Living History

When I was a kid, my favorite time of the year was summer. My second favorite time of the year was fall.

In the summer and at Thanksgiving, I was lucky enough to go on road trips with my family, to visit Vermont, New Hampshire, and Virginia.

I got to see my beloved cousins and enjoy the great outdoors while camping and visiting resorts, thanks to our grandfather.

One of our trips was to Manassas Battlefield when I was pretty young. I remember there being a lot of walking, and a lot of bugs.

Whenever we all, as a family, got to one of the monuments at Manassas, I just wanted to rest. But the joy of pushing a button on an interactive display kept me going. I push the button, and someone speaks!

When I pushed the button, a tired voice would come out of the monument, a tired man tired of battles would speak to me, and tell me to turn my head and look around at the ground on which he fought. He’d tell me exactly what he saw, that day, that time, way back when. He’d tell me what hardships he went through, and how doubtful he was about his chances to survive.

Living history.

I would hate to see the day that any of us Americans turn our back on history, no matter how much we might not like it.

I would hate to see the day when we silence the voices of those who walked this earth before we did.

I would hate to stop learning and trying to seek answers, when that should be our sole purpose here on earth.

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Hey Now

In case anyone forgot, in the heat of the moment, our duly elected President is our duly elected President.

I’m all for world federation stuff so long as it’s Star Trek I’m watching, on TV,  but so far, we’re still a planet of nations and we’re not quite global yet.

Our nation deserves its voice, and a leader.  A duly-elected leader, which is what Donald Trump is.

You know, I read Real Clear Politics daily.  I like the site, because it gives me news feeds from  both sides, every day.  I like that balanced stuff, because I’m a Libra and I like my news fair and balanced.

I strive to keep an open mind.

I hope everyone does.

But, gosh.  I’m beginning to think there are a lot of open minds out there who might be under some bad influences, and I’m beginning to see a lot of people wanting to tell me that what I’m seeing is influenced by people who want me to see bad things, when in actuality the people I want to trust are just trying to influence me and keep me entertained and get my vote in line every four years.

I’m beginning to feel just plain influenced. And turned off.

And that’s scary.

What I keep faith in is my belief in good people.  People who have worked hard to make good things.

People who have shaped us all, and made us want to be productive.

People who have taught us things and reminded us of things that we might sometimes forget, in the heat of the moment, or in times of desperation.

People like Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, and FDR.

We have a history.  A history of good government, of good governing.

A history of being open-minded, yes. A history of leaders who took new roads when they had to…roads that led us to new places.

That history matters and should teach us to be open to new paths…open to people, and presidents, who want to build new paths.

We have a new president who is building a new path.

Let us give him time to form it.  Let us give him time to show us how he wants to lead us there.

Please, let us try to work with him, instead of against him, in an effort to maintain what is good about us as a country.

Can we at least try to do that, together?

This is Cancer

It took a good man.  A big, strong, solid, vibrant, loving man.

It took him, and knocked the wind out of his sails.  Drained his big, strong, solid, vibrant, loving body and weakened it, day by slow, excruciating day.

Took his pride.  Took his feelings.  Took his hopes and wishes away, and left him hollow.

With skeletal eyes, it made him gaze at me.  Causing constant pain, it led him to hold my hand and say nothing.

A beautiful man was taken out.

A man that was loved and was loving.

Pancreatic cancer grows, like a silence.

A death sentence that makes no sense.

A sentence that took away a whole book of a life.

This is cancer.

Waiting for the Dead to Talk

Everybody’s telling me to wait for signs from Rob.

“He’s there, he’s guiding you, his spirit is watching over you, he’ll give you a sign…”

One friend, only a week or two after Rob passed, told me that he hugged her.  I wanted to ask her why he would hug her first, and not me, but I didn’t have the nerve.

I shared with friends that a hummingbird came and hovered over Rob’s red impatiens last month.  Someone told me it was Rob himself, coming to visit me and cheer me.  I said, “Rob was not a hummingbird.  He was a hawk, or an eagle.  He was not a hummingbird.”

I talk to Rob all the time, but I get no answers.  I don’t even get the sense that he’s there listening.

Someone told me to pay more attention to my dreams, that perhaps Rob can only visit me in dreams.

Thursday night I had the most vivid dream ever, but in my dream I was sitting on a couch with Hillary Clinton and asking her why she feels entitled to the White House.  I made the mistake of calling her “Mrs. Clinton” and she made very clear to me that I should address her as “Madame Secretary” before telling me that it’s not for me to second guess her motives nor deny her her place in herstory.

