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.
This task occupies me as I sit at home conscious of my own mortality, quarantined due to an epidemic which purports to be particularly dangerous to old people like me, knowing that all I bequeath to the next generation as stories and the lessons to be learned from them must be recorded.
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.
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.
Last fall, we implanted our youngest two children, step-sisters, at their chosen universities, which makes our nest officially empty, most of the time. Over the years, I’ve written about having one, then two, then four in high school at the same time, then one, and then two in college. But for some reason, I’ve struggled with churning out the “goodbye post” for the last two as they headed off to school. To my dismay, the whole empty nest scenario has grown less funny with each passing evac, and therefore, a little more challenging to write about. So now, almost five-months post final nest emptying, I’m finally getting it done.
We had what amounts to a parenting milestone two-fer last fall. Our youngest two children, step-sisters, both graduated in June and moved away to begin their freshman year of college at their respective schools. While our nest-emptying began gradually in 2016, it emptied abruptly in September.
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!
Expecting a newborn can be stressful even at the best of times, but when things stop going according to plan it is easy to let the negative thoughts consume you. Jeff Randhawa learned that situations like the one he went through can’t be bought but in the end made him stronger as a person and as a father.