Monday, July 30, 2007

When Are You Too Old For A Pen Pal?

About seven months ago, I suddenly heard from the boyfriend I had when I was 16--my first love. He tracked me down from a relative that appeared in the news, writing to the relative to ask if I was any relation. So, at 54, I acquired a pen pal and we now correspond regularly talking about our children, our spouses, our aging parents, and Life. It's different than talking with contemporary friends or co-workers--this is someone that knows the Me before all the layers of growing older and all the attached experiences piled on. Although he's taken a very different route religiously than I did, we keep finding parallels in our lives that are freakily (yes, I know that's not a real word, but it is freaky)similar. And as we share our life's journeys, it gives both of us a chance to explore where we've been since we were teenagers.

I bet you're thinking, "Uh oh. . .trouble". Nope, nothing like that. Both marriages are great. It's just nice to talk to someone that remembers Young Me.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Sky is Falling

My Aunt woke me up at 3am last Friday to tell me that my beloved uncle had died. I cried with her and told her I would hug her tonight when I fly into the town where she lives. We were going to celebrate my uncle's birthday in the hospital on Saturday, but now the family will gather to celebrate his life instead.

Then, as I straggled into work to finish up some things so I could fly out, Daughter #1 called from work crying to tell me that two news helicopters had collided and crashed . . .and one of them was from her station. The copters had been following a car chase between the police and a thief, and somehow one got too close to the other, and there were no survivors. Daughter #1 was actually producing the live segment when they lost contact. The surreal part of this is that Daughter #1 and her co-workers had to keep covering the story as they sobbed and worked from the time of the accident for over 8 hours without commercials.

It is now 2 days later, and Wonderful-Mother-In-Law (really)went back to the hospital in an ambulance--the cancer is actually in remission, but she doesn't eat or drink and it was time to go back and get stabilized. . .again.

And Husband called from Wonderful-In-Laws' home to tell me that Wonderful-Father-In-Law (really, him too)has some medical problems too.

Sometimes I feel like an entire generation I love is slipping away from me one at a time. And there's a helpless feeling you get when your child (even a grown one) is in pain no matter how hard you try to shore her up.

The sky really seems to be falling all over us right now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Blah Blahs

I get a lot done when my mother calls. You know those normal pauses in conversations where someone injects a question or comment? Well, MoM rolls right through them, talking nonstop usually about some body fluid or Margie's friend's stepbrother's twin sister's mole. Usually, I put the phone on speakerphone and go about my business, just leaning in occasionally with "Uh huh". One time, after listening to MoM drone on for over 40 minutes, I made the mistake of throwing the portable phone at the couch--which made a lasting impression on Daughter #1, Daughter #2, and Husband. Delighted with my hissy fit, they gave me a portable I've-got-to-go buzzer for MoM phone calls. The various buzzer buttons included a doorbell, fire engine siren, delivery guy, and phone static. I played the phone static button for Husband but he said it didn't sound like real phone static. As soon as I can figure out how to post the sound file, I'll add it on. In the meantime, thank goodness for Caller ID.