Friday, August 27, 2010

A Birthday, School, and Immobility

"How you feelin' this morning?" My reply: LIKE CRAP! But it's a beautiful Sunday morning. A day the Lord has made! And we should be greatful and REJOICE in it. Amen.

It was August 15th 2010 to be exact. With soooo much to do, remember? It was my youngest son's 7th birthday. And although I hardly if ever journey into their room to wake them anymore - my precious Abe had asked me last night to wake him up very first thing on his birthday. "Mommy, pleeeeaaaase!" he said. How could I not?

So even before Jason's alarm went off, I sit up on the edge of my bed to collect myself. Now where had that balance ran off to? Could he be hiding under my bed? Had him and the strength in my legs gone on a permanent vacation? Whether or not they are to ever return, their absence this day must be overcome. "God give me strength," I prayed.

Before attempting to stand, I survey the room to get my bearings. Although the windows were covered with shades and semi-shear brown curtains I could tell the sun was already up and hard at it because although the walls remained white the deep chocolate brown bed cover and dark cherry furniture that filled the room made the master bedroom easily the darkest in the house until about 8 o'clock AM these days. Thus, I'd better get a move on if we were to make it to church. "God give me speed," I prayed.

To my feet and nearly stable I call out to Jason before I set out on my journey. First, should I fall I wanted him awake to hear my cries for help. And second, I needed him desperately if this train were to have any chance of leaving the station on time. "It's time to wake up darlin'," I'd said. I imagine he may have woke long enuff to see me standing and talking sweetly only to return to sleep thinking it had all been a dream. No way, no how his wife would be standing, walking, and speaking sweetly.

First to the foot of the bed, then hands to the tall dresser and once somewhat steady my legs slowly, carefully follow. Then the door frame, the hall, turn the corner and any suspision I'd had about the sun being up were settled loud and clear. Even before I reached the always opened door the bright orange color from their walls met me smack in the face. The sun projected the vivid orange across the white hall walls and cream colored carpet. 'How could they still be asleep in all this light?' I wondered.

Although this room is officially Abe's - since it is the largest of the others both boys share it for sleeping purposes thus far. And I know I spoke of them being spoiled earlier . . . each of them sleeps atop their own set of bunk beds. Asa's has a full bed on bottom and Abe's did have at one point but has been removed to allow for more room to play. A fabulous idea by the way should your kiddo wanna tent or fort or dungeon or whatever.

Slowing a bit to give the 'ol pupils a better chance to adjust to the light I find myself grasping the tall dresser at the head of Abel's bed nearly nose to nose with Goldie the gold fish. Aside from the sunlight bursting thru the blinds there was a light heating the fish tank atop one dresser, a light from the television left on atop te other, and a bed side stop light lamp to boot. I mean what brightly decorated boys' bedroom with a traffic signs motif would ever be complete without one of those? C'mon, right?!

As ridiculous as an extra light sounded at this juncture, in the complete dark of night it does serve it's purpose showing their Daddy the way amongst the dirty clothes and toys scattered about the floor. Most helpful indeed in the prayer saying and good night kiss having bedtime rituals. I miss out on that stuff these days too. Really sux! Luckily though we have managed to change up our routine a bit. Now before they make their nightly climbs they swing by my room to kiss and hug me good night. And some of the time Asa even sneeks me up a snack. That's my boy!

A complete disregard of the rules as I prolly shouldn't be eating in bed, but he loves his Mama and she loves her snacks! Now to disregarding the stop signs and yield signs and CAUTIONS, I trudged forward feeling first along the wall, then dresser and finally to the top bunk where he had barricaded himself behind a mound of pillows. Wonder what on earth he had been protecting himself from? And even more mind boggling was how he'd gotten a hold of that many pillows? I didn't think we owned that many pillows?! Had he raided Aunt Jean's hotel? A mystery, for sure!

Finally, I reach the well-lit, pillow hoarding, fort building birthday boy. He awakens easily, and excited. Surprised to see me, the brightness in his gorgeous green eyes brightens the room even further. (Note to self: Next trip wear sungleasses!) He immediately asks, "Is it my birthday?" And holding tight to the upper bunk's railing I reply, "It sure is!" whilst reminding God of my prayer for strength and adding an addendum to said prayer - Also grant this bed and/or whatever other furniture I might later need to 'rest' upon strength to hold me up! Can I get an amen? All addendums need amens to work. You didn't know?

So next he gets to his knees and lifts both arms asking for a hug. Shouldn't be a problem. Didn't used to be a problem. Would it be a problem? And we hug. Such a tight sweet hug! I loved it. Standing free of all support but only my 7 year olds love and hug. A birthday miracle! And then letting go he asks for help down. Yikes! Used to I'd just reach up, take him under the arms and turn to place him gently on the floor. Hmmm . . .

Nope. Couldn't risk it. Not even 50 lbs. yet I should still be able to do it but didn't wanna risk injuring him or myself. I declined by telling him how big he'd got since the last time I'd done it. Still appearing unconvinced I grasped the railing for support again and continued, "but you're 7 now. You don't need Mommy's help." Still he looked perplexed. That little booger could see right thru me. He raised an eyebrow and commenced to a solo descent. I even offered to get Daddy in there as he explained to me it wasn't that he needed help. He rationed, "It's just for fun, Mom."

Had I just gone from Mommy to Mom in that dialog? Time flies I tell ya. No more story tellin' for me I guess. Next time I just lay out the facts: "Well baby cakes you are lucky I am in here at all. I feel as tho I'm about to fall and am already wondering how the heck I'm gonna make it out of your room let alone down thestairs and to church. MS sux, my man. Just plain sux. And I'm sorry. As bad as it sux for you that I can't swing ya down from bed like I used to, just know it sux a bazillion more times for me. There's so much more things I wanna do with you.

I wanna wake you up every morning. I wanna make you breakfast. And not just the quickie kind in the wrapper or cereal. I wanna fry eggs. Bacon. Make pancakes. Maybe french toast. I wanna see you off on the bus or better yet, even drive you there myself. I miss drivin'. I miss my car. I wanna be a room mother at school. Throw parties for your class. And help out where needed. I aced a children's literature class in college and would love to take part in some interactive story times. Heck, I'd even like to volunteer a day or two a week to help out with recess duty. That'd be cool, heh?

Why not everyday then? Well, I got alot of stuff needs doin' at home too. I wanna keep the house clean including the dishes and clothes. Daddy should never have to wash a dish again. And you guys . . . why should you guys have to waste your afternoons home from school pickin' up the living room? I don't got nuthin' to do all day, right? I could do it. I wanna do it, but CAN'T because of this darned MS. Sux! I wanna have lunch fixed for Daddy when he gets home. Or when he wants to go out he should be able to without worrying about poor 'ol mama.

He should play golf or go out or whatever and not have to come home to feed me and let out the dog. Silly really I can't perform those two little remedial easy peasy lemon squeezy tasks. And when you two arrive home from school I should have snacks and an afternoon activity ready to go. Time for homework should be set aside and I should be able to help. Fourth grade story problems shouldn't overwhelm me like they do. I used to be an honor student for pete's sake.

I pray, pray, pray each and every day that you two don't get this horrible disease. It sux not only for me. I know that. I get that. It sux for everyone I love too. So more to do after school? Screw the bus, let's say I come and get ya. I'd love to ya know? I might even bring Gooch along. Wanna get involved in any after school programs? I used to play basketball and volleyball, but I used to could throw a mean spiral too. And my cousin who used to rock at soccer showed me how to dribble thru cones.

Or, I know, horses! Why don't we start showin' horses? Anything you guys want. I want for you. And I wanna be a part of. An active helper. Coach. Assistant coach. Chaperoene. Driver. Whatever. I wanna Super Mom tights and cape. No mask neccesary as I want everyone to know my true identity. And really that's who I am. I AM SUPER MOM!!! I'm just trapped inside this body that no longer cooperates with me. She sure used to though. Damn! I'm sorry I cussed little man. I'm trying to stop, but you know that.

So after our afternoon activities whilst you all veg in front of the tv, I wanna fix supper. Yes me in the kitchen - all alone. Well maybe Gooch can come keep me company, but NO helpers needed. I know you wondering, 'can mom cook?' and as a matter of fact YES I CAN! I just so happen to come from a long line of cookers and am fairly confident I could do a fine job if I were able to stand, walk and tolerate the heat from the stove and or oven. From time to time I can churn out a delicious lasagna or casserole or cake, remember?

I think Daddy can vouch for me on this one. Waaay back when we lived in the apartment I used to have supper fixed for him. Me, yes. I used to fix supper. Mashed potatoes, peas, pork chops, etc. I'm not a one trick pony. I promise. Really. When I am capable of doing -- I do! That being said my dear birthday boy, I don't think I am capable of lifting you from the top bunk and safely placing you on the ground. PLEASE FORGIVE ME!!!"

That was quite a rant, am I right? Prolly a bit much for my 7 year old to swallow so early in the morning, if at all. Alas my saying whatever white little lie it was I'd said was much more fitting of the situation. Plus had I climbed upon that soap box we surely would have missed church. First because of the time the speech would have taken. And last and more realistically -- no doubt I would have fallen from said box and been unable to make it anywhere but the emergency room. Huh! Just sayin' . . .

Next order of business then was makin' it over to the big man's bunk. Option 1: continue to follow the furniture and walls back around to his bed. Geesh, this room is huge! Or, option 2: turn supporting yourself with Abe's rail and bravely make the one huge unsupported step it would take to reach Asa's rail. Yikes, right?! Or finally, option 3: just scream!

And can you guess which option Super Mom trapped in an uncooperative body chose? "Hey, Goose! It's time to get up!" she belted with gusto. Or not. Maybe I just raised my voice a little, but either way all of the birthday boy's commotion had already caused the big man to be wrestling about with his comforter. Dun, da, duhn, would it be the big man or the blanket who prevails? And both the kiddos were on their way down the hall to their bathroom as their Daddy emerged stunned from his room.

