Blair clutches the photo of her husband and two children. The edges are bent and out of shape; worn and damaged. The photo is with her always, like a friend, a companion. She studies the photo with concentration, as though she could bring them back to her.
He sat down in his favorite chair, the one with the tall back and the arm rests. He picked up the latest Larry McMurtry book off the side table, pulled out his glasses from his shirt pocket and started to read. He could read through anything: wars, famine or feasts.
We are hopeful though, hopeful that we will find a way to drive down this road without all the obstacles and signposts that keep us distracted from the real issues at hand. It never ends, does it? It will go on forever and we will be lucky to have been a part of it; part of the road less travelled.
Perhaps over time I will be able to put this little ball of grief somewhere, store it in a grief drawer or bury it in my back yard with my phlox and roses and dahlias. Maybe there, the grief will lie in hope that it will grow into something, perhaps even into joy.
The last straw, as they say, was smoking in the rain during blizzards, snow blowing in your face as you puff away at that little white stick. I mean, how ridiculous right?
Knock on wood, so far there has not been a ‘what next’ in at least a month. So we are more than grateful for that. He saw his surgeon recently and he took an x-ray of my husband’s lungs – it was an all-clear. He saw his oncologist too and will not see him again until October.
Cancer treatments have come a long way, or so I am told. I am not so sure this is true. I see a tremendous difference in my husband’s energy level and in his strength. It used to be me that was always trying to catch up to him, but not anymore.
I sure wasn’t ready for that, just as I am sure most people aren’t ready for this kind of thing to happen. Nobody prepares for these things, they just sort of happen. One day life is normal and one day it isn’t.
Well, when gifts were finally being opened this particular Christmas, I came across a huge box under the tree for me. All I could think was maybe my parents bought me the stereo I had been dreaming about!
When I would visit her when she lived in Ottawa, she would take me to parties – parties in restaurants. I felt like a celebrity, because for me it was only celebrities that partied in restaurants. The people at these parties were different too. They had foreign-sounding names and talked with accents – German and British.