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Life in the Fast Track

Tires hit hard on the tarmac as Flight 460 lands at LAX, gradually slowing as it turns toward its assigned gate. Debarking, I become part of the melee of jostling people who are hurrying to grab their luggage off the carousal. Re-positioning my shoulder bag, I hurry to join the fray at the curb jostling to hail a cab.

Welcome to Los Angeles – the city of angels – and life in the fast track.

But there is another fast track few are aware of and no one wants to encounter. It isn’t the race track or the board room of high stakes businesses, but the ambulance entrance to the ER. This Fast Track gets fast attention from the medical staff. This is the fast track I am headed towards.

My unexpected and unplanned flight brought me into the world of hospitals, CT Scans and an unwanted diagnosis. Within 24 hours my days had shifted from a usual work day to sitting beside the bed of my son well into the night after he was admitted to the hospital. His flu-like symptoms had turned into something more sinister – an aggressive Stage IV pancreatic cancer. I had moved from the Fast Track to the slow, methodical world of testing and waiting.

But then life returned to the fast track as treatments were scheduled, friends helping, and early morning trips to the medical center where treatments began. But the cancer was too aggressive, and after a week he was re-admitted to the hospital and from there to a hospice care facility. Once again, this time with my older son by my side, I sat beside a loved one who was dying.

It was thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving – a time to remember and give thanks. And regardless of losses, I give thanks for my remaining family: a beautiful daughter, a bright son and his wonderful wife and 4 delightful  grandchildren. I give thanks for the many wonderful years I had with my husband. And I give thanks that I had the privilege to raise my creative and talented artistic son Don who left a huge imprint of joy on all who knew him.

As I celebrate my family and the love we share, I encourage you to celebrate yours.  Celebrate the loved ones that death has taken away. Celebrate the ones that remain. Celebrate the many blessings given to us every minute of the day. Heap those kernels of gratitude and blessings on your thanksgiving table and thank God who continues to love, strengthen and comfort us in times of joy and sorrow. And may each of you experience a blessed Thanksgiving.

True Blue

by (c) (c) David Abramson, Feb. 6th, 2010 for Don Anderson

In memory of my son who died November, 2009 I share again a song written for him after he died by his good friend David Abramson, entitled True Blue.  The song in  many ways represent the feelings of his many friends in California where he worked and lived, who loved him as we his family did.


Marlene Anderson

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