Friday, February 29, 2008

Yoga and Sleep Deprivation

For those who are sick of hearing about me ramble on about yoga, I totally understand if you click outta here right now!

When I began my practice, I went to a large beautifully appointed studio located in a hotel spa. Because I enjoy a challenge, I attended the level 1/2 classes rather than beginner level 1 classes. The classes were fantastic, and the amenities were second to none, but the experience lacked a personal approach, even if I practiced with the same instructor each time.

The studio I have been attending of late is a small room, with 7 students at most any one time, and as few as 3 of us (I have heard stories of only 1 person present, and the class was still held). I truly do enjoy going. The instructor is the same each time, so not only am I getting to know what my body will now do, will soon be able to do, and won't for be able to even think about another year, but so does he. I am pushed both internally and externally to do more, stretch farther. I love it. I come away from the class with an enormous sense of accomplishment and calm. Calm is no small thing for me. I tend to be a bundle of nerves wound very tightly, waiting to fly apart at any moment (Whew, it took me a moment to make sure I stuck with one metaphor!). After a yoga class, I am calm for the rest of the day, and lately, part of the next. This is a good thing!

Now, I know everything in life is a trade-off. Here's mine right now: If I wish to pursue this activity, I have to get up at 5am, leave the house by 6, take a train to the 7 to 8:15 class, then walk to work and put in my day, then go home, be mom and the mrs, then crash! Right now, I am going to yoga once or twice a week and the gym 2 to 3 times a week. I'm tired!! By Friday, really just weary! I do know that there are many, many people who put in that kind of day or longer, but right now, I am a relative novice, so not only is there a level of fatigue this nigh on 42 year old hasn't known, but some pain as my body is also unaccustomed to this type of intense motion.

Then there is the fact that I am excited about what I am doing, so I talk about it...a LOT. Anyone who knows me would not be surprised to read that. I come home very animated about how I had my butt kicked in class, and either tell or show my boys what we worked on. Christopher always says I can do that, so I show him how, he then tries, and falls apart giggling. I'd like to have him take a kids' yoga class. I think he'd enjoy it. I am far too selfish, and somewhat self conscious to share my yoga class with him. Maybe I can put together a simple routine that we can do together at home. I don't know if that would give him the same benefit I experience, but it would be something we could do together, so it's worth a try. My husband says his back just would not allow that sort of activity without tremendous supervision. So, for now, he'll just leer watch. In the meantime, I just purchased a subscription to The Yoga Journal.

Oh, can anyone tell me WHY in the world yoga gear is so damned expensive?!?!?!

r.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Waves of Disapproval

Today I made a mistake at work. Nothing earth shattering. But one of the magazines I handle mailed today, when it should have mailed Friday. The net result of this was that the few people who downloaded their publication before 2:30 pm today were unable to click through on some of the reader service numbers in the ads. And since this publication is paid by the lead, it was a pretty important mistake to them. I spoke to the client, smoothed the feathers, all ended well. The mistake was an honest one. According to the schedule, the publication was supposed to mail today. I missed the part of approval email the mentioned the revised date. I told my boss of the situation, and he immediately shut down. Absolute waves of disapproval and resentment emanating from him in my general direction.

After the situation was resolved, I had lunch with my husband. Until hat time, I was fairly calm about the whole thing. But once I sat down in the diner, I completely unloaded. I was so completely irritated at my bosses reaction. I told Brian that my boss clenched to tight that you couldn't drive a stick pin up his ass with a jack hammer. If you shoved a piece of coal up his ass, he'd shit a flawless diamond in about point thirty seven seconds. Brian was rolling at my diatribe, but did ask me to lower my voice...

We then went on to discuss other topics, one of which was our son. Of course, you say. Christopher is 11, nearly 12. He is trying on having opinions on things in the world, and expressing them. This is a good thing. The problem I am having with it is that he is repeating what he hears without educating himself, and forming his own opinion. Learn, form and espouse your opinion, fine. Repeat the latest sound bite, without solid information and then arguing when a correction is offered, not fine. In my irritation with the day, I told Brian that my son intellectually lazy. A repeater of unassimilated, spoon fed information from questionable sources. Brian knew what I was saying, but was stunned with how brutally I said it. I would never say those words to Christopher.

