My family is reeling now, from news that my sister's cancer has returned. God, I think. That is worse. That burden is definitely worse.
A cousin of mine died suddenly this week, leaving behind a wife and 4 children. He was 39. God, I think. There is nothing—nothing—in my life, that even begins to touch the heartache of those he left behind. I ache for them, and know: Their burden is far, far worse.
Virginia Tech. My son was safer in Baghdad than he would have been on one of our own college campuses last week. How messed up is that?
There are two more women in my family with cancer right now. I lost 2 other friends in the last 10 days.
It's been too much to write, and focusing on the joys interspersed in that time seemed somehow disrespectful in the light of other's troubles. A dissertation or two about basil seed drinks and Clamato were my outlet.
But now I'm back.
To be honest, I'm a little fried. Once again, sleep does not come to me. When it does, it's in short spurts. I awake several times a night, thinking about Brian. All of that bucking up during waking hours haunts me at 2:30 a.m. And 3:38 a.m. And 4:58 a.m....
"You look tired," people are saying to me now, on a regular basis.
I know. I know I do, and I promise you I'm doing double-time to remedy that. Or, at least, to take care of myself. I really am trying to sleep. I'm managing the occasional 20-minute nap when I can squeeze one in. I'm fixing salads. Opting for club soda. Taking a walk every day. I bought vitamins.
I am blessed with wonderful friends and family, and to be living in a great community. You all continue to make me a laugh every day. Your emails, greeting cards, blog comments, and stepping out of your way to say "hey" are all what keeps the scale in my life still tipping in my favor. I'd wager most of you don't even know who you are.
This weekend was the deadline to get in any contributions to the Artists Against Aids show. I promised myself I'd submit this year, for the first time. Ugh. I'm tired. I didn't want to do it. I wasn't pleased with the photos, hypercritical of my work, and depressed and it's all stupid, and who would buy my stuff anyway?!!
But SDF inspired me last week when I read on her blog that she'd preregistered. I did, after all, ask her to join me this year in entering something. How could I wimp out after that?!!
And I picked out 2 or 3 stupid photos that I found tolerable, and I broke down and matted and framed them today. And I set a few more "maybe's" aside.
And Marcy and Mike joined me at the registration table, and while I whined about this one, they acted wow'd. And they helped me change out a few mats, and move a few frames around, and they shined up the glass, and told me to put higher price tags on them.
Thanks to my friends, I contributed 7 photographs, and left feeling good about each of them. If they sell, great. If I bring them back home after the show, that's fine too. Submitting them into a public venue is just one more hurdle cleared, and one more item crossed off of my "things to do before I die" list.
We celebrated with an ice tea at Cafe Kopi, and then went our separate ways, this evening.
And I came home and phone my dear friend Diane, who, as I write, sleeps, along with her two sisters, in their mother's hospice room.
And told her I loved her, and sent hugs to her family.
And I hope to hell that my phone call and short conversation provides her with even a fraction of the comfort that you all have provided me, during tumultuous days.
Because I am learning, people.
I am learning:
We really do make a difference in each other's lives.