Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Today is a good day

No poker content, because with all the crises I haven’t had really any time to play when I was in the right frame of mind to sit at the tables. I spent some time Sunday playing, which was an expensive mistake. I blew through almost all my winnings for the month of February in one ill-spent afternoon. But I cleared most of my Full Tilt bonus, so I’m still in the black for the month. Really, if you don’t want to hear more than you’ve ever wanted to know about my family, my background, and my attitude on life, click some of the nice people on the blogroll NOW, cause we’re about to go off the deep end into some serious stream-of-consciousness rambling.

You were warned.

The wife is less than thrilled with me today, because yesterday was the big red heart day and I left her gift sitting on my desk at work. This did not play well. It was somewhat mitigated by the news that my dad was still in the hospital with an infection and low blood oxygen levels, so they were keeping ANOTHER night. But they released him this morning, so he’s on his way home and getting better. The 3 weeks of not being able to lift anything over 15 lbs. is gonna drive him batty, because he is a remarkably healthy 77-year-old man.

Let’s digress there for a minute, shall we? For some, this is old news, but for others, here’s the Falstaff family background. My folks, at the grand ages of 40 and 44, found themselves the proud parents of a bouncing baby blogger boy. My siblings, at the less grand ages of 20, 17 and16, were dismayed by this event, and our relationships have typically been a little less than the normal little brother relationships for most of my life. They were really more like most folks’ uncles and aunts, I suppose. I didn’t really have a close relationship with any of them until the past few years, when my sister and I have gotten incredibly close. I talk to Bonnie more often than anyone except my wife, and that has been a cool part of getting a little older, the development of that relationship. I have nieces older than some of my blogger brethren (btw Gamecock, one of them lives in Columbia), and my parents are pretty darn old by this point.

But my dad still works every day. And it’s not like he works at a desk, he’s a logger. Yes, my dad is a lumberjack, and he’s okay. But being from the wilds of SC, he doesn’t get the reference. He gets up before dawn and climbs into a truck to haul a chainsaw around a forest all day and chop shit up. So he’s in amazing physical condition for a man his age. But that’s the rub. His age. He is getting old, and that’s hard for all of us to really accept. My mom is another story, she fell last year and broke her hip and has been on a pretty significant downhill slide ever since. She has the beginnings of Alzheimer’s, and if you’ve ever gone there, you know how much that sucks. We’re fast approaching the time that we have to have the “hand over the car keys” conversation, and it is not going to be pretty. My mother has always been fiercely independent, and a pillar of her community, but her deterioration is beginning to make her a hazard to herself and others.

But my dad is the rock. He is never sick, never takes a day of rest, is always “fine.” So this appendix thing rocked us all. I could see in my brother Tom’s eyes the terror of losing the old man, so soon after Ed’s death. I could see Bonnie barely holding her shit together as she came into the exam room in the emergency room. I was the one, oddly enough, who was fine with everything while we were dealing with it, only losing my temper slightly once and threatening to bring down a lawsuit that would make Johnny Cochran proud on their heads if they allowed that old man to lay in there for 5 hours without seeing a doctor and his appendix managed to burst and poison him. I was pretty pleased with the phrasing on that only moderately idle threat.

But he’s fine now, and everything is going to be okay. The unpleasantness looming as my mother continues her slide is just something to deal with tomorrow. Because today is a good day, and that’s all we’ve got. My tattoo loosely translates into “Seize the Day,” a cheesy philosophy I unabashedly adopted from a Robin Williams flick a long time ago, but if you wanna get more recently theatrical, go to Rent – “No day but today.” It’s the only way I know how to live, and today is a good day.  BG called the other day to officially pass the torch of “shittiest past four weeks” on to me, and I had to laugh. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and I’ve got a ton of freelance design work cooking the next three so I’m not really sleeping until March, but I’m still standing. And today, it’s good.


iamhoff said...

Glad to hear that he's getting better. He'll be putting on women's clothes and hanging around in bars in no time at all! Seriously, good luck with your mom, that's not going to be a pretty situation. If there's anything I can do (my mom is a retired hospice and skilled nursing facility RN...she might have insight or know people in the area), don't hesitate to let me know. More and more I'm finding out just how abso-freakin-lutely fantastic the blogger community is. We got yer back.

Drizztdj said...

Does he sleep all night and work all day?

TripJax said...

Glad things are getting better (except for the whole valentine's day gift debacle).

Can you shoot me some details on the home game so I can make sure I am in the clear and the wifey knows the deal. Also I want to contact some friends in case I decide to stay in Charlotte that night...

Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

Your strength (second to my guns and third to bloods BALCO infused guns)is amazing my friend. I wish you the best during these crazy times and the rule is anyone who doesn't play the hammer hard gets kicked out of the game.