Archive for January, 2010


It’s true I’ve not been writing much on here or elsewhere.  No wonder I feel so groundless.  What’s going on with my family, in particular my dad, is a subject I’ve been avoiding.  I guess I’m figuring if I don’t tell people anything, they won’t ask me about anything and therefore I won’t have to talk about it.

Dad’s been in and out of the hospital since Dec. 16th for various reasons; complications from congestive heart failure, his defibrillator firing multiple times, fluid in/around his right lung compressing it and making it extremely difficult to breathe).  As I write he’s in.  At 77 years old he’s not ancient by any means, especially in this day and age, but my dad’s had health problems since he was a child.  This spate of hospital stays has been weighing on me and has taken up a lot of space in my mind.

Last Saturday I got a call from Michael, who’s been in Nashville with mom and dad for a while, saying dad would like us to come to his bedside.  “Us” being me and David, who lives in Kirkland, WA.  The previous Thursday dad had a procedure to attempt to remove the fluid around his lung, but it had filled back up and they weren’t sure about the cause.  I had asked on Thursday night if I should come down and he said let’s wait and see.  So when I got that call on Saturday (fresh my 2.5 hour ass-kicking at the gym) I ran home, went online, got tickets for a flight home 3 hours later and started packing.

I was in Nashville from Saturday night (1/24) through Wednesday morning and if I wasn’t with dad and the family at the hospital, I was on my way there or on my way from there to get something to eat.  My apologies to all the people I’d like to have contacted and seen, but dad was my priority and I couldn’t handle any distractions.

The Parthenon in Centennial Park, Nashville, TN

Michael and I got a short walk in Centennial Park where I took this shot.  I do love Tennessee clouds.

Mike in Centennial Park

I wasn’t sure how long I should book my ticket for because I really didn’t know what was to expect  or what was going to happen.

I stayed at the hospital the first two nights because dad wanted me nearby.  By the third night I needed some real sleep so, despite dad’s mild protestations and after promising to return early morning on Tuesday, I slept at home in the guest room with my niece Elizabeth in the other twin bed.  Getting to be around her was one of the highlights of the trip.

There were discussions between dad and his doctors about various surgeries to remove the liquid around his right lung.  My feeling was that unless they could figure out what was causing the liquid to form and put a stop to it, surgery would be too risky an option.  And in his weakened state, I wasn’t sure his body could handle something so aggressive and intrusive.  By late Monday morning it had become apparent that the fluid was the result of an infection and the decision had been made to operate on Tuesday.

We had the last of our family meetings so that dad could make all his wishes known and get his ducks in a row before his surgery.   I made plans to fly back around the same time as Dave and Elizabeth so there’d be only one trip to the airport on Wednesday.  Here are David and EClaire in the lovely atrium as we waited out dad’s operation.

David and Elizabeth When we said goodbye he was still coming out of anesthesia, but I saw him eyes flutter when I kissed his forehead and he nodded his head when I squeezed his hand and said I loved him.

Michael called me on Thursday night to let me know Dad had eaten some and it sounded promising.  He’s seriously underweight and needs to pack on the calories so he’ll have strength to get around when he goes home.  The doctors told us he’d need about ten days of recovery in the hospital.  I’m crossing my fingers that my next visit to Nashville will be my loosely-planned trip in late March.

This entry is essentially an outline sketch of what’s been going on and I just want to apologize for any glaring omissions in my account here.   Mom mostly kept to herself during this visit, but she seems to be holding it together quite well.  Her leg has healed up nicely and she’s moving around at a faster pace than I’d expected with only a slight bit of a limp here and there.  She’s really amazing.

happy belated new year

Blah blah blah, 2010, etc,… etc,… all I really want to point out at this very moment, as I watch my DVR’d Golden Globes from last Sunday night, is how ridiculous deep tans look.  Extra-specially if you’re someone who doesn’t have much melanin in your skin to begin with.

Like me, frinstanz.  I’d look frickin’ ridiculous with a lot of color in my skin.  When I was in Italy last June I did a real number on my face by wearing a face lotion sans SPF and ferrying myself all over Lake Como on the sunniest day of my trip.  The sun damage still shows, but thanks to my friend Lissa - a sun-worshiper, but I love her anyway, hee hee - who recommended a product that diminished those ugly freckles.  Thank you, Lissa!

But I digress.  It was Jeremy Piven who sparked this tan outburst from me.  They panned to him in the audience at the GGs and my mouth fell open.  Not only does his dark skin look unnatural and gross, but gauche.  Oh sure, let’s advertise to everyone how much money you have and how you can vacation in expensive places closer to the equator than the rest of us average people.

Am I being too harsh?  Is Chris right that I’m a bad drunk and have maybe just had too much wine tonight as I sit here alone (ok, not ALONE, Lucy is curled up next to me) watching my DVR’d programs from the previous week?  Hrmph.

Ok, that was a teensy itty-bitty mini rant.  Done.  Now I’m almost weeping because I just watched Meryl “T-Bone” Streep give her acceptance speech for Julie & Julia.  Meryl is the shit.