Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Listening and supporting

I spent the day at home today with Dori, but actually worked a full day. I spent most of the day talking on the phone, planning a few important meetings and drafting some memos. It was great to be home with Dori. She is getting around better each day and eating more foods, too.

Tomorrow, we go to the clinic (I'll work via the phone a good bit of that time), and Dori hopefully will get the cytogentic results from the biopsy. I'll be on the road for work in the afternoon, when my superstar sister Anne takes over the watch. She has been amazing ... I had a delay at work Monday, so I had to work late, and she just took over some duties until I could get home. Don't bet against our team.

This morning, Dori asked me to sit down to tell me something. That usually means I'm in trouble. Not this time! Dori thanked me for being patient with her during the summer and fall, allowing her to work through this challenge in her own way. I can be heavy-handed sometimes and gentle at others, and I know it. I made a conscious effort with Dori to pursue the latter course when she was diagnosed. I recall several times when she was aggravated or I was frustrated with something she did or didn't do, but instead said, "Honey, this is your journey and not anyone else's. You have to sort this out yourself. I am here as your sounding board or for whatever you need." That was what she wanted to hear. A few times, I gave her gentle nudges or found other ways to encourage or discourage her from doing something. It wasn't easy and required my A game. Listening a lot to the nurses and care partners, because they are the experts, was helpful. I also talked a lot to Dori's sister, Anne and my Mom, even the Hendrys, updating them and asking for their thoughts and advice. Smart people who know a lot about a lot. See, I'm no dummy. Just occasionally too blunt.

I had an overwhelming feeling today about how blessed I am. It just hit me. Dori is here, I love my work, I love my kids and family, I have great friends, etc. During lunch, I took mischievous Pepper (pictured above) for a short run and just soaked up his joyful disposition and proud posture as he ran alongside me. I still miss Otis, my handsome, good-natured black lab, dearly. Putting him down in August 2006 was a dreadful experience. Pepper, however, is growing on me after a year-plus with the Family Von Trapp. Only thing ... he can't hear us sing because he's deaf. Too bad, because Kathryn has a lovely voice and plays some sweet Christmas piano.

I can't believe December is almost here. I'm looking forward to the weekend so I can run some key errands, like get Dori a new treadmill and buy some new running shoes, clothes for work and a Christmas tree. I hope I can get my mileage back up soon ... maybe I'll get in a six or seven mile run this weekend. That would be fabulous!

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