Friday, December 29, 2006

"Walking" boot

The quotes were intentional, though I guess that sort of indicates that I'm less than happy with the boot, which is *not* the case! I'm relieved to not have a cast, or, worse yet, surgery!

Saw the Orthopaedist, who, with an additional x-ray involving him actually FLEXING MY ANKLE (mercifully brief, thank God), confirmed that I have indeed fractured the right tibia near the ankle, and may have also had a little bone fragment tear off with the ligament or tendon that was connected to it. I don't know if that means I'll have additional treatment later, or if it's insignifcant. What I do know is that I have to wear this thingie for at least a month, until I go back to the Orthopaedist.

Hubby went to work this morning at my insistence, but was able to leave at noon to come home. He's running a few errands, including picking up my Lortab prescription (another reason to be thankful), but should be home any time now. Needless to say, our New Year's weekend will not be a very active one, at least physically. But hey, I'm cool with that. This could be a LOT worse. I truly believe I am fortunate not to have injured myself worse, considering the possibilities.

I truly hope the rest of you stay safe this weekend (and always, actually). Feel free to regale me with any amusing tales you may have, whatever the subject, as distractions will be much appreciated!

Take care, lovely people. 2007 is going to be a good year -- I can feel it in my bones. (typed with only a trace of irony there)


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Just call me Grace

So, after a lovely Christmas and safe traveling, we made it home last night around 6pm. Apparently, there had been rain while we were away. (Cue ominous music) I got out of the car and retrieved a couple of bags to carry inside. I began to walk down the slope beside the driveway when my left leg took off and my right leg didn't. I ended up prone on my big ass, bags still intact, but right leg bent underneath me. When the bending was occurring, there was probably also a little breaking going on.

We got me inside somehow and immediately began RICE -- rest, ice, compression and elevation. Then my darling sweet hubby ran to the pharmacy and brought home all kinds of devices to wrap or otherwise encase my ankle. We continued RICE and ibuprofen all night, and went to my doctor's office this morning. I figured that since I wasn't dying or in excruciating pain, it wasn't an emergency and could wait till the morning. The PA I saw sent me for an x-ray, thinking it may only be a sprain. However, he phoned us within about 30 minutes of leaving the facility saying that the Radiologist thinks there may be a tibia fracture going on here.

So, I'm laid up, for the first time in my life, and really, *really* don't like it. Tomorrow I see an orthopaedist, who, fortunately, is the same Doc who beautifully corrected hubby's DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis a couple of years ago. My PA said that he wanted me to just go ahead to the Ortho because the Radiologist said they could do a CT to determine if the bone is actually broken, but that considering the extent of the injury, the Ortho would probably cast it anyway. Oy vey!!!

New Year's Eve won't find me tripping the light fantastic this year, but still, things could be worse! I hope that having a cast will make maneuvering around a little easier. Using crutches is quite difficult when you've never had to use them before. I'm trying to learn not to feel guilty about asking for things from hubby, but it's difficult not to when you're so dependent on someone else! Lucky for me he's an angel, and the most good-natured guy on the planet. Y'all keep him in your prayers as he nurses me through this period of, let's say, adjustments. lol

And for heaven's sake, BE CAREFUL! I know this accident was relatively unavoidable -- I didn't trip or even lose my footing -- it was just a simple matter of wet leaves, wet grass, and wet mud combined with an unsuspecting person stepping on such.

Oh! I just realized! Now I'm just like my local blog celebrity SuburbanTurmoil! Except for the gorgeous, young & pregnant parts, of course. Be sure to check out her blog if you haven't already. She has a much better story about breaking her foot than I do anyway.


Monday, December 25, 2006


It's been a while since I've felt like writing, but not necessarily because anything is "wrong". At the moment, actually, things on all fronts, or at least all the ones that really matter, are good. We are currently at my middle sister's home, waiting for dinner to be ready. Her son, my oldest nephew, has been enjoying all of his presents, and everyone's scattered throughout the house, doing their own things. My brother and his family are on their way over, as well as my sister's oldest stepdaughter and her fiancee'. Her mother-in-law is on her way, too, so it will be a full house.

After dinner, hubby and I are driving over to spend the night with my aunt, who was recently widowed. She wouldn't agree to coming over for the holidays, not wanting to "burden" us with her grief, so hubby and I just decided we'd take ourselves to her instead. Luckily, she was happy about that, so we're looking forward to a nice, if tearful, visit.

