Monthly Archives: December 2011

“I’m feeling nostalgic, so maybe I will call…”

So my youngest child (who is fully an adult living in LA) and I were driving to do some Christmas returns today and she said to me, “So I was texting a friend about meeting for a movie tonight and I said, ” I am feeling nostalgic, maybe I’ll call.” I sat at the stop light.  Pondered for a moment and then I asked, ” Did you at one time talk on the phone a lot with her and now you have lost touch? Why were you feeling nostalgic about calling?”

“Oh, mom,” she said brushing off the question as though fending off the smell of a bad cigar.  “No one calls any more.  It’s all text.  Calling is so, (pause) so old fashioned.”

She went on to say the friend did not text back; didn’t laugh at her witty retort and that she had texted her again to say, “Why didn’t you respond to my joke?” And the friend had written back, as in wrote back in text language on her phone, “What should I have done? Said ha ha??”

There you have it.  Why the generation behind us old folk has lost the art of tone; the joy of innuendo in conversation. They don’t talk face to face or even room to room anymore.  They text.  Under the dinner table. From the toilet.  In the middle of the movie.  I see them everywhere, the little flash lights of their phone faces popping up like fireflies in the dark.

In the movie:

“BTW, did you like that line?”

“Yeah, it was sort of funny.”

“Do you want to hold hands?”

“LOL–I would drop my phone!”

Married couple texting in bed after a fight:

“I think I am done with you.”

“Just thinking the same thing.”

“Good so that’s it.  Light’s out?”

“Perfect, but I can’t reach it.  The lamp’s on your side.”

Fingers fly, heads stay bowed, rooms are silent with animated conversation. They give new meaning to the expression, “You’re all thumbs.” Now it is a compliment.

Lord help me.  I can see it now.  Death bed scene.  Paw Paw is on the respirator but his thumbs can still move; his cell in his hand.  Maw Maw is by his side.  Eyes damp with tears, fingers tapping.

“I will miss you.”

“Me, too.”

“Fuck you, bitch, I am outa here!”


“I typed, I love you dearly and will treasure you through eternity.  Damn that auto correct.”

These kids are going to miss the days of faulty hearing and muffled words.  The written word is black and white. And sometimes that backspace just doesn’t work fast enough.











Paul Newman

And to think I had a bigger crush on Sal Mineo after seeing Exodus.  But then again, I was only seven…

Brain Scans

Fourteen years ago, at age 19, my son was diagnosed with a brain tumor. A year after diagnosis, he had his first brain surgery.  Five years later, his second.  In the world of brain tumors, both were considered successful.  After hours each time of tedious “resection” as the neurosurgeons call it, we got our son back, fully in tact.

A miracle to me really.

In the midst of his surgeries, radiation, chemo and recoveries,  he has attended and graduated from college, completed grad school and is now coaching high school basketball, his first love.  He is positive, hopeful and daily provides the true north our family has needed to face and accept his battle.

We are told, but are reluctant to accept, that most brain tumors are not considered curable.  But so far, with careful monitoring, he is beating the odds.

Part of that “careful monitoring” is a brain MRI every three months to look for change in his brain, a recurrence of the tumor. Every ninety days we go, my son and me, to the cancer center. After fifty some times, we have our routine. He goes earlier for his MRI.  I follow an hour or so later and we meet with the doctor.

We sit in a sterile hospital office space, blinds often drawn, a computer reflecting the images of a brain scan. Two screens sit side by side, each holding nine different egg-shaped pictures stacked three to a row like a tic tac toe board. Last time’s scan on the left and the latest on the right.

He sits in a chair and I sit across from him, as we always do.  He yawns, cracks his knuckles.  I attempt small talk. Idle chatter. Anything to distract us from the screen.  I have done this so many times, I have begun to plan ahead of time. Often on the way in the the car, flipping through the radio stations, I am rarely listening.

I am thinking, what should we talk about as we wait?

Today it was the list of items I had noticed he needed in his apartment.  Silly things.  A mop. Kleenex, Windex, a shower curtain liner. This shopping list would be today’s neutral time filler.

I have told my friends these visits are a bit like anticipating the jury’s decision, this month’s verdict. I can never decide what is worse–the waiting or the knowing.

I have become accustomed to the sounds of waiting. The nurses chatter in the hallway. Doors opening and closing. Water running. His chart slipping into the metal holder by the doorway. Cars passing outside. The horns. An occasional siren. The flag slapping against the metal pole that stands at the entrance of the hospital.

It’s all so familiar but never a comfort.

He takes his baseball cap off and scratches his head, back to front and then ear to ear as he often does. The top is bald. They said it would grow back in four to six months after radiation. But it has been over a year now and it has not.  I don’t notice any more.  But I know he does.

I listen for footsteps.  Again, familiar but unwelcome.  We wait for them to stop.  The shadow under the door.  The sound as the doctor lifts the chart from the box.  So many pages.  So many visits.

Always the question of time.

I stare at the screen and wonder if the images are my son’s or the patient before him.  The door opens.  My heart beats faster.  A nurse pokes her head in and says the doctor will be right in.  I look at my son’s face, a mixture of expectancy and relief.

“What about a toilet brush?” I ask.  “Do you have a toilet brush?”

Before he can answer, there is a rustle outside the door.  The knob turns.

“It’s stable,” the doctor says as she enters.   “I just went over it twice with the radiologist.”

I jump up and hug her like a long lost friend, forgetting her white coat, HIPPA laws and hospital decorum.

I know she is happy for us and has come to love my boy.  We are all happy.

We will have a Merry Christmas this year and hope that the New Year brings more moments like this.








Life in reverse


I didn’t look as good as I should’ve when I could’ve and now that I want to I can’t.



Sunday thoughts…

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.



Loving Her


You may not be her first, her last or her only. She loved before; she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect–you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together. But if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break–her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyse and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.
                                                                                                                                                                 Bob Marley



Quest for the Best

“Why do you need two?” my husband asked as he stepped out of the shower, wrapped a towel around his waist and grabbed another off the counter, rubbing his hair dry.

“Two what,” I replied, leaning into the mirror to swipe mascara through my lashes.

“Two hair dryers, ” he said pointing to the appliances, one white–one black, slung like holsters in the open drawers that flank each end of my dressing table.

 “Because I can’t do that,” I said, pointing my mascara wand in the direction of his nearly dry head.

 “No really, ” he said, seeming oddly curious.

 “I’m trying them both out to find the best one.  You know.  The best.  Fastest, quietest, most portable, lightest–the best.”

 “You and the best. Good thing you only had one blind date the week we met.  I could have been in trouble,” he said, resting his foot on the counter to dry his ankle.

“It makes the big decisions easier if I practice on the small ones,” I replied, dusting my face with my bronzing brush.

 “Like my search for the best doctor for my ‘girl parts’ surgery.  I think I’ve finally decided,” I added, sliding my lips sideways to even my lip gloss.

“Really, which one?” he asked pulling a t-shirt over his head and running his fingers through his hair, hand parting it on the side.

“The guy who said he would just sew my vagina shut,” I said calmly, picking up my round brush and the dryer on the left to smooth my bangs.

He turned and smiled cautiously.  “You’re kidding, right?”

“Yep, but it sure makes ‘I’m going to Neiman Marcus’ a lot less threatening, now doesn’t it,” I said, blowing him an air kiss and walking out of the bedroom.