Friday, June 09, 2006

Blogger was down yesterday so I couldn't post. Here is the rest of yesterday. I think Bruce comes home from Iraq today. GOt to go.

Went to the MS lunch bunch at the Ground Round. They are outgrowing the room but that only became apparent as folks would trickle in one at a time over an hour. Soon all the chairs were filled and we had to get chairs for two new arrivals. Everything is going fine and I listened as different topics would float out onto the table, to be taken up and discussed by whomever’s interest it caught. On occasion I would grasp at a subject, making a comment when I thought I had something to say or saying something that would draw a laugh. Then I would go back to listening.

I know there is a Janet, a Cindy, and another woman who’s name escapes me who were there. One of them had everyone introduce themselves and say a little about their lives because there were new faces. They’re pretty much all new to me each month. As it went around I heard things that were just little clues at the toll’s and triumphs life with MS. Things like “I am divorced, happened after I was diagnosed. I have two kids I get to see every week. I’ve had MS for 28 years”. There was humor and frustration in the air as the introductions turned into conversations. I felt humbled. It came to my turn so I said “My name is Bob. I’ve got brain damage. And I’m just hanging out here cause you guys are cool”. It brought the laughter I expected and passed attention to the next guy.

During this the door opened and I saw a woman in a motorized chair who looked familiar come in. “Jill? Is that you?” I said when I saw recognition in her face, verifying I did indeed know her. I figured it had to be Jill. She had been missing, no, pretty much stopped coming to the luncheons because of an embarrassing problem that is a result of the MS. Jill gave me a huge smile and said “I’m here to give you something” as her caretaker walked up, put her hand on my shoulder and as she slid a pot of red flowers said “Happy birthday. How does it feel to be 50?”. I’m surprised. Not quite expected so I look down. This is one of those times that this emotional control thing can be embarrassing. I’ve got twenty or so people looking at me and my eyes are tearing up. This sucks. Really doesn’t work with the “I’m a tough guy” exterior. I control it, I don’t think anyone noticed.

I thanked Jill and said we should E mail. I let her know that I was getting Wayne moved which she was glad to hear. She said she couldn’t stay and despite everyone’s pleading “Come stay. Will make a spot for you” she left.

The lady next to me, a black woman strapped into a motorized wheelchair, whispered “It’s my birthday tomorrow”. I think she might be a little simple from her conversation but don’t really know. I know she is pretty bashful. We all ordered our food and there was lots of conversation regarding all things MS. What medicine did what, Dr. Kaufman is leaving? The heat, Social Security, and many other subjects.

I gave the pictures to Denise and she passed them around. That brought out allot of conversation as each individual looked through the 18 pictures that were there. I took out the two pictures that I taken just to use up film and gave the rest to Denise. She was surprised also.

We ate and Denise got up and came over. She gave me a hug and said I was not to go anywhere and went out the door. Then they came in with a birthday cake that had two lit candles on it singing “Happy birthday to Bob”. Damn. I just barely made it through the pot of flowers and now your going to hit me with this. Not bad, just a few tears rolling down the cheek that I could get furtively with my napkin.

Then Denise came towards me, holding on to the backs of chairs and arms as she must, waving a piece of paper that was folded in half with light blue letters made with a magic marker on it. “I I I’m just cheap so here you go” She forced out with a big authentic smile on her face. I reached my hand up to where it touched her hand that was shaking back and forth six inches from her tremors. This allows her to lean her hand and on mine thus steadying her hand enough to release the card she had made for me. “I had help making it” Denise said as she gave me a hug and everyone clapped.

Here, I’ve got to scan this card in.

As you can see everyone signed it. The stud thing is Denise’s sense of humor which tends to be risqué but not too much so. We all had cake, there was just enough for everyone though I was forced to eat the last piece. Can’t let it go to waste you know. I gave Cheryl, the lady sitting next to me, the flowers Jill gave me as her birthday present and we all sang happy birthday to Cheryl. This worked out. Cheryl is like a child who has found friends. She got cake and a present.

This has been a surprisingly good birthday. Yesterday I got the card from my sister, Robin, and her husband. It will go down as one of my favorite cards as it made me laugh at the same time it illustrated how much life has changed over fifty years. On the back there was a note saying “Sorry this is late. Hope you had a good birthday”. Hey Robin…It came the day before my birthday so the timing was perfect and I think you can tell it has been good so far. There was a gift card inside that was an added surprise. That brought a feeling of being accepted. Being accepted carries a deep emotion of belonging without which life is a lonely proposition.

Last night I went to Allen’s. I went for two reasons, one was to check up on him and his depression and the other was to gather my thoughts about Larry. There is no question about the level of pain Allen endures. He was in bad shape and you could see it in how his face was knotted up. I went to his garden and sat there by myself trimming and weeding. This was just what I needed as there was no stereo and Allen was too laid up to help so he stayed on his couch.

I told him it was my birthday because what else do you say when some asks you “What’s going on with you?”. We visited some and watched a show about the race to the north and south poles. I looked at a sword and Allen says “You like that one?”. “Allen, I like all your swords” I replied. “Keep it. It’s yours” he said. I protested but he was insistent. I greatly appreciate the thought but it is not quite my style. If there was something Celtic it would fit the décor I have in mind for the farm. But it was a nice gift.

4:51 – I am tired. Pretty worn out. Think I’ll lay down. Couldn’t get on Blogger again. Gave up trying. I’m pretty slow right now.

8:43 – Blogger is down all the way. I can still look at the blog but can’t post on it.

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