So... I've decided to take Wednesday afternoons off and spend them with Molly. Maybe to give mom a break or maybe to just squelsh any kind of guilt that I feel for living so far away from them. If mom and Molly do not kill each other first, I'm certain boredom will get them next. Plus, it never hurts to spend more time with your family. There are things we can do that we haven't been able to do before because of our busy lives and schedules and I think catchup now is a good opportunity. She got her hand casted yesterday (why now? a week later? cause it was a low priority if you can believe that!) and is home with mom for the next 12 or so weeks. Maybe she'll heal faster. Hopefully.
We had a nice get together at my mother's this weekend to welcome Molly home and to get everyone together.. much like the party before all this happened. We got a ton of pizza and wings and just sat around talking and laughing for several hours. It was a quiet couple of days and they're just planning to take it easy for the next week or so and just try to get used to the new situation.
I on the other hand still have a lot of my plate. These two courses I'm in have gone into full force. I have a project due on Thursday and homework due in a couple hours. My two groups look to be pretty good this quarter, so that'll help relieve the stress. But my one group has yet to meet all together. I'm making my best efforts to get people together. I met with one person last night and I am meeting another tonight. They may meet on Wednesday as well, but I will be out of town. Hopefully we'll pull it all together in time. Who assigns a project the first week due the second week?
It's getting very cold, very fast. The leaves are all changing. The wind has changed. The rain is colder. I may even have to shut my windows. For some reason my tolerance of the cold has shifted and I'm finding myself shivering. Perhaps it's time to change my habits.
A couple days ago I posted an image of a kitten. My mother adopted a wayward lost cat a month or so ago only to find out she had fleas and was with child. She gave birth last weekend over a 9 hour period to 5 beautiful kittens. They're adorable and are finally opening their eyes to the world. I may adopt one. Nola plans to take two. We continually pick them up only to have the mother try to take them back to their box. But she's very comfortable with all our touching. Want a kitten? I'm sure we can manage.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Well, now it's Saturday morning. Molly was released on Thursday evening. The calling hours were last night, the funeral this morning. A lot going on. She's in a wheelchair. It's difficult getting her in and out of the house. She's in amazing spirits, but has problems dealing with so many people on the go. I am immensely impressed at her fortitude when it came with doing 5 hours of calling hours. Nola and I got there around 7, and we didn't get to see Molly or Justin's family until 9. The line was huge; it ran down the street. This boy was and still is well loved.
My mother's place is filled with flowers, with food, with cards... it's an amazing sight to see. So many people have stopped by, dropped things off, sent in well wishes. Molly reads every one, though she's still picking at the food. It's amazing to meet Justin's family. It's one of the more sad situations in the entire mess. They are such a normal family. So kind. They love Molly. She feels so comfortable with them. They integrated her into Justin's services and every person that they saw last night they introduced them to her. Thinking about all the what-ifs and could-haves is depressing. This boy was perfect for Molly. They were meant to be together.
I always feel weird when finally seeing the family in a situation like this. What do you say? How do you greet them? I imagine there is no set layout or proper greeting, but all the same. I met two of his three brothers at the hospital and met his parents there on Tuesday as well. They each hugged me when I tried to shake their hands and they introduced me as someone they had heard so many nice things about. Normally I would feel good knowing people think nice about me, but I just feel guilty when I hardly knew anything about them. We were just getting to know Justin and just started to hear about their family. Molly had told me on Sunday his one brother was a lot like me and that we'd get along nicely. I'm sad that this will probably never come to be.
Where to go from here is anyone's guess. I will return to my daily hum drum and my sister will have a daily personal medical assistant to help with all her needs as she learns how to live again. She still can't stand up for more than 5 seconds and it's difficult to dress. Monday her hand is set into a cast, so that will be the last major event in the healing process. It'll just take time now and unfortunately she has all the time in the world.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
She was moved from critical ICU to "less critical you can change your own TV channels ICU" this afternoon, which has queued up a bunch of phone calls since her phone number has now changed. People don't seem to understand that while yes, a five minute visit is all you want or a couple minutes on the phone.. that Molly was having trouble staying awake for more than 30 seconds at a time... that any kind of movement was rough... that she hates being here.. that she's self-conscious about her condition... and that she got 35 visitors on Tuesday and 18 today addition to our family. It's a lot to deal with. And it drains everyone. Nobody should feel excluded, but we're telling people not to come up.... that she'll be home soon enough.
