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Archive for February, 2016

 

 

My middle child was born on February 29, 1984 (yes, Leap Day).  I know I’ve stated that in prior blogposts, but this year it’s particularly of import to me anyway, because he’d actually have a “real” birthday.  He was one of the select few with that special day as his birthday.  I remember it well also.  He was born by emergency C-section, but he was a beautiful full-term baby.  We didn’t know what awaited us though with his health.  As I’ve stated before, he died on May 30, 2001 from complications of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) a year after a successful double lung transplant at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.  The fact that he had CF was a 1 in 4 chance for each child his father and I conceived.  We didn’t know that we carried that gene at the time, because it couldn’t be tested in advance then and it had never appeared in our family.  However, our beautiful 1 in 4 child was born on a day that happens only every 1 in 4 years.  Anyway, he had Cystic Fibrosis, something children that can’t pronounce it have called “65 Roses” over the years.

*~*~*

 

February 2001

 

 

*~*~*

 

 

65 Roses

The Wolverines

When I was just a small child, mama and daddy came to me.

They sat me down and told me of the flowers my sister received,

65 roses in yellow and red, made her so tired she had to stay in bed.

I just couldn’t believe the flowers my sister received

Made it so hard for her to breathe.

Why does she have 65 roses,

Must be her birthday today?

She must have been good to get 65 roses!

Why can’t she come out to play?

65 roses of yellow and red made her so tired she had to stay in bed.

I looked all around, but I couldn’t find

The 65 roses were on my mind.

When I’d grown up, I see that the only one thinking of roses was me,

And the reason that the 65 roses came

Was because I was too young to understand the name.

65 roses!

Cystic Fibrosis made her so tired she had to stay in bed.

65 roses!

Cystic Fibrosis!

I wish she had roses instead.

65 roses!

Cystic Fibrosis!

I wish that she could come out to play.

Life, one supposes, is no bed of roses.

I wish she had roses instead.

I wish she had roses instead.

65 roses.

Cystic Fibrosis.

 

 

*~*~*

 

 

August 1993

 

 

*~*~*

 

 

This post isn’t about all of that though.  I had to mention it however, because I found the song so amazing.  Also, Cystic Fibrosis (65 roses) was part of his life.

This post, however, is mainly about how he lived his life, albeit a short one.  He experienced more and touched more than most people do by the time they die at 80, 90, or 100 years of age.  He endured more pain than most anyone I know, but he enjoyed life to the absolute fullest.  He used to tell me that he didn’t want people to forget him and that he didn’t want them to think he just existed in life but that he truly lived life.  He absolutely abhorred the term “passed away” when referring to someone that has died.

“Mom!  That’s so demeaning.  It doesn’t even sound like they really lived.  They merely existed in life, and then they passed away and through.  Maybe some people live life that way, but when I’m gone, I want people to remember that I lived and that I then died.  I didn’t just exist.  I LIVED!”

This is why this song by OneRepublic is so appropriate to dedicate to him, not only because they have it dedicated to a fan of theirs that has Cystic Fibrosis, but also because, in his own words …

 

 

I LIVED

OneRepublic

Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall.

Hope when the water rises, you built a wall.

Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name.

Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay.

Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad.

The only way you can know is give it all you have,

And I hope that you don’t suffer but take the pain.

Hope when the moment comes, you’ll say …

I did it all!

I did it all!

I owned every second that this world could give!

I saw so many places, the things that I did!

With every broken bone, I swear I lived!

Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up,

And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup!

Oh, I wish that I could witness all your joy and all your pain,

But until my moment comes, I’ll say:

I did it all!

I did it all!

I owned every second that this world could give!

I saw so many places, the things that I did!

With every broken bone, I swear I lived!

Oh with every broken bone, I swear I lived.

With every broken bone, I swear …

I did it all!

I did it all!

I owned every second that this world could give!

I saw so many places, the things that I did!

With every broken bone, I swear I lived life!

Oh I swear I lived!

 

 

 

*~*~*

 

 

 

February 2001

 

 

*~*~*

 

 

Ask his friends how he lived.  He lived it to the fullest.  Even at a camp held especially for transplant patients, he was all into the camp … and ended up with a broken bone in his ankle … but he lived … and he did it all.  He endured broken bones and a broken heart.  He experienced travelling to visit new places.  He never feared failing.  He owned every single solitary second that his God gave him, be it good or bad.  For that, he will forever be a role model and a hero to me.  If I could just be half as brave and daring as he was, I’ll know that I did life proud.

