Timing is Everything

HDU_TimingIsEverything“I haven’t posted a blog in weeks,” I said as he sat down at the kitchen table.

“I know.”

“I don’t know what to say.” My words lingered in the air waiting for his reply.  With a hint of resignation in his voice and as he pushed himself up from the table to stand, he agreed with another, “I know.”

“If I say what’s really going on, people will worry.”

“I know.”

“What should I share?” I asked because not everything gets told in this blog.   We only ever share the basics.  Reality would be too much, too bare, too human.

“I don’t know,” he admitted with a sigh.

“Me either,” I replied, giving in to this business of not knowing what to say and when.  That’s why I haven’t blogged for a month because I didn’t want to lie but I didn’t want to tell the truth either.

Status Update

Will the Hooks make it to Australia isn’t really the question anymore.  Will Hook make it another year is probably more accurate.

That second question circles us constantly now.  Certainly, it questions us tonight or I should say this morning/afternoon because that conversation above didn’t happen today but last week.   That conversation happened because of the continuing weight loss followed by a continuing decline of hemoglobin in Hook’s system.  That conversation happened after Hook’s unexpected blood transfusion two weeks ago followed by the really unexpected second transfusion yesterday or two days ago depending on how accurate you want to be because I started writing this at 10:30 at night in St. David’s emergency room.  Then it was 4:30 in the morning when they wheeled Hook up to his hospital room but now it’s almost 1pm central standard time the next day or today, Saturday, April 13th 2013.

Before the second transfusion, we’d had a disagreement over whether Hook should continue with chemo treatments anymore.

“You won’t have to worry about dying from cancer because you’ll drop dead long before then from malnutrition.  Something is WRONG and we need to find out what it is and we need to STOP these chemo treatments until we know what’s wrong.” My shrill voice rose to meet the hysteria that had been hiding behind all those lingering questions in my mind.  Is he going to make it? Why is he declining?  What are we not doing right?

But back to the emergency room which turned into an overnight hospital stay and my contact lenses that dried out over four hours ago are stuck to dry eyeballs and my brain’s not functioning so great so it’s hard for me to know if I’m making any sense.

  • A blood clot has formed in Hook’s left leg and he’s been admitted so the clot can be thinned and dissolved with a non-invasive, minor procedure.  We’d noticed some swelling last night and it was our good fortune that Hook’s oncologist was the on-call doctor.   His oncologist, who only two days ago impressed upon Hook the necessity of calling him for even the slightest changes in his body, recommended the emergency room right away.
  • Things look okay so far.  Timing is everything.   If we had waited until this morning to call, who knows what would have happened.  Or, if it hadn’t been his oncologist’s on-call weekend and instead we’d gotten another doctor who didn’t know Hook’s history, we probably wouldn’t have been recommended to go to the emergency room.  Timing is everything.

I could have begun this blog with the announcement that Hook was back in the hospital but I needed to ease you into it, because I don’t want you to worry and because timing is everything.

I’ll post again tomorrow with what I know.

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Hook the Comedian

HDU_StevenWrightComedianIt’s a Saturday and I’m laughing to myself because I only have the cat, Gatita, as company.

Hook drove to Port Aransas yesterday morning for a long weekend of fishing and to enjoy a time of de-stress before he begins a new round of chemo treatments in another week. I worried that he shouldn’t be driving alone because he’s been so tired lately. I asked multiple times if he wanted me to go with him, afraid he might get down there and realize he was too tired to drive back.

After asking for a fourth time if he was absolutely sure that he didn’t want me to go, he said, “Well, not if you’re going to bitch all weekend about how you don’t want to be there.”

With my index finger pointing at his face, I said, “Okay, I’m not going to be offended by that but only because you might still have cancer. Otherwise, I would kick your ass all over this kitchen.”

Can you feel the love?

