Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

I come from a line of worriers.  Dad would faithfully watch the news each day and that would give him a whole new set of problems to worry about.  A car drove through a house somewhere in the country and now we must be on alert for rampaging cars.  A girl was attacked.  Then, we were going to be attacked.  He was sure of it as sure as he was that everyone was out to get him.

I’m sure he would have had a field day in this post 9/11 world.  He already avoided large cities because people were mugged in large cities, there was traffic in large cities and everything cost more in large cities.

My mother, having lived with my dad for well over fifty years, has absorbed some of his worrying.

The other day, I received a call from her. The doctor recently asked Hospice to begin attending to mother.  She lives alone, in an apartment and has not been eating well.  She has four very bad leaky heart valves and by the time she has buttered her bread, to make a sandwich, she is so tired that she has to go and sit down and rest.  It can often take her an hour to make a sandwich and by then, she’s just too tired to eat it.

The latest thing is that they are bringing her out a hospital bed.  She has trouble getting into her craftmatic, twin bed.  It is high and she has to sit on the edge and roll and grab the opposing side of the mattress to pull herself the rest of the way up.  This is fraught with the possibilty of her falling out, so a hospital bed can be lowered to a more amenable height for her.

She called me today with a question she has already inquired about two other times.

What happens, with Hospice, if I don’t die in six months?

My first response really wanted to be something like, “Just what are you going to do about this?”

But, mom doesn’t get my sense of humor and I really did not feel like her dying was a good thing to joke about.  So, I again explained that should she not die in six months, they will reevaluate her health status and then resign her up as needing care.  This is presuming that her heart has not miraculously healed itself in six months time.  Should that happen, we will bring back her craftmatic bed for her to use, as “yes, at that time, they would take her hospital bed away.”

There is no date stamped on her.  She may live six years.  We have explained that the doc is not saying, “You have six months to live.”  He’s just saying, “you need help to live a rich, full, safe, life.”  Just enjoy it, Mom.  After 89 years, you have the right to have someone come and help you make a sandwich and dust.

Surely, there are more important things to worry about than where her craftmatic bed is.

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“My T.  My T.” is now “My CNN.  My CNN.”


We would lay JRock down for a nap, when he was under two, and immediately he pointed to the television, blurting out, “My T. My T. My T.”  This meant he would only go to sleep if we put CMT on.  I should have known then, that when he was sixteen he would mysteriously develop a southern accent.


When I get up in the morning and right before I go to bed, I put on CNN.  It is not that it puts me to sleep.  I just have to know.  I think a lot of us have that after 9/11.  Please tell me it takes more than a pretty face « Wide Awake in Wonderland


Tuesday night, we were all locked onto it as the numbers climbed and the special affects took place.  Beside the declaration of the winner and the memorable acceptance speech, my favorite moment was when John King was asked exactly how John McCain could still win.  His look was priceless.


He had been changing the color of states all evening, in his Magic Board game of Risk, and now, just before the end, he is asked just how it could turn out different than inevitable.  He stared at her for, what seemed like a full minute.  That stare said, “No way.  There is no way.  Not going to happen.”  But, she wanted to know, so he had to figure it out. 


First, he refused to give McCain California, Oregon and Washington.  Then he started off at the eastern end of the board, explaining why McCain could just not win these four states because….  Then he said, “But, we’ll give him these anyway.”  It went thus across the board until every state, that did not have a return yet, was pink; except California, Oregon and Washington.  And, if I remember it right, even then he could not win and John King finally conceded Oregon.  I could be wrong on that though. 


The only thing that could have been better, was if she would have asked Jack Cafferty the same question, at that time.  I would have loved to have heard that answer.

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For many years, I woke up on Sunday morning and watched CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt.  I had a secret envy crush on Mr. Kuralt; up to his bald head.  He was doing what I wanted to do; travel and meet fascinating people, and while he was not the one doing the photography, it was good, AND he featured artists.


I am an artist and, while my work is probably not unique enough (I aspire to do work half as good as Vermeer someday but have no pretensions toward avant-garde) nor wildly expensive enough, to be featured on Sunday Morning, I did write Mr. Kuralt once while I was on the road. 


I happened to be watching his show on a rear projection tv, which I had won by listening to a camping ground sales pitch and which was all of maybe 5” wide. One fellow took it seriously and showed up to the talk with a trailer to take his “rear projection tv” home on.  I took mine when I traveled, placing art across the west and living in my van for weeks at a time.  I would wake up in the back of the van on a Sunday morning, spend about fifteen minutes trying to position it, just so, and watch Mr. Kuralt before I drove off.  It was like spending an hour with an old friend.


He sent me a personal reply, short but sweet, and when I get my filing done (like in 2025), and I find where his letter is buried, I will post it.  I felt a loss for someone I admired when he died. Now, he would never knock on my door and interview me and I would never see him travel Appalachia again either. 


Then, came the time, after 9/11, when I woke up every morning, and obsessively turned on CNN.  I almost feared that something was going to happen and I wouldn’t be there; watching it live and in person. (I had been teaching the morning of 9/11 and received news about it from the department secretary.)


During that time, I was glued to Aaron Brown, who had the right mix of respect and compassion to handle the job.  He is a rather cute bloke too.


Then, there was the CNN morning team of Soledad O’Brien, Miles O’Brien and Jack Cafferty.  (Soldedad and Miles are cute, Cafferty is rather crusty – kind of Anthony Bourdain, in a suit. They (sans Bourdain) were the best team CNN has had and watching the Democratic Convention news and seeing Soledad O’Brien has reminded me how good she is and how much I miss that team as part of my morning.  Jack Cafferty’s talent is just so wasted on the little slot they have him in now.  Of course, he may be enjoying it and if you do not enjoy your job, life can really suck.


So, yes, I like to get my news fix every morning, and I get attached.  It’s an addiction like sugar and tv in general. I would like to drop all of them and find that cabin in the woods, maybe on top of a mountain, where I can get more work done; both writing and painting.


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