We've been to visit several friends and got to take a nice drive out to the beach Saturday just before sunset. Hubby got some beautiful shots of the water and sunset, and a cute little couple took our picture together, and we reciprocated. :) What a pleasant, peaceful afternoon! A little time to ourselves, alone with no agenda! Novel concept, that!

Hubby will be working hard this week, but we look forward to a quiet New Year's celebration, eventually. He may actually have to work over the weekend, which is very uncommon, but there's a big project reaching the finish line and he's been the architect of the report that's being produced and which may be used as part of a political platform in the next year. Hence the time crunch for him. Tough as that part is, it's important, good work that will benefit the citizens of our state, and then by proxy our country and our world. I'm so happy for him to have such a meaningful thing to do!

Here are my wishes for you all:

Love in great abundance -- both coming your way and going out from you
Peace -- peace -- peace -- in all things and with all people.
Success -- whatever that means to you.
Understanding -- of yourself, most of all, but also of the others you come into contact with. Try walking a mile in their shoes...
Interest -- monetary, if you're lucky in that way, but mostly interest in LIFE. We're not getting any younger, people....this is the BIG one...GO FOR IT while you have the chance.
Hope -- this too shall pass, really!
_____________ -- whatever it is that will satisfy your soul.

Thanks for stopping by this year -- it's been an experience, for sure! Maybe next year I'll actually write about something outside of my own self. lol I'm sure anyone who reads here would appreciate that!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Family Matters -- Part Deux

In my previous post, I mentioned the weird side of the family. Weird is not always a bad thing, I know, but in this case, the weird part is the hurtful part.

Two illustrations follow. I'm not sure which qualifies as the more screwed up, but I'm leaning pretty much 50/50 at this point.

Illustration number 1:

Tuesday afternoon, people were gathered at my Aunt's home, doing all sorts of things. My other Aunt, who lives about 80 miles away, and her older son came, one would think to pay their respects. Present were my Aunt, my Mother, and my brother, and some other friends of my Aunt's. Apparently, my cousin came to my Mom and out of the clear blue sky said: "I heard that so-and-so (who used to work with my Dad) said Uncle Robert (Dad) was lazy at work." Yes, you read that correctly. My father, his Uncle Robert, DIED in 1979. The person who said whatever it was that turned into this craziness also died many years ago. So, in other words, there was absolutely NOTHING TO BE GAINED by saying this to my Mother, MUCH LESS in the very home of our Aunt whose husband had JUST DIED RIGHT THERE and who considered my father her best friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Illustration number 2:

My oldest cousin (now 60) was someone I used to adore and worship as a child. I thought she was the most beautiful, talented, creative, funny person I'd ever known, and I wanted to be like her so much! I babysat for her 3 children for quite some time when I was 12-13. At some point my Dad arranged for her to give me piano lessons, which I really, really wanted. But, like every beginning traditional piano lesson, the things they wanted to teach you to play were boring, and I saw absolutely no connection between what she tried to teach me and they kind of music I wanted to play, so that eventually fell by the wayside.

I learned yesterday that this cousin has written a book, and in this book she discusses family matters. In this book, she mentions a lot of people I'm familiar with, of course. My Dad was mentioned twice, both times either positively or neutrally -- no big deal. But there were other people she talked about that didn't receive such benign treatment. Like OUR Grandmother -- her mother's mother and Aunt Betty's mother. She talks about Grandmother not doing any thing for her, like having no memory of her reading to her or anything. That could have been because Grandmother was probably barely literate at best, and also because cousin's father, a raging alcoholic, wouldn't allow my Grandmother to visit them much, if at all. And he certainly didn't want his wife and kids going up to her house. So I'm thinking that didn't provide much opportunity for being read to.

She also talks about her sister and our half-aunt, who apparently lived with her family for a while. What she talks about is her own jealousy, though I'm pretty sure she didn't mean it to be so transparent. She complains that her sister, the youngest in the family, always got pretty clothes and everything she wanted. As to our half-aunt, she whines that when that half-aunt was staying with them, she could and did eat whatever she wanted, got whatever she wanted, etc., while Cousin was stuck with the dregs of her own upbringing. Yes, what hideous character flaws these girls exhibited by allowing their parents to treat them differently than Cousin was treated!

