Thursday, September 30, 2010

Meanwhile...Back at the Ranch...

So today is a day "on holding pattern" waiting for tomorrow when my life will change.  So, I thought I'd say a few words (and hope not to put you to sleep) about me, my family, and friends.  And if you do start to go to sleep, then thank me for the nap.  Or, you can just skip today and return tomorrow. 

My husband and I have been married for almost 40 years (we were going to celebrate with a trip soon, but we are taking a raincheck now.  Maybe we'll just go to Hastings for now).  The best part about being married that long?  You become really good friends as well as partners.  No one knows you as well as that person.  He laughs when you laugh and he hurts when you hurt.  So, right now, we are hurting together....but we also laugh together since that is what we love to do best.

We have only one child, a son, who is married, living in PA with my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter.  I always wished I had been able to have about six children, but instead God blessed me with over 1,000 through all the children I have loved at the preschool where I am Director.  The biggest regret, though, about not having more children with my husband is that my son never got the chance to tattle, fight with, compete with, love, hate, ignore, cling to, confide in, and share life with a brother or sister.  Although only children are great, and I am so happy to have's cool to have siblings!

As far as extended family, at one time there were many, now some have moved away, and some are no longer with us.  Those that moved, we try to keep in touch with by e-mail and phone...but we could be better about it (isn't that the story of all our lives?).  Right here, we have close ties with some of our nephews and cherish those ties.  And one of my nephews married someone who is my "old-same" and we are incredibly bound (you need to have read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan to understand).  I also have a niece and grand-niece that I love and we do have some friends who are more family than family can ever be and have been a part of our lives for a long time.   

I claim big bragging rights on our circle of supportive friends through our village, our churches (yeah, we both have one...but we share occasionally), our jobs, in surrounding villages and towns, and personal acquaintances from near and far.  And boy, am I going to be draining them of that support this next year (get ready, friends...and I've locked the door so you can't escape!)  I've always thought that everyone I meet has an interesting story and that our connections with each other are somehow mysteriously ordained and seem to come and go at just the right times.  I had lunch with one such friend just yesterday.  We probably know each other more intimately through e-mails than any conversation we have had face to face.  But she was the first one I thought of when I had to confess my constant, pounding fear of this new journey and I knew she would understand why.  And she did.  But there are many others out there who I know care for me and for my husband and are hurting for us and want to help and have already reached out in so many wonderful ways.  (Hey, prayer is always welcome...and it's cheap!)  We had pizza the other night with a couple that lives in NYC, who came just to be with us on the night of the last doctor visit, knowing it might be a tough night for us.  I have a friend going through this same journey with me who told me she believes in the "power of God" and the "power of shoes" as her bright pink 5" heels she wore to her last surgery seemed to bring "luck" (wouldn't you have loved to see the faces of the medical staff when her heels clicked her way in?)We have received meals from friends at my church and my husband's church to which I am thankful and my husband is ecstatic ( maybe I am not the best cook...thank god, someone else is!)  I have flowers now that are blooming in every room in our co-op thanks to friends and neighbors (and they are beautiful!)!  I also have many individuals coming to me with stories of hope and courage and survival...and I hope to be one of them...a story you will tell later to someone else.  (If the story you are bringing me is not of survival...then please keep it to person insisted on e-mailing me with all the worst parts about chemo...I clicked delete after the second sentence!)

Even people that touch your life briefly sometimes amaze and delight you.  Just one example...I have tried over the years as much as I can through the preschool, to assist children in the "Spanish" (their word of choice when they explain themselves to me) community in our village financially so they can send their children to our preschool.  It is important to them that their children have a good foundation, and I am glad they come to us.  This one "mom" that I have been helping for a while called yesterday to say "Sharon, we love you and we want to pray for you.  Our church has a special service for healing and I am going there to pray for you with some other families you know.  You have been good to the Spanish people here, and we want to pray for you."  Wow...that brought me more to tears than any other message lately....but how beautiful!  So, hey, treasure those small moments you meet someone, you never know how you will affect their lives.  (whoa...too serious now...taking back the reins!).

(But...if you happen to have some extra money that needs a cause....why I'd be happy to find a child from that community that would love to be in preschool...end of commercial break)

So, now you know the boring part, which may or may not help you understand me and this journey.  I promise not to bore you again...but thought in this lull...I should fill you in.  Stay tuned...tomorrow's the day that determines some of what is to come.

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