Something remarkable is happening!
This will be my last effort on beBee with regard to the Kickstarter campaign encouraging support for the publication of my book Riding Shotgun. The beBee community has proven itself kindly supportive with pledges totalling $400 from 9 Bees. I will always be grateful.
Our supporters include several remarkable people who have helped us find the beauty in this exercise. One of them is a former colleague of Kate's by the name of Carol Migliaccio. Just yesterday (October 10) I received this message from Carol and I am sharing it here with her permission:
You guys are so dear and I know how much this means! I so hope you reach your goal - I posted it on my Facebook to my friends. Here's what I'm thinking though. . . There's just a bit more needed and so little time. I'm more than willing to help get this over the line. With what's remaining I can kick in a third. Can we get two more people to do the same? Let me know.
Beyond leaving us gobsmacked with her offer, we were delighted to find one more person who has agreed to participate in this challenge. We know it is a big request but we need just one more person willing to pony up $700 to push us right over the top to ensure this book gets into the hands of people who can really benefit.
Might that person be someone in this community?
A reminder, you can access the Kickstarter campaign via this link:
Regardless, we will be forever grateful to our beBee family.
The following is the last excerpt I am publishing here. I hope you enjoy it and again, our many thanks.
One of the chapters in Riding Shotgun is entitled Finding Beauty. In the preface I write:
The very last thing you will expect at the outset of your ride into hell is that you will find beauty. You’ve got to look for it. You have to be constantly aware to notice when it comes along.
There is, however, one overriding necessity in order for this to happen - you, the male caregiver, must CHOOSE to seek and recognize wondrous moments that can arise when least expected.
There are moments in this role when you can only laugh.
It was during a Dubai-like summer. I love it. Loathing the chill of winter, I revel in days when my eyelashes sweat!
Now, admittedly, for my darling wife who is 50% through radiation, the sun and heat are anathema to her wellbeing. She is though holding up remarkably well adorned in the LuluLemon version of a burka. This is yet another example of how cancer treatment creates new perspective.
While never a sun worshipper, she is a fair-skinned English rose after all, she would partake of outdoor activities with great enthusiasm. But now that her skin is being fried from both within and without, she must be enormously careful. Gabriel, Samuel and I have had to learn that when we get Mommy out to the water park we all need to ensure she stays in the shade and is well greased up with high SPF sunscreen.
Sunday was outdoor-chores day at the Kerrs. While Mommy and the boys focused on weeding and tidying up the gardens, Daddy was sent aloft to clean the gutters.
Our gutters feature a labour-saving device (?) in that they are lined with a porous foam. This keeps the large chunks out while the water flows freely. So while it works well on oak leaves, it is not so great at filtering out the detritus of the giant spruces which grace our Muskoka-lite backyard.
To do a proper job you must remove all the foam, give it a good hosing, gather up the several pounds of spruce needles residing in the sluice way then wash out the entire run with high pressure. No big deal but pretty sweaty, dirty work.
As often happens in this type of weather, the skies began to darken. Moving in from the northwest were ominous slate-grey thunderheads. At this point, subsequent to the rain beginning to fall, that I informed Kate that I thought it prudent to descend to terra firma given that I was standing on a highly-conductive lightning rod.
I made the firm observation that at the first clap of thunder I was going to retire to the dry, safe garage and that I would finish the job when the danger had passed.
“Get back up that ladder,” Kate barked. “You are NOT coming down ’til the gutters are clean.”
“Uh, yeah, but Katie - I just heard thunder and that means lightning and that means my life is at risk. So, if it’s alright with you, I’ll just get back to this when the storm is gone.”
“Do you think for a moment that I give a damn about thunder and lightning?. They are among the very last things I am worried about. I am not even afraid to fly any more so a little lightning is no big deal. No finish the job!”
“I am doing my best to understand you my love, however I am the one at risk in this case. It lightning strikes I will be my head that gets fried and that’s something I would like to avoid.”
“Listen mister, after you’ve been through a cancer diagnosis, two surgeries, four months of chemo, and had your body radiated every day - then get back to me about giving a squat about the weather. You might actually find lightning as a bit of relief.”
By now, you’re probably aware that I stayed up the ladder. It was a close call as to which storm was more likely to create permanent damage - the one emanating from the 105-pound terrorist on the ground or the inestimable power of Mother Nature in a rage.
Eventually (I did finally sneak down as the second bolt struck nearby), we had a laugh. Katie is apparently quite at ease with putting my life at risk. She’s already at the height of risk. I, on the other hand, still have powerful self-preservation interests foremost but this did indeed give me a new perspective on the role of the co-pilot.
Regardless of the fear you might feel, you are not experiencing the daily threat of the patient and some times it really does do one good to suck it up and get on with life. That’s a choice we can easily make and one which does not exist for those whom we’re supporting.
However, if next time we’re out in a storm, she encourages me to stand in a vacant lot with a two-iron held aloft…I ain’t doing it.