Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Where it is Revealed that I am a Church Lady

Tuesday night I usually go to knitting, but this week I just couldn’t.  When I had told a doctor friend about my newfound mass, she was very alarmed and said she didn’t like the sound of things. There is a doctor in my knitting group, and I couldn’t bear telling her the vague information I knew, and having her and my other friends worry when we didn’t even know what we were worrying about.  I knew that if I went, I wouldn't be able keep quiet. Instead, I stayed home and went to bed early. In spite of it being 80 degrees that day, I shivered beneath my blanket, comforter and flannel sheets.  I slept well, getting up every two hours as usual, but felt good in the morning.

Wednesday, June 4th was a day of conflicts. I I had an important church meeting to go to that night, and I spent the day convincing myself I should go.  Although I really didn’t want to go, I take my role on this committee very seriously.  I hadn’t said I wouldn’t attend earlier in the day, so by late afternoon I felt committed.   I went, but when we did our customary check in, I didn’t tell anyone about my colonoscopy.  I shared news of my son’s return home from Amherst, MA instead.

My friend James, who also happens to be the minister, provided food for the evening.  He insisted that I eat plentifully, because I was looking so thin. True that. So for James, I did my best, eating better than I had all week. He made grilled shrimp and roasted vegetables for dinner.  I was feeling badly about not saying anything to James about my colonoscopy on the ride in, but he has a whole congregation to worry about.  Still, I felt like I was hiding something which felt slightly wrong.

The meeting was long, and I was tired, but in the end I was glad that I had gone.

As we were getting ready to leave, Merritt, the president of our church, stopped to ask me about missing knitting the previous night.  My husband Steve was supposed to attend another meeting with him at the same time and had bowed out to stay with me.  Suddenly, I had to tell Merritt everything I hadn’t told anyone else that evening.  About the colonoscopy, the ct scan, the upcoming meeting with the surgeon.

I have been on this committee with Merritt for almost a year now, and we have always had a cordial relationship.  I say “Hey Merritt!”  He says “Hello Kathy,” back.  Merritt intimidates me a little, because he is so serious and intelligent and well versed in interesting things.  He knows how to run a formal meeting and is comfortable speaking to large groups of people  He knows about finances, church politics, bylaws, and on and on.  We are opposites of a sort.  Me, I’m friendly and goofy in a serious and hardworking kind of way.

This conversation with Merritt is the longest I have ever had with him, and it ends up being about the most personal stuff.  He is reassuring and offers kind words.  In the end I am glad that I have told someone, but also feel like I totally dumped on him, all because he asked me one simple question.


  1. Anytime you want to tell someone, I think will be good timing. That sounds like a really nice conversation you had with Merritt.

    1. It's Katy. I'm trying to make it show my name. Sorry about that blip.

  2. If our check-ins and other support rituals around church meetings mean anything, they won't count your conversation with Merritt as "dumping". Glad you took the opportunity to talk about this when it presented itself.