure it out. For some, a good night’s sleep and they’re off to the races. For others, a month later, and they’re still limping.

For Lilly, the celebration at High Lawn Creamery didn’t happen.

Not far from where this picture of her cast was taken, she fell. A too quick turn and a leg not accustomed to bearing weight and boom.

She didn’t hurt anything but she felt hurt. (You know?)

She didn’t want a homemade waffle cone overstuffed with scoops of grass-fed, Jersey Cow ice cream.

She just wanted her cast back.

Instead, we ate pizza in bed and watched the finale of Design Star: Next Gen. And then, I pantomimed having my clothes suctioned into a overly aggressive vacuum cleaner until none of us could breathe from laughing so hard.

To sailors, ‘casting off’ means untying the boat from its mooring; it signals the start or the continuation of a journey on the open water.

To knitters, ‘casting off’ is the last step in the process; it’s the step that prevents everything from unraveling.

To ‘cast off’ also means to set aside or throw away.

This moment we are collectively in now feels like a ‘cast off’ moment, in which all of the meanings seem appropriate: throwing away, setting aside, beginning, continuing, unmoored, finishing up… the final step that keeps it all from unraveling.

Even if it feels like we’re unraveling. Or that we’re not fully healed. Or that maybe we are healed, but still, are we ready to walk with a limp, let alone to run?

On what remains of Lilly’s cast, you can see the names and stick figures drawn by her classmates.

On what remains of our own casts, what is written there?

Love. Indelibly.

There’s no predictable path forward. But we’ll figure it out.

For those who are celebrating/being absorbed in the liturgies of Holy Week, may this leg of the journey from Good Friday to Easter Sunday be a source of healing and renewal. For those who are continuing your path through Passover: steady on. For those who are casting off winter and preparing to embrace Spring: eyes wide open!

For all of us,



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