Tag Archives: family

They call me Calamity Jane

My parents, that is. More for the way it sounds, I guess, versus the actual person.

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I have thought, recently, that my life is pretty great, although it would be great if I could stay out of my own way. Broken bones and other minor catastrophes have been interruptions of really happy times.

And then I did it again: last Tuesday, I hit the back of my head on a shelf. I have surely hit my head harder – getting in and out of the Kenya van and on US Air regional jets, for two examples.

But for whatever reason, I saw stars this time. And when I tried to tell someone what happened, I couldn’t get the right words from my head to my mouth. And then I cried.

I didn’t go to the hospital or the doctor until Wednesday. They said I have a concussion but no bleeding in my brain (!!) or anything. They told me to rest.

At first, the plot of Law & Order reruns was too much to comprehend. The sun felt too bright. I suddenly needed my glasses to watch TV.

Until Sunday, the worst of my concussion was the dizziness. Oh, and the utter boredom of resting without reading or writing much.

On Sunday my parents visited and I took a cab to the city. The ride made me dizzy and nauseated but I thought I’d be OK. At first, I was.

family

But then I crashed. Hard.

Approximately forty-five minutes in, my head began throbbing and the dizziness required me to rest my head on the wall behind my seat. I couldn’t finish my lunch. Mom and Dad sent me home.

This totally sucks. I cannot recommend that you get yourself a concussion when presented with the option.

Avoid.

Sidebar: I requested a stupid Uber. A driver confirmed and for whatever reason, I added my destination. Time passed, I opened the app to check for the driver’s ETA and…nothing. Apparently the driver didn’t want to go to Williamsburg, canceled and I didn’t get a notification. Fortunately I found a yellow cab soon after and within thirty minutes, I was in my bed.

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Vacation #2 of 3

In I-am-so-lucky news, today I am leaving for my annual Rehoboth Beach vacation.

beach

This is not to be confused for my Bahamas vacation.

Bahamas

Or my upcoming trip to Kenya.

Expect some funny family stories. They’re a-comin’.

What are you doing for 4th of July, American readers?

The other grandmother

It makes me sad not to know if I would have called her Grandmother or Granny or some other name.

It would not be Nana. That name was reserved for my mother’s mother. I never got a chance to call my father‘s mother anything; she died when I was less than a year old. 

I have to use my imagination to fill in the gaps of my real life knowledge.

scanI can only guess that she might have liked to be called Babcia. Continue reading

In Dreams

She comes to me in dreams sometimes.

Aunt Mar is in the kitchen of her old apartment of Parsippany. She greets me cheerfully, casually, as if only a few weeks without seeing each other have passed. If she’s at all surprised to see me, it doesn’t show.

Aunt Mar is making eggplant parmesan. Without looking, I know there’s one portion made with chicken already in the oven because she knows I don’t like eggplant. It is always made clear to me that I am her favorite, just as she is mine.

I am overjoyed to see her, but also confused. Hurt. Angry. Why had she had left me? I was only sixteen. I needed her so badly.

I want to scream “you died! How are you here?” But would speaking the words aloud pierce the veil and make my happy dream evaporate? I am afraid.

What do you think of me? Of this person I’ve become?

Do you still love me? I hope I haven’t let you down. 

Where did you go? Please don’t leave again. I still need you.

I’ll be OK. I just love you so much.

I say nothing. I let her hold me in her arms like the child I used to be.

She comes to me in dreams sometimes. Just not nearly as often as I wish.

Aunt Mar and Jen

How was your weekend?

This weekend, I celebrated being back home in Brooklyn after a few days in my home state of Pennsylvania. These were some of the least restful vacation days, but I got lots of quality time with family.

I also…

Did a little prep for Mollytopia‘s upcoming NYC visit. She booked us for a cheese class at Murray’s. I’m so excited!

Had brunch with this handsome fellow Zach (and his wonderful mom) at Spring Natural Kitchen. The banana bread French toast is terrific.

Z

Read half of a book I’m not fond of but can’t seem to give up on and this Apartment Therapy post about living in Los Angeles.

