Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hard times

Man U plays Arsenal today. Rooney takes over as captain. He probably will not score at all. *sigh*

My friend, the Liverpool lover, is en route to Vietnam. Says he and his stepbrother are going to housesit. He plans to seek work there. If he has no luck, then he will head for Indonesia or the Philippines. Funny how in cyberspace you can make friends with the most unlikely people. Imagine a 39-year-old man from the United Kingdom being friends with a 61-year-old woman from the Panhandle of Texas. Ben, you are a cool one.

Cheryl is very angry right now. I think the reality of facing a double lung transplant and the affects her health are already having on the children are making her angry at everyone and everything. I wish I knew how to handle the situation to help her in some way. Her odds are not good either way.

Connie keeps telling me to stop having suppositions about you. She is a wise woman. It is hard not to fill in the blanks or speculate what you would have said or done about something. I guess that is only human nature. It does no good however. It does not help one move on.

Dave was correct when he said I was your friend, not his or your mother's. I guess I and your friends are grasping for any link to you at all and that is hard for your mother to understand. The whole grief thing takes time.

I miss you like crazy, dude.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mutual admiration

Yesterday got away from me. I got one sentence written. The phone rang several times and then the couch beckoned. Today barely has shown its face. Early always has been better.

Kim and I talked like old friends yesterday. We shared a little about our families, our philosophy about eternity and karma. We talked cats, naturally. She told me a bit about her friend whom you dubbed Proud Mary.

I told her what Dave said about the AS. And what he said about me being your friend rather than your mom's or his. She agreed it made sense.

We thought it funny that we each had a body part to tend. She got your balls, I got your anoooose.

We discussed if you thought we all would cross paths like we have. What if, what if, what if .... The thing is we will never know, but it is an interesting thought. It appears we all were on the fringes, too. Hummm.

Dave also told me I worry too much. I must be pretty pitiful if he noticed. It is a part of my personality, and has been for many years.

I miss you; you seem to be further and further away. The warmth in my heart still burns.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sorry, no redo

S and I shared some Inbox posts back and forth. We felt our way through a few isssues. Larger ones loom.

Since I knew you only briefly in the great scheme of things, I fear losing the little unique links that were us. Maybe our friendship was not so special after all. Gains vs. losses. Change vs. sameness. Is this like love? Set it free and it comes back? This mass of indecision continues to tumble about in my mind. I do know what I share with S also will go to SG.

Maybe you knew I was the one who would tell you if you are tired, then you have earned your rest. Maybe you knew the kind of empathy I have. Was that part of it? Second guessing serves no purpose. I cannot go back and redo. Was it a case of be careful what you ask for because you might get it?

Ah geeze, dude. Did I screw it up? I did what I thought was best at the time. Forgive me if it was wrong.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Perfect creatures

"Cats are magical ... the more you pet them, the longer you both live."

My boys bring me great joy. Pogo and Satchmo: yen and yang.

I can thank Corey for Pogo. Corey, with the tender heart for animals, saw Pogo on a TV spot for the Humane Society. He did not have long to live unless someone adopted him. I heard the call, and three days later Pogo entered my home and heart.

Pogo is an alpha cat, probably because of his Siamese heritage. He is vocal and has several distinct meows. He is intelligent, energetic and curious. He has adopted a soft, pink cube as his favorite napping spot. He is long and lean and thinks he requires feeding anytime I go near the kitchen.

Satchmo got his nickname, Momo, from Aidan. They are about the same age and got along wonderfully. Mo looks like one of those mouton jackets that were so popular when I was a kid. Plush and soft. He has a squatty body and waddles when he walks. He can put on the afterburner, but not frequently. He prefers the cat tree or his "man cave" for naps.

The boys make great companions. A couple of the best creatures around.

I miss you, dude.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snow job?

The weather folks predict feet of snow for Friday. Hhhhhmmmph. The rush to the grocery store to stock up for a blizzard mentality will take over. Shelves will lie barren and a toothless grin will greet you at the milk case. Must be the self-preservation gene at work. Nine times out of 10, the blizzard in reality is 2 inches. I can hope.

