In a little under a week I’m going in for surgery, so for these last few days Kohl and I made a list of everything we wanted or needed to get done, and we’ve been working on checking them all off. Unfortunately I sleep for half of every day and Kohl is constantly busy with all the various film projects with which he’s involved, but we’re still trying.
Some of the things we have on the list are getting our house totally clean, taking family pictures, putting my herb garden in order, and going swimming (I love swimming, but I’m not allowed to go once I get my catheter placed, so it’s my last chance for a while). We’re doing pretty well on the list, almost entirely because of the efforts of Kohl and others. Yesterday, I was feeling pretty terrible, and while I slept Kohl picked up, straightened, washed and vacuumed every room in our house. I feel a lot of guilt when he does that, because I know that most of the clutter is mine. Kohl despairs over what he calls my “piles” and it’s true: by each of my habitual resting places, like my chair in the living room or my side of the bed, I keep a stash of the books I’m reading, the projects on which I’m working, or the mail I need to go through. Poor boy, he hates clutter. Thus, my guilt when he has to deal with mine. He worked so hard, too, not to berate me for it. I love that man; he is so committed to being the best version of himself, and he succeeds so well. I’ve never met anyone so talented at setting personal goals and achieving them, even when his wife is too ill to do her share.
We also had a wonderful experience with family pictures. I’ve been trying for a few months to set up some sort of photo shoot with one of our many cinematographer friends, but the thing about those guys is that they’re always busy shooting commercials or movies. Trying to fit my sporadic bouts of health with that type of schedule just never worked out. I had given up on the idea, and I was thoroughly disappointed. We haven’t gotten actual family pictures, just Kohl and me, since we were married 11 years ago, and taking them while I am on dialysis is not really an option. Dialysis changes the way I look drastically. It’s as though my entire body knows that something unnatural is going on, and the actual muscles shift in revolt. That’s not it, of course; I’m sure that it is just a combination of the extra fluid in my body and the lack of energy and nutrients that make me lose color (you didn’t think it was possible for me to have any less color, did you?) and seem to change the shape of my body and face. Regardless, I thought getting pictures was something else I was going to have to set aside until I got well again.
Then, last week, a photographer friend, whom we had really only met once in person before, contacted me and offered us a photo session out of the blue. She had read this blog and felt the urge to do something nice for us. I explained that we would have to do the shoot in the next few days, since my surgery was so close, and she immediately scheduled a time for us. We spent a couple of hours shooting all around my beautiful neighborhood, and every picture I saw was stunning. (I strongly suggest you check out Briana Marie Photos on Facebook and online; she has some wonderful work.) I’m so excited to see the rest of them, and I am a little overwhelmed by the generosity of this sweet woman.
In fact, I feel blessed to have so many people love and care for us. I have a good friend who called me up a couple of months ago and told me that she was going to be bringing us dinner every Wednesday, so I should just start planning on it. (Kohl got a huge kick out of that. “Finally; someone who knows how to talk to you,” he said. He thinks I am sometimes too focused on being independent.) I have other friends who will randomly call me up and tell me they made extra food, can they bring it by; or they’re on their way to the store, is there something I need; or they have some free time, would I like to get together and crochet? Some of my friends even set up a party so that I can go swimming the day before my surgery! I have family members, good friends, and people I barely know all sincerely offering to be a donor for me, and I have a couple very special people who have told me they are willing to be a surrogate so that Kohl and I can have the baby we’ve been wanting so long.
I am overwhelmingly blessed in and by the people I know, and I am constantly astounded at the amount of love that we have received from so many. As I’m trying to get my life in order this last week, I am feeling remarkably calm and happy. All I find myself thinking about is how lucky and grateful I am for my beautiful life. Have you heard that phrase “brim with joy”? That is how my heart feels right now. I have been so well taken care of, and I know that, regardless of the outcome of this surgery, that will continue to be the case. To all those who have shown me such unconditional love, thank you. To those who have served me, or prayed for me, or sent some of your thoughts my way, I am so grateful to know people like you.
I love you guys. Your attitude and strength is amazing. You’re in our thoughts and prayers continually.
Thank you so much, Brandi. I’m feeling really peaceful because it seems like everyone I know is praying for me. And we love you too, and all your family.
Thank you Chris. This post inspires gratitude. I needed a bit of that today. I was wonderful working with you and kohl this past month. You and your little family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Thanks, Ryan; it was fun working with you. There’s not much like a grueling film shoot to make you appreciate how sweet normal life can be. And then, for some reason, you start wanting to work on another film…
Chris, I love you so much! You are so strong and such an example to me. You will be great. You always are. Love you!
Thanks, Meg, you’re an example to me as well.
You are such a great writer. I love how you express yourself. I teared up more than once as I read through this. I know what those tired days and sleeping half of them feels like. I wish you were close enough for me to come and give you a hug and talk. You are such a wonderful example to all of us. I LOVE the picture you posted. I hope you post more 🙂 Love you!
I am excited to post more photos; I loved the ones I saw. Of course, I had to sleep most of the day to make sure that I had enough energy to take them, but I think it was worth it. It would be great to live close, but I’m really glad that we are able to communicate so easily regardless of how far away we are. Thanks for always being there for me, Katie.
xxoo Lots of love and love your photo! Kohl is a keeper for sure, and he chose well!
He is a good one, isn’t he? Since I broke him in, I mean. 😉
“Since I broke him in”!!! He loves he always has. Like Katie I wish you were closer so we could be those kind people. But I do think about you often and keep you in my prayers. Your outfit looks so cute I can’t wait to see the pics!! I love you Chris you have always been a strong wonderful person. Good friends anywhere are a blessing
That is so true, Tecia; good friends are one of my greatest blessings. And don’t think I don’t feel your love from all the way over there; I know you’re still sending me chocolate chipless cookies from wherever you are.