Lessons from Lou

This blog is about my journey through the brain tumor world with my dear husband, Lou. While not a journey I would wish on even my worst enemy, it is a journey that has enlightened and awakened me to what lies within us, and around us, each and every moment of each and every day. There are lessons here....lessons in this journey.....lessons from Lou....that I would like to share with you.

My Photo
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Picture of Lou (sick) and I at a party, circa 2005, long ago and faraway. I'm now a middle aged widow, trying to get my life back together. Mother of two young adult sons, living with two adult cats.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Maiden Voyage

I'm away. I did it. I got on the plane (seven hours late due to early snow in Chicago, but that's another story), and I'm here. In the beautiful mountains of N. Carolina, on a lake, blue blue skies and leaves changing colors, with dear dear friends. But it wasn't easy. No, it wasn't. The airport. Being overwhelmed with that feeling of being kicked in the gut...Lou and I traveled in the fall, many many times with these same dear friends, now, here I was...ALONE. It's funny, because so many times, when I traveled with Lou, I WAS alone, because we usually took separate planes, by choice. It was just a thing I had, once we had kids. Lou always said, half the fun of traveling is going together, but my silly (I can say that now, in retrospect), high anxiety levels kept me from doing that. Instead, we tried to arrive at roughly the same time, then meet each other, it was sort of romantic, actually. So, traveling alone should NOT have been such a big deal for me, but it was. I haven't been on a plane in over two years, except for the overnight trip I took eighteen months ago when my dad died. So, after a seven hour delay, I arrived, and we drove the almost two hours up to our friends mountain home. Winding, dark roads, up and up some more. Upon arrival, we quickly opened the champagne, and headed out to the porch, under the dark skies, and all the stars.....ALLLLLL the stars that I never,ever get to see, living in the middle of downtown Chicago. And, there it was, right smack dab in the middle, shining brighter then any other, and twinkling....the ONLY twinkling star....as if it were winking at us....."That's Lou".....we all knew......That's Lou. He was there, with us, twinkling, winking, and laughing, just as the Little Prince passage said......it made me feel better, it did. For that moment, it did. The next morning, and every morning since, has dawned so bright and clear, trees ablaze, air so crisp. It is achingly beautiful, if there is such a thing. And I think I am lucky to be here. And I think I am lucky to have such dear friends. But oh, how I miss Lou. I think about what would have been. The times that were yet to be. We toast him, and remember him. We hold him close. And I see him, in the stars, and in my dreams. The Maiden Voyage. I made it. But I'm not really alone. He's with me. He always is. I just need to remember that.


Anonymous Kathie said...

I am so glad your away. Out under the open skys bet it is just beautiful. I always love the fall colors. Such a wonderful time of year. I always hear the first of anything is the hardest well if that is the case one more "first" is over. Hope you enjoy your get away and have a safe trip home. Isn't it wonderful to have great friends.
God Bless you all and enjoy your time away.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Dear Cathy
Your Lou is what lights the sky at night, your Lou is what got you through that long flight, your Lou was that silent glass at the toast, and your Lou will get you through each and every day. He is in your heart, in your head, in your boys, in your memories, and in your life. Enjoy this time and let Lou guide you through.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Claudia said...

It is a blessing to travel to be with good friends of long-standing when you have such a heavy heart to take with you. They understand and miss Lou with you and they will be glad to tell all their favorite Lou stories -- the ones that you cannot hear often enough! Good for you, dear friend, for going, and for knowing that this is as good a place as any and much better than most for right now.

I feel sure that Lou is shining and twinkling down at/on you all. Enjoy the change in scene and weather --- and all the stars you can see that are hidden in the Chicago sky. I am sending you such a big hug tonight. Love always,

8:22 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Twinkling Lou! Oh, Cathy, it was surely him. I feel close to Dave when I look at the stars, which is funny because he never was a star-gazer. Dave subscribed to the Lonestar idea of "the view I love the most is my front porch lookin' in."

Switchfoot sings a song called "Stars." In part it says:
Stars looking at a planet watching entropy and pain
And maybe start to wonder how
The chaos in our lives could pass as sane
Ive been thinking of the meaning of resistance
Of a world beyond my own
And suddenly the infinite and penitent
Began to look like home

I've been thinking 'bout everyone
everyone, you look so empty
But when I look at the stars
When I look at the stars
When I look at the stars
I see someone else
When I look at the stars, the stars
I feel like myself

Someday we'll feel like ourselves again. Until then, we treasure moments, like your twinkling star in the night sky, moments where the burden lifts just a little, where we can catch our breath enough to keep moving forward.

You are simply amazing, Cathy. The depth of your wisdom, the intensity of your caring, the determination in your soul...these are things that make me catch my breath...and know how very lucky I am to know you.

2:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a bit ahead of you in this "widow" (I hate that word too) process, I can identify with so much of what you are feeling. I was the honorary Principal of the Day today at Shelly's beloved high school, South Shore High. We gave the first annual scholarship in his name last June. This is my pet project. Shelly knew I was going to do it - he cried when we discussed it last September. The school is an oasis in an area of gangs and drugs. The kids are beautiful. As I was driving home to Deerfield, I felt Shelly's presence, but the forever of it all really hit me and I sobbed the whole way home. So, joyful things bring on sadness I have learned. It really is forever, this living without him. God, I miss him so. Just wanted you to know I understand.
Peggy Lewis

5:37 PM  

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