Kay's call this morning shook me. Her brother-in-law, Dick, had been diagnosed with some kind of interstitial lung disease and will need a transplant in the next few years. Dick, who I've played some golf with in Bowling Green, didn't smoke.
I had never heard of interstitial and Goggled it. Unfortunately, I read some of the lung cancer portion of the annotation. I wish I had not. My refusal to do research is not an act of denial but of survival.
Lung cancer is grim. I cannot escape it. But working myself into a lather with a full immersion into the details of my disease won't save me. I will not be able to concoct any cures. I must rely on faith and medicine for that.
I stopped by the nursing home before lunch and found Dad upstairs in the art area. Volunteers from Case Western Reserve University were there helping residents work on projects.
My father contentedly stenciled something on the front of a card. The Case kids impressed. We kibitzed about the Browns and smart phones and music. They seemed happy to be there.
I sat with Dad and his tablemates at lunch. They have their routines, and I try to help them without getting in the way. I like this place, which is the Ritz of nursing homes. Money is no concern. Dad is nearly broke. The government will be picking up the tab soon. I would strenuously argue that he deserves every dime of that help.
Despite the pleasant visit, I left angry and frustrated with the world. Yes, I endured yet another restless night. But something deeper gnawed at me. Something more primal.
I wanted it. I needed it. Now. Quitting smoking had not been as horrific as I had always imagined, but it had had its moments. This was one. I craved a damn cigarette.
I prayed aloud on my way to Judson; I prayed aloud on my way home from Judson and prayed in between stops at the gas station where I used to buy cigarettes and the drug store where I used to buy cigarettes.
My head nearly imploded when drifting snow prevented me from getting up the driveway.
Oh, God. I really do need help.
This is just a bad day, I keep telling myself. It's just a bad day. It's going to get better.