Goodbye

I’m writing this brief update from the waiting room of a hospital in California.  In a completely unexpected turn, my Dad’s health crashed last night and the doctors warned us he didn’t have much time.  I jumped on the first flight I could find and, after two hours of sleep and a short flight, here I am.

The doctors are certain that this is the end of the line for my Dad, so I’ll be staying in California for at least the next week.  Updates will be light.  My Dad fought an amazing fight, and now it’s time to say goodbye.  I’m just so blessed to have gotten here in time to do just that.

Good News Bears

I feel like I’m awake and dreaming today.  I slept in on purpose this morning, knowing full well I didn’t have time to do that thanks to laundry and breakfast duties.  Then I skipped putting makeup on because I looked at my face and thought, “Good enough.”  A driver cut me off on my way to work and I barely noticed, hours keep slipping by with alacrity, and not a whit of any of it is registering with me today.

I’m not sure how many of you know this, but my Dad has cancer and has been fighting it for almost two years.  He’s incredibly strong, and more brave than anyone I know, and, against all odds, makes having cancer look like not a big deal.  I don’t talk about it much, mostly to respect his privacy.  I also keep mum on the topic because, when I look back on my archives, it delights me to re-live the things that made me smile, or fascinated me, or drove me to distraction.  I have little interest in re-visiting the things that make me cry.

That’s why I’m sharing this today.  My brother called me Monday afternoon to let me know my Dad was checking into the hospital for surgery and would be expected to stay for around four days.  I fretted most of Monday night, and spent Tuesday obsessively checking my phone for updates.  Testing it to make sure it was receiving calls, stopping myself from calling my brother, typical waiting stuff.

He did finally call and all is well.  The surgery went well, and my Dad’s recovering nicely with every intention of transferring back to a regular room later today.  After a call like that, it’s hard to get irritated about the petty annoyances of life.  I feel disconnected from everything, but not because I’m depressed or angry.  I’m transcendent at knowing that, once again, my Dad has demonstrated his remarkable ability to make impossible things look easy and that he’ll be much more comfortable now.

When someone you love fiercely pulls through surgery and comes out the other side waving and well, it’s pretty silly to get all bent out of shape over getting cut off in traffic.

Flippant Frugality

Wanna know what I did this weekend besides demolish an entire bag of sour gummy worms because I could and they’re delicious (Gestational diabetes here I come!)?  I went shopping.  I spent money.  I boldly spat in the eye of my budget and said, “You know what, budget?  The best things in life may be free, but this tummy’s not getting any smaller and free maternity clothes are few and far between.”

After a whirlwind shopping adventure that ransacked five different stores, I ended up with the following:

  • A very cute pair of maternity capris
  • A pair of maternity jeans
  • Six cotton t-shirts, all of which are very long and perfect for layering
  • A bacon Whopper with cheese

The cost for this shopping FUNANZA?  $38.  Because the world is a very good place.  The only down side to my little shopping trip is that the maternity pants, which were such a very good steal at $5, are a tad too short.  In fact, all maternity jeans I tried on were too short.

It appears that the manufacturers of maternity pants are cruel, and unusual, because they make maternity pants in the following sizes: S, M, L, XL.  This means that if you’re someone like me who’s leggy and has junk in the trunk but not enough to justify hopping up a size, you’re out of luck.  It’s either swim around in pants that are too big or wear cute socks.

I’m going to throw myself on the mercy of my sewing-whiz mother in law and see if she wouldn’t mind sewing a cute inch or two of fabric around the cuffs of the pants to give them some extra length.  I’ll look like a That 70’s Show cast-off, but at least my ankles won’t freeze.

Wes says I impressed him with my frugality this weekend.  We’re determined to do the whole baby thing as economically as possible, as we figure this little buddy’s going to outgrow most of the things we buy right now anyway, so what’s the point in going hogwild over brand new super-awesome stuff?

We’re going used baby furniture (I refuse to look at shiny new cribs in catalogs and instead browse Craigslist), used stroller, used baby clothes, used toys, etc. all within the realm of safety and recalls.  The only new things we’re getting new are a carseat and crib mattress, because those are the things experts say you should never buy used.

Good thing those are the only two though, because those suckers are expensive!

True to form, I’ve left my blogging until late at night and now I’m tired and soft, like cheese left out on the counter too long.  You can try to scrape me onto a cracker if you want, but I can’t guarantee I won’t give you salmonella.

Wagging

I was out for a walk last night and passed some guy walking a small, fluffy white dog.  He stopped to rest in the shade of a tree and shouted across the street, “It’s too hot to walk!”  He didn’t say it in a let’s-share-the-misery kind of way, he was distinctly judgmental about it.  Like he strongly disapproved of my decision to go for a walk on a sunny, beautiful day.

I wondered how he was hoping I’d respond to his recrimination.  That maybe I’d dive under the nearest tree and fan myself while shouting my agreement across the street?  That I’d crumple to the ground and clutch my heart when I realized that yes, it truly was too hot to walk?  Apparently, I live on the surface of the sun.

I really miss Doc on these walks.  Whenever Wes and I pass someone walking a dog down the street we always get quiet for a moment.  I miss nagging him to heel, I miss watching him struggle not to chase the leaves down the street, I would be overjoyed to hear the clicking of his giant dog claws next to me against the pavement.  There are sweet summer days that just seem created for a good game of fetch, but I can’t bring myself to play it with him because he’ll gladly injure himself just for the thrill of chasing down a ball.

We still have our laughs, though.  I was reclining on the couch with my arms above my head last night and Doc, not looking first, decided to ram himself against my shoulder.  Except my shoulder wasn’t there, it was my armpit.  So there went Doc’s whole face, nose first, right into my armpit.  He was shaking deodorant out of his nostrils for a good minute or so.

Or Buns.  Oh my gosh, he loves Buns (the bunny).  He’s haunted by Buns, truly.  He saw Buns in our yard once, many months ago.  Away he went, tearing across the yard like his tail was on fire.  He didn’t catch Buns, of course, because Buns is very hoppity, but now he’s obsessed with chasing this bunny he saw many months ago.  Every time he goes outside he rushes out, chest out and tail wagging, scanning the yard for just a glimpse of a furry little bunny butt.

He never sees it, but that doesn’t stop him from trying.  Kind of like with us and our quest to be financially secure.  We have yet to actually see what that looks like, but we keep trying, tail wagging all the while.

The Glasses

Do you remember that post I did last week wherein I mentioned my gigantic glasses of many years ago?  Well, Blanche commented that I can’t very well blog about my ginormous glasses without sharing them, so I did what any good self-effacing blogger would: I scanned me a picture of those suckers and, let me tell you, I am THIIIIIS glad they invented contacts because man.  I’m lucky the sun didn’t set me aflame with glasses like that.

Was that enough suspense building?  I hope so, because I present to you with the utmost shame and cringe…My 5th grade portrait:

Oh look at me, just casually hanging out on this stair railing.

Oh look at me, just casually hanging out on this stair railing.

You’re welcome.  I hope you all feel better about yourselves today.