Hi Friends --
A quick update for those curious about how I fared with Foxy's fighter jets at work through this third round -- the fast headline is that the mountain got somewhat steeper, and the view from the climb ever more expansive.
For those interested in a mini play by play, the side effects I've heard of decided to make a bit of an entrance this time around. Lots of fatigue ("why yes, I do think I'll take a nap," is now a thing I say with more ease), and some nagging neuropathy in my hands and fingers is a new feature. (I had to google it too -- think tingly fingers that feel more like sharp swipes, and then a sensation of losing control of your hands.) So if I were a professional knitter or guitar player, these past few days would have been a complete disaster.
But fortunately, I'm neither. And so I found ways to ask for help with anything that required careful dexterity, took breaks to breathe deep, and nap.
And now for the ever growing view from the climb. Here's a glimpse of what I saw, and am living.
A mom who visited to sit near me throughout, who's climbing her own awful mountain of grief. How do you lose your husband of 54 years and then days later sit near your daughter hooked into chemo drips? She did, with grace and bountiful love.
My forever honorary aunt, Patty, who came to be near, both to me and my mom. She brought cards to pass the time with Foxy, expert advice on how to accessorize during both chemo and an upcoming memorial service, plus laughter and reminders that hope and joy are stubborn, and won't leave even in these upside down days.
My friend of more than 25 years, Tracy, who came all the way from North Carolina, to simply be true to the deepest and truest love that friendship invites us to live out. And of course there's nothing simple about that kind of love. It's abundant and awe-inspiring.
There's more. My 16 year old Connor with his signature swagger found a way to solve little problems when I was barely paying attention. He also bought his first guitar, and if there's anything better than hearing your son come home, sit on the couch, and riff on "Here Comes the Sun" for fun, I'd like to know what it is.
Plus this. My daughter Lucy arrived home after a week of helping to rebuild homes from Hurricane Harvey in Houston. I heard stories about construction and working as a team, but mostly what she described is how she and other teenagers carved out a week to bring a dash of beauty for the long road out of hurricane terrible.
Lucy reminded me that beauty must always have an artist behind it -- today more than ever, I'm mindful that the beauty that surrounds my climb is all by design. It's generous, full of wonder, and the very best kind of inspiration for the switchbacks ahead.
Onward, and upward.