Reflections on Father’s Day…Dad was brave!

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During the 50’s a man’s job was to bring home the bacon and rule the roost. My Dad was not an exception. He did have a special chair like Archie Bunker, but that is where the similarities ended. A quiet man, and a voracious reader, he read at least 3 and 4 newspapers a day to get all sides of the news stories of Chicago and the world. Every night he would arrive home, settle down with a beer and a cigarette while devouring the news. Meanwhile Mom put the finishing touches on dinner, watching the clock until a suitable amount of time for relaxing had passed, before she would call the family to the table.

After dinner he would usually talk to me, when he was relaxed and everyone else had scattered.  He would move to the front room and watch the news, chain smoke and leave later to get the late breaking newspaper, which he attempted to read over the noise of the family and the television until bedtime. Life was pretty good.

Fast forward, to the late 60’s, when esophageal cancer threatened to leave him without a larynx.  This was a disaster with epic ramifications for a salesman, husband and father of four. He did recover from cancer and was clear for 5 years which the Dr. attributed to prayer because Dad intermittently continued to smoke.

My Mother, with the best of intentions, periodically would corner us (and other relatives) to talk to him about giving up smoking. Nothing anyone could say or do would make him stop smoking, but we didn’t know why. This was before it came to light the tobacco industry planned to keep people hooked. http://time.com/3016961/23-6-billion-lawsuit-winner-to-big-tobacco-are-you-awake-now/

In 1979, he entered the hospital because he could no longer swallow. Test revealed the scar tissue from the cancer treatments had virtually closed his throat off to the size of a pencil tip. After I visited him the call came; he had suddenly passed away. His second wife said he just slipped away while she had left the room and found him with a big smile on his face.

A few weeks passed when Dad’s former hospital roommate phoned to inquire how my Dad was doing after his throat surgery. There was a stunned silence on the other end of the phone as she delivered the news he had suddenly passed away.  The roommate then revealed my Dad had made a pact with him. Dad would stop smoking forever if he would come back to the Catholic Church and the sacraments. My Dad was braver than I can even imagine.

 

 

A Great Book…

I wish I had read this book years ago: Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew, by Ellen Notbohm. It would have enhanced my relationship with my grandchild who has Autism. Now I get it! No wonder he is uncomfortable and retreats to his bedroom; he probably can’t stand the noise in the room. Now I can sit back, relax and enjoy the moments he chooses to be in my presence, either at the table, or outside in the yard. We can sit in the present moment.

I now understand why he loves Macaroni and Cheese. He takes great delight in receiving a box for a gift and I make sure he doesn’t see it until there is an immediate opportunity for it to be cooked and consumed. I even secretly give the gift to his parents or brother to hide for an appropriate time or even another day. I no longer have to see him open it and disrupt everything. My joy is a lot like being a secret Santa. I know that whenever he receives it he will be as joyful as a Cub fan sitting at the World Series. I want to make this clear to all who care deeply about a child with Autism: do not rush out and by boxes of Macaroni and Cheese. That is not the secret to pleasing your special loved one; that is only one of my grandchild’s preferences.

All children are different, even children with Autism. As a result of reading this book I now observe how he behaves and remember what clues I picked up from Notbohm about Autism. Then I can start to unravel how I can attempt to communicate effectively in the future. This book gives me hope!

 