I wish I could have greeted him with a confident hand to his chest and say, "I got this!" Ha! Instead I reached out to him for assistance down the hall. (Note to self: Lose some damn weight lard ass, and maybe your hubby could just throw you over his shoulder and carry you around!) Once downstairs it all started coming together. Bippedy, boppity, boo! And we were out the door. Had the fairy godmother mistaken our house for Cinderella's? She was gettin' up there in years. It could happen.

As always, sunday school was great. Abel and Jason had even gone up front before service to be recognized for having birthdays. The entire congregation sang our church's birthday song to them. Me and Asa hands down sang the loudest. Then when it came time for church Jason and the boys headed home whilst I was left in the capable hands of Aunt Ann. Yes, I absolutely should have went home too since the cake still needed iced and decorated, BUT the Lord had a stronger hold of me. I wanted to stay. I needed to stay.

And I'm so glad I did. Sharon sang. Oh my. One of her regulars about 'no more sorrow, no more pain . . .' -- a tear jerker if there ever was one. Gets me everytime! And then one I'd never heard , or at least don't remember hearing. Wow! I didn't know whether to hug my sis sitting next to me or crawl over the pew to curl up next to Aunt Ann. It was about loved ones over there. My tear filled eyes looked back to meet Aunt Ann's tear filled eyes and I reached back for her kleenex clinched hand. Woe is me.

And the message, as always, spot on! Did I wanna re-join my loved ones in heaven? Well, duh Uncle Scott! I sure did. And what did I need to do to get there? An alter call. I wanna go! I always wanna go. But can I? Prolly best I stay sittin'. Maybe rest my head on the pew in front of me and just say a few words from there. A wise man (yeh, my Uncle Scott) once told me you can let the Lord into your heart absolutely anywhere you are! AMEN!

So on our way out to the car two different gentlemen of the church ask if they can assist us lovely ladies in any way. Why, sure, please, and thank you kind sirs! They folded my walker and placed it carefully in Aunt Ann's trunk. And then made sure I was in and comfortable before closing my door. Sweet, I tell ya! The only things missing were the red carpet and the paparazzi. And maybe some more elegant shoes than my ratty 'ol Pumas, but you can't really see 'em for my walker anyways.

So we go to Dean's for lunch. We, of course, meaning: Granny and Papaw (both mine and the boys'), Amelia and kiddos, Aunt Ann, and me and my three hunks. How'd I ever luck into such a gorgeous crew? I'm blessed. As crappy as I may feel and as down as I get . . . bottom line is I AM BLESSED!!! And days like August 15th 2010 are great shining examples of just how! Thank You Jesus for all You are doing in my life. For all You have done and for all You will do. Amen.

Examples, you ask? Well, here ya go: All of us together. My Mom joined us all after at our house. Celebrating a birthday. Cake that was iced and decorated just in the nick of time. Abe actually recognizing the free-handed drawing of the Pokemon character he'd asked for. (I'll post a pic later. I'm a wee bit proud even surprising myself with how it turned out!) All the presents and the presence.

And whilst trying not to sound too much like a mastercard commercial, having enuff energy afterwards to pick -up a bit and make it upstairs to bed - PRICELESS! OK, I admit it. I was hoping to sound like a mastercard commercial. Waaay better than the vikings yelling, "What's in your wallet?" Anyways, back to Sunday. We game and eat candy like gaming candy fiends. Then shower. Then go to bed. It had been a big weekend and a big day. And guess what readers? An even bigger day lurked.

"Wakey, wakey. Eggs and bakey!" Wait for it. Wait for it. "NOT!" It's time for school, turkeys! How's about a doughnut? Hustle, hustle, hustle! Bing, bang, boom. A whine here and a protest there. The screeching brakes of the bus and they were gone. Silence! What's a girl to do but snuggle with her pit bull? Poor guy awoke from several different naps that day to look around the house for the boys. Silly puppy! Could he have missed 'em as much as me?

When would 3 o'clock ever get here? "Six whole hours, Mom," Abel would remind me. He calls me Mom now. Bizarro! Anywho I told him it'd go by in a flash. Had I lied to him again? The day was creepin' along as slow as molasses. Another analogy? As slow as me! Ha! Now that's funny! But would I still be laughing at 3? Tick tock. Tick tock. Was that the bus I'd heard?

More next time on the first days and weeks of 1st and 4th grade. And guess who's playin' football? Hmmmmm . . . well, it ain't me!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Splish, Splash

I did it. I did it. Yaaaaaaay, me! Sure I took a risk wearing my new 2 piece suit, but the old 2 piece was beginning to fail me and my trusty 'ol one piece was proving more and more difficult to maneuver during bathroom trips. I knew right away luck was on my side as I pulled up the enormous looking size 20 bottoms and heard the elastic snap snugly just at my belly button.

My Mom had gotten this suit for me nearly eons ago now, but I'd still hadn't had the energy to try it on. As a matter of fact all I'd done before packing them up was hold them up to myself to determine how huge I was sure they would be. C'mon, Mom. I'm sure I'm no more than a size 18 at my hugest. Geesh! What had she been thinkin'? I'd even planned on taking them in a bit on each side seam by hand during the ride up.

Forgetting to pack my sewing kit turned out to be a blessing. Although deep inside I'd hoped they fall off of me and to the floor, as I just couldn't be THAT big. Instead Mom had proved to know best yet again and they fit like a glove. And this was a good thing as my other 2 piece option, which I didn't even bother to pack, had quit being effective at staying up quite possibly some years earlier.

I must confess the now ill-fitting suit was one of my first official maternity pieces. And tho we've suffered a few close calls together I just can't seem to let 'er go. Ha! Trouble is she has no problem letting go of me. Maybe I'll just retire the bottoms and keep the baby doll top to wear with some cut-off blue jeans. Everything goes well with Daisy Dukes, dahling, EVERYTHING!

Didn't know I was a closet fashionista, did ya? Well, I am! I just don't have the energy needed to experiment anymore. And I turn enuff heads already with the horribly awkward way I get around. A pink wig with ultra cool funky clothes nowadays may just make people's heads explode. And I wouldn't want that mess all over me. Showering soooo wears me out.

Where was I? Ahhhh, yes, dressing for the pool. Now for the top. I'd planned on taking that in too. And that, my friends, is still my plan. Built with the same elastic as the matching bottoms it seemed more than capable of properly supporting, well, anything that needed supporting. Complete with formed cups inside just above an elastic band to aid in this "supporting role," this suit may just be, (dare I say it?) - the perfect suit!

Over the head and down with the tankini top. And, "Noooooo!" I'm all for showing a little cleveage now and then, BUT considering the elastic band failed to even ever so lightly hug me - apparently the designer planned for a thicker torso to go with them D cups. A 44D perhaps, whereas I have somehow miraculously remained a 38D. The math then? Each of the side seams would have to come in about 3 inches each. No problem once I'm home, but what to do now?

The ever kind hubby speaks up above the boys repeated pleas to hurry, and says, "It looks fine, Babe." And maybe it had, sitting there precariously low already - without the added weight of the water. That is what I was worried about. And then he says, surprised, "Oh! You're gettin' in?" Well yeh! This could be my last chance 'til we make it back up here, or maybe even - EVER at the rate I was deteriorating.

I hadn't planned on getting in right away as I wanted to insure the boys got some quality swim time in before I risked ruining it all by falling, getting stuck, or even drowning, etc. But I had scoped the place out the day before and located a lift chair in one of the smaller 3 - 4 ft. pools. As luck would have it, it was the very same pool that had the basketball goals. ; ) Score one for the former basketball player!

The plan was I'd use the steps and the hand rails to get in and if upon exiting my legs proved too weak (as they had earlier at my pool at home), Jason would alert a lifeguard and we would pray there was no outrageous weight limit on the lift chair. Worst case - Amelia was only 2 1/2 hours away. Hehehehe. Red Sonja to the rescue!

So with check-out at 11:00, we'd packed up, straightened the room and loaded the truck by 10. Why the rush? I'd hoped for a small rest before hitting the pool. DENIED! Couldn't rest for the begging. And besides, I wasn't THAT worn out, as all I'd done all morning was stuff my face and put on my suit. It was the men that had done all the tuff stuff. And if it was swimmin' they wanted . . .

Then swimmin' we'd go! And boy did we. Just as I planned I didn't get in right away, but when I did it had gone, wellllll, swimmingly! I'm not such a bad walker at all under water. And I so enjoyed not gettin' any weird ass "wonder why the hell SHE'S in a wheelchair?" stares. Normalcy is soooo underrated.

I mean really!?! What's worse than a random kid gawking at you in a wheelchair? Anybody? A random kid AND both his parents gawking at you in a wheelchair. Had they missed school the day they taught manners? Look up etiquette why don't ya. That is, of course, if you can read. Duh?! Take a picture next time people, it'll last longer. Thankfully the cool of the water dampened my thoughts of going postal - at least for a bit. I had prayed for calm. And again I received.

Also, I was reminded that all people aren't inherently bad. As luck or grace would have it, there was a very kind couple who fell all over themselves to assist me and Jason with my awkward transitions from chair to pool and back again. And get this . . . all the while they hadn't gawked. No mouths hanging open and no bugged eyes of confusion. Just kind, caring people.

Then upon leaving the pool another example of God's presence occurred when a Dad, Mom, two boys and a little girl exited the elevator we'd been waiting on. As they filed past us I overheard the Mom whisper something to the eldest of her boys who had just so happened to be holding the door open for his family. Once empty he shifted positions from inside to outside of the elevator, but continued holding the door . . .

And once on the outside the young gentleman also added a smile. How kind. Sure the Mom may have asked him to or at least felt like reminding him to, but I felt that he had intended to all along. Thank you young man! And, good job, Mom! Kudos to both parents for teaching manners and anti-gawking! And to me and Jason too as we and both our gentlemen in training thanked the young man as we passed. Maybe there was still hope for the world afterall.

Or had I been thrust into the Twilight Zone? The boys hadn't whined when we said it was time to go. And people were being nice. Somebody pinch me. Or not as it'd prolly hurt. My MS hug was nearing unbearable so surely I wasn't dreaming. But just in case, once loaded up and buckled in I clicked my heels together three times. "There's no place like home. There's no place like home." And with NO stops and NO funnel clouds - we found ourselves at home in NO time. And what's better than arriving home from being away? Answer: Arriving to a clean home. Thank you, thank you, thank you Granny and Papaw!