So what's the point. Well, the point is that I had a very visceral reaction at my boss's immediate shut down. He couldn't even look at me. Earlier in life, I would have taken this very personally. I'd have been upset with myself and everyone else for hours. Today, I actually kidded my boss about it, telling him his displeasure was palpable. He said I hate mistakes, my own most of all...I asked him how, given how he reacts to others, he hadn't jumped in front of a bus yet.

I, too, shut down when I disapprove. Waves of my (considerable) negativity are flung into the universe. When Christopher does or says something I don't like, there it is. Big, ugly, and sometimes very loud. He asked me which I hate more, press or papparatzi. I told him papparatzi because of their invasiveness, intrusiveness, their utter lack of regard for the person pursued, etc. He argued that the press is more invasive in their sometimes relentless questioning. We then went on to discuss the journalistic integrity more present in the mainstream press, and that does not include the National Inquirer. He would not hear any other point of view, would not learn the difference between the two types of reporting. I shut down. Hard. A conversation turned to an argument that bruised us both, and tainted an evening. And while I didn't say he was intellectually lazy, etc., I doubt the words were necessary. He knew exactly how I felt, even if the words were not stated.

Like my boss, I am my own harshest critic. Being so makes me less compassionate than I could be to everyone around me. I have lately been trying to find ways to be more patient with myself, and having that spill over to the rest of the world. There are some interesting meditation exercises that I just read about designed to increase what is called "loving-kindness" towards oneself. Basically, the line of thinking is if one should have loving-kindness thoughts for themselves. Then those to whom they are close, then to those for whom they have no feeling at all, and finally for those they don't care for. If one can master compassionate thoughts for all these categories of people, they will know greater inner peace, and see the world more positively. I kinda get it, but I also know I can be seriously derailed...

r.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Now For Something Different

My last few posts have been full of worrying news and/or rank introspection. Today, I will change gears and share some lighter bits.

Wednesday night there was a complete lunar eclipse. According to NASA, it was visible over the Central Pacific, Europe, the Americas and Africa, and it is the last one we'll see for nearly three years. Apparently there were two last year that I somehow missed! Thankfully, the weather in the New York Metropolitan area was cooperative, and we were able to view the entire phenomenon. I am not sure why the eclipse took on a red hue, but it did, at least in our part of the world. I was able to watch this from the warmth and comfort of my house, as both my living room and bedroom windows face the full moon each month. It is one of my favorite features of my bedroom, especially.

I went to a 7am yoga class Thursday morning, which means I left my house around ten minutes before six. The first rays of the rising sun are beginning to peak over the horizon at that time of day; a ribbon of rose gold at the bottom of an ink black sky. I sat in awe watching the sun rise during my train ride into the City, joyfully thanking God for elevated subway lines! I love watching the rising sun change the color of the sky, vanquishing the night. I also love how the changing light plays on the skyline of Manhattan. I have often wondered whether architects make material decisions based on whether the building in question faces the rising or setting sun. But I digress. The final turn into the last above ground station afforded me the view of a lifetime. The sun rising behind me almost fully above the horizon, and the still bright, full moon in front of me beginning its descent over the west side of the island. The eclipse, the dawn, the setting moon and the peace of yoga stayed with me the entire day. To cap it off, when my train emerged on the Queens side of the 59th Street Tunnel, it was still light outside. The cloud bank of an impending storm were just beginning to become visible off to the southwest. Sunset equaling the splendor of its rising. It was a beautiful day, and the most serene I have felt in a long while.

Today, it was snowing when I awoke at the much more reasonable hour of six fifteen. It is supposed to be a fairly big storm. All I can say is FINALLY! I can't believe how snow free this season has been. The irony of it is that my son has been off from school all week long, and is therefore cheated out of a snow day. Oh, well. He and Dad will toss a few snowballs. Maybe Chris will get to dust off his sled.

