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Archive for February, 2011

It started out innocent enough, an Oreo here, then another, pretty soon the Costco family pack was gone. Like M&M’s from a candy bowl I would grab them four or five at a time. This past couple of weeks have been pretty bad. I’m up to a 9×13 Wacky Cake a day habit, I need help, I think I need… an intervention!

This was just iced 30 minutes ago!

It really hit hard when I accidentally killed my cell phone. It really was an accident, the lighting was poor I didn’t know it was laying there! Let me go back to the beginning.

I’m a Foreman for a large international service contractor; I’m used to the pressures of the job and deal with them as they come along. One of the responsibilities as a Foreman is that you are the on call backup support staff; usually it means you leave your phone on and if they can’t reach the on call guy, they call you. Life was easy. A fortnight ago that all changed.

It was a Monday night, the house was almost empty. The dogs were home, my daughter was in the back bedroom  studying for an exam; she’s between apartments, well actually, she’s paying rent on  two apartments, but living at my house! Never mind. The wife was out, teaching a First- Aid CPR class in 4″ red stilettos down at the Union Hall, and I was watching The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, on AMC. That’s when the call came in. The on duty guy couldn’t take the service call because he was down at the Union Hall taking a First- Aid CPR class.

Without giving it a second thought, I took down the address and phone number for some data center in Greenwood Village; with the room temperature pushing 84 degrees, Andrew the security guard was getting concerned. I flipped the cover to my phone closed and dashed out the door;  leaving the two dogs to take over watching the A.M.C. movie for me, while my daughter was busy breaking up with her new boyfriend.

I never saw the ice on the driveway where the wifes White Dodge Charger is usually parked: at seven thirty the sun had set 2 nearly hours ago, and the sub zero temperatures we were  experiencing had everything frozen solid. Like Nancy Kerrigan taking one to the knee in Detroit, I hit the pavement hard, I cursed the ice, I cursed the weather, I cursed the guy taking the First-Aid CPR class at the Union Hall for his poor scheduling! I got up brushing the snow and ice from my coat, I gingerly made my way across the glacier in my driveway, pushed the key-less remote to my service van, fired it up and drove away from the curb.

By the time I had made it to the bottom of the street, I began thinking about calling Andrew the security guard, when I got to the data center. I patted my coat and shirt like a smoker looking for a Camel; I was trying to figure out which pocket I had stuffed my cell phone in! Nothing, I couldn’t find the damn thing in my pockets, I slammed on the brakes slid through the stop sign and came to a halt in the grass medium on the other side of the street. Backing up, I made my way back to the house, cursing the ice in my driveway, the lousy cold weather, and the guy who is taking the First-Aid CPR class that my wife was teaching in her 4″ red stiletto heels.

I pulled up into the drive way and ran into the house, I looked on the counter; the note pad where I scribbled down the number was still there. My daughter eyes puffy and nose wet and runny, asked me what was wrong; I explained that I had misplaced my cell phone. She looked at me like I had two heads; her BlackBerry had been surgically attached to her ear two years ago, and the thought of not having it with her was completely foreign to her. I was thankful though when she suggested that she could call it; the communication equivalent to hitting the door lock function on your key-less remote to locate your car at the DIA long term parking lot.

She scrolled through the 562 names in her phone directory, locating mine under MAP-GUY then hit send. Nothing… I looked at her, “It’s ringing”… she seemed annoyed, not comprehending how anyone could lose their phone! I ran outside and flung open the driver side door hoping to hear the familiar ring tone; “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”…. Nothing. The curb! I was parked at the curb! Maybe I dropped it when I opened the drivers side door; remembering the ice I slowed my pace as I entered the glacier zone. The flashed image of me doing a Hamel Camel, with a Brian Boitano Triple Triple Combination came to mind, so did the double fart knocker that I did just minutes before. Glancing to the ice on the pavement, I spotted it… behind the rear wheel of my service van, in the spot normally occupied by my wifes White Dodge Charger was my cell phone. It was notably thinner, and the dim fading light illuminating from the screen said it all… “Battery Required” It was gone.

He was such a good cell phone!

I cursed the ice… I cursed the weather… I cursed the guy taking the First – Aid CPR class that my wife was teaching in her 4″ red stiletto heels down at the Union Hall. The Hell with it, give me another snort of that Chocolate Wacky Cake!

Talk to you later.

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Gone.

She’s gone?

She’s gone!

She’s gone.

The words echoed from the walls with painful clarity and finality.  Like the words from a song they bring forth different memories for each of us. The emotions follow suit; unpreparedness, disbelief,  followed by a mournful  acceptance. Last week I saw her for the last time, and as I stammered and stumbled for the correct words to say I came to the realization that there were only three; I love you. Her thin smile assured me that she understood why I was there, saving me from the anguish of trying to explain. I can still see her eyes, as she looked into mine, tired but steadfast; prepared for the inevitable journey each of us must take.

Last night with her three children, and her husband, my brother by her bed side she completed this leg of her journey, confident that her path ahead is illuminated by G-d’s presence, secured by his promise, her reward for the good life she lived.

Shalom.

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Hello And Goodbye.

At five thirty this morning, with the low light, the dark brown trees in our backyard carried a covering of fresh white snow. The image was soft almost somber. At seven thirty as the sun light comes over the horizon, that has all been transformed into a sterile world, with crisp detail, each edge clearly defined. I wish life was so black and white. Lately it seems less and less.

I have a younger brother, a father, and husband, he is a good man, with a gentle soul, who’s been cast into the role of Job, a test of sorts. Although I don’t see my brother questioning the injustice of the situation like Job, as he and his children pull together to comfort and share the precious time they have left with his wife, and their Mother. I’m not so sure how well I would do, given the same circumstances.

As my siblings make plans to visit her and my brother; I am struggling with the decision as to what I should do. By going, am I robbing her and her family of the final precious moments they have together, just so I can say hello, and goodbye? If I don’t go, will they think that I don’t care?  I’ve never been in this situation before. I’ve attended my share of funerals for men I’ve worked with, as well as my mother’s. Memorial services, are for the survivor’s, to give condolences to those left behind. Never have I had to say a final good bye to someone still living. What do you say? What if I start to cry? Is it okay to curse, because that is more likely. It all seems so private, something that if placed in the same role, I might do differently.

With nothing more to say;

Talk to you later.

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