A lot has happened since the last post here; some moments were very intense, emotional, and only truly able to be understood from an insider’s perspective, while others were general gaiety with a few moments of tension. By any measure, this post is long overdue. Let me see if I can give a fair summary of the things that can be understood, things that have my heart overflowing through my eyes, that you may better share the journey with me.
I was discharged from inpatient status on Thursday February 5th (just before I wrote “Breathing Room”), and had both Friday and Saturday to mentally prepare for the sudden changes of social equilibrium that I go through when family shows up. Sunday, right as the church service was ending, daughter-in-law Laura was letting me know they were on the ground and needed a pick-up. We made that arrangement (fortunately, Joy’s son Ben was in town to help with Warren’s care, so before he returned to the cities, he brought them in from the airport), and I was able to get my first chance to see two of the grand kids, never mind my son and daughter-in-law. The next day, a friend who is living his dream arrived in town from Hong Kong, at employer expense no less, to spend the better part of a week with us. During the time he had with us, we flew, and we ate – what else – Chinese food. We talked via FaceTime with Dale’s wife, and Dale was able to get his baby fix by loving on Eliza Rae. We watched movies and talked, and talked, and when we were done? Well, to be honest, we’ll never be done talking. There may be lulls in the conversation, but time is elastic for those who let it be.
The next full week I spent largely as a passenger as we completed radiation treatment, with either Mathew or Dale driving us to Sioux Falls, me bundled into the co-pilot seat, and occasionally number one grand-daughter piled into the back seat so Laura could get a break. The radiation itself was uneventful, save the promise that I would indeed lose most of my hair came true. Matthew was able to demonstrate great parenting skills (No, not ninja, or some other hyperbolistic bull; great is more than sufficient a term of praise, we both know it, and that was all I needed to see). Talk about pride in one’s child’s rearing skills? Oh yeah, it’s there, and I can talk about it – it just doesn’t need a flapper. That I could write a solitary post about Dale’s visit, never mind what his journey meant to both of us, without demeaning the visits of my sons? I’m finding more and more as the days start warming and we note the budding in Sioux Falls, but just as it is hard to give each day in a man’s life its proper weight and due (my own no less than yours and, push the dramatics aside – we all do matter very much to those others in our lives. It is how that weight and matter get apportioned, and by whom.)
Next week, Dale leaves, Jesse and his family arrives, as does Jan and David. (These events are all things that have been, not shades of things to come. I need to get to bed – long day, and my typing speed is pathetic – and yet more company arriving tomorrow in real time.) Today, real time, is March 25th and much ground is there yet to cover.
May God bless, and Brandee Schafer? You melt me with your words, sister. My fears are different, and appear to surround me, but I love Cade’s 15 year old wisdom. Hugging you from the little gray house on the prairie, tears and all.