I kissed Hook on the cheek afterwards and let out a sigh because the thought of driving four hours to the coast and four hours back was not enticing. I’m trying to finish my first book: The Mystery Behind the Masters. Raise your hand if you think it’s a book about golf. It’s not. It’s a how-to book for professionals considering a master’s degree as a component of a career change.

It’s hard enough to stay motivated when writing creative fiction. Imagine what it’s been like for me to finish that piece of sleeping material.   But, I’d put so many hours into writing it last Spring then I’d set it aside when everything started happening with Hook.  I’d expected to finish it late last year so I could move on to a creative fiction story I’d briefly outlined.  I didn’t want to give up on The Masters project just because I’d lost interest.   It’s a critical read for anyone contemplating additional degrees, certifications, or licensing for their career or hoped-for career.  Plus, it’s targeted to my Hook The Talent consumer audience.   Oh my goodness, I sound like a commercial.

Anyway, I’d finally gotten my mojo back with the first draft written and now I’m in the editing phase.  I’d been coveting a long weekend that would allow me to think/drink/breathe this book while editing, talking to myself, and drinking massive cups of coffee. When I write, my work is spread out all over the kitchen table with piles of paper everywhere. Notebooks lie strewn in varying positions on the sofa, fuchsia sticky notes plastered on stacks marked READ TODAY, yellow sticky notes on stacks marked READ SOMETIME, and red pen marks on stacks that mean READ RIGHT NOW.

You would think today and right now are the same, but in a writer’s world today is tomorrow and right now is today. Now you understand the need for coffee.

My paper mess annoys Hook. It annoys me, too, but less than it motivates me to keep focused. Hence my secret relief that Hook desired a fishing weekend alone which gave me the physical space I needed. Gatita was relieved, too, because it meant she could sleep on the beds and the sofas without some male voice yelling, “Get off!” every time he caught her breaking unexplained house rules.

Hook doesn’t know it but when he’s not here, Gatita’s favorite thing to do is dig her claws into his leather lounger, kneading the same area over and over again. She pokes little holes into the leather with her claws leaving what looks like pock marks in the corner of the seat of the lounger. Hook felt them one day by accident and he took off his glasses to peer more closely while feeling around for them.

“Has Gatita been on this lounger?”  he asked.

“What?” I said, shaking my head and avoiding eye contact, “She knows you’d scream at her if she did that.”

That’s me telling the truth while not telling the truth.

I was laughing earlier not because of Gatita and her dirty little secret to silently ruin her master’s favorite lounger. I was laughing because I remembered something Hook said to me towards the end of last year.   Something to do with me briefing his people on his hospital stay.   Something that was uncomfortable for him to talk to them about so he asked if I would do it instead, but then he tried to tell me how to say it.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll be subtle about it.”

Hook snorted, “You’re about as subtle as a nuclear weapon.”

“Yes,” I said.  “and even that isn’t enough sometimes.”

Still, another good one by Dr. Hook . . .

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A Note From Hook AGAIN

The Good Professor Speaks:

HDU_HealthyGuideWell it looks like I’ll begin the final leg of my cancer treatment – back to a six week regime of chemo infusions. That entails chemo once a week for two weeks then a week off (party week!).  This treatment is normal after surgery to make sure if any cancer cells have escaped they can be dealt with.  Last time I went through this my body seemed to handle it quite well so I’m hopeful it will be similar this time.   Indeed I actually gained about 20 lbs over that time period which also included radiation and chemo in the form of a pill.  So I’m hopeful I’ll again put on some pounds.

Hooks for Hook was a nice success with students (and faculty and staff) raising about $300 purchasing these hooks for anywhere from $1-$5.  They sell these hooks at tackle stores that can be attached to fishing caps.  Remarkably I’ve been seeing students still wearing their “hooks” to school.  Anyway the money raised will go to fund one student per semester to conduct research at the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.  Our goal is to create an endowment large enough to use the interest to fund the students.

Finally I need to thank all of you that are wishing me well in a diversity of means and ways, and especially my wonderful wife.  All this support has made my job of getting completely well again so much easier.

