Monday, August 8, 2011

Morning Dew and A House

There's something about this time of year and the morning dew.  I guess I've never really paid much attention to it, after all, it's always been there each and every summer morning.  I guess you could say that for so long I took something so simple as dew for granted. 

But today was different.  I stopped and noticed the thickness of the dew.  How every blade of grass had different sizes of water droplets on it.  The smell that was in the air, clean, sweet and refreshing.
Have you ever had something (or someone) that was constant and in your life that you took for granted?  Always believing that it would be here as long as you were on this earth?  I would imagine so.  After all, we're human.

Well, I know I have.  Mine (at today's moment) is dew and a house.  Yep, that's right.  Just two things I've taken for granted through the years.  Always believing that one or the other would be constant in my life. 

Weird you say?  Yeah, maybe a little. 

This week, the house that "us 3 kids" grew up in, will be sold.  No longer will we be able to just "drop by" unannounced or plan any outdoor activity with our families there.  No longer will we be able to call it "our house" or "mom and dads house"  because it will belong to someone else.
A family who will begin their lives and start their memories in that house,  just as my parents did more than 60 years ago. 

I guess there comes a time when you need to make peace with certain events that happen in life. 
Whether they were good or bad, it's all a part of coping and accepting.

Coping is something that's pretty familiar to most that have had cancer. We've become experts and have learned to do it oh so well.  We've also for the most part, learned to accept and move on, though on our own terms and pace.

So now again, I will begin to cope, accept and make peace.  I will begin to do this not with cancer, but with a house where childhood memories were made. 

I will will take special note of the "words of wisdom" that I've read for the past so many months from some of the other "graduates of the school of cancer." 
Look at each day as a refreshing new day. 
Not taking for granted the morning dew that blankets the grass each summer morning, no matter how trivial it may seem.
Hanging on to memories, good memories about a house that has so many of those, along with a few stories tucked away in its walls.

And learn...learn once again how to cope, accept and make peace. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dear Uncle Mikey....

I was 16 when I met him and not so sure if I really "liked" him, or maybe I just didn't understand him.  He was standing in his mothers hospital room, fresh from Oklahoma and wearing a cowboy hat!  Now keep in mind, we're in a suburb of Chicago...who wears a cowboy hat in Chicago?  His personality filled the room.  Laughing, joking and having a certain arrogance about him.

That "him" I'm referring to is my husbands brother, a man that would become my brother-in-law for the next 30 years...Patrick Michael or as he would say, "Uncle Mikey"

Back at the end of May, I wrote about Michael suffering a massive stroke.  As debilitating as the stroke was, he was making some improvement.  The improvement was ever so slight, but nonetheless, we thought he was making some progress.  He was moved from the hospital last week to a skilled long term nursing care facility just outside of Oklahoma City.  The doctors told his wife that with the severity of this stroke, he no longer had any mobility from the neck down, vision in his right eye was lost along with his bodily functions. 
Michael had been direct with his wife in his wishes that should he ever become debilitated during their marriage, he wanted no type of life support.

Late last night, I received a phone call from his wife.  God called Michael home. 
There are no more feeding tubes, no IV's, no more suffering. 

I do believe he is truly at peace.

The next few days are going to be the hardest.  His wife and son will bring him back to Illinois, back to where he was born and raised.  This will be his final resting place.  This is what he wanted.
We will honor his wishes with the Irish tales and prayers that he so loved, and we will toast to him on his final journey home.

                              Rest In Peace Uncle Mikey.....

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.