Tuesday, June 7, 2016. This morning, while lying flat in bed for the third straight day, I finally had a chance to watch the entire video of Jackie’s and Brett’s May 21st wedding. [This was not the actual wedding “video,” but instead a collection of pictures from the beginning of the day to the end of the night set to great music.] As sad I was to miss the wedding, I was as happy to see the collection of pictures and the overall state of euphoria dripping from every smile in each picture. There really is nothing like a wedding. Granted some are better than others, and sometimes we go to weddings and have a gut feeling that the couple is not going to last, but when it is right there is no better event. And that goes for the couple and their guests. I hear people say weddings are a big waste of money and we should not spend so much for one moment in time. To hell with that. Anytime you can throw a party, get your favorite people in a room and get everyone dressed up and dancing (with a few cocktails in between), you should do it. Especially if you are agreeing to spend the rest of your life with someone….
Watching Jackie’s and Brett’s video inspired me; I wanted to watch our wedding video. I even called Jen this morning (as soon as the video was over and I had emailed Uncle Mike, Aunt Sue, Jackie and Brett with my observations/questions) and told her we needed to watch our wedding video tonight. She of course said yes (although I am sure deep down she was thinking she was going to watch Bachelorette). [Turns out that we did not get to watch the wedding video tonight. I am writing this post from the hospital where I was checked in this afternoon for a blood transfusion (that is still ongoing), which became necessary because my hemoglobin count — causing dizziness and an inability to stand/walk — was extremely low. More on that in a bit. And although we added our wedding video to the schedule for tomorrow, the Cavs are on at 9 and I feel like watching them turn the series around. So maybe later in the week.]
All of this got me thinking. Our wedding album appeared on the chest in our living room a few weeks ago (I am sure it was found when Jen was “spring cleaning” in my office for my arrival home from the hospital) and I looked at it with a few friends on Saturday night. Someone asked me how many people in my “wedding party” I was in touch with. The answer: all of them. And each of them within the last week or so! [In fact, I have seen almost all of them because they are local or have been in town.] This was not the case for me just seven weeks ago, where there were a few people I lost touch with for one reason or another. And while cancer was the impetus for getting back together, these friendships (and so many others that I have been able to rekindle), represent strong bonds that have stood the test of time. Missed time has not mattered for many relationships that have been reignited (and for which I am so grateful). There are of course people that should have been in my wedding party that were not (you guys know who you are), friends that could not make it to the wedding for very good reasons (overseas serving our country or a brother’s wedding), as well as people that should have been invited and were not because I am a moron. But I am proud to say that each of the guys in my wedding party is a true friend, in good times and bad, and I am lucky to have them.
As my mother drove me to the ER at Weil Cornell today, I was thinking about my wedding party and those friendships more generally. [And yes, for all of you that know her, Janet actually drove from Scarsdale to NYC. She of course wanted (and deserved) a pat on the back, notwithstanding that she drove me nuts asking for directions, while I was laying flat, even though she knew that Waze would spit out exactly where she needed to go….Mom I love you!)] I realized that my mother and father have taught me some very important lessons on friendship and family. How many people do you know still talk, on a regular basis, to their best friends from high school? My mother and father both do. Weekly. And they did not need a “wake up call” to get back in touch. They have always been in touch. I think more than 50 years and counting. Impressive to say the least. From my vantage point, it tells you something about the type of people they are and the people they surround themselves with (all of whom happen to be phenomenal people). It also would not surprise you that my mother and father stay in touch with people from college and Cleveland and everywhere else in between, not mention the wonderful network of friends they have in Boca. The funny thing is all of these people are such good people whom I have known throughout my life that I am in touch with many of them directly! I don’t think there is a secret sauce here or some set of directions to maintain relationships. It just happens. I sure hope I can follow in their footsteps and capitalize on this opportunity I have had to get back in touch with so many important people over the years.
I owe Jen a huge apology (for a change). I should not have let myself get to the point where I could not get down the steps of our house earlier today. I should have come to the hospital yesterday. I knew something was wrong. And it is killing me that she was hysterical after putting me in the car with my Mom. Jen, I am sorry. No qualifications. I have no idea what I would do without you. When the doctors and nurses asked questions today about my mediations or anything else, it was both pathetic and unbelievable that we had to call you as I know nothing. You do everything. Superwoman.
I am doing much better after the blood transfusions, which ended about 20 minutes ago. I was able to stand up and brush my teeth without dizziness or feeling like I was going to fall. [I say all this not to complain, because it can always be worse, but instead to remember.] And as I sit here on the 14th floor only a few rooms away from where we checked in 7 weeks ago tomorrow, having seen some of the nurses and staff that we met at the start (and getting a warm welcome (which is always nice)), I definitely feel like I am a different person than the one who checked into this hospital. While I have yet to write about my 16-day hospital stay (I have good notes, both written and in my brain), I do know that my perspective continues to evolve and my focus is sharper as this journey continues. In a strange way, it is good to be here to see (at least mentally) how far we have come. But I really miss Jen and the kids so one night is plenty.