I wanted to get this post up last night, but I just didn’t feel right staying up to write it after JoanMarie went to bed.
Yesterday was one of the most anxiety plagued days of my life. As you may know, JoanMarie recently had emergency surgery. The surgery went well and she’s been recovering at superhuman speed. But we were still waiting to hear from the doctor as to whether or not what they removed was malignant or benign (cancerous or not). The news was supposed to come on Tuesday. It didn’t. If we didn’t hear on Wednesday, we wouldn’t hear until Monday because of Thanksgiving.
So we tried to keep ourselves distracted, although her phone was never far. We went to brunch, and at one point, an odd yet beautiful moment occurred. I don’t remember what JoanMarie was talking about, but I noticed how full of joy she looked. Her smile and her eyes were as bright as ever. If you’ve ever been around her when she’s like that (which is often), you know how contagious that is. It looked like such an out of place emotion for what was “really” going on, yet somehow she allowed herself to purely enjoy the moment.
But as the day went on and the clock ticked closer to 5pm, when the doctor’s office would close for the holiday, things felt more tense. Friends and family were calling and texting because everyone wanted to know if we’d heard anything. At one point, shortly before 5, I went upstairs. I was full of that need-to-fix-things attitude, but I didn’t know what to do. Really, what could I do?
So I sat in my writing chair, and that image of JoanMarie’s joyous expression came to me. I still couldn’t remember what she was saying, but I was able to watch her enjoy the moment all over again. It’s my favorite expression in the world! And with that image playing in my mind, I did something I’m not known for being real good at. I did something that usually feels silly to me. But I prayed. It was the only thing left that I could do. I just felt so sad and happy and nervous and joyous all at the same time and I needed to tell somebody.
Then some friends came over, bringing JoanMarie tea, magazines, and pajamas. The doctor’s office closed and the evening went on.
And then the doctor called. We could enjoy our Thanksgiving, she said. It was totally benign.
We put on a really fast and funky song because it fit the moment, but what we really wanted to do was slow dance. So we danced slow and close to a fast and funky beat…and that’s exactly what the moment called for.