What an interesting day I've had.
Let me start by saying that I live in Texas. It is the last day of July, which is smack dab in the middle of summer...and I had my heated seat on in my car. It was barely 70 degrees, cloudy and misty on my drive to Dallas. I needed the air conditioning to keep the muggy away, but then I'd get chilly. Hence the seat warmer.
I had a therapy appointment with my lymphedema specialist this morning. These are always interesting. Not because of the therapy, but because of my therapist. She does a ton of lymphatic massage and stretching, which hurts in a good way. She also does a lot of talking. Most of the talking is her complaining about her husband who spends too much money, her stepdaughter who doesn't like her and her son who is twenty-five years old and unemployed. She's very nice, and funny, and I enjoy our chats, but the more I see her, the more I feel like I'm a therapist for my therapist.
I had three hours in between my Fort Worth appointment and my Dallas appointment. I spent that time navigating the traffic-inducing alwaysunderconstruction highways of the metroplex to go visit Allyson. Her family wasn't kidding when they told me the cemetery is "out in the country". They also weren't kidding when they said it was beautiful. Allyson's resting place is so peaceful and pretty...it couldn't have been more "her" if it had been designed specifically for her. I know Hubby was worried about me going there today alone. He knew this wasn't going to be an easy thing for me to do. There were things I needed to say to her, though...the goodbye we never had. Someone had placed wind chimes in a tree near where she is buried. If you can love something about a cemetery, I loved that. I stood there trying to make peace with the fact that my sweet friend is no longer in my life but is now in God's hands, and the tinkling of those chimes soothed me a little bit. The blaring of the train engine from the railroad tracks next to the cemetery sort of ruined the moment, until it hit me that Allyson might have been giving me a little nudge. I could almost hear her saying, "Why are you leaning against the tree crying and being sad? Good Lord!"
I miss her laugh. I miss her sweet heart. I miss her silly imagination. I will miss talking to her, I will miss comparing notes on mothering moody 12 year old boys, I will miss reading her blog. I will miss her guidance and support in my fight against my own Monster. What I won't miss is her pain, and her sadness. She is whole and happy, and while I know her first priority is to watch over her boys, I claim her as my guardian angel.
I brought a little garden solar light for her. I hope it stays. I promised her I would bring one every time I visit (in case it's gone) so she's not in the dark. I want that little light to shine as a symbol of the goodness and light that was Allyson.
I finished the day at my appointment for yet another scan in Dallas. The CT technologist was extremely nice...and also extremely chatty. I learned that her ex-husband in Phoenix had an affair with a fellow resident and she caught them red-handed - and naked - in the hospital. (WHY do people tell me these things???) I also learned that she scanned a lot of people in Phoenix who had the same reconstruction surgery I'll be having, and that she was "flashed" by the last patient she saw because the lady was so proud of her reconstructed breasts. The IV hurt like hell and the contrast gave me an instant headache, but the scan only lasted ten minutes and I was out of there in time to beat the 5pm traffic. Before I left, as she walked me out to the elevators, she hugged me tight and said "Don't worry, you're doctor is a good one."
It's purely dumb luck that I ended up at UT Southwestern for my care, but I am so grateful. Everything is so streamlined and efficient (except for doctor visits) and everyone is so nurturing and supportive. These people see hundreds of patients, and yet I leave there feeling like they care. They hug me and hold my hand and encourage me every step of the way. Good thing, because I'm having to take a lot of steps!!