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19 December 2002

They say strange things happen around the time of the full moon. And strange things have been happening.

To start with the weirdos that the full moon causes to crawl out of the sewers, today I received my very first hate e-mail. I've arrived. I'm so proud. The e-mail read "You are too FAT. Please remove your offensive site from the internet. Thank you." I will not dignify the writer by posting his name, but I will compliment him on having better spelling than most writers of his ilk. So thank you, jerk. Sorry you're offended. I have a suggestion: don't read it; go check the porn sites instead.

But things go rapidly downhill from there. As I mentioned in yesterday's entry, Peggy's mother died yesterday morning. It was not an unexected death, yet you still hate to see anybody lose someone they love during the holiday season, and Peggy's mum was much beloved. Peggy said that her mum was her best friend--a wonderful thing to be able to say about one's mother (happily, I can make the same statement). My heart is in Australia with all of the family as they go through this painful time.

She was the third person I heard about in the past week to have died. The other two were parents of people on other e-mail lists, parents of people I don't know at all, other than by name, not really by interaction. Still, I felt a tug at the heartstrings thinking that they, too, would be having a painful holiday because of an empty place at the table.

And then there are my uncle and aunt. Who are married to each other (my aunt is my mother's sister). I wrote about Barb just a little over 2 yrs ago when her Alzheimers began to worsen. She was finally placed in an Alzheimers facility a month or so ago and it has been a painful experience for everyone, especially her husband. The two have been joined at the hip for over 50 years and watching her fade away mentally and then having to put her away somewhere physically has been so very difficult for him.

But on top of that, he has his own problems to contend with--his peripheral neuropathy has worsened to where he is blind in one eye and only partially sighted in the other (legally blind) and he also was developing heart problems.

As so often happens, the heart problems turned out to be worse than anticipated, once they got in and began testing and discussing various treatment modalities. Last Friday (ironically, Friday the 13th), while I was blissfully on my way to LA for a lovely weekend, all hell was breaking loose in Sacramento.

I am a little fuzzy on all the details, but Bill ended up having an angiogram and quadruple bypass, after a day of vascillating back and forth with tests and discussion and decisions and recanting and more decisions. While he was in one hospital with all this going on, his wife was in another, having just fallen and broken her hip. My mother, who had gone to Sacramento to help out, the three adult children of my aunt and uncle, and my other cousin and her husband (whom I am personally nominating for sainthood this month!) were running back and forth between hospitals as the next crisis arose.

I returned home to cell phone messages with updated reports. Bill wasn't going to make it...then it was looking ok...then he was worse. Tonight his kidneys appear to be failing, while his wife in the other hospital has developed a yeast infection. It may be dialysis for Bill (though if it is a long-term plan, he has left instructions he does not want to begin the process), and a search for a new facility for her, since she will not be able to stay at the rehabilitation center where they are moving her tomorrow.

I feel pretty much helpless in this situation too, as I can't leave work (heck, if Dr. G couldn't give me sick leave when I was achy, feverish, and coughing like I had tuberculosis, he's certainly not going to be able to let me run to Sacramento to be anybody's moral support). I have let it be known that I am free over the weekend, if anybody needs anything, but at this point--who knows if there is any more that can be done other than adopt a wait and see attitude?

In the middle of all this, it's kind of hard to remember that it's actually almost time for Christmas. We still don't have our tree decorated--but it is in the house. Tomorrow night I'm going Christmas caroling with some friends and I've promised to work at the city's free dinner for those who have nowhere else to go on Christmas Eve. Somehow between now and then I hope to actually get some Christmas shopping done--but don't hold your breath.

Quote of the Day

Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

~Morrie Schwartz

Photo of the Day


Peggy's Mum





One Year Ago
Anvils Have Limited Appeal
In the mid-50s, parents didn't have much concern about their kids ringing doorbells to sell Christmas seals or Girl Scout cookies. I can still remember the ache in the pit of my stomach as I went door to door in the neighborhood trying to sell my stamps. Most people took pity on me.

Two Years Ago
The Nutcracker
Whenever I happen to catch the videotape of the most recent production of The Davis Children’s Nutcracker, I think back over the many, many productions we’ve seen, remembering when each of the new set pieces was added to the production, and smile as I see the big chair that we borrowed for Walt to sit on during the roast for his 50th birthday party.

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Created 12/18/02