Monday, July 9, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

As I sit and write this in my air-conditioned-resembles-a-room-on-TLC’s-hoarders-office, I’m reflecting on yet another summer come and soon will go.

Good riddance to bad rubbish I say, or rather write.

My six-year-old niece is in the hospital getting hopefully her last EEG to see if she can be weaned off her seizures medication. Serious heart issues as a baby led to surgery as a toddler. Meanwhile, in Dorothy Gale’s home territory, my 44-year-old cousin is recovering from quadruple bypass surgery after a second stint in the hospital due to a blood clot in his leg.

His adorable wife says he was just trying to copy me.

Recently the ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances led to the diagnosis of a blood clot in my right leg, the kind that can cause a pulmonary embolism. Today I got the ‘go ahead’ to resume most normal activities (see aforementioned office in need of shoveling out) and the quest to regulate the drug I’m on continues.

Fortunately, we have excellent medical care. And everyone who’s ever been on blood thinners assures me this is the way it is with, well, blood thinners.

If not for Coumadin, we never would have met one of our oldest (not age wise) and dearest friends, Jean Holter. She was our neighbor years ago, as was her mother, Doris. When Doris, whom we’d never met, had Coumadin-triggered nose bleed, Ralph took her to the ER… it being the neighborly thing to do.

Since that day, even though we may not literally share blood, Jean is family through and through.

This morning I went into the clinic for bloodwork. Sitting across from me in the waiting room sat a man staring pensively at the ground. He had a port in his arm… chemo therapy for cancer? He also had a titanium leg… bone cancer? His posture said he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Another dear old (not age wise) friend and I often ruminate on how feeling sorry for oneself is selfish because there are always others so much worse off. Conversely, we take turns reminding each other we can’t always adopt the attitude ‘There but for the grace of God go I (and mine)’ no matter how noble.

But at the end of the day, we know we are fortunate no matter what trials and tribulations (health or otherwise) life throws the way of us and our loved ones.

This summer has seen some crappy lows and some wonderful highs -- including time spent with those longtime (not old) friends and others. Instead of wishing the season away, I’m just going to enjoy every day – if not every bump in the road.

Recently on a steamy night, another friend, Elizabeth, and I (definitely not old…she was born the year I was a junior in high school) sat on my deck. She has two wonderful children, a pre-schooler and one about to enter kindergarten. It’s always hard to process when your first child is about to head to school. Me, the queen of holding on and letting go, is finding it hard to believe my ‘baby’ is going to be a senior in high school. I’d say it seems like only yesterday he entered kindergarten (God Bless Mrs. VanHorn) but in actuality it seems like an eternity.

Anway…I digress…as usual. My young mom friend told me I was the one who told her to enjoy the moment(s) with her children, and she’s taken that to heart. Her disclosure touched me.

No matter what’s going on in life, we need to enjoy and embrace every moment…and not let the sucky ones get us down.

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