Friday, September 28, 2012

Wretches and Jabberers

During our leadership luncheon today we saw a powerful film called "Wretches and Jabberers".  The film is about 
two men with autism and how they embarked on a global quest to change prevailing attitudes about disability and intelligence.  Both men faced lives of mute isolation in mental institutions or adult disability centers until they learned as adults to communicate by typing.  The message they wanted to impart on the world tour was that the same possibility exists for others like themselves.  At each stop, they dissect public attitudes about autism and issue a hopeful challenge to reconsider competency and the future.  

This was a very powerful film.  It touched me on so many levels.  Larry reminded me a lot of my brother Mike in many ways.   The isolation these men had lived in before they found their voices was heartbreaking.  The autistic children we treat here at the hospital are still finding their voices but I will be more aware of the thoughts and emotions that may be locked away just looking for a way out.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Go Thunder

Today is Thunder Day here at the hospital.  The Oklahoma City Thunder mascot, Rumble, and a few cheerleaders are coming out this afternoon for a carnival with our patients.  

Rumble & Cheerleaders
This should be interesting.  I know when I was a kid a big hairy buffalo would have scared the bejeebers our of me.  It was really great of the Thunder to do this for our kids though.  Everyone is wearing their Thunder gear (t-shirts) and gearing up for the visit.

Well, Rumble just left and he was a "BIG" hit with the kids.  I only saw one child crying but the rest of them just loved the big ole hairy fella.  It was really great of the Thunder team to send Rumble out to visit us.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Today I received a recognition pin for 30 years of state service.  I have worked for the State of Oklahoma for 30 years.  Where did the time go?  If I counted the time I worked at the University of Oklahoma it would be 34 years of state service but then who's counting.

I honestly don't know where the time has gone.  Oh, there are days when I feel every minute of it but for the most part it has been a smooth ride.  

I've been thinking a lot about retirement though and I probably started thinking about it a little too soon.  My plan is to work until January 1, 2016 but that honestly seems like an eternity away.  My body and spirit are telling me it needs to be sooner but my pocketbook is in complete disagreement.  Guess I will have to give myself a mental pep talk if I'm going to make it.  

Thirty years down and thirty months to go.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It takes 60 minutes to eat your foot!

OK….It’s starting to be uncomfortable now when Mitt speaks.  His 60 minutes interview when asked "Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the fifty million Americans who don't have it today?"

Romney's response ,"Well, we do provide care for people who don't have insurance, people -- we -- if someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and -- and die. We -- we pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care."

OMG Mitt, what do you think has been contributing to the rising cost of health care?  Is he from another planet?
Oh, and he's blaming Obama for his failing campaign?

Really?  It wasn't anything you might have said Mitt? 

The first official presidential debate isn't until Oct. 3 in Denver.  I can't wait!

Friday, September 21, 2012

FOX News is Scary

OMG I hope this election is over soon or my marriage may not survive.  Just kidding but there are moments when I think it won't.  Last night we were watching something on tv and it was interviews with some of the right wing extremists and the left.  One of the conservatives made the statement that liberals are trying to force everyone into Mosques  REALLY?    I've never been in a Mosque in my life and I sure don't remember trying to force anyone else to go to one.  Are these people crazy?  Don't answer, that was a rhetorical question. 

I can't believe my husband listens to this kind of crazy talk and believes it.  I just had to go to bed to avoid an argument.  I know I sound just an intolerant but I can't help but wonder what sane person listens to someone like Anne Coulter or Rush Limbaugh?  I start looking around to see if we're on Candid Camera.  It's got to be a joke.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What would you ask?

Last weekend during one of our outings I noticed a bumper sticker that read "If you could ask God one question.."  A rather thought provoking bumper sticker.  So it started a conversation between Ron and I.   If you had the chance to sit down with God and ask him just one question what would it be?  Ron's question is, "Why are you so confusing?"

I typed the question on Google and was just amazed at how many websites are devoted to this question.  I'm interested in what you might ask as well.

My question would be "Are you pleased with me?"  What would you ask?  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hmmmmmm glad Mitt cleared this up!