And Gooch thanks you too! Him and Papaw are now buddies 'cause Papaw had come over to feed and let him out while we were away. I just knew they'd hit it off. What I didn't know was that kennels aren't exactly excited about housing a pit bull? If they only about his fear of butterflies. Grrrrrrr! You may not know this, but I'm the growler in the family. Let me put that in caps, GGRRRRRRRR! Ferocious, right?!

So we're home. And exhausted. And we've got a big day ahead of us tomorrow. Sunday? Yep. Church? Yep. August 15th? Yep. My Dad would say, "First day of squirrel hunting season!" Maybe. I dunno. Doesn't the actual start date change every year? I'm all for shootin' squirrels whenever they'll slow down enuff to let me. Hehehe, but I've never killed one myself. My Dad on the other hand was upset August 15, 2003 'cause he was stuck over at the hospital missin' out on huntin'.

Why, you ask? Ahhhhhh, yes! ABEL'S BIRTHDAY!!! The big day ahead of us was Abel Robert's 7th birthday. (Named for my Dad of course!) So much to do and so little time left. And even less energy. "Jason?" I ask, "You feel up to baking a cake?" (Let's hope he does!) Where's Glinda and her magic wand when I really need her? Of all the times to leave town, Connie, Shelley, geesh!

Dun, Daah, Da . . . [for the hearing impaired, that's old school cliffhanger music]
Will the cake get baked? Iced? Decorated? And where did all the presents go? Learn the answers to these questions and more in the next installment of 'Big Mama's Blatherings.'

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Last Hoorah!

Wednesday night, not unlike Christmas Eve, was the night before my baby's birthday. We dropped the kiddos by Granny and Papaw's and headed for Evansville. We joined our very good friends, Ryan and Angel for dinner at Logan's Steakhouse. A birthday eve celebration, if you will, since we would be leaving town the very next day on his real birthday. Thanks guys! We love ya.

Next we stopped at Wal-Mart in search of Abe something for his birthday. Again with our going out of town this would be our last chance to do any shopping without the kiddos along. It was now or never as we scowered the aisles. Well, Jason pushed my chair and my belly full, I sat back and relaxed, but still we scowered. It was hard shopping for him as we get him everything he wants usually as soon as he wants it. We're horrible spoiling parents. Kids just love us.

Once home I commence to wrapping and Jason commences to deciding packing for our trip would have to wait until tomorrow. I wasn't tired, but I guess I didn't walk around all of Wal-Mart front ways and back ways whilst pushing my overweight wife. Stop here. Turn here. No there. Wait! Can you back up? Allllright. Bedtime time then. G'night all.

Thursday morning EARLY at a little past 1 on one of my many trips to the bathroom I officially became the first to wish my baby a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! He grunted a thanks and rolled over. Still early in the night he hadn't even made it a quarter of the way down the incline yet. Hehehe. An amuzing Spindler fun fact: I can tell what time it is by assessing how far down the bed Jason has slid.

Up and at 'um birthday boy! After all, birthday or not, it was still trash day. And I'd hoped we'd be up early enuff to straighten up a bit as I hate leaving the house in such disarray. Wish in one hand and shit in the other the saying goes. And see which one fills up faster. So there I sat all alone. The house nearing wreck status, packing needed done and did Jason let the dog out? I know he hadn't fed him. Poor Gooch.

Should I sit and try to rest up? Or should I wear myself out attempting to pack? Such a remedial task I used to take such pride in doing – I now feared would take me all morning, leave me exhausted, and even worse – scatterbrained, if left solely to me I'd undoubtedly leave something of crucial importance behind. What to do? What to do? It was only 2 nights . . .

So I try and relax. No good. Make a list of what we needed, perhaps? Started to but ultimately a waste of precious time. I spotted a basket of clean clothes and in Jason's small bout of optimism this morning, he had brought the large suitcase in to me. I matched the basket's contents the best I could and began two piles. Two outfits with socks and underwear for one boy and 1 ½ for the other.

As for me I'd grabbed all I thought I'd need on my way down. Smart girl, heh? Well, I'd forgotten my night times meds, BUT at least I realized I'd forgotten them. So far anyways. Jason's shirts were in the dining room awaiting hangers, but I wanted Jason to pick out his own stuff. Besides undies and socks which I'd also already thrown in with all my stuff. I was gettin' alot further along than I'd thought I would. Yay, me!

When Jason got home then expecting to see an empty suitcase, I could proudly tell him we only needed a few more things. We'd need a shirt for Abe and one extra outfit for each boy, just in case. We'd need my night time meds and all the DSs and chargers. That's not so bad for bein' immobile. There'd have to be at least one trip upstairs before our departure to turn up the thermostat and double check that everything was turned off. I wished I could've ran up there and been completely packed. Maybe, just maybe, he'd be surprised and proud anyways.

Scheduled for a meeting or meetings (not sure which) all morning long I wasn't about to call him at work, but just as I was about to worry about time, he called saying he'd be on his way shortly. He was going to go out to lunch with his Aunt Ann for his birthday. Starving, I asked where he'd be going. Chinese, heh? Nevermind. Tummy rumbling I proceeded to the bathroom to fetch the toiletries for packing. I must mention again here how wonderful my new pink walker is. The beneath the seat storage compartment – BRILLIANCE! And it got quite the work out that morning.

When Jason made it home he didn't say he was proud of me for all I'd accomplished, but his look of relief that he didn't have as much to do as he'd expected – wellll, that was worth all my blood sweat and tears. OK, I hadn't bled, broke a sweat, or cried, but I was growing desperate for rest and food. Not enuff to eat Chinese take out, but famished nonetheless.

One quick trip up. Zip 'er up. "Where's your shoes?" he asks. "You ready?" I still need to at least pee and brush my teeth. I thought I was the only one in the hurry as I was the only one at risk of missing her all time favorite show on television. "Wait for me Heidi," I thought to myself. I so hoped we'd make it in time for 'Project Runway.' Surely we would. Wanna stop at Mickey D's? Nah. Let's get the boys first in case they're hungry. And away we went . . .

Would we make it in time? A better question - - - Would we make it at all? Just past Vincennes I spot what I think may be a funnel cloud. I glance at the speedometer and determine we are going enuff above the speed limit to just get up and go past this eery cyclonic formation. Should that truly be what I think it is. "Please God," I prayed right then and there, "please keep my family safe!" Then I try focusing on scenery out the right side of the truck. There must be something alot less fascinating to look to the east. I closed my eyes tight this time and prayed my prayer again adding to it this time that my tension not be prematurely revealed to any other of the trucks fragile occupants.

Where we slowing down? SHIT! Jason had spotted it too. Trying not to alert the kiddos he motioned to the phenomenon nonchalant like with his left hand as if he were merely adjusting the visor. Ha! I'm waaay ahead of you here sweet thang. I'd already prayed twice about it. And as my jaws were beginning to ache I must have prayed each silent prayer with my teeth intensely grinding one another. If I didn't stop the gritting shenanigans a head cake would arrive in no time. Just breathe. In. Out. Repeat.

As calm and cool as he'd pretended to be, I could see past his cherades. He'd already inadvertantly slowed the vehicle. He hadn't braked, but just forgot to keep on the gas pedal as he'd been busy gawking at the, ummm, cloud let's call it. Just a cloud 'til proven guilty in a court of law. Or in this case a court of meteorologists. Either way I was growing nauseous. But stopping was the last thing I wanted to do. Sure other cars were doing it, but just because your friends jump off a bridge doesn't mean you have to do it too! I never was one to succumb to peer pressure.

"But I wanna take a picture," Jason whined. "So take one," I told him. "Hit the gas and I'll steer," I offered, "but, I want out of here NOW!" And that's when the peanut gallery became aware of the precarious situation we'd tried so diligently to keep secret. "What's that, Dad?" "Mom. You see that?" I answered calm enuff to kick Meryl Streep's acting ass, "Yeh, I see it sweet pea." Then I glance over to Jason working on his photography skills and continue my politician like answer. "I sure do see it, but I don't wanna for too much awful longer." And changed the subject. (Maybe I should run for some sort of office. Whatcha think?)

Jason did get a picture and sent it out to some of the guys he works with. One of which actually survived a tornado. Thank you, Wes for responding to his picture because he gave me the daunting task of responding to your post. He told me what to say and I was to type it in. I don't know how many times he had to re-tell me what to type. And it wasn't even that long of a response, but I apparently took my sweet time typing as we'd almost made it to Terre Haute by the time I finished. But what a truly welcome distraction that had been. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Jason and Wes. And last but not least God for answering my prayers.

Just under an hour from Terre Haute we arrived at our destination. INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA. We call it Indy. Abel carried the games. Asa pulled the suitcase. And Jason pushed the Angela. And I claimed my bed before he'd set the brakes on the wheelchair. As I searched for the Lifetime channel Jason ordered pizza and the boys began begging to swim. I would have ceremoniously kissed the floor had we not been in a hotel room and had it not been a near impossibility for me to do unassisted. I was sooo happy to have made it safe and sound. Praise God!

After a delicious pizza we kicked back a tic to enjoy more begging. Then trunks on, the men folk headed down the hall to the pool. I wanted to go but feared I'd over do and miss out on the big pool festivities planned for Friday and Saturday. And although I'd been unable to find Lifetime as of yet, perhaps I'd overlooked them amidst all the begging and pizza ordering. What kind of cruel world was this? Was I trapped in a world void of 'Project Runway?' Maybe if I went thru the channels again I'd be able to spot Heidi or Tim or Nina or nooooooo . . . say it isn't so. Guess I'd be missin' my show.

I was dozing off upon their triumphant return. Night time meds, prayers, good nights and lights out. Except for the bathroom of course cause I figured I be there at least a time or two before it was all said and done. There was just enuff space between the wall and the bed though that I'd need to be able to take an entire step unassisted more than likely resulting in needed help from my precious birthday boy. "Get up sucka! I need help. Whattya think this is? Your birthday?" Hehehehe.

