Sounds of Life

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tip-tap tip-tap tip-tat. That’s the sound of me in my executive high heels staying just one step ahead of my work. I’m in a hurry for a good reason. The Navigating Grief online journal community is in pilot with some trustworthy friends. I am in the final stage before I invite everyone to join us. (Not much longer!) I am most excited because this is a fantastic and accessible tool for anyone wishing to discover themselves and in particular, their grief, through writing. It’s better than I had hoped.

Yippee! That’s the sound of me anticipating software upgrades for the SFH publishing center. I love new shiny things! At the end of this month and into October Publisher Center will get a makeover with a larger interface, some new easy-to-create products and more options for creating Storybooks and Keepsakes to Remember as people share the stories and lives of their loved ones.

Eeeek! That’s the sound of me realizing how much there is to do! And especially during these upcoming holiday months when people become overwhelmed with memories and need a proper place to vent their sorrow and explore their stories — safely and with others who can relate to the feelings at this time of year. I am up for the challenge! I will take care of my work one item at a time. Current mantra!

Whew. That’s the sound of me exhaling a big sigh of contentment as I am in creative mode for my work. I love the feeling of waking up and being instantly ready to go to work dropping the puzzle pieces into place in the big picture called Storybooks for Healing! This journal completes the circle of Discover, Publish, Share for anyone who can get to my websites.

Thud. That’s the sound of a reality check and a heavy heart when I can’t deny that Dave is terminally ill.

It is so encouraging to see him eating. The Prednisone has given him some taste back as well as appetite. Food is an emotionally charged symbol of life. Eating gives us a sense of health.

I noticed he’s been nibbling on the chocolate that awaits him on the bedroom mantle. He gobbled down some toffee peanuts I offered. Soup tasted better. When I made our traditional Sunday breakfast (I haven’t done this in weeks) an egg was reserved for his egg salad lunch. He even ate pizza and salad on Friday. All of it tasted good to him. This is the first solid food he’s eaten in quite some time.

But the Prednisone has also messed with his sleeping. Every medication seems to have its mix of good and bad qualities. One night last week he was awake all night. The last few he was awake and asleep, awake and asleep. I know because he watches TV all night! I’d try to turn the darn thing off thinking he was asleep, but noooo. (Men and their remote controls!) That throws off my rest, too.

So yesterday, I let him “sleep in.” It was just a little more than an hour after the scheduled time I usually bring his Ensure breakfast. It is hard to wake someone when you know they haven’t been sleeping well. And I was working away during my most productive morning hours.

But there is a reason for a schedule: his pain medication. That extra hour of sleep took him from keeping out ahead of the pain to chasing it. You don’t want to have to chase pain. Dave manages his own symptoms so well, and without complaint, that even I can deny how serious all this dying stuff is. Even today, to sit with him or to chat with him on the phone, it is difficult to comprehend this is an ill man.

There is evidence that the tumors still grow. There is pain to be managed. He doesn’t leave the bedroom. He must cruise his way to the bathroom bracing his thin body from fall by reaching for doorway and wall. There are unspoken thoughts of when. There are moments to be attended. So we did together. An extra dose of pain med, plus a little TLC foot rub soothed over those dreadful minutes. He returned to sleep; nature’s remedy. By noon he was back on schedule, but the hangover of the breakthrough pain lingered.

I have feelings of joy and elation and productivity mingled with sadness, empathy and love. Sometimes it is simply a matter of walking from one room to the next, like when Mister Rogers would change his shoes at the opening of his children’s television show. Entrepreneur to Caregiver to Creative Artist to Wife to Marketer to Best Friend.

I live in the circle of life with all its sights and sounds. It’s good to be alive.

2 replies
  1. Breeanne
    Breeanne says:

    Hello Joan! I’m Breeanne, a friend of Leah’s. We’ve never met, but I’ve been reading this blog ever since Leah told me about it. I just wanted to send you love and internet hugs. Your writing is so understated yet powerful, and you handle the challenges that come with a grace that’s beautiful. I’ve been thinking about you often, and I hope you’re well.

    Take care of yourself and Dave.

  2. joan
    joan says:

    Hi Breeanne.

    How nice for you to introduce yourself here! I’ll take all the love and hugs I can get these days as we make this journey on our own and as a family. I can see that Leah is fortunate to have a friend like you near. Thank you for writing.



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