But she's better. Justin's family all visited yesterday to talk with Molly and comfort each other. I tried my best to miss all of that because I knew it would be emotional and kind of intense.. but I seemed to misjudge the time and got there smack dab in the middle of it. With all her visitors, and her frequent naps, and nursing shift changes, and her hour long showers, and meal time... I'm not getting to see her as much as I would like. I stop in before work, and after work and before bed.. but I catch her bad times. She's been asleep the last 3 times I've visited... or they've not let me in at all.
But she's made a great deal of progress toward coming home. She's determined to attend Justin's calling hours on Friday. We're all preping for it. She's sitting up for good portions of the day, feeding herself and becoming more and more mobile. Her mood has vastly improved and we're all feeling a great sense of relief. I keep running errands for my mother. Anything she or Molly needs... of course.. on the dot. This morning I made 5 trips to bring home a lot of the flowers. There is no room in her room for flowers and the previous ICU prohibited any flowers. So every day I bring home 5 bunches, teddy bears, food, you name it... I have to bring it home. But she's demanded I bring them all to her on Friday. Gonna be a busy day.
I'm forcing myself to eat now.. forcing myself to sleep at a decent hour. I am making a ton of phone calls every day.. answering emails... IMs... voicemails... trying to keep my mother from over-exerting herself. It's been a long week, but I think we're getting to the end of it all. Thanks again to all those that have sent any messages our way. It's all wonderful, warm and thoughtful.
Monday, September 18, 2006
I didn't get much sleep last night. I think I woke 7 different times. I know I did. First I would hear a noise like a man talking through my window. Then a noise like a car crash in the street. Then my phone chirping for some reason. Then my neighbor talking to someone on our patio at 3am. I was just anxious.. nervous... worried. I left her last night in the midst or complications with her liver, an open wound on her leg, short term memory loss, a hand the size of a grapefruit... and a very itchy body. She would ask to itch here. Itch there. Everything was itchy. I didn't want to hurt her, but she'd ask me to itch in places I knew she was hurt.
She doesn't remember the accident, which is for the best. She doesn't remember much of anything from Sunday. She remembers lying in the road screaming for help. What a memory. I didn't go to work today. My mother had me running errands for her this morning even before I normally get up. I tried my best to get in touch with my bosses, to no avail. Nobody answers their phones, even during work hours. But I finally got a message through and spent the day either running from place to place, to sitting by Molly's bedside, to driving 200 miles to get something she left somewhere.
There has been such an outpouring of love from the community. Nola and I joke that if we actually redeemed all these offers from people, we wouldn't have to cook a meal for a month, drive anywhere for anything nor take care of the house for several weeks. Everywhere I went today people wanted only to help. But there really is nothing anyone can do. Molly is alive. She will live. She will recover. Emotionally is another issue, but it's one step at a time. She misses him dearly... they've delayed his calling hours until Friday just for her. She's getting dozens of visitors. People I haven't seen in years. People I'm sure she thought she left behind.
I spent a good deal of time hanging out in the lounge chatting with friends, family and exes that have all been affected by this accident. My mother has to empty her voicemails every couple of hours just to keep room for more. My brother may fly home from California. We're trying to keep her in the best of spirits, but it's difficult to keep the conversation from drifting back to Justin. His parents are coming up to see Molly tomorrow. She wants everything to be perfect. She worries how she looks. She wants fresh clothes, clean hair, makeup. The little things bother her. The pain is there. But she's able to eat now. She's sitting up. The fracture in her spine may not need surgery. She looks a lot better today than she did last night.
