Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Big, bald, thankful guy

Today is our youngest's 6th birthday. Her paternal grandparents, her godmother (and family) and another family friend joined us for a celebration feast.

Everyday, somebody brings us dinner. Our great friend Patti Bragg has this organized, and it is a remarkable help to us to be relieved of the logistics of feeding the family every day. I'm not sure why it is such a huge help, but it is.

And we are eating way, way better than usual.

Our feeders tonight brought a baked ham with all the trimmings. There was enough food for 30 people, and even with Mairead's party, we were only 11.

So, it really was a feast.

I had another great day - a visit to the office, lunch with my work buddies, a couple morsels of legal analysis, errands run. I'm thinking of today and yesterday as warm-up sets for next week. I read somewhere that when you lift weights, you should start with a warm-up set, where you go through the motions of the exercise little or no weight, before you start pumping real iron. That's what today and yesterday were like for me. Next week, I hope to put a couple light plates on the bar and start to pump up.

Of course, the week after that is chemo again. And radiation.

Gotta take it one step at a time. Next week - objective is full activity or close to it.

After dinner, and cake and presents, I asked Mairead if we should cut my hair tonight or tomorrow. She was instantly enthusiastic for an immediate staging. I think that, like me, she sensed that the spectacle would be more intense with the crowd that had gathered for her birthday feast.

We set a chair on the front porch, directly under the porch light, tied a plastic apron around my neck, and fired up the clippers. Each of the kids (mine and another present) took a turn with the clippers and the two guard. Judy finished up and then everybody had a go with the one guard. Finally, Judy went over the whole thing with no guard at all.

Despite her earlier enthusiasm, Mairead cried at the final product, and even unflappable Callaghan seemed a bit startled. Seamus thinks its cool.

I'll probably scrape off the last bristly layer with my razor, but not tonight. I look really different, I think, but it doesn't bother me.

Here are the things I'm thankful for:
  • Judy, Callaghan, Seamus & Mairead
  • My parents
  • My brothers and sister and their families
  • Judy's family
  • Our cousins, aunts, uncles and extended family members
  • Our friends and neighbors
  • My firm, LeClair Ryan
  • My band, Uisce Beatha
  • Our church, St. Paul's
  • Our pub, Rare Olde Times
  • Our home
  • Our Northside neighborhood
  • Our city, Richmond
  • That Judy reads everything and encouraged me to have an endoscopy
  • My doctors, nurses and the rest of my medical team
  • That I ponied up for the cool eyeglasses last year even though they cost a lot more because without hair they are a much more prominent feature on my head.
  • Hats
  • Every day. Every single day. Every one. Especially today. Especially tomorrow.

It was a little rainy here today. Somebody said something about it being dreary.

All I could think was - since I'm in it, instead of looking at it through a hospital window, this weather seems great to me.

I'm afraid I might become an insufferable Pollyanna. Maybe it'll be more tolerable from a bald guy.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Blogger CJ Fillmore said...

I think this Thanksgiving Day will probably be one of the best ever for you and your family.

Next time you feel a bit strange about watching others do your chores around the house, just remember that the people who love you want so badly to be able to do something, anything, for you, and this is one of the very few things they can do you. It makes them feel better. And you would be one of the first to do the same for your friends and loved ones if the situation was reversed, wouldn't you?

You don't know me, but what I know about you is that you are well-loved by many, many people. If that is the measure of a successful life, you are a very rich man indeed.

Have a wonderful day.
God bless you and yours.
An Irish red head.

1:45 AM  
Blogger marian said...

Wonderful post. Happy Thanksgiving, Jim!

8:56 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Hey Babe,
Bald is Beautiful!


9:35 PM  
Blogger Dot said...

Keep playing the Glad Game, Jim. I think it is highly underrated.


4:34 PM  

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