Editor’s Note:  Hooks for Hook has raised over $800 so far.   Unexpected and heart touching to us both.

Regime, Regimen, Regiment

I had no idea there wHDU_Regimenere so many spellings for regimen which I’ve always spelled regimenT (militant) but which Hook spelled regimeN (training) until spell check suggested he use regimE, the original French spelling (political).   Since Hook is half French and since I often feel the need to politic my way through his medical appointments, regime it is.

I missed this last appointment with Hook because I thought it was another routine visit like his last one with the surgeon when all the sugar propaganda was shared.  When I attend any of Hook’s appointments, I write out my list of questions in advance, laying a strategy of when and what to ask so we get all of the information instead of only the information the doctors willing share.   Maybe Hook’s decision to agree to the additional chemo may not have changed even if I had been there to fling questions at the doctor until he cried, “uncle,” but I know I would have understood more of what I understand very little of at all.   What can I expect of myself when I didn’t even know there were three spellings of regimen.

For today, I’ll resist the urge to continue writing my misgivings about this latest diagnosis.  Instead, I’m satisfied to have Hook’s contribution to this week’s blog.  I hope you are, too.

MichAGAIN Program

HDU_MichAGAIN

SXSW 2013: Dave Guzman, Mary Joy Guzman, Hook, and me at the MichAGAIN event.

It’s SXSW (South by Southwest) week in Austin, Texas, and during the interactive portion of the festivities, my brother, Dave, & his wife, Mary Joy, and Hook & I, all attended the MichAGAIN event sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development group.  It was part of the Pure Michigan campaign to entice former Michiganders and wannabe Michiganders to give the great state of Michigan a try, employment-wise.   If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a Yankee, a Michigan girl born and raised.  For those outside of the U.S., you like to call all Americans, “Yanks” or “Yankees.”  Inside the United States, only people who live north of the Mason-Dixon line are considered Yankees.

March 2013 marks the 24th anniversary of my debut onto the Austin scene from Michigan.  Someone should alert the press.  Even so, on the way to the MichAGAIN event, Hook and I talked about the possibility of moving to Michigan for a few years.  It was just an idea, one that I’ve toyed with on and off for the last 24 years except now my roots have grown even deeper in Austin.

Editor’s Note:  Hook hails from the great state of  New Jersey and has been in Austin for 28 years as of 2013.  He’s also a Yankee. 🙂HDU_PureSaginaw

On behalf of my home state, give Michigan a try especially if you’re a career changer.   The Michigan Economic Development group created a program called Michigan Shifting Gears and Shifting Code which supports new and seasoned talent with the career shift they need and want — a new beginning in a new state.  The beauty of Michigan can only be experienced by dipping your toe in one of The Great Lakes, walking in fresh air surrounded by evergreens, or responding to HIs and HELLOs from strangers because, well, that’s the Michigan way — very friendly — kind of like Australia

Michigan’s economy is becoming healthy again just like Hook’s body is becoming healthy again.

MichAGAIN.   HookAGAIN.   AusAGAIN (Hook’s return to Australia).

Austin to Australia in August is still on.

p.s.  Right hand over my heart and scout’s honor:  Hook’s “wonderful wife” quote was a surprise to me, too!

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His and Her Dreams

I’m a dreamer not in the John Lennon sort of way but in The Cranberries’ Dreams sort of way.  My dreams are never quite as they seem.   Sometimes in my dreams, I watch what I believe is my own life except the main female character doesn’t look like me and the main male character doesn’t look like Hook.  But, they act like us, using our mannerisms, saying what we would say.   As the non-me female lead, I feel what she’s feeling.

HDU_DreamingWhen I have these dreams, it usually means I’m worried about something or I ate too many bread products just before going to bed.   I do recall shoving baked potato chips into my mouth that I’d discovered in the pantry the night before.  Hook’s been trying to sneak snacks into the house which is fine so long as he sticks to our silent agreement to hide all snacks from me so I won’t eat them.  He’s also supposed to hide all junk food in general so I won’t nag him about eating stuff which will make his digestive system work harder than it needs to.

