Sunday, July 19, 2009

Forgotten July

Like some of my fellow bloggers, posts have been few and far between. There is simply too much going on.

Jeffy and I are still setting up house because we can only make progress on weekends. People who accomplish things on weekday evenings after work must be superhuman.

Yesterday I scrubbed the kitchen from top to bottom while Jeffy assembled our fantastic bamboo kitchen cart. Yes, it is made of bamboo! It's quite heavy and substantial, a really nice piece of furniture - the top is half bamboo board and half granite slab.

It looks like we will have to go to London in early September. Some of you may remember that my mother has been suffering for over a year now with an undiagnosed degenerative nerve condition and has been undergoing a series of tests at Whittington Hospital. Her neurologist there had referred her to a leading research specialist in the field at University College Hospital's Institute of Neurology, which has the best neurologists in the country. She was finally diagnosed on Thursday with Motor Neurone Disease, which is progressive and incurable. The outlook could be a few months, or a few years, but unless she is lucky and hits a plateau (like Stephen Hawking), there's likely not that much time. There are 4 types, and after further testing, and just seeing how it progresses, they will know which type it is. Mum herself suspects ALS (Lou Gehrig's). Most of the family has been notified that if they want to see her they must go to London, and soon, just in case she loses the ability to speak.

Essentially, MND is the worst diagnosis possible. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) would have been infinitely preferable. Imagine saying about a parent: "I wish she had MS"...

You may think I sound matter-of-fact, and yes I am - but I have had my moments this week, especially at my desk at work, and I am sure they will continue. In the face of it all, Jeffy has been a godsend. I don't know anyone else who is so full of peace, positive energy, internal strength, and pure goodness. Without him I would probably have been in pieces.


In order to end this on a lighter note, I must share something lovely. One of my most faithful and longtime readers, Moody Minstrel, has composed a delightful acoustic ballad for J and me. Those of you who know of my odyssey will see that the lyrics are perfect. It's called Matching Smiles and was inspired by the photo of us on the tall ship in Old Town Alexandria. I am sure MM won't mind me sharing this with you all, since you are also in the faithful reader circle, and I thank you for that.

Thank you a thousand times, Minstrel-san!

Matching Smiles

What flow of karma, blessed winds of fate
From Heaven's gate
Led our paths to cross?
A scene no artist's brush or author's pen
Determined how and when we came together.
Like an angel dropping from the sky,
You came, and I
Didn't see you coming.
Now I almost fear that I'll
Open my eyes and see
It's all a fantasy.
Nobody pinch me!

A breath ago I fled a grayer place
And turned my face
Toward the setting sun.
I only hoped to sate my wanderlust,
Do what I must to find some warmth and color.
But instead I found a deeper truth
Of rhyme and rhythm
And a brighter promise.
Now the words are dancing
On your lips and on the page
While language sets the stage,
A whole, new age!

We look upon the world with matching smiles
And go in style
Where even words don't go.
We'll hear the music on the 18th Street,
A swinging beat to kiss the week goodbye now.
Turn the darkness to a brighter day,
A place to stay
That is a house, a home.
The candlesticks are red,
The smell of cookies fills the air.
Between us not a care,
As long as we share!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The 4th of July

Happy Independence Day!

And a happy belated Canada Day to those of you in the north :-)

Sorry I haven't been able to check in - here or on your own blogs. I wanted to email in another post from work, but it was busy last week, and I do feel quite selfish, just posting here and lacking the time to come by yours. I really do miss you all and our old routine. [It wasn't so long ago I was neglecting the blogs, while settling in DC and my new job. Now I have to resettle in Maryland and have all that related paperwork/tax forms/HR info/driver's license, etc.] Anyway, my final nudge came from Glo whose last comment I've just read in my inbox, saying she was thinking of me and wondering if I could check in soon. Thanks, Glo - I really was touched.

Well, quick update. I moved in with J last weekend. For the first few days I kept repeating to myself, "Omigod I live with a booooy...!"

He works next to the metro, so we walk to work/metro in the mornings; he's all about holding hands on the 10 minute walk, bless him. It's a neat routine, although if I wanted to work from 9-6 Instead of 10-7 I'd have to leave alone, an hour early. Maybe eventually, eh? Plus since the metro accident (June 22) the red line has been awful, it's just like commuting in London with the delays, and standing cheek to cheek with strangers, where usually I don't wait long and get a seat.

I have a pile of STUFF in the living room through which I am still excavating/standing in puzzlement, although a lot of STUFF is hanging in my half of the closet. We went to IKEA yesterday and I learned, for the third time in my life, why I don't want to buy furniture there again. If you have to find the door, the drawer mechanism, the legs, the handles, the cabinet front, the frame, the countertop - oh the horror! - and can't pick it up on the showroom floor, then we have resolved not to buy it. The lower price is not worth the trouble in the end.

Last week we got some warm lamps. For Jeffy, nice lamps and warm colors seem to symbolize a comfy home, and that's our goal.