Good Times, Bad Times, You Know I’ve Had My Share….

During this time of social distancing, I’ve had a chance to reflect on what’s important to me – to work or not to work. The meaning of “it all”. whatever “it all” is. Having bonds with people that I treasure.

I have been given the opportunity to ponder many areas of my life, that prior to the pandemic, I took for granted. 

As I write this, the Beatles, Blackbird is playing in the background. Scott’s daughter Barbara, and I, sing it together when it’s on. I don’t have much of a singing voice, but that doesn’t really matter. Barbara has been through a great deal with me, and my cancer diagnosis couldn’t have been a picnic. The song may seem insignificant, but it means the world to me. It has, for all these years, represented a type of comradery that I had hoped her and I could have. The minute I hear the melody begin, I smile with my crooked grin and we commence:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night Take these broken wings and learn to fly All your life You were only waiting for this moment to arise

 I will store this in my memory bank for the rest of my life. 

 One of my besties was Ron, an 86 year old that had my heart and still does. The year that I assumed would be my last, had us meeting on a regular basis, for a movie and lunch at his favorite diner. It didn’t matter to me where we went, as I couldn’t chew any food at the time. Feeding tube only. He knew that things weren’t going in my favor and he wanted to take me out to escape, if only for a little while. I never figured I’d outlive him. I miss that old softy, immensely. I don’t ever go into the theater without him on my mind. He insisted on driving me to doctor’s appointments. “I’m a good driver”, he’d say. Some of these visits did not bring such good news. Ron would be visibly shaken. He was like the father I never had. Yes, I had a father, but my Ron was something else. Hard to explain him in just a few words. Salty, yet sweet, but never a pushover. During my last hospital/nursing home stay, I prayed to this man quite a bit. I was no longer to have his physical presence, but he was always there. I was quite ill and had many a day of “I can’t go on. Ron, I’m coming.” His voice, however, would loom over me. “You’re not coming. We’re not ready for you. You have some things to get done.”   

Walking was one of them. I had lost a boatload of weight due to an infection that I had gotten in my digestive tract. More than likely it was because of the immunotherapy that I had been on to help battle the cancer. I dropped to 75 lbs. and could no longer stand on my own two feet and support myself. It was becoming too strenuous to do the things that most of us don’t even think about. Sit up in bed? No. Reach the remote on the nightstand? Uh, no. “Nurse, I’d like to look out the window.” I’d hear her say, “the aide will be in shortly to get you into the wheelchair.”

 When my favorite physical therapist, Jen, would enter the room for my walk and say, “ready to go”, I would always comply. It was exhausting and sometimes I would lose my balance, but Jen was right there and I developed a sense of trust with this woman that still amazes me.

 My mind drifts, on occasion, to some of the nurses that I’ve had over the years. Chrissy is tops on my list. Yes, I’m keeping score. I would thank the heavens, above, when my room was on her schedule for the evening. Scott formed a special bond with Chrissy that brought tears to my eyes. He’d open up to her in a way I’d never seen. Talking to this young lady was comforting. She’d get both of us to laugh, which was quite a feat through all of this. God doing for us what was difficult to do for ourselves during these most trying times. 

It’s rather evident that these weren’t exactly good times, but with the dear Lords help and a lotta good people, the bad times were made a whole lot better. Until next week, K  xo

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