Monday, September 14, 2009

Art Park and Linda

It's rainy here, drizzling. I'm wearing my pajamas and sitting around, and it's super nice to be doing so. It's just one of those days when you feel like doing nothing but curling up with a good book.
Unfortunately, no book and curling up are happening. School is back in full swing and there's only sleeping in on weekends again. It's ok, though. I'm working on balance, so at least I have time when I get home to think of something other than school. It's really been working out fairly well. The last week was all stress and crying, but when I get it straight in my head how being something other than super-teacher is okay, it feels really good. It feels SO good not to be thinking about school when I'm doing other things. Even if it's just laying around!

So maybe you're wondering what's up with the photo of the park. That's the Art Park here in Deep Ellum, and it's pretty awesome if I do say so myself. When I moved to this area, it was really in a slump, but now the community- of artists and musicians and just badass people in general- that has been here all along, is finally being seen and heard. And the Art Park is part of that. They had entry forms for those who wanted a chance to paint the cement sculptures- which were last painted 10 years ago- and I made the cut! Though very marginally and placed in the back area, I'm still really proud of it.
Which leads me to my dear friend Linda. I received an email today that mentioned an update on her blog that I had not read. I'm afraid that the update was the last thing I could've possibly wanted to read.

Her husband Dan wrote,
"I am sorry it has taken so long to update you but I kept hoping day after day that I would have some good news to share with you. Instead, Linda has still been in the hospital since 9/2 and we don’t have a date when she will get to come home. Without going into all the details of what has been happening, I will simply tell you I’m scared. While trying to maintain a somewhat stable environment for the boys, I also shared with them that the cancer is progressing rapidly……. And at this point they are working to keep Linda comfortable. Please continue to pray.... that she gets to come home soon. She asked me this week to promise that when her time does come that she will be in her own home and not the hospital. I pray I’m wrong, but I feel we need to get her home soon."

I've known for a week or so that Linda has been bad, but I wasn't aware of how bad, I guess. Or maybe I knew but I did not want to admit it. Linda is a dear friend, one of my support group members. I can't explain what it's been like since she was told about her recurrence in July '08. I've seen her go through every possible medical procedure, including a stem cell transplant and numerous chemos. It's been up and down for her but her downs have been gut wrenching. And now, after all the fighting, it appears that it is all coming to an end.
I know that one reason this is so hard to believe is because Linda fought all this time so that she would be here for her 2 boys. That's killer, of course. And on a completely selfish note, I don't want to lose another friend. Our support group is made up of only 6 of us- and we are as different as you could possible imagine. Linda has always reminded me of my roots, though. She seems like a long lost aunt and that is a comfortable feeling.

I need, and I want, to go see Linda. I miss talking to her and I want to be there for her. And, on the other hand, to be honest with you, I've been having a ton of anxiety and I think this visit has something to do with it.

How is it possible that I am so bad at these sort of things. You would think, having had cancer, that I would know the perfect thing to say. But I don't. I am at a complete loss. I know what I need to do right now: I need to be strong for Linda and go and be with her, by her side. It has been difficult to get to see her- for a long time it was because of immune issues and her transplant, and then when she was home I think she kept putting it off for her boys. Recently we have tried to convince her to let us come see her, but she keeps saying no.

I wonder now if it was to protect us.

It was hard to see Oscar in his final days, and Linda was there just as I was. But it was also priceless. It was a chance to be with a friend when they needed it the most. It was a chance to stand by someone we loved because they would've done the same thing for us. Is she trying to keep us from going through that again?
I don't know. I am afraid to see her because I know that I need to be upbeat and strong for Linda - not sitting there crying and making it that much more miserable on her. And I'm going to pull it together so that I can do that tomorrow.
I've told her a hundred times how strong and how amazing she is, so I'm not worried about that. I feel like we've said our good-byes.

I don't really know what else to say. The words just aren't there.

The only thing I could think to do was dedicate this piece to her. I am really proud of it, and actually quite shocked at how well it turned out. I think it's one of those things that you hope you can do but aren't quite sure. I feel the same way about being strong enough to see Linda.

Please pray for peace for Linda.

And, as another dear friend told me today, hug the people you love.
Stop worrying about money. Enjoy this day.
Life is so very, very short.


Monday, September 07, 2009

Rest in peace, Dave

May choirs of angels lead you to your final rest



I'm Too Young For This!