Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I like this thought

I am not sure of the source, since it came from a "fortune" file and had no attribution, but it quite liked it and thought I'd share it here.

If I had my life to live over, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I know of very few things I would take seriously. I would be crazier. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers and watch more sunsets. I'd travel and see. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see, I am one of those people who lives prophylactically and sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I have had my moments and, if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead each day. I have been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hotwater bottle, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had it to do over again, I would go places and do things and travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over, I would start bare-footed earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would play hooky more. I probably wouldn't make such good grades, but I'd learn more. I would ride on more merry-go-rounds. I'd pick more daisies.

I was going to put some kind of commentary here, but I have decided against it. The piece stands on its own. Any commentary I put would only take away from it.

On another note, it has been three weeks since I wrote anything here and I have some entries to make. I will try to get them posted over the next few days. These will be entries about my family, myself, and Rites of Spring.

Hope you come back to read them.


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

There's a new star in the heavens tonight

I got the news this afternoon, Nanny passed this morning. It appears that the doctors were right...

Millie Berry
April 14, 1909 - June 9, 2004

She was a strong and feisty woman.

I love you, Nanny. You will be missed.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Latest Update

I got a call from my mother today. She was calling to give me the latest information on my grandmother. And now, here I am passing it along to you. I figure that some of you would be interested, and at least one of you have asked about her...

My relatives were trying to find out what was going on with Nanny's sleeping, she only woke up occasionally and only for brief periods, and they were talking to doctors and trying to get her checked into a hospital.

I knew this, and that she had been admitted to a hospital, since shortly after the last update. However, since that was all there was to it, I didn't bother posting it since it didn't really tell us anything.

Today Mom called to give me the latest, and it isn't very good...

Apparently Nanny fell out of bed while in the hospital. Actually, since noone saw it happen we don't know if she fell out of bed or if she fell while trying to get out of bed for some reason. With how groggy she was before the fall, and how much worse she is after the fall, she can't really tell us what happened.

What we do know is that when she fell she broke her hip. So now, in addition to the problems she was already having, she has a broken hip, is in a cast and traction, and she is "drugged up" for the pain and what not. And there appears to be some complications from the break. (Anytime someone breaks a hip there can be complications, but they are almost guaranteed for someone who just turned 95.)

While we were talking Mom made it clear that she wasn't just calling to give me the information. She was also calling to give me a chance to prepare for the inevitable. Nanny has had a good life but it is coming to an end. The doctors feel that she doesn't have much time left. I don't want to lose her, but I don't want her to suffer.

Nanny has always been a strong woman. She lived on her own right up to her 95th birthday when all this started. She has lived to see her grandchildren growup and have children of their own. She has watched her great-grandchildren grow up and get married, starting families of their own. But she also buried her husband, her son (my father), her brother, and at least two grandchildren who died of childhood illnesses. And throughout all of it, the good and the bad, she has kept going and stayed strong.

I know she is still strong and will stay or go on her terms. Her body may be failing, but I believe her spirit never will.

I am glad that I got to see her when I was up in August and again in December. She was just as lively as she ever was. In fact she was more lively at 94 than a lot of people 25 years younger.

My friends who are reading this, and those who aren't, I wish you could have met Nanny and gotten to know her. (I have not given up hope, but I also want to prepare myself.)

I will let you know when I get any more news. You can rest assured that there will be at least one more update.

However it turns out, she will always be with me. A person is never truly gone as long as someone remembers.

... and there is always hope.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Rites of Spring - The Return

Rites of Spring is closed for another year. I will not say that it is "over" yet because there are people, including myself, who are still processing their experiences from the gathering. And while this processing continues so does Rites of Spring, in a way.

The gathering ended last Monday and we all left the site and mostly headed back to our homes. I got back to my residence sometime after 6:00PM and unloaded my truck. Of course this was done with the assistance of Sand since she was traveling with me.

Afterwards we sat and relaxed for a while and ordered some Chinese food. Then we settled in and slept. In was not the most restful sleep I have ever had. The sounds of the camp and the drums had been replaced with the sounds of the suburbs and my roommates playing video games. But it was still good to sleep in a comfortable queen-sized bed again.

Sand was gone by the time I woke up. Her flight back was early and the airport shuttle was supposed to pick her up at 7:00AM. Neither of us had any delusions that I would be awake and able to drive her to the airport at that time of the morning. Especially since I had taken the day off of work knowing that I would need the sleep, and the time to readjust to being back. (I have taken this extra day every year, starting with my second, and will continue to do so.)

I suppose I should tell you that I did not write any entries while I was there, but I will be writing entries about Rites now that I have returned. You should see them start to trickle in over the next couple of days. It's just that I have not put anything into words yet.

For now I just wanted to let you know that I was back and that I had not forgotten about my journal.