May 26, 2005

My Gibraltar, My Navigator

Many years ago I had a college literature professor whom I connected with immediately. It was a summer school class, I was in my late twenties, the rest of the class was made up of 19 and 20 year olds. We talked often after class about both what we were reading (Nathaniel Hawthorne, Willa Cather, Washington Irving, and other 19th century American authors) and about life, family, etc. It was during these discussions that he mentioned something that has stayed with me since; after one of our discussions about family health, he asked "What would you do if something happened to your wife? Was I prepared? Had I ever given it a thought?" In the end, he suggested I should go through the routine mentally, not to obsess with it or worry about it, but ask myself "What would I do if something ever happened?"

In addition to these discussions, Mary and I have joked back and forth for many years about outliving each other. We were always firm that we were truly soul mates and would go on alone. I still plan to outlive her and the actuary tables will need to be adjusted!

Never, during either of these "mental exercises" did I imagine I would be at this place.

I have been trying to put myself in her shoes lately, it's unimaginable for me. Many of you have commented on my strength and inspiration, you too cannot imagine hers. She has never wavered from her positive attitude, she encourages me on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. She is my rock, she is my Gibraltar!

Furthermore, as I have discussed before, after first being diagnosed, I looked down the road, saw the fork and with her help we took the path we are on today. There have been many other forks in our lives together, and she was instrumental in my choice so many other times. She has been there and will continue to be for many, many years and through many, many choices! We both believe in fate and predetermined paths, God blessed me with her and I am eternally grateful to him for doing so! He drew the map and blessed me with her as a navigator/co-pilot through my life journey.

May 20, 2005

Grandparents, bracelets more....

My grandmother had a stroke yesterday. She's 99 years old, lives in a home but is still very alert, of a sound mind and delightful to visit. Apparently it wasn't too severe, she was awake and talking to my dad yesterday afternoon. She was much better by today, awake, up and dressed, eating, etc. We only get to see her 3-4 times a year when we go to St. Louis. She is my last surviving grandparent.

If you to describe a grandparent as faith-filled, kind, loving, giving, gentle etc., then that would be perfect for her. She has had a heck of life! She visited King Tut's tomb in the early 1900's on a trip that included a steamer across the Atlantic, she lived through the Depression, raised two wonderful sons, lost her husband over 35 years ago to cancer and then traveled extensively for several years. One of my favorite stories she tell is when she was about 10 years old and her best friend and her crept into the Catholic church and put a kitten in the Baptismal font! If you ever met her, you'd never believe she was involved in such a thing. I blame it all on the friend! She's quite a lady. I'm not ready to say "I miss her", I pray she hangs on until after November 11th, we plan to celebrate 100 years with her!
Bracelet Update: We have sold over 800 bracelets to date and raised almost $2,500. Part of the money paid for the application fees for the IRS 501.c.3 designation, some shipping charges and web hosting for the soon to be launched website. We have also placed a re-order for 1,000 more bracelets. At some point next week Mary and I will either decide how much the initial donation to the Prostate Cancer Foundation will be or we will wait until the foundation board meets for the first time. Everything will be fully disclosed at by early June.

Other quick notes:
> Cardinals vs. Royals this weekend, go Redbirds, I'm predicting a sweep. We'll be there tonight.
> 1st camping trip of the year tomorrow (weather permitting).
> First week of work in the bag, really liking it and getting back in the flow.

May 16, 2005

1015 + 60 + 5 + 2 +1

Yesterday I rode my mountain bike for the first time in about 12 years.
It really felt good. For those of you in KC, did you ever notice that on windy days it doesn't matter which direction you face, the wind seems to always follow you!

I only rode for and hour, slow and steady, I didn't want to pull something. It was so relaxing, return trips are a must. So the numbers above mean:
1015 = the number of songs on my iPod, I listened the whole time
60 = the number of minutes, didn't want to go overboard
5 = the number of miles
2 = wheels
1 = person

Today was my first day back at Sprint, not real eventful but there is a lot of work ahead, I'm pretty excited about it!!!

Next weekend Brad and I are going camping out near Lawrence, KS. It should be a lot of fun. I'm praying for good weather!

Not much else to add today.......

May 12, 2005

My "sometime" is sooner.....

As I begin to write this, I will do my best to make it positive, because that's the way I want you to read the contents of today's post.

I scribbled this down one day last week, I'm not sure what triggered it? I haven't been down at all over that last few weeks so it must have been one of those fleeting moments. I am fully cognizant that those moments are normal, healthy, expected etc. , they are just the inevitable bump in the road. I also am aware that the key is to remain aware of them and work through them and keep the highs higher than the lows are low. Mary and I have done a great job so far (sorry for the pat on the back) but again, this was just a brief interlude for me.

We have all heard the adage "we all have to go sometime". Well, for whatever reason this is what was going though my mind at the time.

It's inevitable, we all go sometime
We live our lives, day to day,
knowing that "that" day, is many years ahead.

However, I have been cursed,
having to arise everyday,
knowing that I am one day closer
to "that" day,
and many years closer than you.

My death is now much more certain,
while yours remains,....forever probable.

Let me remind you of my comments above, I am not depressed, not even close! This again was a fleeting thought that I just happened to capture. I still have FAITH and HOPE and am blessed with your LOVE to help me WIN this battle!

May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

Not much to update today, I'm just looking forward to a beautiful Mother's day weekend.
Mary is the best, yes it's sappy but she is "the wind beneath my wings". I hope she likes her little gift from Tiffany's!!!! The best to all you other mother's on your special day!!!

[Please direct a few prayers the way of S.P., she came down with meningitis last weekend. She is doing better but will not get released from the hospital until tomorrow or Tuesday.]

May 02, 2005

Rainy days and Mondays....

Friday was rainy, but in this case, unlike to song, it could not get us down.......I was offered a job! Now it's Monday, again we're not down, I'm about to make a phone call accepting the position!!

The position is with Sprint and yes that has risk being they are about to merge with Nextel. In this case, the role is in the local group which will be spun off into a stand alone company, post merger. This position is a project manager responsible for introducing new products and features into homes. (more specifically enhanced voicemail, phone books, customized family plans etc.)

Needless to say, it was a good weekend in the Emerson home. We had visitors in town for Brad's first communion so it was a busy, busy last few days. I had forgotten how special and important an event this is for an eight year old (and his parents).
Brad has been talking aout this for years, no more sitting in the pew while we go. In the hustle and bustle of getting ready on Saturday we did not have time to practice with wine at home (highly recommended). So before we went I told him just to wet his lips. Apparently, the person holding the cup tilted it just a little too much and he ended up with a mouth full! It was classic Brad again! We are so proud of him and all of his classmates. It was a wonderful day!

So, the good news is the pressure is off in at least one area! It looks like I will start on May 16th, so I've got a few more days to try to complete my "honey do" list!

Book recommendation: "Tuesday with Morrie". I just finished it last night and it is a great book. I'll probably start quoting Morrie in here from time to time. And yes, on the surface it is a book about a man dying, but it is so much more than that, it a book about living, and people, and family, and love!

[footnote} Today is the three month anniversary of my blog. I have not re-read it for some time, it makes me cry. I have always been a very even tempered person and have wondered if that has allowed me to deal with this situation relatively calmly. I don't get too high on the good news or too low with the bad. Pretty much, I just keep on, keeping on.