Monday, November 16, 2009

Good Friends and Reflections

I just spent a nice few minutes with my friend Shiela. I also spent an hour in quiet reflection in the Adoration Chapel at Queen of Heaven.

Why the big deal? Despite the anxiety and worry that I have in the back of my mind, I really feel OK about everything. Maybe it is just shock's way of coping but I am OK with that.

I am very calm and positive. I am taking the right steps towards this appointment and occurrence. This is not the end. I am not going to believe that it is.

I will keep praying, believing and hoping. I hope you do as well.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lengthy, Depressing yet Necessary

I reached my surgeon in NYC, the head of the department, and he agreed that the spot was worth a second opinion. He recommended a gynelogical oncology surgeon. So next week I am off for a full check up. I do not know what he will recommend but there is one thing I do know. If it is cancer, my options are limited.

I truly believe that this mass is not cancerous. Yet knowing the aggressive nature of this disease I know that I need to be prepared for the worst. Perhaps it is because of my father's funeral. Or that I recently found (by accident) my funeral file from last year. Just before my big heart surgery I made initial funeral plans.

In order to keep positive I need to stop thinking about my funeral. So I thought that writing it out would remove it from my mind. Then I can focus on thoughts of hope.

So you don't have to continue reading but I do ask for your prayers. They made the difference before. I know they will now.

I want an evening viewing just before a mass at Queen of Heaven with Father John Zapp from Holy Spirit Parish in cooperation with Fr. Dave from Queen. They each have aided and guided me over the last few years for which I am grateful.

I would love the Sent Forth band to play for my funeral. I would like the traditional songs like Be Not Afraid to be played. I also would love to have Kind and Generous from Natalie Merchant.

I want everyone to dress in bright colors. Do not wear black. This is a celebration of my life. Remember where I will be and I will be there for you.

I want to be cremated and my ashes scattered over the ocean. I would love to have all of my family together for a weekend -- Jim, Megan, Sarah and Adam, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and in laws - at the beach on the Outerbanks. I want it to be a party with food, drinks and kids running like crazy. At some point, sprinkle my ashes over the water and have a drink. That's my kind of wake. Sun, sand and alcohol.

I was right. I do feel better. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reminders of Grief

Your life can change in an instant. Yes, it seems trite and repititous. Yet the very simplest of statements are often the truest.

My father died yesterday. Peacefully and without pain after years of pain and loss of dignity. We re all feeling a strange emotional mixture of relief and grief.

I think because of his death and my recent brush with another mass have made think of the how precious our time is on earth.

Actually, we can think of that as death's gift. Death as a reminder of life.