Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lost and Found

What a week it was:

We made some progress on the pond this weekend, and I do mean we! Mrs C did a ton of work,

and of course the little dictator did quality control.

Friday night we had the trooping of the candy ghouls;

Chairman was alternately fascinated and running for cover.

Early in the week I bike commuted a couple times. I hauled my bike to work and then rode home, knowing that next week it will be dark about the time I leave, and the whole two hour jaunt will be in the dark. Not a bad thing but you just miss some decent scenery.

My rides home are typically good therapy. I really feel for folks who have to ride defensively, to keep their eyes open and their minds on business. I don’t have that problem. My commute is just shy of 30 miles over mostly deserted backcountry roads and farm lanes. Though it is longish, it is peaceful and usually allows me to ride away from the cares of the day. But not Monday and Tuesday.

I’ve been following Eldens blog over at If you too read there you know the burden he iand his family are dealing with. It was this business that kept me from zoning out on the red and yellow maples, the scampering squirrels, and the raucous jays and crows on my ride home.

My mind was dominated by his impossible situation. Memories of the passing of my parents came flooding vividly back.

Sometimes cancer throws a curveball in the bottom of the ninth that results in the total destruction of your loved ones mind. They go off the tracks and you can tell they are experiencing terror, and the best you can hope for is the opportunity to offer solace, comfort and security, but you are both robbed of this shared experience. Just when you thought the broken body was the terrible insult, now you are faced with this untenable situation. Cancer does not play fair. Not that it’s uncaring, it is downright wicked. And if you are a person of action, you have this unfettered rage that, no matter how much you care, no matter how willing you are to do anything, ANYTHING, your nose gets pressed up against the reality that there is absolutely nothing you can do to help. My McCubbin comes out, it misses me off. I can sandbag against the flood, I can help build fireline, but I can’t accept that there is nothing I can do at all. Do as you wish, it will have no effect at all. Your efforts are not productive or unproductive, they are just totally irrelevant. So Elden is going through hell, it's only made worse knowing that his hell is nothing compared to his wife Susans hell.

In his post of 10/28 he relates a frightening sitation where he thought he had lost Susan forever. It's terrible and poignent, and incredibly sad. His post reminded me that I missed the chance to have a particularly intimate conversation with my dad, maybe I avoided it, maybe I figured we’d have one of those Hallmark moments ‘later’. At any rate, he slipped into a messed up mind and I have always regretted not taking action to have that conversation.

Elden was given a reprieve, and made the most of it. In his post of 10/29 he advised:

"Think for a moment about the person you care most about. Now think about what you’d wish you could have said if that person were taken away from you. Now think about how glad you would be if you were given a second chance to say those things.

And then go say them."

This weeknd, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, Mrs C and I took some time to get close. My heart (and prayers) go out to Elden, and his family, as does my appreciation for his gentle admonishment. I'' pay it forward here:

Is there someone you love? If so, it might do you good to read these posts from Elden: They are painful but they have application to you, to all of us.

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