We pulled into the driveway last night, and I exhaled. Home. We could hear the Sirs barking – they knew we were here. Everything was just as we had left it on Wednesday, nothing had changed. That craving for the familiar finally satisfied. My anchor, my protection, my comfort. Home. I need to be here right now.
I submit that in the medical lexicon, there is no more magnificent adjective than ‘benign’. The pathologist called me while we were in Hilton Head and said “benign”. I remember saying “Thank God and thank you so, so much for calling me.” She liked my hair – I gave her the name of the woman who turns my gray hair into some credible fictional derivative. I love horses – she told me about an organization where I can volunteer by helping children with disabilities experience the confidence-boosting experience of riding. Then she added that word I abhor – “but”. “But, I have never seen anything like this before…sending the sample to a colleague at Georgetown…probably should be removed.” Do I tell her that I feel a third little coffee klatch of ‘rogue’ cells getting together for a little chat? Does it matter? “Benign”, I tell myself and take long deep breaths. I really should learn how to meditate. Andy tried to teach me once, suggesting I select a word that I could repeat in my head to help eliminate extraneous thoughts from interrupting my concentration. I came up with ‘Pepsi Cola’ because I liked the rhythm of the two words together and started to laugh so hard that I ended up rolling on the bed, clutching my stomach and snorting. Pepsi Cola – really?
At the end of the day, all will be well – I know this – I have no doubts. It is just that time between now and getting-to-fine that makes me want to cocoon, and feel the safety of my familiar. Knowing how perfect the coffee will be each morning, which way to turn the kitchen faucet so it doesn’t drip, sharing my kitchen chair with Teddy and rubbing Archie’s tummy with my foot. Sunday crossword puzzles and fuzzy socks. Football. A storm coming in (actually a storm coming in wherever you may live on the East Coast of the U.S.) and power outages expected. I am ever hopeful that our lights will stay on this time, even though our history this year suggests otherwise.
When I walked the Sirs early this morning, the silence was too loud not to notice. A few crickets insisted on continuing their conversation; other than that – not even a whisper on the wind. A leaf fell on the asphalt. I heard everything acutely, having so few sounds to identify. An hour and a half later and the wind is beginning to wake, each bend of the trees an acknowledgement perhaps of what is about to come. ‘Get ready’, the air muses, ‘for change is always on the wing’. And despite the uncertainty, I challenge the breeze – for it is benign.