The Internet does not appeal as much to me now as it did. The friends hanging out on FB do care. But I can see now why you said what you did about it not being real. Technology is rather Orwellian.

The PHA chatters and FB PHriends want me to come to the conference in June. While I would love to meet some of them in person, I am not up to a trip halfway across the country. The thought almost frightens me.

The competition heats up in the hockey league. At least two others are playing with me now, Cory and your mom. Not sure about basketball *sighs with chagrin*. I am last in EPL and you fell out of first.

The rope unravels.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Small bits

I do not want mundane thoughts to clutter this blog. Not every day is one with brilliant assessments or profound discoveries, however. So do I skip days, which I did not want to do, or write about something trivial just to fill space? I think the latter. Life seems mostly the same with a few gifts thrown in to keep you anticipating more.

I need to look more closely for the gifts. Am I overlooking some that would make a difference? Then life would take me another way. What have I missed because of my choices? The concept taxes my imagination. And, really, does not matter because the choices I made are all I will ever know.

So dude, tell me. I am positive, if it were possible, you would love to share. I can feel you pulling away or leaving or just changing, though. That saddens me, of course, but the love I have for you allows me to accept the inevitable. One of these days I will find out for myself.

Later, dude.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The formula

Mellow. Yellow. Rather. Than. Blue.

OK. I can do this.

Inertia pervades my body. Why? Grief. Winter. Personality. Age. Procrastination. Aimless.

Remedy? One. Step.


Later. Dude.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

One of those days

Below is what my mind looks like today:

or maybe it it more like this:



Friday, January 22, 2010

Decisions, decisions

Yay Gilbert O'Sullivan. Today you said it all. Not many of the youngsters will recognize the song.

S and SG are perfect for each other, i.e., the post about the book and the master's thesis. I cannot believe how the English language crashed and burned during my lifetime. I sincerely hope the master's is not in English.

OK, enough carping. You would chastise me for those unkind words. Perhaps I should listen more closely to what you say. Your perspective added a dimension to my thinking -- a good one.

I remember our talks and I marvel that you put up with me. Your intellect outshone mine by lightyears. Yet we connected right up until the end. I hope I was worthy of that precious time. What a priceless gift for me.

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

That becomes my new philosophy regarding your family. I cannot allow them to edge into my life and take over. I am moving on.

The fantasy leagues are a mess. I am doing so poorly in EPL, I might as well not be making moves at all.

Monday I am going to seek help for me head. This cannot go on. This is no life.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

A whole lot

Life is the childhood of our immortality.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I need to put it into high gear. My life is going nowhere right now. I feel like I am just existing from day to day.

I think everyone is losing patience with me. Perhaps my imagination works overtime, but if I tire of this, surely others do too. Many of my friends suffer much more than I, and they continue to radiate positiveness. Enough leaning, time to shoulder some of the load.

A psychologist. I mentioned to Connie that I might need to see one. She indicated that idea was good. Maybe it would help to talk to a neutral someone. Surely my insurance will cover it.

I am trying to get out more than I have been, which has been none. Riding with Connie and the kids to pay bills will be a major outing. haha

Dude, I still miss you so. This grief shit is no fun, man.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brain dead

Hello again. I just checked the leagues and moved players around for the day. You are still No. 1 in and with a nice margin. You ________ And we are head to head this week in hockey and so far, you are beating me. Ha!

Cheryl apparently is a lot sicker than she is letting on to me. I want to be there for her and be strong, but I still am dealing with your loss. Please help her and me. You were so good at helping.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winding journey

Something has got to give. I am so isolated. Sound familiar? I can see where you were coming from, just a little anyway.

I am furious still with SG. I need to get over this, cause I am only hurting myself. Wonderful words, but in practice, not so easy. I wish I were a bigger person. I need to take lessons from you.

When I think of the adversity you went through in your life, and see for the most part it was not viewed as adversity, I am ashamed I whine. I wish I would quit questioning everything. You were a great friend. You enriched my life in ways no one else has. That is what makes each friend unique. You cared for me. And, as Kim pointed out, we have much in common.

