The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

our foyer
the girls will like that

I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. 
It makes them siblings, 
gives them mutuality of parentage. 
Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at. 
~Maya Angelou

Tonight I'm thinking about childhood memories and grown-up dreams ... .  

All of my people are out of the house, it's just me and Sammy right now.  The girls, little girls, lol - both taller then I, 4 and 5, have gone out to dinner ... both boys, men now ... are making good strong lives out in other places ... 2 has moved to her "grown up job".  L is out doing consulting/seminaring for the week.   I am glad for a moment alone. Blessed. We are. 
Tomorrow 4 and I will drive back over to Texas.  
My heart is sad, 
I am sad in my heart tonight.

Tommy's stay at home was short lived ... he is back in the hospital.

I need to "get it together".  

Just a bit of cleaning to do tonight ... dishes from baking early today (Nutella bread is the bomb ... linked!  I deleted the slivered almonds and added extra Mexican vanilla.)  So ... I don't know how I'm going to get through this.  I will but ... it's bad.  I have never felt this sad before.  Ok.  Dishes and mop kitchen ... maybe wipe at that ridiculously difficult to keep clean stainless stove and frig. (never again), couple of loads of clothes to fold (as usual) ... packing to do, shower, dry way too much hair ... sleep.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

At the hospital ... for now

Was it Monday or Tuesday of last week that I got "the call" from my sister-in-law, "come now" she said, and after checking with the carriers, it seemed that driving over would get me there as fast as flying would.  He was not in good shape when we arrived.  The plan was to keep him comfortable (pain-wise) and basically ... let him drift away.  He is not a candidate for surgery, I say that ... they will "do" surgery (a second bypass to work around the blockage) if doing so is less life-threatening then not  ... he may not survive a surgery and ... the upside to a surgery is the potential time it buys.  Surgery would also mean no chemo while he's healing (if he heals ... cancerous tissue doesn't heal well, and there aren't any great places to "go in" at).  
At some point
Tommy decided to try to get unblocked ... he thought maybe it was a food blockage that would eventually resolve ... and as they relieved pressure behind the blockage (via NG tube) he did begin to feel gas seeping through.  That was encouraging.  The doctors said a passage might open up enough for flow to resume.  Steroids combined with balancing pressure in his digestive tract just might give him another shot ... more time.  And it did.  Today he is on a clear liquid diet which is moving through him nicely.  Yesterday he had tomato soup, but that was too much and slowed things down too much.  Various possibilities have been discussed and I am satisfied that he is perfectly able to handle this ... there is a lot to balance.  I am impressed at how thoughtfully my brother navigates this time.  He wants a few days at home.  He says he would rather die at the hospital, but he would like to go home again for a while (and hopefully a long while).  He also entertains the possibility that "this" is just another bump in the road to remission ... he is really hoping to get back to "killing cancer" as he calls it.  
There was a day
last week when he seemed completely resigned to dying (yeah, I'm using the real word for it as I talk to myself ... it is a hard word, as hard as life).  I could respect that ... the reality was that his team was saying, "days, possibly weeks" ... but it didn't seem like Tommy.  It was difficult to sit still with him knowing that he was silently pondering the possibilities.  Somewhere underneath his closed eyes he found a ray of hope which reignited his spirit, spirit as in determination to fight this thing.  I don't know what's going to happen in the next few days.  It seemed a vote of confidence for me to come home and light up the Christmas tree ... do some hot glue stuff ... menu planning and shopping ... Christmas stuff.  I'll head back over there early Thursday and stay for awhile (maybe he will get to come home ... but if he doesn't we will bring "home" to him). 

That picture at the top of this note was taken from where I sit very quietly watching him breathe.
"You see that glove up there in the light box thing?  I wonder if that is a fire hazard", he asked/said once when he opened his eyes.  It took me a second to find it ... you can see it only as it is reflected in the mirror.  Latter that day the nurse supervisor came in to see how things were going as far as how he felt about the care he was/is receiving from the nurses (they spoil him relentlessly).  He bragged on everyone by name, citing specific kindnesses  (... the cleaning lady has brought in a card of Catholic Jesus which Tommy told me to tape to the window blind ... he likes that she did that for him because it is an act of mercy which reaches across so many conventions ... it is a demonstration of grace).  As the nursing super rose to leave he asked me if there was "any tiny little thing" that I could think of to make Tommy's time with them better.  I smiled and said ... you can join us in guessing how that glove got there.  It took a bit of maneuvering to get him positioned to see the glove, "What are you people doing in here!?!" he laughingly exclaimed when he finally saw it.  Too funny.  I guess you spend a few days in the same spot you're going to notice a glove hiding in a lighting cornice.  Ms. Mercedes had just the right cleaning tool on her cart to scoop it out when she made her sweet way through his room the next day.

Sister-in-law just called ... all systems go for Tommy going home tomorrow.  Time for me to run a few little errands and find a big bow for that front door wreath ... !

Friday, December 12, 2014

 Well ... things with Tommy are (cautiously) (much) better.  The blockage is allowing some flow through his system.  That provides the gift of some more time.
I'm resting up a bit ... and celebrating with my favorite treats ... Cheetos, Mountain Dew, Pumpkin Seeds and good dark chocolate with sea salt ... yum.  Gonna go home for a couple of days and put lights on the Christmas tree, and cook ... walk Sam, sleep ... and come back for a few days. That's the plan ... come and go. (Yeah - and Sonic ice ... it's the best.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Back in Texas ... I have now peeled the contact lenses from my weary eyes.  The black turtle neck sweater I chose to open the work week in is hanging on the hook in the hotel bathroom.  I used all but one fluffy white towel mopping up hot water which pooled on the floor while I slept in the tub.  I hate it when that happens (a huge fan of the unlimited flow of hot water).

My brother looks well.  Apparently he is not though.

I feel fortunate that I can spend this time with him.
He frets that I am away from home during the Christmas season.  Two weeks 'til Christmas ... unbelievable!  
His doctors are saying "days , maybe weeks".  It is ... surreal.  We are sitting here watching American Pickers.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The only conquests which are permanent and leave no regrets are our conquests over ourselves. ~N. Bonaparte

I really hope that picture is authentic. Now I can't find where I found it.

This has been a weird weekend ... we are kinda on hold with what happens next with my brother.  I have learned how to sit still dangling my feet over the edge (so to speak) but it's not pleasant.  It makes my shoulders hurt.  It makes me fall asleep sitting up on the couch.  It makes food not have any taste.

One of the kids, okay 5, had me tale the Carl Jung and I. Briggs Myers  type theory ... which I thought was atleast amusing and confirms what I already suspected about myself ... I am an introvert .  INFJ

The "test" was around 72 questions long - all Y/N - kinda random stuff it seemed to me.

In the description section (of INFJ) it says self expression comes more easily on paper. That seemed interesting to me bc of how I use this "blog" space.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Snapped late in the day by KoKo (It's nice to have a daughter still at home, sometimes I miss my kids a lot).
Tommy, we learned, was admitted to the hospital last night with another blockage in his GI tract.  I've talked with him now ... he's still there awaiting more imaging tomorrow and will make plans once we know what we're looking at.  I was thinking about him as I walked down the hall towards sleep.
It's definitely a run through the jungle ... .

High School pic ,,,
taken at roughly the same age as my youngest child is now
probably no makeup and  before front gap "fixed"
lol ... it's fun to look back