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July 25, 2005 - Monday, 11:30 p.m.

Cooling off at last...

Itís a perfect evening. Itís still cloudy out and the wind is blowing. I can hear the wind in the trees. The chimes are ringing softly outside my window. Itís thinking about raining, but no matter. It rained this afternoon, soft and steady for a couple hours. When I walked out of work just after 4:30 is was still drizzling and the skies were grey and heavy with dark clouds. The wind is blowing through the open windows now ruffling the curtains, it smells wonderful and fresh. After nearly a week at around 90 degrees itís in the mid to low 60ís tonight. Like a dream come true.

Itís wonderful to sit on the bed and listen. Itís relaxing and will probably lull me to sleep once I crawl under the covers. Iíve thrown myself into going to the gym now. Iíll be going at least 5 days a week. Iíve needed to do it for a while, basically since I did physical therapy for my back over a year ago. Iíve kept meaning to get started and now I finally have. Iím just getting started and will have a work out in place by the end of the week. Iíve set up with a personal trainer. This is going to make it work.

My sisterís husband, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter went to Lincoln, Nebraska this past weekend. My sisterís husband, Kevinís mother, Esther, lives in Lincoln. Sheís had MS since long before we met her, sometime before my sister married Kevin in 1981. Sheís been in a wheel chair for probably twenty years. Sheís to turn 80 in October this year.

When my sister and I were coming home from Loisís funeral we stopped in Lincoln to see Esther. Sheíd gotten sick and was in a nursing facility until she was feeling better and had her upper body strength back, to be able to get in and out of her wheel chair by herself. We sat and visited with her for a little over an hour. She was up and about and looking good and pretty happy. She was looking forward to getting back home. She lives with Kevinís sister and his sisterís husband. Within the last month she slipped in the nursing facility and broke her hip. This is not good for someone with MS. Sheíll be slow to mend and will lose even more upper body strength, which as an MS patient can be very difficult to regain. Within the last week sheís developed pneumonia. Her organs are doing well, but the doctorís are concerned because she seems to be content with being at the end of her life. Without the drive of her mind to recover, recovery is unlikely.

Kevin is the baby of the family, heís 46 and he was born late in Estherís life. Kevinís dad died when Kevin was just 3, and he has very vague memories of him. Estherís second husband died about 13 years ago. It seems to me like it wasnít that long ago that we went to his funeral. Kevin is trying hard to be hopeful, but at the same time practical. He knows that if his mom is ready to go, she most likely will. Thinking about Kevinís family and praying for strength for them to accept whatever happens.

Death has been a theme in my thoughts lately. Itís touching me a lot this year. I am still struggling with feeling alive. Phil helped me feel alive, and some of that has stuck, I just really miss him, and miss hoping on the possibilities that were there.

Iím exhausted again tonight. I am going to crawl into bed now.

Sweet dreamsÖ M.

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