The murkiest of days recently. And on every post from here to there, a web to be found heavy with droplets. I maintain, there’s always something to be grateful for, sometimes it just takes a moment to see it. Last year’s end and this year’s beginning- four months total- were sheer hell. Daily trips to hospitals and care facilities. At constant guard against letting the fear in. Living on hope and calling on faith. Made it through. Alone. I know I’m strong, but I grow weary with having to prove it. Thankful for laughter and joyful moments and the hope of opportunity and dreams to yet come true. Thankful to still have my dad around through it all. ♦
So, what does one offer up on reentrance into an overlooked arena once more frequently maintained, read: this here blog? Why, a shared continuance of life’s to-doings and observances, I suppose, just as before. Though not fully halted, these’ve been abbreviated and relegated to the likes of Flickr in months (and months) past. Today, a bloggerly conglomeration of words and imagery shall do nicely in way of return. Since, at last, I’m a tad less busy. A few giant obligations have lifted, only to make way for new ones, of course, though not quite so Jolly Green. Still, I’ve been here all along even so, managing to capture and record bits of life, thought and want in a minimal form via Tumblr over the last several months:
I meant to return sooner, in fact, only to be met with a bunch a wop, bam, boom- among it all, my grandmother requiring dire surgery this past week from which she wasn’t expected to recover. Elated to report she did indeed recover, and is on the increasing mend even now. Standing at her bedside in ICU after a day and night vigil in the waiting room early this week, her first words to us were, “Oh, hi! Good to see you, how are you two doing?” (Tina, too.) The woman looked like she’d merely just awoken from a mild nap as opposed to the traumatic ordeal she’d really just undergone best not aired out in the current moment. In related news, I’ve been frequently lunching at the HoneyBaked Ham store just up the street as of late. Upon entering, the waft of ham in all its varying qualities of sweetness to smokiness envelopes me and I breathe it in, on the exhale internally uttering “Grandma.” Why, I know not, I’ve not an abundance of memories that would associate my grandmother with that of ham, yet with every breath, thoughts of her swirl and keep me company in an odd and most welcome way. I’ve come to crave the comfort found there. That, and the navy bean soup.
So glad to have it dissipate
The toughest part in this ordeal, has been attempting to console my mother in her fear of potential loss over her own mother. Finding words and offering actions of comfort for a woman whom I fiercely love, but rarely trust, makes for an abominable rending of the mind. So glad to have it dissipate. In moving forward, I continued the week with a rousing night of cookie tossing. Gave it the old Kramden. Foodly poisoned. Le barfola. Not to be outdone, this morning brought with it a greeting- a centipedish creepy-crawly. In. My. SHIRT! Down my shirt, the front, in fact, the thing certainly got an eyeful, crawling about all willy-nilly, trapped and apparently, happily so. I coulda won Olympic gold in shirt ‘n’ undie flinging, that’s for sure. Managed to squeeze in midweek Independence Day festivities, all the same, my red, white ‘n’ blue strawberries in tow.
Yes, I’ve so wanted the opportunity to just live, but life keeps getting in the way, if that makes any sense, a reoccurring theme, it seems. I’ve said that before, I’m sure. The above, being only a certain portion of it, too, another portion being the great migration. And I haven’t even moved anywhere! Just everyone seemingly around me. Households upheaved, relocated and then needing rebuilt in order to make a home. I often gift a candy jar complete with the sweets as a house warming gift. Maybe I should begin including toothbrushes as well. Here, my own candy jar, filled with some classics, currently, as opposed to the all chocolate variety of last year. Favorites- butterscotch, cinnamon (le), strawberry (and duh), and peppermint, never wintergreen. All those warm and hot flavors- it’s a fire not yet stoked, much like me.