Bright and early Friday morning Jason brings us all waffles and bananas. Yummy. I was thinkin' about left over pizza, but this was much, much better. Breakfast – yummy! Mmmmm! Then we watched tooners, packed and I may or may not have allowed for a little bit of jumping on the beds. Highly, highly supervised I assure you. We were on the first floor afterall. It was hard to pass up on such an opportunity as that. Good times. I only wish I could have been a more active participant. Maybe next time.

Can you believe we were ready to go when Jason arrived? We were. It was a birthday miracle. And in the words of Country Music Legend Willie Nelson, we were, "on the road again." We head south a bit and Jason asks, "You got them directions?" Well I had some directions, but prolly not 'them' directions, and more important had he lost his mind leaving the navigation responsibilities to little 'o me? Asa or Abel would be far more qualified than myself. Just sayin' . . . south is a safe bet for a while.

One old school full service gas station later we arrive in French Lick. Up, up, up the winding hill we go and we are there! Yippee! Big Splash Indoor Water Park. It is soooo incredibly awesome there. Look out once I'm liberated we may just be year-round pass holders. We make it to our room. A captain's quarters with a king bed and bunk beds. Gorgeous. Wonder if they have the Lifetime channel? Too little too late. Curse you Indy! (as I shake my fist to the north) Maybe I can watch it online later. Not even close to settled in the boys emerge from the bathroom in their trunks.

Fine. Let's tackle this MonSter. Fetch me my suit. And away we go. Again, luckily, and thanks to gracious planning by my dear husband, our room was on the same floor as the pool entrance and just a few rooms down from it very near the elevators. 1 – 2 – 3 and we were there. Yikes! The retractable roof was retracted. The ceiling fans weren't fanning. And the heat that rushed at us as we opened the doors was very much like the wave of hot air that overcomes you as you open a hot oven. Ouch. One small breath in and I was spent. The little bit of energy I'd fought to conserve for this outing had been zapped from me in an instant.

I think I heard somewhere that the heat index had reached 110 degrees that day. Friday the 13th to be exact. Although I am in no way superstitious where this particular date is concerned, I do believe had I been made to stay in that heat any longer than I did I may have very well suffered the same fate as countless other helpless damsels in distress had on that date. Jason and the boys had not been as physically as overwhelmed as I was, but I could tell Jason knew full well what it had meant for me. He rolled me over to a shady spot and sat next to me.

I did not want to hinder the boys' last hoorah of summer. Not no way. Not no how. So what if I didn't leave my wheelchair? I'd sit there and smile for as long as I could. Now if I could just convince the husband I'd be OK alone. One of us ought to be playin' with the kiddos – not baby sittin' the Mama. And before too much longer he was off. Had it been my witty use of the English language that persuaded him? Shear boredom perhaps? Nope. It was our watching the eldest converse with our youngest whilst gesturing towards the "big boy slides" as we've come to call 'em. Had Abe nodded his head yes? Was he following Asa off the plank?

Before I could even suggest to him that perhaps it would be a good idea for their Daddy to follow, he'd made it half the distance from me to them and was gaining. Go Jason, go! He's such an awesome Daddy. But we've covered that, right? As hard as it was on me I remained seated. Watching. Waiting. Listening intently attempting to recognize familiar shreaks of terror. Anxiety grows. Time passes. Temperature rises. Vision blurs. This may just be too much for 'ol Mom's ticker. C'mon already!

And here comes Jason. He looked a little pale. Where were the boys? Was everything okay? Finally he got close enuff I could see his gorgeous grin. Then close enuff to hear him I eagerly await the news. Silence. He was gonna make me ask how it'd went. Before I could swallow the nerves that had risen in my throat he swooped in behind my chair and bent down to release the brakes. "What are you doing?" I managed to get out. Still no response. Had I lost my hearing now too?

I do my best Linda Blair impression and attempt to turn and face him. Maybe if my hearing had left the building I'd be able to read his lips. This time I raise my voice even higher and demand, "Are the boys ok?" "Sure are," he replies. And then he explains he was taking me over to where the slides empty out so I can see them on their next trip. Awesome! Once in place then with brakes back on I ask how it had all gone down. I assumed well as they were already in line again, but 'o crip sure would like some details.

He explained he'd stayed out of sight best he could and that the boys trekked the crazy steep stairs all on their own. He said when they'd made it to the bottom he was a bit worried as Asa came flying off the raft and Abel had a look of terror on hi face. But upon their return to dry land he bombarded Abe with questions about what he'd thought and he reported he loved it. Yay! Asa would have a slide buddy now, well, besides his Daddy who was less than thrilled with climbing those stairs over and over and over again.

So we waited. And waited. And waited some more. The line didn't appear that long. And Jason had rushed me over to the slides exit worried he wouldn't even make it in time. What was the hold up? I hope everything was ok. Nerves were back. Had they ever left? Jason was right here. What did I have to be nervous about. Note to self: consider lookin' in to anxiety meds once you're settled in back home. Okay? Okay. Here they come! Here they come! And . . . a raft for two with only Asa on it!

Now the look of terror could be seen on Jason's face. Slow on the uptake I look at him bewildered as to why he looked horrified. Then I look to Asa who looks pissed. What was I missing? HOLY SHIT! Abe! We were all missing Abe. I can't speak. Upon this realization of this terrifying situation I try to cry out to Asa and ask where Abe was but found myself completely unable to speak. I tried swallowing to make room for words – couldn't do that either. Wonder if I could still even breathe?

I shift my focus again, this time to Jason, but he wasn't where I'd left him. He was stomping towards the end of the tubed slide whilst yelling at Asa. Was he gonna climb up that slide? Oh my, God! Could Abe be stuck in there? Oh my God, Jason. Then I remember looking at the cute little girl lifeguard looking at my 6'2" 265lb. Husband with concern in her eyes. Was she concerned with the son he was missing or with trying to figure out how she was gonna go about attempting to keep him from goin' in the out of that there tube 'o death.

Thank God first and foremost that everything was okay. And thank Asa second for coming out of his waterlogged state just in time to answer his father's desperate cries for an explanation. Finally I heard Asa yell back thru his continued barking, "He didn't come with me, Dad!" And with that Jason switched directions heading towards Asa to help him out of the pool and requisition a calmer, cooler, more in depth explanation of what had just happened. Still no Abe, and thus still no breathing coming from the girl in the wheelchair.

And then as I'm becoming light-headed and my head begins to tilt back my line of sight is redirected upwards towards . . . wait for it . . . a gift from heaven . . . wait for it . . . Abel Robert Spindler timidly making his way down the nearly never ending flights of steps. And swallow. And a breath. And then another. Was I wiping sweat or tears from my face? Thank you, thank you. Praise the Lord! There was my baby. Damn, that was scary. Funny thing was, as I was completely paralyzed and rendered unable to speak it was as if I had remained the calm cool collected one throughout this entire ordeal.

After our reunion with hugs, kisses and stern reprimands we moved over to the netting where the kiddos could climb ropes across the water, play basketball, or take a ride in the whirlpool. Once in place, brakes on, and feet out of the way of traffic I watched Abe on the ropes while the bigger boys went a time or two more on the "big boy slides." Then Asa hit the ropes, then we went back towards the entrance near the smaller slides. Way more me and Abel's speed!

Then my ever attentive wonderfully caring husband noticed quite possibly I just may have had enuff. I don't know what tipped him off as I was concentrating on swallowing and remaining quiet. Ah-ha! Perhaps it was te quiet that had alerted him as to my need for an air conditioned break. Or maybe a higher power had whispered to him. Whatever the reason, as soon as he offered a return to the room I leapt at it. Figuratively, of course.

"But wait," I said. I did not wanna rain on the boys' parade so to speak. I explained this to him although he already knew I hated to always be the reason for leaving, or missing, or whatever. And with that he threatened the boys with their lives that they were to stay together and stay on the small slides until he returned. They had to repeat the orders and say they understood. They had to promise and pinky swear. He said he'd be right back – and he would as our room wasn't but a few doors down.

I needed assistance to even make it in the bed. And before I even knew Jason was gone him and the boys had returned. Soaked and tired. And me? I must've been dry and exhausted as apparently I'd been snoozing since my return to the air. Relieved they'd returned I continued my nap as they ordered pizza. And as good as that pizza smelled, I considered continuing it even further. ZZZzzzzzzz . . .

We ate. Watched 'Total Drama World Tour' and fell asleep. Maybe we were ALL of us pretty tired. Good sleep. Sweet sleep. Gooooood stuff. And then an all too familiar sound of Jason's alarm.  Morning came fast but prayers answered, I didn't seem to mind.  Sure I was sore all over, but surprisingly well-rested all things considered, AND most important of all -- there was a huge breakfast buffet awaiting me downstairs in the galley.  I loves me sum breakfast.  Mmmmm.

Bellies way fuller than they should've been we headed back to the room to prep for day 2.  Look out Big Splash - Big Mama may just make 'er in today!  An overly deep, energetic voice says, "Stay tuned to find out.  Will she or won't she?  And if she does, will she make it back out?" 

[Insert dramatic soap opera- like music here]  Cut to dramatic close up of Big Mama's terrified sweaty face with eyebrow raised.  Mouth slightly opened to convey confusion.  Then she looks left and right almost frantic.  Roll in text :  TO BE CONTINUED.  Fade to commercial.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

nah na, na, na, You Say It's Your Birthday . . .

CAUTION:  The following entry has nothing at all to do with my crippling MS or LIBERATION journey.   Anyone easily grossed out by all that is sappy, you've been warned.  Mass quantities of oozing sap lie ahead.  Stop reading immediately.  As a matter of fact, turn off your computers. 

This post is dedicated to and all about my most favoritist person in the whole wide world.  My bestest friend.  My everything.  Here's a hint:  My inspiration!  Figure it out yet?  This is for you, Baby!  Hope you had a good birthday.  And I hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane . . .

Any idea what day it is today? Thursday, August 12, 2010, right? Right. Significant why? I thought you'd never ask. It's my Baby's birthday. My youngest, Abel? Nope. His is still 3 looong days away. Poor guy has been countin' down the days for weeks. He'll be 7 and start school as a big time first grader the very next day. Goin' all day long and eatin' lunch at school . . . wow!