“The only way Romney can win,” a pained Republican strategist suggested, “is to have his mouth wired shut.”

Thanks Mitt..............................

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.....

I don't know about anyone else but I had never heard of this before,
cremation diamonds.  Companies can take some of your loved ones ashes and turn it in to a diamond.
Now how cool is that? case your loved one doesn't want a fire lit under them you can also use a lock of hair.  They extract the carbon from either the ashes or hair to make the stone.
If they use hair it is a blue diamond.  I don't know why the color is blue but that's what they said.

I told my daughters that I wanted to be turned into a diamond for each of them and I asked them if they would wear me.  They affirmed yes and Julie said she wanted to make me into a nose stud.

Hey, it beats sitting around in an urn!  Well, why not....a gem in life and a precious gem for eternity.  This little light of mine.......

Monday, September 17, 2012

I got the Joy, Joy, Joy Joy....down in my heart!

I had a wonderful and extraordinary weekend in spite of the fact that we were unable to go anywhere but it no small part due to the wonderful news we received yesterday.  I spent three days enjoying the company of the most important person in my life.

On Friday we took Mike to an appointment so we made a day of it and took him to breakfast and then for a short drive in the country.  He loved it and so did Ron and I.  Later the same day we went to the funeral home to make sure they will honor Ron’s burial policy since the original funeral home (where it was purchased) is no longer in business.   

While we were there I took care of my own pre-arrangements.  It may sound morbid but we really had fun with it.  Our little sales guy was all funerally and serious and I kept reminding him that we aren’t dead yet.  I told him he could “lighten” up even chuckle a little since nobody there could hear us anyway.  I paid $1,990.00 for a basic cremation package.  Since I do not want to be embalmed and I don’t want a viewing it was much cheaper.  I didn’t want a fancy urn if my ashes are going to be buried in fact a cigar box would have been fine with me.  I did say that even for $1,990.00 if would be nice if he sang or something but he said he can’t carry a tune.

We spent the rest of the weekend just hanging out together and eating our way through town.  I had one emotional overflow Friday night when I was suddenly overcome with gratitude to have this wonderful man in my life.  I sometimes can’t understand what I did to deserve such a gift but I am so very thankful.  Every day we share is such a blessing.

Mike's favorite thing to do right now is sing.  He sings at his "Silver Sneakers" class and entertains everyone I'm sure.  He sings as loud as he can "I've Got The Joy Joy Joy Joy Down In My Heart, Down, In My Heart, Down in my Heart, TODAY"  He even calls me everyday to sing to me.  This is so much better than the suicidal thoughts..................God IS GOOD!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blessings Abound

One day after receiving good news from the doctor Ron got a call and will begin a new job on Monday.  Wow, we have surely been blessed.  He was only on furlough two weeks before starting this new job.  We have no idea whether his former company will ever get a new contract but if they do Ron can decide if he wants to go back or stay at the new job.  We decided we are going to take 3 days and go on a little trip to celebrate.  First we have to tend to Mike then we can figure out where to go. Once we get to our destination I can assure you we will refrain from talking about the election. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wouldn't it be nice if we were older..........Beach Boys

Nothing takes you back in time faster than a musical trilogy from your past.  I can hear a song from the sixties and I'm right there, going to my first high school dance or cruising Main street with a carload of girlfriends.  How do I forget where I put my keys last night but I remember every word to every song the Beatle's sang?   Sometimes the music is so nostalgic I choke back tears but for the most part it just makes me feel like I'm still that young girl.  Waiting to see what my future will bring.

I remember singing along to the radio when I was in high school at the top of my lungs.  "I'm the pied piper......follow me" only I was singing "Armed with my bible....follow me".  Didn't find out what the words really were until my girlfriends heard me singing and burst into hysterical laughter.

Ron's doctor's appointment is at 2:30 this afternoon..........keep those good vibes coming.  I've got my fingers crossed we get good news!  Ron asked me not to go with him today and I didn't let it hurt my feelings.  I think he needs to feel free to talk to his oncologist without me present.  I know he is considering not having surgery no matter what they say.  I don't agree with that decision but I guess I need to let the doctor try to persuade him.  Maybe he will do better without me there but it is hard.

