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.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Our Front Porch

Those of you who have been with me for the last two summers know all about our "front porch". We don't HAVE a front porch. We live in a very tall building with NO porches! Our "front porch" is actually a plaza type area below street level that looks up at the sky and buildings, and the church across the street, with shops and small tables and other sitting areas, and a water fountain/wall. It's really a very pleasant place to sit. You do not get the street sounds because of the fountain. It can be sunny or shady, with a nice breeze. People of all kinds come and go. You can sit and eat from one of the restaurants, just have coffee, or just sit. We've lived in this building a very long time. The front porch was not always there, but it's been there for quite awhile. For all the time it has been there, Lou and I did not spend all that much time on it. That's because we were always busy. By the time we got home on weeknights, had dinner, did the dishes, homework, kids stuff, phone calls, etc, it would be too late. On the weekends, we were usually out doing other things. And, honestly, if you don't use it, you can easily forget it is there. The first summer of the brain tumor, that would be summer of 05, we spent ALOT of time on the front porch, together. There's a small italian deli there that has excellent gelato. I gained alot of weight that summer with all the gelato we ate! We often went down in the evening. Lou just loved it. He would marvel at what a great spot it was. He loved the people watching, he loved the breeze, he loved the evening time, the gelato, and he just loved the spot, in general, looking up at the surrounding buildings. He would say what a great place it was to live. And, every time we were there, EVERY TIME, he would say "this is so nice. We should do this more often". And, I would always nod and say, "you're right, we SHOULD do this more often", even if we had just been there the night before. We spent alot of that summer on the front porch. We took candles down one night, and champagne, with dear friends. It was sad when it started to get cool, and fall came. We sat there until it was truly too chilly. Then came summer 06. I don't need to spend alot of time talking about that. By the time it came around, Lou was not able to walk much on his own, if at all. He was using a walker inside, and not very well at that. To get him down to the porch, I had to use the wheel chair. It wasn't easy. I always THOUGHT it sounded like a great idea, in reality, it was pretty difficult to navigate. We probably made it down to the porch twice. I didn't take him once we got to the point that he really couldn't handle the gelato all that well. After that, we stayed in almost all the time. It was too hard to get him out, and he really didn't want to go out anymore. We managed to get him out, with lots of help, for the last time, two weeks before he died, for the cigar night. The porch was a memory for me, and lost, totally, for him. A great , bittersweet memory for me. Last night was a porch night. It was a lovely summer evening. I had dinner out with two young ladies , my good friend's twenty something year old daughter whom I love like my own. As I approached our building on the way home, I decided to walk down to the porch. I went into the itallian deli for a gelato. I sat at a table taking it all in. It wasn't the same of course. Not at all. It was lonely, and empty. I didn't stay. As I left, Lou's voice played over and over in my mind, "we should do this more often". The thing about the brain tumor is that it brought us so much closer together. We spent so much time together because of it. We didnt' have to worry about getting home from work earlier to go to the porch. We DID "do this more often". I'm so glad we did. I am so grateful for each and every minute we had on that porch. And I really, really miss it.


Blogger The Kitchen said...

Cathy, You just amaze me. The love you have for Lou, the way you say it, you are so awesome.
I am sorry for Lou's brain tumor and his passing. It is so not fair. I truly hate this for you.

Lou was one lucky man to be loved so completely!!!

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy, Its collen from your b/t list.i love to read your blog. It is truely unique the way you write and it has a way of touching my heart. I cried about the fathers day post. It was a moving day for all that are affected by this horrible illness. We all said Happy Fathers Day to Tim. He cried,and he hugged me tight. As if he never wanted to let go. As if he doesnt know how many he has left. It was an emotional day for you of course. going to the cemetary. It is so final. I hate it. You sound strong though. Did you clean out the closets yet? Your kittys look cute. We have 3. Take care. You are never alone. Remember that. We are here. Luv, colleen w/o Tim grade 3 anaplastic oligo.12 months temador/ stable/ brann826@comcast.net

7:56 PM  

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