What about my big boy, Asa? My first born baby? Nope. He was born in February just a day short of Valentine's. He'll be a big, bad fourth grader this year and hit double digits on his next birthday. Now, THAT my friends is hard to believe. No matter his size or position on the defensive line, he'll always be my first baby.

My puppy, then? My Gooch? Wrong again. We plan to celebrate his birthday on November 14 th. A very nice day indeed to celebrate a birthday I think since my Dad was born on that day in 1949. And that works out well since that was the day we adopted Sir Gucci Bonaduce last year. The shelter said he was nearly one at the time so we'll call him nearly two on his birthday this year.

Sooooo, who does that leave? My Baby, of course! Another hint?  They used to call him Spindaddy.  Born 36 years ago today to Kenny and Mary Spindler . . .the one, the only . . . drum roll pleeeeaaaase . . . Jason William Spindler. A beautiful, healthy baby boy, huh? Here's a bit of trivia for ya keeping in mind that he was born apparently before the age of the ultrasound: They'd been told they were having a girl. They'd even picked out the name Georgina after Uncle George.

Just a sidenote: God evened things out later in July of '78 when my parents were set to have a boy but instead got stuck (I mean blessed, of course) with my little sister Amelia. Ultrasound machines. Magnificent discoveries. Having known of these two whoopsies, I opted to play it safe and paint my first bundle of joy's nursery a neutral yellow.

Back to the subject at hand. Jason. I wanna blog about my baby. I can't fill you in on much from birth to his freaky hair colored, skater, teen-aged years besides his idolizing his Unk and becoming an Eagle Scout but I can share with you a bit on how I lucked in to having the most wonderful husband in the world. So if you're not into sappy – now's your chance to escape.  Your last chance readers.  No joke.

It was New Year's Eve. I remember that fateful night like it was yesterday. My friends and I had planned to hang out at another friends house to see 1994 ring in good and proper. My friend Dave, who's house we were to be at for the remainder of 1993, had told me there was gonna be an older guy stop by there later that he was gonna try and set me up with. Ryan was his name, I think. Who knows? Who cares? I had my sights set on someone else.

"Jason?" I remember Dave asking. Then like any dear old friend would do for another Dave began warning me away from this bad boy. "A player?" I asked Dave, "Are you sure?" He'd gone out with a close friend of mine a couple months back. He'd come to a couple of our get togethers with her. He seemed like a pretty cool guy to me. On the other hand, it hadn't worked out between him and Andrea. And Dave had been a good friend of mine since my freshman year of high school.

Oh well, I'd thought. Maybe I ought to listen to Dave and give this other guy a chance. So there we were. Me and this other guy at this party talking and trying to get to know each other when in walks this long tall hottie, baggy jeans, chain hangin' from his wallet, black t-shirt with an old plaid flannel shirt on top and Airwalks on the bottom. 

He waltzes in and sits down of all the spots in the room – right next to me.  Boy, did he smell GOOD!  It's no wonder I can't even remember that other dude's name. Yay, me!  Sorry other dude.

As more people started to show up (who I don't know 'cause me and this Jason fella was hitting it off), we decided to move our party a little farther out of town. I imagine as the midnight hour approached maybe some of the other rowdy ones needed a little more space to spread their wings. Long story short we all planned to pile in everyone's cars and head out to my friend Angi's house. Fine by me as she was who I was spending the night with. So I cross my fingers and toes and legs and arms and eyes and hope he'll ride out there with me. Huh?

I drive to Angi's ALONE. And so upset that I almost make the turn off to my house on the way outta town. (I'm sooo glad I didn't.) Why oh why would this so-called friend of mine move so aggressively in on the guy she knew I liked? Whhhhhyyyyyyy? I was heartbroken. And the night was young. Screw it. I'd gone this long without a boyfriend . . . just a half year of high school left. I'd just start fresh in college. That'd be the new game plan. I'd still head out to the party though. Why not? Let's party!

And who was there waitin' on me to arrive? J A S O N. Interesting. Maybe him and Angi hadn't connected. What was I thinkin'? They'd only spent all of maybe 7 minutes together barreling down the highway. Come to find out later my dear friend had driven Jason over so she could "talk me up." And maybe she had. Whatever – there was magic in the air. Stronger than I even knew existed way back when. And thank God for that! Amen.

The entire bunch of us stayed up all night. Talkin'. Goofin' around. Morning arrived before we knew it. And hunger followed. We all piled into a car (who's I don't remember) and went out for breakfast. And to anyone who knows me – breakfast is my favorite meal. I'm sure I had pancakes, as I always do. I was prolly careful though not to inhale 'em as I sat across from this particular beau I was still tryin' to "hook 'em in the jaw and reel 'em in" as my brilliant pastor uncle would say.

When we dropped him at his house later I was able to confirm he did indeed live just 2 houses down from my aunt and uncle. What luck. As was the custom back in my dating days my parents always put a call in to my Aunt Agnes to check out any of my potential suitors. She was a counselor in the school system and without her prior approval . . . wellll, let's just fast forward and say that Jason was given the green light and the rest they say is history.

Our first date Jan. 4. I wore the lime green sweater I'd gotten from my friend Tina the Christmas before. Gorgeous sweater. I also wore it for my senior picture. Only difference being was that for date night I wore it a bit more off the shoulders. Okay, you got me – a lot more off the shoulders! He came to pick me up in his Dad's new white GMC cab and a half truck. And there was a rose in the front seat to meet me when I got there. How sweet.  (Sidenote: We are the proud owners of that very same truck today!)

First, we went to eat at Taco Bell. Goofy, right? Not so. My man likes his Nacho Belle Grandes. He ate his entire meal and then opened his straw to drink his Mt. Dew. Odd, I thought. But I liked it! Then to pass time before the movie started we went to Best Buy to walk around. Geeky, right? Well it might be but we still love it there to this day.

Then we went to see Tom Hanks in 'Philadelphia.' Can't go wrong with Tom Hanks, right? Wrong. Not so much a good first date movie, BUT we didn't mind busy holding hands and sharing popcorn. And I have to add that on the way home (distracted by thoughts of the movie or my sweater, I'll never truly know) he came to a complete stop at a green light. Huh? And looked over at me. Then I at him. And then back to the glowing green from the light overhead. Then I reached across that huge bench seat, took his hand, and squeezed it gently to say, "Light's green. You gonna go?"

More dates followed. And phone calls. And dates. And on Feb. 4 just outside of our friend Dave's house he offered me his class ring. (Gorgeous, by the way). And officially asked me to be his girlfriend. What a gentleman. Oh, and in case you are wondering, . . . I said, "YES!" I mean how could I not? Even my dad liked him. We hadn't been dating long when a huge snow storm blew thru one night. Dad actually allowed Jason to stay the night on the couch. What a guy, my Dad. The next morning I woke to find them both knee deep in snow shoveling a path to get Jason's car out. Poor guy. I'm bettin' he was wishin' he'd left that night instead.

And then their was my senior prom. Betcha didn't know he's a good dancer. We played volleyball at my graduation party and I'm sure trounced whoever it was we were playing (Amelia, included). Somewhere in there we tried to sneak an overnight trip to Louisville in, but I can't write much about that without further incriminating myself. We also ventured to Garden of the Gods a time or two.

He accompanied me to way more horse shows than he ever wanted to. We went bowling. Played putt-putt. Saw a whole bunch of movies. We went to the Indy 500 time trials with my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Larry. And here's a big one, you sittin' down? I even let him drive my Cavalier from time to time. AND, even bigger yet . . . I let him test drive my nearly brand new metallic plum 1994 Camaro before I bought it. Now that's love I tell ya! And as our love grew he even got to drive that too. But not without care and caution, of course, as a girl must have limits, right?

And I did have limits. As we were going to more and more family get togethers together, including weddings, I found myself gettin' awful antsy. We'd be at the mall and I'd drop a hint here or there. Or everywhere. Like, "Wow! Look at the ring in that window!" You get the idea. Welllll, just when I was beginning to wonder if he ever would – he went and did it. Did what? Read on dear friends. Read on. It was a rainy May afternoon . . .

May 4, 1996 to be exact. Last year for my birthday he'd gotten me a huge pink velour blanket. And though I loved both the pink, the velour and the thoughtfulness of it all – I had been a bit disappointed it had not been an engagement ring. Maybe Christmas. Nope. Valentine's? Nope. Good things come to those who wait, I'd told myself. We were both busy with college and work. One of these days if it was meant to be, it'll be. "Please Lord," I used to pray, "please let it be!"

And so headed to the mall for no particular reason that rainy May 4th afternoon we found ourselves in a few different jewelry shops. And we found ourselves talking about what would be the most awesome birthday gift ever if per chance I was to get a diamond on my birthday this year. "Oh, no, we're not gettin' anything today," I remember him telling me. Huh? What a tease.

He continued to explain he just wanted to get an idea of what I liked, just in case. So although a bit disappointed I couldn't help but have fun with the search, I mean, we ARE talkin' about diamonds. I narrow it to two. And then discover that my favorite of the two has a matching man's ring. And what's this? He's filling out a credit application. Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!

He gives me that look. You know. THAT look. I still get that look from time to time. He tells me I'm not gonna get 'em anytime soon, but eventually. Maybe. Yikes! From cloud 9 to nowhere. Geesh! What's that suppose to mean? Was there someone else and he was still deciding? C'mon. This was almost cruel. Credit approved. Boxed and bagged up he wouldn't even let me carry 'em. The entire trip back to the car I asked, "Why not now?" and "Well, why not for my birthday, then?"

Once to the car the new cargo went straight to the glove box. He pointed his sexy finger at me and then at the glove box and said, "No." Well. It was a rough ride with my knees just inches away from that sparkling diamond ring. Talk about torture. And small talk. No good. Silence then. Even worse. More rain on the windshield. Maybe he'd be so interested in driving in these treacherous conditions that he wouldn't notice me sneakin' a peak. As I shifted in my seat he reminded me with a stern, "No."

