Don’t fall in love…

I love lobster raviolli, with corn and basil…

Celebrating a birthday at a nice restaurant. But it was not the best time:
bad news whichever way I looked.

I fell in love with this house.

I pictured us in this house.

Curtains, furniture, plants inside and out, cozy in front of the fire & hot pot meals in winter, sun and breezes in summer (hmm, those windows won’t open…)
Casual dining area, Formal dining room, huge living room, a foyer so folks can take snowy boots off, a bedroom for us, a bedroom for whichever of us can’t sleep, a room for my sewing and computer stuff, a room for J. to have an office,

a bright (windows) and comfy basement with bath and wet bar for guests to visit and have privacy (obviously I’d put a bed in there), private access or come up for breakfast in the great kitchen…

And if that’s not enough, there is a 5 foot tall safe, in a closet behind the furnace. Someone might even know the combination. How cool is that?
But just don’t fall in love with something that can’t love you back!

In mid-August At the end of July, J. had a mole removed, bad news: melanoma. Surgery: 3 September. The day after this celebratory dinner, we’d begin to learn about radioactive dye, gamma ray cameras, crystals which react to make an image, beds sliding into machines, gowns, girls (mostly) petting and arranging and examining, beds on wheels, groggy anesthesia wake-up, pain pills, how a double-ended dart looks sewn on an arm, rainbow bruises, waiting for results…
I was more frightened at the prospect than the patient.
And falling in love with someone who loves you back—
oh painful, frightful, life…
And the house, after inspections and tests, we know the furnace was emitting carbon monoxide, the sewer is made with Orangeburg pipe (bituminized fiber pipe), and that very day, the final blow: a structural inspector told us about all the work we’d need to stabilize the foundation. Killer: the sunroom is shifting and sinking… It’s taken me more than a week to admit that we don’t want that house.
And a week while we are still waiting for the prognosis.
(Obviously I am back-dating this post.)
That night, I just drank the wine.
Leftover lobster raviolli…

26 thoughts on “Don’t fall in love…

  1. Hi Tess,
    Does it help that you have those who, even though we live far away, send our thoughts and prayers to you?
    Can I give you a big hug from LA?

    • Oh Karla,
      Yes, it’s hard to wait. Thoughts and prayers are a comfort.
      We are taking comfort in each other, you know: just a bit more gentleness and appreciation, hand holding, touching, kissing. Doing the best we can…

  2. Tess, I don’t know what to say….

    you have all the best vibes in the universe going your way, for a full, quick recovery

    another house will be waiting for you, even better than this, I know that for sure. It’s just a little turn in the road. And you will be in top shape very very soon

    • Hi Sally,

      I’m all for good vibes, I’ll grab them any time I can! Thanks.

      I hesitated to write about this, but whenever I look back at my old posts I remember more than the food. It’s not just recipes and dry information. I can’t really take my life out of the kitchen (and blog).

      I know. It’s not the house, though I did cry about our decision.

      After the isotope injections and gamma camera, we went to the surgeon.

      A nurse came in to make sure that guy in the gurney was the real patient—she asked J’s name and he started to giggle. He tried to say his name but couldn’t get it out, so I tried to tell her.

      I started to giggle and couldn’t say his whole name. We were both laughing so hard that tears were blinding us. When we finally took a breath (each), she asked if he’d gotten the injections, and what else had they given him?

      That sobered us. I told her it was just the stress. etc etc etc …

      Back-dated as this post is, we should have the biopsy results tomorrow, or Tuesday when the doctor (his nurse?) takes out the stitches.

      • Tess, I’m sorrier than I can say about the melonoma but a good friend’s husband had one and made a complete recovery. It’s been years now. Will be sending good thoughts and prayers for tomorrow’s prognosis.

        As Sally and Astrid say about the house, it will come when you are ready.

        Take care, my dear,

  3. Tess, hugs and thoughts are coming to you and Mr. J for health and happiness. A house is just a house. But a love of each other is better…much better. Hoping you all the best love and kindness.

    • Roz, thank you for your kind thoughts. It was a great relief to learn that the biopsy from the lymph system showed that the cancer had not yet spread so far. I did not want to become familiar with the cancer center.

      The other day, someone who had just come from the UM hospital commented to me how amazing the number of people being treated there is. In your normal life, you don’t know many people with cancer, but there you see floor after floor for testing or treating or diagnosing hundreds of people with such a variety of cancers. Is that reassuring or frightening?

      Right now I’m glad we are well.

  4. Oh Tess, what a horrible thing to go through. I agree with Roz, a house is just a house, and be glad to have found out the flaws before buying it. Wishing you and J all the strenght you need and a hopefully quick and full recovery!

    • Assibams, thank you for the virtual hugs. As you read above, the medical scare is safely over for now. Yes, a house is just a house!

      But while I started to love that house before this melanoma scare began, it may have taken on significance as a place where everything would be “perfect.” I could picture us living there: enjoying the fireplaces, cooking and eating great meals, gardening, decorating, hosting guests, dreaming… Wishes and hopes can build such an ultimate house!