Too many chips meant not enough sleep and too many dreams.

Hook’s Dreams

Hook doesn’t dream often but when he does it usually includes throwing a bug net around or fishing with friends.  He’ll wake up on any given morning and say he dreamt he was on the coast and caught a red fish or that he had been in the field collecting.  He never seems to wake up frustrated even though sometimes he doesn’t catch anything or wakes up just before he’s going to catch “a big one.”  If there were other people fishing or bugging with him and he can identify them by name, I’ll always ask, “Could you see their faces?”

This question confuses Hook.  He replies that if he couldn’t see their faces, how would he know it was them?   In his dreams, the people are clear and real and the places he goes to actually exist.  While Hook’s dreams are exact and definite with a lot of action, mine are fuzzy and indistinct with a lot of feeling.   In Hook’s dreams, he’s doing things he wants to do again.  In my dreams, I’m feeling things I don’t want to feel anymore.

Dream Lessons from Freud

Do our minds continually send us back to learn a lesson that we did not learn the first time it was placed before us?  That’s my question not Freud’s.

Freud said that we are all of the characters in our dreams.  In order to understand the purpose of a dream (wish fulfillment or resolving conflict), we have to decide or figure out which character we represent or if we represent all of them.  Sometimes, we’re not even who we think we are in our own dream.  My Rosemary character in my dreams may not actually be me but represent someone else or something else that is unresolved or unfulfilled.

I’d visited Freud’s house in Vienna, Austria, back in 1995.  The house had what Americans would call, “a comfy feeling to it.”  The furniture was decorated in velvet burgundy giving the impression of intimacy and warmth.  Book shelves crowded Freud’s analysis room so that it felt cozy like all good reading rooms should.  Definitely a place you’d want to lounge around in while chatting over Vienna coffee and pastries.   I doubt Freud fed his patients anything but his bizarre analysis but I’m still going to guess what he might have concluded from our dreams:

  • I’m confused about what is next for us.  I say, “Austin to Australia in August,” because that is what Hook says but I know we’ve no way of knowing if it will be 100% certain until we’re about 30 days away from departure.   It’s that known unknown again.
  • Hook needs to go fishing.  He also needs to swing a bug net around and catch something interesting and exciting.  He did not get out of the country last year at all when normally he would have been gone for an entire summer in Trinidad. The man needs to catch some fish so he can come home excited which will in turn help his body to heal faster.

Hooks for Hook

Hook’s university started a scholarship fundraiser called Hooks for Hook.  They asked students and faculty to buy a gold hook like a jewelry hook with a clasp that pins to a lapel or a hat.   The fundraiser kicked off the Allan Hook Wild Basin Scholar which will be awarded to one student a semester who will study at Wild Basin Preserve in Austin, Texas.

The fundraiser sold out of the initial 100 Hooks for Hook, but in anticipation of your question — Can we still donate? —  why yes you may because there is no end date to donations.   If you click on the Hook Wild Basin link above, it’ll take you directly to the donation page.

St. Edward’s students and faculty were the original donors to the fundraiser with an average donation of $5 per person.  I was a little leery about using this blog to $olicit moola, but I was both touched and impressed that Hook’s department thought up the idea after his students said they wanted to do something nice for him because of what he’s been through.  When I told Hook I was going to add the donation link into this blog, he said, “You’re dreaming if you think people are going to donate.”  Then he said not to tell you the average donation was only $5 in case you wanted to donate more.   What a fundraising hog!

I can think of other dreams I’d rather be having.  I want Hook’s dreams, the kind where you’re in action, doing things you love, excited at the challenge ahead of you.

Maybe we all need Hook’s dreams.   Or, maybe we just need a couple of shots of good Vienna coffee.

