As I write this, my daughter Mary Ellen is in second surgery for a tumor in her right femur. She is writing about her experience this time in her own blog, which you can read here. My other daughter is 1000s of miles away on a wonderful trip to Africa. Although I am much closer to Mary Ellen, I feel just as helpless to help her at the moment as if she were also on the other side of the earth.
Right now, all my training and experience is no help for her. Her health and safety is entirely in the hands of Dr. Lin and the good team of professionals at MD Andersen Cancer center. I am left to be supportive in other ways. In basketball, we used to refer to this as “working away from the ball” by which we meant that you had an important job (getting open, being ready) even when you weren’t controlling the action moving the ball yourself.
Today my job is to focus on the essentials. I have the second bedside shift in recovery, so my job this morning was to sleep in so I would be ready. My jobs this morning are feeding myself, taking care of the dog, and leaving the house in a reasonable state. I am also doing some praying. Later today, my job will be just to be there for Mary Ellen and to do whatever is needed. Despite how I spend the bulk of my days usually, these really are the essentials. It’s a bit challenging to really have a grateful heart at the moment, but I am grateful for the opportunity to focus on the essentials. It helps me remember what is really important.