Update – if you wish

Hi all, Bro #1 here.

Nancy’s final entry is exactly as she wrote it. If anyone would like to have an update, please write to LaCootina@gmail.com. If you prefer to let her words speak for themselves, they are more than adequate.

Please note that all the comments to her last post have been read and are deeply appreciated. Many thanks to all for your kind sentiments.

So Long, Fare Well

Dear Friends,

Having enrolled with hospice this week has changed my perspective. I’ve been thinking about signing off the blog for quite awhile, and this feels like the right time. I can’t believe it finally happened…but I really don’t have much more to say! Oh, I’ll miss ranting over major and minor annoyances, but you deserve better. My readers — family, friends, and friends I haven’t met — have kept me going for more than two years. I never expected to be here this long, and I certainly never expected to find such a warm, caring community, especially in MM patients and caregivers.

Technology continues to amaze me: this little white box on my table, this seemingly inert piece of electronics, has connected me to an entire network of smart, kind, thoughtful people. Your good wishes and support have meant more to me than I could have imagined. I will leave the blog up for awhile, on the chance that there’s anything helpful here for newly diagnosed MM patients. I will continue to read and occasionally comment on your blogs. But out of concern and respect for other MM patients and their loved ones, I’m going on the next leg of this MM journey on my own.

I have been touched and privileged to share my story and get to know you. I wish all of you great joy, peace, and most of all, good health. Fill your hearts with gratitude and forgiveness until there is no room for anything else. Be good to yourselves and each other.

Love,
The Coot

P.S. Now that he’s had a taste of Guest Blogging, Bro 1 — one of the two best brothers on the planet — may occasionally pop in.

Gorgeous Day for Gardening

Hello all… Bro #1 here helping sis La Cootina with the blog. On Sunday, we were “attacked” by a small band of big-hearted gardeners. Though weather had been bad and forced a couple postponements, it was simply a picture-perfect afternoon. Like a colony of ants, everyone seemed to migrate to different areas (front yard, backyard, flower beds, perennial gardens) and they worked – and I mean WORKED! It was a wonderful group whose efforts are appreciated beyond words. And thanks to their efforts, the grounds of Villa Decay look simply marvelous…

Pictured (l to r) Kerry, Mary Ann, Doug, Bill, Pat, Gary, Jill, Randy, (front) Judy and Megan. Not pictured: Kelly.

La Cootina’s words now:
“Good sports – every one of these ladies is very attractive, believe me! But after sweating in the garden for a couple of hours, it’s not really cricket to point a camera at them, sans make up, sans hair triage. You can, however, still see how beautiful everyone’s heart is.”

Borange 2010-04-01 11:29:00

I’ve been blessed with a near-continuous parade of friends and relatives the last few weeks. My brothers, in particular, were very helpful and I have to single out Bro 2 for tackling a lengthy “Honey-Do” list of chores. (The price for having skills and aptitude.) Although she’s busy with full-time work and full-time single parenting, Sis has been just great, always ready to help with errands or whatever I need.

All my Hoodies have been amazing, with Chris, Mary Ann and Kerry topping the list. I truly, truly could not have come this far without their help. They are my angels here on earth. Others have helped lighten my load, just providing comfort, compan- ionship, and most importantly, lots of laughs. I’m not sure what I did to deserve such an incredible network of helpers, but I’m grateful for every one of them.

We’re giddy with Spring Fever — several consecutive days of 80º+ weather — and Final Four Fever. By coincidence, my hometown is hosting the Final Four this year, and a local team is “going to the dance.” It’s been a long time since we’ve been this excited about the NCAA championship.

I’m not sure the Rake-o-rama is going to happen. I’ve managed to select two rainy days; the first rain date now needs a second rain date. Perhaps one of them will select another date/time and declare a Flash Rake. I can’t bring myself to pester these wonderful people again.

Borange 2010-04-01 10:29:00

I’ve been blessed with a near-continuous parade of friends and relatives the last few weeks. My brothers, in particular, were very helpful and I have to single out Bro 2 for tackling a lengthy “Honey-Do” list of chores. (The price for having skills and aptitude.) Although she’s busy with full-time work and full-time single parenting, Sis has been just great, always ready to help with errands or whatever I need.

All my Hoodies have been amazing, with Chris, Mary Ann and Kerry topping the list. I truly, truly could not have come this far without their help. They are my angels here on earth. Others have helped lighten my load, just providing comfort, compan- ionship, and most importantly, lots of laughs. I’m not sure what I did to deserve such an incredible network of helpers, but I’m grateful for every one of them.

