Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wishing David Well

A few years ago, my wife and I attended a Nickel Creek show at the 9:30 Club in DC. Before the show, we managed to get a seat at a table in the tiny basement bar prior to the show. We shared the table with 2 gentlemen that arrived about the same time we did. My wife, ever the gregarious type, almost immediately struck up a conversation. Introductions were made, and the usual pleasantries were exchanged. At one point, my wife asked why one of the 2 men (named David) why he was not drinking (anything with alcohol). He removed his hat to reveal a rather large surgical scar across his head. "Brain surgery" he replied.

At this point, you never know where the conversation will go. Do we ask what kind of surgery? Do we move on to lighter topics? Do we stammer and stutter? We asked about the surgery.

Turns out David was more than willing to talk about it. He seemed to enjoy it, really. He explained that a few years previously, at the age of 38, he had a seizure that prompted a brain scan. The doctors found a lemon-sized tumor in an "inoperable" area of his brain. At that point, he made it his sole priority in life to take care of the tumor. He finally found a surgeon to operate, and that operation was in May of 2005.

Over the course of the evening and concert, we had a terrific time. I doubt that there were any political issues that we saw eye-to-eye on, but that didn't matter to him (or us). We had some things in common (we're both marching band geeks), and a good time was had by all.

David also told us that he maintained a blog of sorts where he detailed his treatments and info about the tumor.

We looked it up when we got home. It's detailed. I mean really detailed.

I check back in every so often, following his treatment progress. On December 18th, David found out that there has been some new tumor growth.

His surgery is scheduled to begin at 2:00 this afternoon.

I suppose I'm posting this in the ether in the hopes that every little bit helps. Call it what you want; prayers, goodwill, vibes, whatever.

If you're so inclined, follow his progress on his site, It's worth it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Eve

The Wife, kid and I went to Richmond to spend Christmas with my wife's family. We probably broke a land speed record or two on the way down, but were mercifally un-acosted by the state troopers of either Maryland or Virginia. Good thing, too. Fines in the commonwealth of VA are pretty steep these days.

The Kid slept in a room connected the master bedroom. My wife's parents told us that this is because it's the best place in the house for the crib. By "best place" I think her parents mean "room closest to her grandparents". In any case, the only way to get to the crib is by going through the master bedroom. A fine arrangement, if you ask me.

Ordinarily, this arrangement works swimmingly. Ordinarily.

The Kid woke up at about 5:00 am on the 24th (0500 for those of you in uniform). Not only was she awake, she was crying. A lot. With Big. Scary. Tears. Her grandparents struggled mightily (but in the end in vain) to calm the Kid for the better part of half an hour. At 5:35, we awoke to the sound of a crying child just outside our bedroom door. Dashing out of bed, we threw open the door to see the Kid in the arms of her grandmother, who was standing in the hallway. We apologized profusely, took the still-screaming child, and wend back into our room. 30 minutes (I think) of calming tones, soothing gestures, and relaxing rocking back and forth, the Kid was not crying as much.

Since we weren't going to get back to sleep, we three shuffled downstairs to the living room. I made a bottle for the Kid, and the wife fed it to her while sitting in a comfy chair near the fireplace.

Within 10 minutes, the Kid was asleep again, with her head resting on my wife's shoulder. My wife was asleep not long after that. There were my daughter and my wife, both sleeping under a blanket that I placed over them. I hadn't seen that since the Kid was 2 months old.

I toyed with the idea of grabbing the camera, but knew that no picture could capture the essence of what I saw. There were the two girls I love the most, asleep in the midst of all the Christmas finery, and the morning sun just beginning to peek through the trees. It was a moment that no words, or image could ever do justice. I'm not ashamed to admit that my eyesight was beginning to blur just a tad. Had I tried to speak, the words would have stuck in my throat.

I wanted that to last for a lifetime. It can't though, and that's what makes it special. This memory is mine. It belongs to me, I can have it whenever I want, and no one can take it away. If you ever see me and I'm obviously not paying attention, you can bet that I'm back in that living room, on December 24th 2007.