FAIRWAYS

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A thought for the season:

A block from our apartment on West 73rd Street is one of the most remarkable grocery stores in the world. I have always known that Fairways is special. Whenever I shop there, I try to go home with something which I have never tasted before. The vast array of food comes from all around the world: cheese and dairy, breads and cakes, coffees and teas, deli, olives, spices, oils and vinegars, fruits and vegetables, meats and fish, and all kinds of sauces. I could go on and on….

Fairways is also about the people. Everyone looking, talking, waiting, kvetching, choosing and interacting with each other and with all that food. It is a form of theater just to stand aside and watch.

On a recent visit I was overwhelmed by it all and found myself in tears. It is so good to be alive.

In the spirit of the season, I offer you a very short poem:

The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

Happy Thought
by: Robert Lewis Stevenson (1850-1895)
from: A Child’s Garden of Verses

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year…

Mary

Half Way There

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Lessons

It is 6:00 on Friday morning and my fourth bag of chemo was just hung on the IV pole. I am now half way through my consolidation and will be heading home on Sunday for a five week break. So far this stay in the hospital has gone really well. No nausea and lots of energy to get myself to the 15th floor for decoupage and conversation.

And yet while my own progress is going well, I am surrounded by powerful examples of strength and sadness and love.

I just learned of one man on the ward who decided, after only one round of unsuccessful chemo, to check himself out and  go home to die. He was back for some blood work, but is still refusing chemo.

A friend’s roommate learned that she had leukemia when she had a routine blood test at the birth of her child. She went directly to Sloan Kettering, leaving four young children at home.

My new roommate is only 30 years old and recently married. She was diagnosed  shortly after finding out she was pregnant with her first child. Having lost the child, she is now is not only dealing with chemo, but also with the possibility of never being able to have children. Each night a family member stays with her so that she never has to be alone.

The stories go on and on, and yet this is not a place of despair. Mostly they are about love and support and hope. Here you find the best of what what is in human nature.The stories are about people who are helping each other though the rough parts of life.

I am learning a lot about the strength of the human spirit. I hope that I will keep these lessons with me as I move on into my own future.

Sing this one to yourself….by Bill Withers, preformed by the Temptations, way back when, and still a great song.

Lean On Me

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you don’t let show

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

If there is a load you have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load
If you just call me

So just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’d understand
We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
Till I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Lean on me…