So on what would be his 8th “real birthday” … or the 32nd year since he was born … I’ll also offer this from one of Celine Dion’s hits … one of the ones that make me remember him so dearly, as he had said once that this made him think of me, how I worked to get the health care he deserved, and how he wanted to dedicate it to me.  That made me cry, because, in my mind, it better describes what he and both of his siblings did (and continue to do) for me.  I am now who I am … because all 3 of my children loved me.

 
  

 

Because You Loved Me

​​​​-as written by Diane Warren

​​​​-as sung by Celine Dion

For all those times you stood by me,

For all the truth that you made me see,

For all the joy you brought to my life,

For all the wrong that you made right,

For every dream you made come true,

For all the love I found in you,

I’ll be forever thankful, baby.

You’re the one who held me up,

Never let me fall.

You’re the one who saw me through it all.

You were my strength when I was weak.

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak.

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see.

You saw the best there was in me,

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach.

You gave me faith ‘cuz you believed.

I’m everything I am,

Because you loved me.

You gave me wings and made me fly.

You touched my hand. I could touch the sky.

I lost my faith. You gave it back to me.

You said no star was out of reach.

You stood by me and I stood tall.

I had your love.

I had it all.

I’m grateful for each day you gave me.

Maybe I don’t know that much,

But I know this much is true:

I was blessed, because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ‘cuz you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

You were always there for me,

The tender wind that carried me,

A light in the dark, shining your love into my life.

You’ve been my inspiration.

Through the lies, you were the truth.

My world is a better place because of you.

You were my strength when I was weak.

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak.

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see.

You saw the best there was in me.

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach,

You gave me faith ‘cuz you believed.

I’m everything I am,

Because you loved me.

I’m everything I am,

Because you loved me.

*~*~*

 

 

*~*~*

 

Happy birthday, Keegan!  I love you forever and always!

 

 

 

 

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Fifteen years ago this week, my 2nd son was granted a Make-A-Wish trip due to his on-going battle with Cystic Fibrosis, a little less than a year post-double-lung-transplant at Stanford University Hospital. He was doing well at the time and his 17th birthday occurred while we were on the trip. It’s bittersweet remembering those great times we had on the Disney Cruise, looking at pictures such as this, and then knowing that he was in the hospital fighting for his life only one month later. He died just three months after this trip. I choose to remember him like this … happy, healthy, and thrilled to be on a life-long bucket list dream of his … a cruise in the Bahamas.

I miss you, Keegan, but, without a doubt, the 17 very short years you were with us were worth the joy, the grief, the pain, the loss, the love, the ups, the downs. Until we meet again … just remember this:

FISHY FISHY!!!

(a story for a different time in a different blogpost in a different galaxy)

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The excerpt below was sent to me by a friend.  I share for 5 reasons:

 

  1. I live in California.
  2. I am a SMART woman, at least in my not-so-humble opinion.
  3. I have never voted for Dianne Frankenstein and never will.
  4. Yes, California seems to have a penchant for electing obnoxious and totally foolish women.
  5. My husband is from Maine (note the reference to Maine below).

 

Therefore … I offer the below idiocy.

 
*~*~*

 

 

Quote of the day by “Dianne Feinstein”:

 

Dianne Feinstein:  “All vets are mentally “ill” in some way and government should prevent them from owning firearms.”

 

Yep, she really said it in a meeting in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee … and the quote below from the LA Times is priceless.  Sometimes even the L.A. Times gets it right.

 

Kurt Nimmo:  “Senator Feinstein insults all U.S. Veterans as she flays about in a vain attempt to save her anti-firearms bill.”

 

Quote of the Day from the Los Angeles Times:

 

“Frankly, I don’t know what it is about California , but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office.  I’m not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including  Maine, even comes close.  When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we’re Number One.  There’s no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters, and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on ‘Macbeth’.  The four of them are like jackasses who happen to possess the gift of blab.

You don’t know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words.”

