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!


Anonymous said...

Welcome back Olivia! I'm glad that you and Jeff are doing so well! I'm so very happy, for you both! :)

I'm sorry to hear about your mother's condition. I pray for your strength, and that you have a safe trip to London! Keep in touch! We'll all be here, waiting to read. ^^

Flighty said...

I'm really sorry to hear that about your mum Liv, and I know the toll that it takes on all concerned when that happens.
Having Jeff will certainly help, especially when you have moments, as you undoubtedly will.
Take care! xx

Palm Springs Savant said...

Oh dear that is quite difficult. I do hope things turn out as best as they can. Be strong, and do what you need to do with your Mum.

Those lyrics are so sweet, just lovely

Jo said...

Liv, I am so terribly sorry about your mum. Please, though, take care of yourself. I can't imagine what it is like for you right now, and I, too, thank God that you have Jeffy.

Thoughts and love from Dallas.

The Moody Minstrel said...

My prayers are with you and your mother. It's a very good thing Jeff is there with you now. I'm sure just about anyone from your family of visitors here and on Facebook would be there in an instant if we could. You're definitely not alone.

I'm flattered! It's always good to have one's work be appreciated. I only wish the timing were better. I know some of your other regular visitors here are very capable poets. It would be nice to see some of their art here, too (hint hint)!

Glo said...

Oh, Liv, saying a lot is going on is an understatement! Thanks for letting us know about your mother, and I too, offer heartfelt and hope-filled thoughts and prayers for you and your family. I think stating things matter-of-factly is part of the process of coming to terms with what you know at this point, especially when the future is uncertain. Your mum seems to be in the best of care which must be somewhat reassuring. Life can sure throw curves! Big hugs for you and Jeff, who is there for and with you.

I was most impressed with Misty Minstrel's Matching Smiles ~ I love the lyrics and the melody ~ what a special friend he is!

Anonymous said...

You know I'm thinking of you, Liv.

Pandabonium said...

I wish your mother and the whole family the best in dealing with this challenge.

What a wonderful gift that Moody's song should come along at this time and help you focus on your love.

Christopher said...

Oh it sounds so blissful! You're making a cozy home!!

panda_eyed said...

Livvypie, you know my thoughts are with you. I'm sending millions of cuddles with the power of thought. I hope some of them reach you and bring you a little comfort.

Always here for you...

Christopher said...

My thoughts are with you and with your family. Hoping everyone is keeping a positive outlook.

Sending well wishes!

Guyana-Gyal said...

Olivia, I can't begin to tell you how I feel about what's happening to your mum. I don't know where to start. Please tell her I send lots of love and hugs from Guyana.

[Also, sunshine, coconut trees and Berbice breeze. If that makes her happy for even one minute, I'm glad. If it will make her sad, just tell her I send lots of love and hugs from Guyana].

Olivia said...

GG - she would love to hear "sunshine, coconut trees, and Berbice breeze"!!! Thank you.

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