Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Glad it's not Monday anymore

I don't know why I get maudlin on Mondays. Ellie has Taco Tuesdays; maybe I should have Maudlin Mondays.

I didn't get a chance to blog about the event I hosted last week. We had a chance to host several generals and rear admirals here to learn about the work we're doing in helping develop new treatments for wounded military personnel. I've written before about the need for these treatments; it's vitally important. They also wanted to learn about the program we have in face and hand transplant, which is a big part of the work I do. And yes; I'm being a bit cryptic for a reason. I don't want to give away too much, as it wasn't a public event.

I'll just say that the day went swimmingly. Better than super-fantastic, truth be told. I felt proud of the work the team did and to toot my own horn for a moment (you'll indulge me a little toot, won't you?), I totally rocked the whole "gather the right people in the right place at the right time and get them to say the right thing", thing.

The funniest part of the day was when the general's aide-de-camp called my cell phone.

"We're about 40 minutes late taking off. We're going to try to make up some time in the air, but we might be about 30 minutes late."

It was supposed to be a 90-minute flight; I figured they might make up 10-15 minutes, but I wasn't holding my breath.

45 minutes later, my phone rang again. "We're landing right now."

"You're what?"

"We're landing. Does the limo have clearance to come onto the tarmac?"

"Wait; you just took off 45 minutes ago. It's supposed to be a 90-minute flight. How did you do that???"

"It's the general's plane Ma'am." I could hear the smile in her voice. "I believe his exact words were, Punch this thing, Son. I don't want to miss lunch."

It's good to be the king, I guess. ;)

All of the presentations went great. The military folks asked a ton of questions and were genuinely interested in the program. As he left, the general pressed his personal coin into my hand. "You're doing good things here. You give these young men hope. I appreciate it."

Anyway, when the world looks bleak, sometimes it's good to remember that there are reasons to keep going and there are people who appreciate the effort.

Maybe next time, he'll let me ride in the jet. ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

nothing left to hide behind

Dear Bug,

You've been gone four months now. Things here are awfully hard right now. There aren't any holidays, or milestones, or excuses to hide behind anymore. There is no shock now to make us feel like you've just taken a vacation. I'm not quietly, secretly convinced that you're going to walk back in the door, any minute now. There's just a great big hole in our lives where you used to be.

I haven't touched your room. Your bed is still unmade. In those first few weeks, I was still shocked to see that you were not there. Now I'm just overwhelmingly, profoundly sad.

I'm worried about your Daddy. He doesn't seem to want to do anything, or see anyone. I'm worried that he's going to give up, that he's not going to finish school. Baby, if you could give him a sign, any sign, that you want him to pick up and start living again, I know he could use it.

I'm scared, Bug. I'm scared that your memories are going to fade. I'm scared that some day, I will come across your Winnie-the-Pooh washcloth, but I won't be able to remember how soft your skin was, or how much you loved being SuperPidge in the hooded towel, or the sound of your laugh. I'm scared that some day, I won't be able to remember the night we sat under the big maple tree over by the school and you told be about the worst school day ever and you read me your poetry book and we figured out how to make the world better together. Those memories are all I have left of you and I'm so very terrified of losing them.

I'm sorry, sweetlove. I don't mean to dump on you. Baby, I hope that heaven is, well...heavenly. And I don't want you to worry too much. I know we're going to be OK in time. It's just that right now, it's a bit of a walk through hell down here. So if you have a bit of comfort to send to us, just a small sign that reminds us that your spirit is still here and that you know how much we miss you, we sure could use it right now.

I love you, sweet baby, and I miss you so much.

Monday, March 15, 2010

And people wonder why I need therapy...

The Scene: Friday evening. Oberlin College. Mr. Bean, Daisy Mae and I are at a Beekeeping meeting. While waiting for the meeting to start, Mr. Bean is looking at a catalog of beekeeping supplies. There is a page of honey jars for sale. The jars in the picture are full of honey.

Daisy Mae: Is that apple cider?

Mr. Bean: Daisy, this is a beekeeping catalog. I don't think bees make apple cider.

Daisy Mae: OK, but is that apple cider?

Mr Bean, looking perplexed: Um...um...yes. That's apple cider. It's harvested by the Apple Cider Beetles.

Daisy Mae: The Beatles? Are they still alive?

Mr Bean: Huh?

5 minutes later, Daisy Mae looks over Mr. Bean's shoulder again, as he looks at a second page of honey jars.

Daisy Mae: Wow, that's dark. Is that ketchup?

Mr. Bean stops for a moment. His mouth opens and closes several times.

Mr. Bean: No, that's more apple cider. It's harvested by the apple cider beetles.

Daisy Mae: Aren't The Beatles dead?

Mr. Bean: Two of them are.

Daisy Mae: Why aren't they making music anymore?

Mr. Bean: Because they went into the apple cider business.


Daisy Mae: I think you're making this up.