Friday, April 21, 2017

Sixty Seconds in the Big City

Eight years ago, on this very date, what appears in this space today originally appeared here.  Within one month of my having written it, my work circumstances improved substantially.  Sadly, within six weeks of its original appearance, my mother-in-law lost her battle with cancer, which defeat still impacts Margaret in her day-to-day, and likely shall continue to do so for all of the days of her life.


The Mighty Little Acorn

I have been feasting mightily at the trough of self-pity for quite some time now. Well, in fairness to me, I take most of my meals in the trough of self-loathing, which is located cross hairs and perpendicular to the self-pity trough but from time to time I wander over to what is available under its sneeze guard.

On occasion however it is good to pull off the feed bag and give the old jaw muscles a break. It is good to look around and see what the hell is taking place. Sunday gave rise to one of those days.

Margaret's mom - my mother-in-law Suzy B. - has been battling hard against cancer for the past four-plus years. Cancer has attacked my diminutive mother-in-law with a vengeance one would think that the Supreme Being would reserve for dictators, mothers of beauty pageant contestants and Boston Red Sox fans - and something from which he would spare one of his most special creations. No such luck.

The most recent incarnation of chemotherapy began with an infusion on Tuesday last and a daily regimen of pills thereafter. For reasons not clear to the patient, her daughter or any of the rest of us who were with her, on Sunday morning she became spontaneously and violently ill. When it did not cease, she went to a place where she has spent an unfortunate amount of time these past few years - the Nardoni Pavilion at Somerset Medical Center, which is where she remains this morning. And by her side, because she knows not where else she would be, is my bride.

One can speak of unbreakable bonds. Poets write of them. Coffeehouse singers sing of them. Margaret and her mom live one every day. And even in circumstances that are painful for them to endure and sad for the rest of us to watch, the strength of their bond is a marvel.

Every once in a while it is good to lift one's over-sized head up out of the trough and take a look around. There is a hell of a lot of life going on out there. And even in sadness, there is beauty. It is hard to see it through the tears sometimes but it is out there.


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