Later:  It is 2:50 and I'm sure Ron is at the doctor's office.  I'm sick at my stomach.  I was so torn between wanting to give Ron space and wanting to be with him.  I'm so scared of hearing the results of his scan.  I've been praying that the spots in his lungs would be gone or not any larger.  I'm terrified of the cancer coming back in the original site as well.  I am just scared!  Is this the day our lives change forever or is it 3 more months of normal?  I always feel like we are standing at the edge of a cliff.

3:35:  Just talked to my husband.....we can take one step back from the cliff's edge.  There was no change and the spot in his lung had not grown.  No surgery for now.  Wait 3 more months and scan again.  Ron sounded very relieved (of course) and I can exhale now.  This is such an emotional roller coaster and one that I know many people are riding.  My thoughts and prayers are with all the people who are fighting cancer or know or have loved ones fighting this horrible disease.

Monday, September 10, 2012

CT Time Again

It's that time again.  Ron is having his CT scan this morning and we get the results Wednesday.  We were talking last night and Ron said it feels like one of those serial movies when we were kids.  "Last time, we learned that Ron might need lung surgery." " Does surgery loom in our hero's future or will the doctor's be wrong?  Come back next month to find out what lies ahead."

I just hate this......I've gotten so adept at putting it out of my mind for 90 days that I have to gear up to get ready for it.  I never know what to expect.  Three months ago they had us prepared to remove his remaining kidney and go on dialysis for the remainder of his life.  Yet, after the last scan they said, nah, it's not a problem.  But.........the spots on his lung are growing and need to come out.  

I never know WHAT to expect anymore.  Just before we meet with the doctor I start getting sick at my stomach and my hands start sweating.  I start that nervous chattering and start talking way too fast.  Ron can see it coming a mile away.  He knows I'll be climbing the wall by the time Dr. C. gets in the room.  But the minute she steps into the room I go stone silent, scared to breathe, just waiting for the floor to fall out from under me.  I can never read her face but I know the minute she speaks.  Her soft voice will either have a happy sound of excitement, like she can't wait to give us a bit of good news, or it will be very soft and almost hushed.  That's when she has bad news to share.

Ron and I were talking this morning and we both agreed that fear of the inevitable isn't the greatest fear.  We will all face the inevitable some day.  It is fear of the journey and for some of us it begins the minute we realize we are aging and our bodies are not cooperating the way they once did.  The biggest fear is loss of independence.  For some it is the fear of pain at the final hour.  Ron's dad died of colon cancer and when given the news of his impending death he said, "I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to be in pain."  The doctor assured him, "I'll put you on the moon before I allow you to suffer."  That seemed to be all the assurance his father needed.  He lived another 11 months fairly comfortably and died quietly in his sleep.  It was never necessary for his doctor to put him on the moon.  I think Ron's dad was able to enjoy the time he had left because his doctor had addressed his fear and gave him peace of mind. 

So, here we go again.  I continue to pray for strength to handle whatever comes!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Time Time Time

When I was a kid time passed slowly.  Time was measured by birthdays and school years.  One day I was six then seven then eight and so forth.  It was a long time between birthdays. 

As I grew up time began to pass more quickly.  I began measuring time by weeks and months. My work calendar began marking the passing of time.  Monthly bills marked the passing of time. 

Now, time is passing so swiftly it is measured by the seasons.  How quickly I move from spring to winter.  I hardly remember summer or fall.    What, is it Christmas time again?  Wasn’t that just the other day?  I don’t have room for any more turkey.  I just ate my fill yesterday!

