With Fingers Crossed and Breath Held

Dec 23, 2017 | 1 comment

A year ago on this day, Nyel was taken to Portland by ambulance.  That proved to be the beginning of a roller-coaster year involving five hospitals, countless doctors, fifteen (or was it sixteen?) hospital stays and more than 100 nights away from the comforts of home.  Whether we’ve wanted to or not, we’ve learned a lot about congestive heart failure and, more importantly, about the particular complicated physiognomy of Nyel’s big heart.

Even more importantly, all the things we thought we ‘knew’ about the value of friendship have been reinforced many-fold.  From long-time friends and forever relatives, to new-found acquaintances and even strangers, people have reached out to help in many unexpected ways!  They’ve brought meals and reading material.  They’ve sung us songs and played live music for us.  They have tended our chickens and hosted pre-scheduled gatherings here at the house.  Most of all, they have not given up on us, even though we’ve been unable to hold up our end on so many, many occasions.

Last night, some of our local friends came over for our ‘usual’ Friday Night Gathering.  It was fabulous.  Fred brought his guitar and, after we had caught up (sort of) on recent happenings, we all sang familiar old Christmas songs and carols.  And for me, hearing Charlie’s and Marta’s voices among the others was the most precious gift of the season – something that hasn’t happened in many, many years!   This year — twice!  At Sunday’s Christmas Vesper service and last night right here in our own library!

Today marks the twentieth day in a row that Nyel has been home from his latest hospitalization.  If it’s not a record, it must be close to one. I wish I could say that everything is going perfectly – but as we all know, it’s not a perfect world.  Not even in Oysterville.  We are holding our collective breaths and have fingers and toes crossed that there will be no ambulances called to our doorstep in the next few days!  That would, indeed, make this the merriest of Christmases.  Ever!

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