And I may or may not have begged and pleaded and questioned, why? Finally he explained that he wanted it to be special. He said if he'd just given it to me there it wouldn't have been special. Fine. Whatever. So what about my birthday coming up the 13th? That wouldn't be any good either as I'd be expecting it. Too much pressure, heh? Grrrrr! Almost in tears at this point it wasn't the ring that I wanted so badly and screw the razzle dazzle of a big time proposal – all I wanted was to know he wanted me! Please, please, please.

Back in Mt. Vernon, but not headed down fourth like normal. Huh? Where were we headed? Dave's house? Huh? He parked his car in the exact same spot he had when he offered me his class ring. Oh my goodness. He pulled his seat back as far as he could to try and get on his knee. Tears are welling up in both our eyes at this point. Am I still breathing? I turn in my seat to face him. He reaches across me to the glove box. Oh my goodness.

He tells me he loves me. And how much I mean to him. And some other heart felt awesome stuff I can't seem to remember as I'm almost positive I had been holding my breath at this point. "Angela Gayle Orth," he says. "Will you marry me?" Can I get a "Woooooo Hoooooo?" And a "Hell, yeh!" Teary eyed and breathless I mustered up a couple hundred yes, yes, yesses and grabbed his face and kissed him like crazy. YEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!

Once the tears were dried up and or kissed off we went to spread the news. I forget in what order we told the parents but I do remember the smile on my Dad's face and the tears in my Mom's eyes. Both were genuinely happy for us. Dad said, "Well it's about time boy!" And Mom said with a smile, "I had a feeling this was gonna happen soon."

Jason's parents reaction was a bit more of surprise. I remember his mom nearly falling from the couch. And his dad trying to hide his raised eyebrows and dropped jaw with a congratulatory pat on his back turned hug whilst my future mother-in-law more closely examined my hand and its new accessory. I would have thought he might have talked to his parents about such a huge step in his life. Oh well, the shock and awe approach worked just as well.

Now to set a date. I soooo love snow so how's about the winter? "Too soon," my mom said. Who cares what people think, I thought to myself. But mom further explained, she needed more time to plan. She said, "What about winter of NEXT year?" Realizing full well she'd meant December of '97, I replied, "OK, then January of '97 it is!" Commence with the planning already. I'd only been planning this since around the 3rd grade. What more needed planning?

Off to find the perfect dress. Maybe this would take some time. January '98 would be here before we knew it. Huh? I don't think so. But some how or another that was the date that got leaked to the press. Or in my small town case, the gossips. That seemed soooo far away. I'd already waited sooo long. December 31, 1993 'til now. Geesh! Eventually we came to the perfect date. Another 4th! October 4th, 1997 the most beautiful wedding – ever – "since the Kennedy's" my mom said.

Our colors were black and white. My gown – stunningly elegant. My husband – just plain stunning. What more could a girl ask for? My dad got to give me away. All the flowers were beautiful fresh white roses. "Honestly" by Stryper was sung during the ceremony. Our first dance was to Chicago's "You're my Inspiration." (Because he is!) Huge party! But guess who left early?

The newlyweds, of course. And again I let him drive my Camaro. Must be love, tell ya. But what's this? Up 3 flights of stairs to our apartment and no keys?! Yikes! Uncle Randy to the rescue. And all the way from Texas too! Well he brought us the keys from Mt. Vernon, but technically he'd come all the way from Texas to Mt. Vernon to come to the wedding. Thank you, Uncle Randy.

Once out of our wedding garb and with the apartment locked back up tight we spent our first night as the Spindlers in Henderson, Kentucky. Then enjoyed a week long honeymoon in the hills of Gatlinburgh, Tennessee. From putt-putt and arcades to shopping and No Way Jose's nothing compared to our stay in the log cabin. Gorgeous, romantic place near a stream with a loft bedroom and a jacuzzi. And how could I forget? A bear that rummages thru your garbage at night. But still, I didn't wanna leave!

Then there was that hustle. Thank you Uncle Larry for all those years ago showing me how to shoot pool at the Stucco House. I Lost a few games to my precious new husband and then bet him matching tattoos as souvenirs I could win the next one. He took that bet – no problem. And guess what I did? No mercy! I cleaned the floor with him. And we were off to find us a tattoo artist. Where better than a little shop next to the Elvis museum?

Guess who made me go first? He said when I chickened out that he wouldn't have to be stuck with a tattoo all his own. WHATEVER! I got this. And it didn't even hurt. Matter of fact I loved it and to this day still want another. So I got and "S" with a long stemmed pink rose thru it on my left ankle. And a tad begrudgingly, Jason got the same only with a deep purple rose. Weird how all I could think about was that when I got home my mom and dad were gonna kill me. Not so. I had my husband to protect me! Said so right in our vows.

Other milestones in our JOURNEY together include buying a new home. I moved out of my parent's house in June '96. It was too much working on the east side, school on the west side, and driving alllll the way back to Mt. Vernon everyday. So I got an apartment on the west side. Just me, my Camaro, and my kitty. We lasted all of maybe a week. Maybe not that long when all of a sudden this handsome young man claiming to be my fiance kept showing up more and more often. And that's all I'll report about that. Again with the incriminating evidence. Besides, Squeaky had grown awfully fond of him and felt safer in the big city with him around. After all we was just two little 'ol country girls.

When my lease was up I added a one Jason W. Spindler to it. And when it came up again we opted to pay month to month as my graduation was nearing and my work had taken me back to the Vern. Yay, for house shopping. Almost as exciting as car shopping, but I'll blog about that later. My car trading deserves an entry all its own. Anyways, we look at a couple rental my aunt may have available to sell soon. Then we look at a couple older homes downtown. And then we through caution to the wind and look at a new construction of Charlie Lawrence's. In Lawrence Addition. Wow! Never even imagined it'd be possible, but the bank said ok. So, ok!

June 18, 1998. We moved in to our brand new home, owing waaaay more than we should have, but as happy as could be and proud as peacocks. What next? Jason's turn to graduate college. And what better way to celebrate than buy him a new grill and have a suprise graduation/birthday/housewarming party. The first of many shindigs we'd host at our house on Southwind.

All settled in we wondered what to do, what to do with that second bedroom. Office? Nah. How about a puppy's room? And off we went to adopt a pup. A black lab mix named Duke who bless his heart was terrified of storms. He became our baby, that is until we had a baby. June 8, 2000 the nurse from my neurologist's office called to give me the news. Tests had indeed confirmed I have MS, but bloodwork showed I was pregnant. Wow!

What's a girl supposed to do with that news. Truly bad and good all in the same breath. As always Jason was right there. He hugged me tight for a loooong time. He dried my tears. He kissed my smile. He made everything OK. The very same then as he still does today.

We were ecstatic. We couldn't wait the ritualistic three months to tell everyone. So the very next day we spread the good word. Again with my know-it-all Mom, she thought it was about time. She'd thus far been right. I'd marry at 21 and have my first baby at 24. Remind me later I need to take her with me to the casino. And she also called a boy. More specifically a big boy. And guess what I had Feb. 13, 2001 after 30 + hours of labor and 3 different docs? Asa William Spindler 9lbs. 8 oz. baby boy via an eventual C-section.

Almost 2 ½ years to the day behind him on August 15, 2003 came our second son. Abel Robert Spindler weighing in at 9lbs. 4 oz. and at just over a month pre-mature. Huh? He was the biggest pre-mie that NICU had ever seen. If he'd only stayed in longer he could have been bigger than his big bro. Maybe he could have even surpassed the 10 lb. mark.

Another mention worthy obstacle was my Dad's illness and passing. Jason was always there for whatever was needed. He even sat up with my dad on one of his last nights. And was my unfailing crutch through it all. More figuratively then and more literally now as my MS grows stronger with time. He could have tucked tail and ran screaming from the hospital halls all those years ago. I've been in and out of their plenty of times. 2 years old, 6th grade, high school, college and even times in between.

What on Earth was he doin' stickin' around a hypochondriac such as myself? Sure I was hot, but not that hot?! Had to have been God's doing. He sent me an angel. He knew I would need him to help me thru what lie ahead. I am so blessed to have him. I thank God for sending me Jason every morning. And again, every night. I pray I get to keep him forever and ever . . .

He's not just good to me. He is a great father to his kiddos. Great son to his parents and mine. He loves his Aunt Ann with all of his heart. And he even hugs my grandparents more than I hug them myself. He takes us all to church every Sunday. He is a loyal, giving friend. He's a very well respected co-worker and exceptionally dedicated to his job.

What more can I say, on this his birthday? Thank you Mary and Kenny for bringing him in to this world 36 years ago. Thank you for helping make him the man he is today. And thank you for allowing me to steal your precious little boy away. But I do believe with all my heart and soul that God had planned for him to be my knight in shining GMC all along.

Thank you, Baby! Happy Birthday! I love you! OXOXO

And God . . . thank you for answered prayers! Amen.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekend at Bernie's

Another Monday means another weekend's worth of inactivities to report on. Sooo, let's get this party started, shall we? Wanna start with Friday? I know I'd rather just forget about it myself. What the heck . . . maybe if I let others share in my misery it won't seem as bad. Just a theory, of course, it'll need to be tested.

Friday morning was nothing out of the ordinary. Jason came home just before noon to wrangle the herd and ship 'em to Granny and Papaw's so I could accompany my Mom to Doc Lees. Remember? She was to have a follow-up appointment regarding her plunging blood sugar. I hadn't really felt up to going but did not want to miss it.

Did I mention the ER doc, who we all seemed to like by the way (a real rarity these days) had noticed evidence of COPD both in her chest x-ray and while listening to her breath sounds? She denies this fact, however Amelia and I were there too and as our blood sugar levels were waaaay closer to normal than hers I'm thinkin' we were the ones to have heard the doc right.

Anyways it had been my intention to accompany my mom for many reasons. First I love her! I want to be there for her as she always was for me. And up until this last exacerbation I'd felt like I could help her. At the very least drop her at the door like Jason does for me. Sometimes, push her in a wheel chair. Stand at the window to sign her in. Just little stuff, but still, I felt like I was helping - as I know first hand how difficult that 'little stuff' can be.

