Sunday, September 09, 2012


This weekend's challenge: Take the 33 words below and then add 33 of your own words to move the story along:

The last strains of sunlight lingered in the corners, grasping every available point of refraction.  She slid her fingertips along the glass wondering if this was all there ever was. Or could be.

Winter days are always short, and none felt shorter than this. She waited for Christmas all year, planned for it and imbued it with such importance, and then it was over so quickly. 

Blessed and Healed

To most of the world, Eddie Vedder is the lead singer of Pearl Jam. To me, he's a fellow Cub fan. "Go All the Way" is his anthem, and these lyrics mean a great deal to me:

Don't let anyone say that it's just a game
For I've seen other teams and it's never the same
When you're born in Chicago you're blessed and you're healed
The first time you walk into Wrigley Field
Our heroes wear pinstripes
Heroes in blue
Give us the chance to feel like heroes too
Forever we'll win and if we should lose
We know someday we'll go all the way
Someday we'll go all the way

I was thinking of this song as I sat there in my seat Friday night, waiting for my friends to arrive and the Boss to begin his show. I was so happy to be in Wrigley Field. It was such a balm to my soul. I have never had a bad time there. How could I while watching my heroes in blue … or sitting through the one Bear game I ever attended with my dad when I was a little girl … or seeing Sir Paul in concert almost exactly a year ago? It always feels like a privilege to be inside The Friendly Confines.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I saw Eddie Vedder get onstage, at Wrigley Field, to sing with Bruce! They performed "Atlantic City" together. I was happy for both Eddie the Rocker and Eddie the Cub fan.

Working backward

I have so much to write before I forget! Between the drama with my mom and having no modem, it's been nearly impossible to post.

First out of the box -- I spoke to my mom yesterday! Her voice sounded strong and she was completely lucid. Happy and able to move from her bed to the chair in her room. She knows where she is and how she got there.

She had a bleeding ulcer and a hiatal hernia. Together, the strain on her gastrointestinal tract was the catalyst for another attack of ischemic colitis, just like she had last spring. The ischemia is what caused her to vomit blood, and unfortunately she aspirated some blood into her lung and gave herself pneumonia.

I used my AAdvantage miles to fly up to Madison to see her in the hospital and it was brutal. She was in terrible pain, so the doctors put her on a powerful combination of meds. This left her delirious. She yelled and was profane (very much not like her!). She told me to shut up and said she wanted to hit for me "conning" her (I said she was going to get well). She actually did hit my kid sister and called my older sister a bitch. She was desperately thirsty and was content to suck on a tiny sponge on the end of a stick.

I kept remembering what JFK once said, after visiting his stroke-debilitated father, "Old age is a shipwreck."

I think part of what upset her was that we all raced to her bedside and seeing us all there convinced her she was dying. She was so agitated and her heart rate was over 120. So, after talking to her doctors, I thought it right that I get out of Madison. I hate flying, especially on small planes, so I was distressed when I went in to say goodbye to her and she opened her eyes wide and gasped, "I'M DYING!" That evening, while waiting in the tiny Madison airport, the sky opened up and the night sky was bright with lightening, I was sure I was the one who was going to die, in a fiery crash. The airport had the good sense to close down, and after a night in a budget motel I ended up flying back home.

So it's been stressful, but I'm impressed by her fight. My mother wants to live, and so she will. I did my share of prayer, but the answer I kept getting back was that it's up to her. And she came through like a champ!

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The 88 Meme, Part Three

46. What are your LEGAL initials? TGH

47. Who's the first B in your contacts? Barb
48. When was the last time you laughed really hard? Friday afternoon at work
49. Your number 1 top friend walks out of your life, do you go after them? It would depend on the circumstances, of course, but naturally I would want him back him. And as The Beatles have always advised me about relationships, "Pride can hurt you, too. Apologize."
50. Explain your last awkward moment? Telling my friends how much happier I am with the care my mom is receiving in Madison, WI, as opposed to the hospital here in Chicagoland. Turns out my friend had her IVF treatments in that hospital and credits them for her son's very existence. Well, 1) that was outpatient and 2) that kid is now in high school and things most certainly can change over more than a decade.
51. Are you afraid of the dark? Nope.
52. Do you have good vision?
53. Have you ever tripped someone? Not intentionally
54. Have you ever slapped someone? In self defense
55. Are you Irish? Yes
, 12.5%.
56. Do you use chap stick? Yes
57. Do you have any scars? Yes

58. Is there someone you will never forgive?
59. Are you dating the person you last held hands with? No

60. Name the last person to text you? My friend/coworker Tom. He lives in Wrigleyville and texted that he could hear me singing "Born to Run"
during Friday night's show. (Ha! I knew I could work the concert in here somewhere!)
61. Would you marry someone 8 years older than you? Why, yes! In fact, Bruce Springsteen is 8 years older than I am. Did I mention I just saw him in concert Friday night? (Another mention! Jackpot!)

62. Can you go in public looking like you do? Why yes, I CAN. Will I? No. It would end in certain embarrassment and possible arrest.

63. Have you ever kissed someone whose name started with a A? On the cheek, yes. Full on mouth? No.

64. What side of the bed do you sleep on? The outside.
65. What's the first thing you'll do on your wedding day? Reassure myself that we don't have to sleep together and will be able to break up as soon as he gets his immigration papers.
66. Do you fall for people easily? Yes. Sinatra and I both fall in love too easily and fall in love too fast for love to ever last.

67. Has anyone put their arms around you in the past 5 days? Yes.
68. Do you miss the way things used to be?
Yes. Especially my waist.