This past weekend I spent time with a great friend and her husband.
Susan has been my friend since high school. She is Son2’s godmother. We’ve been to functions with each other’s families and friends. She was the one I thought would never get married. She always said that she didn’t want kids of her own, even though she doted on her nieces, nephews and godchildren. She surprised nearly everyone who knows her when, after six months, she married a guy she met in a bar.
We had a chance to meet Tom at Son2’s graduation party in 2004. He was a tall bruiser of a guy who looked even taller beside Susan’s five foot body. He was an ex-Marine who still worked out and wore the “high and tight”. This guy was damn good looking! He was a cop, a very large, imposing cop. Eventually, life got in the way of visits. It was difficult, between work schedules, kids and family obligations to carve out time for simply ‘hanging out’. Phone calls filled the void….calls that lasted hours, even though each of us hated talking on the phone.
Our New Year’s call brought tragic news.
Tom has brain cancer and was given three to six months to live.
We tried all summer to make time. When we had time, they didn’t. When we had time, Tom wasn’t up to it. It was so hard. Finally the stars aligned this weekend. I was a bit nervous when I considered the fact that “three to six” was nearly up. Hubs said that no matter what came up, we were going to the mountains to see them.
Friday night we drove up to the Poconos to their home and it seemed like no time had passed. This was the longest time that Hubs had spent with Tom. They were like two peas in a pod. They had a great time together. I don’t remember ever seeing Hubs so freaking chatty! They talked about politics and sports and work. Susan and I caught up as women always do. We caught up on each other’s families, looking at pictures and non-stop laughter and reminiscing. The difference was Tom. He seemed several inches shorter. He legs stuck out of his shorts as spindly little twigs. His face was bloated by steroids. But his laugh was still robust. His mind sharp as a tack. He was embarrassed by the body that has betrayed him.
Susan has always been the most laid back, no worries type of person. The Susan I spent time with, was anxious, jumpy. She made sure Tom took his meds. She got nervous when Tom nearly tripped over the dog, thinking it was his balance. We had stayed up quite late on Friday night, and Tom napped late Saturday afternoon. Susan checked on him several times. She had been told that when the end was near, Tom would sleep more and more.
This is what my friend’s life has become. It was NORMAL to nap when we had stayed up. It was NORMAL to trip over a huge German shepherd. Instead each event has become a ‘symptom.’
We celebrated Saturday. It was Tom’s “death day”. It was the official day that the doctor’s claimed he would never see. We celebrated by bar hopping and watching the Phillies game. Susan gave him a gift….a banjo. He has said frequently that he wanted to learn how to play. She found a guy at their local VFW who will teach Tom to play. The joy on his face was beautiful to behold.
Saying goodbye was so hard. Will we be able to see him again before things get bad? I truly hope to. All I know is that when the end comes, we will drop everything to hold Susan up when she needs us.
As soon as I promised to write more, I fall off the planet again.
Actually I am coming to terms with news from my doctor. I went to the office last Wednesday for a checkup on my numbers, my weight and my horrible allergies. I have lost five pounds and more than five inches on my waist. This was good news.
By the time I got into the examining room, however, my allergy-pressure-migraine was ready to peak. I was afraid of throwing up or worse-passing out. The doc looked at me and handed me a prescription to deal with it. The last time I discussed pills for this, I was told that it would be something that I would take every day to keep migraines at bay. Not wanting to deal with that, I just dealt with them the best way that I could-ice packs, caffeine, and peppermint oil. Those three combined do a bang up job, but I have to be home for them. This pill, however, was bliss. I love my doctor!
And then we discussed my cholesterol. It seems that a summer of parties, party cake, potato salad, and of course alcohol has finally caught up with me. If I had avoided those things, my weight loss would have been more than five pounds. Instead it made my cholesterol spike. I have one month to fix this before he says I will need medication. Not thrilled.
Since I have done so well with my half hour of walking every day, he now wants me to raise it to one hour. This is doable. The next step is two fresh or frozen fruits and two vegetables a day. One fish a week and more beans. This is a very simple step for me to incorporate. I am so freaking happy that he is encouraging me with very tiny steps.
