This morning I saw my surgeon again.

It was a nuisance. Just the right time to still be caught in rush-hour traffic both ways: right on the cusp of the end of the morning rush-hour, and getting out just in time to hit the lunch rush-hour. Even then, the surgeon was sitting there just to look at me, ask if I felt any pain, and then say "okay, well, uh, if there's nothing wrong, we'll close this case up, see ya.". Medicine for lawyers: just in case the shit hits the fan later, they can say "but we saw him post-op, we asked him if he was okay, and he said yes." On top of that bollocks, Erick Erickson was doing his RedState (TM) song and dance for the Republican Candidates in Atlanta - for those who didn't get enough of the manufactured outrage of the talking heads yapping to and from Donald Trump the night before on Fox. THAT traffic.

And sure enough, vitals were taken. I'm a bit heavier than I'd like - I stopped running regularly recently - got out of the habit when I went into job searching and then was hit by appendicitis which made me hors de combat for a while. But my blood pressure was barely into the 100s on the top side. I'm fit.

My wife, I shoo'd away, teary-eyed, when the decision came in to transport me from urgent care to the hospital in Atlanta, to await the first available surgeon not dealing with someone crashing. Nice fella - a bit short but a M.D and a MBA. Good looking man. Jockish type. Firm handshake. Saw him in scrubs the first time with someone ramming an IV into my hand, saw him again, tan and fit, approving of the healed incisions. At the time I saw the whole thing as a nuisance. Two days off work. Two of my sick days of five GONE, within the first months. And the bills. I'd be moved into surgery, moved out. Nothing for her to help with, best to get her home to tend to our old man cat, slowly dying by degrees of kidney failure. And to get some sleep. She'd been awake up until the 4 am decision to move us along. And she had to work within a few hours.

I was going to be in a holding pattern watching Maury Povich all morning, unconscious for a few hours and out before midnight, tons of unknown lurking expensive bills in the mail. What a fucking nuisance.

So here we were, the usual banal crap in the post op. How are you feeling, let me look at the stitches. You tick off the boxes, I'll transfer them to the computer and of course correct some information therein.

And then he handed me a piece of paper full of medical-ese. Translated (I looked up the big words) - the tissue was bloody and had blood in it, but wasn't perforated or containing fecoliths.

He told me "we biopsied it. It wasn't cancerous."

That gave me pause.

Okay, so I'm not an old man, but I'm not young, either. Since we bought the house we stopped going out - these days we spend our days indoors, a glass of wine and some old-school gameshows, content to listen to music. And I'm clearly slowing down. Not by much, but I know now why you can't enlist in the Marines past 28.

Here I was, seeing the hospital stay, and a short one at that, as nothing more than an expensive nuisance. It never occurred to me that there might have been something lurking in the blood. A shadow on some organ in the CAT scan. A bit of tissue in the part torn out that wasn't quite right - that required a second look under the microscope. A technician grimly saying to someone more knowledgeable: "hey, I think you might want to come and look at this." A reason to say to me - "well, we wanted you to come in, because... well, sit down."

It will happen eventually. One day I will have something not right and the doctor will start to write the final chapter of my life. It's not today, but it's now a possibility. While I was waiting, eyerolling like crazy for a nurse to watch me take a piss and walk up and down a hallway so I could go home, someone was fighting to see another sunrise or maybe last out until a relative, pleading with an airline somewhere else in the country - to not charge them ten times the going rate as a mercy. To bump someone from a flight - people who turn away and pretend not to hear because they've got too much going on -because if they make eye contact it's sure they'll miss That Important Meeting, but That Meeting can be rescheduled - only they don't want it to. Not the one she or he is moving to. Their life is lived by the rhythm I had that night. Not the one I'll eventually dance to.

The one we'll all dance to someday. As sure as the novelty of property taxes I am having to grumble about.

Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, Lord, for THOU art with me. Until the day you decide you want ME to be with THOU.

Thy will be done. As it was and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.

