Thursday, March 18, 2010

My god, they are fun

The great room looked like a crime scene. Only the yellow tape was missing. Couch pillows were tossed haphazard near the footstool. A paperback was in mid-flutter on the floor. Her glasses could get stepped on any minute.

The kitchen looked worse. It was a scene laced with ominous undertones -- a hammer wrapped in a dishtowel was on the counter. Although it looked bad, it was the hammer that signaled everything was actually OK.

During the night, the Mystery Woman had slipped out of bed and come downstairs to wrestle with atrial fibrillation, a heart problem that can be very painful. She uses the hammer to crack ice needed to deaden her jaw pain. She’s on new meds and this is the shake-down period while the docs try to get the dosage balanced.

It’s tough to watch. So, unless the pain is too severe, she simply doesn’t waken me. Meanwhile, her heart is racing like she was running a marathon. A-fib is serious because it can set off strokes and/or heart attacks. But, the doctors say, it is usually not life-threatening. Their words ring a little hollow.

But each day the Mystery Woman shakes off the rigors of the long night, sits down at her computer and begins rewrites on the children’s novel she is writing. It will mark the fifth book she has written. Keeps her young. She giggles as she writes.

Downstairs, in separate living quarters, her tiny little mother is quietly living with pancreatic cancer. Every day, she is up. Alert. Forever curious. Finding fun. Cracking wise. She is in her 90th year.

Neither woman complains much. Nor asks for special treatment. They are tough, self-reliant women who need only to be reminded sometimes that they are loved. They don’t seem to know how much they are adored.

Each gives new life to the quote from Alice Longworth Roosevelt, who said, “First you’re young, then you’re middle-aged, then you’re wonderful.”

Just wonderful.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. In the future, please write less about being sick.

And more about being wonderful.

Mystery Woman

Colleen said...

What a nice thing to say about your two ladies.
Thanks for the smile this afternoon!
Then I laughed out loud after clicking on comments.

Anonymous said...

bravo! and well said.

Anonymous said...

I loved today's piece! Bravo!

Would you please give the Mystery Woman a love-peck for me? I'm sorry she had a hard night.

Ken said...

It's great to read how all of you are hanging tough, winter, imperfect health, and all. Life is Good!

jaybee said...

Everyone should be so lucky as to have someone cherish her. It is a beautiful thing to share, and knowing the Mystery Woman, none of this is at all surprising.

Can't wait to read the next book.

Anonymous said...

Knowing the Mystery Woman, none of this is a bit of a surprise! She is always and will forever be the most positive person I know!


Anonymous said...

all my reminders of love go out to the MW and Granny.

-Chris Stratton

Diana (Diane) Maria said...

This is a great post - beautifully written and touching.

There is an award waiting for you on my blog - Moe Daily.

Paula said...

Thank you for this, George. It's lovely.

Anonymous said...

You are so right, George. They are wonderful and so are you for noticing!


Julia said...

Ditto to what Mystery Woman said. How great that you have such wonderful women around you, and thank you from both of us for being there for them!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, except for the parts about the heart racing, the jaw aching and the pancreatic cancer. Ah, you know what, those parts fit too. All good stories need conflict, right? Laughter is the best medicine - so nice to know you three enjoy plenty of it. Thanks for holding down the fort, George. We love you.

John & Karin

Linda said...

I love this and I love you guys. I've never seen you happier and those two amazing women seem to be responsible. I've got to get back to Minneapolis. Beautifully written with love.

Hugs to all!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they are lucky to have you!!

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