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One Lenten Season

HDU_LentSorry to get so Catholic on you but we are in the Lenten season.   For those not of the Catholic persuasion, parts of the world are locked in a 40 days and 40 nights spiritual closet, excluding Sundays, with only bread and water as creature comforts.

In the Hook household, we’re off sugar and alcohol.  Those have always been our creature comforts but giving them up hasn’t been the challenge I thought it would be.   After reading some of my older posts, I realized I’ve written about drinking champagne, beer and wine and tequila a lot.  It was hard not to think, Wow, I sound like a drunk.   Somehow I needed to reassure myself that I was still an upstanding citizen or a citizen standing up.  One or the other.  When choosing my penance during this time of repentance, I chose to give up alcohol for Lent.   Yes, even cafeteria Catholics like me practice Lent.  The Pope said cafeteria Catholics are ignorant, but since he quit his day job and I still have mine, let’s pretend I know what I’m talking about.

Penance the Punishment

pen·ance [pen-uhns] noun
1. a punishment undergone in token of penitence for sin.

For those not in the U.S., there’s been a story in the news about a drunk driving accident in Austin that occurred almost two years ago.  The case only made it to trial in the Texas court system earlier this year.  Fresh wounds have been re-opened as the State of Texas versus Gabrielle Nestande closed just yesterday in the hit and run and fatal death of Courtney Griffin.

I’ve no opinion on this case that I plan to share here.  No worries that I’m going to spew rabid thoughts on Nestande or try to wrangle your heart for Griffin or vice versa.   But since timing is everything, how odd that during this horrific trial we are also in the time of Lent, a time of doing penance for repentance.  My own penance is the absence of alcohol while the overabundance of alcohol was at the root of the Nestande-Griffin accident.

Repentance the Sorrow

re·pent·ance [ri-pen-tns, -pen-tuhns] noun
1. deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, or wrongdoing.
2. regret for any past action.

It is not for me to judge what penance Nestande should have to bear or even whether her regret is genuine.  It is toward the Griffin family I find myself drawn in almost an involuntary way.  I empathize with the siblings of Courtney Griffin while at the same time wishing I were unfamiliar with such sorrow.  The reminder of Griffin’s death brought the tragedy of my brother Paul’s death back to me from 15 years ago.

Paul wasn’t hit by a drunk driver.  His was a hit and run of another kind.  But time really does heal the deepest of the wounds.  It just doesn’t do it overnight.

I can still hear Paul’s laugh, that boisterous bubbling that came from deep, strong lungs.  People would laugh with Paul even before they knew why he was laughing; it was that infectious.  His Hollywood smile was my personal envy:  perfectly straight, pearly whites.  My parents paid an orthodontist to fix my teeth, but they didn’t have to do that for Paul’s.   His trademark smile is now found on the face of the eldest daughter he left behind.

In tribute to the Griffin siblings, I share this poem from so many years ago:

Just Not Today©

It always takes me by surprise
When I allow myself to remember
A rising thump of panic sets in
Worse than that first day

I’ve had to learn what it means
Not to have you here anymore
Feeling those memories surface
Your absence like a blanket over it all

Still, I know you understand
As you watch from your new place
While fear sometimes engulfs
And a fire begins to rage

Regrets and promises and sorrow
Of a life so unfulfilled
What Ifs and Whys and Wonder
Had you chosen a different way

Then as though with a hose of water
I wear down a burning flame
Instead of an empty shell leftover
I construct from the pain

Your death did not leave me hollow
In foundation or in frame
Losing you gave life new meaning
Only not today,
Just not today

 Rosemary Guzman Hook. Copyright 1998. Poems for Paul

Let’s End on an Upper

I don’t want to end on a downer so let me share some good news:

  • Hook’s CAT scans came back clear and clean.  This means that so far no leftover tumors can be seen lounging around his insides.   The question of whether he’ll resume chemotherapy treatment is TBD.  His body is not strong enough today to withstand the treatment short term.  My vote is no more chemo no matter what, but Hook will be the final decision-maker.
  • Hook has resumed taking supplements to strengthen his body back up.  He stopped taking these a week before the surgery in December but now that his body is healing and he needs the extra oomph, his surgeon said it was okay for him to start taking these again.
  • Hook’s university re-approved his sabbatical and the receiving university in Perth, Western Australia has indicated they are still interested in sponsoring us for a year.
  • As of today, we are on for Austin to Australia in August 2013.

