Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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No Virus Talk

Instead of talking about the usual virus stuff, (haven’t you had enough of it too?) I thought I would just share some laughs. I didn’t want to write about the craziness in our world or the enormous amount of self-constraint I need not to harm any of the men in my household, so just some light-hearted humor.

In fact, that reminds me of a chuckle. My niece sent me a message on Facebook with a picture of the three munchkins from Oz who sing “The Lollipop Guild.” I thought it was odd but we both love the movie. Those three are funny just to look at. But the next message was the best. “Hoping all the boys there are still alive…” Doubly funny. One because she gets the angst of all the testosterone in the house, and two because of implying the three of them look like the guild boys.

Now let me explain the picture. We went in the hot tub the other day and found this thing on the seat. What the heck? It is the arm of some sort of plastic dude. We haven’t had any kids or toys in the hot tub since… cripes, maybe July. So where has it been all this time? We wondered briefly if someone was messing with us. Anyhow, we had a good laugh about the horror of finding a severed limb in your hot tub. Now, that’s a bad day.

Today, I royally smashed my pinkie and almost fell over from how bad it hurt. (Stop laughing, that’s not the funny part.) It actually bled for a bit which I was not expecting. Anyhow, I asked Tim if he could get me a bandaid. Just a little one I said. It’s my pinky.

He brought a little one but insisted on a good size gob of first aid gel, which I thought was a bit over the top. Then he moves me into the best lighting in the house. He said he needed the counter as well so he could work with someplace to put his things. I kept my mouth shut (I know, it’s a miracle) but I wanted to say, “For God’s sake, it’s a bandaid, not surgery!” I couldn’t believe how serious he was about his mission.

Here’s the funny part. He screwed it up. The bandaid got folded over and he cursed. I could no longer contain myself. I laughed and laughed. He said I was mean and went out to the garage. I went to the door and yelled out, “I love you, honey” to which he yelled back, “Shut up!” (which I also thought was funny).

He was kidding and he gave me permission to write this. I told him thanks for the writing material and he again said, “Shut up!”

Last but not least, we were talking to my friend Star on the phone. We had the speakerphone on because privacy is a thing of the past. We might as well put the speaker on. He is always a welcome call in our house because he is hilarious. Anyhow, he was brave enough to go to the bank to deposit his paycheck so we were having our daily chat. Next thing we know, he has pulled into our driveway. We hung up and went to the window. He yelled hello to us and chatted from his car. We were laughing so hard at our surprise, more-than-six-feet-away visitor.

I think these stories don’t translate on paper nearly as well as I was hoping they would. We certainly found humor in them. Maybe some of you are bored enough that you will laugh too.


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Riding in a Car with Women

Along with the aches and pains of a job search, I have also been able to meet some great people. I had to attend a meeting today and car pooled with three other women. There was the drive there, the meeting, and the drive home. Let me just say, I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. The range of topics was staggering, from professional to personal and everything in between.

Talked about my dad and got some phone numbers to follow up on some things for possible better care. (That’s the advantage of hanging out with other aging care managers. They know the same peeps as I do but many, many more.)

Talked about the agency we are affiliated with and the frustrations with our medical system and the lack of interest for our aging population. It was great to hear other people be passionate about wanting to change things for the better. I’m proud of our agency for focusing on the aging.

We talked about the upcoming conference which is another year away. That’s good because pulling off a 3-day conference is a monumental task.

Talked about the naked bike ride in Buffalo. I was able to say I knew people who actually participated in it. (By the way, if my friends are reading this, I did not initiate the term “naked bike ride.” THEY called it that so don’t yell at me!)

Talked about one women’s ice pack on her bum. She got it from exercising. The back seat agreed that is one more great reason to avoid exercising whenever possible. It’s just too dangerous.  Bad for your health.

We talked about a surgeon that can reconstruct a woman’s virginity in the physical sense. Modern medicine! This comes in handy if you ever need to go to a country where a woman is required to be a virgin in order to be worthy of marriage.

We talked about breast-feeding and the miracle of birth in general. I pointed out that the whole concept of growing a human inside you is indeed a miracle, as well as quite creepy if you think about it too much.

Vibrators. That was a good one. Stories about a mom who discovered her teenage daughter had stolen hers to use it.

Stories about rectums that fall out. One of us was a nurse so she is the information guru on this one. I didn’t even know that was possible. You think that is weird? She had to put gloves on and put it back inside. Yikes.

Then there were the dating stories. I’m the only one not married at this point. I got out my list of names and numbers that have the jotted down notes to remind me of the lovely memories. We giggled over “chicken guy”, “toothless guy”, the guy that thought I was too fat, the guy that was younger than my children, etc., etc.. I decided I needed to give my boyfriend an extra hug next time I see him for saving me from all that nonsense.

I’m forgetting a bunch more topics, but let me just say I’m grateful for these new women in my life and I look forward to spending more time with them. You never know what the work day is going to bring you, that’s for sure. I did come home with a tummy ache from laughing so hard.  🙂

 


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Miscellaneous Tidbits

I wrote a blog about losing stuff, and I forgot to mention the one positive. I have NOT lost my sense of humor. Thank God.

Last week I was driving Dad and I home from Lockport. That’s about a 45 minute drive home and I’ve made the drive a million times. We stopped at Millersport Market so I could pick up a fabulous dinner for Colin’s 33rd birthday. It wasn’t exactly cooking, but it sort of was. I had just enough time to get home, get it in the oven and eat before we had Frankie’s first hockey game after being laid up on crutches.

