May 3rd, 2003


Eventually there will be a real update from me.

Do we remember my 86-year-old grandmother with the stubborn Yankee "I don't need pain medication" who fell and broke both her shoulders shortly before Easter last year? Well, she now has "compression fractures" in her back. My mother would like people who pray to keep her in mind, but honestly, i'm more concerned about my mother (whose mother this grandmother is).

My parents have to stay healthy for a long time and die quick painless deaths, because i am too selfish for the time/energy/patience my mother (who is up for sainthood) has given her mother this past year. Though now that i think about it perhaps i don't give myself enough credit, because while i don't have that kind of giving devotion for my grandmother, i absolutely do for my friends. I'd still rather i never have to do anthing even vaguely Bob Murray-esque for my parents (or other family), though.

Bob Murray is an elderly man my family knows from church. His wife, Louise, had Alzheimer's for something like 11 years and he took care of her and when she needed to be in a nursing home he visited her every day (was the only person who could get her to eat). My mother and her mother visited him over Easter and my mother wrote that he is on his way out, but he still enjoys company and blessedly still has people who call and/or visit. From my mother's e-mail to me after the visit:
But he was delighted to see us and said we brought him back to all the people he used to know, and times that have passed.
He also said he was grateful that he was well when Louise wasn't so he could care for her.

He said she spoiled him before she was ill, so he didn't begrudge her the care he gave her -- I so love that about him, he sees what he did for Louise as "what you do" not anything heroic. What does it say about our society that we view visiting your wife daily a heroic act?


I held his hand the whole time and sat near him on the bed. I often think it's sad that our elders are not touched -- all those who would touch you are gone. And human touch can be a powerful thing. I hope it was a blessing. I know our visit was -- he said he doesn't have adequate words to say how much he appreciated our taking the time. I understand -- and you know, we were only there an hour.
"Can you not watch with me one hour?"

I had an interesting conversation with Tina [my mother's boss's wife] this week where I told her how important it is to visit people even when you can't make it better. She was somewhat confused about what to do with her friend whose 2 year old is being treated for (likely to be terminal) brain cancer. She doesn't understand the power of her presence to this woman. I encouraged her to visit often, even if briefly. Because Tina works at Children's, she can keep visits short, but still frequent. Maybe some of what I've learned along the way can be a blessing to Tina and her friend -- and wouldn't that be wonderful!

The last few weeks of spring semester the campus is forcing new life.

All over campus people are raking the leaves, reseeding the grass. The trees are bursting out in green and shedding whatever it is that they shed. Flowers are pushing their way up and out. Students have made it through an entire academic year. Regardless of where they are going or what they are doing over the summer, it will be different from what they have been doing all year. People are hastening to do what they haven’t done all semester/year, tying up loose ends before we all disperse. Stress and joy and angst and disappointment and anxiety and triumph. Everyone is struggling and i wish i could just hold people, because i don’t have words or advice or plans, just hugs and a listening ear. I think i can only deal with one person in critical crisis at a time, but really, i want to be there for my friends, because i care.

”Hunger” by Maggie Simpson

I am hunger and you are a passion (?) baby
I am silence and you’re the Tower of Babel baby
I will listen while you’re singing my soul to sleep

I am motion and you’re the rolling ocean baby
I am moonlight and you’re the mist out on the water
I will follow while you’re singing my soul to sleep
you think you know...

"When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?' "

Ooh, i forgot that now that it's Reading Period they put out junk food after dinner. And my Easter care package is almost gone. Man cannot live on bread alone, but can woman live on chocolate alone? (Well, no. ... She needs company! *rim shot* Yeah, that was bad, i know. And really, one cannot live on chocolate alone. Especially not chocolate covered raisins. *makes face*)

Dude, i am all about complexity and multiple sides and all, but it is so much easier when i only know one party in a troubled relationship. It is so much easier to be able to say "I like you. You are right. Other party sucks." Though now that i think about it, sometimes the party you like seems in the wrong, even if you adore them and don't know the other party. Life is complicated. Funny how i keep coming back to that deduction.

Also, Billie Myers' Vertigo album is much better than Growing, Pains even though the latter has some of my favorite songs of hers. This is my opinion at the moment, anyway; i reserve the right to retract and/or edit it at any time.
angry - books

I am working on a bunch of "productive" things, honest.

I scored a 67% on the "How much of a MASS HOLE are you??" Quizie!

8160 people had a score lower than mine

21760 people had a score higher than mine

443 people had a score the same as mine
Goddamn all the pop-ups on that piss the crap out of me.

I could bitch about how people don’t clean and put away their own dishes, leading to gross kitchenettes, and how am i supposed to have faith in humanity when college students can’t even maintain basic cleanliness and respect for those they live with, but i won’t.
you think you know...


So, i now have this large frame painted a nice grey-blue, with this dark sparkly material (which needs to be restapled) inside. I hadn't realized this is what Sara was talking about when she Willed it to me. I don't think i've actually ever seen this since i don't think i've been in her 3rd floor room since J-term. Is neat, though. Need to figure out what to do with it. (Earlier today i was planning how to decorate/arrange my room next year 'cause i'll have the same room but i don't want it to be identical to what it is now.)

Also, Jane is a dear. She comes to visit and chats with me to procrastinate and also shares her mother's vegetarian Vietnamese cooking.