Brian is healing well. He has a scary looking bruise from the palm of his hand midway to his elbow that will take an eon to heal. Other than that, and a possible touch a stomach flu, he is doing well: The storm clouds on our horizon have seemingly receded...

r.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I am, I Said

I am stealing the idea for this post from Maria, though I am a little intimidated by her eloquence and ability to hold little (but probably more than I think) back.

I am from a hot island paradise off the coast of South Carolina. Of two lost and confused souls that found themselves in the United States Marine Corps, who then moved on to other locations on the east coast including Quantico, VA, where I was born. From a woman who was the only surviving child of aging parents, who as a young mother sent her husband off to war. From a man forever scarred by both the battles he fought in his youth in Illinois farmland and then as a young man in Vietnam jungles. Semper Fidelis.

I am from a three-story semi-detached house in a neighborhood in Queens, New York long gone. A neighborhood of 2nd generation northern European immigrants, where my mother grew up. Where word of my misdeeds reached home before I did. A house with lush, fragrant lilac and rose bushes, both a font and back yard, with a hill, where a hundred years from now, archaeologists will probably find spoons from my grandmother's silverware drawer that we used to dig holes, and make mud pies. From a huge black and white Zenith wooden console TV where we watched Lawrence Welk's Little Bubbles, Guy Lombardi usher in the New Year, the Watergate hearings, and the Mets winning the World Series.

I am from a day in January when my Grandfather picked us up from school looking sadder than anything I'd ever seen. He told us that Grandma died. I was 8, and morbidly curious about the dead body in the other room. My brother, whose birthday was the next day, was 6. It was the first of 2 birthdays he would lose to a poorly timed death. It was then that my mother decided that we needed to know religion, and enrolled us in the same Catholic school she attended, sent us to CCD classes to catch up and make the sacraments of initiation one right after the other.

I am from a sunny day in May of my 9th year when I stood in front of my mother in my communion dress and veil. It was the first and last time I ever heard her say that I was beautiful. I am from Easter dresses with hats, gloves, purse and plastic jewelry, Christmas morning with lots of presents, Mercurochrome and the Good Humor Man. I, too, am from don't talk back, get out of my sight and bring me the belt.

I am from an awkward teenager with mile-long legs, microscopic shorts, and a forbidden tube top who had her first real kiss, cigarette, and feather roach clip at the age of 14. It was then I began to know that I inspired both lust in the boys and discomfort in the girls, and how to use it.

I am from a forbidden romp on my mother's living room floor in 1981 that resulted in a.....um...medical procedure that required me to lie about my age, and experience a pain I've not felt before or since. I stayed with Jack nearly a year after that before we grew apart. Thus began my political awareness of women's issues. I am from a Thanksgiving vacation in Rangeley, Maine, when I realized pleasure was a gift I could give myself, which Jack never could.

I am from a late night revelation that I could indeed get out of my dysfunctional household...all I needed to do was get my academic act together and go to college. I took to this with a missionary zeal. Took every elective I could, excelled in AP classes, scored well on my SATs, filed as many applications as I could for far off schools, and began the countdown.

I am from a dormitory room in Purchase, New York where I decided to lay down the bitterness I had been carrying toward my father, the consequence of which was enduring my mother’s deep resentment. I think that was my very first experience actually realizing bittersweet. I was a waitress that July, and stayed out all night with a patron. The night before that would be the last night I spend under my mother's roof. She took my keys, gave me a suitcase and set me free.

I am from a night in August of my 22nd year spent visiting a friend. It was that night I met a man who walked me home. It was the night I allowed my fear of being alone to take over. The night I stopped allowing myself a choice. He would become my husband.

I am from a sleepless night in early October 1995 when I found out I was pregnant. I was absolutely giddy. It was the most boundless joy I had ever felt until the brutally hot, humid and magical day in June of 1996 when I delivered my long awaited son. When I looked into his serene, wide open, deep blue eyes I was forever changed. It was the day I understood the booming voice from on high that said, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased."

