Ode to Bennie

Oh, Bennie.

We’ve had quite a few memories together.

Every Exit I take between Lincoln and Kansas city brings back memories of the emergency pit stops you caused. I remember the first time, I had to drive straight from the highway to the hospital, and jenny parked the car and waited in the lobby while I had their nurse specialist evaluate you.

I remember at the bars much later on the night of my benefit, a friend telling me – “I love you so much, I’ll give you a sensual massage around your ostomy bag.”

I remember the video another friend sent from a piano bar. They requested ‘Bennie and the Jets’ and the pianist dedicated it to you from states away.

You planned you timing perfectly to derail my workouts more often than not. Any time attention was being directed away from you, some how you always knew and made sure your presence was not forgotten.

Here’s to you, Bennie – you could always make me uncomfortable, you knew me so well.

You’re time is up, and you know it. You’ve caused me hell all last week. I had to step out of multiple meetings to clean up the mess you were causing.

May you rest in peace, Bennie.

This surgery tomorrow seems like a major chapter that is coming to a close. It’s really not over, but in my mind, it is. Instead of being a daily hassle, I will only really need to do anything every month or so.

I’m free. Normal life – you may resume. Back to normal pants, and gym clothes. I can clear my medical shelving from my guest room and put it back into storage. I can run, and stretch like a normal person. I won’t be paranoid and obsessive.

I can start hitting the gym hard in prep for my trip in May (if I can get my doctor to actually complete the form). I can take over the jobs Zach has done (mostly, anyway. Shoveling is still off limits for a while). I can go back to my fresh diet I really am craving.

Not that the next couple weeks or months won’t be tough.

We met the owner of one of my grandpas favorite restaurants over the weekend. He had colon cancer, and had the same surgery I’m having. “There will be tears,” he warns. “But it will be much better than where you are now.”

He thought about going to mayo, but decided to have the initial surgery closer to home and his family. “I was nicked and almost bled out. They read me my last rights.”

A friend of my grandpas had this same surgery when he was in his 30’s. He must have been one of the first people to ever have it. That was 50 years ago and he is still kicking.

It’s kind of been comforting to run into these people that have walked this same path before me. Signs that it will be fine, and life will go on as normal.

As we left my grandpas, I told him I can recover from this as well as he has been recovering from his recent surgery. “Of course you will, it’s in our blood.”

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Author: Clarissa A.

The older I get, the less I know.

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