Life Changes

December 1, 2010

First cup a’coffee of the day. First thoughts…

Leah – Wow. I hurt for her. Depression, loss are such strong themes of her entire life. I’m glad she has Scott to comfort her, help her see her way out of these blues that have her. I see such progress in the past year. She is certainly better at articulating her feelings. Last night she once again tried to explain depression and how it interrupts her ability to function. I really can’t comprehend the ____________, umh, energy drain. Obviously I don’t know how / can’t express the word or emotion for depression.

Dave shared his thoughts with Leah and me about treatment, or none; optimism for living two years (even without treatment?); his “I’m not ready to check out.” Leah and I cried of course.

Life changes before my very eyes. As Leah and I talked (before our weekly routine watching of Real Housewives on TV) I had to tell her that “we don’t get a choice” in this scenario. I think the anticipation is very difficult for her rather than comforting. I tend to feel neutral right now. Do I want to know the end of life is coming, or do I want a sudden end? I think I can manage knowing we have illness and limited time. Leah thought it might be “better” if there was abrupt loss. Both suck! Maybe it’s like pulling off the bandaid quickly or slowly.

I met with Sophie Lumen (also, Facebook/The Art of Aging) for coffee at traditions Café. I’m so glad to have this new relationship develop. We have so much in common. Age, approach to business, life, her funeral director background, personal depression, outlook on life. I think the Navigating Grief Board will grow! It’s good to philosophize, analyze and laugh at ourselves in the same breath. She’s an inspiration.

These days, I hope to live “my authentic self,” as the lingo goes: writing, crying, celebrating life, staring at death.

There are moments of prediction that have been too correct in my life:

  • The unnerving feeling I had after our only Halloween visitor to the interim rental duplex [as our current home was built]  was a silent, masked “grim reaper” standing 6’4” or taller –  a foreboding I can’t forget – just weeks before Dave’s stroke in 1998.
  • The overwhelming need to tell Dana during the September birthdays party that I see her dad really slowing down. I have felt the change in as much as seen it. Fair warning.
  • The immediate need to book a flight to Texas one January day in 2000 to visit my dad. He died of small cell lung cancer August 2 that year.

My gut instinct says that getting Dave through this academic year is the first goal. Word is leaking out among his former and current students of ill health.

40 years of teaching…  He gets a computerized certificate and TESC clock tower pin delivered via tan envelope from Evergreen to herald his accomplishments. Ha! Yet, he still lights up about teaching.

I do dread what Summer may bring. I hope I’m wrong.

Dave’s a tough old bird.

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