We spent this last weekend congratulating my bride for making it to 55 years while starring at my daughter-in-law who is not quite 30 years old but will soon bring into this world another member of my family. Larry - Bob is his name in case I haven't mentioned it. I realize I am not the first person to watch as their children expand the family but I have to say it's way cool. We be propagtin' the species.
Marty had a good time at her celebration, though I think the magnitude and chaos are a bit much for her. She never was one much for crowds. We managed to go to WestFest one time and she said never again. It was just too much stimulation for someone who always tried to take in and understand everything all at the same time. She has always enjoyed visiting with people and talking, just not everyone at the same time. Regardless, she enjoyed the party, she enjoyed seeing family and good friends and enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to "me". Her Dad's birthday was also on August 23rd and every year, before he passed, they would get on the phone and sing Happy Birthday to "us" just as loud as they could. Marty also enjoyed and spoke highly of Sherry's new rendition of Happy Birthday, kudos to the very cool preacher's wife.
Marty's last sputum culture was -- hold your breath and don't read ahead -- clear again. Good snot for Marty, hip, hip, hurrah. Isn't it amazing what one will celebrate? We have been closely monitoring her white blood count, and though it's a tiny bit elevated Marty seems to be infection free, again. This will be, if you are counting, and I do and I am counting -- 25 days without any antibiotic. We haven't been clear this long since February of 2008 -- over a year. We're shooting for a month. So, you know the drill -- obviously everyone did it last time -- 1,2, 3 -- knock on wood.
Speaking of my daughter-in-law, Sarah, the one that's pregnant and carrying my grandson, Larry-Bob. She is doing quite well. Her wit and her frankness remind me so much of Marty. She has read books, planned well and will be well prepared for my grandson, though she may not be completely prepared for the doting GrandPaPa.
Sarah's mind, in many ways, works just like Marty's did. (Sarah, this is the highest of complements). She states the obvious in ways that are both entertaining and enlightening. I really enjoy reading her status updates on Facebook. Facebook status updates would have been a great forum for Marty, though she may have struggled a bit with the required brevity. Sarah and Matt are both great at these short, simple words of insight.
The other day Sarah posted, "if your pregnant in August, don't eat soup", which I really loved. I've already quoted her several times, with her permission, and I don't know if everyone gets it like I do. Maybe it's because through Sarah I hear Marty saying -- "it's hard enough, don't make it harder." Maybe it's because through Sarah's words I hear Marty saying in a quirky funny way, "don't avoid all of the rough parts (pregnant in August), just avoid those things that don't add value and make you hotter (the soup)". Regardless, I loved it. Sarah and Matt are going to be wonderful parents.
As this whole part of our journey continues to unfold, it really is the simple stuff, the occasional reminders, the remembering , the words or events that prod a memory that provoke the strongest reactions in me. Sometimes I don't even realize that it's happening. It's only later that I can really see why something catches my eye or touches me. And no, I don't think it's dwelling on what was; I believe it's celebrating and enjoying moment today because I know the past. It's good to have people around who know Marty's history, who can help me remember and who know what she was and who on occasion shine a light on what she was. I think it makes Marty proud.