After a few minutes, I looked at Dad and told him I was feeling confused. I couldn’t get my bearings. Where was I? I knew I was on the expressway but suddenly nothing looked familiar. I studied the signs and realized that somehow I went east on 90 instead of west. How the heck did I do that? Well let me just tell you, it is 17 miles before the next exit. I had to drive all the way to Pembroke before I could turn around. That’s 34 miles out of the way. At first, I was teary-eyed, telling myself what a sucky parent I was. How hard is it to make a dinner for your kid’s birthday? Impossible for me. But then Colin called and said he wasn’t home anyway so we decided to have the dinner the next day. Dad and I joked all the way home about the scenic drive and the chance to spend some quality time together.

Yesterday, Dad got a phone call. He put it on speaker. The woman said she was from the company he used to work for and was following up on the hearing aids he got. His insurance had this amazing deal where he got hearing aids for free. They usually are 3-4 thousand dollars so it was quite a thing. Dad just looked at me in utter confusion. I explained what the call was. They wanted to do a survey with him. I then said into the phone, “He can’t understand what you are saying because he ISN’T WEARING HIS HEARING AIDS!” We laughed our butts off. He doesn’t wear them most of the time which is quite convenient when he wants to block us out :).

Then we had to go to the eye doctor for Dad. Most of the patients in there are older. It’s only a five-minute appointment with the actual doctor. But you see two other people first for various tests. This one older guy gets picked up and I hear the nurse say, “Oh, ha ha. I was waiting for the joke. I knew you would have one.” Never fear, I got to hear the jokes before the morning was over.

What did the cookie say to the doctor? I feel crummy.

Why does a hummingbird hum? Because it doesn’t know the words.

Cute. Very cute. Until the third and fourth time I heard the jokes. He told them to everyone. I wanted to tell him he needed some new material.

Then Dad and I went back to Lockport to see my sister in the hospital. (No, smart alec, I didn’t drive all the way to Pembroke this time. But you can be sure I was not on automatic pilot. I paid attention to every turn I made!) She has a blockage in her pancreas. She is being transported to Buffalo General today. They will do a procedure where they explore the blockage. If it is gallstones as hoped, they will be removed. If it is a mass, they will do a biopsy. After the procedure, they will determine the next step. She hasn’t eaten anything, or even had ice chips since Sunday and it’s now Friday. At least she is not in excruciating pain anymore.

In her room, her surgeon drew her a lovely picture of her inside organs to explain things.
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We got talking about what NPO means. I knew it meant nothing by mouth, but we looked up what the actual meaning is. Turns out it’s Latin for “nils per os.” So that became the game, asking nurses who walked in if they knew what it meant. Not one person knew. I know a nursing student who is taking his last finals before graduating. He didn’t know either. I’m so proud. If the question is ever on Jeopardy, I’ve got it covered.

But the most mature joke of all, was that picture. Now honestly, doesn’t that look like a penis at the bottom? I mean, not a good picture of one, but at first glance? The nurses agreed. My sister’s roommate is about a million years old. I don’t think she thought the joke was funny. Dad didn’t mind. But then, he didn’t have his hearing aids in so he probably didn’t even know what we were saying.

By the way, that is supposed to be her pancreas.


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Life Lessons

Have you ever made a big mistake? Like one with deep regret? I had that happen this week. My dog Taffy has been getting a bit more of a pain the older she gets. Let’s just say that a few months ago she was diagnosed as “neurotic” and given a prescription for Prozac when she needs it. No, I’m not kidding. She was perfectly normal when she started living with us seven years ago. Just saying. This is a picture of her in my car.

Taffy

Taffy

Last week she ran out of the car and crossed the street to chase a squirrel, right in front of a car. Now I have to leash her from the car to the woods, then when we leave the woods to the car. It’s less and less I can let her off the leash. This week, I took her to the creek at the end of the walk and let her go in for a drink. That stinker took off to the other side of the creek and went down past the bridge. I followed her as far as I could but then lost sight of her. There is nothing to do at that point but go home and wait for someone to call me.

Eventually the call came. It showed up as “police” so I answered and said, “Do you have my doggie?” The officer laughed. He said he had Taffy and she was under arrest. He couldn’t capture the other one. I was confused so he asked how many dogs I had. He said Taffy had found a friend which was probably why she ran away. He was waiting at the parking lot where I had walked her. She always comes back. She isn’t really running AWAY from ME, she is just running.

Well I pulled in and that is when I made the big mistake. I could have won the best Facebook post of the year. If I was Catherine, I would have never made this mistake. I didn’t even think to ask to take a picture. There was Taffy, sitting in the back of the police car, looking out the window. Her face was priceless but predictable. It said, “What? What? I didn’t do ANYthing!” I could’ve died. The officer and I had a big chuckle over it. When I drove off with my naughty girl who now has a police record, that’s when I regretted not getting a photo of her.

LESSON: Always take a picture, even if there are cops involved.

My sister was over yesterday and she said how last week’s blog was her favorite. I told her that I totally forgot about Frankie’s Louis Armstrong impersonation, which is quite impressive. I asked him to do it for her and of course he utterly refused. In fact, he refused for hours. I told him about the blog and he got really offended. He said, “Mom!! You can’t write about me unless I give you permission. You can’t!” I told him I used his writing name Frankie, but he knows that is bull because most of the readers know who he really is. I decided it best at age 14 to not inform him that legally, I own him and his rights until he is 18. I found that out when I wrote the first book. (Incidentally, you also own your dead spouse’s rights in case you ever need to know.) On a serious note, I really do try to think about how he might feel when he is older and I am hoping he will appreciate what I have done when he is at an age where he doesn’t think everything I do is ludicrous.

LESSON: It’s okay to leave out information if it saves you from a teenager’s yelling and screaming for a few hours.

SERIOUS LIFE LESSON: No matter what heartache life brings you, no matter what loss – don’t ever let the loss be your sense of humor.