Classics- in recent family discussions about TV shows from the past, I’m told I just loooved That Girl. No recollection. Like, at all. And I seem to remember bunches from an early age, too- “firsts” often leave BIG impressions on me- so you’d think I’d grasp something from the recesses of the mind, but no. So, when it finally arrived after over a year of unavailability through Netflix, it was with great curiosity that I began the first episode. No bell rung, no hint of memory, nope, nothin’, nada. Yet I found myself a smiling fool (again). In fact, my cheeks hurt as the last episode concluded. Didn’t find it immensely moving or delightful, just an amusing show as with any other despite its ground-breaking status, though apparently, something was brought forth subconsciously for it to have had such an affect on me, yes?
Aside: Why must such a happy thing as that of smiling be likened to a fool, I wonder. Like somehow to be happy, one must be empty-headed, mindless? As though all whom dare ponder deep thoughts must lurk and dwell in a dark corner content to don a brooding, sour and dour expression. “Pfft,” she said, and smiled on.
Well, hot dog! Time for a frank evaluation. Pass me a Coke. The best of the bunch last year, I thank Eric’s grill skill for a most savory, crispety charred bit of tastiness.
- Exceptional frank-to-bun ratio, mustard, extra, of course
- Looks a bit lurid and looming, vulgar, somehow
2-yr olds in love with baseball (“Bae baw!” cried Jack), this should happen more often, as it results in the second best of the bunch.
- Sweet caramel-y goodness in heaps
- Some peanuts and Cracker Jack
- Blackened outside, pinkened inside
This year’s count thus far- a few dogs have been downed, though, only one of particular note- a Dante’s Inferno dog, Seattle-style. A Pacific Northwestern diggety dog goes like this- a toasted bun schmeared with cream cheese, topped with a grilled hot dog, and then grilled onions. Mine got a bonus sprinkling of oregano and cock sauce to boot. I don’t know, I’m thinkin’ we ripped off this “Seattle-style” thing somewhere along the line, but who’s to know if it’s the real thing, or not. Certainly tastes like it. ♦
Even Better Than the Real Thing now begins on iTunes. Sometimes I think it may be hardwired to my brain.
My world was very nearly rocked in the worst possible way …
It was February 4th, my mom’s birthday, falling exactly two weeks before my birthday earlier this year. Tina and I had just returned home from an afternoon out and about taking our mom to and fro for celebratory birthday fun. I sat at my desk, Tina in the chair at my side chatting over this and then that. My cell phone rang. Doodle! (My dad- once asked him if he’d ever had a nickname to which he answered “no”, and well, he’s been “Doodle” ever since.) “Hola!” I answered. “Hi, honey, I … think you need to come get me. I think I’m having a heart attack.” I crumpled, voice wavering,“We’re on the way.” Click.
We ran to the car, as I dialed my dad back, dumbfounded that I’d been stupid enough to hang up in the first place.
Standing, grabbing the purse still at my feet, repeating the dialogue to Bean just as there was a knock at the front door. Shane. Bean opened the door with the words “We need to take our dad to the hospital, he thinks he’s having a heart attack.” A fine how-do-ya-do there, though, Shane being the ball of awesome that he is, seamlessly countered with “Deborah, do you want me to drive?” as Bean gathered her things. “Yes, please,” I choked out, tears already streaming down my cheeks as I walked forward on knees quaking, liquified with terror. We ran to the car, as I dialed my dad back, dumbfounded that I’d been stupid enough to hang up in the first place. He answered. Still dad. Still there. In pulling up to his house, he walked out, normal as could be, a faint closed-mouth smile even. He sat down in the backseat, patting my hand, a gesture of comfort for me, for goodness’ sake, as he attempted to answer our barrage of questions.
