Showing posts from September, 2009

And it's over

I was pretty sure when I wrote my post about Grandpa last evening that he would probably not live much longer. Not that I am full enough of myself to think my writing the post caused him to go. But more because that is sometimes the way things go.

Brian just called to tell me Grandpa (Pap to him and Pappy to Jordan) died around 5 this morning.

I am sad. I will never hug the man again. I won't have to practically shout so he can hear me anymore. I will never get to hear his stories about growing up in Greenfield, working in the steel mills, and the war.

One of my best memories of Grandpa was Thanksgiving a few years ago. One of my cousins is overly cautious about germs, and when I told her that Jordan had a cold, she asked that I not bring her to Thanksgiving (which meant none of the three of us would go). I was pretty upset; it was my favorite holiday after all, and we would not get to see my relatives or eat the delicious food. But I decided to visit Grandpa at the nursing home inst…

The Death Watch

That is what Brian's family is on. Grandpa (or Pap, as Brian calls him, or Pappy, as Jordan calls him) fell again while at the nursing home this past Friday and had bleeding in his brain. Since his health has been deteriorating, Grandma (I forget what Brian calls her; Jordan calls her GG) decided it would be best not to drill holes in his head/brain, knowing this 90ish man might not survive the surgery. So he is on pain medication but pretty much nothing else. The doctors said it could be a few hours or a few days before he passes away. Well, it has now been four days.

So we wait. And wait. And I am thinking maybe Grandpa should have had the surgery. I realize he might not have lived through it, but is lying in a coma for days (or even a week or more) really much better? What if he would have been okay?

Friday evening, Brian and I pondered what to tell Jordan. We were not sure if we should wait until he passed (notice how I am avoiding saying "death" or "dies"), …

We shall overcome

I don't completely get the G20 protest thing. As I said in response to a friend's Facebook post, do the idiots who are breaking windows and overturning dumpsters think that any world leaders are going to take them seriously? Would you rather listen to someone who is calmly making intelligent arguments or someone else who is damaging property? And some of the protesters aren't doing themselves or anyone else, for that matter, any favors by protesting for no real reason. I read in the PG that some woman help up a sign that said, "I protest everything!" C'mon. Have a purpose. Get a life.

And how about Greenpeace's stunt on the West End Bridge a few days ago? It was kind of cool looking and all, but their sign-hanging and people-dangling tied up traffic, which resulted in pollution. Not so smart, if you ask me. Kind of like half of Hollywood who cry about pollution, energy, and the depletion of the ozone layer and yet fly and drive all over the place and live …

Can't cry hard enough

Late this afternoon, I read that Kelly Frey, a news anchor for WTAE in Pittsburgh, had her baby today. If you don't know the back story, you can read about it here. The gyst of it is early in her pregnancy, Kelly discovered her baby had a major brain defect and likely would die soon after birth. She and her husband decided to terminate the pregnancy, but when they discovered doing so (look, I cannot even write the "a" word) would not be covered by his health insurance, they took it as a sign to keep the baby. A local photographer beautifully captured the birth here, and the pictures are at once heart-warming and gut-wrenching.Kelly and her husband's difficult situation brings me back to something I think about almost daily (and mentioned in passing in one of my blog posts). This past April, two kids who went to the same preschool Jordan did were killed in a car accident while riding with their father on the way to his house in New York. I had never met the mom until …

It's a Burgh thing

On my way to drop Jordan off at school this morning, I noticed several people in their Steelers garb. I looked down at my Pens Stanley Cup Championship t-shirt and wondered if maybe I should change when I got home. Since the Steelers last played in a meaningful game over seven months ago, I had gotten out of the habit of wearing one of my Steelers t-shirts or my Hines Ward jersey on Fridays. And I knew the Pens were playing tonight (albeit preseason), so my attire seemed more logical.

But it also got me thinking: Are other cities as fanatical about their teams as Pittsburgh is about the Steelers and, to a lesser extent, the Penguins? I kind of doubt it. But that is part of what makes the Burgh so special.

