Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Feel Like Spring Has Sprung A Leak

"Immigration Bill MobilizesThousands of Local H.S. Students”

The local paper ran that headline across the front page this morning. I don’t generally get into the political arena to do battle here in my journal. My journal is more of a walk down memory lane with a day or two of ‘now’ thrown in. I let the Irishman I live with do the political jabbering; after all, that was his profession, and to be truthful he really enjoys it. He watches the local City Council Meetings on TV religiously. Only a true political hack could do that and not go brain dead.

This morning the cell phone beeped that there was a text message from my grandson.

“You wouldn’t believe this mess. Mexican students marching and yelling. The school is on lockdown. Cops all over the place.

A Mexican DJ urged everyone to amass in downtown L.A. to oppose the federal legislation that would crack down on illegal immigration. 500,000 answered the call, but it didn’t stop with that protest on Saturday. Students all over the L.A. area have continued it and continued it, the majority of them not really understanding what the protest is about in the first place.

The school my grandson goes to is not an inner city school. It is located in the middle of a lovely higher-class neighborhood. The thought of it being put on lockdown fills me with trepidation.

I’m not going to go into a political discussion. I live and deal with the immigration issue daily and I have very deep feelings but that is not what this is about. I just wanted to share my fears for the generation that is just around the corner of adulthood. Protest is one thing, anger, acting out and school lockdowns are another. It worries me for all of them.

Many of you expressed an interest in seeing the tattoo that my son had put on his arm. Here is an illustration:

This is the OM symbol. OM is used both as a visual and an oral symbol, a symbol of spiritual knowledge. It is considered to be the highest name of God, synonymous with both the Supreme God and the Personal God. As such it represents the concept that the divine and individual consciousnesses are essentially the same.

I love the beauty and symmetry of it. My son can tell me what each and every point and turn stands for. I don’t have that capability at this point, but I can tell you it’s peaceful to look at and I’m getting used to ‘looking’ at it on my son’s arm.

This is my favorite time of the year. Usually Spring fills me with renewal. I usually hunger to get my hands in the dirt. I usually tackle things in the house and make them sparkle. I usually get up on a Spring morning and feel full of wonder at the breaking of a new day. But this Spring I am having a hard time finding all of my usuallys.

I think it is because two weeks after my surgery I was in the drug store minding my own business and all of a sudden I had a gallbladder attack as severe as any attack I had had before I became gallbladder-less. The pain was so bad that I nearly fell off my wheelchair trying to get into a position that would accommodate my body and THE PAIN. Since then I have had 6 of those horrendous attacks.

“Can you have a gallbladder attack when you don’t have a gallbladder?” I asked my doctor.

“Yes, if they didn’t get all of the gallstones,” was her answer.

My sister had the same procedure, by the same doctor that I had. I called her to see if she had had attacks afterward. No, she didn’t, but she had a friend that did. Her friends started about two weeks after her surgery.

I wish I hadn’t called my sister.

My mother had to have gallbladder surgery twice, but she had the old procedure. And her second gall stone attack didn’t evidence itself until years after she had her first surgery.

The new procedure is supposed to limit the possibility of missing a stone or two. I don’t want to believe this.

I am now supposed to keep a journal of the attacks. I have to go see the doctor next week with journal in hand. I so hope she can give me some positive feed back. A second surgery is not feasible. I absolutely can not entertain the thought of going through that again any time soon.

I think the stones with gall have stolen my Spring renewal. This is just the same ole body with new scars on its abdomen.

It’s raining really hard this afternoon, but only on one side of our house. It is the funniest thing to see. One side of the house and the rest of the block in that direction are being pelted with a sizeable downpour. The other side of the house and the rest of the block in that direction are sitting as nice and dry as can be. Well, maybe not really dry, it rained earlier, but it certainly is drier then the other side with its roof run-off and water puddles by the fence.

That works real well for the beagle. He has a terrible time when he needs to go outside and it’s raining out there. He hates water! The urge has to be really, really urgent to get him out in the rain. He’ll hold it until I can almost see his eyes turn yellow if there is water falling from the sky. This afternoon he can just go out the door on the side of the house where the sky hasn’t betrayed him. God’s little gift to a water hating dog.

Between the years of two and five you could take my grandson into any store and say, “You can have anything you want” and all he ever wanted was “that ball”. He must have had over a hundred balls at one time in his very young life. They were never expensive balls, but they were colorful and gay. It used to tickle me that he was so easily pleased, until that is, he saw ’The Chair’.

The chair was a red chair that easily folded. He was so enamored with that red chair that he refused to get out of it so we could pay for it. Sooo we picked it and him up and put both of them into the shopping basket. The cashier thought it was hilarious and scanned the chair with him in it. And for two straight years, until he got too big to sit in it, he carried that red chair everywhere. He sat in it in restaurants, he sat in front of parades, he sat in front of the house and greeted passersby, he ate in it, he watched TV in it, he listened to stories I read sitting in it, he walked with it hanging over his arm, and he’d sit in it in his bedroom playing with all the beautiful balls that he had accumulated.

Last night his father announced thathe was going to Target and if anyone needed anything they’d better tell him fast. The only voice I heard was a very deep masculine one that said, “Dad will you get me a ball?”

And the memories and laughter bubbled out of me, one on top of the other. For every 6’2” teenage boy walking into manhood there must be that little boy inside that still hungers for ’a ball’.

I wonder if they make folding red chairs that fit him. Say Goodnight Gracie!

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