We’re giddy with Spring Fever — several consecutive days of 80º+ weather — and Final Four Fever. By coincidence, my hometown is hosting the Final Four this year, and a local team is “going to the dance.” It’s been a long time since we’ve been this excited about the NCAA championship.

I’m not sure the Rake-o-rama is going to happen. I’ve managed to select two rainy days; the first rain date now needs a second rain date. Perhaps one of them will select another date/time and declare a Flash Rake. I can’t bring myself to pester these wonderful people again.

Go See…

Daily photo from Cairo/Giza
and in the lower right corner, links to Daily Photo blogs from other cities.
http://www.20×200.com/
Original art and short-run prints by new and established artists and photographers, starting at $20!  Many sell out quickly; if you love it, buy it.
http://www.gloriouswallstickers.com/
Mad cool wall stickers. House plants and goldfish that won’t die, the chandelier you covet. My personal favorite? Kitsch, of course.

Easter Bouquet


Gracie’s peeps took the girls to a Three Dog Bakery “Easter Begg Hunt” yesterday. Molly (left) and Gracie were dressed as spring flowers, in outfits that were a big hit at a neighborhood gala the week before.

They behaved themselves nicely and were the belles o’ the ball. (At a previous TDB event, Molly stole Frosty Paws from any dog foolish enough to lift his head for a nanosecond.) There were bunnies galore, but our girls were the only spring daisies!

The Best Peeps EVER

My wonderful Hoodies are at it again, providing two vital services that I can no longer do for myself. First, they chipped in for a housecleaner for a day. Yesterday, this woman started at one end of the Villa and slowly, thoroughly, made her way through 80% of the house. (The 80% was at my request. It would have taken a team of cleaners [and spider assassins] to tackle the basement.) I’m pretty sure my house has not been this clean since the day I moved in.

Vital Service #2 is another Rake-o-rama this coming Sunday. Most of the leaves were raked up last fall, but there are still plenty throughout the yard and flowerbeds. Plus twigs, plus millions of @#!! Redbud tree seed pods, plus billions @#!! Sweetgum tree spiny balls. And if they finish with all of that, two resident experts will help them determine what annuals should be pitched and what perennials should be cut down.

At my one other rakefest, (fall of ’08, I believe) fifteen of my peeps showed up! They are such kind, generous, good-hearted people. That they would do this for little old me… well, it just fills my heart. “Thank you” isn’t enough, but it’s all I can offer right now.

Health Care Reform Murders Family, Blows Up Orphanage, Supports Terrorists!

Socialized medicine! Death panels! Government-funded abortions! In case the “Tea Baggers” have you truly frightened, this should comfort you: A Guide for Those Traumatized by Right-Wing Fear-Mongering Lies about Health Care Reform.

Although the so-called HealthCare Reform bill was watered down to the point of toothlessness, and the Seig Heil Uber-Right ended up getting almost everything they wanted, in the true spirit of crybabies everywhere, the TBs have taken public rhetoric to a new low. Honestly, I hadn’t thought that was possible, but those ever classy “Tea Baggers” have again demonstrated their debating skills and righteousness by shouting “f*ggot!” and “n*gger!” and even spitting at House members who dared to defy god hisself by voting for that pathetic, tepid health care reform bill. This should erase any doubts about their intelligence.

Since they’ve provided a real insight into their motives and intentions, I think it only fair that the TBers be correctly addressed on the floor from now on. Instead of “We recognize the kind gentleman from Skankville…,” let’s switch to “We recognize the lying, hypocritical, scumbag…” No more “Gentlewoman from Stupidland.” She will henceforth be “The shrieking, spitting hysteric.” Yes, I’m actually looking forward to their next strategy: accusing us of name-calling and ad hominem attacks. In anticipation, I offer this reply, which even they should understand: “Neener, neener, neener!”

Trust

by Thomas R. Smith 

It’s like so many other things in life
to which you must say no or yes.
So you take your car to the new mechanic.
Sometimes the best thing to do is trust.

The package left with the disreputable-looking
clerk, the check gulped by the night deposit,
the envelope passed by dozens of strangers—
all show up at their intended destinations.

The theft that could have happened doesn’t.
Wind finally gets where it was going
through the snowy trees, and the river, even
when frozen, arrives at the right place.

And sometimes you sense how faithfully your life
is delivered, even though you can’t read the address.

“Trust” by Thomas R. Smith, from Waking Before Dawn. © Red Dragonfly Press, 2007. 
________________________________________

More about Thomas R. Smith. What does health care reform have to do with poetry? A timely essay by Mr. Smith: A Guide to the Health Care Labrynth.