Thursday, October 23, 2014

No Bucket List

To my son Tommy,

This is your Grandpa Leo's brain. With this picture, there is bad news and good news. The bad news of course is that little white circle on the left of the picture, which actually represents the right side of the brain because it is a mirror image. The good news is your grandfather can finally prove to Grandma Roro that he has a brain. Sorry, maybe that is in poor taste but if your Grandpa Leo can make jokes and laugh about it, I will follow his lead.

After this MRI, we know nothing more than we did yesterday. The docs have to get together and look and read and guess. Then they will tell us the plan. We will talk about time and options and risks and who knows, they might get in there and take it out and put this whole thing off for another twenty years or so.

Your Grandpa Leo is taking things in stride, making uncomfortable jokes, and still pissing off your Grandma Roro. In other words nothing much has changed, except he isn't driving and occasionally has a facial tick. Oh and he wants to find a local bar serving gluten free Redbridge beer and order two more (aka tumor) beers. I told you the jokes were in poor taste.

The other day, as I was driving your grandfather back from a doctor appointment, he says to me, "You know, I was trying to think if I had a bucket list. I don't. There is nothing I desperately want or need to do."

I suggested that he create a bucket list anyhow but keep it simple. For example his bucket list should be "I want to eat Bertha's mussels." which of course he retorted that he has done that plenty of time. My reply, "Yeah, but have you done it this week?"

Our conversations during drives to and from doctors' offices have run the gambit. We talk about you, and mommy, and Roro, and your great grandparents. We talk about life and death and God. We talk about important philosophical principals and we talk about mundane things like cable internet speed and our online game. We laugh and joke probably a little bit more than we should.

But over the past two days, I keep coming back in my mind to that "No bucket list". Somehow, this great man sitting in the passenger seat next to me, facing a little white blob on a MRI that would completely destroy some people, has done it all, or at least done enough. Oh to live life, that faced with a potential end, you have no bucket list, nothing left unsaid or undone, and you willingly accept your turn to be the instrument in which those around you can receive the grace of God by taking care of you and those around you, even if it means facing suffering. Your grandfather is still teaching his son. The extremes this man goes to to drive home a lesson. Jeesh.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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