Sunday, October 28, 2018

No. Not this Gal. Not in this country.

Yesterday, a shooter stormed a synagogue and killed at least 8 people. It was another horrifying event in a terrible week that began with assassination attempts against prominent politicians.

Our President actually suggested that we should have armed guards at places of worship.

I reject that. I refuse to worship my Lord in a house with an armed guard at the door.

Have we actually reached a point where that is considered acceptable, desirable? Better than banning assault weapons and bump stocks?


A ribbon of emoticons

I got a quick text from Henry's partner, Reg. "Just opened my mail. Thanks." Followed by love emoticons.

It meant a great deal to me. Reg has been hard on me -- and everyone else -- during this ordeal. It hurt. I felt isolated, and my relationship with Henry felt minimized and demeaned. I felt like I had lost both Henry and Reg.

But I persisted in maintaining the relationship with Reg because I knew Henry would want me to. I sent notes via USPS to keep the lines of communication open without immediately engaging Reg. After all, my feelings do matter and I must protect myself throughout this sad chapter, which may prove to be a very long one.

A roller coaster week in the ICU

My friend Henry's condition continues to confuse and terrify. When he first got to the hospital, he was speaking and in English. He could move all his limbs and respond to direct commands. But, because he was so aggressive and angry, the neuro specialists agreed he should be sedated. It's important to keep him completely quiet, so his injuries remain contained and don't bleed. They are working hard to avoid operating on his brain.

They have been able to repair his broken ankle, which is good. Wonderful, in fact, if it wasn't for the traumatic brain injuries. For days though, he seemed to have regressed. No longer speaking at all when he's brought out of sedation, only thrashing and making loud, angry noises. Then he contracted a lung infection. Not an uncommon occurrence in the ICU, but troubling and complicating.

Finally, Saturday, there was a new glimmer of hope. His infection responded so well to treatment that his breathing tubes were removed. This made Henry much more comfortable, and consequently he's been more responsive. His partner, Reg, is back in Key West -- unfortunately, if Reg doesn't work he doesn't get paid -- spoke to him via phone. When Reg said, "I love you," Henry responded positively to his lover's voice, eyes lighting up, mumbling something that sounded much like, "You, too."

Happy birthday to me -- Part 1

And so it begins. Galfest 2018 kicked off Saturday! It's going to be a subdued affair because of Henry's accident. I contacted four of my friends -- Rose, John, Mindy and Barb -- and told them that, instead of a gift, I'd prefer they send money to Henry's GoFundMe page. And because each time we've spoken, since summer, Henry had bragged about the used books he'd snared for my birthday (one about JBKO, the other about the Beatles). It's hard not to feel melancholy.

But nothing is all bad or sad. Kathy texted me Friday night and asked if I wanted to meet for lunch Saturday afternoon. My first impulse was to say no, I have too much to do to prepare for the remodel -- it starts tomorrow! -- and besides, all I want to do these days is sleep. But I recognize my impulses are not healthy. I should see people. And so I told her I'd love to, and asked if she'd give me a lift to Goodwill so I could drop off stuff too unwieldy for the bus.

She had a surprise for me: a birthday giftbag containing a copy of The President Is Missing, by James Patterson and my guy Bill. It was a sweet and thoughtful gift -- and she was one of the first to contribute to Henry's GoFundMe. She's been great throughout this ordeal.