It might be today

Mom called, it might be today. Of course, it might have been Friday, or a week ago at the hospital. Yesterday, the doctor said he would be surprised if Granddad lasted another 2 days. But of course it’s not an exact science. Granddad will go when he is good and ready. I won’t ever be ready, but I’m as close to ready as I am going to get. Today, he is not responding. Not to Nana or anyone else. They are just giving him regular infusions of pain meds and playing soft music.

I’m not dropping everything and running over there. I kind of want to, but I’ve done that so much lately. And there’s not really anything I could do. For now, I’m staying at work and have apparently forgotten how to eat a sandwich. I seem to have decided to eat it from both ends and work towards the middle. I took a picture, I’ll add it later. Sorry about the tangent, I just looked down at my lunch and realized I’ve suddenly become retarded. Laugh, it’s allowed. Healthy actually.

In my heart, I hope it’s today. I really hate to say that, but I’ve set up a pattern of being brutally honest here and don’t really plan to change it. I know that the only way for Granddad to stop suffering is to let the angels take him. He told Nana yesterday that he was going with them. Then the rest of us can really mourn his loss as we haven’t been able to do yet. And we can refocus and be able to celebrate his life. Can’t really do that right now, no clarity.

I’m going tonight. Even though he probably will not know that I am there. That just means he is closer to home.

UPDATE: You guys are really awesome. Extra cool points for all of you. We are picking up pizza and heading down to hospice shortly. With all of us together, may as well make it a party (of sorts). In case anyone is curious, this is the hospice group we are working with. We’ve dealt with them 3 times in as many years. You can visit their website at www.odsyhealth.com.

Granddad update

Hospice people are amazing. I sincerely hope and believe there is a special crown these people will receive in heaven. I am blown away by these people. I personally didn’t pursue a medical career because I didn’t think I had the emotional stamina to handle it if I were to lose a patient. These people lose them all. And they have the added responsibility of dealing with family members. They are there 24/7 for anything and everything that might be needed.
I got to meet a special one on Friday. Her name is Katie Ann and she’s a golden retriever. She’s a trained therapy dog. She loves everyone and will let everyone love on her. Kids can pull on her ears. People can squeeze her and cry on her and she just loves them back. If I see her again, I may try to get her picture.
We all thought Friday was Granddad’s last day with us. We’ve said our goodbyes and now we are just waiting for the inevitable. I really hope that he can go peacefully and quickly. I trust that if God continues to keep him here, that he has a good reason to do so, but I have to admit that this is hard.
My husband and I did get to have a very nice dinner with my 3 cousins and their spouses. We had never all gone out together before. We laughed at old stories and our twisted humor that it seems we’ve all inherited. I’m so glad to be rekindling relationships with them.
On Saturday, Granddad’s vitals had actually improved. He’s still arguing with angels. I hate seeing him suffer this way. I know that he will go home when it is time though and God’s time is not my time. It’s hard to be at peace with that. It’s even harder to see Nana struggle so much. She hasn’t left his side. She’s an amazing woman. I don’t envy her place right now. 57.5 years is a long time to be married. That kind of love is worth the pain.

Gift or Gremlin?

I got a surprise package in the mail on Saturday. It was a tube containing 4 posters. 2 copies of this one,

and 2 copies of a President Bush one. You can order them here. The surprise is that I didn’t order them. I thought about it, but didn’t. But they came anyway. $4.60 charged to someone else. I figure it has to be one of four scenarios.

  1. I have a secret admirer. If so, I assume that you are reading this. I know your name because it showed on the invoice, but I’m not going to reveal it. Thank you for the posters, I’m really flattered. I’m very much not available though. It was very thoughtful of you to send 2 copies because my best friend/husband enjoys them as well.
  2. I have a fan that sends gifts. Awesome! Really freaking awesome. Thank you, and you rock! I’ve never had a fan before and unless it is proven otherwise, this is the scenario I’m going to choose to believe and revel in the head swelling. I know your name, so no one else can take credit and therefore possession of the well deserved cool points you have earned.
  3. It’s a gag gift. If so, you think I’m a liberal and the joke’s on you. I don’t really think that is the case though
  4. There is a gremlin lurking in the servers at yaf.org. It is possible that Mr. Cool really just ordered them for himself and the ghost in the machine sent them to me instead. If so, and you just happen across my blog, I still think you are cool and would be happy to order these posters for you on my own bill so that you don’t miss out on the conservative goodness. That would still be acceptable, but I would rather believe that I have a fan.