I got to hear your speaking voice a couple of times before the video disappeared off your website. Maybe your mother found offensive the part about the tower looking like it had been smeared with dog shit. Maybe not. After all, she did know you quite well.

Boy, I screwed things up. Let it be.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Stuff left behind

Monday is here again. Time goes by quickly.

Kim and I are beginning to have a relationship. We are still in the feeling each other out stage. I like her, probably because we are much alike in many ways, though there are ways we are totally different.

We each carry Paul baggage. She because she knew you so well for so long and feels like she failed you in the end. Me because I knew you for such a short time and was flying blind with you in a couple of ways. We both loved you greatly, dude. Man, I still tear up when I think about you. You seem so far away right now. Is it so wrong to want you here now?

I am having such a hard time with S. I wish you could fill me in so I could understand her better. I would guess she is having a hard time too. So far the only common ground we have found has been music and not a lot of that.

I have taken over first in hockey and basketball. Pretty funny, huh? Course I am the only one playing. The La Liga experiment was a flop. You, however, continue to be No. 1. You are holding your own in EPL, too. Phenominal, dude.

Thanks, I love you. I care.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Time out

Time out. I love ya, dude. I care.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I read some of the IMs we sent back and forth over the months. I am not sure what I was looking for, but I gained a new appreciation for you and what life at the end must have been like for you.

Even in August, you knew you and SG would not work out. Oh, there was still the delight, but lots of things you said indicated you knew at some level you were doomed.

I also realize I was someone to you. Kim was right, you could tell by actions at times how you felt. And seeing the words you said also convinced me you did like me and care for me. Gosh I still tear up at times. I want to smile, but I do miss you so much, my friend.

I had to block SG, D and S on FB. Since you are now with the all knowing group, I need not detail why I did that. Let's just say for the record, my mental health was suffering.

I am still puzzled by the hat thing, too. Your mom said your dad wears it constantly. Your brother said he had it on. And I am wondering if it got given away. Sheesh. Course, it is dumb to put such stock in a material thing. I was attached to it sentimentally.

I cannot bear to play your songs right now. I wonder how you would feel about the great tribute album and some sort of foundation in your name. I know you shunned attention and were modest to a fault. Fortunately, I am completely out of the picture on that. And the CF book club. I stop in at the CF website occasionally just to keep up with goings on. I can see why you were such a stah, my friend.

Consider yourself mentally hugged. I know you hated to be touched, or so Kim said.


Friday, January 15, 2010

A new day

Boy, the chaos ensued after you died.

Of all your friends whom I talked to after your death, Kim is the one most like me and the one I get along with the best. I can see why you were such good friends and let her into your real life. She shed light on your life and the way you thought. I appreciate that beyond measure.

You know, what you were was good and bad. The good part is obvious. The bad is because of the good. Because you were the way you were, everyone thought they were special in your life. They felt they had proprietorship. In reality, that person is your mother. What a time she is having. I am not proud to say I had a part in making her uneasy and making her grief even harder. If I could erase that, I would. Grief on my part is no excuse to hurt the one person who loved you most.

You threatened me once before by saying you would withhold your forgiveness. I did as you asked. I would do so again. I might also speak up about SG. Maybe.

I need to find a life. I am still not sure where to turn, but I am at least taking small steps.

The mailman died. RIP


Thursday, January 14, 2010


The mailman is coming. I see him down the way, and I am sad.

How could I be so wrong-headed about something?

I need help, I've been told. That is sad, too.

Where, oh where, did I go? When did I leave?

Why am I so sad? Stealthy little bastard, saddness.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Painful realization

You know, I thought I would be welcomed by your friends and family with open arms. I guess I thought I was a member of the PM circle. But in reality, I was a very minor player in your life. Since my part in your life was at the end and not part that anyone wants to think about, most of your friends and family do not want to have me around. I am very much a reminder of the last segment of your life.

All this is confusing me and makes me wonder what I really did mean to you. When those doubts come zooming at me, I think of the day when you put up a link on IM of a hemorrhoid. Your way of saying help. You came to me with this. That had to mean a certain amount of trust.