I didn’t see it coming…

After dinner I jumped in the car and took the dog with me to the store. I ran into Mario’s to get ground beef, and a tomato for BLT, arriving at the checkout gloating over the Boneless Sirloin Roast at only $2.99 a lb.,  which was cheaper than the ground beef at $3.99!  In my haste I forgot the L, of the BLT’s; I had to cruise the vegetable aisle making a decision romaine or iceberg while my groceries sat on the scanner belt and then I snuck over to get some Italian bread and a single banana. Entering the car, I threw my packages on the seat and wondered how the bill could be over 11 bucks. Mentally I added it up, realizing I had bought extra items however still pulled the receipt out and discovered I had been charged $1.99 for the lettuce. I gasped. Oh no, I thought, did I  pay $1.99 for a head Iceberg of lettuce?  I think it was $1.29 on the sign, I mused. Well that is still 70 cents, I think I’ll go in and check, because 70 cents is still 70 cents. (A Grandchild of The Depression thought process). I jump out of the car and quickly tell the dog I will be right back. Leaving the dog in the car, I realize how really good she is: no embarrassing barking or howling while I’m in the store, no ripping up the upholstery, very trustworthy. As I hurried back in to Mario’s I remembered how I had taken her to the Farmer’s Market that morning to socialize her; to get her used to walking through a crowd.  She does bark at the band as they play but the band had stopped. Even though people ask me if their kids can pet her I always decline, because she is a shelter dog and I’m not sure how she is around all children yet. Even a kind dog can turn from a loving pet into an animal at moment’s notice. I breeze through the store to the produce, and check the sign. Darn the lettuce was $1.99. Oh well, I turn around and leave and the clerk looks at me quizzically as if to say ‘no purchase?” I go out to the car, hit the automatic button and as the light goes on I see my good dog in the front seat, head bent over the bag, and it hits me! Oh no, the sirloin tip roast! My dog has turned into an animal in an instant!!! All this for a 70 cent price check…Lol…#shelter dog#budget#bargain

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Has this happened to you…

Last week I was shocked when I went to the Doctor’s office for a very minor procedure (which I won’t tell you what because of HIPA) and as the nurse went to leave the room she asked me a few questions.

Did I have a Living Will?

Did I have a Medical Power of Attorney appointed?

Did I have a “Do Not Resuscitate” directive (the kind stuck on the refrigerator so in case the ambulance is called and I am not breathing they would know not to resuscitate me if I so desired).

I finally asked why you are asking me this. I paused and waited for the answer, because frankly there was not any sedation involved in this procedure, it was that minor. The reason given was the government requires the Doctors’ offices to ask these questions for the “Meaningful Use Guidelines.” If the office does not comply the Doctors get dinged on their payments.

Personally I felt like Big Brother was watching. For those too young to know about Big Brother, it is not a new rock or rap group. Big Brother refers to the government and not in the nicest context. The term surfaced right around the time the world was extremely worried about Communism, the USSR, and being under government surveillance, as was happening in Communist nations in the 50’s 60’s on the heels of the fall of Hitler’s Germany and mass extermination of the Jews ,the disabled, and other groups like Catholics.

In my Baby Boomer opinion, it’s really no one’s business to ask me if I have these things in place or not. I am an adult. I have an attorney. That is my business.

What is really interesting is the control the government is trying to exercise over the Doctors in this country.  That is my business; I am a voter and this is my government. I never agreed to ding my Doctor if they chose not to ask me these questions.

The question is: What is going on in this country? A medical professional is rendering a service, and now they are getting penalized on payments? How is the government going to know who they asked and who they didn’t?

I thought things were private between a Doctor and a patient. Apparently that is not the case if these records are being tracked and scrutinized.

I’d like to hear your opinion!

Blog on America, blog on…

I had a glorious Mother’s Day…

Although my special day arrived a week early I was glad my children that lived by me decided to come on short notice. As I happily peeled potatoes and seasoned a canned Dubuque ham the night before, my mind drifted over activities I could use to give the youngest grandchildren time-consuming fun while their parents visited. The teen-aged grandchild, kept the little ones amused with the ball and the dog in the backyard while we hauled out chairs to sit in the welcome sunshine. We laughed because surrounding the un-lit makeshift concrete block fire pit with our legs was the only way to keep the kids from falling against the sharp edges.

Periodically I’d have to introduce new activities. One favorite was digging a hole; the 4 year old was instructed not to mistakenly whack the 2 year-old or let him have access to the metal adult mini spade. He gave it a good try and we’d laugh watching him jumping on the shovel to get some leverage to dig.

PlayDoh was high on the list of time consuming activities. The gadget drawer provided a full size rolling pin, a plastic garlic press, a wedding cake server, and an ice cream scoop with a release button. As I introduced 2 halves of a cardboard egg carton, the work feverishly picked up and production was in full swing. This entire factory was confined to a grassy section on an old Coleman, small but sturdy, folding picnic camping table with seats. All was quiet for a good 30 minutes.

