Yesterday at the dog park I walked just behind Tom and marvelled at the strength in his legs. No limp. Moving along. I've always been a sucker for his butt, which today was covered by the parka, so I don't think I was just reacting to a physical sensation, but I felt overwhelmed by an attack of longing and love for the man. What he's been through. What he's had to deal with since the pain started in the pelvis. His strength through two surgeries in five months. His response to living a life when diagnosed with cancer. Not always easy, but always ready to move forward. And now that he is walking quite easily, and the titanium hip is doing its job, he is so much more mobile. The oncologist also gave some excellent feedback -- the drug which is being used to shut down testosterone also appears to be doing its job -- his PSA level has dropped to .03. His PSA level was always quite low, but this will be the new base line. In the middle of January he will meet with the orthopedic surgeon to get the update on the hip, and two days later we'll meet with the radiation oncologist to hear her recommendations.
It got me to thinking. I've been tired, somewhat low in spirits, and quite resentful of the emotional load I'm carrying. I haven't been able to restore myself to my usual positive outlook. However, Friday, when I got home from work, somewhat in shock (the two weeks off meant I barely thought about the "plant", as Tom likes to refer to his workplace), Kai grabbed me and hugged me. Wow. That's another attack of love. This is a teenager who cares about his parent, who had to stagger in to work a full 3 days before the rest of them have to go back to school! The University opens a few days before the rest of the school system, which isn't a bad thing -- it got me back to a state of what you might call normal. Or pushing toward normal.
Last week my brother Rob showed up for a Winnipeg visit with meals he bought for us -- just because he wanted to do something to help. Again I felt overwhelmed. I keep thinking about how many wonderful things people have done for us in the last half year -- food, wine, cards, visits, gifts of many sorts, downloads, CDs of shows and movies, a subscription to the Winnipeg Free Press, a subscription to the New Yorker, beer, magazines, candies, phone calls, offers of help, advice, friendship, love. Our children have been positive, helpful, and willing to trouble-shoot when I was at my crankiest and most tired. They give me love every day.
It boils down to love, plain and simple. I was down in the dumps in the week after Christmas -- broke down crying one evening just contemplating the myriad of stuff that's happened. Today I think I can see this for what it is. I have carried a lot on my shoulders in the last half year or more, without processing my feelings about the care and love family and friends have given to us. It sometimes feels hard to be the recipient of all this love. Why do people care so much? It isn't just about the stuff; it's about how our friends and family really care. And it's easy to divorce myself from the emotions of it all, because if I "give in", I feel like I could break down (like I did the other night).
So this weekend I am helpless before all this love. My emotional state, which is still fragile, feels like it is in some sort of recovery. All because of a man in a pair of jeans, walking with me in the dog park. It doesn't take much, does it? To my/our friends and loved ones, each and every action, prayer, thought, word means the difference between barely coping and feeling like it's coming together. Thank you.