Thursday, April 13, 2017

30 Years, Where Did They Go

30 years ago today, the world as I knew it vanished.  With the flip of a few switches on the machines that substituted for your vibrant life, it was over.

Those machines kept your body present until the boys could arrive, but they were not you and I’m certain not what you wanted.


30 years ago, less a week perhaps, I flew to Minneapolis to be with my mom during her surgery and to be with my dad.  She had a blocked carotid, was the diagnosis, needing to be opened.  She was released not more than a few days later.  And the world spun maniacally out of control.


30 years ago minus one day

April 12, 1987, Palm Sunday, I woke to find the house empty, a note on the table

'Mom’s having problems.  Took her to the hospital.  Be back to take you to the airport.'

I was heading back to Ohio after a "successful" surgery (NOT).  But before my flight, Dad and I raced, literally, back to the hospital.  

(I didn't see that airport again until over a year later.)

I sat with you in ER while being checked.  They wanted to insert another invasive scope into your thigh.  Your comment was “this is the shits".  Ah mama, honest and feisty always.  Vocal, outspoken but kindness, but not this time.  You were pissed.

In your private room, I sat with you while they asked to state your name and age often as time passed.  God love you, your answer stayed at 49 as your age.  Always shaving off years...

After consulting with the limited Palm Sunday staff, you had suffered a massive stroke.  Described in detail in an office while you slept and knowing there was no stopping it.  Nothing to do but watch life as I knew it change forever…

After a brief break while you slept, we walked back into your room and you’d lift your hand for me to hold and the other for daddy to hold.  We tried to make "small talk", as we had tried all day.  But always speaking as if you will be better, that we were present and that we love you

Knowing the situation passed critical hours earlier, Dad summoned the boys from IN and CO.  Fly NOW.

As time went on, I held your hand as you remained silent, hooked up to a myriad of machines.  You became unresponsive.  No longer able to speak, no longer able to move.  By the following morning, the scan showed only a spark of activity in your brain.

Those infernal machines sounded piercing noises (at least to me) and we had to leave you then, they said.  Booted out of your room while they attended to you.


30 years ago today 

We gathered the next morning in your room after decisions made.  Quietly, through tears, speaking of our eternal love.  Then the machines went quiet as they were turned off.  And last rites spoken.

I sat huddled in the corner of an aseptic ICU room, shivering and sobbing.  A giant of a heart still beat, but the soul already went to heaven - 30 years ago today.

Your final gifts ~ 2 corneal transplants giving the gift of eyesight.  Kidney transplants freeing a man from dialysis. 

Momma, I have missed you every day for the past 30 years.  I think of you every day, wishing to share my life experiences with you.  I take comfort, sorry comfort, Tommy is with you now.  Knowing one day I will be too.

Thank you for giving me life.  Thank you for the compassion and love you showered upon me.  And thank you for giving me your feisty attitude, your off-center sense of humor, your gift of word and your never give up attitude.

I’ve never stopped missing you, Mom.  Hug Tommy close to you, soul to soul. 

I love you forever.

"A smile, a hug, a laugh.  Her love is her legacy"
Barbara H. Weller
January 8, 1930 - April 13, 1987 


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Has Common Sense Returned To West Virginia?

West Virginia is a beautiful state, rolling hills and nestled in Appalachia.

But it has been economically depressed since I was in high school (long time ago) and before.

Wikipedia (a biased, easily editable source) details

Personal income growth in West Virginia during 2013 was only 1.5% – the lowest in the nation – and about half the national average of 2.6%.  Overall income growth in West Virginia in the last 30 years has been only 13% (about one-third of the national average of 37%). Wages of the impoverished bottom 1% income earners decreased by 3%, compared to the national average, which increased 19%.


Gallup-Healthways annual "State of American Well-Being" rankings reports that 1,261 concerned West Virginians rated themselves as "suffering" in categories such as Quality of Life, Physical Health, and Access to Basic Needs. Overall, West Virginia citizens rated themselves as being more miserable than people in all other states – for 5 years running.  In addition, the Gallup Well-Being Index for 2013 ranked Charleston, the state capital, and Huntington last and next-to-last out of 189 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas]

Pretty depressing, isn't it?

Yet the state continues to support and funnel funds into the dying greyhound racing industry.  And while the state continues to face socio-economic crises, the state plays a flush sugar daddy role in supporting an industry unable to sustain itself on its own merit.

Maybe it was the “good old boys” network, those who favor a quick buck, sitting in governmental positions of power?  Maybe it was the apathy of this is the way it’s done?

Odd since racing was not introduced until long after the state was formed so I lean towards the former.

House Bill SB437 just passed and is on the governor’s desk to sign.  A state with a “$500 million shortfall in the 2017-18 state budget” should not be gleefully tossing away the $15 million annual purse to dying industry.

The reality is the state needs funds.  Badly.  Subsidizing something that is incapable of sustaining itself without large infusions from the state, when other areas require more effort, is throwing money away.

Please contact the governor to show support for SB437 and politely request his signature

Office of the Governor State Capitol 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East Charleston, WV 25305

Funds can be spent far better elsewhere and, wow, no greyhounds will need to die to do it!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Greyhound or “Athlete”

Perspective.  From where one stands on the use of dogs.

Jack Cory, bought, pockets lined by those exploiting  greyhounds.

Hey, Jacko, these are not “racing greyhounds”. 

They are dogs who have existed long before your Neanderthal lineage.  Only those of your ilk chose to use them and shrug off their deaths.

They are NOT athletes nor are they racing creatures used for money making.
This is a DOG.

And this is a DOG.

And this is a DOG.

They are DOGS!
Attempting to justify injuries and criminal injections is a pathetic attempt at justifying the industry's existence.  

Trying to claim efforts to end the industry will result in the death of dogs, please explain the puppies culled who were never good enough, explain treatable injuries that resulted in a track side questionable vet euthanizing.

No justification for this industry.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

White Faced Dogs

As I sit here and treasure the moments I spend with my kids I wonder where all that white came from.

They are so young in my mind.  And in my mind I see them now as I saw them then.

So happy with life.  So joyous, with a new life ahead of them.

Now, at 11 years old, 10 years old and 9 years, I see brindles turning white and sprinkles of white on my black silky seal.

Only in my mind's eye I don’t see it.  I see the joy of life.

My darlings, you may be getting a tad slower, perhaps not as brilliant in color, some aches and some pains, but never a more glorious child.

In my mind and my heart, you will always be beautiful to me.