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Happy New Year!

January 18, 2016

In some cultures, I hear, it is considered a curse to say ‘May you live in interesting times.’ When I was younger, I couldn’t believe anyone could think that, as being bored was one of the things I dreaded most. As I age, I begin to understand that point of view.

This year has been very interesting. I’ve written about my broken hip, and recently I had more basal surgery, which made the Christmas season a challenge. On 12/17/15 I had basal on my nose, which involved going to the dermatologist’s office at 9am, and having each section of skin examined under a microscope until all edges were clear. Each section examined takes an hour for the examination, then they do another section, so I finally got the all clear at 4pm. Almost the entire surface of my nose is gone, and the depth was such that she knew I had to have a graft with a plastic surgeon who could make the repair in a way that my nose would look normal again. We researched which plastic surgeon that she trusts takes my insurance, and on 12/22 I had the graft surgery. Because the wound is so deep, he left a flap from my forehead attached and on 1/15/16 the flap was detached and the final healing is begun. All is healing well, he says, and I have taken pictures to show the progression, though I hesitate to publish them as they are pretty scary looking.

Because my bridge was where the flap was attached, I haven’t been able to wear my glasses since the 22nd. My eyes were swollen for the first couple weeks, but then I was able to put my contacts in, so I could see more clearly. Since the 15th I am without contacts again, but am hoping the swelling will go down enough for contacts by tomorrow, and soon can wear my glasses again, too. I get the stitches out on Jan. 25th, but I can see it is going to look pretty well.

I haven’t been able to do many Christmas cards, so am hoping everyone will read this letter and consider it my Christmas and New Year’s contribution. Daver says I have an excuse that everyone will accept, but I still want to write to all my friends and get notes back as well. Having a father who wrote great letters trained me so that I need to read good writing on a regular basis or no amount of communication is sufficient.  Luckily I have met good writers like Marian Ronan, Donna Henes and Steve Zettler, and have come across Jodi Picoult, Elizabeth Moon and Anne Lamont who are prolific enough to satisfy my cravings. Not to mention my sister and other good friends and family who write very well, too.

I continue to pursue acting  and regular work, though I can’t do much during the healing. The timing has been great – the Helen Hayes got sold in January last year, and the other job I got began in February and ran until June. The new owner hired the ushers back for our theatre in September, at which point I was able to work until the graft surgery. Now, as I am ready to work again, there is a new show opening just in time for me to be able to usher. In February the new job becomes active again, so I will be able to help Daver pay the bills once more. My husband insists he is not worth mentioning, but he has taken such amazing care of me that I can’t agree with his assessment.  Not only did he come to the hospital daily, but he found things in  our apartment that I had buried under piles of mess and helped me stay on top of our bills and enabled me to communicate with everyone. This from a man who is painfully shy and would prefer to be invisible. And in November he had to have kidney stone surgery, which didn’t go real well, so I was able to take care of him for a week until he felt able to return to work once more. He had to have more on Jan. 12, but this time it went well, so what he was dreading, having to have one of my friends or a stranger come in to take care of us both, didn’t happen. Taking care of me is more palatable to him than being taken care of, for which I am eternally grateful.

I look forward to being able to continue working for peace and justice with Pax Christi Metro New York, reading to kids in my neighborhood with BookPALS, feeding the hungry on Saturdays through April with my parish, helping out with VITA at Equity and being ready to act once more. Thanks so much to all my friends and family, both spiritual – the Missionary Cenacle Family, of whose lay branch I am a member – and biological, for sustaining me and helping me do so well that I can consider this year an intensely interesting and exciting adventure.

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