Sickness, old age, and death

The final verdict, after today’s consultation with our family doctor and a series of x-rays: Miss Brianna likely scratched her esophagus on Saturday when she choked on some popcorn at the movie. This created a vortex of anxiety and a little girl who coughed and gagged at every little bit of food until yesterday when she stopped eating.

And yeah, the fact that Daddy’s in Colorado plays no small part.

So this is why I like my family doctor. She calmly tells Brianna and I that Brianna should only eat soft foods for the next few days. I’m further instructed to not make a big deal out of it. Got it. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get a big tub of yogurt to take to school for Bri.

She ate a bunch more yogurt then we had some quiet time before going for the x-ray. (Which, by the way, she handled very well.)

When we returned home I heard “Mommy, can I have some ginger cookies and a glass of milk?” Sure. By dinner time, she was hosing pizza and breadsticks.

She wasn’t too happy when Grandma and Grandpa came over to watch her so I could go sit. But they handled the meltdown pretty well (after raising three boys, they are pretty much pros). And it felt important to sit tonight.

Tonight’s sitting was dedicated to the memory of Mark A., someone I knew from back in my monastic days. Mark was the beloved partner of another monk, Trudi. An artist-type, familiar with the NYC art scene, he really was one of the coolest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He and Trudi had a love that was true, deep, and rare. He will be missed.

And so the Dharma wheel turns; sickness and death arise and depart. I am humbled by the profoundity of life.