The nicest thing ever..Posted: February 21, 2009
This morning I awoke, feeling refreshed for the first time in two weeks. It will be the first day in twelve I won’t be grooming dogs. Rick points out it doesn’t count because I choose these things.
This morning I awoke wanting to write. I’ve got an article on population genetics due soon, but that’s not the kind of writing I’m wanting to do right here, right now. I want to write from within, from my heart. For the past two weeks, there’s been words on two subjects wanting to come out. This morning there’s already a pre-scheduled post up on the blog. Pre-scheduling has many benefits, including my own anticipation each morning to see what’s there, maybe even giving me something to comment on. When I wake up with words wanting out and time to let them out, well….there will be more than one blog entry that day. It’s nice to be chief-of-the-blog, editor in chief.
Podcasts. Anyone else listen to podcasts? I’ve been up to my ears – lame pun for sure – in podcasts. This American Life. Stuff You Should Know. Talk of the Nation. Planet Money. And on and on…including Itunes U with real lectures from universities.
A question was asked in one of the podcasts. “What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?” I didn’t have to ponder at all. Over the years many people have done nice things, really nice things, for me. But one stands out.
In June 1997, I phoned mom. She hadn’t been feeling good. Checking in on her, to my dismay (which I held inside) it sounded like she was gasping for air. Acknowledging she should rest, I told her I’d call back another time. Immediately I phoned Lori and went back home a few days later. Mom was dying of colon cancer, which had spread to her liver. Who knows how long she’d been sick. She refused to go to the doctor most of her life, including when her knee was so swollen she had trouble walking. She had also watched dad go through five years of cancer treatment hell in the mid-eighties. I believe her death was a conscious choice.
I did not believe she’d die so quickly. I went home prepared to spend a long weekend, returning again…and again, until mom died. That wasn’t her plan. She died less than 48 hours after I arrived. It was early in the morning with birds cheeping outside the hospital window. She loved birds. She fed the many wild birds that came to her place. She was surrounded by her daughters and their husbands when she peacefully took her last breath. Obviously I stayed longer than originally planned. And obviously when I arrived back in Colorado I was emotionally spent.
Carol. My friend Carol. For those of you who know her, I need not say more. She had washed the bedding. She’d hung it out to dry. Ah! Clean bedding. Fresh clean bedding. Fresh clean bedding on my own bed. The bedroom smelled of fresh air and sunshine. I crawled into bed surrounded by that smell and the love and thoughtfulness of a friend.
“What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?”