The frenzy, the unknown and the fear that gripped us yesterday is over. But the hardship of the next haul will test the fabric of us all. Thank you for everyone's well wishes and thank you for your thoughts and messages. Molly is happy to know you're there. She's happy to know you care. I let her know about every one of them.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I don't know how inappropriate this may be, but above is a picture from today's birthday party for my sister. The man with her is Justin, her boyfriend. They were in a motocycle accident at 3:00p today. He died on the scene. She was flown to Rochester. She's in a lot of pain. Dislocated and broke her pelvis. Shattered her right hand. Banged her head. Hole in her leg. Lascerated her liver from a broken rib. She doesn't remember anything. She keeps crying and asking why. Why did she live? Why on her birthday? All I can do is hold her hand and cry with her. She asks the same questions over and over. It's heartbreaking and overwhelming.
News links: here, here, here
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Busy. That's my only excuse. Tired. Also an excuse. Gym. Should be my excuse. In the last couple of weeks, I have worked and worked and worked some more. I'm getting too monotonous. Class is starting up again next week, which will bring more work into the equation. I have projects coming due and things getting completed. It's very satisfying and very busy-making all the same. I get in, work all day and leaving knowing so much more is left to do.
And it's gotten cold. When did I get so intolerant of the cold? And will it stop raining? It only rains when I ride to work.
We moved my sister into her new apartment. We've been hanging out more often now. It's nice to have her 5 minutes away. We're trying to have dinner or something together every 2 weeks. We did movies and dinner last night. Watched "Over the Hedge" Cute. Funny. I laughed too loud.
I signed up for the gym again on Wednesday. I've been trying to wake myself up earlier and earlier each day to set my internal clock. I awoke this morning at 7 without an alarm. So I think it's working. I am working out again at noon each day. I want to do 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes midday. Also trying to eat more protein and salads and less carbs. It's hard. I'm trying.
Looking forward to fall.. so much to do and enjoy while the weather is nice. So many fun things to do when it turns colder. Corn mazes, apple picking, pictures, hot chocolate.
Been keeping busy in the evenings too. Trying not to think about work. Playing games. Meeting people. Having fun. Eating out. The usual, I suppose. I'll keep in touch. Bye for now.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
A week gone by, a weekend full of laughs, work and travel.. a little relaxing. A lot of fun. I started the week out with meetings galore... and ended them with even more meetings. The beginning was interesting... as I sat in on a meeting with another department that I do work for. I wrote a bunch of new software for them, and they were training their staff to use it. It's satisfying to see your work appreciated, explored and applauded. I was told another meeting with about 160 people would see it tonight, but I wasn't invited. I offered to come, more to just experience more praise than anything, but alas... they do not need me anymore. My work is done.
I was asked to do some training toward the beginning of the week. It never ceases to surprise me how slow and dense the smartest people can be sometimes. But the experience was enjoyable and I continue to add more and more skills to my resume. I used to do stand-up demonstrations when I was 8 all the way up when I gave speeches to governing bodies back home, to my graduation speech.. but it all kinda stopped once I got to college. It's interesting to see where my skills have come in handy when I thought all that was behind me.
Friday.. I dreaded it and wanted so much to experience it. A big event that only comes once a year... and was all morning. I was in the midst of it all.. handling questions, complaints, nervous and crying people... it was unbelievable and annoying at the same time. It never stops... we see it coming every year but somehow we manage to screw something up. Errors.. problems... incompetence... patience... appreciation... saving someone's day... such a wide range of emotions, events and situations. But after a couple hours, the flow started going well and everything began to be managed easily and quickly. Noon came and the rush quickly died down. I tried to enjoy the rest of the day... even if I was popping all over campus from meeting to meeting.
I was so looking forward to the weekend. Not only because I got to spend time with truly hilarious people.. and at a lovely country cottage where you hear birds, frogs and raindrops while you sleep.. but because it truly was a mini vacation. Saturday it absolutely rained horribly.. but was still refreshing and somewhat warm. We explored the fair, met up with my mother (again), played a million games, experienced all the fun stops, and I came home with enough prizes and goodies to last me a good while. Tho I bet I looked strange wearing a stock pot on my head across the parking lot. Hey, it was raining after all.
With over three days away from the city, to taking over 200 pictures of every known thing, to antique shopping on Sunday, to lounging, to gambling, to dinners and breakfasts on the patio garden... I didn't want to leave. But alas.. I came back... I sucked it up. I unpacked.. I hugged my lonely cat.. and embrace the coming academic year. More classes. More students. New friends. New adventures. Along with the same old same old. Here we come.