July 19, 2002

keep the good thoughts coming for Aunt Penny

She had her open heart surgery as George was touching down from Hong Kong. She is out of intensive care now but has a long recuperation both in and out of the hospital ahead of her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

It's odd, or maybe not so, that every joyous occasion in my life has been coupled with a parallel and simultaneous traumatic happening. It's something I've gotten used to. That's why it didn't surprise me when George's touchdown coincided with my second-mom Aunt Penny's surgery time.

This time I tried something different though. When the worry and the pain would start to sink in, I'd push it away. I'd hear Marek and Tom, and Elaine telling me to keep this moment sacred, to just--for a couple hours--forget the possibility of the omonous, of me walking out of the airport to a cell phone call saying Aunt Penny hadn't made it. Forget how likely it is to be smacked in the face by tragedy at the moment of building joy--forget carrying the sack of get well cards from your kindergarten classmates home to the person you love most in the world only to have someone tell you--too late; he's dead.

Maybe it's not surprising that I've never been good at pushing those catastrophic thoughts away, agreeing instead to let them rule the moment, spoil the moment. Sometimes EVERY moment.

But this time I won. And it was quite literally the voices of bloggers--your voices--in my head telling me: You deserve this. You deserve this reunion. You deserve it to be a happy occasion. You can't control the cut of the surgeon's hand, so leave it. Put it down and leave it there. Go greet your lifelong love with a light heart. You might just be surprised.

And I was. I felt joy. Very surprising. Disorienting.

I've been tossing around ideas on why I was able to do it this time--to enjoy a moment for a change. And I think it has a lot to do with blogging--with these connections--with feeling maybe a dozen, two dozen people cheering for me, for us. And maybe it's because our voices are so wrapped up in one another here, in our growing community. Maybe your voice is in me now, and mine is in you, and maybe sometimes I can summon the healthy bits of you that you decide to show me, and you can summon the healthy bits of me that I show you, and somehow these twisted and paired emotions and thoughts are together greater than our own individually.

I'm still thinking about it. Marveling. And, somewhere, waiting for the other shoe to fall. But not the same way. More like a gnatt than a ten-ton elephant. More like a whisper than a wind.

thank you.


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