I had intended to give a quick update on a few issues, then delve right into my promised post titled, “Betty Cranker the Marriage Killer”, but alas a new day has dawned and due to circumstances I can only say, “shit”. I will back track a bit, just to bring you up to speed.
This past fall, my mother asked Cole if he would like to accompany her to Nicaragua. Cole said, “yes”. Now if you think back to some of my writings this past year, you’ll remember that the word on the street, for Cole, was to “live.” People ask me all the time, “what is Cole’s prognosis?” I don’t know what they expect me to say…perhaps they want to hear, “oh, he has 1-5 years”, or perhaps they are wanting me to say, “well, after we kill his body some more with radiation, he will have a better chance at surviving into his late twenties.” Regardless of what people intend to learn from that particular inquiry, my answer is always the same, “the prognosis is to live!” So my mom booked him a flight to go with her this winter and Brian and I took them both to LAX last night. Cole, with his backpack on his lap, wheeled himself behind his grandma who was alongside the porter (are we still allowed to use that word?), and away they went into the international terminal. With the threat of a big fat ticket from the motor-cop patrolling the drop off area, Brian and I took one last look at our son and then left the airport.
Now with last week’s fiasco, the bleeding out the eyes and the issues from surgery, we didn’t know if Cole was going to be able to make his trip (yesterday he was given the seal of approval from the surgeon himself). And of course, I had hoped to write about its impending doom, only I had such a terrible migraine for the entire week, that I couldn’t even use the computer one bit. Throw Cole’s 21st birthday party in on Saturday and my sister being here for the weekend, and voila–you don’t get an updated post until now. Which brings me to the fecal matter as promised above.
This morning I was able to touch base with the Nicaragua crew, just as they were getting ready to depart from Houston to Managua. The word was good…Cole feels he is traveling better than he expected. Hooray!
So with Esther off at school this morning, Brian and I were eye-balling each other like two teenagers who knowingly have a house to themselves for a good chunk of time (if you can’t read between those lines, I’m sorry for you!). But just as I peeled down to my last garment, the phone rang. Now under other circumstances I would not have answered the phone, however, with a son en route and a mother with atrial fibrillation alongside him, I answered the phone. It was my sister. She was in tears…my grandmother, my precious Grandma Ella-my mom’s mom, had just left our world. I hung up the phone and shared the news with Brian. He then pulled me into his arms and we held each other and cried.
And really, all I can come up with is “shit”…it is the same response I had almost a year ago on Saturday, March 12th. Cole and I were in the ER and he had just insisted to the PA (physician’s assistant) that he wanted a CT scan before being sent home. The PA was sure Cole was suffering only from vertigo and wasn’t really on board with ordering the scan…but Cole had a feeling. Twenty minutes later, the “white coat”, Dr. Firestone MD, came walking into our room and shared the news that Cole had a hemorrhaging mass (tumor) on his brain-stem and they had the neurosurgeon on the phone and a bed in surgical ICU being prepared. I looked at Cole and said, “shit!”
Now I don’t know why everything revolves around poop with me. But I will tell you, that every time I say it I think of Brian’s Grandma Mae…she told me a story about her father and that word. She apparently used the word in his presence when she was a teenager. His response to her was, “I wouldn’t hold in my hand, what you just had in your mouth!” And he is right.
It is not easy to say goodbye to someone we feel we need to have with us. That is where I am at with my grandma Ella…in fact, that is where our entire family is at with saying goodbye to our matriarch. That seems to be where Piper (Cole’s dog) is at with Cole’s absence, for she is here sitting beside me as I write. “Where is Cole?”, her eyes seem to ask. So to her I say this, “He is living. The same as my grandma Ella. They are both living, though they are not living with us here right now.”
And you know what? I can hear my grandma say the same, “live”! …then she would tell me to stop eating shit, and stop doling it out!
Oi Vay, what a day!