I do not think I like your brother Dave. He as much as told me that I was sweet to send you a hat, but bug off. Help me understand him. I can see some resentment there of you. He feels like he needs to step up and be the man, but he has no finesse for that. I can see where schmooze would work with real estate.

I totally misjudged your mom. I wish I had had some more clues about her and your family. I guess you never thought all of us would come together. Or such figurative fighting would ensue. Let Me Go, is perhaps the best advice you can offer. I will try to do that.

I miss you terribly. I care.

Shoo, mailman.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gunned down

Hey dude. I tried so hard to stay out of the CF mess. The "I knew him better than you did, he would have changed" bunch. And more speculation on who Pepe/Gina was. I did not speak at your service, I did not get one of your books. What I had was you in the end. Am I jealous? A little. Mostly disappointed, I think.

I need to pull away from your friends now. Of all the mess, hurting your mom hurts me the most. Not making excuses, but grief does funny things to people. I guess I wanted her to trust me and in the process I ended up hurting her badly.

I am so lost right now. You were so much of my life for half a year. That is a long time. Long enough to become a habit and now withdrawal threatens to rock me to the core. Now I feel like a shell -- empty. This pain nothing will touch. I know you know all too well. SG had you on that path for a good part of the time I knew you. So few days you were not questioning or unhappy.

You had good times. The choice was yours, you made that plain. You discovered she was not exactly who you thought she was or hoped she was. I am sure she made some discoveries of her own. Realization takes some of us longer than others. Unfortunately, when you are playing craps with your life, snake eyes does come up. I think you were at that point in your life.

Oh, dude. I wish you had left some sort of word with folks, myself included. Speculation can turn the best of us into doubt-filled crazies. I so want to do the right thing. I remember telling you to mind your gut more in soccer. You agreed. Well, my gut tells me to hang tight onto Transplantland and Pepe. Should I destroy it? Not sure I know how. But if that was your choice, I would find out how. See what I mean about leaving word?

The blogs were such a part of your anguish. You said Pepe hurt you but SG killed you. God, Paul, what am I supposed to do? Maybe the furor will die down in a bit. And the whole Pepe thing will be a distant memory.



Monday, January 11, 2010

Live, learn

Early in my career at the newspaper, I was the sports copy editor for the afternoon paper. I laid out the pages, selected and edited the stories, wrote the headlines and when that was done helped with the rest of the paper.

One of my duties was to edit the copy of the legendary Putt Powell. Putt was an award-winning columnist. People called him the dean of sports journalists. Putt's column sold newspapers, lots of newspapers.

I was female and young.

One unfortunate day, I found an error in his column. I took it to him and told him it was Tulsa Hurricane not Hurricanes as he had written. He read me the riot act, or so it seemed to me at the time. I returned to my chair on the copy desk like a scolded Lab puppy.

Putt and I did not become buddies over the years, but he did listen to me when I had a question about his column. I, in turn, learned that the dean of sports journalists knew his stuff.

Putt wrote two columns. One for the morning paper, which was his longer, more detailed column. For the afternoon paper, he wrote a column called Short Putts.

I am going to do a "Short Putts"-type blog entry one of these days. One sentence, one topic. Harder than you might think.

I have learned to see right through suckups. Maybe because I was such a victim of them for so long. Or maybe I have become more suspicious in my old age. Whatever. I have little patience with them.

We all do what we have to do to live with ourselves. Whether it is rationalizing why something happened the way it did, or offering excuses for others. I know what you told me 26 hours before you died. That is what I will use as the standard. Others can think what they may. As much as we would like to, we cannot go back and change things. I am going to quit worrying about it.

Dude. Mon esprit partenaire.

I shot the mailman, but did not shoot his deputy.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Look back in anger

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty minutes of peace of

--Ralph Waldow Emerson

Yesterday must not have been peaceful because I surely was angry.

I was like the stump the cat worships. He rubs his chin on the stump over and over. But before you know it, he sharpens his claws on the object of his affection.

