wings and things

From heart to heart: The Dr. Says

I have made many friends in the blogosphere, one of whom is Sandra Callahan. She is wise and funny and positive and she and I share some very similar experiences. We have supported each other through many ups and downs and yesterday she made a comment on my post that compelled me to rethink yesterday’s doctor’s appointment with Anthony during which he described his dreadful terror the night before as ‘a bit of fun’. Sandra said, ‘He must have been embarrassed by his behavior. I cannot imagine how scary it must be when he doesn’t recognize people and they are trying to force him to do things he doesn’t understand.’

Sandra’s comment made me realize that Anthony’s bravado with the doctor was to cover his embarrassment and, even though I was aware of this at the time, it didn’t really hit me until I read Sandra’s wise words. Of course he was embarrassed – to be confused, to have been terrified of nurses, to have possibly made a fool of himself, and to have worried me so much. Anthony’s ‘bit of fun’ was his way of covering up his embarrassment and I understand that much better today than I did yesterday thanks to Sandra. She has once again helped to sharpen my sense of perception with her amazing empathy.

Our hearts have a lot in common except for one fundamental thing: mine is still beating loud and clear and Sandra’s is failing. She has congestive heart failure and is dying. But she is also living to the utmost, encouraging people like me and talking honestly about dying. Her book is now available and here is the link.

From my heart to your heart, Sandra.


Hardening the heart

I’m not sure if this is right or wrong, sensible or nonsensical, normal or not, but sometimes I have to harden my heart in a very deliberate way in order to ‘seize the day’.

We probably all do this to some extent – I’m not sure. All I know is that if Anthony is forlorn, or Ming is angry, or I am wondering/wandering, I seem to be able to harden my heart against itself.

And then I can breathe again.