Monday, July 23, 2007

The web of life

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
Ahh ... the web of life. It weaves its gossamer strands into each and every one of us. We are all so intricately connected; yet we are not. Either via the “web” of the internet or via family, friends—the web enfolds us all. Pick a strand and follow its length. Where will it lead? Will that strand lead us far from our known boundaries? Will we come up short-stranded and not go much further? Sometimes the strands get tangled and there is seemingly no clear path.

The decision is ultimately ours, but yet we are nudged by inner forces that push us in a particular direction to do a particular act; or not. One small hiccup and your life takes a very different direction. Sometimes I think it all comes down to timing.

The other day when Rick and I drove down to Wayne, a tractor trailer swerved to miss a bicyclist and was over the line in our lane. Due to Rick’s quick reflexes, we narrowly missed a collision. Timing. A few minutes sooner and we might have not been able to miss him. A few seconds later and we would never had known the experience at all.

We all make decisions in life every second of every day. What we do today may impact our lives a few days down the road, or in a few years. Do we smoke? Drink? Eat things we think are healthy? Will it really matter?

Sorry for getting so deep tonight, but mostly my father-in-law Vaughn is on my mind. As most of my readers know, Vaughn underwent open-heart surgery three weeks ago to repair a faulty valve. The surgery was more extensive than the doctors had previously thought. Before surgery they had given him a 60% recovery rate. After surgery things looked very good. Then we quickly had to recalibrate our sensors as he started having issues with breathing and cognition. Three weeks post surgery and he is still not showing a great deal of improvement. Tomorrow he will be moved to a different hospital where he can receive more post-operative care and rehab. At this point we are not certain what quality of life he can achieve. We only hope that within a few weeks he is well enough to be moved from Houston back to his home in New Mexico.

At 81 years of age would you have opted for a tricky surgery knowing that that your heart could give out at any given time? Or would you let nature takes its course and go naturally? Hard choice. Quality vs Quantity. At this stage I think I would have to opt for more quality time, but then again you just never know, do you?

The other day Rick got an email from an old colleague at Agilent asking whether or not he would be interested in a job back in the same old environment he just got free of. Hmmm ... uhm, no, thank you. However, had we chosen to remain in Colorado and wait this out, it may have been the answer to our prayers. Or maybe not. Our house back there is still for sale and maybe we could still have managed to live there over the past year (hey, we are still paying the house payments, lawn care, and etc., plus our home here) and come out ahead. Then again, maybe the job offer would have fallen through. You just don’t know.

We all do the best we can to follow the strands of our lives wherever they may take us. We can only hope that whatever strand we choose to follow will lead us in the right direction. We are all, after all, caught in the web of our own making.
Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey


Your photographs are exquisite and I was caught up into the strands of the words you wove into your story.
I hope you father-in-law is much improved today. My uncle had a similar experience last year, but was in a coma for almost 3 weeks. He is up and going now. Don’t ever lose hope.

The way that you have woven your thoughts into the beautiful picture is profound. Although I have not come face to face with such a difficult decision, I think that I would choose quality. My life so far has been good, and I appreciate that.

I hope that Vaughn’s recovery/rehabilitation journey improves. And, I wish you the best with the job and housing situation.

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