Happy Anniversary

hello everyone,

I felt that since there are so many of you concerned about me that a blog would be the fastest way of reaching everyone in a timely manner with any news as it happens.

I completed the PET scan on the 14th, now we hurry up and wait for the radiologists to go through the 300+ pictures and send the results to my doctor. Should now more very soon.


P.S. If you would like to talk to me don’t hesitate to call anytime my cell is 410-829-0624

These words were typed up and sent into the internet atmosphere a year ago today. The first time my private Keith braved a public posting. Mind you, he never played his cards close to his chest with family and friends that he held dear. But he was always nervous about the general public knowing his inner workings.

The first thing that happened was his cousin Patty and me gave him grief over his slaughter of grammar and spelling. He volleyed back at us, pointing out that if people wanted to know what was going on with him, they’d just have to live with his take on the English language. He got back at me today when I accidentally hit the “post” button on this blog after cutting and pasting his first entry above. Sorry about that, Marcia. I didn’t take it down before you commented.

So now that I have taken back control of our blog, I just want to thank you all who have followed us on our written journey. Keith’s meticulous scientific descriptions of the procedures sprinkled with his internet research links, with a recipe for duqqa thrown in for good measure, has evolved into my current day musings of my memories of Keith and my life without him.

I’m not good with reading our first entries but am grateful that they are there. There will come a time when I will want to remember how to make duqqa. Keith made sure we all have the recipe. He also showed me how to do it. Tired and weak, he planted himself on a stool in our kitchen and gave me step by step directions. “That’s too many sesame seeds. Wait, let me taste it. You need to grind it more. Bring it over here so I can show you how to do it.” and then the heart wrenching “I can’t, I don’t have the strength.”

That was the same thing he said to me when I posted my first blog on December 2, 2011. “Cherish, I’m too tired to write. Share the news that the PET scan shows that the cancer is gone.” 13 days later, he was gone.

Sometimes, there are human beings that burn so brightly, they burn out before we are ready to let them go. Keith, thankfully, left a trail for me to follow. A simple little blog called Keith’s Updates lives on, a toddler in the blog world celebrating it’s first anniversary. This calls for a little cake and duqqa. I know a good recipe.


When it is dark enough . . .

. . . you can see the stars. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

My favorite quote – which I share again tonight for my mother, who is an extraordinary human being.  For almost three years she has taken on the honorable task of being one of her parents’ caregivers.  I only walked in the caregivers’ shoes for 9 months and can not begin to understand what it is to give for such an extended time.  I do know that it is a job requiring great patience, high energy, mountains of stress, juggling a never ending list of to-do’s – and no one can prepare you for it.  No one can brace you for the sometimes combative nature of your patients.  There are no warning labels that come with the doctor appointments, the medication schedule, the fiscal responsibilities.  Most of all, when the end comes – well, it just does.  You can’t change the course those final days run.

What you do find yourself doing is pulling from someplace deep inside.  I don’t know that it is strength.  It’s more like an anchor.  A force that holds you in place and keeps you focused on each moment and each person involved and most of all, focused on the human being you know and love as you let him go.  The world swims around you as you methodically handle each task while the clock ticks down.  I know – I was there not that long ago.  And my mother was there with me.  She stood by my side as the doctors told us there was nothing left to do, their eyes blood shot from their own tears.

This Sunday, My Aunt Jan sent out an email to the family, letting us know that Pop-Pop was in the final stages of his life.  I called Mom Monday night to see how she was doing, how the family was doing, how Mom-Mom was doing, how Pop-Pop was doing.  The conversation turned to my desire not to see him in his final days.  Keith’s final days are still so strongly etched into my memory that I fight to remember how he was when he was healthy.  Mom comforted me with a tone in her voice hauntingly familiar to my own tone while on the phone with Brandon as I told him he didn’t need to see his father like that.  And then I did the one thing I didn’t want to do – I started crying – because I know what she is facing, because I know what Mom-Mom will soon go through, because I always believed that because my mother showed me how to live one’s life as a strong, giving, caring rock to those she loves, I was able to navigate through those final days of Keith’s life.

Pop-Pop passed away at 4:50 this morning. Where he is now there are Ritz crackers with butter, endless pie, children snuggling with him in his recliner as he watches Wheel of Fortune, a garage full of odds and ends that need re-engineering or recycling, and of course, a sailboat named Sweetie.  He’ll have to wait for the original Sweetie, Mom-Mom, to join him but I bet he’ll be ok with it.  He knows that she is in the steadfast hands of their children, his eldest daughter at the helm.

Wayne Russel Geib, Sr.
January 10, 1928 – September 13, 2012