Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daddy's Day

I am looking forward to this Saturday.
So much.
I have planned a dinner party for my Dad's birthday. It was last Tuesday, but everyone had plans last week. So.
Saturday a group of 10 will head to a local restaurant in Wooster, Ohio to celebrate my Father, freindship, and family.
The people attending the dinner party are people that hugely influenced my life. My Dad has great friends. Very intelligent people that also know how to have a good time. I haven't stayed in contact with them as much as I would have liked, but I am changing that. I reconnected with 4 of them over Thanksgiving and it made me realize how much I missed them.
These are people that I grew up with. Went of vacation with. They were like extra sets of parents. A tribe raising a child.
I don't think any of them realize how much they molded me, helped shape me into who I am today.

I think my Dad is pretty excited as well. We talked last night and he was interested to know who all was coming and I think he was pretty impressed that I was able to get all his close friends together for him.
Now, I just have to get an ice cream cake and we will be all set.
Reservations are made. Plans are set.
Should I get party hats?!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

6 Months

6 Months is not a lot of time.
Half a year.
Roughly 180 days.
A blink of an eye.

That is how long we have with my Momo.
Last Thursday, the bomb was dropped on my lap. I had to tell my mother and then Momo herself.
Her liver is speckled, no, not speckled, riddled, with cancer. Too much to do surgery on. And chemo may not be an option. Even if it is an option, what would her quality of life be for the extra few months it may give her?
I was lucky enough to get off work an hour early last Thursday and the doctor was heading to her room as I walked onto the floor she was on. One of my good friends was her nurse that day and hurried me to the room. The doctor pulled me into a separate room, away from her, and gave me the news. I took it well and I am still handling it better than I ever thought I would. I think my medical background is helping with that...knowing too much sometimes allows you to have mindset of knowing when treatment isn't the best option. The doctor was very kind. A new partner with 2 of my favorite docs in the world. I almost took a job with them in fact. He was honest and pulled up her CT scans and showed them to me. Then gave me the prognosis. I am sure it is one of the worst parts of his job. He was very candid with me and more than sincere. He told me that it would be my job, as both the granddaughter and as the family member with medical background, to be the voice of reason...sanity...compassion.
I called mom and told her to stop by the hospital before getting Papa to bring to see Momo.
She instantly knew.
When she got there I took her to a private room and told her. She instantly broke down. It was one of those moments where I had to act as the adult and she got to be the child. I was honest with her and told her the reality of the situation. It was not a time for sugar coating. We decided to not tell Papa...with his worsening dementia he would only dwell on it over and over and he doesn't need that. He worries enough. Mom left to get Papa and I went back in to see Momo and have the talk with her.
I told her as simply as I could and with as much tact as you can. She took it well. She was very quiet for the first 20 min, but then began to ask questions. I told her that she had to make the mental decision to either fight it to the end or just roll over and die and I told her that I hoped it would be the first. That she was a strong woman and that many wouldn't have made it through the 10 hours surgery that she endured. She agreed. Then she showed just how much she cared when she said, "I can't leave Papa alone."
I told her that when the time came, Papa would never be alone. That we wouldn't let that happen and that it was the least of her worries. That she needs to take the mental standpoint of a fighter and put her stubborness to good use. She laughed at that.

Her personality since the news hit has been like her old self and I am so thankful for that.
My Momo is back.
My Momo from Friday night sleep overs and talking for hours. The gentle care is back in her voice. The bitterness that had set in over the years seems to have melted away.
I am going to take these 6 Months and make the most of them.
Because in is so little.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine's Day Dinner

This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking my Momo and Papa to the Whirlpool Maintenance Departments Charity Fundraiser and Retirement Get-together/Valentine's Day Dinner.
Papa has pretty significant dementia and Momo is still recovering from her colon/liver cancer surgery and still doesn't walk all too well (she took a tumble off her bed Saturday afternoon because she made Joe move it to the other side of the bed...the side of the bed that she doesn't use...nice.) so it was pertinent that someone went with them.
You could tell Papa was excited about going, since he was begging to leave at 4 even though the doors didn't open til 5 and it is only a 20 min drive.
He talked to me the whole way there and he is a man of few words. He told me how back in the day, when he first started at Whirlpool in 1952 and got into the maintenance department, in 1954, he noticed that all the scrap copper was being thrown away. He and another co-worker approached the president of the Clyde division and asked if they could begin collecting it and turn it in for money to then use to fund a dinner event. He said yes and to this day that is what they do. He seemed very proud of that, as he should be.
The copper scrap leaves so much extra money though , that the maintenance department is able to donate to charities as well. Before dinner they read off all the names of the newly retired and what charities were donated to that year. And the charity list was quite long. Plus they donate only to local charities. Impressive.
It was fantastic watching Papa interact with his coworkers and chat about things other than the weather and how Momo is doing. You could tell he was a very well respected man in his days at Whirlpool by the number of men that still came up to shake his hand.
Papa was a self-made man. He started on the floor at Whirlpool and worked his way up to upper management, retired early, then started his own landscaping business. Add this to the fact that he left his Mother and Father's home at the age of 8 due to their alcoholism and still managed to graduate high school and be a 3 sport athlete. He is very intelligent and slow to judge. He is probably the greatest man I will ever know.
I felt very proud sitting beside him at dinner, especially when he would make it a point to introduce me to his former coworkers.
And Lora, you would have had a blast with your stealthy camera at all the "fashions" that Clyde has to offer.
Oh, and Papa remembered every moment of the evening on Sunday night!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Amy Seiffert, Awareness in a Little Gray Dress

Check out Amy's blog.
She is wearing the same dress. Everyday. For six months straight.
The cause?
The Daughter Project.

Very interesting way to raise awareness. I caught my attention for sure.
Toledo, a town that is about 35 minutes from where I live, is one of the main hubs for human trafficking to be exact.
It is sick and crazy how this is happening right under our noses in the heart of the USA.
But it exists and needs to be brought to more people's attention.

Monday, February 7, 2011


"You don't really want to get rid of that do you?!"
The opening line to becoming a pack rat...aka, my husband.

Kevin and I seriously argued over me taking a $2.88 "oak" wood picture frame to goodwill that I purchased in 1996 from Walmart...seriously. His reasoning for wanting to keep it? You may use it some day. So, until that day we are supposed to stow it away in one of the 2 small closets that we have in our house...makes complete sense, right?! Not in my head.
But, Kevin grew up in a home with pack rats. I'm talking first class hoarders. His parents had this HUGE room, probably 45' by 15' that was supposed to be the master bedroom, (complete with fireplace!) stacked full of junk. JUNK. Empty boxes, broken flower pots, newspapers and magazines, coffee cans, clothes that would never be worn again, broken vacuum cleaners, just plain junk. In a room that could have been amazingly beautiful!
I refuse to live that way.
So Kevin and I fought for 3 hours about it. Until I put my foot down, said to get over it, and walked away. Then I handed him the speakers that have been in storage since we started dating (10 years ago!) and told him to do something with them because they were wasting valuable space.
He didn't speak to me for 2 more hours. Then he went and actually looked in the closets and saw how much more organized and junk free they were and apologized.
5 wasted hours over a picture frame that cost me $2.88...