Sunday, December 19, 2010

Life throws you curves...

At least this one wasn't as bad as they've been in the past, but it had me scared shittless. Early Friday morning mom had a heart attack. After I hung up the phone with my dad assuring me he was ok and I could hear the helicopter if I listened closely (she was life flighted to a bigger hospital) I didn't move.

Nick said "did your mom just have a heart attack?"
"Do you want to go to the hospital now?"
"Um, dad said he'd call back when he knows more."

I curled into him and cried and he let me. I kept thinking I'm not ready. I'm not ready. The truth is it doesn't matter if we're ready. It doesn't matter at all, and it's pretty scary coming face to face with that knowledge.

In those moments after the phone call I wanted to give her everything I could, everything she wanted from me... A huge wedding, peach flowers, a band, baby's breath, lace, tulle, a litter of grandchildren and live in the house next door.

"Ok," I finally say, "let's go." We get ready and head to the hospital that is about an hour and 15 min from my place.

Once we get there we hear all the details and see my mom and dad and uncle. Mom doesn't look horrible and she walks me through what happened. She woke up at 3am and felt really crappy. She thought it was her anxiety, so did dad. She started sweating and her back hurt, dad tried to calm her down. Then she told my dad her left arm hurt and her chest was starting to hurt. He gave her some aspirin and drove her to the hospital (small town= 5 min drive, max). Once there, the staff took one look at her and rushed her back. She had one artery blocked 99% so they decided to transport her to the other hospital. Once she got there they immediately put the stint in and began assessing everything. She had very minimal heart damage. She has to go back in January for some more work. She should be able to go home tomorrow. She's 55...

Thinking about losing her was so different this time then that fear has ever been for me. I knew I wasn't in control. How crazy for me to ever really think I was. I used to think there was no way I would live through that and now I knew I wasn't ready and that she had more she should be able to do... But I also know this process isn't fair.

Thank you to the few of you who know about what's been going on- your thoughts are much appreciated.

Also, while I'm talking about curve balls, Friday night my grandfather passed away. It's sad because we will all miss him but he was more than ready. He's been in a nursing home for 5 years and can't see or hear or walk. He has some peace now, which he deserves. The sad part is my grandmother is still here, and suffers from dimentia. They've been in the same room at the nursing home and I just have such a hard time believing they have to be separated. They always did everything together. Walked into town to do errands together, had only one car their whole lives because they'd just go together- that type of couple. So that is the part that hurts the most right now. And knowing my dad is sad that his dad is gone. Although it was time, we will always miss him.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7, 1941

I was (kind of) watching the news this morning and the news station was talking with surviving WWII vets about Pearl Harbor and one old man mentioned that no one will remember what happened on this day when all of them are gone. Yes we will! I may not have been there but I will remember this day.

In honor of those lost, injured or present at Pearl Harbor 69 years ago today, I want to know more than the basic facts. Before looking into the events of the day I know that it was a surprise attack by the Japanese that happened on December 7, 1941. Congress voted for war with Japan on December 8, 1941, launching us into WWII. Let's jump in!

Some Facts about the events of the day:
* Pearl Harbor is the Naval Base for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Pearl Harbor is the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

* Pearl Harbor has 10 square miles of navigable water. The harbour is on the southern coast of Oahu. The harbour is artificially improved.

* A U.S. embargo on necessary supplies for war prompted the attack on Pearl Harbor.

* A U.S. Army private who noticed the large flight of planes on his radar screen was told to ignore them because a flight of B-17s from the continental U.S. was expected at the time.

* The Japanese attack force was under the command of Admiral Nagumo. Japansese force consisted of six carriers with 423 planes. The Japanese fleet had 30 ships. The Japanese Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku planned the attack with great care.

* At 6 a.m. the first Japanese attack wave of 83 planes took off. The air raid lasted until about 9:45 a.m.

* Three prime targets escaped damage, the U.S. Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers, the Lexington, Enterprise and Saratoga. They were not in the port when the attack took place. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked.

* Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk (two of which were raised and returned to service later in the war) and all of the four other battleships present were damaged. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship[8] and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 personnel were killed[9] and 1,282 were wounded.

* Japanese losses were light, with 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.

* On December 8, 1941, Congress declared war on Japan with only one vote against it. The vote against it was of Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, who had also voted against U.S. entry into World War I.

* A white concrete and steel structure now spans the hull of the sunken ship as a memorial. The memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1962.

Thank you to those who have been personally touched by the incidents at Pearl Harbor as you are forever imbedded into the history of America!


Saturday, December 4, 2010


I could blame lily, she hasn't found a spot to be comfortable all night. She needed to go out so dang early. I had already been fighting a world class headache so we got up at 515 and I let her out and took some excedrine. Then we laid back down. Then it started, out of nowhere. 

Curling up in the Left side of my head I had this flash of pinching mike up at the airport. Just the regular pick ups. He would always check his bag so when I met him in baggage claim he'd just come walking down the stairs with nothing but a big smile, haha. I always miss him but haven't felt the strong need to see him like I did at that moment. I was overwhelmed, laying in Bed in tears, convincing myself that this would not help my (usually stress triggered) headache. 

I used to talk to him all the time. I still talk to him a lot but I mean it used to be all the time. I said to him, i just miss you. I'm ok, but man do I miss you. Please know that I always miss you, your warmth, your blue eyes, your smile. You're an amazing person and I knew that before you were gone. Now we get the chance to make sure as many people as possible know that the world was better because you were in it. Not just my world, the whole world. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I haven't decorated for Christmas since the first Christmas Mike was deployed. I decorated so that I could take pictures and send them to him. This year I have been compelled by some of the people closest to me to decorate, just a little at a time. Yesterday I got a little done, and it has been a nice adjustment because in the process I also have to clean up the house. A little 2-for-1 there.

The Television

The staircase (kind of a work in progress)

I think one of my widow friends put it perfectly. She said that she was always in love with Christmastime. Last year was her first Christmas without her husband and it was so close to his death she didn't even want to think about it. This year she's decided that the way her husband used to make fun of her for getting so excited about Christmas was one of the many ways he showed his love for her, and because he loved that about her, she would continue to be that way. It's a great thing to remember how to be yourself, the "you" that drew in your mate, and be able to embrace that again :)


This year's Thanksgiving was different from the last few I've had. I remember getting ready before we were about to eat and taking a minute to absorb that the weight of grief wasn't there. Not at that moment. I just felt nice, solid happiness. I told myself to just feel it. I teared up at the overwhelming thought that this was actually possible when for so long it felt like it could never be, or that I didn't want it. I miss him, but I know he's proud and happy that I am able to be happy. That is an understanding between us. So this year's Thanksgiving was filled with story telling, food, laughter, sunshine, football, red wine, wii bowling, happiness, remembering, missing my family, shopping, German beer, and some happy downtime.