Went to dinner with my friend Amanda at Corkbuzz. We had a wine flight of rosés to acknowledge the coming end of summer. My favorite was the Bisson Portofino Ciliegiolo ’12 (Liguria). The food was hit or miss unfortunately–and pricey.

Caught up with Eliza and her mother Susan, and also met Oscar.

Got a much-needed haircut here and afterward, a much-much-needed passport photo which, while acceptable, I will not be posting anywhere.

Other than the fact that I got my nails done and hate the color, it was a good weekend.

What did you do?

After Philly: 2 hours in the car with Dad

While I was in Philly, my family suffered two losses. Sunday, in particular, was an awful day.

On Monday, once it was clear that my father was doing well post-procedure and would be released the next day, my mother made the trip north to Scranton while I stayed behind to wait for Dad‘s discharge. Her departure ensured that I got to watch The Bachelorette in the hotel.

On Tuesday, Dad was beyond eager to get home. After six days in a narrow hospital bed, being awakened at all hours for checks of his vital signs and numerous needle sticks, who could blame him? Dad desperately wanted to put on his own clothes and escape, but he still had a heart monitor on him and an IV port for medication delivery. While we waited for final orders, I used a lime popsicle to get him to behave and sit still.

Are all men children for life?

When he got sprung from jail the hospital, we made a break for it.

Together we drove up the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Mom’s Cadillac. Traveling by car with Dad is better than driving with my mother (sorry, Mom). He lets me control the radio and doesn’t criticize my driving.

In fact, he typically falls asleep for approximately 49% of any car trip. It’s only weird when he raises an arm and points zombie-like mid-snooze. Given how much he uses his hands when awake and talking, this should not have surprised me. Dad blames being Polish for that (and lots of other things).

We spent most of the drive tuned into XM-Sirius 90s’ station. Dad didn’t know TLC’s No Scrubs when it came on, but I noticed him tapping his toes to the music and took that as an invitation to give him the history of Chilli, T-Boz and most importantly, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, as well as to explain the concept of a ‘scrub.’

Dad is now fully on-board with the fact that women don’t want or need no scrubs. A scrub would get no love from him should I accidentally date one.

Telling Dad that Left Eye was the one who burned down Andre Rison‘s mansion really put the whole story into focus. He seemed appropriately sad when I told him that Left Eye died in a car accident in Central America.

I was about to tell him about T-Boz’s battle with sickle-cell anemia and Chilli’s history with Usher, but then Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s Good Vibrations came on and I had to keep up.

Dad had never made the connection between the actor he likes, Mark Wahlberg, and the dude who “sang” with a funky bunch and lifted cinder blocks on a barbell.

I don’t own this image

I didn’t bring up the wonderful Calvin Klein campaign. There are limits to the things I will discuss with my father. I did, however instruct Dad never to call Mr. Wahlberg “Marky Mark” should he ever meet the actor. Can’t have Dad’s handsome face getting punched.

After passing through the Lehigh Valley tunnel, we hit construction-related traffic. Neither of us were bothered. We had great tunes and even better conversation to help us pass the time.

I intend to drive my father around again when I’m back in Scranton in a few weeks. We haven’t yet exhausted the possibilities of 90s on 9, but there’s still the 80s station.

Philly

Dad is in the hospital.

In Philly two hours from home.

So Mom and I are also in Philly. In violation of all privacy laws, I will tell you that Dad is getting a pacemaker.

Honestly, I’m more anxious about my impending apartment search and move (note: I am not staying put after all thanks to a big rent hike) than Dad’s procedure. At first glance, you’ll probably think I’m a self-involved ass for that.

But I swear: apartment hunting in NYC is generally more stressful than getting a pacemaker. Weird, right?

I’m approaching Dad’s procedure as a great thing actually. The doctor thinks he’ll feel like a new man once the pacemaker is in. Fingers crossed.

I hope to return to NYC Tuesday. And to blogging soon after that.

xoxo

Update: Dad’s procedure went great.