I don't even remember April....it went so quickly.....a month of hope and then snow.....hope and then snow again. An April 14 blizzard. It is over 70 here today and I opened a few windows. Feels like heaven.
My uncle Bob died a couple weeks ago and Dick and I spent last week driving to Midland, Michigan for his funeral. His death is a big loss for me and my 2 brothers and cousins. He was the patriarch of the Hieb clan. His death passes down that term to my older brother Mike and to me, as the matriarch. We're the trunk of the tree now, not the branches. Not a designation that either of us wanted. In my own nuclear family, my only nephew (a Hieb) is having his first baby in June. If he ends up having girls, the Hieb name ends in our branch of the Hieb family. If he has a boy, the name endures for another generation.
We were gone for a week and Dick had a recurrence of the clostridium starting on the 4th day of travel. (again, REALLY?) He dealt with it for 3 days before we decided to leave earlier than expected, after the funeral and dinner, so that we could get a jump on getting home to his doctor. We opted for the ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee to save some time and he was able, finally, after 4 days of symptoms, to get into the doc and get started on yet another (3rd) round of antibiotics. It doesn't even need to be said that he regrets going on the Haiti trip for what it has cost him and caused him.
After a month of looking and talking, we decided on a car to replace the totaled Envoy. Sad to think of our beloved "Fred" sitting in a salvage yard in Minneapolis. We took our 17-year-old Rosie to Michigan, her final road trip before she becomes the town car. The looking is over and that makes me enormously happy. A painful process.
I have been going to physical therapy with a PT who is specially trained in vertigo/balance issues, which I have. He has to INDUCE those symptoms in me to do the necessary work and it is not fun. But I hope to progress.
When I reflect on this cancer road and how it has twisted and turned, I feel like such a different woman than I was in 2010 when they gave me 16 months to live. I cannot do a great deal of what I used to be able to do....those are losses I live with daily. On the other hand, my faith is stronger, my belief in healing is real, and I think I have become a softer, more compassionate woman. I ask God every day to show me where I can be a blessing to somebody else experiencing grief, loss, sickness, alienation, fear, anxiety, depression or
When I was working at the food pantry the other day, a client came in who I had never seen before. She was a beautiful cocoa-skinned woman with a "chemo hat" on her head. I heard one of the other volunteers mention cancer and I felt like I could be bold enough, as a fellow cancer patient, to introduce myself and ask her how she was doing. She introduced herself to me and gave me a summary of where she was at. I told her how well I understood what she was experiencing.....from the chemo fog to hair loss to memory loss. We talked at length.
She was encouraged that my hair grew back (as ugly as it is). I asked her if she had a faith she could rely on. She is a Christian and an avid pray-er. We promised each other to put each other in our prayers. I got her phone number, and after running into her twice at Walmart and once again at the food pantry, I feel convicted that the Lord wants me to do more. I am going to invite her over for tea on a day when she is not reeling from chemo side-effects.
I am not a Mormon but I do appreciate what the LDS president said to Mitt Romney's mother, who was going blind at the end of her life, "Only the wounded can fight in the Lord's army." I am one of those wounded warriors who wants to fight with and for others, especially those who are experiencing the same issues I have dealt with over the decades.
Moving north for the summer is only a few weeks ago and I am FAR from ready. But whatever I forget to pack (and my compromised brain promises I will), if I have some good books, flip-flops, sunscreen and a brimmed hat, I should be good.
I saw on Facebook: The governor of MN has ordered that all residents must remove their fish-house off the lake by July 3rd so they can set up for fireworks. I am not laughing too much. Last week we heard that our ice is still about 30 ft deep!!
May your May be full of sun and warmth. We ALL deserve it, no matter where we live!!
|Our very comfortable ferry across Lake Michigan|
|Nicer than a plane for comfort!! There were only about 15 people on the ferry. It had only opened for the season the day before!|
|All the Hieb cousins (2 could not come)|
|All the Hieb cousins with several of their spouses and my Aunt Nancy. We know how deeply she is missing Uncle Bob.|