Saturday, December 31, 2011

An appendectomy and Adieu

Our 17th anniversary started with a sponge bath. A very thorough sponge bath. Not a sexy role playing thing, it was a bath of necessity.

As I helped Tim wash away 2 days of hospital funk, scrubbed his hair, his scruff, I thought "So this is what they mean about sickness and health". I told him that thought.

We've been together a long time, almost half of our lives. We're weathered together, our skin, our souls. We've come through.

I had his ring on my necklace for two days, he gave it to me pre-op, a quick exchange before they took him up for an emergent appendectomy. It is a major minor surgery, usually quick if not painless. But still my heart hit my throat when I saw him on the gurney, spoke with the surgeon, watched them wheel him away, sat in the stuffy waiting room.

I signed onto the caring for others almost the same year we came together. I've been doing both for a very long time now. I can say when the two intersect, it may not be my strong point. It is one thing to care for a stranger for 45 minutes and then walk away. Quite another when it is someone you love, when that someone is your spouse.

He is on the mend. A bit of a surly and anxious patient but home and on the mend. He walks strighter by the half hour, things seem to be righting, the surgeon was pleased with the simplicity of a sometimes complex surgery. The boys welcomed him home, all shouts and questions, happy that their daddy only lost something inside his tummy.

We've postponed our leaving all with well wishes and little issue, folks sending healing thoughts and prayers, friends bringing funny gag gifts that even made the surgeon laugh.

(That's a ceramic Lassie. She has a new appendix for Tim in her mouth. Clever sweet friends)

Weathering another storm, this one quick and hard, waking to a New Year's Eve day hard, bright and hot. All clear.

I wish I could tell you about how Tim saved me this night 17 years ago but the details are a little compromising. He was there though...kissed me, bundled me up and took me home, let me use his toothbrush...the first of maybe what is a 1000 times now. We've not been apart since. Distance at times, struggle at times but the relationship? Right there.

That night when I used his toothbrush I was, ah, seeing things. I was in his bathroom brushing my teeth when I glanced into the mirror and there I was, about 89 years old; not Me young but Me old, so old. And that's when I knew. I was right where I was meant to be. A big thing to realize at 19 but unavoidable in a way.

I don't know if we'll make it to that vision in the mirror together, wizened old ones. But the last 2 days, the last 17 years actually, well, they are just proof that I would like to.

Happy anniversary, MCD. Glad you are okay.
Good night, 2011. Hello, 2012.
All the lighter for the loss of an appendix.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Bones knit themselves in the most beautiful of ways. When you fracture a bone it is apart, the strongest part of your body. It repairs the damage first by laying a new structure, a filigree really. Over time that delicate web fills itself in and becomes what is called a callus. The callus is never really the bone it was before, it is never as elegant, never as joined. But that callus marks that spot, where that bone fractured, bears the mark until the bone is dust again. I think sometimes that human souls are the same. Human souls can fracture but they heal…by building a network…and filling it in with a callus. Forever marked but whole in a new way.

I spent a weekend with some fantastically beautiful women and finished it by building a new structure on my body. I took some time for myself and ended up coming home marked forever in a way I feel completely comfortable with. There was a moment when I went breathless, sitting in that chair in that parlor, feeling the deep stinging pull of the needles and the question formed in my mind… What does this mean to me? But then I let it go because it is what it is.

I did yoga in a room that gazed out over what has been called a meatgrinder sea. On this day it was not, it was flat and yet not. The wind would sail across it and smooth it and push it and ripple it and then throw it but a gentle throw, nothing like I know. Nothing like my sea. I was in a room with women I had come to adore in 24 hours and shared what I find to be a most scared experience, the practice of yoga. There is something that happens when you breath in unison, you become a tribe.

I think humans souls knit themselves like fractures…possibly if they are lucky, possibly if they are strong, possibly if… but no, that is wrong. We live and breathe and so we heal and that is really the only possibility. It is what it is.


One of the amazing things about the human body is its complexity and its ferocity when it is in need of healing. My fascination with this process makes me what I am, it is why I do what I do. But forever I will turn to breathing in unison and chanting a mantra in a safe space as my healing choice for the soul. When you chant you lose all boundary of Self because if you didn't, well, you would just feel ridiculous. Those moments shared, chanting with women I love sealed a conviction I have long held true, one I find hard to articulate as maybe all truths are.

And so I went on that Monday to a man named Lee and asked him to put that seal on me, where I can see it. In a way it felt like the most fitting healing despite infliction. And now home again, I glance down and I am happy for the moments that led to this. And ready for the next moments.


When the Universe speaks and if you want to listen, you just do. And then you smile, rub some ointment on your healing wrists and go along.