Some people are so determined to get what they want, they will make meek and nice to get it. They always have a plan A and several more lined out. They will say anything to get what they are after. The hard evidence leads to the real objective. The penguin leaves clues. Thus the anger.

Loyalty is my strong suit. If I find a reason to care for you, then you have my loyalty: faithfulness to commitments or obligations. Nuf said.

I am no longer angry. Just disapppointed. I know what our relationship was. I know how you felt, though you said men don't have feelings. Nothing you ever said in words, just what you said in actions. I know you must have had a great trust in me. I know what is inside matters. I know you did, too.

Trying to dissect a friendship is impossible and pointless. So I will remain thankful and blessed that I knew you, probably more the real you than most saw.

Step right up folks and see the elephant man. He was truly an oddity. People flocked to see him. This was where he lived. And this was his window on the world.

Your death has put such pressures on some people, particularly your mother. Not only is she dealing with the grief, but also with everyone's special request. And the questions. And of course, the day-to-day living, too, although I am sure routine is welcome. Making decisions is hard because she wants everything just right. And there are days of zombie-ism.

Then she is dealing with all the manipulation going on. She is a smart lady, however, so I am not worried about that.

Hey, dude! Snow caused the EPL to postpone matches. I got 5 points yesterday. Haha.

You are my sunshine. Miss ya, dude.

It's Sunday, the mailman is watching football.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Silver & gold

I was just reading about dehydration. I know I have been dehydrated for quite awhile. Even the doctor made a comment the other day. However, I did not know dehydration was that serious. Oh I knew about the poor man crawling in the desert dehydration, but as I sometimes tend to do, my dehydration is not that dehydration. Wrong.

So now I am going to have to drink lots more water for awhile. I am not a water drinker. Coffee, Diet Dr Pepper. That's it. And the Amarillo water is putrid. Bottled water is such a hassle and not good for the environment (there is a whole list of excuses for bottled water). See how good I am making excuses. Such wasted energy.

I have been blessed in my life with wonderful friends.

Connie and I have been friends since we were 13. We have a pretty amazing relationship. I can tell Connie anything. She offers honesty up front couched in a way I can accept.

We share a lot of history. After we grew up, she stayed in Amarillo and I went off to college. I married and divorced. I came back to Amarillo. She married and started having babies. I worked at the newspaper for awhile then got a wild hair and moved to Florida. She remained the rock while I rolled on. I came back and resumed my career at the newspaper. All this time we were there for each other. Huge phone bills (this was preInternet) became part of the budget.

Even now, she tells me what she thinks in such a way that I can absorb it without being defensive. She allows me the space to come to my own conclusion, and then chides me for taking so long to get there.

In turn, I listen to her worry about her sons and their families.

We both spoil our animals and every time we talk, we discuss their eating habits and how aggravating they are. We are turning into old ladies and we laugh defiantly about the signs as they show themselves. Remember, Connie and I are the ones who got that roll of carpet into the trunk of the car as Connie's brother-in-law stood laughing and unbelieving. So we take on old age, too.

Li-li-li-li life goes on.

Some friends have history, some friends have one glorious moment or two. All are part of the great scheme of things. I still miss you greatly, my friend. I refuse to give up until it is time, OK? We two were much alike, maybe we recognized ourselves in each other. Something to wonder about but not pick apart.

I still feel like I have something to prove to you about friendship. I can be gosh awful stubborn at times. Broken or not, there was something within you that was worth knowing. I am eternally grateful that you shared.

Caught the mailman going undercover. Ha.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Fair trade

Yesterday behaved itself: I kept moodiness in check, had a nice visit with a friend, and learned more about you and your family. Already today seems as though it will not cooperate as willingly.

Yesterday one of the goons and I got to know each other. He told me about your childhood, from his vantage point, of course. Your diagnosis changed the dynamic of the family. Almost like you had a twin brother who had not been there for nine years suddenly appear. Together, the twins became the focus of the family.

We talked about fistfights, BB guns and scuffles. Typical brother stuff. We talked about hero worship. Most older brothers earn some. We talked about how love and hate can be so similar, though not in those words.

