Saturday, March 25, 2017

Being Human

A soft glow of light emitted from an apartment window, contrasting against a lightening dawn sky. A man stood silhouetted at a kitchen sink. Maybe he was making his morning coffee. Maybe he was packing a lunch, or loading the dishes from the evening before into the dishwasher. I'll never know why I looked up to catch sight of it through the windshield of my car at the intersection below. I was only stopped long enough for a brief glimpse. Something about it was quiet, calm, comforting. Seeing another human being going about whatever daily routine they had, unaware they were briefly being observed by someone on the street, slightly envious of the peace a brief objective moment of observations affords, and curious if anyone had ever observed me in such an objective way, for a brief moment before continuing on with their day.

Another moment, driving again past the cemetery, to see a lone woman standing and having a conversation with a head stone. Maybe she was saying a final goodbye. Maybe she goes there to talk to the person the stone represents on a regular basis. Maybe she was telling them how the kids were doing, and how much she missed them. Maybe she was telling them they were a jackass and she was glad they were dead. Who knows? It was just a moment, another one, I had the privilege of noticing someone just being human.

As I sat in the waiting room, waiting for word that my 16 year old daughter was safely out from under the knife, but more importantly the anesthesia, an elderly man and his two adult daughters were waiting for word about his wife. From the little I overheard, she was suffering from some sort of cancer, and it had taken an unexpected turn for the worse. (I suppose it makes sense to have the ICU next to surgery, but it's a bit nerve-wracking for non-critical families in waiting.) I listened to them make plans for care,once she was discharged. I heard them say how grateful they were for the time they already had with her. I saw an old man cry because he was not ready to lose his wife. I saw two daughters strengthen and shore up their father, even as they tackled the prospect of losing their mother. I don't know what news they got. My daughter was wheeled out and I escorted her to a recovery room before the Surgeon came back to let them know how their mom/wife was doing. My heart goes out to them though.

I notice people. I fell out of the habit for a while, although I can't altogether say why. But it's coming back. Little mundane un-heroic moments of human existence; unnoticed in an ever busy world. They never make it into movies or stories. But somehow I feel they deserve to be recognized. Moments that we are not airbrushed and perfect, where we are framed by the light of a window for a brief moment, while doing something as ordinary as standing at the sink in our kitchen, or head-banging in the car to "Bohemian Rhapsody." Those moments although un-glamorous, are so human, and there is something intimate about catching a glimpse of it, even in passing.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Life on Life's Terms

My state of mind at the moment could be so much better than it is. I finally got back to work today, after a visit to the doctor for my daughter yesterday. She was scolded by her doctor about moving around to facilitate quicker healing, and pointed out here vertigo was caused by low blood pressure, which was caused by dehydration, because she was refusing fluids. So after a day of pushing her to get fluids down, and to get up and move around, she seems to have turned a corner, and is getting back to her ornery old self again. She'll go back to school for half days the next couple of days. The real test for her will be next week though, over her Spring break. She'll have a couple of half day work shifts to test her muster. But I imagine that they will give her breaks as needed.

Work was busy. I have homework to do, dinner to cook, and I am sore and tired. I generally don't like to wait until my husband gets home to ask him to make dinner, but tonight, I may make an exception.

I've also had another little thing tickling at the back of my mind. I'm hesitant to write about it, to give it any time or energy at all, but since it's there, I might as well get it out and release it. I of course had to tell the ex about my daughter's medical issue. By law, he's still her father, and he has a right to know. Regardless of my level of respect for the man, I do still respect the law.  Besides, I really don't want the first point of contact to be to tell him we have to bury our child, should the worst have happened under anesthesia. I can't imagine a worse conversation to have.

My bother is that whenever I do make contact, his response is inappropriately flattering, and full of graciousness. Which in and of itself would be fine, were it genuine. If I didn't have a good idea of the things he says about me to other people, and the villain he paints me as, it wouldn't bother me. But I do know, and that he even for an instance thinks I believe it is an insult to my intelligence. Sometimes I just want to respond, "Quit pissing on my leg and telling me it's raining. I'm smarter than that, dude, and so are you." But it would accomplish nothing, except engage a useless argument, and I would still be the bitch in the end regardless. So I might as well just be the bitch that saves her energy and time to divert to something more important.

I keep toying with the idea of talking to an attorney to terminate his rights. He has not seen them in just about 8 years, and has contributed no substantial support emotionally, developmentally, or materially. All of which, if you ask him, is entirely my fault. It would let him off the hook for any future child support accrual, but it would let me off the hook too. I wouldn't have to worry about these intermittent interactions. I could quit those moments in which I question myself, and have to remind myself of where we are as a family, and the work it took me to get here.

Oh would that things could have gone so much differently than they did. I often wish that he were a better man, if only for his children.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Recovery

My daughter has been recovering from surgery the last few days, and has me worried, because she is still fighting nausea and vertigo. I really would have thought she'd be past the worst of it by now. She started running a fever this evening. Which means I will likely be up monitoring her. If it hits 102, it will be another trip to the ER. Otherwise, I will make sure her primary care Doc knows about it tomorrow, when she goes in for an initial follow-up.

Spring break is overr for me, which means it's back to the books on top of it. I'm tired, and fighting a stress headache. Thank goodness for my husband. He's been a blessing through the whole thing.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Waiting

I'm sitting in a pediatric recovery room with my 16 year old daughter. The hospital is ready to discharge her as soon as she is able to get dressed. But she laid back down after making it to the restroom, and is currently sleeping. I never thought my 16 year old daughter would need to have her gallbladder removed, but here we are after a stressful couple of days. She is in a lot of pain, and I am helpless to do anything about it for her.
Meanwhile, I listen to the white noise of the heater and the traffic on the street below, punctuated by the tick of an analog clock, and I wait. I'm fighting a headache, and I'm exhausted. It will be a relief to get her settled at home again, but for now, I just have to wait.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Taking Notes

I received a pair of blue tooth ear-buds for my birthday. In this day and age, that's probably not terribly exciting. But I'm excited about them. They are red, and bold, and when I put them in, I can't hear anything but the music I am drowning myself in. In such a busy home, there is always noise, always distractions, always interruptions. These help me create a barrier to the noise and distractions, which is particularly helpful when doing homework and studying. As a result, I am re-discovering music I love, spanning mostly a 50-60 year period, dabbling in various genres, with a little Chopin and Beethoven thrown in for good measure.

This coming week is Spring break. And where for some that may mean a break from the books, for me it means a chance to study some of the pieces of my Pre-calc and Accounting classes I find challenging. Hopefully some on-line exercises and a few additional videos will help. As nice as it would be to pull stellar grades, I keep telling myself at this point, I just need to pass.

I finally did decide I will try to take a class over the Summer. I have to complete a Wyoming Government course as part of my graduation requirements. As I recall I always did well in Social and Political Science classes. Since the summer semester is essentially 16 weeks worth of instruction smashed into 8, my guess is my best bet is to take a class I know I can relatively keep pace with.

All I can say is thank goodness for my husband. He has been so supportive. We're both working hard to keep building a better future together, and for kiddos. I'm struggling a little more with my depression. I don't know if it's time to tweak medication, if it's hormone related, or simply stress-levels. Regardless, I am still able to find moments to appreciate just how charmed life seems to be these days, despite the struggles. At least the struggles are manageable, and serve an apparent purpose to building a better life. That is music to my ears.