Thursday, September 22, 2005

Instant friends

I was in the waiting room at my dentist when an elderly woman came out of the examining room. She chatted with the receptionist for a minute, and said something about "I am so forgetful these days."

Then, for some reason she turned toward me and gave me a sad smile. She continued, "I can't seem to remember anything or keep my head on straight." Her eyes filled with tears. "I just lost my husband 3 weeks ago, and I don't know what I am doing." I replied, "I know what you mean. I remember feeling the same way when my husband died almost four years ago."

Her eyes flew to meet mine. It was that sudden connection of two who have felt the same pain. Even though we were a generation apart, the instant bond was unmistakable. "OH!! You know how it is then!" She really teared up at this point, and asked "Please, please tell me. Does it ever get better?" This lady, a stranger, an instant friend, so much older than me was looking to ME for answers.

What could I tell her? This was not a time to talk about future joys. This was no time to discuss healing, or mention my newlywed status.

I remembered the words of a friend of mine on the young widow site, and this is what I said:

"I promise, you will not always feel the way you do now." Then I added, "You will always love him and remember him. This has been mine and other widowed friends' experience."

Then it occured to me: perhaps this was Karma coming around full circle. Our dentist herself has walked in our shoes. Dr. H. lost her husband during her last year of dental school, while her kids were in middle and high school. I remember asking HER during my early days if it ever became better! She was also Andy's dentist, and I have always considered myself close with she and her staff. I called her office the day he died. Dr. H. accepted the call herself, and gave me her personal cell number. She told me to call her anytime, even in the middle of the night, and assured me she meant it. She also sent me a copy of the book "A Grief Observed," and wrote that the book had been her best friend in the early months.

I began thinking that maybe dental offices have healing karma. That thought even makes a root canal seem more appealing!

The moment was ended by the receptionist calling my name. As I went in for my appointment my new friend turned to leave and earnestly said, "Thank you and God Bless."

Tonight she and all those who are grieving are in my prayers.

Monday, September 19, 2005

State Fair Time Again: 2005 Button

Here is John and Shelby posing for the annual button.

The sweater John is wearing is the little memory of their Dad in this year's photo.

(No, that is not me in the middle. It takes a lot more makeup than that for me to look that good! LOL)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Finally... a diagnosis

I have become so exhausted that I had to go see my doctor. She immediatly set me up for a thyroid scan and bloodwork.

I have finally been diagnosed with a thyroid tumor, 3.5 years after Andy's death, although I started having symptoms about a year before he died.

At the time, my previous doctor had diagnosed my swallowing difficulties as a nervous condition called "Globus Hystericus," aka "It's all in your head, silly girl."

So I am now having to have surgery to remove the tumor that has been "all in my head." And bless Arthur's heart, he is frightened to death. He literally broke down and cried when they called to tell me I needed to have the tumor removed and have it biopsied for cancer.

It isn't thrilling news to me, but right now I am more concerned about my sweet Arthur. Enough already. We have both been through enough!

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

New Orleans photos from Kathy and Terry

Terry's unit has been called up to New Orleans to help the victims of Hurricaine Kartina. In Kathy's words:

"...Terry is down in New Orleans loading people on buses at the Super Dome. The people have been completely evacuated now, so the Dome is empty. Contrary to reports that the people there are running wild in the streets, he says that they have been pleasant, polite, orderly and very happy to see the National Guard.

He has been In New Orleans since Wednesday night and at the Super Dome since Thursday morning. They just got Port-a-potties for the soldiers today! So you can imagine what the Super Dome is like. Terry says the smell is so bad, you can barely get close to it let alone go inside! He says they (the Guard) are camped out on the top floor of the Super Dome parking structure. He is not sure how tall the structure is, but judging by the surrounding buildings, he estimates it to be 5 or 6 stories tall. He says that if you walk down two flights you are in the water! "

Kathy emailed me these photos that Terry took with his camera phone:

Oklahoma National Guard at the Super Dome

Convention Center after evacuation

Mess at the Mall behind the Super Dome

Somebody's doggie is looking for his owner.

Water level at the parking garage:over 2 stories high

Working in new Orleans is risky business as you can see...

(Last photo: not real, although I'll bet the National Guard guys feel like this at the end of the day. Kathy 'fessed up that the last photo was not taken there, she just thought that we needed a lighter note after all the tragedy. The rest of the photos are really from New Orleans.)