Plans Change

‘Transition’ is the focus of my challenge this week. At the time of composing, I thought I would be reviewing last year’s lessons and gifts and preparing myself to greet the new. Life, of course, seldom fits into our neatly packaged plans.

As I write this, I’m sitting in a hotel room, with my alarm set for 4:20 a.m. I’ll be catching a flight early tomorrow, returning home, dealing with a different kind of transition.

Ric and I were out shopping when the text from our youngest son came in: Grandma’s going to the hospital.  She wanted me to let you know.

A few weeks ago, it was her kidneys – one has completely shut down and there is partial blockage in the other. Now it is her bowels.

“I’m scared,” she told me when I reached her by phone.

“I know Mom. I’m on my way.”

In one breath, she doesn’t want the fuss; in another, she tells me her heart has been acting up. She is days away from turning 92.

“At the very least, we’ll celebrate your birthday together,” I tell her.

She doesn’t argue.

Good thing the New Year kicks off without my input.

(Photo is one of Mom’s last outings. I am linking this up with my weekly challenge: transition.)

“When Breath Becomes air” Review

Just as Paul Kalanithi’s future looked bright, cancer struck.  As a doctor (neurosurgeon) he knew all too well what he was about to face, and guided by his oncologist, had to make difficult life choices.  Kalanithi bravely decided to commit his journey to paper, offering an inside glimpse of illness from the eyes of a physician turned patient.  th-1

When Breath Becomes air is eloquently written: more a philosophy book than a memoir.  Kalanithi’s passion for literature is evident throughout his writing.

As is my practice, I listened to the audiobook version which featured the narration of Sunil Malhotra and Cassandra Campbell, both effective voices for the context.

There is so much more to this story that just the narrative of a dying man:  Kalanithi dares to ask the big questions, and strives to find the answers.  As a sufferer of chronic illness, listening to Kalanithi’s story felt like an intimate discussion with a close personal friend.