September 21st, 2009:
The past weekend found me settling with increasing comfort into Maitri. My tasks are to relax and to become more adept at anticipating my pain management before the pain takes over. I have the services of Hospice by the Bay to help with meds. This agency has deep skills over many years and they are available to consult on my needs around the clock. Basically, the work with my primary care physician and with Maitri to establish a protocol that keeps me comfortable. That sure fits with what I want!
Today, I started sending out announcements to people who live in the Bay Area to plan a time to come and pick up the gifts that I am giving to them. Not all the announcements have been sent, so if you live locally and didn't get a message, don't worry. Also, not everyone has been given a gift, especially if they didn't ask for anything. For people who live further away, I will be in touch with you to set up shipping arrangements.
Gaetano has generously offered to coordinate the pick-up schedule and I am very grateful that this process is underway. My biggest short-term task is to empty my apartment and everyone who takes something is helping me do this. Thank you, thank you for taking over the stewardship and enjoyment of the objects that I love.
After enduring a couple of days of exhaustion and discomfort shortly after moving into Maitri, I suddenly felt much better walking on Friday. I was so surprised. I had cancelled several entertainment events that I'd really wanted to attend including plays in Ashland and the first night of Mark Morris Dance Group during their Berkeley Fall visit. As much as I wanted to go, I knew that my body wouldn't allow me to walk any distance, even with crutches or a wheelchair. So I just thanked my already full life and stepped aside from those performances.
Then, I suddenly felt better. As I listened to my body, I felt that I could attend the San Francisco Opera's production of Il Trovatore. I also knew that I didn't have to. But I could if I wanted to. And I wanted to. After hearing several fine performances of this riveting opera over my forty five years as an opera-goer, I had the pleasure of attending the definitive version on Saturday night. It all worked. The sets were good to wonderful, the conductor had a brilliant vision of the momentum and colors he wanted to create, the orchestra blended beautifully and the singers excelled in every direction: vocal power, nuance, dramatic interpretation, strong character development and lavish, opulent singing that did not stop until the final cry of "Vengeance!" It was great grand opera and a fitting final performance for my lifetime of loving this above all other art forms.
As I settle into managing the distribution of my goods and adjusting to the daily routine at Maitri, I am amazed to realize that a week ago, I still lived in this apartment and I was just about to attend the Maitri Board of Directors dinner where it became clear that I needed help and 24 hour care. How quickly things happen with the right people help out!