I love the song Ol' Man River, especially the line ". . . he must know something, but don't do nothin, he just keeps rolling along." Like the lesson learned in Siddhartha, the river keeps
moving, carrying with it the waters from various sources, tributaries,
large and small, and we can learn a lot from the river's movement, for its fluid ability to move despite outrageous winds and rains...
When I left for a trip back home to Northern Kentucky on Friday, I expected to see gorgeous trees aflame with Autumn's colors. I knew I would have a good time watching Sammy and Cooper play peewee football with my son and family...and I did.
I spent a lot of time chatting with my high school friend Diana -- and playing ukulele on the patio that overlooks where the Ohio River bends at the veriest tippy top point of our State. She and her husband listen for the sounds of the river and then Rick or Di will tell me about the approaching barges, where they're going, if they're making a move so they'll avoid hitting the sandbar (who knew there were sandbars in the Ohio River?) -- there's all sorts of action going on out there in the river -- it's a fascinating time and place to be, up on the bend in the river where the wildlife is
plentiful and the wild turkeys don't mind holding up traffic from Burlington to Rabbit Hash.
In fact, the area is so open and natural, you can see every twinkle twinkle in the sky -- and I even saw a shooting star :)
I also love to return to Belleview Bottoms because I get to spend precious time with Diana. My buddy Diana is as beautiful within as is her appearance - she's funny as can be, her hospitality is unmatched, and as a friend, she's a great listener and has a huge capacity for compassion. She is my hero, this woman who daily does battle with the cancer that wreaks havoc with her health ... yet she still works, cleans, cooks, and best of all, she tirelessly cares for others. So we sang, we played, shopped, visited my old haun
ts in Northern Kentucky - the weather was perfect and I made it to nearly every sight I wanted to see on my afternoon excursion.
However, the glorious weekend was made even more extraordinary on Saturday night when Di received word that her great-nephew had been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and had slipped into a coma. So yesterday morning we were once again crossing the River, this time to be with Amber as Tristan was undergoing a second CAT scan. The earlier scan had revealed very little brain activity, but the second
scan brought the shattering news his condition had worsened and the doctors had done all they could to save him. What followed was a chaotic afternoon of tears and prayers and sights and sounds that I cannot find words to describe, but I was profoundly moved by the events of the day, by the work of the medical staff at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and my heart goes out to Tristan's family as they watch him cling to life.
Life is fragile, lambchops, and from hereon in, I hope
to appreciate every breath I take, every breath you take, every breath of life within every person with whom I am connected...even more now...despite the tragic developments of yesterday, I hope to learn to keep rolling along with a hopeful look to what's around the bend.