So, anyone care to guess what the scoop is here? Are you the giver and want to come forward to receive your cool points? You can remain anonymously cool if you would like. I know your name, but the other people who read this won’t find out unless you come forward.

And yes, everyone who takes the time to read my blog is automatically considered cool. But there is a hierarchy. Readers are cool, those that comment are cooler, fellow bloggers that link back are awesome, and anyone that sends gifts is seriously amazing. Especially since any gift received is completely unsolicited. Welcome, but not solicited.

UPDATE: Well the people at YAF got back with me. Apparently their site got hacked. It was a gremlin. And I was really hoping for a fan.

They said what?!?!?!?!—-with update

So predictable that I would have to weigh in on this issue. I have to admit that I should be ashamed. I shouldn’t let drivel like Desperate Housewives anywhere near my radar and certainly not close enough to form an opinion.

Why am I annoyed? Here is why:

The officials cited a recent episode where actress Teri Hatcher, who plays Susan Mayer, asked whether the person attending to her during a medical consultation “can I check those diplomas because I want to make sure that they’re not from some med school in the Philippines.”

There are plenty obvious reasons why I should be annoyed. My paternal grandfather is from the Philippines after all. But I find the very existence of this show to be offensive, so why should I care whether or not they are sensitive to every little group. I was born here in the US and feel no special urge to add any label to myself beyond American. I am not part of the larger victim culture and refuse to associate myself in that way. The fact is, I really don’t care if they are insensitive. I wouldn’t have known about the comment had it not been covered here, here, and here. And that is not including the original reference in this post. I find it offensive that it took a racially charged slur to tick people off.

Desperate Housewives is just a symptom of a greater disease. The disease is serious moral decline. This show glamorizes adultery and pretends this is normal, perfectly acceptable behavior. Fine. The producers are just making what gets ratings. The real problem lies with the society that accepts it, watches it, and embraces it. Not that families even need to watch prime time television (heaven-forbid the almighty media get turned off in a household once in a while), but when you do turn it on you choose this as quality entertainment? This show is just one of many.

I’m not going to ask you to write letters to the producers or the FCC. I won’t direct you to some internet petition. I’m not asking you to take any action at all. I have enough faith in the people that read this that they are smart enough to just turn the television off.

UPDATE: Aren’t you relieved? They apologized. Right here. But not for the fact that I vomited in my mouth a little when it dawned on me that I had actually written about this so-called sitcom which is actually just porn in shiny packaging. If you want to watch smut, then do it. Just don’t try to convince me that it is anything else.

Check Mate!

My kid beat me at chess yesterday. First time ever. He was so excited, and I am so proud of him. He beat me fair and square. I did not let him win. It was a very clean check mate. I’m going to have to work harder to stay competitive with my 8 year old.

He had his first tournament on Saturday, September 29th. He didn’t win anything individually, but his team took first and second place. I’ve mentioned the Chess Club here before. These kids are really amazing. Provided my son can keep up with his schoolwork and behavior in class, his next tournament will be October 20th. He’s bound to just keep getting better. And I’ve already noticed a change in his level of motivation at school.

Feel free to visit IdaFreemanChess.com, shop in the store. It helps the team.

Personal/Family Update

I actually watched the sunrise on Saturday. It came up about 2 hours after I got up. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. We had to be up at 4:30 so we could get the kiddo up, fed, and at the school by 5:45. Funny how it’s hard to go back to bed after 5 shots of espresso. Once he was off to his chess tournament, we headed back home. I parked on the stationary bike that has yet to find a better home than my front porch and used the handlebars as a make shift tripod and took a couple of pictures. I haven’t downloaded them from my camera yet. I’ll share them when I do.

Lately, it doesn’t feel like I’ve had any just peaceful moments, but Saturday morning was good for me. I was reminded that no matter what else is going on, the sun keeps rising. New days begin. Anyone that has been reading this knows that I am certainly the cynic, but if its possible to be both a cynic and an optimist, then that’s me. I’m feeling a little more like myself and hope to be returning to more entertaining fare. Although, I will likely continue to get personal from time to time. I will be making an attempt to get back to my opinions and commentary about random stuff. No promises that there will not be some bleed through.

Here is today’s personal update.

Granddad moved to the hospice facility on Saturday. It seems to be a very nice place and the nursing staff is great. They flirt with him, blow him kisses, and one even offered to marry him and take him home. I talked to him after he got settled in. He told me that he knew the doctors were telling him that he wasn’t going to win this one, but that didn’t mean he was ready to give up the fight. I told him that I would pray for him to be strong.

