Thursday, August 27, 2009

Best anniversary ever! (As such):

Last Monday, August 17th, marked the 18 year anniversary of when I first developed CFIDS. (Yes, I remember the exact day. The precise moment, actually. CFIDS.org asked me to write about it a few years ago and it's here if you're curious: http://www.cfids.org/cfidslink/2005/dremousis.asp)

I'd recently remarked to TJ that most years I spend that day alone and moody and crying--the notable exceptions being '04 through '07 when my life was chock full of deadlines and the symptoms were more moderate--and he decided to preempt such actions this year by throwing a surprise gathering for me at The Elysian. He was unable to send out invites until the Saturday before because, while I'm over the shingles, I'm still much weaker right now and can't as yet plan more than a day or two in advance.

He coordinated with one of my oldest friends, Christy, and sent a missive to my cherished and oft-noted friend, Eric. And while the latter was unable to pitch in to alert my writer friends because, unbeknown to TJ, Eric was in the middle of moving from one state to another, TJ and Christy put together an impressive roster.

Of course, the invitations went out the day before Mom went into the hospital with what seemed to be cardiac arrest. (As noted in my previous entry, it turns out that, mercifully, the problems were comparably minor but still serious. The good news, though, is that Mom is now on Day #11 with no cigarettes and is regarding this near miss as a wake-up call.) I, of course, had no idea a party of sorts was underway. (Nice job, TJ and Christy, putting your poker-faced Teutonic heritage to good use.) And, also, I didn't want to leave the hospital except to sleep. (Mad props to my brother, George, and Thia Elaine for being such stalwarts, too. And Dad handled things as Dad always does, not necessarily recognizing the gravity of the situation, but that worked just fine, as well, and he was a real peach when it counted.)

Sunday night, as I was leaving the hospital a bit past midnight, Mom told me to keep my plans with TJ the following day. I countered that I was postponing them and that no doubt he'd understand. Again, as noted previously, she was completely alert and lucid and wry throughout the evening and in her "Mom" voice, the same one that used to rattle defense attorneys to their core back when she was still a deputy prosecutor, she threatened to kill me if I did not keep said plans. (Again, I didn't know this either, but TJ had invited Mom and Dad and my brother to join everyone, so Mom knew what was afoot.)

On Monday afternoon, TJ and I spent a couple hours at the hospital with Mom and Dad (George had been earlier before heading to work) and the mood remained remarkably light and I think everyone welcomed the banter as a respite from thinking of what might be going on in Mom's chest wall. (At this point, the results were still inconclusive.) Around 5:00 p.m., Mom insisted TJ and I leave and while I was reluctant, I knew Dad was with her and that the situation was essentially under control.

After a really fun and goofy dinner at The Elysian at which it felt great to relax a bit and, you know, eat, I saw TJ's friend, Jeff enter and waved to him. "Jeff's here!" I said, still not catching on, because Jeff and his wife live nearby.

"Keep an eye out for Christy, because she should be here soon," TJ said, smiling and a bit self-congratulatory when he noted the confused look on my face. "Surprise," he said. "I didn't want this anniversary to suck for you, too."

I have had many parties over the years, both epic and spectacle-packed, but no one had ever thrown me a surprise party before. And while a number of my writer friends never received invitations due to the aforementioned (well-intentioned and totally understandable) wire-crossing between TJ and Eric, like I said, TJ and Christy did a damned fine job assembling a super-fun soiree wherein everyone cross-pollinated beautifully and swapped stories new and old.

And while I thanked each attendee the next day, I want to reiterate again here: thank you all, deeply and with the force of a thousand suns, for making a day that would have been grim for a number of reasons, so utterly fucking perfect. Here's to an autumn packed with health and success and giddiness for everyone. And to my large roster of out-of-state friends with whom I talk or email all the time but rarely get to see, maybe I'll be able to travel more in '10. And if not, get your ass(es) on a plane again. Because we'll find something to celebrate, too.

2 comments:

princess kanomanom said...

Lovely post, Litz.

Litsa Dremousis said...

Thanks, Kristen! Cheek kiss!