Reading or listening to the news lately is so disheartening that I sometimes wonder what has happened to this world we live in. Then something sweet happens and I feel better about the future…
In the few days after my husband died in December, family began gathering as is usually the case, I’m sure. Everyone was anxious to help do something — anything, really. I asked my stepson if he would take youngest to get a hair and beard trim before the weekend. They went to Upscale Male, a salon in nearby Naperville, where my husband and Dave have gotten their hair cut for years.
One of the stylists came over to ask Dave where his dad was. The guys sadly explained what had happened with their dad and she was, of course, shocked at the suddenness. Dave and his dad had just been in there the month before. She excused herself for a moment and came back with the owner who was terribly upset and offered his condolences — and insisted that he be allowed to provide his services on the house that day as a tribute to their dad.
What a lovely gesture from a very kind man who went out of his way to try to help my guys feel a little better. ❤️❤️❤️
I really thought I could start writing again but I don’t think I can do it yet. It’s been about a month since my hubby died of a brain aneurysm and there are still more bad days than good. Everything I see, everything I touch reminds me of what I’ve lost this year and I guess I’m just not ready yet to focus on only the good memories. I literally feel a physical ache in my chest.
Christmas was tough this year. Luckily Paul and I had decorated together after Thanksgiving because I wouldn’t have had the heart to do everything myself. And Christmas has always been my favorite holiday so I’m especially saddened that I can’t find much joy this season. The best part was watching my brothers’ and my grandchildren all playing together on Christmas Eve. So maybe a little bit of joy!
But mostly I’m glad the holiday is over so I can stop pretending to enjoy things. Some days I wish I could just stay in bed and sleep, but when night falls and I’m exhausted, sleep just won’t come. I’m trying to take care of myself, but cooking is not something I relish on a good day, so it’s sure not interesting me now! I wish I didn’t have all the paperwork to continue completing. Insurance, benefits, investments, just a constant reminder of how my life has changed.
My son and I decided to spend New Years Eve at home with the elderly, arthritic Chief dog. He wakes up barking in the middle of the night most nights anyway so he’ll be thrilled we’re here with him. Maybe we can watch a movie, but if I fall asleep before midnight I’m okay with that this year.
I know with time things will get better for us. I just don’t know how to move on right now…
I want to dance
To twirl and feel the air
Lift silken layers and guide your eager
Hands to my hips…
I want to dance
My fingers across your nape
Twine them into your curls
And tug gently till our eyes meet…
I want to dance
Attendance on your lips
To linger thigh to thigh
In a soft cocoon…
I want to dance
But we are caught
as surely as our hands between us
Or our mingled breaths…
We pull apart
You twirl me away
Chiffon floats like a cloud
I want to dance…
I know I’ve been absent a lot lately. We lost another dear friend on Friday, a warm and funny woman who was like a sister to my husband growing up. When he first moved up north, he lived with her family and they all treated him liked one of their own. In fact, one of hubby’s sisters was married to one of Pat’s brothers so our two families share a niece and two nephews.
Unfortunately, Pat needed a lung transplant a few years ago and had grown frail recently. The anti-rejection drugs she took made it difficult to fight infections and she was in and out of the hospital.
The wake and funeral are today and tomorrow, a few hours drive from us. And this comes only a few months after we lost my DSIL in Tennessee to complications from pancreatitis. It’s sad and difficult and a stark reminder of how short and fragile life really is…
Yesterday was one of the tougher days I’ve had in awhile. I know lots of you love Halloween, but it’s never been a huge favorite of mine. I don’t really know why, never liked the creepy craziness of it, I guess. I like cute, sigh…
October 31 is also the day my dad passed away. He just never woke up that day in 2000 after an apparently massive heart attack, but my parents lived in Arizona at the time so I hadn’t seen him since their anniversary that spring. And then suddenly he was gone. Sixteen years ago…
And yesterday morning was my chemotherapy orientation meeting which consisted of pages and pages of possible side effects from the two drugs I will get, ranging from the mild and uncomfortable to the truly dire. I’m lucky that I will only have four sessions three weeks apart, beginning this Friday. One of my best friends is going with me for moral support.
Surgery, maybe because I’d had it before, was nowhere near as frightening to me as the thought of putting these strong medications into my veins to search for minute cancer cells that might be lurking somewhere in my blood or lymph system.
My hair should fall out sometime in the next few weeks, just in time for the holidays. Perhaps I will lose a nail or two. I may lose my eyebrows and eyelashes, but maybe not. I odered a wig which I think looked a lot like my hair. When my hair starts to come out I’m going to shave it off and wear the wig. I wish I could find the humor in that, but I can’t just yet. Maybe later.
The only really funny thing is that when I called my insurance company to check on coverage for my “cranial prosthesis” the person I talked to on the phone said the cost would be covered. They will pay several hundred dollars for a wig but they don’t cover the cost of my flu shot!
So right now I’m reminding myself that chemo is going to increase my chances of not having a cancer recurrence by a significant amount. I’m trying not to get too freaked out about getting through the next few months of holidays, trying to stay healthy, doing everything that needs to get done when you’re the mom and grandma, and cope with the fatigue and side effects of chemo. My last session will be January 6 and I leave for Maui on January 20, with one slushy saline-filled boob and a bald head, but hopefully I’ll be done with treatment!
I’m tearing up as I write this and questioning whether to publish. But a good friend recently told me I shouldn’t censor my feelings and worry about being entertaining. I did say I’d be honest with you if you joined me on this journey, even if it’s not always fun and funny.
And maybe it’s not so much about the treatment, maybe I’m just missing my dad…