The goon told me about the mystery you. How you compartmentalized your life. We discussed romanticized expectations. I knew all of this to some degree.

If I could put all the mysterious pieces of you together, would I? No, thanks. The mystery was as much a part of you as your brown eyes. I do not want to disassemble what I know and reassemble a different you, although to some extent that happens naturally when various components of your life get together. Some things are inescapable. But why push the wagon over the edge of the cliff?

Other parts of me want to know as much as I possibly can learn. I am basically a curious person, just like you were. While you often crunched stats to learn, I observe. I am a watcher. I am at my happiest sitting on the sidelines and watching people. I have learned much about humans and life this way. Sure, some lessons have taken me longer than others, but learn I do.

I showed the goon who I am the best way I could. I hope he understood me at least a little. There were certain questions and topics I did not want to discuss. He hit me with them from every angle. I held my ground for the most part. But I am ashamed to say I also said more than I wanted to. You know me and my heart.

The goon worries about your mother. I dropped her a note yesterday. I hope she takes the message to heart.

I worry about your mother too, but I know her strength. Your death knocked her to her knees. When the time is right, the grief will ebb and she will re-emerge. Not the same as her old self, but pretty damn close. I should remember that, huh?

What mailman?


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chocolate my hamartia

I should be pinging off the walls.

My godson and his family sent me a large gift bag full of every kind of chocolate imaginable. I managed to put a big dent in it last night for dinner. That's right, dinner. I think you would have given me a run for the money on some of it.

Somewhere I read most older people do not regret what they did, they regret what they did not do. Except for the Norman Rockwell thing, I believe you have no regrets. From what you told me and what I have heard from others, you had a life that was not only full, but rich as well. Oh, by your standards, I am sure you had some, but they were not obvious to everyone.

You managed to cram at least three lifetimes into one. Your body placed some limitations and obstacles in your way, but you adapted. The last couple of weeks you still were living your life to the fullest. Still learning, still giving, still excited. Yet you knew your run was almost over. I have so much admiration for you.

Your brother sent me the neatest note yesterday. I told him about when we were looking for hockey league players and the Tetrahedrons.

Speaking of which, you, YOU, are first in the EPL. I cannot believe you could pick a team that will carry you through the rest of the year, and probably on top. Haha. Not doing bad elsewhere either, considering. What oh what am I going to do next year?

Kirsop is not doing well. He has an infection and 17 percent lung function. I know you guys were going to take a tour of the venues in England, but please be patient. His girls need their dad as long as possible. He will join you eventually, then you can have some marvelous footy talks. And save a spot for me along the way.

Am I canonizing you? Perhaps; it is hard not to. In the same way, it is hard not to vilify some. But in either case, what good is done? We all have hamartia. It is displayed more prominently and is more easily identified in some, that's all.

I've deleted the mailman. So there!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tune in for ....

Today's tune stuck in my head is "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da." Wonder if that is a not-so-subtle message? You and I will have to have words about that. Life does go on, but I will carry you right along with me. Sometimes you might not have much to say. That is OK, too. Quit whining, it is a free ride!

The doc who saved my life is growing a man beard. He tells me he likes it whether his wife does or not because he does not have to shave. He indicated the gray was the reason his wife did not like it. To me, the gray is sexy.

Doc says I'm doing good. He wants me to exercise, of course. He asked about my mental health and asked if all the meds were working. A good visit.

I am so lucky to be doing as well as I am. Many of my PH friends have IV meds. They have lots of pain and side effects. And for some of them, even the IV meds are no longer working. That means they face a very real possibility of a tx.

I am still able to do pretty much whatever I want. I do get extra tired if I go to two or three stores in one day. Or try to do too much housework. I become short of breath if I lift more than 10 pounds and try to carry it. That means more trips from the car with groceries.

I no longer can comfortably climb stairs. And cleaning products, especially aerosols, leave me gasping for air. When my friend vacuums, I usually leave because even a fancy vac with a hepa filter does not keep my lungs from being irritated. I am sure the cats add to the problem. But they are not on the table for discussion.

All that said, I am one lucky person. I still must have a role to fulfill before I leave. Save me a place, we have a lot to catch up on.

