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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Friday, November 27, 2009

while you were sleeping

yesterday was american thanksgiving. (i make this distinction only because i hold 3 passports). admittedly, i was not feeling very grateful when i woke up. i was on day 9 of a painful stretch of headaches. the first few days were probably rebound headaches (don't feel sorry for me). the next few, a symptom of my long awaited period. (still not welcome after a 3 month drought). and now i wake up with excruciating sinus pain-from a cold or newly acquired allergies, or just plain ol' 10% kidney function, i am not certain.


so, i dragged myself around. taking, apparently hours, to make the bed, dress myself, wash a few dishes. stopping periodically to ice my neck and drink some water. no appetite. crawling out of my skin.

but, slowly, the headache began to lift. never quite leaving my body, but affording me the opportunity to rejoin the world.

and through a furrowed brow, watering eyes and roman-column-stiff neck, i realized what a world it still was. and still could be for me.

i watched gloria steinem speak once, perhaps from the naive perspective of someone who has never been chronically ill, about her desire to be alive at age 90, even if only one eye worked. because she "didn't want to miss a thing".

i think of my danish grandparents every day. bedstemor and bedstefar. they are now 91 and 89. bedstefar is now blind and bedstemor was recently hospitalized for 2 weeks because of chronic pain due to osteoporosis. (an argument for exercise to be certain. this is a woman who swam every day well into her 80's). they both suffer from dementia. and yet, it was only a few months ago, that they traveled to sweden for an overnight trip.

yes, i could make a laundry list of the challenges kevin and i have been presented with over the last 2 years. i often refer to this period as our "perfect storm." perfect imperfect. ugh. you know the drill. kidney rejection. plummeting economy. real estate crash. daisy crosses the rainbow bridge. health care costs. debt. estranged family. wildfires. shingles. pills. too much. too much. too much.


"How many times can I break till I shatter?
Over the line can't define what I'm after
I always turn the car around"

[f@*ing great song]

and yet.

i always turn the car around.

when we left the house, the warm 83 degree air enveloped me. end of november. let me tell you, for a canuck, this never grows old. the california sun melted into the hills as we drove to DuPar's on Ventura Blvd. for a very l.a. thanksgiving with very cool friends. drive along mullholland. our pad. grey goose. great conversation. giggles. hugs.

waking up this morning, i snapped this. i still have a headache. (i only had one g. goose). i still have an ice pack on my neck. and i'm not moving much faster. but my thoughts are. zipping in and out of my foggy brain.

friends. a fridge full of food. my fingers that still type. the thanksgiving dinner we are going to tonight. margaret atwood's new book. thank you notes from kevin's clients. a text from m. stupid sitcoms. the view from my house. this great cup of coffee. phone calls from toronto. pictures from tennessee. emails from boston. gift baskets from vancouver. postings from denmark. love from winnipeg.

and this guy.

he smiles when he sleeps. he likes to tease me that it's the only time he doesn't hear me nagging. but he smiles all the time. and there is nothing like his laugh. and his sense of humor. and his own brand of wisdom. and the fact that he is lying there beside me.

hmmm...what's that in the warm california air?

[so i'm a day late]

smells like gratitude.

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