I did do one related thing: Talk to someone from the Gift of Life, the bone marrow donor program that found Denise for me. I said I would register for their Boston 5K this spring and write my story for them. I've done this kind of thing many times: "XX years ago, so and so couldn't imagine running the xx-mile race, but she is training for it now, thanks to such and such organization that made it possible."
In my case that would be, "Eight years ago I needed oxygen after struggling to walk just half the length of a nurses' station, but on April 30 I'll be running...."
Being in Florida for five sunny days gave me the chance to run an easy three miles on flat palm-tree-lined streets. On my last day I added that same distance in walking because (ahem), when I got back to Deb's place and reached into my pocket, I couldn't find the key. Not wanting to bother her during her busy day, I decided to retrace my steps. First I needed water. Unless I was going to drink it from the pool, I would have to knock on a door that had some sound of life coming from the other side.
|With Deb at Margaretaville|
"What am I going to do with you?" she asked. "Send you home, I guess," she replied. I was going home anyway. Although feeling silly, I at least felt like I had enough exercise that day.
Her condo is a short distance from Hollywood Beach, where we had walked the first night on the broadwalk (not a boardwalk because it isn't made of boards) and taken a quick tour of the glitzy lobby of Jimmy Buffet's Margaretaville.
The beach is crowded, but but you can still find your spot. I covered up from head to almost-toe because that's the way it is for me now post-squamous cell. It was wonderful anyway, and I would have liked to bottle the sea air.
I floated in the blue-tinged ocean that was almost as calm as a bay. Lying on my back, I thought of my mother, who used to float that way and put her hands behind her head and close her eyes. Hi Mom, I said, looking at the sky.
|With Nan at Fairchild Gardens|
In addition, I had a great but too-short visit with my high school friend Nan. She took me to beautiful Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, where we walked around, had lunch, and caught up with our news. It was also fun to meet her children. (And we got this old how?) A dancer and personal trainer, Nan is very Zen. I asked if some of that could rub off on me. It was hard to totally avoid talking about The Thing that has overtaken Washington, but at least we circled back to the good stuff.
I also said I wanted to go to that waterfall where we've seen photographs of her with her son and daughter.
She said I'd have to go to Hawaii for that.
"Settling" for Florida wasn't too hard to do.
I write as I look out my window at the blizzard.