Thursday, January 21, 2016

#SOL16: Lost/Loss

The Hospital Wing (MA. Reilly, Italy, 2009)

Five months ago, Rob, Dev and I drove two of Dev's friends who had spent a week with us to a train in Newark so they could travel home to Virginia. Later that night we decided to end summer by taking a quick trip to Maine. We had planned to stay at a favorite inn and I promised to make reservations in the next few days after Rob's cat scan was done. He had been having some pain in his chest and a chest x-ray showed a smudge that was thought to be artifactual. A day later, our doctor phoned, waking us up to tell Rob that he had cancer. I drove to pick up Dev from a friend's home and we then joined his father at the doctor's office.

There's no language I know that can suitably express the ways in which all of our lives have changed since that call.

No language.


Woman in a Crowd (M.A. Reilly, 2015)

During the last five months I have learned to respond to an onslaught of complications 24/7.  There is almost always a complication that Rob is faced with--complications that I have not anticipated and require response--often immediately. As Rob takes the necessary steps to battle not only the cancer but the many illnesses that have arisen alongside the cancer, the foundation that supports his efforts rests squarely in my hands.

Well intending friends and family ask if I'm taking care of myself and I realize that so often there is little self left and at other times there is a self I have not known that seems to be emerging.

I seem to have misplaced the woman I know I must have been. I'm writing this here as I don't want to forget this later--to gloss over it.  What gets lost and found is important.

This is at the center of loss.


  1. So beautifully and accurately said. Sending you both a big hug. ((( )))

  2. Powerful, Mary Ann. Embracing your emerging self...

  3. But also you've found the woman you are--at least another part of the woman you are. The kind of caring you do each day and night is something that I don't know everyone has in them.

    1. I'm grateful I'm kind. Would be awful to go through life as a mean person.

  4. Mary Ann-

    I wish you well. You have such a gift for bringing light into dark places. I hope you are able to find some of it for yourself.

    1. Mike, thank you so much. So many others are shining light for us. Overwhelmed by the generosity of others.