Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Please, Keep Him Brain Tumor Free 8/1/10

I recently had a conversation you usually wouldn't expect to have happen between waitress and her customer. After the common pleasantries were exchanged, it went something like this;

Rich, “So yeah, they want to see me back at the U W six months earlier than planned. I hope it isn't a sign that my tumor is back.”

I knelled down next to the table because the topic just seemed too personal to stand up and listen where others could see me or hear me respond. I really had to work to put on a brave face although the tears were close to spilling. I truly don’t recall exactly what I said but something close to I sure hope his brain tumor is not back and I grabbed his hand and gave it a squeeze. What words fill in the silence when you are talking about a person’s own sickness and possible death?

At that moment, his co-worker and now driver, Perry piped in and told me that his sister-in-law has leukemia and has been given a year and half, at best to live.

“Wow,” I replied.

“What do you do then, really, what do you do?” I asked.

“I guess that is when you realize it really is all the little things that make life worth living,” I feebly replied.

Talk about feeling somewhat awkward, but at the same time almost privileged. I know these men are not drunk, they are regulars, and they have truly good hearts and souls. Especially Rich, we have always enjoyed talking to one another. There is just a twinkle in his eye and a kindness in his heart.

As my boss put it, “He just looks like a nice guy. The kind of man you want to sit down with and could really talk to.” He nailed it.

This is a man with two grown children, a wife, and a dog. He’s had a long career at Boeing. He can no longer drive himself because ever since the brain tumor appeared he has lost his since of equilibrium. He has the most beautiful huge blue gray eyes surrounded by long thick eyelashes. He is tall and lean, leaner more so now that he has cancer treatment.

The intimate conversation continued.

Rich said, “It’s the little things, and relationships Jamie. It’s what we have with one another. It’s the people we have in our lives. It’s how we treat one another really it all comes down to having each other. Friends, like you Jamie. How you treat us.”

Now the lump in my throat is the size of a giant meatball and I was choked up. But, I knew exactly what he meant. It’s why we like one another, he gets it (what I think life is all about) and I understood him perfectly. All we have is now. All we have is our actions and words. How we treat ourselves. How we treat one another. Taking the time to notice the little things. Colors. Smells. Breezes. Trees. Babies. Sounds. Tastes. Kindness. Generosity.

Truly simple things, that somehow gets lost.

I realize he reminds me of my favorite Uncle. He is the one who passed way too young from pancreatic cancer. They have a similar way.

I’m so glad to have people in my life that I know it’s safe to be real with me. I’m so glad to have people in my life that can accept my candor. He is the only customer I hug, and I don’t care what anyone thinks. They just don’t get it.

An addendum to this post; Rich got good news. He is clear and released from his doc's from the U for the next 2 years! Happy Tears!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Main Entry: hi·a·tus
Pronunciation: \hī-ˈā-təs\

2 a : an interruption in time or continuity : break; especially : a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted

I have actually been working but really enjoying my time away from studying, attending classes, and more studying. I have decided to make it official and announce my hiatus. I will be back at the end of the month, but for now I just want to go out and enjoy the sunshine! Be back soon!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

April and I on the 4th!

Something to Say

When school is in, I rarely watch movies. I don't read any fiction. I find myself consumed with everything I have to learn. The sciences are nothing like child development studies, trust me.

The strangest thing is that now that I'm off, doing those things on my days off I find myself feeling guilty. Yes, guilty. Crazy, isn't it?
I think it's because along with very little social activities, I also don't do much at home. As in cleaning, maintenance, shopping, etc...I feel bad about that as well.

So, here I sit on my day off. I just finished watching Grey Gardens. Wow. Such a tragic and colorful story. I have a mental list of things to do. Honesty, I could sit here all day (despite the sunshine!) and just relax. But, I know me. I won't. I feel like I have to something ~ at least clean off my desk and some laundry!
Guilt is such a strange thing, amazing to me that on this beautiful summer day I should feel it, but I do!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It Finally Feels Like...

I'm on vacation. Finally.

Honestly, when did traveling to go on vacation become so much like work and just feel like it too. No offense to my hosts, but my Georgia trip did not much feel like a vacation. Next year, I will either plan the all out road trip where one is allowed to pull over and enjoy the sites, shoot dumb photos, and eat ice cream from every county you've never heard of or not go at all! It's either that or wait to take a supposed "vacation" until I've been out of school a bit. It truly just felt like an extension of school. Bad, bad, and more bad.

But, onto greener subjects. Like last night, where I mentioned to my love that I feel like today was the really the first day of being on vacation. Now, I may be the only soul to be able to still be working and feel that way, but trust me I do.
You know the vacation feeling I speak of; sleeping in, or getting up early to catch the first tour of a museum you've wanted to see your entire life, being able to drink your coffee slowly and savor it, wearing bed head all day if you feel like it, not having to match your clothes (at least not perfectly) , or just plain old wearing nothing but a swim suit all damn day! Are you there yet??? Do you get the idea, the "vakay" yummy memories I'm craving and FINALLY ensconced in?

While I may only have the day off the thing is this, the day is mine. By this I mean, to do whatever I please or not do....OMG, what a concept. Truly I have not felt like this in months (count back three quarters to last September before 3 quarters of science torture and one professor who should be committed).

It's 11:13 am. I am sitting here in my robe. I just polished off a bowl of dripping, sweet pineapple with a bit of shredded coconut and a sprinkle of toasted walnuts. Delicious! I got out of bed sometime around 9:40 am. I listened to the ladies on the View and now I have Rhapsody playing "soft hits, (whatever!) so I can sing along.

I could get up and make some coffee. I could post my books for sale on-line. I could sit and browse and catch up on all my favorite on-line sites all afternoon. I could go out and collect the ingredients for a meal I'm planning for dinner. But, here in is where the vacation mode lies at its truest...I could. But. I. Do. Not. Have. To.

Yeah, for finally hitting the vacation mode!