Yesterday, Flannista got her first injection of Orthovisc -- "WD-40 for the knee joint". As is the case most of the time these days, I was forlorn. "You don't like syringes?" the nurse practitioner asked when she entered the examining room. "No, it's not that," I replied. "I don't like getting old." "You aren't old," said the nurse. "You have purple hair, and have you seen your calf muscles? I wish I had your legs."
While getting the injection the nurse asked me what I did for a living. I told her about creative direction in corporate America and capturing stories, and how I had never met anyone who didn't have an interesting story to tell, etc. "You want to hear a story?" she asked. "I'll tell you one."
In 2006, the house my husband and I were nearly finished building, completely burnt to the ground. Spontaneous combustion -- rags in the basement that were being used to stain cedar shingles. We survived as well as our two dogs, but we lost everything we owned. Everything. You can see images of the fire on YouTube [see above]. It's used for training fire fighters. So we moved back here and started over. About six months ago, my husband was diagnosed with a very rare bone sarcoma -- usually only kids get it -- and has to have 40 rounds of radiation. He's had 10 so far and most of his spinal chord has been fused. He had to quit his job. We're selling our current house and moving into a smaller one because stairs are hard for him, but he practices climbing them everyday. It feels like we're starting all over yet again. How's that for a story?
She and her husband have been married for 23 years. She is only 45 years old. I thanked her for sharing her story and asked her how she feeling. "Fine. Really. You just find ways to move forward." I told her that I would post her husband's name as well as her name on a post-it and place it in the small satin prayer box on top of my home altar. "Thank you," she replied. "See you next week. We're on an adventure, aren't we?"
Her name is Tracy. Her husband's name is Paul.