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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

"These are the Times that Try Men's (And Women's) Souls" ~Thomas Paine



July 2020 is one of the warmest I recall in the Shire, as I call our idyllic valley, and it's dry with hit or miss (mostly miss) thunderstorms. Covid remains a threat, seemingly forever. I almost expect reports of zombies, considering how this year is going. But the mega challenge in our family is my dear daughter Alison undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer at 38. She's also on oral chemo, but the IV infusion is the bad boy, administered over a period of hours with a calcium magnesium drip before and after and mega anti nausea meds. It still hits her hard. A bigger worry than the nausea and exhaustion is the effect this med is having on her nervous system, which is why the timing of the dosage is being tweaked.

I spend much of my time at Alison's house (only a short distance from mine) helping out with her, my three grandchildren, and the house--mostly the kitchen, under frequent assault. The kids, already heavily curtailed by Covid, are more so with an unwell mom who really doesn't need it. Keeping boredom at bay is a daily thing, but they are creative children. Yesterday, nine year-old, soon to be ten-year-old, Chloe fashioned herself a bow and arrow from sticks, tape, and twine. She and her cousin, my ten-year-old grandson Owen, who also made one, strode off with their bows and arrows like young contenders in the Hunger Games. They were proud.



I often bring Chloe and her older brother, Colin, to the farm in the afternoons. Their other braver grandmother keeps two-year-old Charlie on Alison's bad days, and for her medical battery stuff. He's as cute as he can be but tantrum prone, depending on how he's feeling, and an exceedingly busy boy. He 'gets on my nervous' as big brother, Colin, used to say, climbing on the tops of things and leaping off. Plus plus. Colin did the same. Have you hung out with a moody super active two year old lately? It's not for the faint of heart. They don't have the sense God gave a goose and I envision accidents at every turn. Then Charlie smiles endearingly and gives me a hug and I wonder why I have a problem?

About Covid, I've been hiding from this monster for months and see no end in sight. My hair is more silver than brown now and longer than it's been in years. I may never see my hairdresser again. But that doesn't really matter. The main thing is that Alison gets to the other side of this cancer journey, victorious, and we escape Covid. My daughter-in-law, Charity, an ER nurse, had it this spring and thought she might die. Noooo thank you.



We're all just doing our best to get through a rotten time. Alison's treatments should end by Christmas--we hope. Guess that all depends. Meanwhile, the enthusiastic support of friends, family, and the community is very heartening. People regularly bring meals to Alison and her family, do the laundry, bring flowers and little gifts, send cards, run errands, boost morale and uplift her (and us all) in prayer. It's kind of like when Winnie the Pooh was stuck in Rabbit's hole after eating too much honey and his friends rallied round and sang sustaining songs. That's the only way to manage in these challenging days. I don't know how anyone gets through anything without support. I call it circling the wagons. Country people do that very well. And of  course, I've got my furbabies.

As ever, the garden uplifts me and many others, despite the heat and bugs. After the beetles pass, the roses will bloom again in a flush of glory before frost. Zinnias are coming on strong, as are salvia and dahlias are setting buds. The sunflowers are a golden forest. And I've ordered more tulip, crocus, and hyacinth bulbs to plant this fall, as I'm of the opinion you can never have too many. I don't recall a spring where I failed to be cheered by crocus shining in the sun, or daffodils bending in the breeze.

Beauty is never wasted. Remember that. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever..." John Keats

I should mention that I actually managed to do a little writing this past week, but my opportunities are limited these days and I'm often too tired to be creative. But it will come.

16 comments:

  1. Thank you Ms. Trissel for the lovely update on your daughter and hope and pray that this will kill the cancer. Thank you for sharing your flowers. You just don't know how much they help me out every day. You are a gem that shines so bright that you want to reach out and touch it. When you do get to write again it will flow out of you so fast that you sometimes can't keep up. Please take care of yourself also as we don't want anything happening to you. Patsy Tong

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    1. Thank you, Patsy. How very kind. Your support and cheer are greatly appreciated.

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  2. Such beautiful pics! I'm so sorry to hear of the family struggles--I will keep your daughter in my prayers. Glad you are getting through this with love all around!

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    1. Thanks so much, Susan. Yes, we are blessed with support.

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  3. Love the description of your daughter's support system. Gratifying to think of all that love pointed in the same direction. God bless her and her loved ones.

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    1. Alison is a lovely person and has many friends. Thanks so much.

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  4. Beth, you have a lot on your plate. You're an amazing woman and accomplish so much. I will keep you and Alison and your family in my prayers. Thank you for the cheerful flower photos. They are uplifting. Take care, Beth!

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    1. Thanks Caroline. I very much appreciate your caring and kind words.

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  5. Beth, thank you for sharing. Sending healing thoughts and praying for all in your family circle and beyond. May all of you and your daughter stay strong. What a lot to handle right now.

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    1. Thanks Charlotte. We're fighting hard. Yes, it's a lot.

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  6. I am glad you have the garden. It is beautiful. You certainly have a LOT on your plate and such a difficult time to have it. Hope it goes well for your daughter and the kids.

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  7. Do sorry Alison is so I'll. My prayers will be with her. Think of you often and just love to see your flowers.

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  8. As always. beautiful pictures. Sending positive thoughts and prayers Alison's way. Take care.

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