Some Improvement

Imbolc                                                                        Valentine Moon



Sun rising on Black Mountain, shining through a gauze of light snow. The solar panels have a dusting, enough to impair their function. The setup is for 6-12 inches here, christening March, often a big snow month. The temperatures will drop over the next few days, not into Minnesota territory, but cold for Colorado. Welcome.

Kate’s got a more upbeat attitude. That’s so good to see. She offered to move to assisted living, so I could stay in the house. “That’s not the way marriage works.” Didn’t say it, but I meant, “Whither thou goest, so do I.” Love is a verb, to quote John Mayer.

The folks at Beth Evergreen continue to ask what they can do. This is a difficult question for us to answer. King Sooper delivers. That’s one regular need solved. I like to cook and Kate’s not eating much. Meals don’t make much sense. We have Sandy who comes to clean every two weeks. We’re good there. Most of the care for Kate is related to things she needs throughout the day and maintenance of the tpn process, not really something others can do. Ted plows us if we get more than 5 inches. In other words most of the day to day chores are either taken care of or too frequent to make them amenable to outside help.

A note to Tara (director of the religious school and a friend) suggested three things: 1. Visits from folks who bring lunch stuff along. We miss seeing and talking to our friends. 2. Help with defrosting freezer. Need a couple more coolers. Don’t know why the damned thing (a non-defrost freezer) chose now to seize up, but it did. 3. If we have to move, a general help Kate and Charlie pack day; then, a general help Kate and Charlie unpack day.

bearing the burden of the otherAt CBE we often hear that the essence of Judaism is bearing the burden of the other. These folks live it. They really want to help. With gladness, with chesed (loving-kindness). I contrast this with the much more abstract Christian version, Love thy neighbor as thyself. Judaism emphasizes practical measures. Doing mitzvahs, deeds of loving-kindness. Accepting responsibility. Honoring the self and the other. Taking up the right amount of space. At least in the instance of CBE these are not formulas; they are the reality of this small community.

middotThis could be a lonely, despairing time in our lives as health demands fluctuate, a possible move is in the mix, and we live away from commercial and medical facilities. It’s not though. Our Minnesota friends continue to show up. CBE loves us. We are not alone, nor in despair. We are part of caring communities and caring family. Jon and the grandkids are coming up this weekend. Joe and SeoAh have been here three times since April (Kate’s shoulder surgery) with SeoAh staying for weeks at a time.

As I wrote a while back, adversity unveils gratitude. We are grateful for each other, our dogs, our house, our medical caregivers, CBE, family, Minnesota friends. Lots more, too. I don’t believe the canard that we’re never given more than we can handle, but I do believe that we can learn to handle what presents itself if we have support. And we do. Thanks to all of you.