Saturday, January 19, 2013

Go Joyfully, Wherever You Go

Joe, Mia, Aunt Lynn, MSKCC, Jul '12

"In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you love? How deeply did you learn to let go?"
- Buddha

Super early on a hot, summer day, I loaded Joe's big, black, (bad), Audi A6 with all our gear:  laptops, iPads, a cooler packed with Gatorade, Ensure and  water, Joe's messenger bag, my crossbody one, medications, a brown canvas duffel dog carrier, (a bright orange service dog vest, dog food, collapsible bowls, chew toys, doogie poop bags), and one big-hearted, little French bulldog puppy.

Go with joy wherever you go.

Joe was slightly apprehensive the night before his visit to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, (MSKCC).  Not because of the upcoming chemo treatment, but because Joe was concerned about bringing Miss Mia into Manhattan to 53rd Street where we would spend a very long day. We had come up with a plan:  Lis was to meet us in the lobby and spend the entire day at MSKCC.  Sarah would come later in the afternoon to sit in the chemo treatment suite and keep us company or run errands.

Ever the businessman that we know Joe to be, Joe wanted to go over the details.  I figured we had a back-up plan:  If worst came to worst, and the pup proved to be too much work, I had Lis and Sarah to help us. Joe agreed, although I think a part of him thought to himself, "This is a little crazy."

Lis, too had expressed her concerns to me on July 15th...

Lis:  "Mom, are you going to call the hospital and ask if we can bring the dog?"
Me:  "No."
Lis:  "Don't you think it would be a good idea to call someone and ask if it's ok?"
Me:  "No."
Lis, in her ever persistent way ..."So, why don't you think it's good idea? Do you know if it's allowed? Don't you think you should call someone and ask? Why not?"
Me:  "I might not like the answer I get."
Lis:  "So, you don't think you should ask before you bring the dog to New York City?"
Me: "Nope.  I'm going to bring the dog everywhere we want and keep doing it until someone tells me, No."

Joe was definitely wondering if this was going to work and on the evening of July 16th...

Joe:  "Mom, I don't know if it's a good idea to bring the dog. I'm afraid it's going to be too much. It might be too hard."
Me:  "No, I think it will be OK.  But, if you think it's better to have someone watch her, I bet we could get Lisa to watch her. I can call if you'd feel better."
Joe:  "No, I think it's too late."
Me:  "No, it's not.  I can call.  They want to help. They tell me, "Anything you need."
Joe:  "But, what if we can't bring the dog in? What are we going to do?"
Me:  "We will figure it out.  That's why I have Lis and Sarah coming.  We will have help."

And, on July 17th, Lis asked Joe...

Lis:  "Joe, what are you going to say if someone asks you about the dog?"
Joe:  "I'm going to say, I have Stage IV cancer and I get a little anxious sometimes.  This dog helps calm my anxiety."

Going home to Stamford later that summer evening, Joe would say to me, "Mom, it was a good thing to bring Mia.  It was the right idea." 

Bringing Mia that summer day really did bring Joe great comfort and joy. Many of us have come to witness Joe's love for his Mia.  

And on another drive home to Connecticut one evening, I would remark to Joe, "We have had some real fun this summer, in between all this serious shit we are going through, haven't we?"

And Joe's smile in reply will light my heart forever.

My friends, go joyfully wherever you go.

Love to all,



Pam said...

Your posts are so wonderful, Doreen. I just love you guys. As always, I hope Joe is resting comfortably. Bless you all.
Love and hugs,

TiffanyOfiero124 said...

These pictures are just so beautiful are the messages in each post . Love u all so much ! Xo