Garden musings…

In our first home, I planted sunflowers, marigolds, radishes, and sweet peas, and spent long days in the dirt, listening to the children play in the back yard. I weathered black flies, mosquitos, and dirty fingernails and returned to the house better after my time working in the dirt. Over the years, I’ve planted herb gardens, lettuce, and fresh veggies just steps from my kitchen. I’ve also tended flower beds with lush plantings of perennials and hardy shrubs. There is something about the process of bending low, smelling the earth, and touching it with my hands that is both soothing and satisfying. Every spring, I decide again to be a gardener. Continue reading “Garden musings…”

Body language…

A few years ago, I came down with chest cold. I was sick, very sick. When I went to the doctor, she told me it was just a virus, to take over the counter medicine, and call her if I wasn’t better in a week. So, I did. I took all the medicine and reported to work the next day. My eyes were glassy, I was very pale, and everyone could see that I was too sick to be there. Everyone, that is, except me. It wasn’t until the end of the day, when the medicine wore off, that I realized how sick I was. So, I went home and waited to get better. After a few more days, and some feverish Facebook rambling, my nurse friend called to say, “I don’t care what the doctor told you. You are too old to have a fever for this long. You need to be seen again.” Continue reading “Body language…”

Re-entry…

At the top of the June page in my calendar, I scribbled, “Re-enter your Life.” After two months that felt like decades, I walked back into my life. I got up and got dressed and drove an hour to work. I logged into my computer and picked up the responsibilities that had been left behind so completely in April. Continue reading “Re-entry…”

Summer’s promise…

The dust is settling. The drama has subsided. After this latest storm, my life is regaining familiar contours. Yesterday, I scheduled a hair appointment and I went grocery shopping on my own. I’m still home, determined to give my body and soul space to recover. But I will return to work next week and begin to pick up the pieces. Continue reading “Summer’s promise…”

Receiving​…

I’m sitting here as the grey day softens into night outside my window. There is a candle burning, and I am warm from a long hot soak in the tub. Tonight marks an ending and a beginning. Three weeks ago, I underwent a major surgery. The doctor removed my kidney and the cancer that had invaded it. The pathology report confirmed his suspicion that the tumor was encapsulated and he was able to remove it all. For weeks, I’ve been home recovering my health, my strength, and my stamina. Continue reading “Receiving​…”

One job…

The other night, I sat with friends who have weathered dozens of life’s storms together and apart. We gathered in the aftermath of a wake. We had hugged a husband who was saying goodbye to the wife of his youth, children who had lost their loving mother, women who had lost a familiar friend, and a community rocked by a sudden loss. After we dried our tears and gathered our emotions, we drove off to a quiet space for dinner. Continue reading “One job…”

The view from here…

I find myself leaning back to last week when life was normal, May was just a month on my calendar, and I didn’t know anything about kidney cancer. In other moments, I feel myself jumping ahead, into a bright future where the results show the cancer is gone, the surgery a success, and my body is healed. In darker moments, winds of worry and fear lash as I consider other possibilities. It is harder, I find, to stay here in the murky middle. In this place where my future is unknown, my innocence is shattered, and there are a lot of days left to live before my happy ending. Continue reading “The view from here…”

Our list…

Since 1994, Keith and I have been keeping a list. On it, we rank the worst days of our life. This list was born on a very bad day. That day, we sat in Burger King slurping diet Coke and dipping fries in catchup, reeling after a day in court. We decided that although this was definitely in our top five, it was not number one. For us, the worse day of our lives at that point was the day our two-year-old climbed up the front of a TV and pulled it over on himself. The resulting head trauma, life flight trip, and time in the ICU were (and still are) pretty traumatizing. Continue reading “Our list…”