Thursday, January 28, 2010

Red Car Syndrome

So you go to buy a new car. A red car. And as you're driving home, you notice all of the red cars around you. Surely there weren't that many before. Are you a trendsetter? Did they all know you were going to get one?

This is how I feel about suffering right now. There is SO MUCH suffering now, all around me. It numbs me. A local infant, shaken to death. One of my daughter's classmates just lost her dad to a hit and run. A close friend is watching her marriage of 20 years disintegrate. Metastatic cancer at 61. A local boy, having won against cancer once, now gets leukemia. And Haiti, devastated Haiti....I can't even listen to the news about it, let alone watch it. I made my Red Cross donation and turned it off. I can't process it.

Has this always been here? Why am I just seeing it now? Is this because of my suffering, or am I just the age that all this crap starts?

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Since knitting has now consumed virtually all of my reading time, I made some changes in my sidebar. No longer the nightstand, now it's what's just off my needles.

Of course, if you're on Ravelry (the best website ever designed), there are many more photos.

These socks are gorgeous, much richer pumpkin-y color in person. Fortunately, there's a fellow blogger who is a virtuoso at dying beautiful sock yarn. Check out her etsy shop here.

We'll see if I'm any better at changing up the knitting than I was at the books.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bad news

It's not often I'm the one delivering the news that a patient of mine has cancer. It may be the surgeon, the specialist, the mammogram, or the ER doc that gives the bad news. I don't avoid it; it just works out that way.

I had to today. Just the fact that he had an appointment for an acute concern was a red flag with this guy, who is nice enough, but doesn't relish coming to the doctor. My visual impression of him reinforced my concern, his complaints even more so, and his physical exam sealed the deal.

My heart sank.

I always appreciated bluntness when we got news about Henry. No mincing of words, no dancing around.

I hope he did too.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


A few months ago I mentioned another bereaved parent, who said "It doesn't get better, it's just different" as time goes by. I had another episode if wondering whether I was normal, as things were really getting better for me. But I think I've reached where she was.

For a time the grief controlled my life. It was unpredictable, overpowering, and uncontrollable. It had a power akin to cancer; I didn't know how I would feel each day, what I could or could not accomplish, whether it would be a good one or a bad one. The emotional pain was so intense it was almost physical.

Grief has gradually morphed into a much more tame beast. I can often tell when it will act up, and I can generally put it off until a convenient time if need be. I don't like living with it, but we have reached a mutual understanding. This is the part that for me is better, so much better. For a while I feared how long I could go on the way things were. It almost reminded me of labor, when you think there is no possible way that you can go on enduring more pain, and then you do.

I no longer fear that. I will live with this pseudo-domesticated companion forever. We get along ok. Honestly, I miss it when it is gone too long, again wondering if I am normal, or love my children enough. I often welcome it's sting when it returns after a break, like a religious penance.

But I find that the beast that is grief was a distraction from reality, the reality that he is gone. And now, when I am quiet, not grieving, not occupied, his absence is all around me.

That is what will never change, will never be better...just different.