Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy things

I am amazed at how the return of the hummingbirds lifts my spirits each spring.  
Yesterday at church Judy, our neighbor across the road, sat next to us and said she noticed on Facebook that I had hummingbirds already; she had not seen any yet, and said obviously all her hummingbirds were coming to my house... joking, of course.  So I took this picture and posted on Facebook that I told this particular bird to go visit her.  Later in the afternoon she finally saw her first hummer.  I guess that makes me a hummingbird whisperer.  
Yesterday I saw my first Baltimore Oriole of the year.  The orange of my oriole feeder has faded, and really isn't very orange any more; I intended to have Cliff paint it Allis Chalmers orange, fearing the orioles wouldn't use it if it didn't look orange enough.  But after seeing that oriole in the yard, I went ahead and hung the feeder as is, and loaded it with grape jelly and strawberry jam.  It wasn't long before I saw that colorful male oriole feasting on strawberry jam, so I guess they aren't particular about how orange their feeder is.  This particular feeder is equipped with a holder for an orange, a place to put nectar, and little pockets for jelly.  I usually only put jelly out for them; it seems as though that's the main thing they like, although once in a while I'll see one partaking of the nectar in a hummingbird feeder, and I have on occasion put an orange out for them, too.

Our daughter came to hang out yesterday morning, forgetting that we attend church these days.  I told her to make herself comfortable, that we'd be back in a little over an hour.  
Getting back to church has been good for Cliff and me, by the way.  We have had some deep and interesting conversations about spirituality and what we believe, and have found out we pretty much believe the same things!  We've been married almost forty-six years, and had never really had conversations along these lines.   

Now on to some not-so-happy thoughts.
I have had people ask how Cliff and I are doing with Rachel's diagnosis of cancer.  We are  taking things one day at a time, digesting each piece of information as we get it and assuming that she will beat this thing, but of course there is always a nagging fear in the background that tries to shove the hope aside.   And then there's the dread of her having to go through chemo; yes, I know chemo isn't as bad as it used to be, and that it will be her salvation.  That doesn't mean I have to like the fact that my daughter has to deal with it.  I know she is having similar thoughts, multiplied by at least ten, because she is the one walking this lonesome valley:  As the old folk song says, "nobody else can go there for you; you gotta walk it by yourself."  
She visits the oncologist Thursday, so perhaps then we'll know the battle plan.  
Sometimes I wish there was no Google, because it gives you answers, but the answers aren't complete if you don't have all the information.  Google is scary at best when we're talking about medical issues, and you can find answers that are dead wrong if you end up on the wrong site.   
What bothers me most right now is that Rachel is uncomfortable all the time, with those tubes still in place.  She doesn't say a lot about it, but I see the discomfort on her face when she moves.  
Cancer sucks.   


  1. No hummers here yet, it is still way too cold. I hope Rachel has time to heal and feel better before the chemo starts. I remember when my son got the word that he could return to work. He wasn't able to do what he'd been doing but still he found a job that he could do and he was so thankful to be feeling better and doing things again. Healing takes time and she's gone through some major major surgery. It will come and I know what it feels like not being able to help, but your being there for her makes a huge difference. Hang in there...all will be well...this too will pass. (some words I've said to myself time and again.) Hope your Monday is a wonderful one!

  2. I agree about Google. Sometime on health issues I end up more confused. Everyday I wish the best for your daughter.

  3. We are going through a "cancer thing" in our family right now. I agree. Cancer sucks!

  4. Your last two words sum up my thoughts exactly. It's impossible to keep those thoughts out of your mind especially when you don't know what stage you're dealing with.

    Google can be good in some ways but I think it can also consume you and swallow you whole. The problem is doctors don't give you a lot of information unless you ask them the right questions.

    A cancer patient is run ragged and need lots of help and support from family and friends. It's hard for everyone walking the journey with them knowing there's only so much they can do to make it easier.


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