Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two Years Ago and Today

Today, I ate.

I ate with Elisa and Shawna at the Elephant Bar for lunch and had some spinach/artichoke dip and chips, sweet potato fries, a veggie burger, salad, a NON-VIRGIN Bloody Mary, a watermelon/cucumber/mint/gin drink, and a third of a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing and ice cream.

I ate with Barb, Natalie, and Pat at Dublin's for dinner and had some fried pickles, grilled chicken smothered in provolone cheese, rice, more NON-VIRGIN Bloody Marys, and a fourth of a piece of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and raspberry sauce.

Two years ago today, I didn't eat.   

Two years ago today, my friend Barb took me to the hospital in Albuquerque where they admitted me and did surgery to remove 19 abdominal lymph nodes to search for the spread of cancer from my uterus.  Along with my cousin Rosie, Barb stayed with me through the first post-surgery hours where I whined and worried and catastrophized and cried.  Barb left the hospital in the late afternoon to drive back to Los Alamos.  She talked on the phone to her son, Ryan, most of the two-hour drive home.  Thank God.  They talked of many things and nothing - the kind of conversation we all have with numerous people throughout the day - with no conscious awareness that it may be our last.

Soon after 7pm, as Rosie and I were beginning to watch American Idol on the little TV in my hospital room, Barb called with the news that, a couple of hours after she arrived home, she had received a phone call that Ryan had committed suicide. 

There was no cancer in my lymph nodes.  But, I've watched my friend wade her way through the horror and overwhelming grief of losing her child.  I've watched her have to live every parent's worst nightmare. 

But 'live it' she has done.  A day doesn't go by that Barb doesn't grieve the loss of Ryan.  Many days include tears in the midst of the joy and laughter that is Barb's "default" personality. 

It's been an honor to walk beside her.  

Today, I ate.
I ate with joy.
I ate with camaraderie.
I ate with a relish for life.
I ate with compassion.
I ate with love.
I ate with remembrance.
I ate with hope.
I ate with laughter.
I ate with tears.
I ate with a thankful heart.
I ate with an awareness of what a gift happiness is.
I ate with an awareness of how precious life is.

I have no guilt for my eating today.  Just gratitude.

Rest in Peace, Ryan.  And Barb, keep on teaching us how to joyfully show up for life.

Love,
Jenn


7 comments:

  1. I love you both so much and miss you everyday <3 You are both amazing woman, moms, sisters, and friends. I am blessed to have you both in my life and not one day goes by that I don't think about you and long to be only minutes away. I love and appreciate you both so much !!! I can't imagine life without you somehow in it. I want so much to have you all and David together, my world would feel so entirely complete at that moment. Soon...

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  2. So touching. You sound like you have dealt with a lot and still managed to keep your head up.

    Sarah
    notaneffingdiet.blogspot.com

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  3. You don't know me. I have read every word you have written, with thorough enjoyment I might add. I blog myself and I know what a commitment it is, even if enjoyable. I never comment either. But today I must. You just wrote such a powerful blog entry. My heart hurts for you all. Your final list is one I will be reading to all my friends and family. Thank you.

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  4. Followed a link and landed here. I am so sorry for your friend. My Nana lost a child and I remember my Mom commenting that Nana still cried for the child. That kind of grief never leaves, never lets up. I suppose that is why parents are suppose to "leave" before their children. My Dad passed several years ago and I miss him daily, but I think innately we are prepared for such things. the former, we are not.

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  5. What a beautiful tribute to your friend...I can't even imagien so I cast a prayer up for your friend that the incident will show its purpose and that she may find a sense of peace within.

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  6. This was a great blog to remember Ryan. I cried while reading this post. I have a few family members try to commit suicide its something you can never forget. My prayers will be with your friend tonight.

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  7. i think if you have habit of overeating it is not bad iff he/she eat health diet because it haven't bad impact on health but if you eat snacks or packed food more then it has bad impact in your health .so , try to eat healthy as your body needs nutrients for growth.

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