Did not see hide nor hair of the mailman.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Me and my pals

I tried to make headway on the clutter issue yesterday. Connie was here to clean and did her best to prod me into action. In the effort to declutter tables in the living room, I discovered my closets are also in a shambles.

Connie carried out several boxes I had been saving for who knows how long and for who knows what reason. Now, the closets are no less a wreck, but a less crowded wreck at least. I wish I had the initiative to tackle one closet from top to bottom. Then I would have a place to stash the visible clutter. Haha

We did not speak much about my health, but when we did, your natural curiosity and concern showed. You once told me to turn up my o2, that my sats were too low. You wanted to know my echo numbers as much as I did.

You educated me about CF and tx issues. You told me your specific problems. I know you lived your life for as long as you possibly could as if you had no chronic disease. That in itself is admirable and something for everyone to aspire to.

I think sharing your thoughts with me as your body failed also took great courage. What an honor and gift to give me.

Most of the friends I have had over the years have been men. Each of you has touched my life in separate ways and carried me through a stretch on life's journey. Lucky, lucky me.

John lead me into adulthood with savoir faire and a sense of adventure. Birt was there when I needed a boost to the ego and someone to help me out of a fine mess. Rick had a fervor for issues that was catching. And you. You were there for me when I needed lessons in grace, compassion, and humor. The Big Four -- three of you are gone now.

Other men in my life come and go. They, too, pull me along. Thanks Bruce, Jim, Sean, Pete, and many more.

Today is a doctor day. I will have to pretty up my body and make my way to the medical center. I know it may sound crazy, but it is a pleasure to see my doctor. He is easy on the eyes, but more important, his staff is friendly and efficient. You wait next to no time to see the doctor. The staff treats you as if you are a friend or relative, they know you by name. And the doctor is right on top of the latest trends in pulmonary hypertension. How lucky I am.

The Little Dribblers are in first place. Of course, I think I am the only one playing. And all I am doing is making sure the players are in playing positions for the day. I really hate that, dude. Sorry.

Won't be home when the mailman comes today.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Minimalistly happy

Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.

-- Raymond Carver

I am a minimalist. I've known the concept most of my life, though I have never given it a name.

The books, envelopes and other objects of daily living seem to multiply while I sleep. One day I awaken feeling smothered by the stacks and googaws. Stripping the area of all but the most used necessities seems to release my mind of clutter as well.

When my life becomes too cluttered with ambitions and commitments, a mental scouring is called for, and once that is accomplished, I am ready to go again. I was born with a save the world complex, or as you used to say, I am a fixer. Sometimes the fixer needs fixing.

Did mommas know when they named their sons Leon, that they would offer musical gifts to the masses? Leon Redbone. Leon Russell. Each Leon has a place in my heart. Each evokes memories associated with special times in my life. Redbone pulls dual duty.

The month since you died has flown by. I have spent many of the days taking a memory of you out of my cache and examining it minutely. Some of them make me smile, some fill me with confidence, others cause me to cry. At times I get a warm feeling that radiates from my heart -- it is impossible to describe.

Peace to you Paul.

The mailman ignores me now.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mind games

The life of a shut-in leeched your soul as your body slowly surrendered. Before, you had made your own rules as you lived each moment with gusto. The isolation of your new reality helped build a prison that further dissipated your essence.

The intricacies of the human mind that kept you curious and enthused about life carried over to your new world. You trusted those you met in cyberspace as you would those you had physical contact with before your exile. Your instincts and past experiences may have pointed to caution, but you bared your heart and basic goodness for anyone who seemed willing to help you free yourself. You were Don Quixote looking for his Dulcinea.

Then you took a major hit. Death threats and angry emails haunted your days and nights. You were branded a heretic, all because of the very nature that makes you you and draws people in. Life was not good but you found the strength or determination to keep going.

That attack on your soul left you vulnerable.

I believe your final disappointment came because you were certain others held the same high standards as you. You castigated yourself because of another's faults, I know that. You took their burdens and failures and made them your own. So you did not see they were as much at fault as you -- maybe more so.

