I’ve had pen sitting on blank paper for more than a week as I ruminate about bumpers. 5AM today and I was still searching for the ‘doorway’ into the topic. Why hasn’t it left me alone? What has the word been trying to tell me?
But, as is so often the case, Life had other plans. And my body? It has a conspiring mind of its own. In a very real sense, sometimes I feel like a hostage, along for the ride – whether I like it or not.
I so want to whine…in fact, several of my care-givers have given me permission to drop the brave face and let it out. “It’s yours, claim it, own it” they say. Problem is there are few characteristics I despise as much as being around a whiner, much less be one. And yet, here I am – unable to deliver the essay I’d planned because my body had other ideas. Great (sic). Time for a whine list.
For one, I’m producing output (and smells) like nothing I’ve ever experienced…and I include the smell of babies and what they can smell like at diaper changing time. If you’re nodding your head, you can take that up a few notches. You’ll understand my appreciation for the people at Glade and the fine work they do.
Earlier this week, after spending the day doing my best to exercise grace by exiting any room with fellow humans in it before my bowels exhaled, I was finally driving home after work. Whew!
With windows down, I was stopped at a stoplight when the gas escaped without my permission. Count with me: 1-thousand one, 1-thousand two CUE: the lady in the next car over wailing, “OH MY GOD!! Do you smell that skunk!!” . While she raced to get her windows rolled up, I sat there, mortified, clenching the wheel, staring eyes forward and giving no indication I was the source of her agony. Not my finest moment but it illustrates how priorities can change. Before, what I was going to have for lunch mattered. Now, never being out of easy range of a bathroom is of paramount concern. The pains, bed, baths and the pills…bottles of them. The list goes on, but like I said, it’s my list.
With all that out of the way, I counter the gastrointestinal ickyness with four new developments in the holy war on the tumor inside me: 1) The ‘after’ CAT scans say the chemo/radiation double whammy has shrunk the tumor by 25% Good. 2) The tumors’ core is holey. Don’t think Ghandi. Think Swiss Cheese. The offending alien in my gut now shows signs of growing holes, gaps indicating some structural decay; 3) The disease has not spread anywhere else. No metastasis and 4) I’ve been accepted into the genome project which has lab geeks (even as we speak) mapping my tumor at the DNA/RNA level. Objective is to come up with a targeted cancer cell killer that only attacks the growth, not healthy tissue. I’ve been told to think of it as a blood hound only interested in finding foxes. Raccoons or coyotes need not worry. We’ll know more on Sept 7th.
Will this post be remembered as my best work? Don’t know, I’m not that smart and it isn’t up to me to judge.
What I do know is as the day went on, getting something posted – anything – became my priority. Fits and starts, hand-over-hand, I got there and you’re here to witness my crawling over the finish line. Thank you for that and for your indulgence in reading my rambling. It helps remind me how the best part of any meal is the company, not the whine.
Arvonne Skelton Fraser
1 September, 1925 – 7 August, 2018
“The 20th-century women’s movement, in which I was deeply involved, concentrated on eliminating discrimination against women in education, employment and the law. We opened doors in institutions and programs that had been designed and operated for men only. We showed what ordinary women can do by understanding, claiming and using their power.
But there’s much more to be done. As with any revolution, what follows is the hard part — changing the culture.”
– Arvonne Fraser (1)
“Arvonne Fraser, a trailblazer for women’s rights for decades in Minneapolis and around the world, and the wife of former Mayor and U.S. Rep. Don Fraser, has died. She was 92.
Fraser’s son, Tom, said his mother was at their riverside family retreat late Tuesday morning along the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River when she “took her last breath on the beach surrounded by family and friends — the way she wanted to go.” For his entire life, Tom Fraser said, he saw firsthand in his parents a partnership that stretched from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C., and back to Minneapolis.
“My mother ran all of his campaigns and never lost a one, starting in 1954 in the state Senate and on through to Congress,” where Don Fraser served as a Democratic member of the House from 1963 to 1979.
Tom Fraser remembered how the family’s house in Washington “became basically a hostel for the antiwar movement and women’s rights. My father would talk about how carefully he would have to step when he came home at night because there were bodies all over the floor.”
Don Fraser went on to serve as mayor of Minneapolis from 1980 to 1993. George Latimer, the former longtime mayor of St. Paul and political kindred spirit to the Frasers, said Arvonne Fraser was “from beginning to last feisty, strong-willed, brave.” In 1986, Arvonne Fraser was Latimer’s running mate in his bid for governor; they lost the DFL primary. He said he admired her for being “more interested in what’s the right path rather than looking good or sounding good. And her career reflects that.
(1) Excerpted from her remarks as prepared for delivery at a Humphrey School forum, “Unfinished Business: The Continuing Work of Arvonne Skelton Fraser.” She was the keynote speaker at an event conducted in conjunction with her 90th birthday, Sept. 1, 2015
SOURCES: http://www.startribune.com/arvonne-fraser-on-the-women-s-movement-what-follows-is-the-hard-part/328288691/; http://www.startribune.com/arvonne-fraser-blazed-her-own-trail-as-women-s-rights-advocate/490315871/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arvonne_Fraser; Book cover Image courtesy of Nodin Press
“To become a writer, that noble thing, I had thought it necessary to leave… Actually to write, it was necessary to go back. It was the beginning of self-knowledge.”
— V.S. Naipaul
Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul
17 August 1932 – 11 August 2018
Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, Mr. Naipaul grew as an author to be an unflinching critic of both the colonizer and the colonized and the toll their respective responses often exacted on the individual. Whether suppressor or suppressed, both bore responsibilities for their actions against the backdrop of the other.
The grandson of indentured laborers who emigrated from India to Trinidad, Naipaul was knighted in 1990. Though his early works were often comedic, he went on to write more than 30 books, notable among them were A House for Mr Biswas, In a Free State, A Bend in the River and The Enigma of Arrival.
Read more of Mr. Naipaul’s obituary at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/11/obituaries/vs-naipaul-dead-author-nobel-prize.html
Other SOURCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V._S._Naipaul and https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/12/books/vs-naipaul-appraisal.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-1&action=click&contentCollection=Books®ion=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article
Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission.
Whining Baby:https://reflectionscounsellinglincoln.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/crying-baby.jpg; Cheese with your whine? (Source): http://livingpeacefullywithchildren.com/2013/04/26/dealing-with-whining-compassionatel/