Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"How are you doing?"

posted by Mary Lello, Tuesday, September 8, 2009, 5:01 AM

Of course people ask this all the time. Of course they really want to know how I am, how I'm doing. I just find it really hard to answer sometimes and wonder if they want the long version or the short version?

The short version is "hanging in there" or "OK?". Yes, said with a question mark at the end. My older sister use make fun of that book "You're OK. I'm OK" by saying "You're OK, am I OK?" And this is how I feel. I know YOU are OK but I do question whether I'm OK sometimes!

The long version changes from moment to moment. At this moment I'm O.K. But yesterday morning when I looked up from the breakfast dishes and saw Jim at the breakfast table crying I wasn't so OK. How to explain, how to answer this question when Jim and I are grieving the loss of our wonderful life and trying to learn how to dance through this one. To make lemonade out of this batch of lemons that has been served us.

Jim said yesterday morning "I use to be such a positive person. I use to be able to see a possible good in some bad thing." Both of us use to be positive people taking life's knocks as lessons, as a chance to grow and transform but this one has knocked us both off our feet and it's hard to find our footing. It's hard to keep my faith that there is some divine plan here.

I'm learning how to cry easily though. No more stoic, dry-eyed Mary. I cry all the time now. I was out trail running with Ella and stopped to lean over, with hands on my thighs and cry. With drool and tears falling onto the dried Queen Anne's Lace I just sobbed as I asked the Universe what is the point here? As I stood and wiped my cheeks with the back of my hands a huge Red Tailed Hawk was soaring over me. At that moment I told myself "you're OK, you can do this" and I breathed in the late afternoon light and finished my run.

"How is Jim doing?" Well the short version is "OK. Slow, baby steps forward but as long as we keep going forward it's good" The long version is - sometimes he's incredibly frustrated. Sometimes he just puts his head down and cries. Sometimes he's very scared and sometimes he's just tired. Sometimes I hear him laugh, but not often now. Sometimes he feels angry but always more at the situation then any one person and always he is gracious, thankful for the littlest things and kind.

I always try to listen for the blessings dropping all around us. Yesterday they hit us with a THUD. A member of Jim's cycling team, Cyclemainia, had a cord of wood to give away and posted this on their website. Our friend Art jumped on it and asked that it be given to us. Art got "an army" of guys to come over to help. Jim and I stood on the deck and watched this group of friends unload and stack this wood .... for us. I got crying because the love at that moment was all around us. An amazing blessing to be so surrounded and embraced by the love of friends like this!

That was the fastest stacking job I've ever witnessed too!

And sometimes Jim and I cry because we do feel so much love for each other, for our family, for our friends - these are the more joyous tears but it's funny how such intense feelings of love can still make you ache.

At this moment I'm up too early and feel exhausted but Jim slept better last night then he did the night before so I'm OK.

Loving you all back,


PS - we get the MRI today. I hope to have Weisburg call us and give us a briefing on it later this week. I shall post what we know when we know it.

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