Archive | 6:59 am

Sunday Thoughts

1 Jul

pink rose bud

Originally uploaded by egret’s nest

This is not one of my roses. I took this picture of a lovely climbing rose at the high school while waiting for Gage. The rose is utterly beautiful and I seriously thought about getting a cutting of it. The only reason I didn’t is that I only have one spot for a climbing rose now and I want one that I see all over the older homes here in Boulder Creek. I have to remember to get a cutting of it so I can root it and grow my own here. It’s similar to this one.

My new roses are interesting. The red one is utterly thriving. Blooming already, leaves glossy and moist — one happy rose. The one that I don’t know what color it will be is in the middle — some happy leaves, some sort of fried but I think I pruned it back enough and it will be fine. The Oregold is not happy — pouting and whining about being transplanted. All but like three of the leaves are crispy. I am planning to go out today and prune it back even further than I did — back to the happy leaves. And, yes, everyone, I’m watering, watering, watering. We’ve had great weather for it — sunny and nice but not outrageously hot.

My old roses are doing well, Buds on both of them. They seem to have forgiven me for the vigorous pruning at a weird time of year.

We are going over to my in-law’s today for our weekly Miller Mission. I hope that my father-in-law is having a good day. After seeking a 2nd opinion on his treatment from some wonderful doctors at Stanford’s Comprehensive Cancer Clinic, we are all feeling much better about his treatments. However, the decision was to end this current round of chemo. The chemo isn’t helping but is hurting his body too much. We’re hoping that with the chemo ended, his appetite will improve and he can get stronger and feel better for the time he has left. The doctor has recommended a course of steroids to help with that process.

I think the hardest thing about all of this is balancing the various emotions flowing around me. My husband and his sister are hanging desperately onto any shred of hope as a lifeline. My mother-in-law is reading my father-in-law’s emotions and feelings while she deals with the day-to-day struggle of seeing her beloved husband fail. I suspect the end is coming sooner than we think but I know that my husband and his sister aren’t ready for that.

While talking to my MIL, I told her that I never thought that anything would make me feel better about how my own father died. When I was 12, he was killed in a helicopter crash. It was unexpected, sudden, and fait acompli. There was no preparing for it, no adjusting to it. I always thought it would be better to have the time to know it was coming, to prepare, to say good-bye. Well, I don’t think it is. If I thought that the grieving we are doing now would lessen the grief when he’s gone, I could handle it better but I don’t think it will. I think this is just extending the suffering for all of us. It’s a very painful time.

Talking to my children and helping them prepare for the death of their grandfather is heartbreaking. We missed a window with my daughter. She is growing up faster than we realize at nearly 9 years old, she is much more aware than we give her credit for. Last week, I came home to find her asleep on the couch. I woke her up and she burst into tears immediately. She had overheard Greg updating a friend on the phone and figured out that Grampa was terminal. She — in her old soul, smart way — shut down until I came home and could help her deal with it. To Hell with dinner, I sat down and held her and talked to her and rocked her and stroked her hair while she railed against the unfairness of it all. My beautiful, smart, loving child.

My son is handling what he can handle in his way. He knows that the medicine that was supposed to fight off the cancer didn’t work and that the cancer is winning. But I don’t think he knows that means that Grampa will die. He knows its serious but he’s not ready for that talk yet. He’s only 7-1/2 and the difference between 7-1/2 and 9 is, apparently, more than 18 months. Who knew?

So, I am trying to stop and smell the roses in this difficult time while knowing that harder times are to come.