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Opinion: Some days are diamonds, even though she's gone

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 29.4%. 2 min read.

Thomas Lake, in his latest essay for "The Distance" series, writes about a father who lost his wife to cancer and the balance of experiencing days that are diamonds and others that are stones, as the old country-rock song put it, while he looks to the future.

Scott was 65, diabetic, nervously enduring the unknown period of time between this afternoon and the day he could get his coronavirus vaccination.

He had survived the two years, four months and two weeks since Heather died, after withstanding the six years of her illness, a "journey through hell," as he called it, the cancer always returning, her pain unimaginable, the drugs helping at first, then failing.

She'd read Ailyn the first six Harry Potter books, but Scott had to read the seventh.

"Some days are diamonds, some days are stone," Scott sang, reaching the chorus of a country-rock standard written by Deena Kaye Rose and covered in 1981 by John Denver.

Scott was on a long run of stone days when he met Heather in 2004.

"Sometimes a cold wind blows a chill in my bones," Scott sang, still walking around Lake Fairlee.

According to the Rutland Herald newspaper, Sarah and a 7-year-old boy shared a snow tube on a run down a steep hill.

Later that year, after a few more dates, Heather told Scott she wanted another child.

"Some days are stone," Scott sang, walking hard in the cold to bring that blood glucose down, turning now for home, firing up the Subaru to pick up Ailyn from school.

But I do the same thing: looking to the future, holding out for some glittering diamond of a day so I can get through all these stones.

They ate upstairs together while watching a Disney film called "Ralph Breaks the Internet. " Scott cleaned the kitchen, and they went back upstairs.

In one of our phone interviews, I asked Scott about the choices he made in 2004, the year he and Heather met.

If he'd known all that lay ahead — the radiation, the surgeries, the pain that forced her to sleep alone, the crackling walkie-talkie that called him to her bedside in the middle of the night, turning her over, watching her fade away, listening as she told him to bring her to hospice so she wouldn't die in this house — if he'd known all that beforehand, would he still have asked her to marry him?

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