80 days later…

Two weeks ago, Bill was working it up on a treadmill literally wired all up for sound.

Wired all up for ultrasound that is…a stress echocardiogram along with a 48 hour monitor and cardiac labs all to determine if he was healthy enough to return to work and play and basically normal life…or at least a new normal life not smoking, taking multiple cardiac and cholesterol medications twice daily, exercising more and eating better.

And the verdict is labs are still a bit off but his heart is strong enough to return to work and ease slowly back into his Krav Maga workouts. Oh, and the cardiologist commends the wife, that’s me, because the diet changes are working. The diet changes that basically I have done all along but someone might not have been eating…AHEM!

And so 80 days later, after the STEMI, the 100% right coronary artery blockage that could have been, should have been fatal according to Bill’s cardiologist, my darling husband has been here the last three days.

Believe me, he is smiling on the inside. He’s back to work. He’s at a job site on a project that he was hoping to be working on because, like the Levi’s Stadium project that he was a part of, this is kind of cool.

At our dinner celebration last night, he shared with me just how awesome this is because back to work…and alive…and celebrating another year together…

The conversation went on as he reflected on a coworker, age 46, who died from the same type of heart attack the same week Bill had his…and an old friend the same age who also passed recently…and a younger, former colleague…and the father of someone we’ve known for the past 10 years who was not that much older than we are. I’ll confess the last one shocked me because I did not know what he died from, just that, sadly, he died very unexpectedly. But Bill is friends with our friend on Facebook so he was privy to the details. The loss of all of them was sobering, very sobering. Sitting beside my darling husband right now I can not imagine the pain and grief their families must be feeling even though we came so close…much too close 80 days ago.

Bill agrees.

So much has happened the last 80 days or so. We can’t help but think about life, fate, luck, grace and how close we came to not being here now more than 80 days later.

And what happened to these two kids from 1982 because if you look past the damaged heart and grey hair and no hair and creakier limbs and worry lines and laugh lines, they are still there…somewhere.

Thankful.

So very thankful.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Chest Discomfort- Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain

Discomfort in other areas of the Upper Body- Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

IF THESE SIGNS ARE PRESENT CALL 911!!!

Learn CPR!!!

Your actions can help save a life…perhaps the life you love most.

catching a glimpse

The school Spring portraits arrived last week and suddenly I catch a glimpse of the future.

Just a glimpse of the young man my son is becoming. OMG! this is happening much too fast.

And to stop the excessive weeping I focus instead on the backdrop that Lifetouch has posed my son in…or perhaps they DID take him to the banks of the Stanislaus River.

Maybe?

Perhaps.

Yeah, no.

Distracting myself is virtually impossible so I go back to the reality that my boy-child is not the little cherub that he was in kindergarten

:::SOB!:::

I would ask him to slow down but I know that it would be impossible.

Manhood is literally just around the corner.

they break your hearts

Those beautiful, perfect, darling babies you adore? They do. Just accept it now young parents who are literally awe struck by every yawn, fart, sneeze, poopy diaper and sweet cuddly, perfect moment your perfect child shares with you while they are cute and cuddly and perfect.

It seems like it was yesterday that this golden, blonde child of mine was in preschool and brought her baby doll, Bonnie, for picture day. She and I together just yesterday recalled this moment and laughed as she described  how she, as a 4 year old, took the time that morning to dress Bonnie in that perfect, pink dress because it was picture day.  Oh my goodness! This golden, blonde baby girl of mine!

Broke my heart growing up, she did; and then she made me drive for nearly 12 hours to visit ASU for next few days where she will be going to school in the Fall as a Business Major, Dance Minor. Did I tell you that she created her own GoFundMe account to help pay the $$$$ for her college education?

She did.

She also has been working three jobs during her deferral year this year to save $$$$ for her college education.

She never had a graduation party to shamelessly solicit gifts and $$$ most high school grads do so feel free to gift her now at her GoFundMe account.

I’m still mad that she grew up even if she is incredibly smart, hard-working, bossy, talented, beautiful and the perfect 4th daughter any mother could ever ask and pray for.

::::wiping the emotional tears away::::

Time to tour the campus and the W.P. Carey School of Business.

A personal tour of the ASU Tempe campus?

Well, yeah. It’s who you know. This guy, her friend, Michael, is a pretty great tour guide.

