Yesyerday was a really good day. The doc upped my long acting pain meds, so after they gave the to me a 9pm, and they combined with the pain pump, rally kicked it, I was feeling MUCH better! On the pain scale, probably about a 5, which trust me is very tolerable for me, kind of like a mild headache. I was feeling so good and really present and clear-eyed I decided to blog about the Nurse situation. I’m glad I did it, and now its out there, pretty sure what I’m gonna do with it, but now I’m done with it on the blog…unless it happens again. I need for Bon Courage to be a documenting process for me, but I really want to keep it positive. Hope ya’ll don’t mind!
So around 11ish, I got a surprise visit from our friends Eddie and Gretchen, we had a really great visit and let me tell you all, if you need a patient advocate, or even a great medieval lady-in-waiting and knight and shining armor, look no more, they have been found.
I got lucky when I was in graduate school, because my friend Patricia V. was their Babysitter for their son Richard, the sweetest little guy. Patricia had something to do and she suggested I fill in. Thanks P, because you just don’t know how that changed things for me and Jamie! Jamie and I had been together for 6 years and were already married, but it wasn’t until meeting little Richard that I actually began to contemplate wanting, no needing children. Eddie and Gretchen would always tell these funny stories about their lives as parents, and how life was going while Eddie had been in graduate school, how he and Gretchen were dealing with life as he built his career. Although vastly different careers, everything seemed to be so parallel.
Jamie and I watched Richard together a few times and Jamie was smitten too. But I remember one time where I was gonna take Richard to a petting farm in Millington, but I had a really bad headache, so I asked Gretchen if she though it would be OK if Jamie came to pick him up while I rested a little bit trying to get get rid of the headache. I could tell she was a little hesitant, but she agreed. I remember her telling me later that she’d never sent her baby off with a guy, even if it was Jamie, and she was just being a worried momma. As a momma now, I can totally understand her thoughts! Jamie brought Richard over and he was wearing his Thomas the train engineer cap, and little red sweater. TOO Cute! We all went out to the farm and on the way a then 2-year-old Richard, looked outside at a road construction area, and said Look Jamie, an Excavator. Jamie and I looked at each other and were like…did he just say EXCAVATOR?? I asked him what an excavator was and just looked at me and said, it moves big dirt! But that was Richard, extremely smart, and articulate! We got to the petting zoo and it was a huge success. I need to find out if it is still there, it’d be great to take my boys now!
Probably the funniest memory I have was in early summer of 1998. By that time Eddie and Gretchen had had another sweet baby Jack who was now just over a year old. I had graduated and had sent out about a bazillion applications to find a teaching position, and was in the wait to hear mode. Well it was a Saturday morning and Richard and Jack and I wear playing and the phone rings, I was shocked to hear someone ask to speak to me, and especially discombobulated to hear the voice say that he was a professor at West Texas A&M University calling with a phone interview! Turns out he’d called Jamie’s parents house where we were living, and Jamie’s mom was so excited for me that she passed along the babysitting number! I asked him to hold on a minute and I asked Richard to do me a huge favor and sit in the playroom and read some books to Jack for a few minutes while I spoke to the man on the phone. Richard and Jack kept themselves busy and I got a fifteen minute phone interview, the first of three, and that job became my first “offical” full-time tenure-track teaching job! Just think, had those babies been running around screaming willy-nilly in the background, maybe the turn out would have been very different, or maybe not. But I like to believe that they were my little good luck charms that day!
Just before Eddie and Gretchen left the hospital my friends Kathy and Larry peeked their heads in too. The had driven from Asheville, NC to Memphis to visit a relative and had wanted to check in on me. You see I had made plans to visit them in Ashevile about the time the melanoma reared it’s ugly head, so I was unable go visit them.
I met Kathy in graduate school. I can still remember the first time I met her. I had a graduate class with my professor Wayne Simpkins sealing with the computer and combining photos in Photoshop in a provocative way. Kathy had brought some of her of her mother. they were beautiful. I had been working on combining my old NC family photos together to create little narratives. Right there instant connection, not to mention she very funny and sweet natured! She and Larry worked a lot in mixed too so she took me over to their studio in the sculpture lab. Eventually when I presented my thesis to build a bed installation, the sculptor professor Greely Myatt suggested I use a little area right outside Kathy and Larry’s studio to carve the headboard and footboard. It was a great place, because I had lots of people milling around in the woodshop below; I was surrounded by all the folks that could help me, considering I had NO idea how to build or carve anything.
How I came to make this thesis choice is a “whole nother” blog story in the works.