Thursday, November 26, 2009

What I'm Thankful For

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.


Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Jay, this post really touched me. I'm SO glad to hear that everything is ok and I hope you and JoanMarie have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

AmandaHewer said...

Oh my goodness. I'm glad she's ok. And I'm glad you two can have a Happy Thanksgiving together. Stay healthy Joan Marie.

Happy Thanksgiving. =]

Donna Gambale said...

Thank you for sharing that with us, and I'll say my own little prayer thanking God for the good news.

SRH said...

Time to give thanks for everything - Enjoy today with JoanMarie and the rest of your family.


Caprica-Lex said...

Oh my god, I'm completely out of words after reading that post. I was really shocked to read your wife had surgery and that maybe it could be something really bad. I'm so happy to hear that everything is okay and she's recovering fast.

Please, give her my best wishes.

About praying: I'm not very religious at all, although I'm open to the idea that there is some kind of higher being somewhere, somehow. But I'm not sure if "his" fan clubs are doing a good job, no matter which one. I never prayed, but I'm sure in that kind of situation, I'd start, too. After all, it can't hurt, right?

So, have a GREAT Thanksgiving!


The Dark Side Productions Series said...

We heard about JoanMarie, and by reading this post really touched us in our hearts, with all our prayers of the productions for JoanMarie to recover and have a fully recovery health!
Hopefully you all have a beautiful thanksgiving!

The Dark Side Productions Series

Maureen Hume said...

In my country we don't have a thanksgiving day but I often wish we did, so I've been haunting my favorite blogs soaking up other people's gratitude and their joy with life.
Your post blitz everything I've read. The overwhelming feelings of nearly losing a loved one and then having them handed safely back to you must be gratitude pared down to it's purest form.
Continued good health to you both.

The Costo's said...

Dear Jay: Did my own happy dance for you and your wife! SO glad to hear good news. (I'm LHA's assistant, and when she came back from NCTE with the sad news, I was in shock.) Sending you and your wife wishes for continued health and happiness. Take care!!

Marie said...

I'm so happy for the two of you. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Jay Asher said...

Thanksgiving was definitely one to remember this year!

Thank you all for such wonderfully kind words. JoanMarie and I both greatly appreciate it.

Megsie said...

De-lurking to tell you that I am so happy to hear that your prayers were answered. I was wondering what happened, and I am glad you had such a meaningful THANKSGIVING. YAY!

Joan said...

Great, great news!

Jordanna Fraiberg said...

wow, I'm so glad JoanMarie's okay! say hi to her from me!

lauren myracle said...

Aye-yai-yai. THANK HEAVENS!!!!! Dude, I have been thinking and thinking about you. Hug that JoanMarie for me--and tell her to hug YOU for me, too!

Paige Keiser said...

Oh my goodness! I'm so glad everything turned out okay. Hope JoanMarie has a speedy recovery, and Happy Holidays!

Paige Keiser said...

P.S. This is in reference to the post below--my cousin used to know Johnny Depp's publicity person. Said he was the sweetest, nicest guy (johnny that is)!

My personal fav is Steve Carell. The funny ones always steal my heart :-D