Tuesday morning I wake up very early after only a few hours of sleep, but with a smile on my face. I can feel it. My first thought:
I refuse to let this get me down.
What a powerful moment it is to realize I have a choice in how I feel about this. I never expected to reach this stage so fast. From the intense high of the conference to the extreme sadness of accepting the failure of a transplanted organ, I’ve been hit by an emotional tsunami. Now I find myself greeting the new day with a smile, amazed at how fast I righted the ship ater that.
With my mind at peace again, more ideas come to me like they did at the conference. I pull the notebook from my backpack and write them down. I’m not going to let this diagnosis stop me from moving forward. It just means now I’ll have to do it as a diabetic.
I spend the day resting, watching TV, and feeling thankful for a place to stay. I could have been cooped up in a motel, feeling very depressed and alone until my flight home.
Later I’m invited to join Karry in a celebration dinner for Xerxes, who graduated from college today. With us is Helen, another Texas native Karry met in L.A. She has acting experience, including small roles in TV and movies. She’s funny and lively, which keeps my mood from taking a dive.
We eat at Farfalla, an Italian bistro not far from Karry’s house. I’m overwhelmed by all the choices and it’s hard to decide. Being diabetic again, I know I can’t eat all I want, but my appetite still hasn’t returned full force anyway. This outing is exactly what I needed—laughter, chatter, good food. Now and then I look around the dining room at the décor and the other patrons and feel at peace. I never expected to get a taste of how Angelinos actually live.
When the check arrives, I try to pay for everyone’s dinner but Karry won’t let me.
“just let this good thing happen,” Xerxes says. After 20 years in the U.S. there’s barely a trace of a Dutch accent. I was raised to show gratitude for kindness, so it’s not easy to go without repaying these people. These extra days tacked on to the end of my trip to L.A. are proving to be interesting. The lad-back Southern California attitude appeals to me. I see why so many people are drawn to the place. I didn’t expect to like this city so much. But, there are plenty of things about this trip I didn’t expect.
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