I am from the cold raw day in December 2003 when I buried my father, experiencing heretofore-unknown grief, but gaining a family I have come to love and depend upon like breathing.

I am from a night when I was just shy of my 41st birthday when I realized that love could and should be expressed, shared and made regardless of the gender of the lover. And from the realization that some expressions of love come at a great sacrifice.

I am from realizing to both my delight and my despair that I can sleep peacefully all night long tangled up in a man's body, just not the body I am supposed to be tangled up in. That I can spend hours on end talking about an endless array of topics, just not with the person I should be. Because the person with whom I should be speaking has fallen asleep hours earlier. Every night. I am from the knowledge that abandonment takes on many, many forms, and I have experienced almost all of them.

I am from making my bed and lying in it. And trying everything I can to find some peace in it.

r.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

All's Well That Ends Well

Brian came through his angioplasty with flying colors today. They found no new arterial disease or stentosis. No intervention required at this time. Whew! This is the first time he underwent this procedure without having his arteries plumbed and stented. His heart muscle is strong, pumps well, and shows no real damage. In the short term, Brian needs to treat his arm as if it were broken [they used his radial (wrist) artery, rather than his femoral artery]. He is not to allow it to bear any weight at all, and watch for swelling or further discoloration in his hand or arm. In the long term, he needs is to adjust his diet and get some exercise. He goes back to his cardiologist in a few days for follow up.

We had a wonderful RN named Joan. She is such an interesting woman! She is a creative, caring former granola. She lived on some land in Vermont, upon which she built a teepee. She is going to Kenya for vacation where she will do some volunteer work while photographing baby elephants. She is a deeply spiritual woman who reminded Brian that perception can become reality, when it really doesn't need to: Change your perception and you change your reality. She told him that he needn't have to accept imminent demise. I think that was a very important thing for him to hear.

Chris played games of chess with me and with his dad while waiting to be discharged. We laughed, made dark inappropriate jokes, and found other ways to break the tension of the day. I am so proud of Christopher. He is such a strong kid. And wickedly funny, too!

To unwind a little, I will pour a glass of Bordeaux tonight, and to to the gym tomorrow. Until then, thank you for checking in on me, to borrow a phrase from Janelle.

r.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Son is Blessed...

My husband spoke with his sister today to let her know what is to take place tomorrow. Tonight, we were watching TV, and something inspired him to tell me that she said, "your son is blessed to have you home with him." I cannot say that is not true. My husband and his sisters were brought up with their dad as the bread winner. Brian's mother was home with him while his father worked up to 3 jobs at a time to make ends meet. His sisters, born nearly 10 years later, did know their mother to work at least part of their childhood. In our family, I am the breadwinner. Brian is home most of the time.

While I am glad that the child has a parent that can be home, I am not always glad that is not me. I especially don't like it pointed out to me. Sometimes I can take it well, but sometimes I can be a real bitch. When Brian told me what his sister said, I was the latter. I told Brian that sometimes I felt that I gave birth to my son, and handed him over to someone else to raise. That he wasn't of me at all. All I ever hear is how my son if so much like my husband and or/his family in appearance and personality that I feel completely discounted. I did my wifely duty...I gave rise to an heir. I was an incubator, and then a provider, nothing more. Do men feel like that when they go to work each day, and their wives stay home?

I didn't mean to hurt my husband, I just was venting my own feelings of loss and jealousy. Brian was laid off in November of 2001. He had a part time job once since from February 2006 until January 2008. The rest of the time, he was a stay at home dad, very involved with the goings on at school. My salary supported the house, though there weren't any extras. Brian has never failed to recognize what he has. He has always been supportive. But sometimes, I feel a little cheated. I wanted to be mom. I wanted to raise my son. I wanted the fairy tale where the man supports the household...didn't have to be a house with a picket fence or anything. Just more traditional roles, I guess. I wanted my man to be be stronger than me. That said, I know there are ways in which he is eminently stronger than I, just not in the ways I want to acknowledge when I am feeling this way.

