Day 4 – Reading the first three days of my positive journaling, one might be under the impression that our family just plays all the time. Though we do our best to make everyday sweet, which usually involves either having friends over, visiting at a friend’s house, or gathering with other folks at a third location for the purpose of simply socializing, this has not been our life for most of February. On Feb. 1st, the boys and I drove to Chicago to meet my mom where she was waiting for an emergency neck surgery. She had gone to Chicago expecting only to be there for treatment (a couple days), but ended up staying for three weeks. During those three weeks we stayed with her first at a hotel, then at the hospital where she ended up having a second neck surgery four days after the first, then at a friend’s house a couple miles from the rehab center until my mom was allowed to come back to our place a couple miles from her house (and 3 ½ hours from the rehab center) where we’ve been doing our best to help her whenever she needs it. Other friends and my dad have come over to spell me to go grocery shopping or on other errands.
It wasn’t until last Friday 2/24 that the boys and I went out to do something social. I wrote about it in the first positive event journal entry. Happily, the following two days were full of animated gatherings (and the events I wrote about in the 2nd and 3rd entries). But I still hadn’t been out of the house even one minutes on my own with out a “todo” list. That is until last night.
My husband took extra time off work to help us get loose ends worked out, like taxes, cleaning up the winter rental house we’ve been blessed with (to be near my mom in general while she strives to heal) for an appraisal, and to give me time to be Heidi in relation only to my own thoughts and to do whatever I choose.
I enjoyed my couple of hours in a crowded cafe downtown, a lighted corridor of tables sandwiched in a row of similar businesses, almost every table occupied by students from the local University. Between the hum of their animated conversations and the half foksy, half rock music coming from speakers all around, I was able to… I really haven’t straight forward words for it. At the cafe I wrote a poem (posted as “just another face”) that describes the beauty of that aloneness, an experience I have never had before as I have never gone a month without even a free minute, nor has my mom ever been so in need of care.
One day, maybe even next week, I’ll write about this whole experience we’re all having in relation to my mom’s cancer returning, but not today, when I’m so immersed in the details. But I will add a second positive from yesterday. My mom rode in the car six hours (after being in the house for a week, resting as much as possible) to go to and from a follow-up appointment with her surgeon. When she came home at 4:30pm, a short nap sufficed, then she was up most of the evening, hanging out and pretty much self sufficient, happily not wiped out from the drive.