Wednesday, March 11, 2009

All Sunshine All Week Long


To me it matters not that we've had snow followed by 60-degree sunshine followed by hail followed by cold, clear moonbright nights. It's all sunshine, all week long, people. Maybe longer than that..
The last round of Sarah's tests came back yesterday, STAT. (Stat? Is it an acronym? Abbreviation? Anyone?) I was grateful for the hurry-up, because honestly the waiting around for dire news was shortening my life. I could feel it happening with each shattering tick of the wall clock and sad unrung bell of the phone. Just as surely as those charts that show four-pack-a-day smokers live 20 years fewer and married people live two years longer, my life expectancy was creeping backward on me with the anxiety of waiting for test results.
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For instance. Yesterday afternoon, at which point there was no "all sunshine all week long" forecast (or proclamation by me), we sat in the waiting area of a lab. I had all four girls with me because I no longer have a babysitter: 'nother story, 'nother day. So all of my girls were sitting at my feet reading old Highlights magazines and chewing on teething toys (that part's Laura). We were, as usual at midday in the lab, surrounded by elderly people.
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One woman of approximately my age was there with her mother and her mother's entourage of wheelchair, walker, oxygen tank. Everyone else was old and enamored of my beautiful babies and/or annoyed that there were children in the medical facility. You could tell.
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I struck up a conversation with the 30-something woman after I was done helping a little tiny great-grandmother flirt with Laura for a while. Laura was very obliging but the woman had to leave with her tinier great-grandfather husband. So my new chatmate was wearing a sweatshirt that proclaimed the name of a small town high school about 40 miles from me. I know the small town from my (dearly departed) real estate selling days. Picture a Main Street and a cluster of cute antique peddlers surrounded by grass seed farms as far as the eye can see.
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The main employer of that cute little town is (was) the recreational vehicle industry. Those who didn't work grass seed and its cousin, livestock feed (a huge industry of its own), worked designing, making and marketing enormous land yachts that cost the equivalent of a luxury home sans wheels. These were family wage jobs and better, all chaff on the wind of our economy.
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I asked how her cute little town is doing. She shrugged the tiniest shrug and answered, "No one has a job. No one. [Quick glance at her mother.] No one." Despair is a sin, I've heard, because it evidences a lack of hope. I for one am pretty determined to remain hopeful, but some circumstances are so sobering as to give pause, to blot out the light of hope long enough to starve it a little.
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I thought about touring the sun- and snow-bleached high desert ghost towns of Montana as a child with my mother and brother. We went on some elaborate history trips and my photographer mom was enamored of falling-down gold miners' shacks and storefronts. Hmm. There were beautiful hopes and dreams and families in those homes. Or maybe that's romanticizing the past. There was illness and hunger too, surely.
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What we want for our children, all of us, is this unblemished beautiful apple of a life. What they get, unfortunately, is the same reality we've all received. It's messy and painful and beautiful. If someone were going to work out the pain-free version, I'd be lining right up. Wouldn't you?
Sarah's tests show no sign of cancer. She has some more imaging tests to go through but the worst spectre is gone. The clock ticks normally, the phone rings without inciting panic attacks.
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It's going to be all sunshine all week long.

5 comments:

Misty said...

oddly enough I'm encouraged and a wee bit depressed all at once...

HP said...

Hallelujah.

Barb said...

I'm with HP. I think my blood just left my body, pooled around my ankles and shot back up again.

Thank God. It sounds like the "happiness Turnaround" is at YOUR house. Thank God, I say.

Vickie said...

Thank Goodness her test came back good. I hope and pray the rest will also. Come on by I have something for you. Take Care :)

QuiltedSimple said...

That is great news that her tests came back well!
Kris