Second, I always went with my Dad whenever I could. You wouldn't believe the mountainous paperwork I'd filled out for that man. I used to know mine, Jason's and my Dad's Social Security numbers by heart. Now I do good to even confirm my own when someone reads it to me.

Third, I need to be there! Truth be told I don't trust her any further than I can throw her. Sneaky, sneaky . . . that's all I'm sayin'. And after you hear about Friday's appointment you'll understand what I mean. I am one to research like crazy pre-appointment and arrive armed with knowledge and craving more.

So, I shower. Quite the undertaking these days. Prolly shoulda skipped it, but it had been, ummm, longer than it should've been is all I'm gonna say. Out, dry, and dressed I make it via my new Cadillac walker to the front door just in time to hear Mom pull up in the cruiser. And my house phone begins ringing to confirm. Today instead of answering it to tell her I'm comin' - I let it ring as I reason, 'she'll see me when I get there.' Plus the phone was waaaay back in the living room.

And as I'm tackling the door with my walker and figuring out how to best get the door closed behind me [note to self: look in to purchasing new front doors that do not require storm doors] I realize I failed to lock up Gooch. Both legs trembling at this point, he was gonna be granted yet another afternoon of freedom. And after we'd just gotten the last fiasco picked up. Please be a good Gooch!

So I make it off the porch. Around the front of the cruiser. Past the passenger seat. And just past the back passenger door so that I can fold my walker and slide it in the back. I'd seen Jason do it a million times. Shouldn't be a problem, right? Ha! Wrong! I try, try again. And again. All the while the shaking in my legs becomes more intense. Violent even. If I don't sit soon, this could go baaaad!

I turn to sit in the back with my legs out so I can get a better look at this darned walker. Maybe she wasn't a Cadillac after all. Maybe I'd got a lemon. Growing frustrated I instruct Mom to call Jason and ask him what the trick to this thing is. But before she could even get him on the line I'd figured things out having been closer to the folding mechanism than before. Mom to Jason, "Nevermind, honey, she figured it out."

And then attempting to keep the now folded walker from slamming into my 300 or Mom's cruiser, I advise, "Wellllll, I'm going down." And, wellll, that's just what I did. Hello, scalding hot concrete. Meet butt. Butt, meet scalding hot concrete. And introductions done they really got to know one another. Luckily I'd at least saved the Chryslers from any pink paint scratches courtesy of my newest ride.

So while I'm down here, why not load the walker? So I do. Mostly. Sure I used to lift weights. Sure I used to saddle horses, some even over 16 hands. But this light weight walker on this day might as well have been a real Caddy. Wowsers. It was heavy. By the powers of Grey Skull, I huffed and I puffed and she was up and in.

Mostly. Again, I know. What's with this 'mostly'? The car seat behind the driver's seat was holdin' her up. So I cussed a bit as Mom asked permission to call Jason again. Nope! Calm cool and collected, I said, "We can do this, Mom." So I had her get out of the car and pull while I pushed. Yay! A success. I hated to have to have her get out in such heat, but it just couldn't be avoided at this point.

Once she was back in and settling in she commenced to asking to call Jason. And I commenced to figuring out how I was gonna get my rear-end off this scorching pavement. First order of business was to close this back door. Ever butt walk, readers? It ain't easy. And I don't recommend it. Especially in shorts on hot concrete whilst your legs are refusing to move and the even hotter air rushing you from the running vehicle is causing your vision to blur. Hello weekend! Here I come!

Butt shimmy back just far enuff to close that door and head uphill towards the next one. But first a rest to reassess the situation. Back against the cruiser for just a tic I realize though I can't feel a good portion of either of my legs, as it is excruciatingly hot to touch with my hands, it's prolly burning the heck outta my long loveleys as well. Poor legs. How dare you crap out on me. Karma's a bitch . . . But who wants to be a burn victim on top of everything else? Not me.

I reach up to fumble the front passenger door knob open only to realize my fat bum is partially blocking the door from opening. C'mon. Give a girl a break already. Geesh! So I hoist her up. Again with the brute force and shear determination. I was up - here it comes again - MOSTLY! I'd made it to my knees. And yes, the driveway was HOT. My knees screamed, "FIIIIIIIIIIRRRRE!"

If they could've spoke, I'm sure they would have asked, "What the sam hell are you dragging us along this ruff cracked concrete for? And in this heat? You out of your ever lovin' mind?" And had I had time for conversation with them I would have replied, "Yes. As a matter of fact I am out of my ever lovin' mind." Ha! Then I'd ask 'em if they wanted to join me for a walk so we could reminisce about the good old days of jumping for the rebound, or the spike approach, or just for the heck of it. How's about jump rope?

So once I've given the door just enuff clearance I get it open. Tho all I really accomplished with this was skinned knees and getting to hear Mom's pleas to "just call Jason" much, much better. And to see her. She looked as helpless as a mouse. Prolly much the same as I looked although she wasn't nearly as pissed as she was concerned. What were we gonna do? What indeed!

I looked over at my neighbor Rachel's house. What was Rachel gonna do with my 200 lb. ass? And her hubby? Tho I willed him to be home and willed him to just happen to be coming outside for something or the other. No such luck. He wasn't home. When I'd given up on that fairy tale I reckoned I could handle this here perdicament myself. Yeehaw. Let's give this gettin' up a try.

At the very least maybe the concrete shaded by the open door might be a degree or two cooler. Not so much, but there we were - my worthless legs, my skinned up knees, my tiring arms and my now throbbing head. Had I hit it? I don't think so, but I'd gone from okay to a multi-layered head cake in no time. Or had it been awhile? The heat was gettin' to me.

I grasp the door in my right hand and position the left just inside and near the back of the seat. Hip muscles and the occasional help from both arms propelled my scraped knees closer to the car. A plus? PT Cruisers are very low to the ground. Yay! Surely I could do this. I tried raising my right leg first. Usually my weakest, but as of late I've changed her name to "ole trusty." But she protested. NO!

All the while my knees screaming in agony, I gave "limpo lefty" a try. No. Almost. No. And again. Yeh, maybe. Aww, awww, spasm, jerk, no, fail! Hello, knee! Meet Mr. Pavement again. And this time meet him good. PAIN! And retreat. Flopping to my backside again I returned to my previous resting position against the cruiser. But resting? I was not! I mighta cried a bit and I guarantee I cursed a bit. "Fine," I gave in, "call Jason."

Hearing her explain the ordeal to him just disgusted me further. I am not, nor have I ever been a quitter! Once off the phone Mom tried to console me. "Honey, it happens." Some other nice heartfelt stuff and then the kicker - which verbatim seems to elude me. But it went a little somethin' like this: "When we fall we can't get back up on our own." WHAT? Did she say can't? She did! And rather it was intentional or not . . . never tell an Orth she can't! We've been through this, right?

Attempt #8 or #9, (I'd lost count at 3) was gonna work. Or I was gonna die tryin. No joke. This was war. Both arms to pull my left leg up hill. Then to pull my right. Then repeat, whilst continuing to butt shuffle and maintain my close proximity to the cruiser itself making sure the small of my back remained snugly against the car. "Don't forget to breathe, Daniel-sahn!" And breath. And now what?

I didn't want to be on the ground when Jason arrived. He already thought it was silly of me to go. What a pair we'd be. Who's gonna help who? Boggled by the entire situation still this morning he asked, "You sure your Grandma or Amelia ain't going?" And as I answered he shook his head no in disbelief wanting so bad to say, "Uh-oh!" Wellll, indeed. It hadn't made much sense. But such is life, and he knew telling me no would soooo be the wrong route to take.

So I lean forward and put both hands on the lip of floor below the seat. Grasp tight and push. We have lift-off! But hold on Tex, what about your long, sexy, once muscular, now hairy, scraped and useless legs? That, my friends, is enuff pronouns to choke on. I love writing. Have I thanked you for reading lately? I should do that more. THANK YOU!

So as my arms begin shaking it comes to me I'm gonna have to reposition those bad boys in order to get this approach to work more efficiently. First things first. Butt reunites with pavement. Pavement whispers, "I've missed you so!" And then to the legs. Not really my legs at this point - just the legs - 'cause I couldn't feel 'em. Both hands now acting like spatulas to scoop up one leg at a time just under my thigh and above my knee on each leg. Once both knees were bent tight with the underneath of my calves pressing the underneaths of my thighs I reached around the outside of either leg to fine tune the placement of my feet via ankle adjustment. Once they were squared up, we'd be ready for phase 2 of this attack.

"I'm gonna do it this time, Mom," I warned. This time with teeth gritted my hands grasped the floor. Although a bit skinned from the concrete, they'd become too sweaty working with the legs. I took a tic to wipe them on my shirt. Dirty my blouse? Prolly. But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Now dry and in place I clutched the flooring with all the strength I could muster for optimal traction. And successfully for the second time that sweltering afternoon - WE HAD LIFT OFF!

As my elbows straightened to lock my upper arms began to quiver earlier and more aggressively than before, however putting my newly positioned legs to use I shifted a portion of my 200 lbs. forward towards them as I scurried walking my hands up and back towards the seat of the seat. At this point better use of my legs would've been sooo useful, but alas, as my ass was getting higher my legs were becoming less and less useful in their new remedial job of simply supporting a couple of pounds or so. BASTARDS!

And admittedly I may have cussed a word or two throughout this struggle. I have a horrible time refraining from this attrocious habit when I'm stressed, nervous, or drunk. Or so I've been told. And I'm hardly ever in any of those three conditions. So grit them teeth harder and power thru. C'mon, Angela! Then I flash to Mr. T's scrumpled up mad face as Clubber Lang fighting Rocky. "You ain't bad! You ain't bad! You ain't nothin'!"

So I muscle up to get a firm hold of the seat cushion on hand at a time, and upsey, daisy, we're gettin' closer to a successful landing. Elbows are now refusing however to lock causing an inkling of panic and a bit of sweat to drip from my brow. No biggie. Once settled in I'll just use my already dirty blouse to dry my face. Won't that just get my face all nasty? Prolly, but who cares?

