I plan to post about non-death, non-cancer things again soon. But first this. My wife Air wrote something amazing on Facebook a couple of days ago:
It will all be OK. No more grueling chemo. Think of a tree in fall—beautiful and full. But then its leaves start to fall down. Trying to tape them back on to extend the tree's beauty is futile. Standing out in the cold and holding them up to the tree is exhausting. It is time for winter. Enjoy each season.
I wrote 35 paragraphs about my prognosis in my recent two posts. She did it better in one.
Rien ne nous rend si grands qu'une grande douleur.
(this is a quotation from Alfred de Musset, and I am totally unable to translate it, because it sounds just silly in English, something like "nothing can make us greater than great suffering", which is just ridiculous. Maybe "big" is the good word, and not "great". I don't know. Anyway.)
You are both so beautiful. That is all.
Ditto what Monica said.
What can a person say? Really, I mean really? I have followed your blog for years, you have been kind enough to answer question to me about podcasting, mixing or whatever, and you have commented to me on some of my comments on your site.
We have never met, but I feel like I am losing a brother in arms? (Yeah I was career military) in the podcasting, Webdesign space.
I have written before, that my wife is a RN who specialized in Oncology, I have often talked with her about what you and your family are going through. She has helped me to understand and also help me make some decisions about my life that I would never have done without your valuable insight.
I wanted to write something a few days ago, but to be honest, didn't know what or how to write anything. I spoke with my wife last night when I picked her up and told her about what has happened, I got a huge lump in my throat and started to tear up. This over a guy I have never met, but felt a bond with. The web is an amazing place.
Anyways, After reading this post, (Which BTW I linked to in FB). I agree with Air. Spend each lasting moment with those who love you. And to do it on your terms and your families terms is beautiful.
Stay warm compadre.. (It's cold as heck her in the Chicagoland area, I can imagine what it is like up there.)
Allow me to float some flattery to you here. You are and have for the 20+ years I've known you been a leader. Not the "Hey everybody, pay heed unto me for I am your superior!" flavour of course, but the much more legitimate, "Here's what I think and why. If I can help inform your own anlysis or decision making then that's cool."
There are at least a few of us that would trust your judgement at least on a par with our own. Your consistent history of sound, rational, and yet compassionate thinking makes the concept of asking, "What would Derek Do?", a useful device for illuminating important decisions. I know that you take personal pride in your judgement and would cite intellectuals before you from whom you draw to develop your own thinking. It is important that you are told explicitly that you are, in turn, part of such a structure for myself and others. (thanks to this blog, I think many, MANY others both today and in the future)
bleah. i'm with the "i-need-a-DONOTLIKE-button" people. you and air have been an inspirations to me over the past few years and i am better for having the two of you come though my life. i understand where you are coming from and get it.
wanna come to disneyworld in january? #godforbid
Andrew, you are welcome to make WWDD bracelets and bumper stickers. You have my blessing.
Lisa, I think Disney World feels a bit too far for me to travel now, unfortunately. I had a good dose of the Mouse last July in California, though.
I'm going to have to restrain myself from commenting on every single post just to keep in touch with you. I feel like I''m much closer to you and Air than you probably think I am...love, love, and more love
Just found you blog- searching wordpress vs movable type. Seems SO insignificant. You are wise. You are brave. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong.
This reminds me of something my then three year old daughter said in the winter of 2008. We were driving down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, our home. She expressed concern about the trees not having their leaves, worrying they were lonely. She thought the trees with lights, all tarted up for the holidays, were luckier, as they had friends to keep them company. She wanted to put lights on all the trees. She was amazing. She died of cancer last year. Her name was Donna, after my Mom who died of cancer during my pregnancy. Fucking cancer.
My point is this: your writing about death and dying is a bit like those lights Donna admired. It helps us see the trees. It keeps us company. It provides comfort during a dark and difficult time. Does that make any sense whatsoever? It does in my head. All apologies for not articulating it better.
Your wife's image and explanation is beautiful. It will stay with me. Reading her words helps me recognize that we accepted Donna's winter for what it was - - dark and lonely, but beautiful, too. A part of life, whether we're 4 or 41. Sigh. I applaud you. And thank you.
This brought me to tears.
Hi Derek !
I found your blog on Insidehomercording and then your private things some weeks ago. I´m still downloading all of your podcasts to hear and learn from you all that stuff about recording and especially life. Everyday i go back in time reading your blog. You are a so great guy. So you made it that i started thinking on life in a very different way. I am a physician in radiology, former i was a physician in radiation therapy. There I learned quite a lot. But the things you wrote changed very much in me, thanks !
Now lets stick to music. Fortunately i downloaded a drumtrack from your blog. I like it very much. You have a wonderful feel and a warm sound - great. I´m a also a keyboarder and i´m looking forward to load your track in my DAW to jam with you across the big pond (I am from Germany). I´ve alread done that with a track from Steve Gadd. So you and Steve are one of my favourite drummers. Unfortunately my homestudio is now packed in boxes. In April 2011 we will a move to a bigger house where i get a small room for my studio so that it will take some time to send you my recording. So keep on.
I´d like to read much more from you. Even if you don´t know me at all, you have become a real friend to me. So all the warmth and love from Europe to you and your family.
I can only repeat it. You´re a great guy. Thanks !
I ditto what Monica and Tanya said. You both are amazing. All your family is.
The most beautiful and touching post. It says it all.