I can't remember why I took a break, maybe I just needed one so I could focus on getting things done around the house. There is always something to do. This past week I had my niece over for several days. I was nervous about how it would go since she hasn't spent a long stretch with us before, but overall it went very well. This was the week of heavy duty cleaning which was probably not what my niece had anticipated when she arrived. Monday night I stayed up late talking to her parents. I don't often see her father, she doesn't see him very often either which is really a shame because she's a great kid. My kids talk back to me, I've heard my niece sass my sister, but she was very polite and obedient during her stay. I think part of that was she was kept pretty busy, and kids have a tendency to behave better for people who aren't their parents. Last week I had prepped a bunch of food for meals. I'm not sure where we went wrong, but we ended up snacking instead of sitting down for regular meals. Part of that may have been my zeal to get things done. The girls scrubbed the floors while I cleaned in the bathroom. Last night they cleaned out the fridge, we did some light dusting, wiped down chairs, put together some patio furniture I bought, and folded laundry except for the things that needed to be ironed. The little bathroom is almost done. Yesterday it received its first coat of paint, the vanity is in, the sink is ready to be installed, and it isn't my dream bathroom, but I'm wildly excited for the completion date. The girls pulled weeds in the driveway, that was a big task due to the size of our driveway and the overgrowth that had sprouted up during the abundance of rain, it took them a while, but I kept sending them out there whenever they came in with stories of large insects or other distractions.

My niece helped me take apart the wire shelving that had been in my closet. I probably should have left the shelves along the narrow back corner, but I don't miss them now that they're gone. I bought some storage cubes that I don't really like, but work well enough. I have those sitting at the edge of my bed and I'm happy to report that I have most of my clothes in them and still have room for more. I put my desk in the closet, I had it in there. took it out, and then my sister said she thought it would look better in there than against the wall so I moved it back. I flipped a bookcase from one side of the living room to the other. We were able to get it across the room, but I forgot about the header so we had to have some help getting it under that. Before the bookcase held mainly books. My ex always wanted to display things on the bookcase, I didn't know how to do that and I didn't like the way he approached it so it held books until this week. A while ago I had watched a tutorial on how to make a bookcase more decorative. The video was trying to sell things like baskets and decorative clutter, but I have a lot of books so those were my focus. Considering I didn't really have a plan or know what I was doing, it didn't turn out too badly. I probably have too many books in there, my plan is to start reading the bookcase by starting at one end and working my way down to the other. I saw that idea online somewhere and thought about how I continue to accumulate books without reading the ones I have which means I end up with multiple books on the same subject. I don't mind being well informed, but I have a tendency to get carried away. 

I'm really happy with the changes we were able to make. We still need things like paint and trim, but it feels more like a home instead of a collection of badly mismatched furniture and odd collections of clutter. Once the bathroom is finished I can work on my sun porch. I found a set of patio furniture that had been marked down and didn't buy it. I don't know how I feel about that today. Part of me is gald I resisted, the other part of me wishes I had it. Another part of me realizes that the prudent thing to do would be to wait until the sunporch is cleared, measure it again, and put together an actual plan. One thing this bathroom remodeling project has taught me is there are no end of purchases that I didn't anticipate. I love our contractor, but there were a few communication glitches and other things that were nobody's fault such as him telling me what grout to buy and the store not having the color we agreed upon. It was kind of cool to be involved in the decision making like that. He's a very detail oriented person which I appreciate, but can also be frustrating at times since I want to hurry up and rush through things. I think we're a decent team and hopefully he doesn't view us as customers from hell since there have been a few issues along the way. My daughter got stuck mowing so I asked him if he would help unstick her. That was a process, but we had a laugh at the end. I had put some lumber I wanted to frame the garden with on a hill and Jill had driven the mower over it, not realizing the long grass was hiding that wood.

The mower blade may have been damaged or moved since the rest of my lawn has deep cuts where the blade is too low, hopefully my ex will be willing to fix that for us. I've had a lot of time to think lately. He filed the divorce paperwork so even though I was unhappy, I feel tossed aside. There was an incident that I don't want to write about here that really hit me hard. I bawled while I was driving and then later on at home. I couldn't stop crying, but like everything else in life, you get over it and through it and the sun keeps rising and setting despite your pain. I took the girls in and found out that their pediatrician is relocating out of state. I felt like crying when I heard that since she's been wonderful. I told her she will be missed and she said it was an honor to be able to take care of the girls these past few years. Life is a swarm of people moving in and out of my circles. Some days I feel that more keenly than others. My sisters don't understand what I'm doing, I think it's something I don't want to admit even to myself. I've never lived by myself before, never been able to make decisions about what to put where or what to bring home from the store to put my stamp of personality on a place. Sometimes things are not right nor wrong, just wise and foolish. I don't regret most of this. Getting divorced is a huge life changer. I'm learning and I should expect to make mistakes as I go. We watched a movie with my niece and it was good to go to bed at night knowing that we had put in a full day's worth of work. I hope the girls value and treasure that as they get older. I didn't realize what a gift that was when I was younger, but I'm beginning to appreciate it more now that I'm middle aged. Life slips by when I least expect it to, at the end of the month my daughter will be in high school and a part of me is crying because that part of her childhood is gone for good. My sister's on the phone so I have to get going...

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