A Milestone I could have skipped

We took our first trip to the emergency room on Friday night. Pud and Fuzzy Head were horsing around and Fuzzy Head ended up on the short end of the battle. This resulted in a “Nursemaid’s Elbow” injury – which is basically a dislocated tendon. I thought her arm was broken but it turned out to be something really easy to fix. They “reduced” it and just like magic she was as good as new. She went from screaming and crying to laughing and eating popsicles in a nano-second. The whole thing took only about 3 hours (hurrah for the pediatric ER) but it was so nerve wracking. I was exhausted when it was over.

Pud didn’t do so well either. When she realized we were taking her baby sister the hospital she cried so hard she threw up. Fun night huh?

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Roger

I’ve had this post floating around in my head for the last couple of weeks. Every time I was out at night and saw Christmas lights I thought about it. It’s probably the reason I haven’t posted much recently, because it’s the kind of post you’re driven to write about but not really enjoy. But something happened today that pushed me to do it so here it is. It’s about my friend Roger.

Roger and I met 20 years ago back in college. He and I worked on the Glom together, he a photography editor, me a section editor. During those 2 or 3 years we spent a lot of time together and a friendship formed that outlasted our time at Auburn. After graduation if I was Atlanta we’d try and meet for dinner, or if  business brought him to south Florida we’d do the same. I went to his wedding when he married his college sweetheart, he came to mine almost 10 years later when I married I guy that I had considered a jerk in college.

In the 10 years after that we saw each other much less frequently as both of our lives grew more full. The Dr. and I went off and did the whole med school thing hopping around the world. Roger started his own company, had 3 kids and adopted 2 more.

Our communication became the sort of periodic emails you get from people that you can’t seem to keep up with but don’t want to let go of. Updates on the state of the family, business, etc… that sort of thing. Then about five years ago there came an email saying he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. I’ll never forget reading that email. Being the sort of person who tries to approach the world with humor he said he awoken one morning to find his wife standing beside their bed. She told him that he had just had a seizure and that they needed to go the emergency room. He said he didn’t remember having a seizure but considering that she could generally be depended upon as a reliable source of information for that sort of thing, he decided to believe her and go with it. Even in delivering such awful news, he made me laugh. Of course there were hospitalizations and surgeries but as they came through it things looked fairly good. Life got as back to normal as life gets after that sort of thing.

Last year about this time I got an email from him with a link to their family website  www.rsingletary.com  Telling how he had seen this beer commercial where Christmas lights were programmed to music and it had inspired him to try it out for himself. (Did I mention he was a techno wiz and is pretty much responsible for planting the seeds of my interest in all things computer) He had programmed a light show on his family home and posted video of all the songs on the website. It was amazing to behold even across the internet.

I didn’t hear from him for a while after that but that was not unusual. Then in late Feb/early March I got a phone call from a friend of ours. Roger’s tumor had returned and it was bad. He passed away shortly after Easter. My heart ached for his wonderful family. The wife who had loved him so since those days back at Auburn, their 5 beautiful children.

In the past year I have been surprised at how much I felt his loss. We had truly just become an occasional blip on each other’s radar. There only periodically for a few moments and then gone again until the next email update went out. But I’ve come to realize that he is really the first "old friend" I’ve lost. Not tied to me through blood or marriage or any other type of obligation but through admiration, respect, and a genuine fondness.  He was one of the first people to teach me about kindness.  A lesson I struggle with daily. The world is just a sadder place without him in it.

To say say that Roger’s network of friends was far reaching is an understatement and I know that each of us misses him in our own way. His wife, who is herself an amazing woman, has given of herself so courageously by keeping us posted on how they are doing. There needs to be an award for women like her somewhere.

His family has been so much in my thoughts this holiday season, from the day I put up my lights on our home this year they’ve been on my mind daily. I’ve worried for the children and how the idea of holiday lights, something he had created such a passion around last year on their last Christmas together would make them feel. Did something that had brought them all such joy just 12 months ago now burden them?

I must not have been the only one thinking these things because today there was an update about the lights. The church they attended in Conyers, GA asked if light show could be displayed there. A team of volunteers assembled it and it is playing every night from 6-9 through Dec 28. The kids ask to drive by and see it if they are out at night and close by. How amazing, the kids have the light show to see and remember their dad by but still can maintain some privacy and security during this delicate holiday season. Such a perfect and elegant solution. You just know Roger came up with that idea in heaven and whispered it in all the right ears.

So if you live in the Atlanta area, drive by Ebenezer United Methodist in Conyers and check it out The Gift of Lights. Enjoy the beauty of Roger’s creation the memories it represents. If you live somewhere else, visit his website and scroll down to see the videos of the songs he programmed. Know that it was created by an amazing person that touched so many lives during his short time here. I know that there are so many people holding his family up in prayer this Christmas but please join us in thinking of them too. Pray that they find some peace and solace in this holiday season. God bless you Roger.

Yes my hand was on my mouse, but your reading a blog so yours doesn’t count

It took years but I finally broke my family members from forwarding the looney-bin emails they get from all their friends and neighbors… and now my father sends me this. Oh well I guess it’s progress…

Summary of my last year on the computer

I must send my thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet towel with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa’s novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won’t crawl in my back seat when I’m pumping gas.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can’t boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face…disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS. (If you can find a pay phone…)

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don’t support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to

Jamaica

,

Uganda

,

Singapore

, and

Uzbekistan

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice, I can’t ever pick up $5.00 I dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can no longer drive my car because I can’t buy gas from certain gas companies!

If you don’t send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor’s
ex-mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s beautician…

Have a wonderful day….

Oh, by the way…..
A South American scientist from

Argentina

, after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse.

Don’t bother taking it off now, it’s too late.

Best Regards!

I’m Drowning in Christmas

Whew the in-laws have come and gone and now I just have to prepare for the impromptu party of 40 that I invited over for a few drinks on Friday. Between all that and the all out sprint to finish up my year-end projects for work this week I’ve been a bit busy and couldn’t get here much but oh my goodness I had to share this photo. Fuzzy Head’s school had their Santa breakfast .. and while we are still sticking with our non-trust of big men in red suits we have however deemed them okay to play legos with… isn’t he just the best looking Santa!?!