He’s been taking this opportunity to tell the family some old stories. Some I had heard before, some I hadn’t. I’ll try to put together what I can. He felt his most important thing to say was not a fun one. He told us that killing someone in war is awful. I can’t believe he had been carrying that around for the last 60 years. As I told him, I am so proud and so thankful that he did that. And so sorry that he had to experience it. Real men don’t go to war because they want to, they do it because it’s their duty. He was one of the lucky ones that performed his duty well and came home from WWII. He wanted to say it because there are so many so-called men that like to brag about how many people they killed in the war. Granddad went to war because his country called him to do so and to be a man. I wish there were more men like Granddad.

Lots of family came down to visit on Sunday so I didn’t stay long at hospice. He’s was in good spirits even though he was very tired.

Family-update

Went to visit Granddad last night. My son and his 2 year old cousin spent the whole time giggling in the adjacent sitting room. It’s been so nice to have the space. Granddad seemed to be feeling kind of peaceful. We asked him if the kids were making too much noise, and he told us that the giggles sounded good to him. Laughter has always been music to Granddad.

My mother wasn’t there. Earlier in the day, she slipped on the freshly mopped floor in Granddad’s room and fell and broke her wrist. She is heart-broken that she had to go home. She needed to spend a night in her own bed though.

He is able to swallow now. I’m relieved that he can actually have some food instead of just what they can put through an IV. They will be moving him to the hospice facility sometime soon.

My mother asked us to email stories about Granddad to help comfort him and Nana. I will share what I wrote here:

I will never forget summer time when Mandy and I would go and stay with Nana and Granddad. Granddad would see us in our swimsuits ready to play in the sprinkler and say, “Now you boys don’t get wet.” We’d put our hands on our hips and tell him emphatically that we weren’t boys. He’d just smile with that ornery twinkle in his eye. Of course, you would have to have a sense of humor to not only survive living in a house full of Bullington women, but to invite 2 grand-daughters to take over your basement as their ‘apartment’ as we called it. He had seemingly limitless patience with our coffee table concerts. We would sing into hair brushes or flashlights while standing on the coffee table in the basement.
I remember Granddad’s van. The grandkids liked to sit in the very back because when you hit a bump you would float out of your seat. To this day I still think of those as Granddaddy bumps. We would land and giggle and he would laugh with us. I always felt safe and loved when I was with Nana and Granddad.
I was so happy when Granddad retired and they moved to Yukon. As a teenager, I would often escape there when I wanted to feel at home but didn’t really want to be around my parents. I liked to sit on the porch swing and talk to Granddad while he filled the bird feeders and cleaned the bird bath. I could talk about anything with them.

I owe much of the person I am today to the time I spent growing up around Nana and Granddad.

It’s been so hard to watch his health deteriorate. He’s always been one of the strongest people I know. His sense of humor is still there though. I honored to get to hold his hand and offer him some comfort. And I’m glad I inherited enough humor to make him crack a smile.

He’s always been a sort of pillar in my life. I’m so glad that his suffering is nearly over, but I wish I didn’t have to lose him for that to happen.

Family-Part 2

There have been so many ups and downs with this whole thing. I just don’t know how to feel. I’m very upset and either crying or near tears most of the time. I don’t want to lose GrandDad, but it would be horribly selfish to want him to keep going in his current condition. I don’t even want that in my most selfish inner self. It’s so painful to watch him suffer like that. I trust that God is in control and has the absolute best outcome laid out for this. I really do. But I have to say that this emotional roller coaster is torture on all of us. I know that often we have to fall down completely before we can accept that God is picking us up and carrying us through.

I think that old footprints poem that so many people have hung in their homes is missing something. At least in the case of someone as stubborn and hard headed as I am. In mine, there includes marks of limping and crawling and trying claw ahead on my own and then the mark left by my body in a heap before I just let God pick me up and carry me through. Either that, or there is some kind of big stick that he used to knock me out laying on the side of the path. But that’s because I’m stubborn and really do think that I can do it most of the time. I’m proven wrong regularly. I’m just too thick headed to get the idea.

God, I give up. I can’t do it. Please carry me.

We got the biopsy results today. He has lung cancer. The doctor gave him 2 months to live provided there are no further complications. He said there were no treatment options given his weakened state. He said to give him whatever he wants. If he asks for a hamburger, the instructions are to try and let him eat it.

So I guess that’s it. I’m glad we know that he’s going home. I’m really going to miss him. I can’t put into words how much.