The dog quickly figured out the 2 year old was the better prospect for dropping significant amounts of food, and had a good too! My joy is having my family together and watching them interact. I had a bonus Mother’s Day yesterday when my son and I went to dog park by the river and heard from my son that lives out of town. It was great. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Window of Willingness

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Waking up today, thanking God Almighty I had a fabulous sleep, sleeping in until almost 8:55, Well not exactly because all the clocks are set differently to keep on time and instill just enough panic to propel me to promptness. I made an executive decision to alter my pattern of one day, established yesterday, of going to the library promptly at 9:00 a.m. and writng or doing electronic business for 2 solid hours.

After a light breakfast of homemade wheat toast and 1 egg w/cilantro, supposedly “fresh” if re-constituted, and cinnamon and stevia on the toast washed down with a cup of lemon green tea (with stevia of course) I decided nothing but nothing was going to make me rush like a fool. I could just sit here after my morning meditation and cut out the middle man (library) so to speak and dive right into writing and still go to Mass at 11:30 at the chapel ad be back on schedule for the afternoon.

What schedule I ask myself chuckling; this looks a lot like self-will run riot, but what if it is the window of willingness? I ask myself.

I reply that the difference is I acknowledge I am changing my plan and then proceed in an orderly fashion. This is not Bob Wiley from the movie “What about Bob” punching in at home to work at home; this is about trying to go with God’s will for my life and the power to carry it out…..

I do believe God sees my effort at just plunging in, taking the dive; writing my little heart and soul out and trying to remain consistent. Although this is the peak time of my day for productivity, and I could be throwing mountains, literally mountains of paperwork out , which I always lie and tell myself I’ll so it as soon as….. Fill in the blank, and then I slough it off. I know I must strike when the iron is hot for the thoughts to flow.

So that said I’m am launching into the blog entitled Ta Da…. Drum roll

ROSEAMRY UNCENSORED,

Notice I have miss-typed my name. That is a curious thing because last night I was listening to a Fannie Flagg interview on YouTube (here’s the link) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8wkZGQm9sg and she talked about her dyslexia and the spelling problem and I too have this especially with typing. So please don’t blog on and tell me about my typing errors; if it annoys you please just fix it on your copy before sharing it with your friends, this is supposed to be fun! I really do not see these errors, even after spell check, formatting marks and at least three reads. When I am rich I will hire a proofreader.

My dear friend Donna Nadeau ( yes, Donna the dog lover, Kankakee, Illinois) recently passed away after a terrible illness and I never got to tell her how much I truly enjoyed her friendship. One night we were talking and cackling on the phone about our experiences and discussing how she thought I could have a radio show and I suddenly said I’ve got it…. I’ve got it! I know exactly what to call it… and I blurted out, after a pregnant pause of course, for effect, Rosemary Uncensored and Donna burst out laughing, with that giggle that is like a little child getting a knock-knock joke for the first time, and we both started laughing like we were in the room together. We could barely talk, we were laughing so hard at the irony of it all. I’m similar to SNL’s Dana Carvey playing, “Church Lady” Every time one of us started to elaborate the laughing would start again, and I’m wiping the little tears away from my eyes now just thinking about how my eyes teared up with laughter that night and my insides hurt as our laughs bounced off of each other’s and reverberated and we both tried talking at once, but couldn’t complete our sentences. There’s only one night I think I laughed that hard and it was when I was on a retreat. I and another friend were laughing so hard in our room about the art therapy that day, and there was a knock on the door and this lady from the next room come over and told us to keep it down, she couldn’t sleep.

My friend turns around to tell me the message, and we both felt chastised, but were snickering, attempting to not laugh at the shame of it all, and she turns off the wall switch light, and now the room is virtually in total darkness, and she walks straight into the metal floor lamp and it goes BONG!!!, (like a Chinese gong in the movies) We both lost it… we started laughing so hard and went into the silent laugh (like I’m laughing now just thinking about this, I can still see it in my mind), because the more we tried not to make a sound the harder it was… and this went on and on… so we went immediately to our beds and then one of us would say Bong…., and then she whispered across the room, ‘the silent laugh’—we’d start over reliving the moment laughing about the silent laugh…

Have you ever laughed like that?

Write in and tell me….Try to keep it under 250 words…unless of course you wish to be a guest blogger more on that another day.

A word to the wise, on this website, only Rosemary is uncensored (and that was something else Donna laughed about) Here’s my disclaimer now…

I’m not responsible for any opinions or content of other people published on this website; they are absolutely those of the person who gave them.