So tonight I find myself worried about what tomorrow will bring, and somehow resentful at the same time. And guilty that in his time of worry, I am dwelling on my own petty shit. Gah. One day I will evolve. Clearly not today.

r.

The Weekend that Was

Friday night, our household was reeling from the news of Brian's test results. My boss sent me home from work early Friday afternoon. I went to the gym and worked my body until every cell refused to work any more. I walked out of there literally wobbling. On my way home I picked up a bottle of really good Zinfindel. When I got home, we coordinated who needed to be notified, as well as overall logistics.

After that, however, we enjoyed a pretty normal weekend. And since it is President's Day, we still are. Starting last week sometime, Chris' buddy's mom invited Chris to spend the night at their house, so he did on Saturday evening. I fully expect to have to return the favor next weekend. I met up with a friend of mine to do some shopping and catching up in SoHo. After Chris was picked up, Brian met up with us, and we had a very nice out with another friend of ours. Sunday was a day of catching up on chores, etc. Chris came home just before supper time.

In the publishing industry, there really are very few actual holidays. Today falls into that category. So while I am home, I am actually working putting out fires spawned of negligence. Brian is enjoying an unencumbered day off. I will finish my office related duties, some chores and then head to the gym.

Tomorrow morning, we will head to the hospital early. They are saying that this might be an out patient procedure, but I am somewhat ambivalent about that. For me, given his history, it seems quite a serious procedure, with serious implications. That said, they are not going in though his femoral artery. They are using the artery in either his wrist or upper arm. I suppose since the weight of his body will not be borne by a newly incised artery, the procedure a titch less risky. I am looking forward to seeing the actual report on his coronary arteries, complete with graphics, and very glad (an odd word to use here, but I can think of none better right now) that Brian will have this procedure before it becomes an emergency situation.

r.

Friday, February 15, 2008

And The Results Are In

Angioplasty 8:30 am Tuesday. Damn.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Still Waiting...

Staff of AsclepiusBrian's appointment for his stress test was 10am today. I have been anxiously awaiting word all day. He called me around 11:45 to tell me that the first part was over. They injected him with some material, then put him on a treadmill for 6 minutes. You have to understand, my husband does not exercise. He has NEVER been able or willing to walk at my pace, so the treadmill is quite a feat for him. Apparently the speed was somewhat brisk, and there might have been an incline involved. Brian will walk 3 blocks out of his way to avoid a hill! Now we all understand the whole point is to get him huffing and puffing. Mission accomplished. He told me he felt some minor burning in his chest. Nothing huge. Now I'm no medical expert, but in my opinion, ANY burning in his chest from walking should be huge! My chest doesn't burn when I exert myself...my muscles do. My lungs might, but not my chest! He had to go back at 12 for more follow up. Another injected substance, and I'm not sure what all else. It is 1:45, and I haven't heard a word. Which is a good thing, in that he hasn't been carted off to a hospital, but still....

Once this is over, I think I am going to beat the man about the head and shoulders until he relents and agrees to go to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center. When he underwent angioplasty and stent placement last May, a woman from the center came around, introduced herself and the program. Brian agreed it was a good idea, and since he was still in the hospital, and keenly aware of his potential mortality, he was sincere, emotional even, in his commitment. Then he recovered, and it became less fear based, more remote, until.....now. He knows that exercise will help make his heart healthier. It is a matter of committing time, effort and some money. I told him I'd buy him a gym membership so that he could just park himself on a treadmill at a slower pace, no incline, and just read for a few miles. He is afraid of hurting his back. I think that is somewhat of an excuse, another barrier thrown up.

I know that it took me 2 years to drop weight, 9 months to drop my cholesterol, a year to drop my resting heart rate and blood pressure. It takes time. And at nearly 52 years of age, time is not really his buddy any more. That said, being male, he can build stamina and muscle easier than a female of the same age can. He can drop weight faster too. But which gets tired more profoundly or more quickly, the head or the body? I think your head gives up before your body does. But I found out that letting my body take over in some ways allows me to free up my head, which allows it to become more energized, which allows the body to do even more. How can I convey that cycle without sounding preachy...the born again skinny bitch that everyone hates?

Ok. It's 2:30. He finally called. He was put in a machine that he sat on, like a sitting MRI, to measure the dye they injected into him. Then they injected more dye, put him back on the treadmill, then back to have the dye measured. Nothing definitive. They will get back to him with results once his physician has reviewed them. That's somewhat better than I feared. I truly was worried that they'd say get thee to the hospital.

I do want to say thank you to everyone who has left such supportive comments. It means a lot to me, and really does help!!

r.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Kids Ask the Darnedest Things

I came home from the gym last night at about 7:30 or so. Chris had finished his homework, so was enjoying a rare hour of TV. A short time later, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my husband eating the most wonderful Greek salad ever made, talking over the last round of health related revelations. In addition to gastric distress, Brian has been feeling some chest discomfort lately, so he visited with his cardiologist yesterday. He has two new prescriptions, a refill and an appointment for a stress test next week. The results of this test could very well send him to the hospital within 24 hours. It would be his 6th or 7th trip to have his arteries plumbed and stents installed in the last 5 and a half years. News his mother took surprisingly well. Brian and I resorted to black humor to lighten the moment. Chris seems to have inherited that gene from his Irish mamma. The last time Brian was in the hospital to undergo angioplasty, Chris make some wise crack about toe tags that had us in stitches it was so dead pan and well timed. He was just shy of his 11th birthday at the time.

So, Brian and I are giggling in the kitchen, doing dishes and cleaning up when a giggling child sauntering in asking, " What is a period?" Ahhhhh shit. Where did THIS come from?

Daddy says, "The dot at the end of a sentence, Son."

"NO, not THAT period." Soooo close.

I decided to give a short clinical answer hoping his attention span would soon exhaust itself. "Women become fertile every month, if they do not become pregnant, then their bodies discard the unfertilized egg and other material. It happens to all girls and women over the age of around 14."

"Oh."

Brian helps out with some wise crack that only a man can think to make (not misogynistic at all, just cracking wise given his 20 years experience with yours truly). Giggling ensues. I respond that most women mark the day on the calendar, and that it will behoove him to pay attention as he gets older. He goes to the calendar, where only my hair appointment, his school schedule and other events are shown. So much for that. About a year ago, I bought the boy a book about his own body so that he could look up any potentially embarrassing information if he didn't want to talk about it. Girl bodies, I think, are becoming much
more interesting...he's not quite 12.

We were grateful for the levity. We haven't told Chris about next week's activities. I think we will do that this weekend. We are trying to teach him about the genetics involved in the health issues daddy is dealing with in hopes it will encourage him to be more healthy. I don't think we are succeeding. I think I need to take over making lunch for Chris. And as the weather gets warmer, I am going to have to take him down to the track to walk, then run, laps. He has to get in shape, and value it now. Heart disease is rampant in Brian's family. Diabetes and mens cancers in mine. And don't even mention arthritis! It is difficult to impress on a preteen that he is not bulletproof, that as go his ancestors, so go the progeny unless they intervene.

r.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My Mother-in-Law is A-Comin' and Other News

Saturday, Christopher and Brian had a wonderful father/son day. Brian runs the chess club at school, and Chris is a member. They, and a few other kids in the club, took a field trip to Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, near NYU. For those unfamiliar, Washington Square Park is a chess mecca: Traditional chess, speed chess, you name it. It is a where young Josh Waitzkin meets Vinnie (Laurence Fishburne) in the movie "Searching For Bobby Fischer." The chess club went to see the game played and to challenge the regulars. Chris lost 3 times, but that he played is more important. They also went to the Village Chess Shop to play and browse. After that, the other kids and their dads went back to Queens, and my two favorite geeks traversed on to St. Marks Comics. For those two city boys, it was an idyllic day.

