Saturday, May 9, 2009


I usually embrace change.

Almost a decade ago I was part of a team that introduced a new front-end and pagination system to the Dallas Morning News newsroom. We trained hundreds of journalists on the new software. Some folks had never even held a computer mouse before.

Our team knew that change was difficult for many employees. Part of our job was handling the emotions of the transition. I was good at this job.

The past year and a half has brought drastic change to the Damm family. The impetus for the change -- a few rogue cells that multiplied and created the Damm Spot -- is awful. But for the most part, I think we've handled the resulting transitions well. We keep looking for and celebrating the silver linings.

Steve has been able to spend more time with Cooper and Katie, as he's not spending 10 or more hours a week commuting to and from work. Instead, we drive him as a family to work or, more recently, he works from home, surrounded by more love and joy than we could hope for.

We've been showered with good wishes, gifts, prayers, visits and more from the most amazing support group. At least once a day a friend or acquaintance marvels at how good you all are, how blessed we are. It is so true.

We are reminded hourly of what matters most, and most of the time we try to honor those priorities.

There are changes, though, that catch me off guard and break my heart more than I anticipated.

When Steve comes home from physical rehab, he'll need a hospital bed for safety and ease of movement. He probably needed one weeks ago, but his fall accentuated the acute need. The Zale Lipshy social worker is helping us secure one.

To get ready for the new bed, today the old bed -- the one we chose for the first home we bought, in 1998 -- was packed away. Uncle Greg and friend Jeff arrived early this morning to dismantle our bed and an antique dresser and move them to a nearby storage unit. We also moved a cabinet from the bedroom into the dining room.

A twin bed for me is in our room now, and a big open space in the middle waits for Steve's new hospital bed.

I think that I've cried more over this change than anything since Steve's diagnosis.

The change is so obvious and symbolic. I just didn't expect it to hit me so hard.

Cooper and Katie have found a silver lining already. They love the temporary open floor space and abundance of pillows laying about.

I trust that in time I'll handle this change better, too. Steve's safety and comfort are most important, and I expect my emotions will catch up with that reason soon enough.

I hesitated sharing all this because I don't want to monopolize the storyline here or worry folks needlessly. But I also want to portray our lives as they are.

This change and so many others are certainly made smoother by you, our dear friends and family.

Steve looked great when we visited with him this afternoon. The physical and occupational therapists pushed him through rigorous exercises, and he was deservedly tired.

He sounds more winded today than he has recently -- maybe because of all the activity? He's on oxygen almost all the time.

He'll have Sunday off from all therapy. The whole Damm family will meet on his floor for lunch to celebrate Mother's Day and Betty's birthday. We'll try to not be too rowdy!


Anonymous said...

Tyra and Steve, you remain in our prayers. I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day in spite of the "transitions." You are loved!
Roy and Trish Jones

Rob Cook said...

Happy Mother's Day, Tyra. You've more than earned a day to be honored. You're in our prayers.

Rob Cook

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day. You have prayers from more people than you know. Bless you heart and Steve's heart.

Laura said...

Happy Mother's Day, my dear friend. You and Steve are always in our thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I admire the strength and love for each other that you and Steve have exhibited throughout this journey. I wish (as many people do, I'm sure) I could say something or do something to make this all go away. You deserve the best. Be good to yourself, especially today.
Shannon (Wild West Relay team member)

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day Tyra. You are an inspiration to everyone. Steve could not ask for a better mommy for his children. You're entire family is so lucky to have you!!!

Take care and God Blees each of you!!

noelgross said...

You're more than deserving to expess yourself. Fortunately, you have clarity about your feelings and are able to express them. We're here for you. There's joy to be found in time with Steve being able to return home, however, thanks to the safety of this new bed.

Jenny Puzzo said...

Tyra, when my husband was diagnosed with his brain tumor, having a hospital bed in my living room was my biggest nightmare. I am so sorry that you are having to take that step.

I have been so proud of how amazingly well you have handled all of the changes that have been handed to you.

Please know that people you don't even know are following your journey and praying for all of you.

Chitnis and Chahal said...

I am amazed by the clarity of your insight and the ability to express yourself. Indeed Katie and Cooper couldn't have had a better mom. Happy Mother's Day and ton of prayers, love and good wishes your way. Steve will be back home soon and although in a hospital bed, right next to you. Much love,

DogBlogger said...

Just catching up from being out of town. Thank you for your willingness to be honest here. Continuing to keep you and Steve, Cooper and Katie, in prayer.