Caitlin just checked in, orienting herself to my care and concerns. She was asking about the calendar, did I have an appointment tomorrow that needed additional support that we had not yet arranged?
Today that was just too much. It was an otherwise innocuous moment, one friend asking another for clarification on a scheduling matter. Today, it unearthed me a bit.
As I turn my attention to the evening’s journaling ritual here, I find myself – 15 minutes out from the event, having navigated a number of other tasks in between – feeling my body, stuttering. Stuttering as in words, but in flesh. Truly the encounter could’ve moved me on any day, but today there was just no other way for me to feel.
This morning I began the day by responding to the urging, care, and concern expressed over the last 24 hours by my watchful friends, Charles and Dave by beginning the process of reaching out to a special needs trust attorney and following up on possible avenues for care through Medicare and Medi-Cal, not least of all beginning to better understand the realities of residential care options.
Attorneys, social workers, layers of clerical and hold times; there is a crispness to these interactions. It’s all about the ink, black and white and the occasional red. The morning air was cold outside and this crispness followed an early rising with Greg. I was at my desk and preparing for the day by 8:30 AM. Very sharp, very cool. Beginning the day with this clerical organization of practical concerns created a very distinct and energetic foundation.
Next, the gears shifted as I relaxed into a conversation with an old and dear friend. Tomás (http://www.bodymindslo.com) is sweet, a gentle and powerful soul. A few years back he gave me the profound honor of co-officiating at his wedding. It was a vulnerable time for me, I was unwell for most of the trip, but by some miracle found a fullness of strength and being to perform the tasks required, but vanished almost like a ghost once the ritual had been performed. We’ve a few hundred miles between us, and busy lives allowing time to separate our moments, often longer than we would like. Today’s prescheduled video meeting was lovingly titled “Old friends who never seem to quite have the time to catch up ;-)”.
It’s been weeks or months at least since we connected. Tomás shared exciting news of the early successes of his new business and focus (see link above.) When I shared the intensity of my current moments in the channel in which I find myself today, he was speechless. We have a very good friendship, and a freedom of feeling that allowed us to both be moved by the news, by his response, and by our ease and laughter in the moment.
Our usual pace when we can catch up is tightly bounded. Often we have in our or less with very close tolerances on either side. Today we luxuriated, reluctantly parting company after 90 gleeful minutes of charm.
Then came lunch. The lovely Cassandra, the ocean herself, washing easily in – now sandwich in hand while I captured a few moments to update the bookkeeping and offer a little guidance to our friend Elisa, struggling a little with her computer this week.
The exquisite grace and good fortune of my life, to have such friends, such kindness, such practical concrete concerns against which to hone my soul. Easy to forget at times, so silly.
I had learned earlier in the day that I would miss seeing my friend Mike, who also happens to be my PCP. We had planned a meeting here at the house with our other friend Tyler, both of them coming to explore possible generous intersections of our creative initiative. These are busy and serious people who remind me with their friendship of my very good fortune and to take seriously the gifts I carry in this world. Mike is sick today, possibly contagious, and won’t be joining us in person.
He is a rock of a physician and I and a good number of other patients depend easily on his guidance and support. To find him ill is almost surreal, and a great opportunity to honor the humanity that carries his generous soul of service.
I brought Mike up on the video and a few moments later Tyler made her way in the door. Somehow half a reunion, it’s been too long since we’ve enjoyed each other’s company, felt every bit as full as the anticipated gathering of three.
I hadn’t known what to expect from our meeting, but the consummate mentor, Tyler easily ushered me into my role… “It’s your meeting.” She said with confidence and a smile.
We eased then into a lazy and lovely and tender and wise and entrepreneurial and curious and creative conversation. We spoke of my present situation. We spoke of the journey of the little care system grounded here that we call MettaCare. We spoke of the value it might hold for others and how that value might be better brought into the world and made available. We brainstormed, and at the end of the day we made our marching orders.
Not all business, we finished our time together – Mike dropping off the phone to go and enjoy his role as father and husband, Tyler and I touching base around the more intimate stories of family and life. As Tyler left, I returned to the quiet of the home, just Kitty and me.
I turned my attention to locating nursing homes and assisted living facilities, with the intent of finding some places to tour next week. I was mostly complete with that from the day at 6 PM as Caitlin came in the door, home from her day’s adventures and turning her attention to me and my care.
Somewhere in the minutes that followed, she came to ask about an appointment on the calendar for tomorrow. A four hour event clearly designated as something occurring not here at the house. Right now my care schedule has windows of time where I’m on my own. This impacts my ability to travel to other engagements without making special arrangements.
Caitlin is scheduled to be helping me tomorrow for a portion of the time around that particular engagement (a group meeting which I won’t be attending in person, but don’t want to lose track of). Caitlin was checking in to make sure that I had not overlooked asking for support to travel to that event. A simple enough inquiry, but today it was too much.
So much kindness, so much matter-of-fact, so much friendship; when Caitlin asked me if I had overlooked her implicit offer and commitment of support, I had to tell her just how deeply I felt and knew her commitment to be here for me during this time of transition. This was too much, the tears just flowed.
Not gushing, just wet, but undeniably. Even 15 minutes later, I was just moved to my core by the friendship and kindness I have in my life. My whole being, resting, stuttering, in the wet messy softness of love.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…