I am here with Art and the treatment center. He asked me to come with him. He sleeps now. He is face up on the pillow, mouth open, his chin having lost its definition, morphing as part of his neck. He looks like the old man he will become. I laugh. 40 years from now when I see the same sight, taking an afternoon snooze on a chair, I will laugh then too. It is not an attractive look, but one that will hold great endearment to me in the years to come. The endearment starts now. I sit in a reclining chair, feet up and despite my chuckling, I am having a difficult time allowing myself to be here.
In the 14 days preceding this one, I have been from exhilaration, grace, and hope to fear, worry and confusion. Art rode his bike! He got fierce about fighting this disease and sailed through his third round of chemo. He was as clear as our southern California skies. He was loving and present and just….here… with me and the kids. He drank a beer. Then, he got sick. His colorless skin and the sound of his cough blinked me back to the beginning, the weeks before we discovered this thing growing in him. I fell to my knees with the memory of it.
This chemo round has been a tough one. He has been weak, exhausted and absent. I, on the other hand, have been trying to get that exhilarated, yeah, rah, rah feeling back. It felt like the old us. It felt good. Maybe it’s because that feeling came on so strongly and with great vigor. Maybe it’s because it was so wonderful to feel so connected to Spirit again, true and clear. And maybe it’s because in the end, all I want is a rhythm that I can stand in, like the sunlight, something sane, pleasant and gentle. I keep looking outside for what is inside me. The bright side of life is inside Art and inside me, no matter what the illness. I just need to sit still long enough to feel it.