Somewhere in their travels, they ate at a falafel joint. Both had very upset tummies Sunday, with Chris suffering a nasty bout of the the Aztec Two Step. Brian's bout of food poisoning was much more severe. In fact, he was sent to the hospital for an endoscopy to determine why there was blood in his stool, and in his um...sick. Turns out that he has a tear in his stomach lining from being forcefully sick. I'm not sure if that can be treated, but since Brian is on aspirin therapy and Plavix, it is important to identify and staunch the source of any bleeding.

Now, add to this the fact that my mother-in-law is due in town at 2-ish this afternoon. I had Brian's sister tell her what was going on, as if we didn't, we'd never hear the end of it. We discussed waiting until she lands, since it is nothing major, nothing any of us can do, and why cause her an anxious night before a flight. But, no, that would not do. And once she lands, she'd want to go directly to see her son. I can't blame her for that, I'd want to do the same thing if it were my son. But, since Brian's sister's partner is picking her up from the airport, I did ask that they pick Chris up from school, and bring him to us, too. That would be very helpful to me, to Brian, and to Christopher. He gets out at 3, she'd be at the school around then, since the airport is just 15 minutes up the road from there, and really, who lands on time these days??? Especially on American Airlines??? Nope. That wouldn't work either. I have to go to the hospital, then leave Brian to go get Chris, then come back, if he is not yet discharged. Because, of course, my in laws' right to see my husband supersedes my own. Even though they have no legal recourse if, God forbid, something should happen.

After 20 years, I should know better than to allow this to get under my skin. But like poison ivy, it is impossible to develop a resistance. Just once it would be nice to hear, "What can we do to help?" "What would make things easier for you and Brian?" "Do you have anyone who can watch your son while you tend to your husband?" I am going to have those words engraved or embroidered on to something so that I remember that there are others beside the almighty mother who might need help and support. So that I do not become so self centered in my anxiety or grief when, again, God forbid, my grown son becomes hospitalized and he has a wife and child(ren) that will need support.

It is also possible that in my own anxiety, I am blowing this out of proportion. I've been though this so many times with Brian. In 6 years, he's been hospitalized over half a dozen times. In fact, we've only gone around 18 months hospital free once in that short time. Most times, phone calls to his mom suffice, and the main argument is between me and his sister. She will not marry the man with whom she lives, so does not recognize spousal right or preference to deal with medical emergencies first before disseminating information. I prefer to hear the news from a doctor by myself. It allows me to think more clearly to not have to worry about how someone else is processing information. It allows me to ask questions, calmly and rationally, and find a course of action. I don't break down until after all is said and done.

No one seems to recognize that is my duty, my right and my preference to see my husband first and alone. That some things are private, and just between us. It isn't a matter of pushing anyone away or shutting them out. It is a matter of protecting our own boundary, the little island that is the family we chose to create and, therefore, defend. Am I wrong?

r.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Creation Explained

I received this joke as an email from my former assistant:

On the first day, God created the dog and said:

'Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.'

The dog said: 'That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?'

So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said:

'Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-yea r life span.'

The monkey said: 'Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?'

And God agreed.

On the third day, God created the cow and said:

'You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family For this, I will give you a life span of sixty
Years.'

The cow said: 'That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?'

And God agreed again.

On the fourth day, God created man and said:

'Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years.'

But man said: 'Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?'

'Okay,' said God, 'You asked for it.'

So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone...

Life has now been explained to you...

r.

She's Got Heart

Yesterday, The World According to Me awarded me the Biggest Heart Award. I always knew I had a big mouth, but a big heart? Thank you, World, it is much appreciated, and proudly displayed in my trophy case.

So, in keeping with tradition, I will now pass this along to a few of my blogging buddies:

Soul Survivor--She has huge heart, probably bigger than she thinks.

Just Eat Your Cupcake--She writes from her heart, and it is sometimes just hilarious.

Foster Communications--I've just met this blog buddy, but I really like her warmth and style.

So, again, thank you for visiting and commenting, as well as for giving me such wonderful places to lurk or visit.

r.