My friend Norm, who has survived cancer and knows about the patience that comes with recovery, has on occasion offered this wise statement about Vernon’s progress:
“It’s like watching an apple grow.”
Apparently that is what his own doctor had said to him. What more specific thing could he have said? There is no time frame to project. Each patient is a different case. We just know its a process…and it seems much slower to those with their eyes glued to the patient.
We could use so many other idioms. Like watching paint dry. Like watching a pot boil. The list goes on…
But I like this apple idea because eventually there is FRUIT at the end of the waiting. Something sweet, nourishing, bright, solid. Something worth waiting for.
Because I see Vernon so often, I don’t appreciate the changes as much as those who maybe haven’t seen him for a few weeks. And it’s so encouraging to hear things from their view. He is moving so much more now. He is much more alert. His movements seem more fluid. Etc.
Back to the apple. Its so good to know we have something to look forward to when the time comes. And there is beauty at every turn. But it is also key for my family to keep their eyes on the other parts of the garden. There are other trees to attend to in the family’s plot: school, work, friendships, spiritual life, creative-expression, physical health, laughter, tears, bills and finances. In some ways having the heavier routine of September life makes watching Vernon’s apple tree that much easier. But no doubt about it, compared to the speed in which we generally live life: his process is slooooooooooow!
A new update for today: Last night Vernon was transferred to St Jude’s Hospital in Fullerton to get another surgery…this time to replace the dialysis catheter. His white blood cell count has been high again and they found an infection in this tube. This isn’t the first time it will have to be replaced…I guess having extra holes punched into your body is an invitation for viruses, the longer they are there. I understand the procedure will happen tomorrow morning. I will be going up tomorrow but I am told he will be there for a few days. Who knows…maybe he will go back to Kindred and find he gets a new roommate…which is what he wanted.
There is always a silver lining.
A drawing I did when I was 20 (found in the depths of my parent’s garage.) Its been sitting by the rubbish bin, a bit too large to fit. So before I finally throw it out, I’ll give it a last life as part of a blog post. An APPLE…I knew it was waiting for something. 🙂