Oh it is showing. I had a pair of jeans that were so comfortable. I gained weight and put them away hoping that ‘someday’ I would fit in them again. Finally, I resigned myself to the fact that they could be doing someone else some good and so I put them in the Goodwill pile in the basement. While looking for something different last week, I came upon them and pulled them on….just for shits and giggles. Lo and behold!! They fit me again!!!
And there you have it. Nothing is new….except my attitude!
You weathered many obstacles and no doubt will continue to do so. Rain my have caused your beach wedding to move indoors, but you were in the shelter of the love of family and friends. Nature cannot stop love. “What God has joined together, let no one put asunder”
This weekend my Hubs and I drove to North Carolina to witness the union of Blondeblogger and her sweetheart Boobtubious.
First of all, I made sure I had a new dress to wear on the beach. Because it was a beach wedding, I made sure to take my flats and flipflops for dancing in afterwards. I was prepared. New shoes, dress, jeans for pre-wedding dinner night, and a new hoodie (with no stains!) I have never been so excited about wearing a dress.
The ride down was not as unbearable as I had expected. Hubs and I saw a few cool things, like the origin of the Chesapeake Bay and the tunnel bridges that were incredible. Midway across the bridge I realized that I was totally surrounded by water. Kinda scary!
After a beautiful day of driving in the bright sunshine and hot sun, we got to the wedding house just in time for the wind to kick up. I’m not talking about a nice, cool sea breeze, I am talking about blow-the-chairs-across-the-deck and brace-yourself wind. Clouds and rain came along with it and like a bout of the flu, the rain hung around……for the entire weekend. So much for the wedding on the beach. and so….the wedding moved indoors.
Talk about a beautiful wedding! I can’t remember ever seeing a more happy union of two families. The kids all love each other. They love their new parents. And they loved meeting mom and dad’s blogger friends. It was like we had known them all forever. Before the wedding, I watched as Boobtubious helped N. check her blood sugars and give her an insulin shot. The gentleness of this man with the little girl who was to be his stepdaughter was so touching. I watched as Blondeblogger laughed and joked with her new stepkids. K genuinely likes to spend time laughing and dancing with her new stepmom. J said that he had never seen his dad so happy and was glad that his dad chose a woman that everyone loved.
I was honored that my ‘sister’ wanted me there on this special day. I was honored that I witnessed the love that she shares with this man. I was blown away to see the unabashed loved that is shared by all eight of this unique family.
***It was so cold that I ended up wearing jeans to the wedding. Yes, jeans. Someone get married in the summer so I can wear my new damn dress!!!
***Boobtubious told his daughter that they were planning a surprise of 150 trained dolphins that were to jump out of the ocean into a heart shaped arch upon the completion of the vows. She believed him. It was a funny joke and she took the teasing like a champ. But I’d still kinda like to see something like that. If anyone figures out how to do that, let me know.
***Lastly….Thank you Blondeblogger, for keeping your cool. You were the center of attention with grace and beauty. Thank you. No one needed to see my boobies hit my knees.
As I looked through the archives to see if I had any new insights into 9/11, I noticed two things. One, my insights haven’t changed. Two, I always seem to be down with a major allergy flareup.
This year is no different.
First off, after a lot of the storms blew through here, we had some yard work to do. No damage to the house, thank God, but lots of debris strewn through the yard. Son2 was doing gutter work, Hubs was handling the bigger branches and I was on rake duty. After about half an hour, with three quarters of the yard done, I was suddenly tired. Like SUDDENLY. My legs were shaky, my arms were too. I wanted to drop the rake. Afraid that it was my back, I stopped doing everything and went into the house to lie down.
After awhile, I felt normal again and took a shower, a few ibuprophen and then relaxed for the rest of the night.
The next day, my arms and legs still felt tired. I got up got dressed and moved to the couch….
where I stayed for the next three days.
Yep, three days. I called the doctor and he told me to stay put and just keep taking the ibuprophen and sleep. Apparently this is something that is happening in this area. Nothing to pinpoint, it just goes away in a couple of days. But in the meantime, every joint in my body hurt. My muscles felt clenched and even my jaw felt like I was constantly grinding my teeth. It was the worst, but thankfully, it passed.
Only for me to get hit with allergies. The rains have kicked up the mold in the yard and now I have the sneezing, runny nose and sore throat. I am on day four and my Zyrtec has done a bang up job on drying up the faucet known as ‘nose’.
