Tag Archive: milestones


Wave

I’ve avoided writing about a difficult topic for some time. Today I found myself writing about it to a friend. But in so doing, I found I couldn’t stop.

Click the image for relevant background music. She’d like this version of one of her favorite songs.

The act of writing–as it often does–helped me step back and consider the topic, the circumstances, and see things in a new light. And that helps. So I suppose that means it’s time to post this.

My mother is dying.

Mom’s cancer has progressed, and she is staying home now, sleeping/laying down most of the time, and not really taking in any nutrition to speak of. The ladies from the personal care service have been fantastic and are spending most of the day and all of the night at her place. A room at the hospice center would give her the same 24/7 support, but this is what mom wants — a few weeks, maybe days at this point per the RN.

I get mom to smile a few times daily. Her thoughts are clear since coming home from a respite stay at the in-patient hospice center a few days ago. Although weak, frail, and losing weight, she’s in a relatively good space for the shape she’s in.

It’s hard to see her this way. The little nutrition she gets comes through that Southern elixir: sweet ice tea. Yet, most meager sips merit a cough. For some reason, her pain has lessened, necessitating fewer doses of powerful narcs like Roxicet administered through her peg tube. What hair survived the radiation and chemo is white, close-cropped and nothing like her style pre-cancer. Clothes don’t fit her either. Buying some pajama bottoms for her today, I opted for the XS and think that those should work.

Regardless, the person who now appears nothing like the lady filling my memories is still my mom, a buoyant beautiful soul. That remains.

I think that cancer nearing its run is a bit of a blessing, insofar as you see the end coming. So you can prepare for it. It’s not unlike standing chest-deep in the ocean. Your feet are planted in the sand, the current swirling around you–but you can see the wave coming, so you can prepare. You make what adjustments you can and receive the wave.

Despite how well you’ve prepared, it will move you. So I think I’m ready for that. In the meantime, I have to keep my eyes forward, head down, and do what needs doing.

I’ve attempted several Regular Features on Heavy Mental, but without much success. Not unlike Italian forms of government since WWII. I’ve tried read-alongs. I’ve tried retrospectives.

But this one is different: this go-round, I’m making  the time for it, once a week. I’ll be scribbling some reflections and ideas engendered from Coffee Wednesdays at the Waldorf School of Atlanta. It’s Wednesday, and I’ve had my coffee. So let’s get started.

Getting mugged at WSA. You're doing it right.

After dropping the young lad at school, I stayed, joining in the fun, bread, and beverages at Coffee Wednesdays. I got my java and homemade bread fix, had some insightful convos (Thanks, Nancy!), and made a new connection for my freelance writing business. The last one was a complete surprise — either a complete coincidence or a divinely coordinated arrangement.

I’ll bank on the latter.

You're doing it wrong.

I stayed to the end of the event and helped to carry a tray of coffee mugs (no Styrofoam(TM) found here!) up to the kitchen, taking the opportunity to talk with a fellow parent. It just turns out that her relative is a contract writer for a local agency and would be glad to pass on my 411 to the relative. Sweet — that’s organic networking at its finest.

To top off a great morning, on my way to the parking lot, I found myself behind Ms. Luba’s kindergarten class as they were heading back from their morning walk.

Ah, childhood: like each day, it’s so full of promise.

Point of refraction

The darndest things can spur writing.

Tonight I cleaned the bathroom sink drain (for the umpteenth time) and our dishwasher drain (for the first time).  The first effort was habitual; the second was exploratory.  Thanks go to mom for the Drain Snake(tm) and the Tennessean Dollar General store at which she surely purchased that handy little stocking stuffer in late December.

so much depends upon a white childproof latch

What got me to the keyboard at quarter past 11 p.m. is what I did after I finished my domestic foray: I removed the childproof latch to our kitchen cabinet sink.  Simple enough task … flathead screwdriver … turn turn turn <plink> … turn turn turn … turn turn <plink> . Done.

But it was the thought process behind removing that blessed little white plastic work of engineering genius: our son is old enough that we don’t need it. And other than frustrating adults, the little lock most likely can’t thwart any more little Hambrick fingers.

With several friends expanding their nuclear/familial child to adult ratio recently, of course we’ve considered following suit.  And had we leaned more toward revisiting the lands of poopy diapers, then perhaps I wouldn’t’ve offed the lock.

But I did.  And it’s all good.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 17 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 68 posts. There were 41 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 6mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 28th with 86 views. The most popular post that day was Thinking of Freelancing? Think about this….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were freelancefolder.com, facebook.com, postconsumers.com, linkedin.com, and lmodules.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for halo-halo, grillz, halo halo, halohalo, and filipino flag.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Thinking of Freelancing? Think about this… May 2009

2

Happy (Philippine) Independence Day! June 2009

3

Young Georgia Authors’ Writing Competition & Pirsig’s Quality March 2009
5 comments

4

Advent Spiral December 2009
3 comments

5

With or at me, just laugh April 2010
3 comments

2,000 Visits

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have acheived a milestone here at Heavy Mental: 2,000 visits.

And with your visit today, we have surpassed it. Many thanks for finding this blog a worthwhile speck in the ether.

It started as a personal exercise in creativity and, well, it still is. But I’m glad you all have found some pleasure in it as well. For a writer who enjoys what he does, that means a whole big bunch.

Thanks!

D

%d bloggers like this: