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Coming Home

We’ve decided to get back to Ashland.

We have the opportunity to fly directly into Medford from NE Philly and my health condition seems stable enough to tackle the strains of travel. This will happen this coming week – before Halloween, though the actual date isn’t confirmed yet.



It has been an easy decision in some ways and hard in others. “Going home” gives me a psychic anchor – something to know and rely on, one part of the plans that is fixed. As I started thinking about this more thoroughly I got a warm feeling about connecting the health challenges with the reservoir of “home” emotions. Very comforting. And mechanically the Ashland home will handle me well. Just about everything I need is on our main floor and there is a way to get there with my walker, through the side/garden gate that avoids the front stairs. It looks like Katy will be able to join us for the trip and stay an extra several days to help us settle back in.

And yet this means leaving family (including that favorite/perfect grandson) at a much greater distance. As you have all heard, our support circle has been and is still wonderful. We’re still enjoying visits from out-of-town folk. Philip and Mary offer this nice pied-à-terre within their new home  - not to mention the changes to their schedules, life styles, etc.   I’ll stop here – I’m sure you can all imagine how great and complicated and loving this support has been.

Frankly, when we arrived in Philly I didn’t expect I had too much more time to live. I mentioned “weeks instead of months’ for life expectancy, and it seemed even shorter than that. But in the last week or so I feel more stable. I’m getting more gaunt, and my meds are increased when necessary (not necessary in the last 10 days or so.) Now it is easier to imagine rattling around the home approaching the holidays, and that’s when the home emotions strengthen.

Tons of logistics, but typically for us, lists are starting to build.  We’ll firm up schedules, and as we get a better feel for life-back-in-Ashland we’ll send that along, too.

Mary (my sister) came through town this past weekend, taking a detour from a conference travel trip. As always – a very welcome and accommodating guest. She profiled me a bit for members of my family and I’ll share that here – for an outside view.

[H]e has not gotten any worse in the four weeks since moving to Philadelphia.  Actually he is doing better now than he was doing in his last week in the Adirondacks.   He is sleeping better so needs fewer naps and goes to bed later.  Basically he only needs a nap early afternoon.  Physically he still uses a walker to help get his balance when he first stands up, but then carries the walker when he heads to another room.  He’s not strong enough to handle the stairs – so is confined to the second floor of the three story row house.  He’s also cognitively better – staying with conversations and finding the words to participate.  The cognitive improvement also means he can better participate in phone calls and responding to emails.  My assumption is all this is mostly due to his body getting used to the morphine.

Goodness – another part of the journey – each one more interesting than the last.

Love to you all…Doug


2 comments to Coming Home

  • Herb Scogg

    Dear Doug, I started to send you a note and tried to add a picture. Shows what I know. Put the pic in place and lost the contact. A few more years and I may be able to handle all of this technology. I have been remiss in not having made contact with you before. Let me assure you that you have been in my prayers. I have been reading the FB comments and progress. I have to admire the way you have handled this very serious concern. Your faith and trust in God comes through very clear. I feel most fortunate that I had a chance to work with young men like you. I consider those years very precious in my memory. Thank you for your thoughtful response to my status posting. I appreciated the way you helped me clarify my thinking. The Lump factor is one that I have disliked for a long time. This is especially true when the media paints an entire group bad because of the actions of one of their members. Nuf Sed. Barbara and I will continue to hold you in our prayers. My God bless you. Herb

  • Mark Hoyer

    Wanted to share this poem with you. So beautiful and moving.

    The Journey

    Above the mountains
    the geese turn into
    the light again

    Painting their
    black silhouettes
    on an open sky.

    Sometimes everything
    has to be
    inscribed across
    the heavens

    so you can find
    the one line
    already written
    inside you.
    Sometimes it takes
    a great sky
    to find that

    small, bright
    and indescribable
    wedge of freedom
    in your own heart.

    Sometimes with
    the bones of the black
    sticks left when the fire
    has gone out

    someone has written
    something new
    in the ashes of your life.

    You are not leaving
    you are arriving.

    ~ David Whyte ~

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