In the ER, we stood second in line to check in, a glance at the waiting room revealing a nearly packed house complete with an ever-wailing toddler. Entertained the idea of reaching across the desk and clasping the collar of the woman on duty in want- in need– of her attention, as I felt every second in passing, fearful of their impact on my dad’s life. There was a time I’d have done so without a thought otherwise, but frustration quickly evaporated leaving only desperate tears and I barely contained myself in bringing her up to speed once our turn arrived. We were told to have a seat, someone would be with us shortly. Sit, we did, but soon my dad’s face tensed and he said the pain was intensifying. Quickly back at the desk, I croaked out the words, “Please, my dad says the pain’s stronger …” and she then motioned us back.
We sat on chairs out in the hallway while our gowned dad was wheeled into room 8. My fear was palpable. For every dozen thoughts that ran through my mind, one slipped from my lips as I tried to reconcile what was happening with the very best and worst possible outcomes. Kept overhearing chatter at the nearby desk and nervously wondered aloud about its relevancy while Bean repeated that it was nothing, don’t worry, everything was gonna be fine. Knew very well that I was being pacified and though I prefer hard ugly truth over blissful unawareness 9.99 times out of 10, I longed to believe what Tina spoke out loud over the panic that threatened to consume my every thought.
Even now, I marvel at what peace it brought me for that moment
Then, a nurse, in speaking to another, said it, “The patient in room 8 is having a heart attack.” Workers began rushing into his room. Bean’s till-then calm features sank with worry and I’ll never forget how the image I was fixed on as my rock- her face- changed to reflect what I’d been struggling with all along in my mind. Felt like I fell hard and no one caught me. Bean hurriedly rushed out to the waiting room to collect Shane, returning as we were all ushered into room 8. There’s my dad fully alert and cracking jokes and charming the nurses- the women folk- as he does, while he was prepped to undergo an angioplasty, a procedure that allows the clearing of blocked arteries. Even now, I marvel at what peace it brought me for that moment seeing him still just being … him amidst such a terrifying situation.
Sitting in that waiting room waiting for the results of what my dad was undergoing was a different story, nothing less than sheer hell, facing the possibility that the one person who more or less, knows me inside and out for the better of it, the only one who sees me, would be, could already be, forever gone, was truly a worst fear realized. I ached for someone to hold me, to be buried in until news arrived. A vision of Sweetums alone, an oversized and gruff Muppet (Lord, I know), came to mind. The thought that “one does not need to feel faith, but only have it” rang through my head, and I pondered how that was to be put into practice in the present situation. Had a brief and intense conversation with God in which I told him that a Muppet clearly wasn’t gonna cut it, could He please send me someone already, alive, a tangability. When the cardiologist arrived with the happy news of a successful procedure, I asked if I could hug him, neglecting the wait of an answer and nearly bowled him over with a massive one and surely would’ve climbed him like a tree had he been any taller.
I neglected to share the news of what had occurred with the closest of friends
In the nights to follow after returning home from a constant vigil during the day in the ICU, I was thrilled to respond to varying emails, of all things, as it provided me with a most desired stabilizing normalcy. In the passing weeks, I neglected to share the news of what had occurred with the closest of friends mostly because many had their own set of difficult circumstances to be dealt with at the time, and furthermore, simply put, sharing it made it real. You know? With June came my dad’s birthday as well as Father’s Day and with them, all those pushed down and temporarily squelched fears of potential loss reared up to be dealt with, compounded by time, and they really did their number on me for a stretch there.
