Although I find snow to be picturesque over the winter holidays, I find it a trifle intrusive in early October, and even more so this year. This morning, when I faced a mini-blizzard out my office window, I found its presence especially unsettling. I guess a part of me really feels like our family lost much of this summer to the world of medicine and to an existence in which nausea and fatigue are ever-present members of our inner circle. I'm whining, I know, but I am a bit bitter at times that illness seems to steal into a family's happy world and attempt to make off with its dreams.
In summers past, Patty and I would spend several evenings a week in our backyard, enjoying a fire and a glass or two of port. On weekends, we would go on road trips with no planned destination, just for the joy of discovering something entirely new together (like the funny red hat in Morris from a much earlier post.) Some nights, even if we knew we had important plans the next morning, we would be so absorbed in conversation that we would keep talking until the wee hours. Throughout our relationship (now over six years), we have been more-or-less inseparable companions -- perhaps even at times to the exasperation of others.
These days, our fires are much more modest and confined to our family room fireplace; our road trips are more often about getting Patty to a plasmapheresis appointment than about exploring a random, unknown road; and most late evenings usually translate into rough next mornings for Patty. Although we still spend much of our time together, Patty sleeps much more often, and I seem to be forever running errands. For some reason, the snow this morning reminded me about how this was a very different sort of year. What's more, Patty again started her day with a powerful round of vomiting, and she can barely move for her nausea, so the snow wasn't the only cue that we're not in Kansas anymore.
Even with these maudlin thoughts, though, I know that both Patty and I believe that there is so much in our life that is absolutely amazing. In our home, we see much more laughter than sorrow or anger. We have five amazing children who fill us with pride. We have people around us who care, and who will give of themselves freely. In the young people we meet on the sidewalk, I see the influence of an adored teacher. And, no matter what happens, I know that I have a soulmate who wants nothing more than to enjoy many more wonderful campfires, Saturday drives and all-night chats. Next summer, perhaps?
As I was writing this blog entry, Neil called and, in a state of nearly unadulterated joy exclaimed, "Isn't the snow amazing?" Well, even though I'm not wild about the weather, there's something to be said for a sunnier outlook.