Sunday, June 28, 2009
Christmas 2008. Jessica and me with her entire maternal family.
Since last I wrote here at Spark, life has taken a number of interesting curves. The first started almost immediately after I wrote the last post. Seriously.
Backstory: my wife's 84-year-old grandmother, a 10-year breast cancer survivor, had relapsed in fall 2008 with new tumors in her lungs and femurs. Back on radiation, chemo, etc... but she still lived on her own. Insisted on it, in fact. Stubborn lady. :) In December I took on the role of helping Lois get around to doctor's appointments, made sure she was eating regularly, and otherwise kept her company many days.
Fast forward to late February, a bad flu, and a particularly rough round of chemo. Lois had had enough, and on Friday, February 27th, she decided it was time to stop the treatments and move in with her daughter to live out her life. Small detail: Jessica and I were already living at the house. Finances being what they were, and Lois's needs being what they were, it made sense for us to all stay in the house.
Everything went well for several weeks -- Lois recovered from her flu, had a red-blood-cell transfusion to combat anemia, and was a bundle of energy. Then came some pain in her belly (her first ever cancer-related pain!), significant enough to send her to hospital on a Thursday evening. Overnight stay, ultrasound, etc... they determined that the cancer had metastasized to her liver much worse than previously thought).
Lois was started on hospice care on the Saturday, and I became her primary caregiver. Three weeks later she died, peacefully and surrounded by her entire family.
Those three weeks were a life-altering experience for me. Then came the funeral, sorting out affairs, etc... and the small matter of my 100-guest wedding on May 30. While taking care of Lois, wedding planning was the farthest thing from my mind (much to the chagrin of my infinitely patient spouse). Suddenly the wedding was much closer and was my sole priority. Time to switch gears.
To be honest, it took me several weeks to switch gears completely - again, much to Jessica's chagrin. But I finally did, the day of the wedding arrived, and the entire event was a smashing success. Another life-altering experience. For one thing, it was the first time in nearly 30 years that my parents had seen each other (or for that matter even spoken). THAT took a while to process. Then I had the pleasure of seeing several disparate groups of friends together in once place for the first time. Very cool.
It's been a long year.
Now that's all out of the way, it's time to turn my attention to matters of health and fitness once again.