A Joyous Time

Sunrise on December 18

December 22, 2015 -- As the blank page stares me in the face, all I can think is that this is a "Sanibel Journal" and so much of what has been happening in our lives isn't about Sanibel at all.  You see, we've had medical adventures during the past month.  Tom had a bout of a rare, deadly hemolytic anemia, but he is better now that he spent five days in the hospital and is able to go through his regular chemotherapy for leukemia again.  His chemo makes him feel better, not worse, so long as he doesn't catch a cold while his immune system is suppressed by the drugs.

After the hospital stay, this house on Dinkins Bayou was so nice to come home to.  Seeing the sunrise every morning instills a deep sense of well-being, and an acknowledgement that we weathered a storm.  We feel like we moved here in the nick of time.  Some of that feeling is because of practical matters like the elevator, which Tom uses frequently.  The rest of that feeling is sheer joy at being alive and able to appreciate this spectacular nature show.

We've seen mullet swarming across the bayou and right under our dock.  Dolphins chase after them with full force.  When they do so, the swooshing water sounds like the dolphins are on motorless, powerful jet skis.  Two twelve-foot alligators swim by regularly.  Manatees pop their funny heads up for a breath of fresh air once in a while.

Two men, Ray and John, are now planting scores of native plants on our lot.  I've never seen such happy, healthy coonties.  That's a funny name for a plant, so let me give you its real name: Zamia integrifolia. The Zamia belongs to a family of plants called "cycads."  Cycads date back to the dinosaur age -- so very appropriate for flora in an area inhabited by alligators.

Ray has also selected golden creeper and silver palmettos, as wall as the classic native shrub called cocoplum.

One day when Tom was feeling particularly better after his hospitalization, he went out and bought two kayaks.  The two of us then explored the bayou and learned a bit about the differences between canoe paddling (which we know well) and kayak paddling (which is new to us).  We had fun, and once again, that feeling of sheer joy embraced us.

This past week, Tom's blood count is at its low point due to the chemo, and so he has less energy, but still he tells me he feels good.  If he feels good, I feel good, down here on the bayou.  

We wish a Merry Christmas to all, but especially to all those who cared for Tom during these past two months.  There are too many of them to name, at Florida Cancer Specialists and at Lee Memorial Hospital.  Bless them, every one.

Dolphin swimming down the bayou


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