first let's do this because I read it and was bowled over. 
“Grief can destroy you --or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see that it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”

--Dean Koontz one of those Odd Thomas books.  

Echoes of Our Town, a play that always annoyed me because it's almost impossible not to be caught and dragged along by that very sentiment.

Still with me? 

Okay. I'm doing the emotional thing because I've spent most of the last week or so in panic mode adjusting to the fact that someday in my future, maybe soon, maybe later, I'm going to have to have heart surgery--valve replacement. The thing wrong with my heart, aortic regurgitation, is something they see in people who are in their 70s or who have bad genes. (The people with really, REALLY bad genes get the operation in their teens.)

One more test and we'll know if I get to be left alone for a while or if I have to have a life interrupted sooner rather than later. 

WARNING: If one more person tells me "it's standard procedure! all good! You'll be fine!" I will deck that person. Once this adjustment period ends, I'll be able to smile and nod and say "so I hear." But first I need to be mad and panicky about the fact. I declare this as my right. I haul up my weenie response flag and wave it high. 

Yes, I know plenty of people have it worse. Yes, I shall get some perspective, Rothwell. Yes, I know--that even if  I keeled over now, I've had a good run, better than many people-- even ones I've known and loved and lost. 

But still: Adjustment period. 

Yesterday I saw a lady walking around in Marshalls in scrubs and almost passed out with the sudden flood of panic I saw in that costume all of it: hospital/pain/helplessness/anaesthesthia/bedpans/recovery/death/[worst of all]panic. For someone who doesn't spend a lot of time in Marshalls,I tend to have a lot of major emotional moments there. 

Today, I had a stress test and passed with flying colors--name them, I saw them RED GREEN YELLOW PINK. All the colors--why? Because I am now allowed to exercise again. 

And yesterday's rush of fear was matched by a rush of joy that almost knocked me over. I don't even like exercise but being told that I'm allowed to run....God, it was wonderful. 

Tomorrow, one of those MRIs with radioactive dye to look for aneurisms.

This is all common, all normal. Part of any life**. I'm still making room for it in mine.


**any life with good healthcare and an excellent GP who does a good exam. And don't you be reminding me of that. Jesus, I know should be grateful Shut. Up. 


  1. Whoa! Serious ((((((((((((hugs))))))))))!! No one wants to be told something might be wrong with a vital body part. Panic would be my #1 response. Does the MD saying "it's okay for you to exercise" mean surgery has been delayed indefinitely?

  2. Surgery is down the road--how far, I don't know. It could be as long as a decade? Today's MRI should give some answer about that. I suspect if there's an aneurism, surgery will be sooner rather than later. . . I'll eventually educate myself using The Google, but at the moment, I'm going for the sticking my fingers in my ear and LALALALALALALA method about the topic. My kid asked me if I would rather do a plastic or pig valve. My answer LALALALALALALALALA


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