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I wait for words, my note card opened on my table, my pen in hand. Distractions assail me: in my neighbor’s yard hangs the KC Chief’s banner, its bold red and black design flashing in the afternoon sun. I shake free of the team’s fierce determination to trample the Raiders in tomorrow’s game, then adjust my note card and wait for words. They must come.

My friend of long years is ill with double pneumonia, worsened by a blot clot in her lung. Round-the-clock surveillance monitors her condition and keeps her bed-fast. This is just another hospitalization. Others have checkered her life-steps, from all of which she has rebounded, her cheery attitude still sunning others through her continuous practice of acceptance—Even more following a night in her own bed, in quiet environs.

Indeed, she exemplifies Twelve-Step Living, even during these uncertain circumstances; her discovery of the joy of living deepens and teaches us to do likewise. Over and over, we learn that it’s not about us.

In some ways, her hospital stays mirror my own, but with my hospice admission, my return is unlikely.

But enough of this word-game. My note card is still empty, the pen limp in my hand.

I begin, “Dear Judy…”

December’s dormancy nurtures bulbs and seeds and roots, until summoned to sing. We, too, must wait and imagine: creating sylvan melodies where there are none. Relationships depend upon such willingness, especially during dry spells of the psyche. At times, felt absent, Creator God is at work.

Last night’s crazies blasted scattered scatter-shot through the denial of my ILD. As Dr. Singh teaches, such eruptions from the unconscious are not untoward: they alert patients to the reality of their terminal illness.

Hunger first woke me at midnight. After a snacking on an orange and buttered toast, I padded back to my bedroom, put on my oxygen, then pulled the covers over my head.

Wide-awake forty-five minutes later, I squinted at the street lamp outside my window. It was still snowing: its flakes chilled the core of my being. After I flipped my afghan atop the comforter, I sought the nether regions of my bed, but was still cold. Then, I grabbed my radio and searched my favorite stations—nothing of interest, there. Like ski jumpers arching their bodies in mid-air, tension mounted in my chest, only to be sucked within darkness.

One half-hour later, I rubbed sleep from my eyes and sat up on the side of my bed. I began rocking; their repetitions eased some tension and I squirreled back under the covers in hope of sleep. Again, I stared up at the ceiling tiles. Next, came leg circles atop the covers, but quit after two repetitions because of heel soreness.

Then I remembered the Lorazapan, still bagged with the other drugs in the kitchen cabinet, provided with my hospice sign-up. Dare I take one? Cut the dose in half? See what would happen? Decades of having taking ineffective drugs for my rheumatoid arthritis still freaked me out.

I did take the Lorazapan: .2 mg. It helped, but I was hung-over this morning—more adjustment to my sick role fortified by the acceptance prayer. This is working out.


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