Thursday, November 26, 2009

Simple. Innocent. Loving. Real.

My son Jack is a caring, sensitive child with overflowing empathy. He often will give answers such as "World Peace" or "To End Hunger" when asked what his wishes are. And I'm sure he does want these things, but is he giving the answer he thinks he should give, the answer that he thinks adults want to hear?

Jack's school Thanksgiving assignment gave a glimpse into the real Jack, and I liked what I read. It reminded me that there is a child inside that head of his.

What I am Most Thankful For

I am most thankful for my family. One reason I am thankful for my family is because they love me. I am also thankful for them because they buy me food. I also love them because they buy me stuff. They are a great family because they let me watch t.v. Those are some reasons I am thankful for my family.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fun With Gloves

My dad and step mom live in an idyllic country setting about two hours south of St. Louis. It has a pond fed by a natural spring. It is surrounded by National Forest. It is quiet and private. It is picturesque. It is nowhere near emergency services.

So, 10 days ago when my dad thought he was having a heart attack, my step mom had to drive him to the nearest hospital, which then helicoptered him to St. Louis.

He arrived at the hospital on Saturday. All day Saturday, Sunday and Monday, they alternated between getting tests performed, hearing that the tests showed nothing wrong with his heart, and sitting for hours without any information at all. On Monday night my dad was ready to check himself out. The doctors and frantic tears from Linda convinced him to stay for one more test.

On Tuesday they performed a cardiac cath. On Wednesday they performed triple bypass surgery to repair three of the five blockages. He woke up during the surgery, something they said would never happen. He also put up quite a fight with the nurses after the surgery, trying to get out of bed and pull out his tubes and wires. It took four of them to hold him down and finally get him sedated. The phrase, "Strong as an ox" comes to mind.

On Thursday morning they removed the breathing tube and moved him out of ICU one day ahead of schedule because he was doing so well.

On Friday they diagnosed him with MRSA, the antibiotic resistant superbug.

On Saturday, I brought the boys up to surprise him. They weren't allowed in the room because of the MRSA, but they could stand in the hall and talk to him, which they did.

And what do you do if you are a young boy at the hospital? You play with medical gloves. They make great balloons. Luke discovered while wandering the halls of the hospital that if you squeeze them just right while wearing them they make a fun squeak. Luke was happy to demonstrate this fun trick.

Yesterday my dad got to go home. He will have months of recovery, but I think he'll surprise everyone with how quickly he gets there. As long as his five large dogs take it easy on him.

Monday, November 16, 2009

And You Can Feel It Swaying

We finally got to take the boys to Chicago. This is something we've been wanting to do for a long time, and it was worth the wait. The weather was great. The hotel was free. The fear factor was unparalleled in St. Louis.

Take for example this:

Nice view, eh?

How about this view?

Or this one, which was a little hard for me to enjoy with Jack's death grip and the feel of the building swaying ever so slightly.

If you need some perspective, this should provide it for you:

Or this view from the ground, showing the boxes in which we were standing:

So if you are in Chicago and need an adrenaline rush, head to the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower.

And be sure to take the City Pass with you. Our wait went from 2 hours to 2 minutes with our special tickets.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ominous Feelings

Have you ever had the feeling that something bad was going to happen to someone you love? I've had that feeling lately. There's no reason behind it, no explaining it or pinpointing it, but the feeling is there nonetheless.

Like when I'm driving with the boys in the car, I am worried about being in an accident. I've never been in an accident before so think maybe I'm due.

Or when the phone rings, I hesitate before answering expecting bad news on the other end.

So when I'm feeling like this, I am slightly high strung. I am craving quiet, safe activities that don't involve running with scissors.

What I am not craving is the boys on the roof, staring over the peak from the flat spot, yelling down and waving. And when I anxiously yell up, "Sit on your butts! Don't move! This was a bad idea! Come down now!" the response I get is "Oh Mom. Don't worry." That's like telling me not to breath.

And I am not craving a brush burning party, with fire lapping the lower branches of our tree and our dog circling the burn area barking like a mad man while the boys wait near the edges for the snakes to slither out of the fire's way. And when I start screaming, "The tree! The tree!" what I am not craving is John's leisurely stroll with the hose because he wants a few more leaves to burn up before he puts the fire out.

I am now convinced that the ominous feeling I've had hasn't been for a loved one but for my own well being, and the bad thing I have been running from is my own heart attack, which I narrowly escaped this weekend. Maybe I'll feel safe tomorrow.