Yesterday was a blind curve in my little trail in life. It started like every other: the morning ritual of rising, Jim feeding the dogs, while I prepared a simple breakfast. Before the toast was all eaten or the first cup of tea finished, I was responding to his wordless, ominous stomping in the back hall: his alert to what proved, some hours later, to be an aortic aneurysm.
Within hours, breakfast chat about installing cove molding and dinner guests gave way to mid-day, potential final farewells. The aneurysm had effected a life-threatening dissection of his aorta. The detour resulting from that blind curve suddenly put us in a dark tunnel which permitted no luxury of space or time to let emotions veer right or left. Just make decisions. Take care of business. In the doctors frank words, death. Jim’s physical condition and need for surgery usurped all other thoughts or feelings begging for an opportunity to reel in my mind. Transferring to Cleveland for the surgery might be the last stop on our twenty three year journey together. Some day, of course. I know it’s part of the deal.
By midnight, after he had not only miraculously survived a weather-delayed transport to Cleveland Clinic, but also a four hour surgery, I confided to our dear friend, Sue, that sometimes the feelings are just too powerful to begin to face them. Right now, it’s all about him. How grateful I am that, as a young, artistic spirit, I was taught to be a stalwart son. Though weak or lacking in some virtues, gaining a degree of that one has seen me through the impossible precipices of the darker side of life. And love.