Thursday, January 26, 2012

A voice

My grandfather died this week, and we attended the funeral today in Muskegon.  Not a huge deal to me, unfortunately.  I have some guilt about that but the reality is, we did not forge a close bond with my dad's parents after his death.  In fact, prior to his death, we really only saw his family once or twice a year.  Everyone but us lived and worked in Muskegon while we were up in Cadillac.  We owned the bakery and it wasn't easy to just pick up 4 kids and drive to Muskegon for a weekend to visit, so we didn't.  We always felt a little out of place, awkward, around the Gable's.  Now, it's about 20x as awkward.  My grandmother died in May, now my grandfather.  My aunts and uncles are technically orphaned.  A generation is gone.  It just seems odd to think of it that way.
My grandfather was way into techy crap, he always had a bunch of gadgets, TVs, the newest technology.  If he weren't so sick, I know he'd have a 3D TV just because they are the newest thing.  He took lots and lots of videos when we were kids.  My aunt mentioned to us girls, that she had all of grandpa's videos and some include Brian and my dad.  She said they'd make us a copy so we could have it.  So, I got to thinking, these videos will have my dad and brother talking... I haven't heard my dad or brother speak for 16 and 18 years.  I don't remember what their voices even sound like.  I'm anxious to listen, to see them forever alive in a video from years ago.  I want to call my aunt and say, "get me those tapes damn it!"  This thought never crossed my mind, that there might be a recording of their voices.
Of my grandparents death I am saddened.  They were always loving and caring towards us, opening their doors and welcoming us in.  I remember my grandma's wet kisses and hobbled and hunched walk (from arthritis).  My grandfather always had 2 or 3 TVs on and music playing in the background.  He'd be wearing sweatpants and a wife beater with his leather slippers and his dog at his side.  He had a sense of humor, similar to my dad's and his laugh was hearty.  They were in their 80s, lived a good and full life.  I celebrate their life and hope they rest in peace.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


For those of you who don't know, Sara, my close friend (from childhood, well really 9th grade) has watched Patrick from 2 months of age.  She was offered a part time job just after the Christmas holiday and that sent Joc and I on a scramble for childcare for the little man.  It was more stressful than I would have thought, it seemed that every place we looked had either just filled their infant spots or had someone deciding for the last spot.  We saw our Plan A turn into Plan D, E and F.  Finally, we decided on or rather found an opening at a really nice daycare center but it's on the other side of town.  Not our first choice, but actually it's the same company as our first choice, just their Kentwood location.
We start Monday... we dropped paperwork off and brought Patrick by on Thursday to look around.  He was interested and smiley so both good signs.  It's just nerve-racking to think about leaving him in the care of strangers.  I mentioned that I worry a bit as he's a typical first born who prefers to be held all the time.  I felt some tears in my eyes thinking about leaving him... I know it'll be fine, my job is just to worry these days so that's what I do.
Thank you Sara, for your excellent care of our Patrick.  I'm so grateful you were there for him and for us.  Thank you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Yesterday, the 10th, was the 18th anniversary of my brother Brian's death.  I counted the years out in my head, then did the math on paper, then subtracted my current age from the age I was when Brian died (12), then pulled out my calculator.  I just couldn't believe it's been 18 years.  Not many memories remain of my big brother, but I pray he's at peace.  Do you know the story?
Brian joined the ski team in his freshman year of high school (same year he died).  They had a vigorous training, I remember he did a lot of running.  The ski team was at Caberfae ski slopes and he went down South Peak.  He collapsed on the way down the slope and his teammates thought he wiped out.  Instead, his heart had stopped beating.  The ski rescue people got to him, then they brought him to Mercy (where my mom worked).  Caberfae is about 30 minutes by car outside of Cadillac.  They were doing CPR the whole way.  I do remember the phone call, my mom answered and I remember her asking if he was conscious.  When my mom and dad came home from the ER, they told us Brian was dead.  An autopsy showed cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart).  He probably went into a lethal arrhythmia (a heart beat that doesn't pump blood to the body, therefore causing death of tissues, guessing Vfib for my medical friends).  It's the same sort of thing the young athletes make national news about now...happens often, it's not a new phenomenon.  He had had a physical before joining the ski team.  The medical people weren't sure what caused it, probably a virus.  It happened so quickly and randomly and unfairly.  I thought today a little about what he would be doing, if he were alive today.  I imagined he'd be doing something great.

I have a different perspective on his death, I feel, with Patrick.  Say a prayer or think of my mom, will you?  To lose a child... your first born and only son.  I always knew it was hard, now it's hard to imagine.
I wonder if any of his old friends remember him or that he died on the 10th of january, 1994?  There was no facebook back then, no opportunity to unite in the loss.
Rest in peace Brian.  You are missed, loved and never forgotten by your family.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I'm having an internal debate with my heart and mind.  It blows.  Sara, my friend and Patrick's nanny from 2 months till 7 months, has taken a social work job that she couldn't pass up.  Therefore, Joc and I are scrambling a bit to find daycare starting the 16th of january.  When Sara first told me a week ago, I was really really bummed.  I knew I had it great.  And I thought, well, not a problem to find a daycare to accept Patrick.  I was a little wrong there.  Our first choice: Appletree on Monroe got right back to me to let me know they are full until end of February/early March.  Bummer, Plan B- a daycare by Saints (excellent reviews from a co-worker, very close to my work, so very convenient for both Joc and I for drop offs and pick ups)- when we finally got in touch with someone, they had one spot and a couple had come through the day before so they had dibs.  Of course, upon hearing there was another child interested, they pounced on the open spot! Ugh.  On to Plan C- Aquinas child care, I had talked with them prior to Sara taking the nanny role and they were in our top 3 daycares.  Yup, full.  Waiting list until June! JUNE!! What the hell?  Was there a baby boom recently that I didn't know about?!  Ok, Plan D, E and F?  We've contacted multiple other daycares, the majority are full and the one that isn't we aren't crazy about.  They can accommodate us starting the 16th, there's no enrollment fee and it's 10 minutes out of the way for me, a little out of the way for Joc.  So, do we settle on this place because they can accommodate Patrick or do I drop to part time and try to find a nanny to come to the house the other part of the week?  My internal debate boils down to my work/life balance.  Since taking the educator roll, I've been working 5 days a week 7-4.  Weekends and holidays off.  There are days I go to work and think, "why did I take this job?"  Other days, I really enjoy it.  I miss the bedside but then I get a chance to help out at the bedside and I think, "oh yeah, I don't miss it that much."  Why am I working 5 days a week?  I can easily tell my boss I want 4 days a week or 3 days a week, but can our pocketbook/bills take the change?  I miss Patrick often, would I go crazy at home with him?  It's often cheaper to pay for a week of daycare than part of a week... ugh.  
What's a mother to do? 
Then, we're thinking of trying for a second baby in the spring/early summer... so will we both work full time then too?  AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Why didn't anyone tell me it was so hard to be a working mom?  I don't think I could be a total stay at home mom... 
I need a drink...