Morning & Evening…

This year, I am studying summer like there will be a test at the end. I’m intentionally lingering in the breeze of a summer night enjoying the feel as warm air slides across my body. I am paying attention as swirling heat, brushes my hair back from my face as I walk between buildings on campus. I am noticing how my lungs recoil at the thick humidity that feels like a warm wall of water as I step outside of the air conditioning. The air seems to be alive, and I am awake to it in a new way. Continue reading “Morning & Evening…”

Aftermath…

When my doctor walked into the room she wrapped me in a hug and said, “So much has happened since I last saw you.” I was undone. She offered me tissues as I wiped the makeup from under my chin, and tried to croak out words to reassure her that I am really fine, just fine. Thirty minutes later, she made several referrals and instructed me to call if I had any further questions. She hugged me again as I left. Continue reading “Aftermath…”

Down the road…

My mom may have held a grudge. I don’t think she ever really got over the fact that I moved Allie away from the circle of her everyday life. We built the nursery together, waited for an extra month as my delivery date passed, and drove together to the hospital on the day she was born. Everyone else went to dinner, but mom stayed behind, not wanting to miss being there when the baby was born. She answered my questions, provided much needed (but not always wanted) advice, and was generally there to support me as I took my first steps as a mom. When we left, she was heartbroken. Continue reading “Down the road…”

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…”