Thursday, May 5, 2011

Here We Are And I Don't Know Any More Than That

It's like fifty degrees here today. FIFTY! That may mean nothing to you but to those of us who live here in North Florida it's tantamount to waking up on July 4 to snow. Usually by this time in May we wake up with our air conditioners running and the air outside is already so hot and humid that just walking from kitchen to car we are coated with a thin film of sweat.
Believe me, I am not complaining. I am just a bit amazed.

All seems quiet here in Lloyd this morning. No goats in trees, no apples dropping from trees. Yesterday after the strange incident of the leg-hung goat, an apple dropped from one of the Bradford Pear trees, fifteen feet from where I sat on the porch. A Pink Lady apple, to be exact and I recognized it as having come from my kitchen and it had been gnawed. Owen was eating an apple outside on Sunday and I guess he abandoned it somewhere and a squirrel picked it up and carried it up the tree and chewed on it for a few days and then let it slip from his tiny clever paws yesterday morning.

Either that or yesterday morning was even stranger than I thought it was.
And that was strange enough.

Kathleen and I went to Thomasville yesterday and met with Dr. McCutie Pie. He really is darling. I've posted his picture before but it bears repeating.

We are so lucky to have this man. Not only is he warm and friendly and as darling as a movie star, he is smart.
The mutation which Kathleen has in her cancer is so very, very rare and he suspected it and tested for it and because of that she is able to take a form of treatment that her body can tolerate. And thus, she is living her life, directing a play, working at her job, planning her trip to Spain with her daddy, making arrangements for a new part-time job, taking care of her chickens, her dogs, her cats, her yard.
I know it's common to fall in love with your doctor but in this case, I think we have good reason.
He always sits down and talks to us before we get into the medical stuff. He listens. He LISTENS. To stories of this and that and he asks questions and he laughs at our jokes and he shakes his head and he smiles.
He was so tired yesterday. One of the partners left and so the three doctors who remain have had to take on his patients, their plates already full and besides that, Dr. McCutie Pie has a two-year old at home and a new baby coming in July.
You could see his fatigue in his face and also, when he dried his hands he did not lean back like a matador facing the bull, making a dance even of something so prosaic as taking paper towels from the dispenser, drying his hands, discarding the paper towels.
But he sat. He listened. Then he examined. Then he explained. Then he made plans. Then he shook our hands again and he left the room.
We did not feel shorted in any way. We felt blessed to have him.
It's always a cultural smorgasbord, visiting the cancer center in Thomasville. Cancer does not pick and choose when it comes to race or status or gender or age. Everyone waits patiently, patient patients, in the light-filled waiting room. There is coffee and cookies and even cup-of-soup for those who wait. Bananas and apples, too. The ubiquitous fruits. When Kathleen and I were waiting in the lab area a woman who was accompanying a patient kept thrusting her eager face into our space as we talked, trying to find a foothold to launch herself into our conversation. She finally found one, tenuous though it was and started talking about Johnny Depp and a movie he was in and how scary it was.
"My heart was just a-beatin'!" she said and I looked at her and wondered how a woman younger than I could speak so elderly.
She informed us that she doesn't allow those really scary movies in her house. That they are evil.
We waited for the expected religious lecture to follow. The devil would surely be involved.
But no.
Not this time.

There is much talk of God in the cancer center waiting room. A lot of people give all credit to Him for their remissions, their cures.
Kathleen and Judy and I stay quiet, thinking of all the years of hard work the doctors put in to learn their science, their art, knowing that if they were not lucky enough to have these doctors, God would probably not have been so influential.

Well. Neither here or there.

Dr. McCutie Pie is not a god. But perhaps, he, like me and you and this cool air, are God. I don't know. I do not know at all.

I live in a world where apples fall from non-fruiting pear trees, where it can feel like fall in May, where goats get caught in trees, where I am allowed to sleep in a bed with too many pillows and comforters with my husband and a small dog.

I don't even begin to know what to think about anything today. So I'll just be grateful and let it go at that.


  1. Don't sit under any trees today, okay?

  2. DTG is funny. And I think being grateful is as sacred a response as you can have.

  3. Amen. I wish you could come to my house and figure it all out --

  4. I like Dr McCutie so much!

    I was weeding under a willow tree just now, and water kept dripping on me. Big fat drops. Not a cloud in the sky. Do willows really weep? This one isn't even a weeping willow, it's a curly willow. (I don't like it very much and keep threatening to cut it down and replace it with a better tree. Maybe I made it cry.)
    No, seriously. Do willows excrete water? I'm confused.

  5. Lovely post. Kathleen's doctor is an answer, even for those of us non-believers who only float wishes in the direction of Cosmic Coincidence.

  6. My mom is at the end of her battle with Ovarian cancer. (She went into Palliative care yesterday.) She has had doctors that were brilliant and knew how to treat the cancer but their bedside manner was terrible, sometimes even cruel. She has a few doctors that have added compassion added to their brilliance. It is a rare find.

    God? Where is He/She in all of this? If we can praise God for cures can we also not rage at Him/Her for NOT getting a cure, for the ones that don't have it so good? The ones that are now dead. My spirituality is the hub of my life and yet I have shook my fist in the air and raged at God, "How fucking dare you!". However, I think perhaps God has broad shoulders and keeps loving even though I scoff at His/Her name. Through all of this I don't know either. I really don't. And yet...

  7. DTG- Good advice!

    Stephanie- It's as close as I will come.

    Elizabeth- That would be lovely.

    Mwa- I have no idea! Maybe they do weep. Even the non-weeping ones.

    Kathleen Scott- Amen.

    Birdie- I am so sorry to hear about your mother. And I have no answers about spirituality. We all must find the answers which resound inside our own souls. For me, the ones that make sense are the ones that make sense. But, that is just me. I wish peace for you, wherever and however you find it.

  8. I am glad that Kathleen went to the cancer center. And I am glad that she has a good and thoughtful doctor. Watch out for goats falling from trees and apples that hang by one leg.

  9. Kathleen is a strong woman. And so very lucky to have you as a friend.

  10. I'm with Steph and Elizabeth and SB. I adore you're writing and I love you xx


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