Thursday, July 04, 2013


Dear Team:

First, an update on Jeff.  We may have spoken a bit too soon about Jeff totally conquering Round Three of chemo.  He did.  He knocked it out.  But the aftermath is exhausting and he is wiped out.  He described how he is feeling physically as having just gone through the single most intense workout of his life.  His muscles ache and are really sore.  He is tired and he is actively fighting off sores in his mouth that often result from the various chemo drugs which kill off cells somewhat indiscriminately.  Here's to hoping that he rebounds quickly and rests as much as he truly needs until he is feeling better.  And also that he would begin to feel better and be able to fully enjoy his time at home before the next round of treatments begins again.

For the rest of us, it was a good day.  Stella is enjoying spending time with her Papou and Lydia seems delighted to have finally met him.  We played at the "Jack Jack" park and went on several walks.  Jeff joined us on one of them and we played "follow the leader" and looked for treasures (leaves and rocks).  Papou helped Stella do pull-ups and work on her upper body strength at both parks we visited.  I am probably going to kick myself for typing this since she is not yet asleep, but I think that with all that time spent outside we managed to squeeze in sufficient exercise so that she will sleep soundly tonight.  Well, provided the fireworks don't wake her up in about an hour...  

Papou also took Lydia on a long walk this afternoon, which enabled me to nap.  And tonight - as an enticement to not go watch fireworks and stay up WAY past bedtime - we had an inaugural family movie night courtesy of Netflix streaming.  The selection was "The Rescuers."  Jeff loved this movie as a kid.  However, as he put it, "Disney learned a lot between the late 1970s and say, 'Aladdin.'"  Stella still seemed to find it pretty "dazzling."  It was her first feature-length film, after all.  She kept asking if it was over since she is used to watching, at most, the occasional 30 minute episode of "Super Why!" 

Finally, yesterday I went for a walk to ensure that Lydia would fall asleep for a late afternoon nap .  She did.  She is weirdly predictable in that way for a baby.  [Again, I am surely jinxing myself by typing this but I am letting it go and hoping that publicizing her awesomeness will not make her any less amazing.]  

On our stroll, I listened to this dharma talk from Tara Brach about "letting go."  I can't do the talk justice in a short blog post.  Tara Brach is eloquent and funny and thought-provoking.  But what I got from the talk was an indictment of "living reactively" and trying to control what we truly cannot.  My instinct, which I know is common for many of us, is to just do things when I am faced with anything stressful.  I find satisfaction in checking tasks off a list, I then obsess over completing things, and I tend to equate accomplishing a task with getting closer to whatever outcome I desire.  Of course, that type of hustle and bustle just covers over whatever inner turmoil I'm attempting to keep at bay. And the point of the talk was to learn how to "open to groundlessness" and, for lack of a better phrase, embrace the chaos to find peace.  This is only beginning to make sense to me in little glimmers, but it is happening.  If you want to check out the talk - it's long - you can find it here.  The title is "Hands Off The Controls."  {Thanks again to the 'Ha for recommending these lectures.}

Happy holiday to all of you,


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