Mapping Wales

8:18pm, Friday, June 7, 2013

I’m sitting by Ian’s hospital bed while he thrashes, contorts his face, lifts a shaking hand… bedeviled by an unseen demon.

Today was a brutal day but with a small dose of better.

His fever is slipping away. His chest x-ray is less bad by a tiny but measurable margin. He’s using a more stylish breathing mask and still holding his own.

I’m watching him inch his way back to us.

He’s is. He’s coming back to us.


But now that he’s not underwater with sick, he knows how majorly this sucks. Everything hurts. Everything is hard. Everything is scary.

Food. Breathing. Drugs. Bathroom. Breathing. Bath. Breathing.

But he’s being buoyed by love… sent in words and colorful pillowcases, potato soup and banana bread, airport pick ups and rides for Lucy.

And for me, cups of tea and whispered prayers, food and flowers, future massages, brothers-in-law and brothers-in-arms, ballet moms and super dads, my sister and sisters-in-law, my mom and mom-in-laws, and the army of incredible women and men who hold my virtual hand, and would hurtle themselves across the country to hold my real one.

Today, Santa Monica fell to pieces and went to hell. Another fucking shooter, the President blocks away, and Lucy in lock down. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t feel my fingers.

Oh. Please. No.

Then a text from a kind friend. She’s with me. She’s safe. I’ll bring her to you. And I fell to my knees.

Tonight, Lucy’s chorus recorded their rehearsal in honor of her dad who won’t be there to cheer her on tomorrow. Ian and I held hands, heard our beautiful girl sing on a scratchy iPhone recording, and cried. Dumbstruck by where we suddenly are. And, so, so grateful, that we are not where might have been.

42 thoughts on “Mapping Wales

  1. Susan Kranyik

    Love and light and healing are being sent to you from Wilmington, North Cackalack. Get better, darn it!

  2. asd

    Tessa , thank you so much for posting an update.I have been thinking about him and you all throughout the day yesterday and am so happy to know that he is turning the corner. I will continue to send my good thoughts and well wishes to one of the guys on the planet and his family .Amy

  3. Heather M

    Thank you for the update Tessa. I have met you twice at Zap. Each day I wake up and hope that Ian is having a better day, and check for your post. So glad he has turned a corner. My families thoughts are with yours.

  4. Dagmar

    Tessa, Zach, Beck and I are sending you all much love and strength during this very scary time. There are lots of people thinking about you and wishing Ian well.

  5. Swati

    So grateful to hear this news. I’ve been checking the blog for your updates and thrilled to hear Ian is feeling better. You all are so loved. Please keep posting! Much love to all of you!

  6. Anne

    Thank you thank you thank you… to Tessa for this wondrous update, to Ian for fighting back to the light, to whatever gods/spirits/energy may have felt the force of our wills and prayers this past week. Because, while I’ve stopped going to church for various reasons, I prayed my ass off all day and night yesterday. I visualized HEALTH in Ian’s hospital room.
    I marvel that so many of us who did not go to UNC with y’all have yet become so attached to this little family. All (in my case) thanks to Coastopia. The Internet is near-miraculous that way.
    Tessa, you are strength itself, and you write like a dream. Love to you, Lucy, and the red-haired guy with the wicked wit.

  7. Jennifer M

    So happy to hear a good update, and thank goodness for your wonderful far-reaching village of friends and family.
    Sorry for the scare the other day about MERS-coronavirus. My husband works with viruses so I hear about them a lot. I was just worried about this new virus because of Ian’s recent visit to Italy.

  8. Ted Glick

    Jeez, I had no idea this was going on. Please get better! And let us know if there’s anything those of is in NC can do.

  9. Hamp

    Tessa – So happy to hear some positive news! I continue to keep you all in my thoughts (you write beautifully btw). Ian – keep up the fight!

  10. Sharon

    Tessa and Ian – My husband had a similar experience a few years ago. Charles has always been a cyclist and runner — and extremely healthy. Then he got the flu. Then he got pneumonia. He was in the hospital for more than a week and had to use an oxygen tank for months. It was a scary experience. But he is fine now. He cycled and lifted weights this morning. So that’s my silver lining I’m offering. Prayers to you both to keep you strong.

  11. jje

    Thankful to see good news this morning. Sending more love and prayers from the Tar Heel State. We miss you, Ian!

  12. Zandy

    Oh, Tessa. I’m so glad to hear he’s a little better. I was thinking about all of you last night and although I am not a praying person, I did my best. You are dealing with as much as he is and also trying to be 2-parents-strong for Lucy. I hope all of you can have some peaceful, happy and healthy times together very soon. Thank you for keeping us updated. If there is anything I can do from 3000 miles away. I am happy to do it.
    Love, Zandy

  13. Hillary Bedell

    I just finished giving Ian an energy healing. Just had to. My
    heart is with you. Hope it helped. Sending love and light.

  14. Cara K.

    I woke up this morning and wanted to check on you first thing. So relieved you have positive signs and the image of you both hearing the chorus rehearsal was so tender and sweet. I’m amazed at your ability to freely share with us all. What strength you have. We are here for rides for Lucy, a food shop, deliveries- anything you need.
    Cara, Sean, Caitlin and Ella

  15. Cara K.

    I woke up this morning and wanted to check on you first thing. So relieved you have positive signs and the image of you both hearing the chorus rehearsal was so tender and sweet. I’m amazed at your ability to freely share with us all. What strength you have. We are here for rides for Lucy, a food shop, deliveries- anything you need.
    Cara, Sean, Caitlin and Ella

  16. Hilary

    Thinking about you constantly, glad to read that he’s fighting, and that you are both surrounded by love

  17. Brian and Emily Baucom

    Sending our thoughts and prayers to all y’all from here in Chapel Hill. Ian, get better.

  18. Ted Ridgway

    Please get well soon Ian. We’re sending strength your way and thinking positive thoughts for you.
    Thank you for posting Tessa.

  19. Anne E

    So happy to hear that the tide is finally turning… good thoughts, vibrations headed your way for a full and glorious recovery!

  20. heike

    “whispered prayers”– we’re all whispered prayers. sung prayers, shouted prayers, all kinds of prayers!
    Tessa, your LOVE echoes in everything you say on here and that is the best medicine anyone could hope for!
    Thanks for all your updates!
    thinking of you,
    from heike, david and leo

  21. Kecia

    Tessa, I stumbled on this blog and post through Timothy Roven’s “like”. We haven’t spoken in years and I last saw you both, I think maybe 13 years ago in your flat in NYC when, I think, you still had Chopin, and Ezra was only 3 or 4 . Or was there a time after that? … reading this was such a shock: I didn’t know! Does my knowing help? Probably not… But I send you love and strength and belief in goodness, and also my witness to the ferocity of your love. Thinking of you all from very far away. Get better soon and strong, Ian. Much love, Kecia

  22. tpq

    Alex M. and I were talking about Ian Thursday night at the UNC Alumni Hong Kong reception. Good thoughts and prayers from the other side of the world.

  23. Clay

    Just read all the updates in the last ten minutes. Absolutely terrifying. Hang on family, and Ian: Fight this thing, dammit! You’ve got a lot of friends out here!

  24. kjf

    Funny how the last entry on this blog before Tessa took over was about friendship and what it means. I have never met you or Tessa but, like so many others who know you only through this blog, have come to care about you and your lovely family and are hoping you will be as good as new asap. Any man with 1,000 friends cannot be down for long.

  25. Lou

    I know Ian through his witty and insightful comments on Heelsworld. All of us nuts on that chatline are thinking and praying for him. Hang in there!


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