Ain't the snow fallin' just a bit deeper these days  
Aren't they building the stairs a bit steeper these days 
And the town's really changin' in so many ways 
time time time

The young folks they're growin' exceptionally tall  
And the newspaper print it's becomin' quite small  
And folks speak so softly you can hardly hear at all 
time time time

The jokes don't seem as witty as the old jokes once were  
And the girls are half as pretty as I remember her  
And today you know in the park a young man called me sir 
time time time

Yeah I'm not quite as anxious for fame or success  
And my eye finds the girl in the plain quiet dress 
And I cling a bit longer to each warm caress 
time time time

So I breathe a bit heavy when I climb a hill  
What of it my life now is really much more fulfilled 
But they're tearin' down the building that I watched them build  
Time time time time time time

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Circle of Life

Now, this is how much I love my husband....he is going to go furniture shopping without me today.  He's looking for a recliner for our living room and he has my full support to pick out whatever he wants.  Well, whatever he wants that will fit in the space.  Well, whatever he wants that will fit in the space and not clash with the sofa.  Well, he is supposed to text me a picture of whatever he finds so I can see if it is orange or some other color that doesn't go with my red sofa.  

But.....he has my full support!

Actually, I think he is terrified.  But this is a good exercise in trust!  
Gosh he is a sweet man.  I can't say that enough.  I can't believe I was so lucky to find him again after 30 + years.  I'm grateful for every day that we have together.  

We were laughing this morning about playing Red Rover together when we were in grade school.  How he always had to tie my shoes because I didn't know how.  Here we are today.  He has to help me put my shoe and sock on my right foot because I can't reach my foot because of my hip arthritis.  I can manage my left foot but not my right.  So every morning he puts on my sock and ties my shoe.  

We've come full circle!   Red Rover, Red Rover send Ronnie right over!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O

Everyone knows that three isn't always a good number.  Three kids playing and inevitably one feels left out.  The odd man out.  Well, when my kids were growing up there were three of us.  Although my daughters are twins their personalities are different.  I attribute some of the difference to the fact that Julie suffered a brain injury when she was four and it resulted in a significant learning disability.  So school was a different experience for her than her sister.  I believe we are a product of our experiences as well as genetics.  

Anyway, Jamie and I are very much alike.  We are the peace makers.  We are laid back and take it as it comes kinda gals.  Julie on the other hand is wound up like an eight day clock. Hyperactive and never sits still.  She holds all her feelings inside while Jamie and I sometimes have verbal diarrhea.  Nothing is sacred with us, we tell all.

So when the girls were in their early teens Julie started feeling left out.  Not because she wasn't invited to share in our conversations but because she chose to exclude herself.  I respected their differences and didn't try to force her to talk.  That is when I think she fantasized  that she was more like her dad.  In many ways she is.  She has his creativity and perfectionism.  Her interests were much like his, photography, history, etc.  Unfortunately he was absent from her life and she continued to feel disconnected.

I told her yesterday that I think she has found her big "O".

                          The missing piece sat alone
                          waiting for someone
                          to come along
                          and take it somewhere....

                                                  Shel SilverStein
I saw the similarities between she and her 1/2 brother almost immediately.  The same high energy.  They are both photographers.  They both love and drive Jeeps.  Their shared interests in spite of their age difference and they have both been looking for their missing "O".

It's amazing that you could have an identical twin and still feel that something is missing.  Well, not anymore! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Good Holiday

We had a good holiday weekend.  I felt the best I've felt in over a year.  My back pain was minimal and my hip didn't bother too much either.  I actually got my house cleaned without killing myself.  Hooray!

We went to my daughter's lake house for a fish fry and to meet her 1/2 brother.  What a handsome young man and his wife is very cute and sweet.  I'm just so happy he and my daughters found one another.  They are having a great time getting acquainted.  It seems surreal in a way to look at this young man and think that he is my ex-husband's son.  I didn't really see any resemblance of his father but at the same time there were similarities between he and his 1/2 sisters.  Weird......

My daughter Julie received a "friend request" from her father.  It had no message attached and Julie was furious.  She said he is 30 years too late.  It was odd that her twin sister received no such request.  Of course the last time he spoke to the girls he made it clear he wanted Julie but not Jamie (since she was most like her mother - me)  They were six years old at the time.  Good grief..........what kind of father says something like that?  So anyway, Julie just denied the request.

Again, all this just dredges up old hurts and memories better forgotten.  However, I'm extremely happy for my daughters that they found their brother.