Monday, September 24, 2007

What happens when you let trivia get you down

It's been a day of exasperating trivia. It really began last night when I found a dead rat in the backyard. I thought about it--for maybe half a minute--and decided to wimp out as a female and call my neighbor. He, bless him, rushed right over, and I armed him with a plastic bag and a stick. But as he approached the rat, he said, "I hate doing this." Instead of remorse at making him do something he hates, I felt a bit of relief--I mean, if he hates it, how does he think I felt? I asked him what finding it meant, and he said, "Scooby got it." I said, "Well, he's not interested in it any more," and he replied, "It's not a toy anymore." So the dead rat went into my garbage and, thank goodness, out of my mind.
Also yesterday I noticed that the airbag light on my dash was on--I didn't remember that it always did that, but I'm probably not really observant about such things. Today I looked in the owner's manual, and it said that should be checked immediately. So I called to see if something terrible was going to happen if I didn't rush right in--I really need my car tomorrow. They said no, it was just that the airbag wouldn't deploy. OK, I know they're safety devices, but the idea of one bursting in my face has always been slightly terrifying. So I'll drive tomorrow and I have an appointment early Wed. to drop the car off. It may be the result of that woman backing into me in her steamship "old lady's car."
Then I came home this afternoon to a letter telling me my prescription renewal was not being filled because I was not eligible for insurance. What? I've had the same insurance for years. It took an hour of waiting on the phone--I wish I had speaker phone at home as I do at work--to finally learn that the two prescription renewals are being processed, but I'm still not eligible--go figure. After calls to the customer service department and the TCU HR I discovered that "there's a glitch in the system." They're figuring it out, though I will say the TCU person was most helpful and inquired if I needed a prescription or anything immediately.
But all of these minor annoyances fade in the face of news I got this morning. Larry, my former boss, called to tell me that Andy Miracle, a mutual friend, had a catastrophic stroke on Friday and was not expected to live. I've known Andy since at least our kids were in middle school and maybe beyond, and the kids and I share many good memories of him and his wife. Andy had another catastrophic stroke about three years ago but he beat the doctors' odds and survived, albeit in a wheelchair with limited motion on his left side. They moved several times since then, landing back in Fort Worth for a while, and we lunched, shared memories, talked about the future. Then they went back to Santa Fe where, Andy said, his heart lives. They settled in a wondereful retirement comunity--Tina was taking tap dance, going rafting, doing all kinds of things (with severely limited vision) and Andy was in therapy that made him sure he would walk again, ride his bicycle--and, yes, downhill ski (my kids loved skiing with him and spent long days on the slopes). They were so happy, and life seemed on such an upward swing, that you want to say, forgive the language, that sometimes life sucks. I've spent the day thinking of images of Andy--the bookstore we once decided to open in Santa Fe, the way he'd walk through the halls of TCU with his laugh booming so that you knew without a doubt who was out there, the night we all ate sushi in Santa Fe and I was having such fun that my kids were angry because they didn't think I'd ever go home, his determiantion to write again, maybe even a novel. And Tina, herself disabled, who really became the world's best caretaker. I remember clearly one party at my house when Jamie had to take Andy's wheelchair down the steps and Andy kept saying, "Jamie, I'm so sorry." Jamie told him not to be, but Tina was right there with a firm, "That's right, Miracle, feel sorry for yourself." I harbor a secret small hope that Andy will beat the odds again, but then I know the odds are even greater that he would not have the degree of freedom he's had even in his wheelchair with limited motion--and he wouldn't want that. My kids and I are sad tonight for friends we love and of whom we have special memories. Yeah, sometimes life isn't one bit fair.

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