Thanksgiving 2001 / Latest Update
We started a new tradition for the holidays, key lime pie for breakfast on Thanksgiving Day. It was great, even if I didn't finish my slice. It is a very rich flavor.
Funny, every year I buy one container of egg nog (I'm the only one who likes it) and one fruit cake (I confess, I like it too) and it lasts me the whole season. Somehow I think that if we were all together we might do two quarts of egg nog and another fruit cake.
Someone took me to task for my link for . The funny thing is that the book is out of print and searching for information about it only drives you to a library to order a copy from interlibrary loan. I've told a number of people that they should borrow books when they are deep in grief, buy them only after the first year when they decide whether or not the book still speaks to them and still helps. I still believe that.
Guess I should tell you to just buy books, but ... I don't feel that way.
Still, it was a gracious Thanksgiving, with friends and children all around.
December 1, 2001
Heather now has a dog. There was a funny cartoon about a kid who wanted a gold fish, a cat and a dog. Well, Heather has all three, and some birds. Personally, I think the dog and cat are enough and that the fish and birds need to go to other children who need them, but we will keep them all as long as they give Heather joy to her heart.
Speaking of which (joy to the heart), we have a number of quilts my Mom has made for us. A few are award winning quilts (the kind that have won grand prizes at state or county fairs -- my Mom does great quilts), some are ones we love because my Mom made them for us (they are pretty, but we use them). One of the award winning ones ends up on our bed from time to time. It is a "family history" quilt, with scenes from various places we've lived and things we've done growing up and such. When my Mom made it, we had just had Robin and it had hearts for the four children we had had at that time. Last time they visited, she snuck it out and stitched in a heart on it for Rachel, but didn't tell Win and asked me not to tell her but to let her discover it.
Win decided to get the quilt out and put it on the bed for the holiday season. She was a little sad because it didn't have Rachel on it. This morning she saw the heart. Now that is something that brought some joy this morning.
I still think of Robin from time to time. All my girls are with me in my heart and I miss them terribly.
It has been a long time. I had really thought that by now I would have long since quit typing these entries and perhaps have taken the entire section down off my web pages. I thought that once our friends and family had the information they needed and some time had passed, that would bring a close to any interest this would have for anyone.
I've been surprised at how many people visit the site every week and the number it seems to help. I enjoy the e-mails I receive and the guestbook entries. Things have just been so busy, and there is such sadness in the world. I truly hope that each of us can do something to help ourselves and to help each other.
It is the season, after all.
February 17, 2002
The dog didn't last. Was expensive as heck for a "free dog" (the various vet bills, etc. ended up cost a couple hundred dollars by the time we were finished with shots and licenses and neutering). He was very good at first, but then decided that he was going to put our toddler below himself on the pecking order. He was very determined. So, Heather is going to look for another dog, but this time she wants to start at the puppy stage and work up with a dog where she knows more about it than it seemed like a good dog at the pound.
Win's talk at Coleville went well. I've cancelled out of the presentation I was going to give to the ABA ADR Section in Seattle this April. Work conflicts. Bought a new car, an S40 Volvo.
Mostly we just worked our way through the 12th to the 16th of February. Dealt with feeling joy in our lives along with the sadness. I changed jobs in January. I know, no warning of that sort of change in my last entry, but then I really didn't have warning of it either. I left on positive terms with my (now) ex-partners. I left about 42 files, in good shape. Picked up about 32 files in good shape where I moved. My new job is only six miles from the house, no Saturdays, no Irving branch office development days, no client development time. I really like it. Win remarked that I've been a changed man.
Encountered a lady whose child had RSV and who brought them to church because the doctor let her believe it wasn't that dangerous and that it wasn't that contagious. I had to leave the room for twenty minutes before I could talk with her about it as I've friends whose children have disabilities due to someone carelessly exposing them to RSV and Win has seen kids die in ICU with RSV.
I was polite with her, but it meant that Rachel wasn't any where near that nursery. She did well though.
Dealing with being happy is an entirely different thing. I've dealt with parts of that before, but dealing with it as a constant part of life is another. I'm by nature pretty positive and pretty happy.
February 27, 2002
Last time life was really, really happy for me was just before Jessica got sick with what appeared to be the flu and then died.
Obviously I've had a little bit of superstitious dread invoked by getting through the 16th of the month and then feeling good. A few flashbacks to Courtney as she and Rachel are/were about the same ages at this time. Some really good times. I've gotten to see old friends, the Petersens and the Greens and others. Even got to go to a surprise birthday party for one of the Greens (you want more details, ask them, it is their story) -- it really made me feel good.
Last night we admitted Rachel with dehydration and the flu. Now she had good bowel sounds, was soft and flexible in her stomach area, eyes were good (there is a checklist). But, they've been admitting lots of kids, giving them bolus IVs (basically just filling them full of fluid) and discharging them. In our modern world is a mere inconvenience, though a hundred years ago it would have been life threatening. I am grateful that medicine works (more often than not) in our day and age.
That was nerve racking. But, as I remind myself, it is a part of normal life. Now its the morning after and we are all ok. It is like a whole new life.
February 28, 2002
Arghh. Rachel is back in the hospital, though they promise me that she should be out tomorrow morning. Win is spending the night with her, we were up with Win until Rachel started wanting us out so she could sleep.
Well, they finally let us go home today. With any luck, she will stay home this time.
March 6, 2002
Rachel is doing well. Eating like a house on fire (doesn't she always <g>), active as always and happy as can be. She still thinks of the world as a garden of delights for babies and toddlers, though I think she believes that the hospital makes you stay too long to get the balloons. Sleeping well at night, gives me a kiss and then waves good-bye when I drop her off at day care, still runs up and gives me a hug when I get home (yes, she has forgiven me for not spending the night with her more while she was hospitalized).
Won my trial (I'm a litigator, after all, which means I go to court from time to time). A solid win, though I really wanted a convincing one. Interesting jury, good facts, all-in-all. Learned a few things from this one, as I always do.
March 9, 2002
It is wonderful to have Rachel home. It is also wonderful this time to have admitted a child with flulike symptoms and have them live through it. Not to mention, to have insurance coverage without a deductible for hospitalization. This time has been really nice. I like my job (I enjoy the people and the work), Win and I have some time together (at least until her next rotation, but this recent one has been really nice) and Heather is such a joy (we even went out and ran some errands this morning while Win studied. Rachel came with us and was really cute).
I'm also grateful for my friends and family.
Its ok, sometimes, to have a happy time.
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