Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not That Question, Please

Dori is enjoying time at home, on her comforting couch and on our panoramic deck that overlooks our tranquil yard. Some of our dear friends planted some beautiful flowers and plants recently. She loves them, as do I. She believes she feels better than when we returned to Nashville 18 days ago. The comforts of home contrast with hospital gloom.

My beautiful wife, and she is beautiful, has been going to the hospital twice a week for transfusions. Home health has also come by twice weekly to take blood, change dressings on her PICC line and check in. Dear friends, people who Dori loves like a brother or sister, have stopped by. But she doesn't have much energy for long visits, so I play good cop.

When I say Dori is beautiful, I mean it in every way. Cancer has not diminished her physical beauty. She's the best-looking cancer patient I've ever seen. Her delicate features, her warm eyes and the smile I married are as precious as ever. Her friend Ramsay e-mailed recently about her smile. I don't know Ramsay well but had to tell her that's why Dori caught me eye. I've never seen a better smile than Dori's.

I've been keeping a close eye on the kids and planning things no parent should ever have to plan. We're all hurting, expressing it in different ways. My emotions are touching the full spectrum. Some days I feel like talking; other days I don't want to see a soul.

What I can tell you is what our perceptive son shared last week. Will doesn't like the question, "How are you doing?" I don't either. I know people are asking with good intentions and empathy, but unless you've been where we are at the moment, it's not a fun one, especially if you're honest. I tell almost everyone, "I'm OK." But my closest friends know I'm lousy. I get it, sweet Will. You're always on it.

Rather than asking that question, some who have been through what we're experiencing know what to say: "I'm sorry about Dori, and we're keeping you in our prayers." They make sweet statements, rather than pose the question whose honest answer is only what it is.

Dori is amazing me, and others, through this. She's touching us in ways that will last forever. Maybe I'll blog about that later, but right now, I don't want to. Getting this out took heavy lifting, but I'm glad I finally did.


ChuckEastNashville said...

Well written, Jim.

WRhodesTider said...

Just checked the blog before I went to bed. Think of Dori, you and the kids every day.


Anonymous said...

There are no adequate words,just know I have been and will continue praying for you and yours.

PJ said...

Glad you updated us. When people ask if you're okay, you can always say, not really. That may open up an avenue of conversation, always difficult but at least you get to speak some truth. I'll think about Dori's smile today. Please give her my best.

Ann said...

Dori does have one of the best smiles I've ever seen. I think of you all daily and keep you in my prayers. Love to all of you.

Shelly said...


Thank you for your post. For years, you have generously shared with those of us who crave a feeling of connection with Dori and your family, and it has meant a great deal.

Sending much love your way,
Shelly Ward

Paula said...

Home is where you can lick your wounds, and heal.

Home is where the heart is.

You will always have a home with your family no matter where you go!

lcreekmo said...

Jim, you're such a wonderful writer.

I feel so honored to be sharing your family's journey with you through your posts and my thoughts and prayers for you.

Grace and blessings to you all, today and every day.

Julie said...

Wonderfully written. All of you are in our prayers.