Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Uncle Doulou

I have this uncle--he's my mom's brother. He's very special to our family. He has a fabulous wife (my Aunt Sherlene) and together they gave me a whole family full of cousins to love. He is an exceptional granddad. Some of the double-dating stories, with my parents, are for a whole other blog-type! He loved my parents, especially his big sister, Deedy.

I know that you are having a hard time with your heart right now, and I just wanted to say that I was thinking about you, and wishing you well. Thank you for braving the cold on Easter with us, and for all the love and enthusiasm you have for anytime we can get together as a family. You are this family's biggest cheerleader.

I love you.


Oftentimes, while in my room at the hospital, I imagined Merrill and Deedy walking into my room. Mom would come over and give me a kiss on the cheek, and pat my hand. Dad would bend over and give me one of his "bony one-arm hugs" that I miss so much. They both would sit down and start chatting. Mom, of course, would tell me everything she'd read on the subject and make recommendations--and Dad, well, he would listen to my stuff, and then would encourage me to hang in there. . .he probably would have brought me something in a sack that he knew was my favorite.

Dad's death was a shock. I remember how hard it was to answer Dad when he looked at me straight on and asked me, "Am I dying?". I looked at him and simply said, "yes". I knew that he wouldn't want me to get emotional, so I responded as simply as I could. I was able to tell him how much I loved him before he died--even though I didn't feel that I necessarily needed to. He knew it, and I knew it--we'd spent a lifetime making sure. Our mourning was indescribable, until 14 months later.

Mom's passing was such a surprise. She said that she was "trying to check out"--but we really didn't believe it--even when the doctor said so. "Past the point of no return" was something like what he said. Later, we were told it was a heart attack that took her. Her final breaths were taken as all of her five children, and grandchildren, surrounded her bed. We watched peacefully as she drew her last breath and her full and loving heart beat it's last beat. Then we sobbed.

I had my parents for 55 years. Growing up I had one great-grandmother and 3 grandmothers and 2 grandfathers. I was in a five-generation picture until I was 51 years old! Now, they are all gone. They all "checked out".

I was born of goodly parents. Thank you Mom and Dad, for this pain I have in the middle of my chest. It's presence only confirms that I really had quite a life with you both. . .and now, Dad, guess who's at the top of the conveyor belt?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

TAH: Post-Op 3 weeks today . . .

Hey, that's what all the "sisters" say on the "Hyster-Sister" website. . . That's how you are identified, summed up, figured out and explained. . .

TAH stands for "total abdominal hysterectomy". I still don't know quite how to feel--even reading the name. You see, I agonized, as rarely I have before, whether to have this done to me. I had to trust other people (who sometimes weren't all that convincing) that it was the right thing to do. You say I have to have my uterus, cervix, ovaries, etc. out? Why can't I keep my ovaries? I hear that I need them until I die . . .who is telling the truth?

Okay, I forget--it doesn't really matter anymore--they are gone. The house I grew my babies in is gone. The almond-seed-sized laboratories of my libido are gone. All I have left are hopeful words, both spoken and written, that everything will be okay.

Right now, my "swelly-belly" is burning, sensitive to both pajamas and sheets. But I feel okay. I actually feel good. Tired, but better than I imagined. I am sick of "Lifetime" movies--but still look forward to the "Golden Girls" and "Will and Grace" and all the laughter I know that comes with them. I have a love-hate relationship with the TV. Books, my past salvation, are curiously harder to read and enjoy. I take photos of birds--I love birds--from my bed. Terry leaves birdseed out on the deck to draw them in. Jared bought me a book so that I can begin to know their names. I love waiting and watching for them. They have been my salvation.

I love prayer. Earnest prayer. And I love and am thankful for blessings. Blessings really do come true.

Did I tell you I have a "nanny"? I do, and Kelsey watches over me and little Campbell until Nana gets strong enough to watch him all by herself. What a guilty pleasure.

What I Wish My Estrogen Would Do . . .

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