Life Support

I’ve been spending a good bit of time in room # 5 of CCU at St. Francis hospital in Columbus, GA. My father has been here just a bit over a week and Clara and I flew in on Thursday. He was admitted for sepsis or septic shock and they finally found an abscess on his liver that was at least partially to blame. Once that was discovered and his medicines were adjusted accordingly, he began doing better and they are finally talking of moving him out of CCU and into a room (and also of sending him up to Emory in Atlanta where his transplant doctors will check him out).

All this is good news and mom, Brett and I have done our best to keep him company at the hospital while he recovers. Mostly just sitting in a chair beside his bed for hours at a time so that he can look over and know that we are there to support him when he wakes up a minute or two from his slumber (he’s been sleeping a lot the last few days as his body recovers).

Our schedule goes something like this: Mom and Brett (who’s now gone back to Alabama for the work week) go in the mornings from about 10-2 while Clara and I do our thing back at the house. After Clara’s nap, I’d head over to St.F while mom takes over watching the Clare-bear. I bring lots of reading material.

Tonight I was reading through my old journals and came across some things that made me laugh. So much so, that I felt like sharing. The first is a super silly poem that Chad wrote to me back in the days when we were newly “courting”:

I like to read

but I’d really rather knead,

my freshly baked dough

into a picture perfect Van Gogh.

Well, I really should see

how much work I shirk,

but it’s more fun rhymin’

than puttin’ in your timin’.

-CRF

Hilarious!! You see why I married him. I want more poems like that in my life. I didn’t remind him of this poem when I talked to him tonight. We’ll see how long it takes him to find it. . .

Okay, next are a few choice excerpts from my Oxford, England journal entries. Suzanne and I did a study abroad program my sophomore summer of college at UGA. Oxford the college is actually made up of numerous buildings referred to as “colleges”. Ours was Jesus College and there were about 21 of us in the group. Everyone had about 2 classes that summer, but classes were only held one day a week for an hour. That may sound like an easy gig (and it wasn’t bad, to be sure) but the hour of class was for the instructor to throw the work load on you. The rest of the week was yours to figure out how to get it done. Each class went on some excursion tailored to the history of what was being studied and there was free time on weekends and a couple long holidays to venture out on day or multi-day trips of your own making. Suzanne and I were a regular Abbott & Costello. I was probably Costello. Or Abbott. You decide. Here we go:

July 1, 1996

Dessert tonight was apple sauce on a pie crust with meringue topping. It was good, but I never would have thought of it. I was talking with Andy. He’s a grad student at Oxford. He was asking me if American girls danced around their handbags. I was like – “What?!” Apparently, “low class girls” in England tend to dance around their handbags. Go figure.

July 2, 1996

Went on a Oxford University walking tour today. Evna Waughner was our walking tour guide. She was very eccentric and it was hilarious! Here are some of the insane things she said, all of it stated very matter of factly:

“That gargoyle has two heads – it’s like mid-evil schizophrenia. Okay, let’s go!”

“Everyone should climb the outside to the top of the Radcliff Camera (the Oxford library). You need a grappling hook and two students have died, but you should do it anyway. To prove that you’ve done it you should leave something in the golden globe – like your underwear.”

July 3, 1996

Today I . . . went to Christ Church College and got the pictures I wanted. Then I went to dinner. The main course came and I wasn’t paying to much attention to what it was because most of it was covered in some unidentifiable sauce. So, I sliced off a chunk of what I thought was cooked apple sauce or some similar type of fruit. After a moment of chewing, it occurred to me to ask, “Is this fat?!?!” “Yes.” was the reply. My appetite was gone.

July 8, 1996

Today Suzanne and I went to Worchester College to eat lunch and study. We picked a pretty spot in front of the lake where there was a bench. As we were settling in, we commented on how cute the ducks were. We laid out all our books and papers in preperation of the work we needed to do. I had taken off my shoes and socks because it was so nice out. As Suzanne and I began to open our sandwiches, we noticed that the ducks and geese were making their way toward us. They surrounded us and were hissing and biting as Suzanne and I stood helplessly on the bench! It was a Kodak moment.

July 15, 1996

So, I have to confess that yesterday on our trip to Dover, Jason and I were making Suzanne the brunt of our jokes (as usual). Well, we got her good on this wooden dummy thing. Apparently, Jason had watched a documentary on the stress of students growing up in Japan. One boy was so lonely because he had no friends that he made himself a wooden friend. So, we were teasing Suzanne about having a wooden friend throughout the day and she continually denied the existence of said wooden friend. On the train ride home, Jason made a comment along the lines of, “You know, we’ve assumed it’s a he, but we’re not even sure it’s not actually a girl.” And Suzanne cried out, a little too quickly, “No! No! It’s a guy! It’s a guy!” We will never let her live that down.

Today I sent her an email response to a smart aleck note she sent me. It began, “If you are reading this it means you’ve probably put your wooden friend down for a nap. If you want, I can help you refinish him. All it would take is a coat or two of varnish. . .” POOR SUZANNE.

***

Here’s hoping Suzanne is still on speaking terms with me after reading this post. It will be a test to see how diligently she and her wooden dummy (not to be confused with her now husband – j/k Kevin!) are keeping up with my blog.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these “write-y” posts and I like it. Think I’m going to get back into writing a little more in the near future . . .

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