Monday, May 19, 2008

Tanya Writes About Vacation with her Hero

Wow. Here we are, Lake Tahoe. So deep and blue and fathomless. Green trees reaching up to the endless sky. Bright white swatches of snow waiting to melt.

We planned the trip on Day 11 of the BEP. Just to remind us that we had a future.

It's a most significant vacation even though we were here exactly a year ago. What a year it's been. Whew.

Our grandson took his first steps and is learning his first words.

Our dearest chidhood pal Mike died from cancer.

And my hero survived it.

Our beloved niece Katie got married and asked me to read a scripture verse during the ceremony. In fact, we visited her and her new hubby at their darling new house in Reno on the way here.

So many memories.

We came here with Katie's folks, my beloved Roberta and Timmy. You remember me writing about them. It's in the archives. Those awful months would have been unendurable without them. But now, we here again, just back to having fun. Timmy even mentioned how good it is to be together us four, because we can laugh at and with each other. They're on the plane back home now, and how we'll miss them.

My hero is taking a nap. His appetite is soooooooo good these days and he's gotten so strong. Naps are no longer an every-day thing. But yesterday the weather was very, very hot (we live on the coast and aren't ued to it) while we four trundled all over historic Placerville, explored a gold mine and investigated a real stamp mill. Tuckered us all out.

With me working on a gold-mine set historical romance that I want to pitch to an editor at the RWA concention in July, this was just the place to investigate. And the Gold Bug mine was about thirty degrees cooler inside the mine. Yay.

The weather's back to spring here at Tahoe today, instead of summer. My hero and I will be here all the rest of the week, then spend a few days in Monterey, back to the coast.

Then back home where the rest of our future waits for us.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tanya Writes About Daughters

Now, I know I have a son, too. And he's got a son. And my hero's a son. But I've got some special daughters to write about. Next month--the birthday month of two of my guys, I'll hit their male counterpart.

Daughters. Oh, expecting my second child in those pre-ultrasound days, how I wanted a little girl to book-end our toddling son. We did the wedding-ring swing over my tummy and it precursed a girl...and I was chubby all over, not the watermelon that had been our son. So all the stars were aligning.

And a week before due date, just before Christmas, there she was! She had all her fingers and toes, ate like a champ, and never ever cried.

Until her thirteenth day. She cried and never stopped, ran a fever of 107.

Bacterial meningitis.

Thanks to medical science and our dear and generous Lord, she was declared out of danger with no residual damages on Christmas Eve! Tell me God doesn't exist, doing something like that on His Son's birthday.

She went on to be an honor student, award-winning athlete, cum laude grad from college...Daddy's little girl, and one of my best friends.

Having her at my side when the doctor told us her dad's tumor was indeed malignant was so good for me.

So terrible for her.

Having her at my side when he was too weak to walk, when he shed tears over the unendurable pain, was so good for me.

So terrible for her.

Having her wipe away my tears and her own when Dr. Schwartz announced remission was so good for us both.

But two dear writer friends of mine had daughter-experiences during these same days.
One is almost too heart-rending to consider, as Darlene had to spread her daughter's ashes.

One is so full of joy I can almost reach out and hug my friend's new baby--all the way in China.

Darlene's precious girl took her own life after years of emotional struggle. Although Darlene is a woman so full of faith I envy her...(BTW she writes award-winning inspirationals...) she has pondered on such a tragedy and how it might have been prevented. It couldn't have been. Her Jolene struggled with demons none of us can understand and found her own source of solace.

So on this Mother's Day, I envision Jolene in the arms of the heavenly Father, begging Him to send tons of comfort down to her mom and gramma.

Paula's precious 8-month old Chinese baby girl will come to her new home in North Carolina in June...after a process that took almost three years. Amazing. China doesn't want their baby girls but makes it hard for decent, well-off, freedom-thinking people to adopt them.


As for me, my hero and I will be with all our dear ones tomorrow. I told the kids I don't need anything, but if they gotta...I'd like thata DVD of Drew Barrymore and the Red Sox fanatic (can't recall the title but having been at a game in Fenway a few months ago, it seems like a fun movie to watch again.)

And they could adopt a wolf in my name.

(That's another passion: animals.)

Sigh. The sun is out, our two black Labs are freshly groomed and fragrant, and health reins.

God is good. He did have mercy.

Kyrie eleison.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tanya Writes About Crackerjack

Oh, on Saturday, my hero took me out to the ballgame...and bought me crackerjack and a frozen chocolate malt.

And we won!

Sitting in the sun, surrounded by happy families (tons of little kids; it was Helmet Day) reminded yet me again of the blessedness that has come upon us with remission. His health returns markedly each and every day--along with his appetite. It was only days ago that he slept and slept, and slept and slept.

Thank you, Jesus! The ugly thing is gone.

I wandered to the souvenir shop to buy a new team hat for our little grandson. He outgrew last summer's "baby" size and now needs the toddler one. Oh, and I couldn't resist a blow-up bat. That way if he bashes something, it won't break LOL. My hero had a hot-dog and slathered on the sunscreen. It's been so long since he spent any time in the sun.

Afterward, we spent the night at Roberta and Tim's and my MIL took us all out to a yummy steakhouse. This morning, we had breakfast (cinnamon-roll french toast) at a lakeside restaurant. And my hero ate all three slices!

The days of a mouth so sore he couldn't chew or swallow anything seem nightmarish, and we've woken up.

I will never be able to forget all the out-of-body experiences of those horrific three months, how it had to be happening to someone else, but it really was us after all. But the warm spring sunshine wraps us in a coziness that helps ease the nightmare and reminds us of the faith and love in our lives.

In a couple of weeks, we'll be spending time in Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful spots on earth.

And all we're gonna do, says my hero, is rest and relax.

Hey, he deserves it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tanya Writes About Normal

Yesterday, my hero took me out to lunch. His idea. Applebee's French onion soup, my absolute favorite.

It was so delish. So wonderful. So normal.

So normal.

Then today he and I wandered the aisles at Costco. He pushed the cart and got us a hot-dog after.

It was so delish. So wonderful. So normal.

He still tires easily and isn't yet up to an all-day marathon with our little grandson, but soon it'll be normal.

...I just finaled in a romance fiction contest with a Western historical in which a dead guy named Norman Dale is quite the kingpin to the action. Yeah, I named him after the coach in one of my favorite movies, Hoosiers....the entry got judged by three pubbed authors, then I got a chance to polish, or not, according to their remarks. They all loved it, but they found I'd mispelled Norman Dale's name a couple of times:


Can't be mere coincidence, seeing that the same day things started to turn normal.

But I edited it to Norman the thing goes to an editor. It's the second time this work has done well in a contest. Not long ago it placed first, with perfect scores in a fiction competition. It would be nice to see Marrying Minda brought to life.

But it won't matter a single whit whether or not the manuscript ever sees print. Because my life with my hero is on its way back to being delish, wonderful.