Thursday, September 11, 2014
I want to get a few blog posts that have been simmering in the back of my mind actually written and posted before I get to some about summer activities with lots of pics, and then maybe do some blogging about exercise and improving my life. Or humor. Can't forget the occasional humorous post. We all need a laugh now and then.
This blog is a bit out of my usual comfort zone. I am not much good at being an activist, even for things that are important to me. However, I do want to post a link to a video made by some other parents of children with cancer. One of them I know
at least peripherally, since we are on the same Facebook group for parents of kids with medulloblastoma. (Her son is Oscar, at about 2:02 into the video.) These parents didn't get a happy ending. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I sometimes think there are too many of these 'special' months, such that they become meaningless, and there are many, many wonderful and important causes. But Danny has really done phenomenally well, and I know how fortunate we are, so I am sharing this video for all the little warriors who didn't make it.
Saturday, September 06, 2014
I put as my status yesterday that I was feeling sad. I then intended to say why in my blog, but I was too tired. So now today...and I am still feeling very sad...I am not too tired to type and can explain that a dear and lovely friend of mine died of cancer, much, much too young, and the funeral was yesterday.
She had the most beautiful smile, and she was always smiling, always joyful. She brightened a room just by coming in it. She faced death with total acceptance, even though she was leaving behind a husband and children who loved and needed her. I am crying just typing this. She was only 43 years old. Her youngest child is only five. She developed B-cell, non-Hodgkins lymphoma about two years ago, and initially went into remission. After about a year of remission, the cancer came back with a vengeance.
I hate cancer for so many reasons. One of them is my friend Lisa.
Rest in peace, Lisa...
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
Now, why didn't I ever think of this?
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I was going to write another blog about how horrible last week was, and I may get around to that in a day or two, but right now I am in Proud Mama mode, and I am going to brag...yes, I admit it...sometimes I am one of *those* mothers.
Beyond last week, this has been a very difficult summer for me, financially and emotionally. I mentioned a $300 water bill in a previous blog. That crippled me financially for the month of July. My water bills are usually around $50. I figured out that it was caused by a problem with the sprinkler system. In August the bill was only $70, much more reasonable (maybe higher than usual because of the actual day I got the water turned off to the sprinkler system...can't afford to get it fixed right now). But I had vet bills from my dog's last illness that were more than $300, which right there crippled me for the month of August. And I at least did not expect that things would get worse.
Then one night Danny, Cecily, and I returned home from a day spent at a theme park with some friends. We had had a great time, but we were exhausted and it was really late. Danny walks across the lawn and says, "Mom, there's a swamp over here."
Sure enough, in the middle of a drought, I have a swamp in my front yard. I called the plumber. The guy came out and diagnosed a major leak in the pipes. Price to fix: $600. I told him to go ahead...you can't *not* fix that kind of problem. Then I went into the house and started to cry. It was just too much. I wouldn't have that kind of money in the best of circumstances, and already August was in bad circumstances. I was so tired, and I was just in despair.
I called Henry, just to cry on his shoulder. When he answered, I was crying so hard he couldn't even understand me. Finally I managed to calm down enough to tell him what was wrong. His reaction: Oh, good grief Mom, I thought Danny's cancer had come back. It's ONLY money, for goodness sake! Calm down, I'll *give* you $600!
And he paid for the plumbing repair for me. Honestly, I don't really know what I would have done if he hadn't. And I am so, so grateful. I often think that I am not the mother I would like to be, and I know I have made a lot of mistakes, but I must have done something right.
To top that off, he sent me a text today telling me that he has perfect customer ratings at his job, higher than everyone else there, and his manager is really happy with him. So I am definitely one very proud mother.
I have to add, though, that I only wish I were able to say/think, "It's ONLY money!" It never is, for me.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
I posted as my status a couple of days ago that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week had been awful. Well, they definitely were, but, looking somewhat objectively at what happened those days, I can say that, to someone less affected by stress than I am, they might not have been all that bad.
Here is what happened...my lovely daughter was returning to college on Thursday morning, and we had many, many things to do before she could return. The first order of business on Monday was to get her a new military ID card. This required an appointment, and the presence of her father, who is the military sponsor. The appointment was set.
The plan was for me to take her and Danny to the hospital where her father works, hand them off to him, and stay peacefully at the hospital, using the wifi and perhaps sipping some iced tea until they returned. However, Dave wanted them at the hospital a full hour before the ID card appointment. Since said hospital is a half hour from my house (or more, depending on traffic), and it was just about a half hour before the time he wanted them when he informed me that they had to be an hour early, we had to rush like crazy to get into the car and leave.
