Bill is still in hospital. Since the day of his surgery (January 9th) I have spent the hours between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. sleeping on a chair in his room, and still I miss him. His sister, Phyllis, arrives at 9:00 a.m. and stays with him until I return. She greets me with a smile when I arrive in the late afternoon and she greets the two of us with a smile when she returns in the mornings. She has been a rock and I will forever remember this time as one that has brought us closer. My sister, Sherrill, has been a rock as well. She is far away in Ottawa but she has texted and emailed so frequently, our conversations are as close to "in person" as any could be. I will forever remember this time as one that not only clinched the sister bond, but the friendship one as well. In my "off" time, I'm supposed to be resting, sleeping, rejuvenating. I do that but mostly I wander aimlessly, taking photos, yearning to have Bill and our carefree life back. The surgery went well, but hospital-life has taken a toll. I think he's coming back to me but sometimes, there have been doubts. Doubts that this has changed us. I have been as frightened as I can ever remember though I haven't given up hope. I know that if the old life is not to be, the new one will have a different and perhaps even richer texture to it. This post reflects my need to record the past couple of weeks. I share it with Our World Tuesday, where you can be tantalized by glimpses into the lives of people from around the world. If you have even a few extra minutes in your day, it would be well worth your time to stop by for a visit.
The owner of Bean Around the World in Yaletown makes a latte under my watchful eye. The day before New Year's Eve, he said as we were leaving, "See you next year."
He shared with us that he will be going home for Chinese New Year's for the first time in 12 years. Gung Hay Fat Choy to him and to all of those who celebrate. (This photo shows the display at Urban Fare grocery store, also in Yaletown.)
Here's a close-up of the dragon.
But, back to those magnificent lattes made with such care.Delicious works of art.
We walked along the False Creek walkway a couple of days before the surgery, and knew the boats would soon shed their Christmas lights.
We also walked to Gastown to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was probably illegal that I snapped this shot from our seats. Something about..
riding those rolling hills that made me feel I must surely be tagging along right behind Walter.
The Vancouver Police have a Mounted Unit and every once in a while, I happen to catch sight of them riding through the streets and parks around me. This was the day before Bill's surgery and the first time we had ever seen them in David Lam Park (across from our apartment). In the Chinese calendar, 2014 will be the year of the horse.
The morning of Bill's surgery as we prepared to walk up to the hospital, Black Jack took a moment to tell him she loves him and will miss him.
Then she took advantage of the moment to check for leftovers on the table.
Bill felt very well the day after the surgery and was highly amused by that sign at the lower right of the photo.
Here, he almost runs through the halls.
A few days later, he was feeling less well, but he walked to the lounge with me. As I tried to catch the street lights below, I realized our reflections were quite clear. I loved that Bill's sense of humour emerged. You will have to look very closely to see the joke.
I guess you could say I have a love-hate relationship with St. Paul's. I love the honest, hardworking people who truly want the best for their patients.
I hate that one seems to enter a maze of death-defying traps, no matter how well-intentioned the caretakers are. Okay, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but let's just say, should I become ill, I will do everything possible to "fix" myself on my own. No hospitals for me unless it is to put together broken pieces (I can't forget that I am alive because of the surgery after my bike accident). I hope that doesn't sound bitter. I appreciate the nurses, doctors, residents, students, housekeeping people and security people. They take their lives in their hands every day when they go to work. But, I hate the system.
Some of the photos from my wanderings:
I think these are American Wigeons.
They have beautiful wing patterns.
No idea what this is but loved the way the red stood out and yet blended as well.
Looking through the girders of The Granville Bridge to a mural on a building.
From Bill's hospital room. Sadly, he was unable to enjoy it. I will show it to him one day.
I love "my" crows..
in David Lam Park.
This juvenile on the right is demanding to be fed. S/he made me think of an article I read recently: "What Really Happens When We Give Kids Everything They Want." I come back to the old pendulum. It keeps swinging from one extreme to the other. A quote attributed to Oscar Wilde comes to mind: "Everything in moderation, including moderation."
Reflections in False Creek,
that approached close enough for my small lens to capture,
a talented fellow..
with serious goals..
and enormous concentration..
and willingness to try many times..
before gathering himself for yet another attempt were among the sights I wished I could share with Bill.
I stopped at the cafe in Harrison Galleries and drank a latte through a huge lump in my throat, but loved that this is a place where one can sit quietly amidst art.
I walked home and saw more art..
Funny how that gallery continues to draw me, even without Bill. In a way, I feel closer to him there..
than I do at the hospital.
I guess I want to deny "sickness" the pleasure it takes from us.
I will not let you be a "sick puppy" Bill. We will shed the image together in favour of tangled lines and humorous shapes..
and clamourous music..
and we will look down the road..
to former haunts..
and new explorations.
Thanks for letting me vent, everyone! To TexWis, Penelope, Jean, Daniel, Jim, Ron, Raven, Bev, Chris, Leslie, Fun60, Sherrill, Phyllis and all the others who have been so kind in letting me know you hear me and send us your best, my heartfelt thanks. And now, take a minute to check out Our World Tuesday! Have a good week, everyone!