The crux of this book is supposed to that my Cousin is apparently the world's greatest Christian, and if she can be one, so can everyone else. She discusses her children's drug addictions and bad choices; she talks about other people's bad times; she talks about her father being a very mean drunk. She parades this information through this tiny little book as though it were some kind of badge of honor. It seems to me as if she's trying to make herself sound noble, and put upon, and somehow better than everyone else. This is a common theme in her family, I believe. The one sister she has is over this way, near Aunt Betty, while all the rest of her family live, I kid you not, in a kind of compound. Cousin and husband have a nice, normal house. Cousin's mom lives on the property in a mobile home, and raises chickens, in the back yard. This is a suburban area, I might add. Daughter and husband at least recently lived in a built-on apartment to Cousin's house. Oldest son has his own home, because he's married with a billion kids. Youngest son is married with no kids from this relationship. Apparently, he got a girl pregnant when they were about 20 and cut of all ties with their baby girl when the Mom married a man who wanted to adopt the baby.

Cousin puts these things, and many more, out there for all the world to see. I wonder what her kids think of that, and I wonder if she asked anyone's permission. Being a blogger who sometimes talks about real-life people and who values my own privacy, I am very, very sensitive to telling things I have no right to tell, so this really blows my mind. I don't get how someone has the nerve....

I think it may be hard to see some of these folks at the funeral Friday. I told my mother that, if I hear anything remotely like what male cousin said about my Dad, I will be having a retort. Count on it. Grown, supposedly Christian people should know better than to disparage a woman's late husband in the first place, especially if he's your UNCLE. But to compound this egregious behavior, saying such a thing right there in the home where a death had just occurred is absolutely and completely unacceptable. And you know, I just don't handle things like that quietly, for better or worse.

There is more to say about other things, but they will have to wait for another time. My emotions are full, and everything seems very tender. I wish I didn't cry so much. I wish I could sleep. I wish I didn't have a constant headache. I wish my baby was here. I wish I could explain to people how important it is to love each other, and to be kind to one another, or, at best, not to intentionally hurt other people, especially in families.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.......

Family Matters

I'm writing this post at 4:30 AM at my Mother's house in Florida. I'm here because my uncle died Tuesday. There was no question but that I needed to be here with my family, though my husband was unable to join me. His presence always calms me, because he is always looking out for me, and I know that he's always on my siding, understanding me in ways my family can't begin to, mostly because I don't spend every day with my family. Also because I'm just different.

Funerals are very strange occasions, at least in my family. You see cousins and aunts and uncles you only see at such things, but when you do get together, it's fun and happy and poignant and depressing and crazy and loving and ridiculous. Does everyone have the weird side of the family -- the one group that's different from all of the rest of you, whom you can't figure out and continue to be shocked by and amazed at? Well, my family has that. I hadn't known how profound the differences were until today.

First of all, the uncle who died was an uncle by marriage, but I am pretty sure that we all took him as our blood when we first met him. I remember that day. My Aunt Betty had been widowed the year before, and I had spent a lot of that summer with her. This Aunt is everyone's favorite -- she was my Dad's favorite sister, and they were best friends. I couldn't appreciate what that meant until recently when I began to experience an increased closeness to my own precious brother. I can't imagine how she's missed my Dad all of these years, but I would imagine that her husband, Uncle Fred, had a lot to do with helping her heal.

She brought Fred to meet my Dad just 2 1/2 months before he died. She wanted his approval, and she more than got it. No one could not love Fred. My Dad whole-heartedly agreed that this was a quality man and that he would be very happy if they married as soon as possible, and in our home, if they would. They did. :) We were all thrilled.

These 27 years have seen lots of events in our family -- births, deaths, and assorted other joys and tragedies. Aunt Betty and Uncle Fred were there for them all. And it wasn't just for our family -- they were there for everyone. Very active in their Baptist church, they ministered to any and everyone who crossed their path, and not in a preachy way, either. They were real, and they knew how to do real things, and most especially they knew how to make each of us kids feel special by making a point to come see us when we came from all over to visit Mom here at her home. Mind you, they live 40 miles away, so this wasn't just going around the block for them, but they never missed us. They were with us every Thanksgiving and Christmas and anytime in between that any of us could get together. A visit to Aunt Betty's always garners something to take home, usually vegetables she'd put up in the freezer for later. Just this Thanksgiving I made collard greens that were sent home with me blessed with Aunt Betty's love.