Lent or no Lent, Catholic or non-Catholic, the goal for all of us is to one day find joy again.  That’s what the Hooks are inching toward as we make our way through this alcohol-free Lenten Season.

This blog is dedicated to the memories of Courtney Paige Griffin, Austin, Texas, 1981 – 2011, and Paul Joseph Guzman, Saginaw, Michigan, 1963 – 1998.

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The Sugar Nazi

HDU_SugarThe ABBA songs ended.   No more ABBA and no more sugar in the Hook household.

Hook is convinced I’m obsessed with sugar and I’m convinced he has selective hearing.   At his final appointment with the surgeon last week, Hook mentioned to the doctor that he’d had a glass of wine the other night.

The surgeon said, “That’s great you’re able to enjoy wine again.”

Hook interpreted this to mean that he should be drinking wine, that he should be drinking it every evening in fact.  He’d stopped at the store on the way home from the doctor’s office and picked up a bottle of pinot noir along with a bucket of ice cream.  There was an assortment of real food stuffed in the grocery bags like cereal and vegetables but I was convinced that was just to throw me off the wine and the ice cream.  I watched Hook unpack the Pinot as I tried to stare a hole into the bottle.  When I saw the vanilla bean ice cream, I couldn’t keep quiet any longer.

“You bought ice cream.”  I said as I tried not to lunge for the Texas-sized bucket of frozen sugar-in-a-box so I could flush it down the toilet.

“[He] said it was a good way to put on weight.” Hook replied.

The surgeon had also remarked on Hook’s ability to eat ice cream especially since he was worried he wasn’t retaining enough calories.  Hook understood that he should be eating ice cream every day.   He feels certain that that is what the surgeon meant.  I had to wonder what language they were speaking until I remembered that my husband only spoke English and then sometimes not even that language.   I hadn’t met Hook at this last appointment because I thought it was just a routine visit.  I didn’t know the surgeon was going to be mind-fooding my husband into believing he could eat and drink anything he wanted.

Is Sugar Evil?

I’m not a sugar nazi.  Really, I’m not, but in addition to agreeing that no one deserves cancer can we all also agree that processed sugar is neither necessary nor healthy for the body?   Even though Hook desperately needs to gain weight, there have to be better ways to do so than through ice cream and wine.   Hook is and has always been a healthy eater so I do not begrudge him these small pleasures.  Instead, it’s my fear of sugar and how it interacts with those unfriendly C-cells of his that may still be lurking in his body.

Whether sugar is the evil of all cancer is still up for debate.  A layman like me gets confused with all the conflicting information from doctors and nutritionists and whatever else is floating around the web:

  • Some might say, I should listen to the holistic, wellness guru of an unknown, unverifiable website:   Holistic Website Here
  • Others of you might think that the Mayo Clinic remains the voice of reason, except their own comments on sugar and cancer are also without author.  For all I know, some pro-cancer freak hacked their system to write, “Sugar doesn’t make cancer grow faster.”   Random, unidentifiable articles on a Reputable Website Here.
  • Or worse, the renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center which says it’s okay to eat sugar so long as it’s not more than “six teaspoons per day.”   Do you think that’s a typo and they meant per hour?  If not, we’re all in trouble:  Scary Sugar Website Here.

If you’re wondering, ‘Why do you care?  Didn’t they remove the cancer?’

We don’t know.   We expect to find out on Monday the 18th when we meet with the fist-bumping oncologist to review the CAT scans taken last week.

