Saturday, November 21, 2015

This is the hospital calling, what is your plan?

One year ago, my mother was rushed to the hospital after collapsing in her apartment where she lived alone. I was told she'd had a stroke and was comatose, her situation critical. Touch and go, her 66-year-old body was also wracked by pneumonia and years of chain smoking.

My mom and I are not close. In fact, when my brother called to alert me to her health crisis, she and I had not talked in nearly ten years.

I did not rush to intensive care to be by her side.

Instead, I deferred to other family members, ones with whom she was still speaking. They sat vigil and kept watch on her failing health. They updated me regularly.

I wasn't brought directly into the situation until end-of-life decisions needed to be made, the responsibility of being one of two children, her next of kin.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Take it or leave it?

Life imitates cliche hypothetical:

It was one of those moments when you're certain a Candid Camera crew is going to jump out of the bushes.

I walked out of the Giant Eagle last night and spotted a ten dollar bill on the ground. No one else was around. It was after midnight. There were no other cars parked near mine. It was pretty clear the owner had simply dropped the bill and not noticed.

Now, I'm skeptical of things that float into my life for free, and I don't make it a habit to rely on ill-gotten gains.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

"Go play outside," said no one in my family

There's something weird going on.

I want to be outside.

I've never wanted to be outside.

In fact, while watching an episode of Downton Abbey, I once compared camping to bomb blasts and wounded soldiers huddled over a tin can and a tiny flame.  In my head, being without running water and electricity seemed equally horrific. War is hell and so is peeing outdoors.

Don't look at me like that.  I can't possibly be alone in my thinking.

I've never felt "one with nature," but here I am, 38, checking my forehead and wondering if this fever will pass.