Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Such a morbid title!

When I was in graduate school Dr. Lyons used to use Monty Python to illustrate basic public health principals.  Many of the clips he used were really stretching it as far as the connection but whatever; it made epidemiology more fun.

To make the connection between morbidity and mortality he used the "Bring Out Your Dead" clip.  Then he talked about how the guy was definitely in a state of morbidity (I'm not dead yet) but mortality wasn't until he was hit over the head with a shovel.

On Monday we were having dinner with my in-laws,  We were talking about grandma who is 95 and not doing well and Aunt M's husband P who has Alzheimer's and also is failing in heath.  Two cases of morbidity and how hard it is for M since she is trying to care for both of them.  Just as I said that the phone rang.  I looked at the caller ID and it was M.  She rarely calls my house; except if we are coming down for the weekend and she wants to make plans.  Immediately we knew that something was wrong.  I handed the phone to my father-in-law and we all braced ourselves to find out if grandma or P had gotten worse or died.

Then my father-in-law blurted out "Oh my God."  He wouldn't have said that in such a manner if the above two had passed away.  The silence in the kitchen was heavy as we all waited knowing something bad had happened.  We only got a few clues as he talked to M.  "At least he died doing what he loved" "Since he planned to be cremated we don't have to hurry to plan something"  etc.

Finally he hung up and said "K is dead."  His brother had been working on the Kid Castle* at his cabin and was found dead on the ground.  We have yet to find out if it was a heart attack (he had gotten a clean bill of health the week before) or a fall (if so I hope it was quick the thought of him lying there for days is too hard to comprehend) or what?  The autopsy should be done in a day or two.

It all brings me back to morbidity and mortality.  A year and a half ago he had gone in to the doctor for chest pain.  He had severe blockages and was told that he needed to make a 180 or he would be dead in a few months.  He was so proud of the fact that he quit drinking and smoking and was eating healthy.  He drop 50 pounds and was doing great.  He was so full of life and energy and now he is dead.  In that instant of time whatever happened and now he is gone.

I just can't wrap my head around it.  There is that person who is always supposed to be there (like my dad). The one who is always telling the joke or story.  The one who makes family events fun.  I never even got a chance to ask him what he thinks of "my" new Pope.  It is not as painful for me to lose him as it was when my dad died but my heart is heavy.

*K had one granddaughter who he adored (his other grand kids aren't really around).  All he talked about was L and how perfect she was.  He was building her a play house at his cabin.  He loved to build and his cabin is basically finished (he hand built the whole thing) so he had put his energy into L's kid castle.  It is apparently two stories with windows and doors- any kids dream.  I don't know how much he got built and my heart breaks for L that her grandpa died working on her castle.  Unfinished castle and unfinished time.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Upside Down and All Around

My life!  UGH who said being a grown up was easy?

As a kid I had visions of being a grown up.  I would be married to a guy who made a ton of money and who help out around the house at night.  My kids would be talented, perfect and compliant all the time.  My house would always be clean.  This is the part where my little dream is interrupted and we go back to reality.

Right now I am finally catching up from the "house from hell" project that took my whole winter.  Not once did I get to so ski because I was too tired after flipping a house so my mom would have some retirement money and we wouldn't have to draw straws for who she would live with.  (all said in fun and with love.  Of course we would take her in if she were going to be homeless)  Because of that adventure I was gone every weekend so my own house got out of control.

But the thing I didn't realize was that my family got out of control.  Having a husband and two boys with ADHD, I have to be the grounding force- the calm against the storm.  And I wasn't around enough.  It all came swirling into a huge tidal wave a few weeks ago.  Keegan started getting mouthy and difficult at his after school program.  We worked on how to express anger and anxiety but apparently not enough.  He got himself so worked up a few weeks ago that he threw a toy and broke the window in the office.  He was having issues at school and the principal and I became best friends (OK not really BFF but still) and his teacher was having a hard time with him in class.

During this whole time, work was intense.  A ton going on and no way to take a break.

Then the icing on the cake when my husband was stressed out to the max.  He ended up taking a 4 week leave to readjust his medications and get his stress level under control.

With all this going on, I get to be the rock solid one who holds everything together.  And I'd really like to crumble.

But being the Pollyanna to the end, school is almost over.  The days are longer and warmer.  And, I have finally gotten my house almost back in order.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dismissed! Rejected! Publicly Humiliated!

Have you ever secretly wanted to do something more than you ever wanted anyone to know?!  Have you ever been (maybe) given the opportunity to fulfill that dream?

I've always wanted to be in a musical..............Don't judge!

I tried out for the school play my Freshman year in high school.  I had never taken any acting classes but I figured I should at least get a small part.  I was cut in the first round.  So I joined stage crew.  I love theater and so at least I got the chance to be part of it without being part of it.

I did pit orchestra if it was a musical.  That had a bit more visibility and got to be part of the action.  My senior year when we did Taming of the Shrew the theater teacher asked if I was going to audition but I remembered how horrible it was the first time and I said no.

Life went on and my daughter really wanted to be in a theater class so I found one and both my kids started the road of performing.  With me in the background helping with sets and doing whatever to be part but never be in it; always secretly wanting the chance.

About a month ago my son's piano teacher told me that A was directing the summer show at the park and that he really wanted to cast my husband as one of the leads and me as another.  They also wanted my daughter for a part.  I said "I can't sing, dance or act"  He said, sure you can.  So I stewed and contemplated and secretly wanted this to happen.  As auditions approached I made more and more excuses but was told, just please show up for auditions!  So I commandeered my son's voice lesson and learned a song.  The voice teacher was so encouraging.  I went to the audition and it felt pretty good.  I coerced my husband into auditioning even though he was really unsure he could commit (I never mentioned that he does community theater frequently).  I convinced my 17 yr old son to audition.  Then I flew to St. Louis with the director knowing that I couldn't go to call backs since I was speaking at a conference.

I talked to my husband and he said they had all gone to callbacks and A asked Keegan if he also wanted to be in the show.  So my husband said he was sure that we had all been cast.  Last night while I was at work A called and my son talked to him.  The message I got was that everyone had been cast except me.  A was sorry he just didn't have a part for me...........

So what does that mean?  I suck?  I wasn't at callbacks so he just couldn't fit me in?  He didn't think I could do it since my schedule is tight (I told him I could get my staff to take my classes).  Whatever it means, I feel worse than I think I did when I was 14.  I fully admit that I have been crying at my desk all day.  I want to try again sometime- maybe take a few more lessons from Jen.  But I hate feeling like a Freshman with glasses and braces who gets rejected just like Gaston (only Gaston deserved to be rejected )