This noon I ate an egg salad sandwich. Not long ago, I would not have had the strength to make the egg salad, let alone want to eat a sandwich. I am blessed by both the loss of 40 pounds and the ability to eat again.
This afternoon I sat in my favorite chair watching a pot of tulip buds bloom before my eyes. They were a gift from daughter-in-law. They will give me pleasure for days.
Yesterday I saw a brilliant colors in the tree outside my window. A cardinal and a bluebird perched together basking in the sunshine. What fun!
A few days ago, I received a hand-made card with a moving Holy Week poem about “flesh and spirit torn” from one of the members of a writing club I established years ago. Seeing her grow in confidence and in skill has been a real blessing for me.
The past few days I have been enjoying the run of victories by a young woman on Jeopardy. And I’m very grateful that despite the “word salad” that is evident now in my speech due to the side effects of my chemo, I was able to answer several questions!
A friend sent me a generous check this a few days ago (her family has blessed me before with unexpected financial gifts – as have others). I have always loved to support several organizations with donations, but since Fred died I have had to be much more careful about finances. But this week I was able to donate half of that gift to Doctors Without Borders for their work in Ukraine. I was so grateful to be able to help someone else after all the help I have received!
The first week of April a friend gave me a ride to the Ambulatory Treatment Center at our local hospital so I could have two shots of Evusheld, a new monaclonal antibody treatment for COVID that lasts for six months. My cancer doctor ordered this for me because I am one of those compromised people who wouldn’t do well with COVID. In fact, one of my greatest blessings is that I have survived this two-year nightmare without getting COVID. Since I had to wait for an hour after the shots in case of side effects, my friend and I had a meaningful conversation about widowhood. I have been a widow for more than a year and a half. Her husband died in mid-February. It was interesting to see how our different perspectives change as time goes by.
A few days ago another friend gave me a ride to the Cancer Center to have blood drawn in preparation for my chemo next this week. We also went out to lunch. This was the first time I have been in a public space (other than doctors’ offices) since the arrival of COVID 19. I almost didn’t know how to act! I also ordered a huge “mini-gourmet” salad “to go;” tonight I will enjoy the last of three meals it provided.
This week I’ve been been reading a book by Michael Eric Dyson entitled Tears We Cannot Stop, A Sermon to White America. Tears filled my eyes as I learned even more about the mistreatment of black men and their sons. I also finally finished a 500+page masterpiece, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson – the story of the black migration north to escape the Jim Crow south. It also brought tears. I closed each book wishing I could talk to my black husband and his father, one dead for 19 months and the other for decades, so I could learn more about the experiences that shaped their lives in white America. And this week a fellow-book lover made another of her visits to deliver more books I have had “on hold” at the library. I’m excited to see what these books will bring.
And so . . . life goes on: the horrific war in Ukraine, the terror of COVID 19, my ongoing battle with multiple-myeloma (an incurable blood cancer), and my life living alone. Every day has its challenges, but they have been outnumbered by the blessings – with more to come.