Thursday, February 14, 2008

Remembering, Not Regressing

Today was a wistful Valentine's Day; I found myself at work this morning reading Jan's obituary in the Pittsburgh paper from last April, and most of the day passed by uneventfully while I waited to hear from Leslie about Michaela.

Late this afternoon, Leslie called to say that Michaela's surgery went well; they removed as much of the tumor as they could. Pathology reports are still pending. She is hurting but otherwise in good spirits.

Talking with Leslie the night before Michaela went into the hospital, I was reminded of how much work went into coordinating multiple specialties of doctors from the time of Jan's diagnosis until she came home for the last time.

We were in Pittsburgh when Jan was admitted to the hospital; I went to Staples and bought a lime green binder (she was fond of green) and two graph paper notebooks. I am a compulsive note-taker and doodler, and these notebooks quickly filled up with notes from every visit from a physician or social worker. This progressed to every doctor's appointment, chemotherapy session, home health visit, et cetera.

One of the hardest things to deal with after she passed away was the realization that a lot of that work was over; being able to document Jan's illness effectively in those notebooks, and later in this blog and the Yahoo Group that chronicled her struggle, was part of my coping mechanism, and after she was gone I had nothing more to scribble down in haste, with breaks only to doodle in the margins.

Now I type instead of scribble most of the time, but there's still lots of that going on, and I struggle at times to maintain an inner sense of balance and peace in the wake of someone I care very deeply about experiencing the same thing I did not so long ago.

Leslie is a much stronger person in terms of faith and fear; she has lots of the former and displays precious little of the latter except that which she has for her God. Her children have benefited from this greatly, and I hope and pray that the youngest is healed and holds on to the love that her mother and her God bestow upon her during this ordeal.

I miss Leslie very much. I hope to see her next month. I miss Evan too; He's in Winter Park with a friend and his parents for the long weekend, so it'll be a fairly quiet time here. I'll get some Words produced, which is always fun, but there will also be the need to clean out more stuff, and maybe catch up on some paperwork if I get the chance.

Give someone you love a big hug tonight, and remember those you love who are gone, and those who are distant. May God's love and grace be with you and them, and may we all learn to cherish the time we have, and not allow fear or other earthly concerns to displace the importance of that love.

I was playing a CD I made for Leslie in my car tonight. It includes a song that I used for Words last month. It keeps popping up in my head...a lot. I found a good video of it.

Have a good night.

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