Today is the winter solstice, the shortest, darkest, blackest day of the year.
Six months ago on June 21, the first day of summer, the brightest longest day of the year, I lost my father.
I have said Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for the dead) every Sabbath for him except thrice where a could not find a minion, the 10 Jews necessary to formally pray. It happened once in Cusco, Peru, once in a distant suburb of Dallas near the airport, and once on the road in Arizona. Other than that, I have enjoyed hospitality at all types of temples and synagogues all over the USA.
Though Kaddish is prayed ostensibly to guide his soul to a well deserved place of rest, it is more for me to remember what a son received and a father gave. We were good friends and honest counsel for each other, especially over the last part of out 60 years together. I miss him so much it still hurts .
I lost a sweet friend one year and one day ago. Another father but of three young children, not of one older son about to enter his seventh decade like my 84 year old father. Robert died of CLL too young, too soon, too unfairly, and with too much love left to give and receive.
Not much in life is guaranteed, but one thing for sure is that the days will grow longer and the nights shorter.
That must be enough for now.
The world of CLL is changing fast and it's good.
For the last week, I have wrestled long hours with many demons in the form of questions of insurance and chance and convenience and travel and risk and unknowns and timing and money.
I have had help from so many especially my family and a few dear friends, but also my insurance broker and my case manager and my local oncologist.
In CLL, there are three types of crises. The disease related ones, the treatment related ones, and the decision related one.
I have just slayed the last one- for now. I have made my next treatment decision.
I am gambling everything on getting into and doing great in the Ohio State University trials that include PCI-32765.
I am full of hope.
Tomorrow will be less dark than today for sure.
Fewer long shadows, more sunlight.
PS I have not forgotten my promise of a recounting of ASH. First I needed to heal myself. Or at least decide what was my my chance of getting to that place.
Labels: Death, Hope, PCI32765, Solstice