Thursday, May 17, 2012

“Marriage is like a box of chocolates. You don’t know what you’ve got until you push each piece of it real hard in the middle and something squishes out,” said me. What, I can’t quote myself? Did somebody beat me to that one. So, a couple sat at the table across the aisle from us in the St. Jude cafeteria yesterday at lunch. I don’t know if they were married or just dating. Whichever, they were young-ish people in a comfortable, seasoned relationship. He cleaned the table and tossed all the trash, so, I would guess dating. The Asian couple spoke in a language accordingly, but that is as specific as I can be for even if I could hear them well I would not have understood a word. I sat facing them as Eli played a video game and we waited for our next appointment. They sat across from each other, he in a chair and she on a bench. In front of him piled up on a large plate was some kind of dumplings with a couple of side items that were unrecognizable either because of my lengthy visual distance or because of my limited cuisine knowledge. He also had another item that looked to be a dessert. All of it still on the tray (why do men not take their food off the tray) which carried it to the table along with her dessert-size plate of leafy green salad that sat on the table in front of her. Yes, perched for her devouring pleasure was a lone, tiny plate of green leaves, and a water bottle. As they approached the table to sit, he was yammering on and on about something. He sat the tray down and she scooted in the bench and took her salad to position it on the table. He sat down slowly as he continued talking and gesturing with both hands. She sat up on the edge of the bench and picked up a set of chop sticks. She leaned forward with both elbows on the table and began eating his food, still on the tray, still in front of him. He yammered and jabbered leaning backward and forward, finally picking up a chop stick. A couple of times she would gesture toward the food with a stick and with a full mouth mumble something, and he would stop a moment and answer with a short distracted grunt or gesture before continuing with whatever he was telling. She ate his entire tray of food, save literally three bites I saw him stick in his mouth that was still flapping as it chewed. Then she ate her own before he suddenly realized it was time to go. He jumped up, wiping his mouth gathered up the empty plates and trash. I don’t think he even noticed that he hadn’t eaten. She stood up, straightened her skirt, raked off any crumbs and waited patiently for his return for their walk back to the office. They complimented each other well. Eli and I played hookey from St. Jude today. He only had one tiny 30-minute appointment for occupational therapy and we blew it off. Yep, we skipped it. Wednesday, he had the shot to boost his white blood cell count, so he will go in tomorrow (Friday morning) to have blood drawn to see if it worked. We expect to be admitted Friday night to begin chemo drugs Saturday morning, so we took today off. Avoiding the zoo, I decided to try Mud Island park. It was super. The steamboat museum was really neat, the monorail ride over was cool, but the River Walk was outstanding. This is a concrete sculpture of the lower Mississippi River from its confluence to the gulf. It is a scaled model that stretches 5 blocks and replicates the flow pattern, flood plains, watersheds, levees, and cities along the way. The picture tonight is of Eli walking along a part of it. Visitors are allowed to wade in the river part of the design. Decatur or Florence needs something like that; it was beautiful, educational, and fun. Today, at the park, Eli said, “hey, I’ve got a great idea.” I said “What?” “This would be the perfect place to bring the whole family to see when they come.” He misses that unity. Although he does great here, no complaints from him, he feels the stress of being split up as a family. I will be so glad to get everyone within an hour’s drive.  I plan to really, for real realsies  be writing from an exclusive St. Jude room tomorrow night.

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