So, we got to the hospital, and I had maybe two minutes to 'relax' before I got a text telling me that Cecily had forgotten the oh-so-important letter...the one from her college, certifying that she is a full-time student and her anticipated graduation date. Without the letter, no ID card.
The irony here is that, if we hadn't rushed so much to get to the hospital on time, she probably wouldn't have forgotten it. And she HAD to get an ID card because she doesn't have a driver's license, and she needs photo ID to fly...to get back to college, which is what this whole mess was about.
So we discussed the situation and decided that Dave would take Cecily for her appointment and I would drive home and get the $%*3(*@%$@$# letter (see? I'm not even using bad language) and then meet them at the ID card place. Which of course I had no idea of the location of...not to mention that my car at that point was running on fumes. Then there was the fact that Dave (and I) didn't really think that they would let me on base unless he or Cecily was with me; of course, neither of them *was* going to be with me. I had no choice but to take my chances on that, but we agreed that I should at least take Danny with me, since he does have an ID card, just as proof of my story, even though he isn't old enough to sponsor me on base.
So I drove home like a maniac, had to stop for gas, which delayed me, found the (stupid) letter, and plugged the relevant address into my GPS.
Now my GPS can indeed be a most useful thing, but it has several flaws. One of these is that it is very unwilling to change course if an obstacle (such as a closed road due to construction) presents itself. Another is that it is completely ignorant of such things as gates on military bases.
So, another long drive across town, and the GPS led me, oh-so-accurately, to a closed and locked gate. The kind that has been closed permanently. Mentally screaming, cursing, blaming Dave for wanting us there so early, blaming Cecily for not remembering the (stupid) letter, I called Dave in a panic since I was already at least fifteen minutes late for the time of her appointment.
And Dave informed me that, since he only works at the hospital, he really isn't knowledgeable about the rest of the base, and he has no idea how to get me where I need to be. More mental curses and sobs. Then he called me back and told me he thought I could get where I needed to be from the Waters Street gate. I asked the GPS to take me there, and it decided to cooperate, although the route it chose was very long and circuitous. And time was ticking away.
But we made it to the gate, finally, and....of course they wouldn't let me in. I had to go to the Visitor's Center and get a pass. Big surprise there. By the time I staggered into the Visitor's Center, I was at the end of my rope. But I did get a pass, drove back to the gate, got let in......and then couldn't find the accursed building. The military always has to make things difficult for you. The building number was extremely well hidden. The building designers could teach the camouflage folks a thing or two. Then, too, the GPS thought the building was a mile down the street from where it actually was.
By the time I finally found the right building, not only was I at the end of my rope, but my stomach felt like said rope had landed right inside it, full of knots. And then, to top it all off, I couldn't find the right office once I was in the building. It was most definitely not my day.
The only good thing was that, once I found my daughter, here I was well over an hour late for her appointment time......she still hadn't been seen. Insert comment about government offices and their idea of keeping to time. However, in this case, I wasn't about to complain.
Not too long after that, she got called in, and presented her letter. Her dad filled out and signed the relevant form. And then...oh, yes, then....she was asked for another form of ID - student ID, birth certificate, social security card, driver's license.
As I mentioned, she has no driver's license. She had left her student ID in storage back at her college (common sense not being her strong point). And she hadn't realized that she needed to bring another form of ID.
Sooooooooo, after all that, she wasn't able to get the ID card anyway. Insert screaming and sobbing sound effects.
There went the majority of my day, my stress level was in the stratosphere, and it was all for nothing..... And here I had pictured myself sipping iced tea while using the wifi peacefully back at the hospital...
All was not totally lost, however. We were left with only one choice, and it wasn't a good one. She had to return the next day at 7:15 A.M., with all her paperwork including the second form of ID, and hope to be called as a walk-in. Since Dave had already filled out all the paperwork he was required to, he was totally off the hook. Guess who landed squarely on said hook?
To add insult to injury, although it was very minor in comparison to what I had already gone through, we had to go out that evening to a meeting, so we grabbed whatever we could find to eat and rushed right back out, having spent maybe a grand total of 30 minutes at home.
So that was my Monday. I hate to say it, but Tuesday gave Monday a run for its money as worst day of the week, but this blog is already way too long. Waaaaay too long.
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