the dr. says and it is what it is

January 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm (choice, end stage congestive heart failure, family, the comeback) (, , , )

we are in barnes and noble.  it is our regular friday date on saturday.  first to the atlanta bread company for soup and 1/2 sandwich. then on to the b&n.  we love book stores.  when we lived in Sacramento we browsed all the used shops as well. one was like a scene in a movie, the fat old orange cat that hangs out on the shelves and no one complains of the hair on the books or that they are allergic.  it is almost too perfect to be real. this life I have is much like that at times. 

when I was young, and there was so much anger in the house where the mother lived, I would walk about a few blocks and look from the sidewalk in to the windows of these homes where scenes were being played out like some movie. or so I thought, seeing families that looked happy, or what seemed peaceful, was what I longed for and hoped for.  living with my grandmother had been the greatest gift the mother could have given me.  bringing me back when my youngest sister was born was her second best gift to me.  until then, the moment of holding my baby sister, I am not sure I knew how to love.  of course there was love and gratitude to my grandmother, she was not a warm fussy though.  holding this baby brought out something in me that made me a better person.

we are in b&n, I received a text from a friend asking if I felt better.  simple and kind question.  yet I am here at the book store and I am shedding tears as I try to answer this text.  yesterday I was at the dr.  a couple of weeks before thanksgiving my health became more of an issue.  what that means really is that I am feeling worse than usual.  or at least my old usual.  telling myself that it is just all the activity and when I have adequate rest things will be back to normal.  the last few days before going to Charleston I cancel some plans. nothing must keep me from Charleston.  in Charleston I am telling my granddaughter that I am happy to be there and see her, she asks if I am happy to see her brother too.  having been prompted I decide to give her the full list of who I am happy to see.  the first wife is sitting with us and when I say her name there is a moment of surprise on her face.  it quickly moves on and she thanks me.  it is true and I am happy to have the chance to say it.  she is a kind woman who has been gracious to me.  she is the mother of my step-daughters, they mean so much to me. maybe more than they understand, I hope not.  Susanne made the decision to be kind to me.  one night while in Charleston the step-friends were talking and the subject of getting along with your step-parents came up.  it was a great moment to be talking about this and sharing how we all decided to make the best effort.  for those who choose not to, I am sorry.  they are possibly missing a great opportunity.  it has been very meaningful for me and I hope for them too.

I move to the bathroom as not to be seen.  I am not exactly crying but tears are being shed.  this takes me by surprise.  of course the conversation or really more what was not said changes things.  this is my new normal.   I will not be feeling better than this.  still all in all that is not the worst.  it could be worse I tell my husband.  that is what I say today. yesterday in the coffee shop, after the book store, he is saying he cannot imagine life without me.  I reassure him we have time and he will not have to imagine it for a while longer.  no one knows how much  longer..  it has been 4 yrs with a 5 yr. deadline. 

who knows what can happen in another year?  another birthday? another anniversary? another holiday season?  maybe not and then again maybe I will be the one to break the statistics.  Steven Hawkins has been living with Lou Gehrig’s disease and is now 70! I knew a woman whose husband was diagnosed and passed in the next few months.  her husband was ready to go, he told me he just wanted to have it over.  it was heartbreaking to be in the room with him and hear the voice of giving up.  I will not give up, I will keep hoping.  “expect the best but prepare for the worst” this has been good advice. 

sometimes the words don’t have to be spoken.  it may seem odd to some that after the dr. appt we did not have some long heartfelt talk about what the dr. said.  as a matter of fact husband went off to play poker, a friend of mine came by with a pizza and we just hung out and enjoyed the evening.  there has not been a sense of urgency for the most part.  at times I worry I have not had that sense.  it has been helpful to read and share with  Shane Hodges the author of the “comeback.” to know that his mother’s words have made such an impact on him and he on countless others.

his( shane and his 5 rules outlined in “thecomeback”) third rule has been one of my life long philosophies, it is what it is.  acceptance is not defeat. it is the realization we sometimes need in order to move on or to deal with what is in our life. 

for tonight, I will treasure the day spent with my step-friend at the movie and go sit with my cats, husband and a cup of tea while watching PBS.  life is good, don’t ever forget that.  I am on the inside now and it is peaceful here.  think I will stay awhile:)

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