So I’m back, after three weeks in Florida with my parents. I had internet, but only kind of. I’d be in the middle of something and *poof!* no more Internet, sometimes for the rest of the day or night. I could say it was liberating and that I discovered a connection with Nature, but I’d be lying.
Instead, I learned to knit. I knitted (is that the word? I kniten? Knitae? I don’t know. Knitted will have to do) 13 scarves and part of a pillowcover while on vacation, and I actually gave myself knitter’s arm and had to take the middle week off. So that’s actually 13 scarves (and a partial pillowcover) in about 14 days. I’m knitting a scarf right now, well. Not right now, because I’m typing. But I’m working on scarf #15 and Snaps is starting to eye it rebelliously. He doesn’t even know I bought the yarn to knit him am adorable little sweater this week too…
So what else happened while I was on vacation? I rediscovered my mojo in some ways and that’s a very good thing. I’ll be watching that play out over the next few months, I hope – hopefully in a positive way. :}
***Cathy — if you’re reading this, brace up. This bit is about Mom. Just to let you know. xoxoxo***
Something came up that’s a negative. Possibly a big negative. Possibly the biggest negative I’ve ever faced in my life. My mom went in for a colonoscopy and they found two polyps; one normal one they just snipped, and one that was very large and that they had to try to take out piecemeal. The simple 30-minute procedure turned into an over 3-hour surgery, and they didn’t get all of it. The doctor talked to us, after, about some very scary concepts, and Mom was terrified when she came to. I think she still is, although she’s the sort to hide it and balls through (as am I). I’m glad I was there, but it was… it was serious. It is serious.
She looked at me at one point, shaking and with terror and tears in her eyes, and she said: “this could be it, Chris. This could be the start of the downhill slide. This could be the start of the end.” And I know what she meant.
When we were Christmas caroling for the retirement park she and Dad live in, we visited the shut-ins and, inevitably, those near death. She and I sat on the back of the golf cart together, shuttling from house to house, and with each stop, her grip on my arm grew tighter. She knew the colonoscopy was scheduled, she knew there was a problem, and she knew what it might mean. She would lean over to me sometimes, voice tight with strain, and say: “she’s lost so much weight since Thanksgiving. We don’t know if she’ll see New Year’s.” or, “He just lost his wife six months ago, and he’s stopped eating. He wants to go.”
They live among people for whom this is the beginning of the end, if not the middle or the end of it. They’ve buried more friends this year than any other – so many, in fact, that they are quite matter-of-fact about it. Fifteen years ago, it was a shock. Now, it’s a Thursday. It’s a huge wake-up call to me; it’s easy to see these seniors driving around in their golf carts, planning luncheons and planting gardens, and miss the way they check in with each other. Where’s Darlene? Have you seen her today? And did you hear there was an ambulance on the block last night? Oh, lord. Who was it?
For my mom, I fervently – and there is not enough emotion in that word, “fervently”, to convey how much I’m praying for this – hope that this is a close call, a nothing or a not-much. I want this NOT to be the beginning of any end.
But if it is, ah, God, if it is; well. As Dad said, “we’ll do what we have to do.” And we’ll do it together.