Saturday, March 30, 2024

Heartbroken all the same

Gregory never calls. He emails and texts, but he never calls. So as soon as I saw his name on my phone, I swallowed hard.

John spent the night in Intensive Care. He remains there today. As I post this, I don't yet know what's wrong with him.

John has been incommunicado for months. He decided in January that he'd been drinking and smoking too much weed -- Duh! I've been telling him that for 15 years! -- and was going to take time to himself to "re-evaluate." While that sounds positive, it hasn't been.

First he quit his four hours/week job at his favorite bar. He opened the bar on Friday mornings and was on hand to sign for deliveries and do other administrative tasks, freeing up the bartender and staff to wait on customers.The $50/week has been nice, but so was the free food, discounted booze and enforced socializing. The bar gave John a place to go, a sense of belonging. I was surprised he gave it up.

Then he stopped seeing us. All of us. He had his reasons: no "walking around" money coming in, trying to stay sober, fear of public transportation ... all part of his "re-evaluation" process. Then he stopped communicating with us. All of us. He'd sporadically respond to emails. He never returned phone calls or texts.

It's been more than three months. Gregory is the one who lives nearest and, on Friday afternoon, took matters into his own hands and dropped in. What he saw disturbed him greatly.

John's color was "off." He's lost weight. He was confused. Gregory called 911. John was admitted.

Northwestern is a world-class hospital. We are so lucky here in Chicago that good health care is so available. I am comforted knowing he is where he needs to be. I am comforted knowing that John asked Gregory to call me because he knows I love him. I am comforted that tomorrow is Easter, the day when we celebrate rebirth.

But I am heartbroken all the same. John has been part of my life since 1981. I know him well and, looking back, he hasn't been himself for a long time. Around Memorial Day he was short tempered, which is not like him. Then at Thanksgiving he was distracted. 

He's diabetic. He suffers from heart failure. He's depressed. There are a lot of meds coursing through his system and he doesn't take care of himself. I'm hopeful that the doctors will get him on a new and different regimen and now that he's not drinking anymore, the drugs will work as they're designed to.

But I am heartbroken all the same.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Two Easter Sunday Sweethearts (1954)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about a couple dressed in their "Sunday Best." Will you be getting dressed up this weekend? Define "dressed up." I'll wear a nice blouse to church tomorrow. But no Easter bonnet with frills upon it.

2) The happy couple is walking up the street arm-in-arm. Have you recently seen a couple holding hands or walking arm-in-arm in public? Were you one of that romantic duo? I saw a couple walking hand-in-hand just after sunset. Internally I went, "Aw ...."

3) This week's featured artist, Vera Lynn, was a beloved English singer who is affectionately remembered for her tireless work entertaining the troops during WWII. She famously sang "There'll Always Be an England" during outdoor concerts in Egypt, India, and Burma, even as battles raged nearby. What is your favorite patriotic song? It changes. This morning it's "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Especially the lyric: "In the beauty of the lillies Christ was born across the sea with a glory in his bosom that transfigured you and me. As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free while God is marching on." (<<< I'll never understand that fetish some have for the Confederacy.)
4) Though she became a celebrity at 19, Vera continued to live with her parents until she married at age 21. How old were you when you left home for good? 19.
Now, here are some questions in honor of this weekend's holiday ...

5) More than 1.5 million Cadbury Creme Eggs are produced every day. Do you enjoy Cadbury Eggs all year around, only at Easter, or not at all? I'm not a big fan. Though if we have them in the breakroom with the rest of the unsold Easter candy at work, I will partake. Because free chocolate is free chocolate.
6) Pretzels are considered a delicious Easter snack in Germany. Do you more often crave salty treats or sweet ones? Sweet.

7) We've been talking a lot about sweets this morning. The only holiday that generates more candy sales is Halloween. When do you eat more candy: Easter or Halloween? I don't know. I'm more of a bakery gal than a candy gal.

8) Easter is considered the season of rebirth. What makes you feel refreshed or rejuvenated? I'm always happier after a shower.

9)  This year, April Fool's Day happens to follow Easter Sunday. Do you expect to fall victim to any pranks? Nope. I'm a little old for such nonsense.


Three Nice Things about Myself -- Day 29

My blogging buddy, Kwizgiver, wrote a post that really resonated with meShe detailed how self-care helped her helped her prevail during a (ridiculously) tough month. Her tips were very wise and so doable! So she has inspired me to take one and integrate it into my own life.

Since I can be a pretty harsh self-critic, this is the one I chose. I hope I can do this every day during March. By then it should be a habit, right?

Three nice things about myself -- March 29:

1) I am my mother's daughter. While running errands Friday, I was first greeted by name at the bank and then at Walgreen's I was teased good naturedly about my perpetual use of coupons ("Save $3 on 8 Gerber Baby Food;" my Connie Cat gets her meds melted in the Gerber Turkey every morning). While having dinner with Kathleen Wednesday, Sophie from my yoga class recognized me and waved at me through the window. Looking back on this I felt very deja mommy, because everyone knew her in that small town. While this isn't a small town, it is a community and I like that I'm a part of it.

2) I bargain shopped. I need good shoes with cushion at the heel. I asked my chiropractor what she recommended and she said, without hesitation, "Nike." So I went to DSW and got two pair (one black, one white) of Revolution 7's on sale. I think they will serve me well both at the card shop and racing up and down Hollywood Blvd. next month at the TCM Classic Film Festival. Plus, since my plantar fasciitis flare up happened to coincide with DSW's sale, I saved about $20. I like myself for hauling ass to the store, trying on shoes and saving money instead of taking the easy way and clicking at Amazon.

3) I used social media wisely. Yes, Twitter can be a hellscape. If you're into paranoid conspiracy theories and hate, you'll be at home here. (Lately it's been that the Baltimore bridge collapsed because Maryland's governor and Baltimore's mayor are black and Secretary Pete Buttigeg is gay and, therefore, incompetent.) But it does always have almost instant links to the baseball video. I skipped the ugly MAGA bullshit and stuck to the Yankees. My favorite-most ballplayer, Anthony Rizzo, executed a head's up tag and seeing him do something that smart made my day. I like myself for mastering the tool at hand without being dragged down into the Trumpy mire. That is a form of self care.