I need a day or two on a beach with friends, and love, and drinks…..
Oh, yeah! I’m heading to North Carolina for BlondeBlogger’s wedding! I’ll be seeing Poppy, Bubblewench and others!! So see that sentence up there about the day or two on the beach? I”M GOIN’!!
Saturday was Shenanigan’s baby shower. Lemme say from the getgo that this was an incredible event thrown by her sister. Because Shenanigans never had a baby shower for Jazzy, this was the opportunity for Jamie to go all out. She did the food, the decorations and had several games planned for the guests…..around 50 of us….in a small house and back yard….in the heat. Despite the weather and crowd, it was awesome and everyone had a very good time.
Shenanigan was surprised….truly surprised. This is no small feat because she is the type of person who needs to every single little detail of things and never likes for plans to go awry. Everyone did a great job of hiding things from her and even son was quiet. She went to lunch with a friend, during which she received a call from Jazzy who told her that she was at grandmom’s with a bloody nose. They jumped into the car and raced there to SURPRISE!
After the food, she started to open her gifts, and Son1 arrived to watch. He stood in the back of the crowd and just looked at her, smiling. A few minutes later he came over to me and put his arm around me. I looked at him to see tears in his eyes. I asked what was up.
“Just look at her, mom. She is so happy. I’m just a little overwhelmed with all of this. Look! We got everything we wanted and then some. All of these people are here because they love us! This is just filling up my heart.”
To hear these words from my son made me emotional too. I always knew he was a sensitive guy, but never realized the depth of his heart. Later he drove me home and it was just the two of us. I asked if fatherhood seemed more real to him now that he had tangible items to prove it.
“Oh yeah. It scares the shit out of me. I mean, you saw how I was at the shower. How will I handle watching Shenanigans in so much pain, knowing that I can’t do anything for her? I hate when she gets upset, so how will I deal with her hurting?”
“You will hold her hand, and rub her back, and listen to her scream. You will tell her that you love her, and that she is beautiful. That is about all that you can do. Afterwards, that is what she will remember.”
My son looked at me and said,”Thanks mom. So…are you going to the Union party later?”
And with that, the subject was changed.
I keep replaying this conversation over and over in my head. I have done a good job with this kid. He is responsible. He is solid. He is a man who is now ready to be a father, not just a dad. He has shown his true colors. Compassionate, sympathetic, gentle, and most of all, loving. Not only does he feel love for others, but he can see the love that he receives from others.
He didn’t only receive gifts for his child, he received the gift of actually seeing the love that flowed from his family, his friends, his extended family.
Most of all, I received the gift of seeing his love for this young woman who will give him the greatest gift of his life…..a son.
Summer is such a lazy time. The heat slows things down to a slow crawl and my head is no exception. There is no inspiration these days. Life is good. Things are moving along but there is nothing truly blog-worthy. I’ve been dating my husband, seeing movies, spending time alone and such.
However, August is upon me and with it comes a full calendar. The baby shower for Son1 and Shenanigans is coming this weekend, as well as a party/event that involves my beloved Philadelphia Union. Saturday will be long but worth a post or two. Immediately following that, I’ll be headed off to the beach for a much anticipated week. Beyond that, we will be preparing for Babygirl to head off to college again.
Two big events are also looming on that horizon. One is the wedding of my dear ‘twin’. She is marrying a friend from grade school whom she met at one of our mini-reunions. I am very excited and happy for both of them. The other is the wedding of BlondeBlogger. I will be travelling to North Carolina for the ceremony and am taking Hubs. Once more, this will be blog worthy.
And so, I just wanted to let y’all know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I am just trying to stay chill in all of this weather from hell. I hope you all are cool as well.
There isn’t much going on here that is exciting for y’all. I’ve just been spending time with Hubs and Bandit. The weather has been pretty crappy. (Not as crappy as everyone dealing with the flooding and the tornadoes. What’s up with that??) It’s just been cold and then hot. It’s been cloudy and there’s no way to tell what is rain and what isn’t. It just sucks.
We visited Holly for Easter. That was pretty nice. We got a motel room and spent Saturday night first having dinner with her and the boyfriend and then just chilling in the hotel. For Easter, we went out for breadfast together and then back to the dorm for “trip one” of bringing her stuff home. I think next year, she’d better not pack everything that she owns!