The best of updates, my dad’s been an exemplary patient! Instituting exercise and dietary changes, employing a most stellar attitude, through an example of perseverance, he’s built my hope in places where others have tried their best to tear it down this year. His doctors are astounded with the healing he’s received and rave of his accomplishments. I tell you, there’s not enough pride displayed in the whole flippin’ parade to encompass the amount I feel in calling him my father. My dad. And, of course, the fairly funny part lies in the fact that he had a heart attack on his ex-wife’s birthday. Le haha. Oh, and guess what I arrived to find that following morning of his first night in the intensive care unit? The RN had nicknamed him “Sweetums.” ♦
The insomnia is back. This isn’t a bad thing, just an odd thing that leaves me wide awake until daybreak. I’m awake just enough to be wired, fully conscience of the fact that I’m WIDE AWAKE, unable to sleep, but not so awake that I’m of a mind to be productive in any way. Whatsoever. Instead, hours pass by, often quickly, thank goodness, in which I float through existence in a surreal-like state doing nothing much else other than thinking, contemplating, philosophizing. My brain won’t shut off … must count sheep … 13 sheepies …
So happy to have the temperature drop. Several weekends ago, I couldn’t remove enough clothing, drink enough water, sit still enough, take enough cold showers. Hot, sticky. I would have slept in the bathtub, had I not had “one can drown in three inches of water,” running through my head. Bean told me about a dude who lobbed a fan at her in desperation when she politely told him at the register that it was against store policy to sell him the display model, and that, yes, she did know they were out of stock, along with every other store in a fifty mile radius … 12 sheepies …
Alias Season V will be available soon. Utterly ludicruous, totally outlandish series with every character in possession of at least nine lives. And I love it! Watched all the back seasons via Netflix during this past year’s Christmas gift wrapping. The BEST cameos EVER! Christian Slater. Ethan Hawke. Quentin Tarantino. Isabella Rosellini. More! Haven’t been this excited to see the outcome of an on-screen romance since the last time I got caught up in a television series: X-Files. Yep, back-to-back episodes late Sunday nights kept me company while working on assignments for class. My complete lack of interest in the show blossomed into a post-series obsession quickly turning to undying loyalty in the watch for any sign of requited love to be found between Mulder and Scully (almost typed Mully and Sculder). Was rewarded with a long-awaited, most perfect declaration of love stated through one fantasmic kiss near series end. Le sigh. Ok, that’s my abbreviated plug for shows revolving around agents. Don’t get me started on Keifer Sutherland AKA Jack Bauer in 24 … 11 sheepies …
My chicken popped! Everyone should have a pint-sized rubber chicken in their car. Just be sure that when the sun rises in all it’s warmth and super-hot glory, that the liquid-filled, squishy yolk substance lying within your rubber chicken, doesn’t ooze down the dash as mine did … 9 sheepies …
Cliff is outta the hospital, hallelujah and yahoo! Been out for several weeks and getting better every moment. A friend from school, and a good painting buddy, he apparently got really sick, passed out on the front lawn, and woke up days later in the hospital fresh from a coma. Remains unexplained. Here’s to you … 8 sheepies …
Went to the Street of Dreams recently. A row of gorgeous, high-priced homes decked out to the nines with the latest in design and amenities and for the price of admission, one can peruse every nook and cranny in the search for their own decorating ideas. This is one of my favorite little bits … 7 sheepies …
Would like a ballroom dancing partner come autumn with cooler weather and the taking up of new activites, but alas, they apparently only reside in Florida nowadays … 6 sheepies …
I’m crazy about edamame. The little green buggers. Darn McDonald’s Asian salad … 5 sheepies …
I wanna go to a monster truck rally! Wanna buy an obnoxious over-sized foam finger and mightily wave it to and fro in the air screaming my lungs out for mondo vehicles … CRUSH THE COMPETITION! Yeahhhhh!! Woooooo-hooooo!!! Jump those doubledecker school busses! YeeeeeeHaaaah. It could be fun … 4 sheepies …
“Thawed For Your Convenience”. These are the words that grace the orange juice container I purchased at Jack In the Box the other day. The words imply a favor. That they’ve gone and actually liquified a former solid so that I may quench my thirst immediately as opposed to waiting until the rock melts. Simply amazing … 3 sheepies …
She’s left friends.
That pointy thing up there scares me. I sometimes imagine it falling, landing sharply on my face somewhere. It is only paper. But hey, it’s folded sharply and positioned precariously. Sure, it’s a pretty paper lamp at the second angle, but lying directly underneath, squarely on my pillow, insta-weapon.
… 1 sheepie … ♦