I can tell by the hesitance on your face before you say it. You try to catch yourself before the words come out of your mouth because you don’t want to do anything wrong. It’s because you care and you want to know, so let me give you permission to go ahead and ask.
How are you doing?
With me, its ok to ask. You aren’t upsetting me or opening up any new painful memories. I’m accustomed to living with pain and the tears that accompany it. I’ve learned to hold them in a different place. I don’t despise the pain any longer. I honor it because I am honoring the reason for why it hurts. The pain is precious because the life of the one I lost is precious. Weeping is just another form of respect.
When Karen was first diagnosed with Stage IIc Ovarian Cancer in 2010, my first compulsion was to sit down and write about it. I had just received the bad news from the surgeon in the consultation room. She was in post-op recovery and I was alone in the hospital waiting room. It would be a few hours before I would be able to see her. This is when I began to embrace the gift I have been given. I went home to chronicle the story.
Its out of this compulsion that I still get up this morning and keep writing ten years later. Something is creating internal pressure in my heart and words are my relief valve. This is why I’m not afraid of the question. I want you to know, need you to know and your question creates new connection. Your question tells me that you see me, that I’m not invisible. Karen loved to have me tell her story for her so she didn’t have to. A new blogpost gave guests permission to go there when they saw her in the restaurant. Who knows, I might be telling your story, too. I may be articulating what you’re feeling, but you haven’t found the words yet. Several authors that have done this for me. I’m grateful for their assistance.
The best way I can describe my compulsion to write is that I’m just a guy with a flashlight, looking around in the dark, trying to find the way to get out of the dark cave and back up into daylight. Call me a watchman, watching out for anyone else in the cave with me. If you trust me and are ready to go, you may want to tag along. Together we’ll find our way out. And I’ve emerged with some new friends to enjoy in the light again.
These blogposts serve as progress points on my map. I leave them here because somebody I don’t even know might find them and use them to discover an exit from their own dark cave.
About Sunday night, I’m feeling back to normal, even worked out this morning. I don’t know what that heart episode was. I have some theories, but for now the cardiologist doesn’t seem to concerned. I’ve been under a regimen of ketosis and intermittent fasting for the last two weeks. If you’ve ever done this, you know the transition this requires the body to undergo. So I’m not too concerned.
Thanks for asking.