One Less Christmas Card

First, I must apologize for being so remiss in attending this blog as well as frequenting all the lovely blogs I had become acquainted with earlier in the year.  This has been one humdinger of a year for me and so I thought I would come back in typical fashion with the laundry list of what’s been going on in my world and then attempt to work my way back into the writing I love and miss.

I had my daughter in a planned home birth in the wee hours of a Sunday morning in September.  Just a day shy of being 41 weeks pregnant I went into labor and, well, less than four hours and one push later my little 7lb 14oz bundle of joy was born.  This was also exactly one week after Hurricane Irene walloped parts of my state (not my area).  So, yeah for good timing!

3am and we're thrilled.

Now, the not so good.  The end of October brought in a pre-Halloween Nor’easter that dumped about 20 inches of snow on leaf laden trees and brought about a state of emergency in CT that blew away (haha) any records the hurricane had set.  Trick-or treating was cancelled in many towns, millions of people were without power, and my family and I were uprooted and hunkered down for 8 out of the 9 day power outage with my parents who had a generator.  And running water.  Temps I could deal with, but my kids?  Reaching over and feeling my bundled up seven week old baby and realizing her cheeks were cold after one day without power in freezing temps had me biting the bullet and being forever grateful to my parents and for having a place to go.  My neighbors were amazing as we brought out grills, pooled resources and cooked breakfast for the building.  It was only the night before we all hung out in one unit, munching on chips by candlelight, my three year old and his two year old chum running around, and thinking it was very odd for a Nor’easter to bring a bunch of lightning with it.  Apparently those blue flashes were various transformers blowing as trees fell and cracked the telephone poles in half.

Hubby kept running home to check on our kitties as internal temps of the condo got to be just above 50 as he worked to manage the damage to the association property (he had just been elected assoc Pres a few days before the storm) AND run his store since it was part of the 2% in that town with power.  Our town was at 100% without power as were many in CT.

We returned home on November 7th under a boil water advisory and to a phone call from the friend of a friend.  Lovely woman who, honestly, is one of the bravest I know.  She called me, a virtual stranger, to tell me that our mutual friend was going to enter hospice.  The next morning she called to tell me he had passed.  It took guts to make those calls and I will be forever grateful for her doing that.  So much better than to find out through fb posts.  This man had been a friend of me and hubby’s since before we were married.  Must have been at least 12 years – back in the days of being relatively fresh out of high school and trying to figure out what it meant to be an adult.  Over the summer he had called, not to talk about food adventures – he was a true foody, but to talk about how nervous he was about an upcoming appointment.  Symptoms he had, when plugged into the most vile Web MD, seemed to line up with lymphoma.  Granted, as I told him then, just about ALL symptoms you plug into a website come up with “you may have cancer”, but as it turned out – Web MD was right.  Fast forward from the results of the FNA, to the surgical biopsy and PET scan, and then you have a friend who saw an oncologist and got the diagnosis of Stage 3 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Again, I have to give a big shout out to the woman mentioned above – she was with my friend at that appointment.  I thank the stars people like her exist and that my friend knew her and had her in his life.

It was about 2.5 months from diagnosis to passing.  It felt like only a few weeks after he was admitted when he told me he couldn’t have solid foods because of a perforated small intestine.  And the cancer was still being fought and the battle seemed to be going well…  Now, I look at a Christmas tree my three year old son insisted upon and think of the pile of Christmas cards I need to finish writing up and how I’d rather skip the entire damned season because of the handwriting I won’t see on that expected greeting.  One less person I’ll get a call from saying he’s in the state and wants to visit.  One less number I’ll dial to talk politics, film, and new recipes over.  One less snarky and clever light to be around.  One less friend.  One less Christmas card.

I was supposed to make cookies for him when he could eat solids again, to crochet him an orange scarf for winter, and now…  I’m left with a jar of macadamia nuts and some lovely orange yarn.   The cookies will be made and put into my baking gifts in his honor while the scarf will be made and donated to those in need.  Sullenly, I just really wish I were sending them to MD.  To that apartment where I would send birthday and Christmas cards.

Back to regular posting, hopefully, in the next few days/weeks.

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8 responses to “One Less Christmas Card

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