I like seeing people in their Steelers best on fall Sundays in church. And this spring, during the Stanley Cup playoffs, I appreciated seeing church-goers attired in Penguins jerseys and shirts. I try to dress up when I go to church, which for me means no jeans or shorts. However, this…

Running like the wind

Well, more akin to running like a gentle breeze.

Jordan is done with school at 2:30 p.m. The pick-up process involves parents backing into spaces and waiting for the children. Once every car has a child(ren), the teacher on duty dismisses the cars one at a time. There are about 40 to 50 spaces for cars; however, there are always more cars than that. If you don't make the first cut, you have to wait for the entire, one-by-one dismissal process before you get to back into a space. Most parents are not fond of the second wave, so people start arriving before 2 p.m. to ensure a space. Once I arrived at 1:52 and I was the fifth car. Crazy.

But I have decided to make good use of my time, thanks to the great weather we have been having. At first, I started walking around the neighborhood for up to 30 minutes. Last week, I decided to try running again, something I had not really done since I ran the Steelers 5k three years ago. The first day went well. I managed to run (and by run, I really…

Never forget

I spent the past two hours watching CNN and Fox News, preceded by a moment of prayer at church. I hope most of us take some time today to think about what happened eight years ago and how it changed our lives.

I was so shaken by those events when they happened. For weeks, I spent hours a day watching CNN and Fox, constantly checking those same sites on the web, waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. I remember the Saturday or Sunday after, when planes were again allowed to fly. I was doing sit-ups at the gym and saw a plane fly overhead. I stopped cold. For months, I found myself watching planes, almost waiting for them to fly into buildings. I just reread my post from last year and, not surprisingly, I said some of these same things. They just stick with you.

I continue to try to watch programs about 9/11. There was just one last week. I especially appreciate hearing about people who were directly affected, those who still mourn the loss of their loved ones. Watching video from…

I've been searching my soul

I remember that song from Ally McBeal. I really liked that show, as I could identify with Ally's quirky ways a bit.

Yesterday I signed up for two online classes so that I can reactivate my teaching certification. One starts next week and the other begins a week later. Does this mean I am going to teach again? I honestly don't know. But over the past few months, while searching my soul, I have mostly come to the conclusion that I need to make a difference. Not an MLK difference. Nothing that will make me famous or change many, many lives. But I just think I need to do more. To give more. To help more.

Brian pointed out a management job in the paper, starting salary of 70k. Would I like to make 70k? Sure. I made nowhere close to that at my last job. But I would rather make half that or even less than half that and do something meaningful and something that I like. I keep thinking that job is out there somewhere.

I talked to Jordan's principal at the beginning of August about su…

Care for THIS

I have complained about health care here and on Facebook a number of times. As I have said, I don't have the energy to read through over 1,000 pages to figure out what this reform is all about, especially knowing the final bill will look different from what is out there now. But I am all for making things better in the health-care industry.

I am a pretty open person, but when it comes to complaining about medical care, I tend to keep my mouth shut. Why? I pretty much blame it on an episode of Seinfeld, when Elaine complained, and a doctor wrote something in her file. I seriously worry that if I say something, I will have a black mark on my file.

I have a litany of complaints with the ob-gyn practice I have been going to for about 10 years. It started when I was pregnant and one of the doctors told me I could have two mixed drinks a day. What doctor, in the 21st century, would give you advice like that?! Don't enough doctors get sued? Only one doctor in the practice bothered to l…

Doing the right thing

Often when Jordan and I are in the car together, she hears me telling people at the bus stop to have a nice day or profusely thanking and blessing the people who let me in their lanes. Jordan typically reminds me that these people can't hear what I am saying since the windows are up and we are driving by. But I tell her I like to say nice things and perhaps these people are feeling my good vibes.

As much as I can, I try to let cars turn in front of me, so much so that Jordan will sometimes ask why I did not let a car go. Most of the time it is because traffic is moving, and doing so could cause an accident. But she gets that it is a nice thing to do. And it is such a simple thing to do.

The "theme" for Jordan's school this year is kindness. I truly believe if we could all make an effort to be kinder, the world would be a better place. I sometimes wonder what makes people unkind. Are we all too busy in our lives to let a person with a couple of items go ahead of us in l…