Columnist Burt Prelutsky, Los Angeles Times

 

 

*~*~*

 

 

I actually agree with the LA Times for a change.  That’s all I have to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Traveling by airplane in today’s cultural climate can be stressful at best without other issues being thrown in there that are harmless and out of the traveler’s control.  

Recently, Roy and I went to Southern California (Ontario, CA, to be exact) for a business conference.  We flew from Sacramento to Ontario because it’s quicker, cheaper, and less stressful on our relationship than trying to drive.  Gas as well as wear and tear on our vehicles coupled with the sheer time saved all play a factor.

Anyway, it was cool and rainy out, so I wore jeans and a sweater with a tank top underneath to the airport so I could keep warm without having to carry unnecessary items.  Little did I know that my sweater would cause the machines to go nuts and me to get a total and complete pat-down.  I mean really now … I don’t even come CLOSE to looking or acting like a terrorist … and couldn’t pull it off if I tried.  I’m tall, fair-skinned, red-haired, bold, and outspoken as well as in my early 60s.  I guess, however, since I don’t fit any profiles, I am safe to target.  

In any event, my sweater had glittery threads sewn throughout, which caused the entire group of TSA agents to almost have a melt-down.  Really, now … a damn SPARKLY SWEATER?  Come on now.  Get a grip!   A sparkly sweater.  

I volunteered to take the sweater off and go through the scanner machine again, but they weren’t having it.  Oh no … let’s pat her down COMPLETELY right out in the open.  When I say “completely” … I mean completely.  

“Well, ma-am we’re only using the backs of our gloved hand in the ‘sensitive areas’.”

Really, now … would *they* want that done to THEM out in the open?  

Fine.  I’ll work hard at keeping my non-PC mouth shut.

Anyway, while they were doing this, I told Roy … “Remind me to *NEVER* wear this sweater while travelling again. Sparkles are apparently dangerous.”

Then, on the way home, there was another dumb issue.  I guess I attract it.  As I said … since I don’t fit the standard terrorist profile, I’m one of the first ones targeted.  You know how it works … get the children (my daughter who, at the time was 12 years old, was pulled out of line due to a box of AAA batteries that they thought were “bullets”); get the tall red-haired Caucasian women (like me); get the elderly (they pulled my very frail 87 year old white haired mother out of line to pat down and go through all of her luggage once also), etc.  You get the picture. 

A couple of years ago, it was because I had lost a bunch of weight but hadn’t bought an entirely new wardrobe yet, so I was patted down “because your pants are too baggy”.  (That blog post is back in my historical posts.)  

Ok … uhhh … I’m sorry … (I guess) … that I was working to be healthy but couldn’t afford an entirely new wardrobe, because my income is taxed excessively by the goons in Washington DC.  

Next it was about a sparkly sweater.  

So … coming home after the sparkly sweater incident (believe me … I packed it under the plane this time) … I was eyeballed closely because the State of California DMV does not know how to put hyphenated names on their driver licenses, but my passport, my Social Security card, my legal name, my airline ticket, whatever, all have a hyphenated name shown.  Generally, the TSA agent can see past this idiosyncrasy with California and understand that both names are listed there, but they are not listed the way everyone else lists them.  Basically, I have NEVER had TSA have an issue in the past.

Until this time …

TSA (snotty): “Next time, ma’am, make sure the ticket matches the driver license.” 

Uhhh … then it won’t match my PASSPORT … which is by far and away more important to match.   The State of California can’t seem to do it right. 

TSA (confuzzled): “uhhhhh …”

Yes, that’s a word.   I made it up.  It’s a cross between confused and puzzled. So there. 

I want to ask this question however.  Has TSA ever actually caught a terrorist before anything happened?  I sincerely doubt it.  I wonder if, in their training manuals, it states “your job is to harass anyone that doesn’t look or act like they’ll be a problem, particularly if they’ve lost weight or are wearing sparkly sweaters because that way you won’t be accused of profiling.”

Anyway, when travelling, along with not carrying all the things they say you can’t carry (fingernail clippers, tweezers, bazookas, bottles of water, hand grenades, shampoo, hand lotion, etc), I offer you my additional list of “don’t do these things”.

1. No baggy pants

2. No sparkly sweaters

3. No AAA batteries

4. No California driver licenses

  
 

Carry on, everyone.  Happy travels … if possible.

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