4 June 1999
You've received a number of these by now. All with health updates about me. This one is about Bill. He turned 50 on June 2nd. And spent a fair amount of time readying himself for this transition even before my health crisis kicked in.
We've planned a party for June 12th. I know that many of you can't make it, but if you'll send a card or a note that would be lovely. And if you can come, please feel free to bring kids, bring food, bring drinks. The party will start at 7 p.m. and it will need to end by 11 p.m. (That should give us time to do clean up before midnight.)
It won't surprise you that Bill has been terrific through all of this. (He's more of a pain when he's asleep on his feet. Crisis brings out the best in him, I think.) There isn't anyone I'd rather see at my bedside than Bill. And it was wonderful when he flew down from Detroit to be with me during the chemo infusion in the last week of the December treatment.
Anyway, there are lots of ways that Bill and I are at our best when struggling to deal with something as life-threatening as all this. We pray well together. We seek out each other's eyes. We often know what the other is thinking.
Bill approached his jubilee year by spending solitude days (on a rhythm of every 50 days since his 49th birthday) at our cabin in Port Sanilac, adopting disciplines of morning prayer, tree-tending, walking, maybe dancing some -- definitely clearing work concerns out of his mind. He would often spend the night up there the evening before and come home refreshed. By spring, I started doubling his solitude days so that he could go every 25 days. It was so good to get him home again! So refreshed!
(Actually, I feel the same way about his trips to Chicago. He's carrying a considerable load worrying about all of us.)
So, finally there is a chance to invite letters from Bill's loved ones -- write long, write short, draw a picture, send anything at all. Most of all, please know how much we all love you!