What next, I wonder as my legs are now fully extended outward and unable to support any weight? More work for my arms that I just mentioned no longer had the strength to straighten and lock? This was gonna call for a little work from the 'ol throbbin' noggin. What to do? What to do? Wish I could listen to Steve from 'Blue's Clues' and sit down in my thinkin' chair and "think, think, thiiiink!"

Just as I threw my head back in utter despair having had no better ideas than to sing a song from a show we used to watch when my now 9 year old son was a toddler, I felt my bum brush against my hands. Well, hallelujah! Maybe I was closer to conquering this beast than I had thought. This time I planned to heave my head, neck and shoulders back towards Mom.

I hoped her door was shut as I planned to give it hell. Now that'd be a sight, wouldn't it? Mom on the ground beneath the tree on the driver's side, me on my back on top of her and neither one of us able to move. Arms flailing about. No doubt the shear hilarity of it all would cause us both to piss our pants.

And then imagine poor Jason pulling up in the drive. I know. He advised against this whole field trip. Pretty smart guy if I do say so myself. If I were him I'd prolly keep drivin'. But knowin' him he'd prolly just be sure to get a picture first and then help us. And in this wonderful man's defense the photo would not be for comedic purposes, but to remind me the next time I want to go on some unsupervised outing.

All my chaperones from here on out MUST be able to lift 200 lbs. Sooo, I guess that means unless Jason (Conan) or Amelia (Red Sonja) are going -- I ain't goin'. Asa's gettin' there tho. We need to start him on some weight training after after football.

So I lean just enuff forward as my quivering arms will allow in hopes of getting a running start, let's call it. Then, BACK! And what's this? My butt is (although ever so slightly) on the edge of the seat. Yipppeeeee! I think this calls for a "Woooo hoooo!" So what next? I trust in the Lord and return to practicing proper posture.

I say trust in the Lord as this sitting upright could have gone one of two ways for me. (1) I could have found my self gettin' cozy again with Mr. Pavement as my butt was so precariously perched on the edge . . . OR (2) I could remain [mostly] in the vehicle just enuff that I could grasp the innermost side of the passenger seat for support and walk my butt in there one cheek at a time. And so it goes!

I instructed Mom to call off the rescue cavalry as I let my cheeks do the walking. Once far enuff in to deem myself secure I bent forward to grab my left leg and hoist her in. Enter Bon Jovi's hit "Livin' On a Prayer." My rendition, of course, "Whooaa, we're half way there! Whoooaa, livin' on a prayer, er, er eeeer!" And a pause to admire the beauty of the Chrysler's stainless steel-esque dash. It was pretty, but sooo missing the truck's grab bar.

And 1 - 2 - 3, and down for my right leg. And up to find my multi-layered cake had doubled and my right leg was uncontrollably jumping for joy. Yes, hello, Mr. Dash. Didn't mean to leave you out Mr. Door. For Pete's sake, Mom, hand me your purse! Maybe sitting something on it would settle it down. If not, look out Cobra-Kai. Stand back or I'll inadvertently kick somebody's ass.

So I'm in. Praise the Lord. I made it. The clock on the dash reads 1:26 and her appointment is for 1:30. Good thing I don't live far from Doc Lee's office. We can do this. Easy, peesy, lemon squeezy. We arrive to the one remaining handicapped parking space at 1:28 and I am in no way ready to proceed. Thus we argue about 1 minute as to what our net move will be. I won the first battle, but not the war.

She would go on in and when sufficiently recovered enuff I would be right behind her. There was always a loooong wait. So I wasn't worried. Time would be my friend. I was sure of it. Mom left the keys in case I changed my mind, so I could turn on the air. I wasn't havin' that tho so the 'ol keys quickly settled in for a nap above the driver's visor. Sleep well, my friends.

And away we go! First to get the walker out as I sure wasn't risking trying to stand for any amount of time. Next, I opened my door and turned in my seat to open the back door trying to shove the walker out bit by bit. The car seat actually assisted with this plan as the walker was already resting at an incline. And if I couldn't get it out without too much of a struggle, I'd be too spent, and it would be like divine intervention telling me to stay seated, dork! Or as Obi-wan said, "These are not the droids you're looking for." I'm a nerd too. Betcha didn't know that?

But it came out fairly willingly. I put just a bit of weight on my rubbery legs in order to maneuver the wheels around the passenger door with my left hand and push said door shut with my right. Yay! Teamwork! Once in front of me I unfolded the walker and again put a bit of weight on my legs as I tested the walker for stability. It passed and thankfully so did my legs pass not one, but two tests of willingness to cooperate with at least some of my 200 lbs upon them.

No time like the present. Let's give 'em a go with all the 200. And we're off. Shaky and weak, but on the move none the less. You wouldn't believe the people going in and out that didn't even glance my way let alone offer help or assistance of any kind. Horrible, tho, I guess before this MonSter hit me I was prolly the same way. People can suck sometime - me included. My dad on the other hand could get stuck sometimes at doctor's offices just opening the doors for people. My boys are gonna be like that. It's my personal mission to make it so! And you all are my witnesses.

Pausing twice I make it to the covered portion of the entryway. I spot an older gentleman stopping to hold the door for me. In excruciating pain and crippling fatigue at this juncture, I give it all I got to create a smile to thank him. Still a good 15 or so feet away and having used precious (non-existent) reserves on a smile I politely said, "Well thank you sir but I'm prolly gonna be a while."

To that, he replies, "I'm in no hurry." I fight for a couple steps closer to him, but not wanting to fall in front of him as he didn't look like he'd be able to lift me (at least not with ease), I activated my lock on my brakes and explained, "As a matter of fact I'm actually gonna need to sit and rest a bit before making the long walk in to the chairs." At this he tilted his head as if puzzled. Why indeed would a hottie thirty something such as my self be walking and carrying on so pitifully? Why, indeed!

He then replied, "Well, alright then, if you're sure." Then as he left he pointed out and explained to me the handicapped door opening mechanism even demonstrating to me how it worked. WHAT A SWEETIE! And just when I'd given up hope in humanity. This guy came outta nowhere. An angel in disguise. God bless him. I thanked him again, and once more before he was out of sight.

I sat a bit worrying even with using the automatic doors that I wouldn't be given enuff time to make it thru before the heavy metal and safety glass concoctions come speedily slamming shut on me, or worse yet, in to me. As I was making my way to standing and beginning the second leg of this journey two other people came out and three others in - again, none of which offering any help.

So I press the little blue handyman symbol, I call 'em, and in I go. One more set of doors. There should be a handy man to press for them too. Where is that little guy? Uh-oh. I gotta reach behind me? That's awkward and somewhat dangerous in my current condition, but just standing still would be even more risky. And so I said a little prayer to myself and made it through. "Yay, me," says London Tipton.

And then immediately to the seats nearest the doors for another rest. I lean to peer down the loooong hall of seats lining the wall to Lee's waiting room and find my Mom sitting nearest the entrance to his office. She'd made it and by golly so could I. Just another minute in the air conditioning and I think I can make it. Then I hear the nurse call her name. Grrrrrr! I was gonna have to haul ass on back there.

But what's this? My knight in shining armor, well, shining GMC anyways, pulls up in the parking lot. Guess what dear readers? My Mom had called him to come get me as I was in no way fit to make it in. Well I showed her. I was in! But when Jason came in and explained that to me and I had got him up to speed with a few of the gory details, I begrudgingly opted to go home. And why not? Apparently the doc was seein' patients in record time today. She'd prolly already talked to him anyways.

On our way out another very kind lady held the door for me. She'd even risked losing her place in line to do so. Fighting tears and anger from the whole situation I did manage to thank her too. I reckon I may have even overly thanked her if there is such a thing. Good people do exist. And may God bless her too.

I'll spare you the details of my return to the couch. Betcha didn't know that in a pinch those fancy Cadillac walkers, though the instruction booklets warn against it, can be used as a transport chair. Yay! And nearly falling sideways off the one teensy, tiny nearly non-existent step we do have going in to the house, wellll, that walker doubled well as a chair.

Jason lifted me from the seat and damn near threw me to the couch. It was more of a sling/drop. We'll say slung. I was slung on the couch. And completely and utterly exhausted the wacked out position I'd landed in was the same exact position I maintained when he returned home. Would I ever make it back upstairs? Your guess was as good as mine.

I did. And I was so greatful I did. Sleep came fast. And again - no complaints here! Sooo, that covers Friday. Dare I burden your eyes with more? Should we trudge on thru the weekend? Why not? I can edit from here on out. Okay? I pinky swear even. You say that I can't? Oh, it's on now. I bet I can do it in two paragraphs devoting one to each day. Whatcha wanna bet? Huh? As the saying goes, "It's on like Donkey Kong!"

Saturday we slept in a bit. I sure needed it and woke sore as all get out as if I'd been in a fight with a gang of concrete and lost. Once up and fed (lunch instead of breakfast as we'd just missed the fast food cut-off times), we began the task we'd set for ourselves the previous week - CLEANING HOUSE. Jason even called in for back-up. His Mom, Dad, and Aunt Ann came to the rescue. Laundry, vacuuming, dishes, stairway - you name it - they cleaned it. THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH! Bed followed not too awful long after they left. And again, although I hadn't really participated in the cleaning effort besides folding a few clothes and barking the occasional direction - I was exhausted.

OK. It was a loooong paragraph, but it was a looooong day. Now to Sunday. Although we were up in plenty of time for church I layed in bed awake worrying that if I got any worse I may be completely unable to participate in the boys' back to school shopping this year. And I so loved doing that, plus we were over due to shop for them each new pairs of shoes. Sooo, I decided we'd venture to Target instead, but on the way I would share with them my favorite Bible story about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego and the fiery furnace. And I did. And we shopped like banshees. We brought our own wheel chair and each of the three guys took turns pushing me whilst another handled the cart. We were quite a conglomeration, I'm sure. Once home we vegged. The boys swam. And Jason worked. Bed before 9. A Sunday miracle.

There. I did it. Thick paragraphs, but still . . . got 'er done. Today is Monday. I sit blogging next to a snoring pit bull. No news on South Bend yet. I'm guessin' we'll call back tomorrow. Please, please continue to keep us in your prayers as each of you are in mine. I'll post again when I know more or when another weekend has passed. Until then, "Seacrest out!"