Rob was nowhere in sight, in this dream, nor has he been anywhere but in photographs, lately.

 

 

Harry Houdini wanted desperately to reach out to his mother’s departed spirit.  So much so that he apparently visited each and every so called medium in an effort to have his mother visit earth after she passed.  Harry ended up exposing each and every so called medium as a fraud.

I’ve come to the conclusion that once a person is dead, they are really and truly dead.

Perhaps that’s the way they want it.

Perhaps it’s what we should let them have.

Pure quiet, and peace.

Cancer Like a Silence

On May 17, Rob called me at work and said, “I’m at the hospital.  I checked myself into the ER this morning because I was doubled over in pain.  They did an MRI and they told me I have a mass on my pancreas, and more spots on my liver, but they’re sending me home.”

I left work and met him at his cabin.  He was waiting for me on the front porch.  I sat down with him, and his first words to me were, “I don’t want to die.”

By the first week of June, I was spending every night with him.  He wasn’t able to sleep due to hours-long bouts of hiccups, and he was afraid he’d stop breathing in the middle of the night.  My cats were home alone in my house, so I’d leave work every night and go home to feed them dinner and check their water bowl and litter box, then race over to Rob’s to spend the night.

I tried to make him fattening dinners…a lot of pasta, quiche, vegetables, soup, breads.  Most nights he’d take a few bites and then ask for an Ensure.  Other nights, he’d eat almost half the plate but then vomit it up before asking for Ensure.

He went from 179 lbs to 130 in two months.  He stopped showering because he couldn’t stand seeing his body anymore.  His skin was jaundiced, his muscles were gone, and he looked like a victim from Auschwitz.

I held him anyway.  I stroked his back, his shoulders, his arms, his legs.  I tried to find the old Rob in the new Rob.  I took him on long drives in the car on my days off, just to get him off the couch and out into the air.  Give him scenery, a change of pace.  He’d put on his sunglasses and lean the passenger-side seat back and look out the window and wave to people.  He’d squeeze my hand and say, “Thank you.”

He died at 57 because he was afraid to see the doctor each year.  He thought he was healthy as a horse and had no need for annual checkups.  When the pain started in his midsection last year, he thought perhaps it was an ulcer but he feared all the tests he’d have to go through.  So he kept putting off a physical.

That week in May, after he went to the ER, he handed me seven pages of blood test results.  I found the flagged items and googled ALT, ALP, AST, and started sobbing.  It was already too late.

But the oncologist told us that he’d get stronger after a few doses of chemo…the gastroenterologists told us they could help unblock the blockage…the surgeon told us that the port-a-cath would make Rob’s life easier…his primary care physician told us that his meds could help the pain…

Rob is gone but the bills keep coming to his mailbox, all of them from the oncologist, the gastroenterologists, the surgeon and the primary care physician.  They all knew he was dying…now they want to collect, the bastards.

Cancer is silent until it grows.

Pan Can, Can You Do the Pan Can?

Well.

So Rob and I are back together again.

I’m caregiver, he’s patient.  He’s very, very patient.

In May of this year, he suddenly started suffering stomach and back pain, along with constipation, and he ended up in the emergency room around May 17.  After an MRI showed a mass on his pancreas, he had an appointment with his (rather useless) primary care physician who administered lots of pain drugs but no tests for a month.

I think I wrote, last month, that he was scheduled for a biopsy.  Biopsy was done on June 23 and still no cancer care until almost another month later, when we were finally introduced to an oncologist who is now Rob’s primary care guy.  Not a moment too soon, oy.  Since then, several tests have been done, he’s got a gastroenterologist, a physical therapist, chemo…

And here we are.  I’m not able to get online much, because I’ve been spending every night at Rob’s cabin, about four miles away from our house.  He has no internet there.  His rent is no longer affordable, with disability payments alone, so he’s moving back in with me in our house next week.

Meantime, he started chemo this week – very aggressive stuff, but that’s the way we like it.  I am determined to see him back on his Harley by autumn.

Are you with me?

I’m gonna blog when I can, with updates, rants, prayers, tears, and hopefully nothing worse.

Meantime, I’m joining the Green Party and voting for Jill Stein.  The Democratic Party is shit, in my eyes.  That’s all I will say about politics.

I’m here for the fun, and the not fun.  I’m not here to talk about how wonderful Hillary Clinton is.  Oy.