      …be glad to have found out the flaws before buying it.

      After we had the camera inspection of the sewer, J’s comment was “it’s a good thing they found something because otherwise it wouldn’t have been worth the money!”

  5. Tess, I’m so sorry you are having all this stress in your life. This was not the right house and it is good to know that before too much emotions are invested in it.

    I’m sending virtual {{{hugs}}} to you and J and crossing my fingers for a good outcome.

    • Veronica, I appreciate your concern ((((and virtual hugs)))). I feel a bit foolish making this post, but I just had to write it out. The last few days of not knowing, and anticipating the surgery, were the worst. If only I had known this good outcome: the cancer has not spread to the lymph system…
      It might be good that I did invest emotion into that house: I have learned that this is a business operation (mostly). I have seen a couple of other possible houses which we like. Two eccentric and and lovable, but with “problems,” and one without no problems but no love chemistry.

  6. Cyber-hugs to you ane yours during this stressful time. I’m sure that you still will find your dreamhouse!

  7. Tess, my eyes are not that good, and I did not have my reading glasses on, so I read “I” had a mole removed, instead of “J.”

    at any rate, I don’t know what is worse, to be the patient or his wife.

    I am really really sorry about all this, and at the same time glad that you posted – you need to surround yourself with friends, and virtual ones sometimes can help too

    • HI Sally, just to be sure you know, the biopsy of the lymph samples the doctor took during the surgery shows that the cancer has not spread. Also, big thank you for your support, good vibes, and just “being there.”

      About reading glasses, heck! they have become “eating glasses” for me!

      It seems that being the wife is worse.

      If I were:
      As the patient who needed care I would not be considering how I’d be the one left behind. I could be suffering but loved, the tragic heroine of my own movie of my life: supported by (glamorous) loving family and friends, on pain pills, with inspiring background music. Close on a scene of painless death and me singing in the clouds with angels. (Although I am afraid of flying: seeing clouds out a window does not make me want to sing.)

      • As I’m sure you know, I couldn’t be happier that you and J. will NOT have to become familiar with the cancer center.

        You’ll both need a while to settle down. Long term stress can be a dreadful thing. Enjoy each other and enjoy the beautiful change of seasons.

        You have many friends and they cherish you, as they should. :)



      • Tess, I am having a ton of trouble with the net in certain sites, for some reason – my connections are home are horrible

        I am soooo happy for you, great news!

        I want you to take good care of yourself now, because so much stress and anxiety can be very bad for you. And cherish your life with your husband, now with a huge weight lifted from your shoulders….

        many many hugs for you!

        • Thank you. Just knowing that someone was listening was a relief.

          The relief at the good news is still with us, perhaps because of the Yom Kippur holiday, or just because to cherish is so beautiful.

          …treasure, care for, hold dear, love
          protect, preserve, prize

  8. Tess, I’m so sorry to hear that you and J are going through this. I hope that the news on J is okay and then you can find a real dream house, one that won’t collapse on you.

  9. Across the many miles, I send hugs and support to both of you. Hold to the thought that all will be well, that all is well.

    When a door closes, another opens. Your house is waiting for you.


    • Kathleen, Thanks for your encouragement. (I do feel a bit like the “boy who cried ‘wolf!'” Writing this post. But I truly do appreciate the kind words.) If you read the comments above, you’ll know that the surgery and biopsy have good outcomes. And I can now accept that we will find a house, or not. We two still have the important things!

  10. Tess, I’m so sorry about your husband’s melanoma. My thoughts are with both of you.

    As for the house, just think how much worse you would feel if you discovered all the flaws AFTER you moved in. Another wonderful house is out there waiting for you and your dear husband.

  11. May I add my many hugs, prayers and thoughts to the pile? I´m sending you strength and good humor to get you through theses days, we´ll be waiting to hear the biopsy results.

    • Como Solo, Many thanks. if you are reading the posts above, then you know that the surgery was skillfully done, J is recovering, and the biopsy of the lymph system was good. Good humor is a fine thing to have in times of trouble. Sometimes it’s in disguise when telling true love is too painful, a gift of encouragement.

  12. I’m sorry to hear that your dream house had so many problems with it and that J. has melanoma…. I hope that all the surgeries, radiation, and what not help him through this time. At the very least, you guys have each other and I’m sure that you guys will pull through. My boyfriend and I will keep you guys in our thoughts and we send our virtual support + hugs. As for the house, there will be many more out there. You’ll find one that you like even more than the first one.

  13. Hi Tess, I’ve been following all the beautiful comments that you and “J” have received.
    I am so very thrilled that his surgery was successful! I am also so glad that you decided to share this very personal journey on your blog. I have witnessed much love and support. It’s so wonderful to know that there are beautiful and loving people in the cyber-world. And even though we don’t know each others faces, the beauty of the human spirit shines brightly.

    • Karla,

      I have been overwhelmed by the people who have stood by.
      Cyber and in person.

      There’s nothing like a good scare to make one appreciate life. It was all the little things that I thought about missing (contemplating bad news), the routine events…

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