Today I packed for the next adventure…Pittsburgh PA, to visit with Becky, aka Hellohahanarf. I’ve never been to Pittsburgh long enough to look around so this is exciting for me. From there, we will go to Cincinnati to kidnap SybilLaw to join our little caravan. And the final leg of our trip will take us to Bagwine OH and a party with MattMan and his gal Schmoop. This will be an epic gathering. Following Bagwine, we will take Sybil home and party with Sodapop and Laci. Hubs has already said that this is the last time I can take off on him for this year. (We’ll see about that…)
And so. I never finished this yesterday and I sit here with the news on…..looking at the horrid devastation that visited Alabama, Georgia, and many other southern states. There are also severe weather warnings for the state of Pennsylvania and of course that is for when Bubblewench and I hit the road. Don’t worry, she is a very safe driver and will stop rather than drive through the crap. I’m taking you with me, so I’ll update when I can.
The dinner party was okay. I looked good, didn’t fart or swear, and only had one glass of wine. That’s all I’ma say ’bout that.
Now, onto NoVa Con.
A group of bloggers gathered in Chantilly, VA this weekend. I rode down with Bubblewench, Bellaventa, and Libragirl. As soon as we pulled up to get Bella and Libra, the shenanigans began and they didn’t end until some time on Sunday. I laughed so much that I hope I managed to burn more than a couple of calories!
We got there, checked into our room and headed off to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We saw lots of airplanes and such and I was more impressed with the trip than I thought I was going to be. We went to a store for alcohol and to eat lunch and then back to the hotel for cocktails, showers and naps.
The naps never happened.
After showers, Ren called and said “Hey, let’s hang out!” And with that, NoVa Con was on. CissaFireheart also wanted to hang out and so they both came to our room and we got our drink on. We took pictures, shared lots of laugh and then there was a knock on the door. BlondeBlogger and her man Matt were there! Yay! I have waited for what seemed to be a lifetime to hug my ‘soul sister’ and at last the moment was here. We hugged and in the middle of such a group of folks, I would find myself just looking at her, drinking up the sight of her and storing away mental pictures and memories of her beautiful laughter. A pint of tequila, some rum and cherry vodka later……..
Dinner time came so fast, but that only meant MORE bloggers! We met with Poppy and Dawg (and Mrs Poppy’s Mom, and a few of Cissa’s friends) We went to one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook at your table. It was incredible. Mr. Shiny joined us and I have to say, he gives great hug. Whall was there via Skype on Ren’s ipad and we passed him around to say hello. As the ipad got to the end of the table, a shout went up….
Whall was with us! He had been in DC since Thursday and Ren had managed to keep it under wraps. No one-and I mean no one-had a clue that he was actually in town. It was the best prank ever.
After closing the restaurant, everyone went back to our suite. We all hung out on the fold out bed laughing, talking and causing mayhem. The group of young kids in the suite next door was bothered by OUR noise. We were told “Think of the children” when their chaperones scolded us! We called SybilLaw and left a great voice mail. And we took pictures……lots and lots of pictures…..
Things finally broke up and we promised to meet the next day for breakfast and shopping.
Unfortunately, NoVaCon had to come to an end. Some went on to a kite fest, others (us) went shopping and GeoCaching and still others got a jump on the traffic and began their way home. It was the best time ever, full of great friends, great times and great food and drink. It went so well that we are planning on making this an annual celebration. Keep this time of year clear on your calendar so that you can join us in 2012!
I wish I had something worth blogging about. But I have nothing. The same thing is happening every day…..
I get up, walk on the treadmill, shower, eat and watch a movie. I do some paperwork, play with the dog or walk the dog, watch a movie and make dinner. I do laundry, straighten up the house and then hang out with hubs. This is the extent of it. Sometime I change around the order of doing things, but basically that is it. I am sick and tired of winter and I want spring to come.
This week, I’ll be headed to the Philadelphia Union’s first home game of the season. I am, of course, so very excited.
Also in April, I will once again team up with Bubblewench to head to Cincinnati to see our partner in crime, SybilLaw. Then with a bit of luck we will kidnap her and visit MattMan. Ah……I’ve never been so excited about illegal activities in my life!!