Monday, February 23, 2009
winn workin' his kitchen magic.
I had the best bowl of chili for supper. And better yet, I didn't have to make it. Winn is vying for the blue ribbon at the chili cookoff tomorrow night, so I get to be the taste-tester for his "experiments." He really is better in the kitchen than I am. But then again, we would expect nothing less from a chemist.
Now supper is over and the dishes are done, and I can hear the saw and sander buzzing away upstairs as he works on the window trim. During this emotional roller coaster of a week, he is all muscles and action, processing this unwelcome news about his mom's cancer in his own way. Calm and steady, sensitive and solemn. Our good friend Chris lost his father unexpectedly over the weekend, and at church on Sunday, while worshipers around them stood and sang, he and Winn sat shoulder to shoulder, bent over in their chairs, two strong men shedding tears of pain for their loved ones. And I can't explain why that scene touched me so much, but in that moment, expressing their sorrow, taking comfort in each others friendship, they looked stronger than ever.
The unwelcome news. I have been putting off telling you, because then it is real. My mother-in-law Sherill came up here last week from her home in Iowa, looking for answers from Mayo Clinic about the recent severe pain she's been experiencing. The answers came. But they weren't the ones that we wanted to hear. What began as breast cancer many years ago, and then spread to her liver and lung, has now metastasized to her bones, and there are several additional tumors as well. And after a long and courageous battle, she has decided to end her treatments.
In this next season of life, this wonderful family that I've come to love and appreciate so much, will gather to soak up precious time together and create many priceless memories. Two of Winn's siblings are already there, the third is on her way, and we will head down this weekend. I'm trying to prepare myself, as much as one can, for the bittersweet times that we will experience, as we savor every moment together, contemplating a time in the not-so-distant future when Sherill will be free from pain, when she'll finally have a body that's not overcome with disease, when she'll be able to run and dance and see her dad and her sister and, like she told me a couple days ago, finally get to see Nova Scotia. We don't know what we'll do without her, but who can begrudge her a future like that...