When the relationship hit epic fail, it removed a key piece in your foundation. This left the structure so fragile it crumbled in on itself. No amount of encouragement or love could keep you fighting any longer. You had used up your last reserves. Your body started its free fall.

I think I would have liked you at any point in your life, but I am thankful to have known you when I did. I love you, dude. You will always be the best.

Sunday the mailman does nothing.


Saturday, January 2, 2010


Yesterday your mom pulled back the curtain a bit, and I got a glimpse of the little boy. I would love to have known you then. You were such a joy to her as only little boys are to their mommas. Such orderly thoughts for one so young.

I reciprocated by telling her about the links and songs that often greeted me on IM. Somehow, I think she got cheated on the show-and-tell. Fleetingly, I told her what you had told me about practicing sky hooks. Rockin' the light fixtures, eh?

I told her about the Boston Red Sox hat. She in turn blew me away. I am so happy the hat ended up where it did. I hope the wearer enjoys it for a long, long time and remembers us both when he puts it on. When I think about where it is, I grin.

So, you watched the Bruins Winter Classic yesterday. What a wonderful time the three of you must have had. And the Bruins won, too -- perfect.

Mother Nature has conspired to keep me indoors. Actually, I am using the cold and snow as an excuse not to leave my cocoon of safety. I have not wanted to go out for almost two weeks now. I could probably stay in for the rest of the winter if it weren't for food and medicine.

Making yourself presentable enough to be seen in public takes effort. I have lost the motivation for even the briefest excursion; however, today is the day. A crisis looms that I cannot overlook -- no bread. Good heavens. What will I have for dinner if I can't have a sandwich? Ha.

You never used LOL. You went on a tirade one night about !!!??, etc. I knew something was funny to you by ha. Ha was mildly funny. Haha caught you by surprise. Haha! meant a knee-slapper. You used ! sparingly, too. I knew I surprised and pleased you when I got, Right!

Ah, the little things. As long as my brain functions, you will have a niche there.

I fired the mailman.


Friday, January 1, 2010

This & cat

Pogo, my older cat, has claimed the top of the printer as his napping place. He thinks I neglect him. Not true! .... Well, maybe. Pogo manages to squeeze his Wilt Chamberlain body into the space, but the tiny area makes bathing nearly impossible. Finally, after a quick tongue stroke on tail, he gives up and heads for "bedder" places.

Pogo owns several annoying habits. If I am anywhere near the kitchen, he magically appears and, at the top of his ample voice, lets me know he is starving. Mind you, he is starving about eight times a day.

Pogo also jumps into the refrigerator every time the door is opened. Sometimes he jumps right back out, sometimes I have to physically drag him out. A full lower shelf has taken care of that problem.

Pogo has some quirky moments, too. He loves my friend, Connie. When she comes to clean, he heads straight to her purse. Before you know it, his head has disappeared into its depths. After a few seconds, he is rolling in ecstacy like a colt in a meadow of fresh clover. He reacts to her scent as he does to catnip.

Pogo also has a relationship with wet towels. A damp towel on the floor is an invitation to roll and roll and then clean himself from head to tail.

My other boy is Satchmo. If Pogo is Wilt Chamberlain, then Momo is a chunky Spud Webb. He seldom talks and waddles when he walks. He never seems in a hurry and pokes me with his paw if he is feeling neglected.

Momo does have his moments. Like spending a good minute preparing the cat box to poop and then another two or three minutes afterward making sure he has it covered. Does his fastidiousness indicate a fussy neat freak like Felix Unger?

Because Momo is solid black, he has a body heat problem. To find relief, he lies on his back spreadeagle. At night from atop the cat tree, you sometimes can hear him snore.

At times I get a bit annoyed with the boys, but nothing beats a cat or two on a cold winter's night or an afternoon on the couch with a blanket and a good game on TV -- one of life's little pleasures.

So, here's to the new year.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back,
The sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rain fall soft upon your fields.

Make the most of today, for yesterday is no longer here and tomorrow never comes.

I will never forget you, my friend. You always will be in my heart.

The mailman took a holiday.