You never saw Betty without Fred. They did everything together, happily. He loved her to distraction, and she loved him right back. Fred had several medical problems through the years -- heart problems, back injury, circulatory issues, etc. But somehow he always came through. My brother called him "The Bionic Man", and I can't say that it's an inaccurate description.

At the end of October, out of the blue, we all learned that Uncle Fred was diagnosed with lung cancer. I think he used to smoke a long time ago, but if he did, he'd given it up at least 20 years ago or more, so that wasn't an immediate factor. However, my guess now is that Fred knew something was up a while back, but didn't choose to address it. Several choices he made now seem as though he knew he had little time left on this earth. How does that seem to happen so often when people have terminal illnesses?

With the diagnosis and description of what was done to him in the ER and hospital stay, it was pretty obvious that his cancer was pretty far gone. My husband and I made the decision to come down here, right away that weekend, to visit him, and I'm so very very glad we did. We picked up my sister on the way and all went to see Uncle Fred. There was already a hospital bed my Aunt had arranged in the living room to look out the glass doors onto the lake, which was such a perfect thing to do. The weekend we visited he was able to be up and to eat meals at the table if he chose to. He chose to. This is the first and only time I can remember when Fred wasn't dressed very nicely and when he didn't smile at all. It was heartbreaking.

When he returned back to his bed after the meal, I joined him, followed by my husband and sister. I wanted to spend time with just Uncle Fred, without Aunt Betty within earshot, because I knew I wanted to say some things that I was pretty sure I couldn't get through without crying. I was right. He started out by telling us that when he was in the hospital and they learned his diagnosis/prognosis, he made the decision to have his implanted defibrillator disabled. I was stunned, but glad to hear that they were being realistic, and I told him that I thought that was a very courageous and wise decision, and that I couldn't imagine how hard it must have been. There were tears in his eyes now, but he was under control. He proceeded to talk about dying, and told us that he wasn't afraid of death, but he was worried about what would happen to Aunt Betty when he was gone. This was something I could address with absolute certainty! I told him that, first of all, we loved him so very much, all of us, and that he had been the best Uncle and role model anyone could ask for. I then told him that he didn't need to worry about Betty -- that rather than people fighting over who *had* to take care of Aunt Betty, we'd be fighting over who *GETS* to take care of Aunt Betty, and that's the honest-to-God truth. He said he was very grateful to hear that. Both my husband and my sister chimed in to support my statements, and I know we all felt better knowing we'd said all that we needed to say to him while he could still converse with us and (hopefully) derive some peace.

That was during the second weekend in November. We're coming up on the second weekend in December, so you can appreciate the speed with which we lost our beloved Patriarch. Since that weekend, family members and friends have been constant companions to my Aunt. My mother, step-father and brother were taking turns spending the night there when my cousin wasn't there himself. In fact, it was my brother who was awoken at 4:30AM on Tuesday morning because Aunt Betty could tell the end was near. They called our parents, who came immediately. They were all at his bedside when he passed away at almost 8:00AM. My sweet brother called me almost immediately afterwards, moved beyond words, but filled with love and appreciation of the great privilege he'd just been given. He'd had that heart to heart talk with Fred, too, which is a new thing for my bro. Folks, I'm here to tell you, that boy has turned into a fine, fine man.

So tomorrow I will go to my Aunt's house and sit there while the rest of the family is at the visitation. On Friday, the day he'll be interred in our former hometown, about 80 miles away, and I will attend those events with my siblings, other family members, and the bajillions of friends they had. I have not done a good job not crying so far, but I hope I can keep it together Friday. I want to do Uncle Fred proud.

Sitting here writing, I have a few tears in my eyes, thinking of how much I love this wonderful, sweet man, who joined our family wholeheartedly, never thinking of us as separate from them. He told us directly at our last visit that we had meant as much to him as his own grandkids, and that he loved us all so very much. He also told us that he'd recently been asked about his advice for someone about to be married. He said he told them that marriage is not a 50/50 proposition -- it's a 100/100 thing. Each person has to give 100%, regardless of what the other person was doing. I thought that was a very wise statement, and one I have believed in my own life for a very long time. I think his description of a good marriage is the same as that for a good family, or a good friendship -- if each person gives 100%, everybody wins. And really, isn't it your family and friends that you WANT to treat better than anyone else?

Oh, my sweet Uncle Fred. There is a big hole where you were, but the recollection of the love you always showed us -- constant, abiding, and true -- will remain in our hearts and color our lives for ever. May you rest with the angels -- they must be rejoicing to have one of their own back home.