Sunday, February 24, 2008

window in the heart

A whole lot of what I have been doing in this space is trying to trace the lines of this disease: "This is where cancer is, and this is where it is not." A useful practice, over this long last two years.

That need, I think, is wrung out of me. The lines, at any rate, are fading.

This time two years ago, Thomas had been sick and then sicker and sicker. We had thought his ear tubes would make a dramatic change, but a week after the surgery he stopped using a bottle and would only nurse, weakly, mostly for comfort.

I couldn't put words on it then, but I began to have the sense of heavy, electric dread that precedes a tornado. I remember laying him down for a nap, early, and actually stepping outside to check the sky. He was diagnosed a couple of days later.

We have come back to that season. He is losing his balance. He hurts. There are a dozen small things that have already slipped by without us counting them. He is holding his head to the side.

A couple of weeks ago, Thomas and I watched Paul Simon get his Library of Congress award on TV. We were both transfixed by Allison Krauss and Jerry Douglass's version of my old favorite, "Graceland." We both danced on our tiptoes, and I have been singing bits of the lyrics this week, when I could sing:

"There is a girl in New York City
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when I'm falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Oh, so this is what she means
She means were bouncing into graceland

And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow . . ."

Read more!


At 7:21 PM, Blogger Thomas, as told to Sarah said...

This clip is so moving and amazing.

I could start a whole blog about how this song is the perfect song, how amazing this performance is, and how under-appreciated guitarist Mark Stuart is.

Thomas totally agrees with me, by the way.

7:16 PM

At 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sarah,

I was thinking this evening of how easy it is to let others write our stories for us during these times. Seen through their unexperienced lenses, making sense in those pre-cancer logical ways, they speak of our lives kindly, compassionately, never touching our truths. Your words capture those spaces between grief and in the moment joy, practicality, and fear that were our family's frequent companions during these last two and half years.

Holding you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Susan Mecca (Nick's mom and 10th floor past resident)

At 6:43 AM, Blogger Whitney said...

You're all in my thoughts and prayers every day. I desperately miss that afternoon knock on my door.


At 10:22 AM, Blogger Ctelblog said...

Everything hurts for you. Here if you need anything.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Carol said...

May the Lord keep you, your family, and little Thomas close. You have no idea how much I understand your pain and agony as my son died of the same tumor.

At 8:07 AM, Blogger sarah's_mom said...

Window in the Heart .....more like a gaping hole in mine. :(

At 8:07 AM, Blogger Thomas, as told to Sarah said...

Thanks, Susan. Hope Nick and your husband are doing well. Seeing you maintain your self-hood in the face of cancer was very encouraging to me.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Michelle D said...

My heart hurts for you guys...

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Jana said...

continuing to think of you....praying for grace. i don't really know what else to say.


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