While I waited for David to get home:
– New neighbours moved in to where former neighbours used to live. They were so happy together here in this area for 20 years. Their garden was meticulously kept. It was their escape. Cass passed away from cancer two years ago leaving Lucida alone. Lucida brought flowers to my door this afternoon and wished me well on my journey. How sad that she was leaving. “I love this neighbourhood”, Lucida exclaimed. “I am sad to leave – but I must”. We hugged and she parted. I put my beautiful tulips in a vase in the middle of the kitchen table where they brightened the room. How thoughtful. One chapter ended and another was about to begin – for her and for our new neighbours.
– I thought about this morning’s fitness class. The 8 o’clock morning fitness gang gave me a good-luck with your surgery send off. It would have been enough to have their cheers and their prayers. Additionally, however, there was a gift: warm, fuzzy, pink nightie and toasty warm slippers. This gang was created by Vandie in response to my plea to have a morning fitness class that I – the chemo girl – could do. Vandie built it – and they came. We have all got our limitations at fitness as a result of a variety of health issues – but there is no limit on the love that we share with one another. And there is definitely no limit on the support that these ladies give to me – we walk my cancer journey together.
– I remembered how relieved I was to be able to walk away from my place of employment without giving thought to home-work, problem solving, or planning. I love my job teaching at the Barrie Learning Centre – but it is not for the weak-kneed or faint of heart. This job is one that requires true grit and dedication. There is no “leaving for the day” when the bell rings. There is no “I’ll take care of that tomorrow”. There is no “I” in the team of teachers that are the soul of that centre. We are all dedicated beyond imagination – to the students and to each other. My colleagues are my friends. We hugged and shed tears as I left the Centre – we all knew that the next hurtle of my journey was a biggie. I know we all silently pondered the risks this step would involve.
– I thought about all the work that lay ahead of me in terms of preparing the finite details of my will. “You need to be as detailed as possible so that your family knows everything about everything you manage. You need to record bank account numbers, contact numbers, your SIN number…” explained the lawyer. I had already begun that process this September, prompted by what I had experienced through being the executrix to my father’s will. I signed the power of attorney and indicated that I do not want to be hooked up to life support should there be ‘no hope’, hoping that this clause would not need to be evoked. I remember so well how these clauses were so vital when it came time to make decisions regarding my parents. I remember that my parent’s wills had that same funny paper that looks like it is 70 years old. I was surprised to see it again.
– I climbed into my bed and wrapped the blankets around me. The warmth comforted me. I hoped it would not be long after Wednesday before I could climb into this same bed with these same blankets once again. This is not my room where I am now – it is Ben’s. I have been here since September in an effort to keep healthy. The isolation has worked – I have not yet caught a cold – but it is not natural. I miss my own bedroom and the sights and sounds of the Bear Creek. In my room, I look out and see trees, sometimes deer, and ducks and geese. In spring, the sounds of the spring-peepers is deafening. It reminds me of my childhood when my Dad and I would go to the back of the acreage to the frog pond. I would take my tape recorder and record the sound to play back to Mom. The frogs were so loud, Dad and I could barely hear one another.
– I wondered how David did on his spelling bee. “Attention, cabbage, privilege…” were some of the 100 words we had rehearsed once again this morning. It is the “tion” endings that are tricky. He would be home soon and looking for a snack to eat. School makes a person hungry. He will be excited to hear we are having Chinese Food for dinner tonight. We love Chinese Food and tonight is kind of a celebration – tomorrow: no school for David as it is a PD day. Day off from school! There is, however, always work to do!
– I watched the snow fall outside my window. The day was grey. The sky was heavy. No need to shovel, yet. The sky this morning was a fantastic pink. “Red sky at morning – sailors take warning”, my Mom used to say. Indeed the sky predicted this snow. I hoped Katya would somehow find time to get the wiper- blade I bought installed on the van. I worried.
Sleep? Me? Not a chance! How can I sleep when I am so busy waiting for David?