Kindness from a stranger

It’s funny how you remember people. 

Take Linda.

I thought of her today.

She is not a friend, a neighbor, not  even an acquaintance. 

Her number is not in my phone.

I don’t know what she looks like, who her children are, if any.

She is a random person in my life from years ago. 

I had one encounter with her. 

I don’t remember where it was.

I  remember the day.*

I remember her talking to me. 

I did not answer.  I may have nodded.  I’m not sure.

My head hurt.  

I felt weightless. There was nothing tying me to earth. 

Her words came from a distance.  

You have  tough times ahead. You must take care of yourself.

Over the years I have often remembered her words. 

Unsolicited, barely acknowledged,

Granting  permission to rest a bit, 

To give up being in charge, in control, always needing a plan.

She reached out to a stranger in pain, in shock.

I am grateful.

~Lori

*The day I  learned my Husband had a year left to live.  In writing this post I wondered what made me think of Linda. Then I realized, tomorrow is his birthday.

Giving thanks…

Mid-morning last Thursday I tested positive for COVID.

Immediately, my healthcare system (Legacy) kicked into gear with amazing results.

A nurse called to talk about treatment.

I opted for the drug Paxlovid from Pfizer.

Next was a call from a pharmacist from the hospital.

We had a lengthy interview to review the side effects.

Then, he placed the prescription at the only drugstore near me that had the medicine.

Within minutes, the drugstore called to tell me the drug was ready for pick up.

My friend picked it up and I started treatment right away.

If you have ever worked with the medical system in the US, you know that it is generally slow with lots of waiting around. Not this time, not with COVID.

Happy news….my symptoms improved within 24 hours. I took three pills twice daily for five days.

The only side effect was a bitter taste in my mouth. Eating fresh fruit helped. It reminded me that my late Husband experienced a bitter taste after chemotherapy. Chilled, canned fruit in heavy syrup, something he would never have eaten before cancer, alleviated the yucky taste.

Today, I feel so much better and am planning to resume my normal activities.

Thank you Legacy Healthcare!

Thank you to the scientists who developed the tests, vaccinations and treatments.

Thus ends my COVID story.

Except…

Our job as a nation is to continue to send COVID tests, vaccinations and treatments to nations not as fortunate as we are.

Just being

“Dear friend, I felt it shelter to speak to you.” ~Emily Dickinson

It is our family and friends who matter and who are there for us.

Just as important is to be there for them.

I am trying not to talk so much and give others a chance to speak.

I am trying not to talk so much so that I can free my mind and just be.

Both of these are hard for me.

Practice, practice, practice.

My little tree

For the past several weeks, I have taken a few minutes, now and then throughout my day, to observe the little tree outside my window. 

At the beginning there were only bare limbs jutting out from the small trunk. 

Then tiny buds appeared, followed by tiny leaves.It is still mostly barren with little buds still appearing.

I have to look carefully and slowly to see the changes that have occurred in the past day or so.

I don’t want it to blossom. 

I don’t want to contemplate that cycle of rebirth and death. 

I want it to stay as it is today with tiny green leaves and mostly bare limbs, full of promise.

Planes for Ukraine

President Zelensky said it best: “This is not ping pong. This is about human lives.” Stop the politics. Send the planes now. #PlanesforUkraine #StandwithUkraine

Good, decent and necessary

American journalist Dan Rather (@DanRather) tweeted at 4:35 PM on Thu, Mar 24, 2022:


“At this moment of history , America is calling us. Do we have the courage, will we take the time and make the effort to answer… each in our own way but also as part of a national collective for what is good, decent and necessary?”

There but for the grace of God…

Before leaving my warm bed this morning, I turned up my thermostat, turned on my coffee pot and turned on soft music throughout the house.  All of this, thanks to my smartphone and smart home.  

Continue reading “There but for the grace of God…”

March 15th

Hello my friends,

Just a friendly reminder to be careful today.

Don’t go to the forum!

Afterall, it is the Ides of March!

Talk soon…I hope! 🙂

~Lori

On Illness and Dying

“People are not limited so much by their illness as by their attitude to  it. The illness may present physical challenges, but the emotional challenge is often far more important. Our human spirit may stumble as the path ahead appears too daunting, yet  with support and encouragement, our resilience can be re-enabled and used to find creative solutions. We are all individuals, and one person’s plan may not be a good fit for  another who, outwardly at least, appears to be in a similar situation. Enabling people to be architects of  their own solution is key to respecting their dignity. They are only in a new phase of life; they have not abdicated personhood.” *

Excerpt from With the End in Mind: Dying,  Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial by Kathryn Mannix, MD,author, palliative care doctor for 30 years and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) practitioner.

Why this book?

I heard Dr. Mannix on a CBC podcast ** and knew that I had to read her book.  Listening to her on the podcast and reading her book make me wish that I could sit down and talk with her in person. She seems kind and wise.

Instead, I read a chapter every morning. Her writing gives me much to think about as I recall deaths of my loved ones and contemplate the deaths that I will encounter in my family, friends, neighbors, and, of course, myself.

Some might think that reading about deaths would be depressing. Actually, I find it comforting. It gives me a framework for thinking and talking about the inevitable. ~Lori

*….They are only in a new phase of life; they have not abdicated personhood.” When my Husband was dying from cancer, he commented more than once, “I am still here!” He hated when his loved ones (including me) tried to shield him. He worked until about a week before he died…from his hospital bed. He was as active and engaged as his illness permitted until the end.

**”White Coat, Black Art” and “The Dose” CBC podcasts with Dr. Brian Goldman.

Another kind of death

When my husband died, I became a ghost.

Continue reading “Another kind of death”