Monday, November 20, 2006

Remembering Christine

There will be two gatherings to remember Christine. On Saturday, December 2, from 10 am to 4 pm there will be an open house at Christine's home, 5319 Delette Ave. S., in Gulfport, for all to enjoy the serenity and color of Christine's largest work of art: Lizard Hall. Phone 327-6726 for information.

And on Sunday, December 3, at 3pm, there will be a memorial service at the Quaker Meeting House, 130 19th Ave. SE, St. Petersburg. Phone 896-0310 for information.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thank you

A graceful and gentle life has ended. A part of Christine wants to believe she will see and be with her parents whom she dearly loved. A part of her believes she will join the slow, seasonal rhythm of nature.

We must remember the things she taught us: to be kind, to be sweet, to hold each other's hands and light candles against the dark of aloneness; to see beauty in everything and in everyone. She will always be with us in the stars above, in the tall grass, and in the ones we love.

Thank you for your thoughts, and your caring, and your friendship, and your love. From Hazel and from John, and from Corrine, and Carolyn and Carmen: May peace be always with you, as it is with Christine now.

She has gone gently into that good night.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Christine's breathing tube has been removed and she is sedated to make her more comfortable. Her family is gathered at her side. We are holding each of them in the light.

Sweet dreams dear Christine. May your journey be a wondrous one.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Resting comfortably

I just returned from visiting Christine. She is heavily sedated and resting quite comfortably. She is getting help with her breathing. Carolyn and John are with her and Corrine, Carmen and Hazel are on the way. Christine's many, many dear friends are gathering nearby to hold her and her family up at this difficult time.

It was a joy to hold the hand with the long, graceful fingers that loved to tickle the ivories. There is a baby grand piano in the hospital lobby, the kind that plays without a human. I thought about Christine when I heard it. What does she think about a piano that needs software and electricity, no human, to play the classics?

The Mercer girl

Disturbing news

Martha called to tell me that Christine is not doing well at all. The fluid is building up on her heart and lungs and they have called for the sisters and Hazel to come down.

Please continue to hold Christine and her loved ones in the light.

The Mercer girl

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sister love

John writes:

Christine's sister Carolyn (one of three) arrived for a few days visit. Christine is very happy; also today she will be moved out of intensive care because her health is improving. The drug for pulmonary hypertension has done its work, but she still needs to be on oxygen. She's now on a special anti-inflammatory drug for her asthmatic symptoms and takes special breathing treatments (nebulizers) every four to six hours. Adapting to hospital food is not easy, but Christine's charm has earned her Jello (green if you got it), angel food cake, and a frappaccino at most meals. As Christine would say: make the most of what you've got.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A bump in the road

John writes:

Christine was put into cardiac intensive care yesterday because her blood pressure was too low and she needed constant oxygen to keep her breathing somewhat normal. In intensive care, the doctors can monitor her more closely. She is alert and talks with the nurses and doctors, and has phone conversations with relatives. I feel this move is a precautionary measure rather than absolute necessity. Despite her dependence on oxygen, she might be able to go home if the doctors can determine what is causing the side of her heart that receives blood from the lungs to work so hard when the other side and the rest of her organs seem to be functioning well. She loves her pulmonary specialist; calls him a "cool eccentric". All the nurses in the CVICU are very nice, but Christine looks forward to the serenity (and to the pecan pie with French vanilla ice cream) that waits at Lizard Hall.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Maybe good news?

Here's the latest on Christine. She saw a pulmonary specialist today (known as the King of Phlegm) who, in conjunction with her oncologist, believes that a certain drug used in her chemo treatment has caused a constriction in the blood flow from her lungs to her heart. The right side of her heart is the only organ that is not functioning properly, not drawing enough blood from the lungs, so she has begun taking a new drug that will relax this pulmonary constriction and allow proper flow. She was feeling better today, breathing more easily. Let's hope the diagnosis is correct and leads to a rapid recovery.