Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Have Really Missed You

I am sorry it has been so long since I have written. Between AOL glitches, our old snit fit throwing computer, and my adjustment to a life that is totally foreign to the way I have always lived I have let the time just slip by. I think of all of you constantly, but I am trying so hard to stay positive, keep a smile on my face, and function efficiently in this new world of mine that things (time) inefficiently slips away from me.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I did manage to cook Christmas dinner all by myself. I even avoided burning the rolls, although I did forget to prepare the yams. None of the family realized we didn’t have yams until I spoke up and tattled on myself. I had prepared and set them aside to wait for cooking, ‘very efficient’ ... I cooked everything around them while they sat in their pot, ‘inefficient‘. But on the other hand they did have freshly cooked yams to go with their leftovers. It caused a lot of laughter. The custom I inherited from my mother was burning the rolls. I didn’t honor that this year. But maybe I have started my own unique custom ... uncooked yams.

I told you that the DMV suspended my driver’s license. I went to their hearing to see what I had to do to get the license back and it developed into a fight about the polio. They didn’t care much about the brain bleed. What they wanted to argue about was THE POLIO. I passed the eye, and written test with no problem, but then it got down to my legs. I am so tired of validating my worth around the polio that I told them I would call them when I was ready to continue the argument. I have been driving since I was 17 years old. I have never had an accident and I have only had one ticket for going 5 mph over the speed limit and it has always been done with these same legs. I don’t know when I will go back and continue the argument with them, but I do know that not being able to drive has become one of hardest adjustments I have ever undertaken. This is L.A. for Pete sakes and nothing is reachable without a car. On top of which, being unlicensed has made me totally dependent. It’s the pits ... but I try very had to keep a smile on my face. Even if the smile has a faint resemblance to a grimace.

Thank God for my wonderful friend Scott. He has become my chauffer. He is always available when I need to go or do. I don’t know what would happen to me if he weren’t such a loyal friend.

I have lived my whole life doing for myself ... proving to the world that I am as much, or even more, then the beautiful legged ones. When I wanted something as innocuous as an ice cream cone I would go get myself one. Now I have to wait until someone in the house ’wants’ to go somewhere, hope that they intend to come back soon, and that they feel like stopping at an ice cream cone getting place. This has not been easy, but look at my face, I’m smiling!

The long spell in the hospital and the unthinkable things that those chirpy young physical therapists tried to get my legs to do has almost done my legs in. I can barely stand now. I know that the saying is ’Use it or Lose it’, but with the polio it’s ’use it to much and you’re sure to lose it’. I don’t resent that so much. It has always been expected. It is just one more thing that I have had to try to add to my adjustment list. Some days my adjuster feels almost adjusted out.

My life feels so small and restricted I find it had to find things to share with you. My son and his intended are talking about a spring wedding. We are so blessed to have her willing to enter our family. She is such a terrific person. The teens really like her and it is obvious how much the two of them love one another. I am so pleased that he has found someone to share his life with. The only hurdle that they have to overcome is where they are going to live. She is a teacher in San Dimas. She owns her own home and has a 70’s plus father still living. My son has gotten a big promotion in his union, which works out of the same area so it is logical that they will build a life for themselves in her hometown. The hurdle is the teens. My granddaughter still has two years of high school and the thought of leaving her school and friends is causing her some very dramatic moments. Her secret hope is that her father and his intended will let her live with me here in Long Beach. On the other hand my daughter-in-law to be pictures all of us living in the same area so that we can take care of one another. If, by any chance, you have a teenage girl in your house you know the tears and dramatics that have accompanied this huge decision.

In the meantime, my grandson seems willing to be a part of the household wherever it is located. Of course, he’s a bit older and not averse to trying something new.

I can be in the middle of laughter and I start crying. I cry when I don’t know that I am going to cry. It gets to be a pain in the butt. It’s not hard crying, but it’s enough to interfere with my words. The doctor says that may be the damage that I am left with. I guess that is minor compared to what the damage could have been, but I don’t enjoy the feeling that the tears may start whenever they damn well decide.

When Scott and I were Christmas shopping I picked up a card that I thought was lovely and started crying as I read the words. The clerk that was headed toward me turned around and almost ran the other way. That made me laugh out loud. Hey, for someone in an adjustment period I have to get my giggles in odd places.

Have a great weekend. The sun is shining is here. I might take a light sweater, my book, and my beagle and go out on the patio and hope I don't cry.

Love, Pennie

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