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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

serendipity...danish style

1.6 (normal creatinine 0.5-1.4)

it's official. on july 5th @ 08:00 am, i will under go a renal, ct biopsy. a ct scanner uses x-rays and advanced computer programs to create detailed images inside your body. the ct scanner is typically used in an enclosed area, so those who suffer from claustrophobia might be given medicine to relax the patient.

[really? more drugs? you don't say...]

so sharpen that javelin and stock up on the ativan; just please let my husband stay in the room...

the pathologist (tissue doctor) will investigate 3 separate issues:

1) white blood cells infiltrating the kidney (indicating infection), because i am potentially under immunosuppressed.

2) the polar opposite: a potential toxic amount of cyclosporin attacking the kidney from functioning properly.

3) antibody rejection: my greatest fear. that kevin's antibodies are attacking my antibody free kidney.

as we learned back in november, my kidney had unbelievably developed no antibodies to my mother's kidney. but now tenuous possibilities spread before me like a ratty motel carpet...pilly and frayed...flattened by shock and awe, and sprinkled with a wee dash of self-pity, too...
so yesterday, through a bellowing, beacon of belief, i called out to my bedstemor through my blog's post ("the good, the bad, and the urinary")...

sometimes "serendipity" is not just that gourmet, dessert shoppe in nyc, but a gift that shoots adrenaline from the roots of your tippy top down to your pumiced soles and all throughout your weakened frame...

[and lo, and behold...]

in the mail, was not one, but two handwritten letters by my bedstemor...for whatever reason, they had never been sent. i held them in my hands, turning them over and over, unable to break their seals and dispel the anticipation. i needed to savor the gesture and prepare for the onslaught of emotion that i knew would bring me to my knees...and then i saw onkle steen's note...

"hey henriette, see what i found today-a letter which was not sent from b-mor to you. you were always on her mind...and now sitting in her heaven she says "very well my son you have found the letter and sent it!"

the kindness of his effort, the immediacy with which it was sent, and the heartfelt english note didn't quite bring me to my knees...but soaking fetal in a bathtub, mixing tears with coconut bubbles comes close enough, right?

yet i still couldn't bring myself to read her words.
but when morning (afternoon?) broke, the rays of high noon searingly branded my heart this scorching reminder. that ms. serendipity only fleetingly graces our lives; with the rarest overt offerings of opportunity. skeptically dismissed by cynics as coincidence and to the rest, thrillingly embraced as a delicate slice of destiny...

[i'll take a small piece...but save me the rose...]

roses were my bedstemor's favorite flower. in fact, my grandparents garden was a virtual eden devoted to this blossom. it was the reason i chose to have only roses at our wedding, and hold them close to my heart, as i walked down the aisle. the rose is a symbol of love and a symbol of balance. the beauty of the rose expresses promise, new beginnings, hope...
and then i remembered that bedstemor didn't want flowers at her service. and that was the essence of her soul. to leave the roses behind for the rest of us, while she travelled onward to a place i know; i will; i must see her again...

so ms. serendipity manically seized possession of my fingers, and ripped open the letters like a hyperactive tot on christmas eve. their mercurial moods; both bursting with uncontainable joy and quivering trepidation that they might be disappointed by what they asked for.

but it was all i wanted, and more...

to see her valiant scrawl despite her years of arthritis. to revel in her endearing hybrid attempt between english and danish and finally, the card's deeply nostalgic smell. dreamingly inhaling her letters drifted me back to those idyllic moments we shared. and faster than the speed of sound, i clutched denmark in my shaking grasp.

clutching, never wanting to let go...
but the greatest gift was her words.

there are no accidents.

for a woman who showed in every way possible that she loved, and loved hard, it was not often that she expressed those 3 little words. more danish tradition than personal omission.

but in these letters, she firmly instructed me to live a good life. that i was lucky to share my life with someone i love, and that they were so very sad i was sick. she told me we should take care of each other. that she missed me. and that she loved me.
and then i fell to my knees...

i am not happy. i am tired. and i am scared.

i want so desperately to enjoy my life again.

no more tests, no more meds., no more doctors, no more hospitals. no more...please.

but on the very day i needed an angel to guide me through this chaos; a hand to reach down through the muck of my challenges, confusion and desperation and clasp mine in hers...an angel did.

and now i know this angel won't ever let it go...
"can you help me
can you let me go?
and can you still love me
when you can't see me anymore?"

[kt tunstall "the other side of the world"]

now i know you can...see you on the 5th, bedstemor...xo


  1. We are always thinking about you but we will really be focused on specifics come Tuesday Morning. We are praying for answers with attainable solutions. :o) <3 you with all our hearts.

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