November 18, 2003

New Category


It's going to be that, because I think I need to get a few things out there over the next few weeks. Because you might not want to read it, I'll just put the title as Seriously and the actual post in the extended entry. The plan is not to dwell on depressing miserable shit, but some of that may occasionally happen.

Comments, commiseration, quips, slams, mocking, etc. are cordially invited.

On December 5th, my wife goes in for major surgery. I'm scared to death about this. More about that another time maybe.

A couple of people have noticed that I've been 'different' lately. Thank you for being observant, because I've been trying not to let it show. I've resorted to posting old 'office humor' crap, or at least the best of it, and old enough that hopefully some of you have forgotten it.

On my side of the family, adversity has always been met with a smile and a joke. We're not obnoxiously optimistic, but we know that things could always be worse.

In that vein, I'm going to tell you a little bit about my mom. She was a diabetic for years, but she had the non-juvenile type, so it wasn't something that ruled her life. She took her daily shots, and was generally pretty good about what she ate and drank, and life went on.

She passed away a few years ago, in her sleep, laying in her bed next to dad. I think she knew her time was up, and was at peace with it. But that's another story too.

A few years before that, she stubbed her toe. Broke the damn thing actually. This is bad news for diabetics, and things went sour for mom pretty quickly. Gangrene set in, and they amputated the toe. Unfortunately, the gangrene had already spread beyond the toe, so later that week they took part of her foot. The next week they took the whole foot. Then the doctors told mom that they needed to amputate above the ankle. Mom was tired of the mickey mousing going on, and suggested they take her leg below the knee to make sure they got enough of it, because the important part was saving the knee. The doctors agreed, and that's what they did.

A few weeks later mom moved into a hospice for recovery, and Mookie and I flew out to see her (we live in Virginia, mom and dad lived in California). Basically, Mookie came along to give me something to keep me occupied during the long flight, instead of constant fretting about my mom. My wife is wisdom incarnate.

I'd talked to mom and dad on the phone and knew things were going well, considering. Mom was recovering fine, there was no more talk of further surgeries, and it was just a matter of her healing up enough to get the hell out of there and going home.

Dad picked us up and was in a good mood. Typical, there's no gloom and doom about my family. We went to see mom and there's a roomful of people there. A catholic priest, a couple of old co-workers (my folks were both retired), a nurse doing whatever nurses do.

Rachael (mookie) runs in and hugs grandma, and smiles are all around. Introductions are made because I'm the son that nobody has ever met.

I said to my mom that she should get a peg leg with a spike on it, so she could get a job with the state picking up trash along the side of the highway.

Talk about polarizing moments. My mom, dad, and I laughed our asses off about that while everyone else in the room glared daggers at me.

Over the next week, people got used to the banter between mom and I. I heard over and over about what a wonderful attitude my mom and dad had, and how important that was.

I remember asking mom if there was a club or something she could join that would match her up with another amputee so they could go shoe shopping together. She replied that she'd just set the empty shoe on the footrest of the wheelchair to fuck with people's minds.

It took my mom something like six months to get out of the hospice. She had a temporary prothesis, and complained that it didn't have a flask built in. In another six months she was riding her bike, going dancing and even rollerblading (which was scary as hell even when she had two good pins).

So what's the point of all this? I don't know. I like this story because it was the last really happy time I spent with my mom. It also kind of illustrates my attitude about life and the crap everyone has to shovel at some point. You'll get more examples of this if (when) I talk about my wife and kids, and some challenges we've faced together.

Up to this point, I've kept a lot inside. It was actually my wife's idea to write about this stuff here, she's hoping it'll help because I'm stressed out in a major way. Which is kind of weird because I'm probably the only blogger on the net who doesn't have a novel started, or dream of becoming a better writer. My writing sucks, therefore I am. And I am content with that.

Posted by Ted at November 18, 2003 11:54 AM
Category: Seriously

I love ya dad. Everything will go fine. I am sure of it.

Posted by: Robyn at November 18, 2003 01:01 PM

My wife is wisdom incarnate. . .It was actually my wife's idea to write about this stuff here

Sounds like she's a genius, all right :) The gf, dog, rats, guinea pigs, and I will definitely be wishing her well on the fifth.

Posted by: Victor at November 18, 2003 01:04 PM

I'll be thinking about you and the family this Fifth--and I'll keep you in my prayers, dear. I just know in my heart that things will turn out fine...


Posted by: TwoDragons at November 18, 2003 04:48 PM

Ted, that was a great story about your mom. (A great story and a story well told...I don't know why you think you can't write.)

If we can do anything beyond good thoughts and prayers for you guys, let us know.

Posted by: nic at November 18, 2003 07:48 PM

You and yours will be in my thoughts.

Posted by: Tink at November 18, 2003 09:23 PM

All the best thoughts in the world to you and those you love.

Posted by: LeeAnn at November 19, 2003 08:58 AM

Somehow I missed this post earlier today.

I'll keep your family in my prayers, but it will probably be unnecessary. :-) Chin up.

Posted by: Jennifer at November 19, 2003 08:15 PM
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