Shine a Light

Our doorbell rang last night about 6:30. It was Dad, who had stopped on his way to the emergency room. Mom was sick and he couldn’t get a hold of us. We had just gotten home from dinner out, my phone charging in the bedroom. So we put our shoes right back on and hopped in the car.

My Mom has quite a few health problems, including three auto-immune diseases: Myasthenia Gravis, Fibromyalgia, and another unnamed one that attacked her lungs, leaving them at about 30-40% the size of an average adult female. I don’t talk about it a lot for several reasons. For one, it is her business as it is her health.  But it has been becoming more and more clear to me over the past few months that it is okay to talk to people about it. Support is a good thing to have from your family and friends.

Mom has pneumonia. It isn’t very bad, but for someone with lungs like hers it is bad news nonetheless. The good news is it was caught early and can be treated with antibiotics and she can be in the hospital where she can get the care and watchful eyes of the medical professionals. I have to say everyone at Physician’s Regional has been extremely top notch and helpful. I am relieved to know she is in good hands and being cared for.

Still, I am anxious to hear she is better and can come home. Our next hurdle to jump will be the surgery she will need in the next couple of months. It is extremely risky, considering the shape of her lungs, but it can’t be helped if she wants to survive.

Friday night my parents, my husband and I had a celebratory dinner marking their 48th wedding anniversary. While the men were outside heating up the grill for the steaks Mom and I had a good talk. We were frank and honest about the future. Mom said she wasn’t ready to die. She wanted to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary. She wanted to go to Disney World again. She wanted to see me become a published author. In other words, she is far from done with this life.

I love my Mom. She is gentle and kind, but there is also a fiery center to her that I admire greatly. She has more strength than anyone I know. And it makes me feel so helpless to see her struggle when there is nothing I can do but hold her hand. But if that’s what I can do, I am there.

The holidays are coming. I am going to shine a light in the darkness for my mom and my family. We will get through this.

 

Shady and Fingers

The boys in their usual, rambunctious state.

Things are getting back to normal. The boil water notice was lifted yesterday and the sewage system is stable so we can do laundry, shower luxuriantly, and flush the toilets with abandon again. The library only has half-power air conditioning, but the public parts of the building are cool. Part of the a/c is running on a generator and it sounds like an airplane taking off, but if that’s all, I can deal with it.

But our kitties, Shady and Fingers, are sick. They haven’t been eating and drinking very little. We were able to get them an appointment at the vet tomorrow morning, but I’m worried about them. They are so lethargic, snuffling and sneezing. Fingers has rubbed his nose raw, poor baby.

We are borrowing a second cat carrier from a friend and coworker. We only have one, and while they can both fit reasonably well, trying to get them both in is impossible. When we left before the storm we only got one inside of it. The other we had to wrap tightly in a towel to carry out to the car. I got scratched pretty bad on the arm from one of them.

I am hoping that they are lethargic enough that they don’t resist much to the cat carriers this time.

If you pray, send one up for the kitties, and for us that we can get them to the vet without incident.  Otherwise, good wishes, vibes, or energy are also appreciated.

 

SICK

Where there was zing just a week ago, now there is the crud. I got it from my husband, who picked it up at work. I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on and so on and so on.

rare objectsI’ve been sick enough in the past few days that I haven’t even felt like reading. I know. I’m as surprised as you are. Since my early year slump with the books I picked it up and never looked back. Right now I am trying to read Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro, but my head is pounding and my nose is leaking, and I really can’t keep two words together in my head. I think it’s really good though. I’ll get back to you.

Instead I’ve been watching TV. Thank heavens for Netflix. I’ve been binge-watching Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover and it makes me about as excited as a crusty-eyed, gooey-nosed person can get for a vacation that is just 23 days away. layoverAnd although he isn’t visiting any of the places I am going, I adore looking at cities I haven’t visited yet like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Montreal. I wasn’t all that enchanted with the Miami episode. I guess the party attitude of South Beach just isn’t my thing. But finding where to get a bacon butty in London? You’re singing my song, Tony.

I also watched Grease on Monday. Holy shit, I don’t think I’ve seen the unedited, un-censored version since I was at a sleepover in 6th grade. It’s one of those movies that once you catch it flipping channels you have to watch the whole thing, isn’t it?

grease album

That’s right, I played a record album, and not ironically.

Grease is one of those movies that is highly nostalgic for someone of my, ahem, years. I remember being five years-old and owning the soundtrack on vinyl. That’s right folks, because cassette tapes were’t a big enough thing yet. It was a double album set and I listened to it over and over in heavy rotation with the Sound of Music soundtrack I inherited from my Mom and Disney’s Macho Duck. It was the late 70’s, kids, and I was five and in love with Andy Gibb. I never claimed I had taste. At least not at five. Hell, I’m still not sure.

Anyway. Grease. There are so many wonderful memories in that movie. The sheen on Sandy’s cheek at the pep rally when she flirts with the quarterback, the exact bubblegum hue of Frenchie’s hair when she had “a little trouble in tinting class.” That giant cotton candy Madge whips ups at the carnival. And of course, a hickey from Kenickie is like a Hallmark card.

Say it with me folks, "When you care enough to send the very best."

Say it with me folks, “When you care enough to send the very best.”

But watching it on Netflix gave even a new dimension of enjoyment to me as I now get all the jokes that flew over my head as an eleven year-old. I won’t go into all the vulgarities here, but let’s just say there was more than a little innuendo going on and wasn’t the squeaky clean film I remember. Which made it all the more delightful.

I’ve you’ve read my blog at all, you know I have a tendency to pick up earworms. Rest assured I will be singing “Summer Nights,” “You’re the One that I Want,” and “Hand Jive” (as sung by Johnny Casino and the Gamblers played by Sha Na Na) for oh, approximately two months. At least I don’t have the desire to sing out loud and share my good fortune with others, as I am sure my husband and friends in France will appreciate.