Sunday, November 2, 2014


To my son Tommy,

It is almost getting comical, because if I don't laugh about it I will just cry. Pulled up to your grandparent's house yesterday, and as we are parking I hear an ambulance sirening its way down Marriottsville Rd. As it comes into view, I can see it slowing. Horrible as it may be, I sat there saying, "Please go to the house next door, please go to the house next door, please..." No such luck. Seems your great grandpa was having trouble with his catheter and couldn't pee. One thing I have learned recently is how having to go can affect a persons mental state. Yeah, I thought they were pulling my leg too when they told me that, but I have seen it first hand now.

I guess I am a little of a "glass half empty" type because the issue was fixed relatively quickly at the hospital and your Great Grandpa Leo was back that night. I should celebrate the wins, and not lament the challenges. And that was a small victory but a victory none the less.

Your Nana Jeanne on the other hand is like the other shoe waiting to drop. She has the needle biopsy coming for the lumps in her breast plus she is patiently waiting for a polyp in her inner plumbing (I believe because of the diverticulitis but I may be confused about that) to send her to the hospital. Oy. Your mom did her cimzia shot today because her innards were acting up too. Plus your mom is currently diligently working on ten thousand school papers that she had to put off because of running around for others. And your Pop-pop has an operation coming soon for his a-fib, which is also on our minds and hearts. That is just the important stuff on top of Grandpa Leo and Grandma Roro.

Other things like house thermostats failing, chores piling up, adjusting to new norms, scheduling logistics, and a small recent crime wave in the neighborhood which has had the police chopper and cars making the rounds almost daily, aka all the more mundane challenges of just living busy life pale in comparison.

Yet despite my natural pessimistic outlook, if I stop and take a deep breath, I can see it. I can see all this love being offered to me, to your grandpa, to your mom, to your grandma, to you, to the whole crew. It comes in the most simplest forms; a co-worker coming to help get the thermostat straight; a hug from a sister in law; a bamboo plant from a long lost bud; a friend suggesting a song that just might make it a little more joyful as we try to get through; a cousin sitting with your Grandmom Roro; an entire school praying for our family; an aunt and uncle helping transport to and from for lab work; an understanding boss who has allowed me to be flexible with work not because he is my uncle but because he cares; your mom's teacher being understanding about due dates and sympathetic to her family obligations during this difficult time; an offer from a brother in law for anything that needs to be done that you can tell by the look in his eye is sincere and solid and not just words; a gentle shoulder; a kind word; countless prayers offered; an ear to bend; a moment to share; a well timed smile; a generous laugh; and seeing my five year old son on bended knee at church praying hard. These examples come from far and near, in person, by phone, by letter, by social media, from friends and family, close and distant, and are so plentiful that I could never recount each and every. These examples are exactly what you need to realize everything is worth it and you just have to keep carrying on.

As your Great Grandpa Leo was always quick to say, "The world just keeps spinning, I just try to hold on" which includes my implied ending of "even if I am holding on by a blade of grass to keep me from hurtling off this rock into the great abyss of space." To all those who have shared those moments, shared their hearts, thank you. Thank you for being our blade of grass to keep us grounded and going.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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