Grateful Jodie has a couple friends here already to help her navigate starving student college life away from home because she is my baby girl. But I am still a little…perhaps a lot mad because that sweet, blonde preschooler who took her baby doll, Bonnie, to school broke my heart and grew up.

Bonnie is staying home with me!

no shelf life

As a 52 year old woman, I am struck by conversations related to friends celebrating or avoiding milestone birthdays, women getting older and how we are perceived as we (and the men around us, obviously) get older. Sadly, it seems to me, the majority regard a woman in her 40s or 50s or even 60s as somehow past the expiration date. Friends absolutely dreading the fact that they are turning 40…or mourning their obvious dotage as they pass “dirty thirty“…and it makes me sad just a little.

Age is definitely a relative thing. I wholeheartedly believe the idea that you are as old as you feel; which means I am basically an adolescent sometimes…an adolescent with a few grey hairs, laugh lines, squint lines, grown children and grandchildren. I’m not always an adolescent, but given my taste in music or the fact that I DO know almost every artist and song featured in the latest American Music Awards Show or Grammy nominations, compared to friends my age or 10 years younger…well… Yet, I wholeheartedly embrace the age that I am…grey hairs, creaky joints, laugh lines and everything else. I take very good of this aging shell of mine…and it shows. I take very good care of it because I have children and grandchildren and I definitely want to be around for a long time to watch them grow older. Added bonus is feeling good, perhaps better than other people my age (or younger).

I don’t take care of myself, or put on makeup, or wear jewelry or wear sometimes fashionable, flattering clothing for attention…except maybe perhaps from my darling husband. I know few women my age who dress for the day hoping for attention from a stranger…just like any other woman or girl dresses hoping for unwanted attention.

Why are there people who STILL think like this?

Honestly?!

So, no, telling me that I look pretty for my age is not a compliment.

Of course there is the reality that when a woman reaches a certain age, she, more often than not, is not getting looked at anymore…usually by the men. Ageism is real and women of a certain age become invisible to pretty much everyone…including men their own age. Men my age (and older) won’t give women my age (or even younger) a second glance unless they’re doing us a favor (in their small mind) because as Stevie Nicks pointed out in a recent Rolling Stone interview, “They wanna go out with somebody that’s 25,… So what am I gonna do, compete with that?”

But have you SEEN 66 year old Stevie Nicks?!

Damn girl!

Then there were the women…not the girls…the women at the Golden Globes this past week.

Hey ladies!

Then there is Julianne Moore who proved that people DO want to see a movie about a 50 year old woman, in the prime of her life, as she faces her own mortality and rapid decline.

If I can’t be Helen Mirren when I grow up, I want to be Julianne Moore. Really.

Shelf life?

Invisible?

No way.

Let’s re-think this because we all are getting older. We all are as sexy and smart and empowered and as visible as we chose to be and no one should ever diminish that for us because of the number of candles on our birthday cake this year…or the number of grey hairs, or laugh lines we might have.

 

 

Santa nails it

Yes, it’s true that my nearly thirteen year old son believes still. It’s a fact that everyone, LOVES because…isn’t that the sweetest thing? Of course everyone hasn’t seen his letter and wish list to Santa.

Y’all are lucky!

Just focus on the sweetness of his innocent belief in Christmas magic. I’ll stress about that wish list…of which I had to tell him to STOP adding to. So to distract him, we visit the Big Guy in Red at Dell Osso Farms. Pro tip: this is THE BEST Santa in the Central Valley…no bells and whistles and spaceships and light sabers, no massive line with an endless wait time. Of course, today is Christmas Eve so it is too late for you all this year. But next year…

This guy, he’s the real deal with the twinkling eyes and the merry, rosy cheeks. He’s very photogenic too. He LOVES to talk to the kids and he has the time too because there isn’t the massively long lines with endless wait times. After Daniel carefully explained everything on his wish list, including where to buy and retail price, Santa made that observation that Daniel’s wish list is a very impressive wish list.

Indeed.

Do you like surprises, Daniel?

Sometimes.

Well, Daniel, I think that I want to surprise you this year. I am certain that you will love it come Christmas morning.

And with that, Daniel smiled his biggest, happiest brace-faced smile and warmly hugged his jolly friend in red.

That will do Santa.

That will do.