Sunday, January 2, 2011


It seems that whenever I'm sure of a good day in store, I get taught to never assume anything and to savor the realities instead of the should-bes.

Today was rough. Last night, my parents were woken up every 90 minutes for something: pills, vital signs, bathroom trips, etc. By the time I arrived at the hospital at 11am, they were both exhausted and worn. She had gotten one bite of breakfast in before the nurse insisted she take her pills and by the time that was over, she had lost her appetite. The only thing she ate all day was a few bites of my lunchtime mashed ginger yams (have I mentioned the hospital is directly across the street from Whole Foods?? Best Thing EVER). And since she didn't really get much sleep last night, she slept most of the day. Which was great for her-I'm hoping tomorrow she'll be rested and ready for radiation and her second chemo treatment-but she had a ton of visitors and I had to be the bitch and keep people out.

an aside:
I know that I have designated myself as the information provider, the visitor gatekeeper and the contact go-to for everything, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm a control freak. I realize that I have specifically asked all of you to email me messages to Mom to pass along and text me when you're in the waiting room so I can see if Mom is up for a visit. And I definitely think that is the best system for all of us right now. But please remember that I am also a grieving daughter. Up to three weeks ago, I still called her every time I cooked meat to see how hot to set the oven. I sent her photo texts of outfit options before deciding what to wear to interviews and Rehearsal Dinners. ( I can't pick out my own clothes-practically everything I own is from a shopping trip with her because she has fantastic taste and I have no concept of what looks good on me). So, if I don't reply to an email or text from you within a few hours, if I basically hang up on you if you call the hospital, if I can't sit with you in the waiting room or don't want you to touch me, that's why. I'm trying to wrap my head around this diagnosis, this enormous wrinkle in daily life. I'm trying to live with constant uncertainty (as I said, I'm a control freak-this is NOT easy), with fear, with sadness. I'm trying to limit the pain that she's in, always; protecting her the best and only ways I know how is priority number one.

Anyway, today had it's ups and downs. She had a fabulous physical therapy session that involved walking with a walker the entire length of her new, huge room (and back!). But she was really tired when she began the session and just exhausted when it was over. She never quite got her energy back today. Though it's undeniable that her body is stronger today than a few days ago. It is also with mixed feelings that I announce the departure of Kermit. Mom's voice is getting back to normal, which is an excellent sign overall, but a little sad, just because the Kermit voice is so awesome. Oh, well; Ross does a pitch perfect impression, so be sure to ask him for it when you see him.

The best thing about today is yet to come-I'm staying overnight with Mom. My dad got some very special advice from a very wise woman and consented to let me and Ross take some turns on the overnight shift. So, it's a slumber party! Of course, I'm hoping that she'll sleep all night and really rest up for an eventful day tomorrow, but I'll be very happy to be here should she wake up and want to talk, or just want a back rub.


  1. My dear,
    Aynsley, I sent my email address to you via text. Thank you for your post today. You've become such a source of information and tenderness and honesty that we can't forget what this is like for you as well. I still call my mom to find out exactly what temperature to bake a potato, so I understand the connection, and know how drastically the roles have changed right now. Thank you, thank you for still having the energy to share with us. It is a privilege. I'm so happy you were able to sleep with your mom last night. I hope it was a good night.

    Flynne, Marci and I talked to Mark yesterday as he'd just returned from vacation. You'll appreciate this. He called me about 9:30 last night about an hour after we'd gotten off the phone as he couldn't figure out how to post a comment on the blog and needed help--we're going to "practice" today. As he said, "makes you wonder how I make it to work everyday!" You have all of our thoughts and smiles and strength. Sending you an appetite for just a little of something yummy from Whole Foods and the strength for radiation and chemo today.
    Love, Kimbo

  2. Dear Aynsley,
    We all appreciate the blog very much, and we also know that somehow, somewhere, you, your Mom, and family, as well as close circle, all need time to rest, reflect, care for yourselves, heal, and wrap your minds around the huge changes this diagnosis has engendered for daily life and roles among you all. If you need to close the gates a bit to protect yourself, feel empowered to do so. If you need to write less and rest more, you have our blessings and support. It is great to hear that your Mom is doing well with the treatment. It is also totally exhausting to be in the hospital, with constant interruptions. Please do what you need to do to stay strong and renewed to face each day. There will be ups and downs, and we are all grateful for the support you are providing for your Mom. May your concern for informing us not take away from your ability to find time for yourself.
    Hugs and much love to you all,
    Melissa Upton Cyders

  3. Ross, Aynsley and amazing family,
    It's very sweet and courageous of you to share such a deeply emotional and private time in your family's life with those of us who have been reached by the ever-present interweb extended family. I know that not much can be offered in times like these, other than words of love and hope - and so I wish to do just that. I will keep your family in my every prayer until your mom is in ship-shape and back to one-thousand percent, and please know that in the meantime it's inspirational and humbling to witness your family's love and both of your care and devotion. Please let me know if there is any single thing I can do to make your days easier or help soothe your aches...
    Wishing you all the very best of luck,
    --Melinda Ritchie (and husband Jerry... and cat, Elvis... because, ya know, why not... ^_^)

  4. Dear Ross, aynsley and bob, Barby called me yesterday with the news about Flynne. I am adding her and you all to my prayers. May you all be blessed with the strength and perseverance to face each day with hope, and holding the hands of so many friends who love all of you. Please send my love to Flynne and tell her I am holding her in my heart. I think that when I was in my container gardening business phase, I put some pots together for Flynne -- always a gracious and loving smile on her face. Love jill zimmerman, now in LA....