Monday, August 3, 2009

Tears in the Night

The title of Always Looking Up (Michael J. Fox) is, as Fox explained, a short joke (he's not quite 5'5"). The book is not a laugh a minute, but there are flashes of his humor throughout. He's divided it into four sections: work, politics, faith, and family. We learn about his trials with Parkinson's disease, which was very enlightening for me. The sub-title of the book is The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist and it is well-named. Always Looking Up covers the past ten years of his life and I enjoyed reading it so much I may go back and read his first book, Lucky Man.

At about 2:00 in the morning last Saturday, I woke up -- and lay there awake for another hour. At 3:00 I decided to get up and do something. I knew I wasn't getting back to sleep any time soon. I put on my bathrobe, slippers, and glasses, fixed myself a glass of ice water, and sat down in the recliner. I put the footrest up, thinking maybe I could get some more sleep, but that was not to be. I picked up Always Looking Up and finished the section on politics, then went into the section on faith. Near the end of that section, he told about his sister's death and how he and his family said goodbye. I found myself reaching for more than one tissue. They had the doctor turn off Karen's respirator and as she passed away, the family sang her favorite song. It was gently humorous but also very touching, and there I was crying like it was a member of my own family. But I'm like that: I could go to a stranger's funeral and I'd be the one weeping and sniffling the loudest.

Because it was my birthday weekend, I will tell you about it, as I don't want to end this post on a sad note. On Friday night, Richard and I went to the Tarragon Grill in Moultrie, GA. The place was packed (it only has about fifteen tables, if that many) but we were smart: we made reservations. I had the fettuccine Alfredo with grilled shrimp; Richard had the huge serving of lasagna. For dessert, we shared a fat chocolate-chip brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. To say we were stuffed would be an understatement. I had iced tea with my meal and it was so weak it was, as Monty Python said, like making love in a canoe. I'd explain that, but it would involve the use of a four-letter word with -ing at the end.

On Saturday, we went to Richard's sister's house in Senoia, GA, to celebrate. It's always nice to gather with family. We had food; I got gifts. I thought I was going to get away without them singing "Happy Birthday" to me, but somebody remembered. It's a good thing they didn't put candles on the cake. It would have been like a bonfire.

Beverly (SIL) and Paul (BIL) have a new kitten, Albus. When we got there, the little darling was running around, bouncing off the walls, playing with cat toys, scratching the carpeted post. To say he was active would be putting it mildly. Then right before lunch, Albus ran out of steam and curled up on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon. He's so cute (what kitten isn't?) it was impossible not to pet him.

This was a milestone birthday for me. Paul asked how old I was and I told him I was old enough that I don't have to answer that question any more. So there.


Bridget said...

In any event, it sounds like it was a very nice birthday day. Many happy returns!

phyl said...

Hi Sweet friend... Love the ramblings of a mature woman who just happens to have a a milestone birthday. Your description of the little kitty reminded me so much of Francis when he was a kitten. Unfortunately, instead of having a care cat person, such as yourself, he had David & I, and a ton ( not really, only 3 ) of young, younger, & youngest grandkids. Today, the personality Francis has is because of that particular time in his young kitty life...Poor Francis, but I do love him..warts & all//

phyl said...

Hi Sweet reading your latest installment of "Cats & Books, etc."
Your story of their little kitten reminds me so much of Francis when he was that age. Unfortunately, he didn't have a cat-understanding person, such a yourself. Francis had David & I, & the grandkids, young, younger, & youngest. So, the personality Francis exhibits he comes by honestly. But, I love him, warts & all (so to speak)


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