I asked Hook if he wanted to comment on this blog since I felt we had differing opinions on the sugar topic.

“We agree on what to eat.”  He said.

“We do?” I asked, an incredulous tone obvious in my voice.

I could hear him sigh from the other room as he answered, “Yes! Why do you keep asking?”

“Because you keep eating processed sugar?”  I hope that was the right answer.  It feels like it was.

Silence.

I’ve never bore children but something tells me these circular conversations might sound familiar to some of you moms out there.  Who am I kidding.   Anyone in a relationship has had these conversations, has these conversations, is probably having these conversations as you read.

My vote is this:  Cancer or no cancer, stay away from sugar.  Six teaspoons a day?  Talk about sugar nazis.

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Sometimes We All Need a Little ABBA

I’m listening to ABBA’s Dancing Queen right now because last night, Hook and I watched Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.  By the end of the movie, we both wanted to hear more Mama Mia!  How many people would be willing to admit that out loud to the world?  If you live in Texas and you run into Hook, feel free to let him know that you know that he’s an ABBA fan.  But shhh, don’t tell him you read it here or he’ll forbid me to blog any moHDU_ABBAre.

The Priscilla movie was recommended to us from a reader (thanks Lisa Grantham in Texas) who answered the Where in Australia – Part II.  She also recommended the Great Dividing Range and the Springbrook Glow Worms for Hook’s science fetish.   From Karin @KandKAdventures in Canada, we got recommendations to enjoy Sorrento and Mornington Peninsula which are a 3 hours’ drive from Melbourne.

I wanted to watch the movie because it was filmed in Australia.  It’s about some colorful queens who travel across the country in a bus to do singing shows.   I decided not to tell Hook what the movie was really about otherwise I’d never have gotten him to agree to watch it.  About twenty minutes into the movie he asked, “Are those men dressed up as women?”   Ah, the working mind of a Ph.D. 😉

ABBA To The Rescue

Woah, did somebody have a meltdown last week?  I’m not sure where that came from except the deep recesses of my heart.  Those thoughts have been lingering, hovering, waiting for that camel with the last piece of straw.   But think of it this way, especially if you’re a guilty party:  If I smack your face because you offend my husband and everyone else with candy at least you’ll know why.  Knowing me, knowing you, we’ll both get over it.   (Gosh, I’m thoughtful.)

I’ve spoken my peace on this for now.   At some point in the future, I will write in length about how I believe (have always believed) that each of us must own the responsibility for our own health.  We owe it to ourselves but also the rest of society to treat our bodies like the temples they are.  But just not today, okay.   I’ve reeled in an SOS on your part.   I’m overdosing on ABBA over here in Austin, Texas, by the way.

ABBA was Swedish or something not even from Australia but once those songs take root in your head, it’s hard not to want to don lamé and dance around the living room.  What?  Not everybody does this?  Liars.

How ABBA Can Work for You

A friend recently found out her husband has prostate cancer.  Although the removal of the prostate is becoming more common, if you’re the spouse hearing this news, it’s a shock and not a good one.  The WHAT IFs alone can push you over the edge.  I wish I knew exactly why it was that I trusted everything would work out for Hook.  Or, why I trust that whatever happens, we’ll figure it out, we’ll manage.   I think when you accept that you really have no other choice (accept, don’t accept), you go with what will make you less crazy.

To the outside world, our life may not have appeared to resemble fun or joy.  We had a choice to cry or not cry.  Sometimes we cried, but mostly we endured in whatever way we knew how.  It was enough to make a person want to sing Take a chance on me while begging for their life.

Whatever may be on your plate in terms of trials and tribulations, find something to hold onto.  For me it was faith—that’s God for those of you not in the know—and a lame sense of humor and today, a little ABBA.

Lame in my lamé .   Now off to dance to some Waterloo and how many of you want to bet the Hooks end up dancing our way all the way down to Australia!

Note from Editor:  When I think ABBA I think Australia because of Muriel’s Wedding — doh!

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