I am sitting in my parents’ New York hotel room/apartment right now. Dixie is resting in the bedroom now. He was discharged from the hospital today, five days after surgery. The original idea was a week to 10 days in he hospital so he is ahead of schedule. He is pretty weak but doing well. In fact he says he is going home to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Which sort of throws my own plans into turmoil, but I will figure it out.
I wanted to share a few particularly moving responses to my posts about my dad and Cathy.
My Israeli cousin Hadar Agam writes from Boston, where she now lives:
When I read your column I sympathized with every word there. I’m not
sure whether you are aware, but when Yigal and I left Israel to live in
Boston, Yigal’s mother had cancer. It was a very hard decision for us to
make, but she was more than supportive – we all knew that we had to go
on that adventure rather than regret later, and that Yigal’s mother
would have felt only worse for “ruining our plans” if we stayed. When we
came here I was half way pregnant with Gal (who you haven’t met yet!). A
few days after he was born, her situation got much worse, and a few days
later she died. I feel like she had to hang on and see that everything
was OK with that baby, before she let go.
Anyway – just wanted to let you know (again) that I enjoy reading your
blog. I feel like we share many similar experiences, as we are also
living our own expat life here…
I hope all is well with you and with yours, and I hope to see you
sometime – somewhere on this planet…
Art Rummler writes:
I read the blog today and was deeply saddened to hear about Cathy. I’ve been following her story in your postings. Many emotions moved through me as I read the article. Empathy and sorrow, anger and frustration. When I read about my brother John I wept uncontrollably for several minutes. Strange as this may sound, I thank you.
As you might recall, John was a few days shy of his 40th birthday when he died. His cancer was also misdiagnosed at first. Perhaps had it not been, he would have had a better chance.
For Tom, his family and friends, the coming days will no doubt be filled with grief. In time, they will learn to quiet their emotions and cope with their loss. Their life and times with Cathy will always be a much loved memory to cherish and hold dearly.
But every now and then, something or someone will cause them to pause, reflect and recall the person they loved so dearly and all the emotions they are feeling right now will rush back, if only temporarily. For me, that day was today and the something was your story. Rather than be sad, I am glad to remember the level of love that I had for someone else and the gift that having them in life really was.
And Carrie Wells says:
Alan: I just can’t get your poor friend out of my mind. The whole thing is so sad, but I’m feeling stuck on the anger Tom must feel to have been robbed of his mate, to know she should have been given help sooner – and finally, to think of the last 5 days that were stolen from them because of some corporate giant. Maybe they were the last days she was conscious, of course, I don’t know–but I keep thinking of all those tiny, precious moments that were robbed. Good people – how many really good people are there in this world? – not many, I think. And now there is one less. I am so sorry for your grief.
You’ve gathered more than your share of stress points this year, some good, some terrible. Take very good care of yourself.
And, please, pass my kisses and hugs around to Becky, Jacob, Eli, Anna, and you.