Saturday, January 19, 2008

Farewell, Charlie

Charlie was removed from the respirator last evening at 5 pm, and passed away this afternoon at 12:30 pm. Patty is exhausted and at home resting now. I'll post arrangements when they have been finalized. We will all miss Charlie, his sense of humor, his optimism, and his willingness to help anybody. Patty, you remain in our prayers.

The Farewell By Manuel Castro

In every life
there comes a time
for giving thanks
and to say goodbye.

Even though you may
be miles apart,
your memories will keep you
close at heart.

So don’t be disheartened
at the thought of distance
that can’t remove the memories;
your heart’s closest treasures.

May you be blessed
in all that you do,
and may you experience
lots of happiness too!

Goodbye for the moment
’till we meet again.
May our friendship be a treasure
that will never end.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First Snowfall of 2008

View from the 695 entrance ramp (or how to spend time when stuck in traffic)

No news about Charlie yet today. I will post an update as soon as I learn something. Somehow the swirling snowflakes and thoughts of Charlie seemed mingled together in the gray sky.

In the good news column (hooray for good news), Jack's pacemaker surgery went well and he is back home napping.

Glenn had a great idea to start a Sam's directory with contact information for anyone who wishes to participate. More about that later.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not Good News

Patty and Charlie

Gladys and Jack

  • Well, it truly is not easy to write this. Our good old friend, Charlie, is losing his long and courageous battle against illness. He is unconscious now (a blessing because he has been suffering). He is on a ventilator, both kidneys have ceased to work, he has pneumonia.... if he survives tonight, he will be moved into "Comfort Care" or hospice tomorrow. The doctor feels there is little hope for recovery and that the end will come in hours or days. Charlie's own father was hospitalized yesterday in the Laurel Hospital with pneumonia, so this is a doubly stressful (unbearable) time for his family. Patty is a strong, brave woman, but I can't imagine how she is holding up. She appreciates all of our thoughts and prayers.
  • Jack went to see the doctor yesterday and learned that his pulse was extremely slow. So he is having a pacemaker implanted this evening. Jack is at St. Agnes Hospital and should be home on Friday. Good news here is that his successful surgery should make many of his symptoms disappear. Thoughts and prayers go out to Gladys and Jack tonight too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Prayers for Charlie

Please keep Charlie in your thoughts and prayers. He is having a trach put in tomorrow and has pneumonia. He is in intensive care at Johns Hopkins. Patty is remaining strong.

What's in a Name?

Ouch! Sue had a nasty fall at work. That's her story and she's sticking to it.

Don demonstrates his version of the accident.

We had some interesting vocabulary discourse today. The word for today, gentle readers, is something we enjoy each morning at Sam's:
  • raillery \RAY-luh-ree\, noun:1. Good-humored banter or teasing. 2. An instance of good-humored teasing; a jest.
    For example, I moved from one knot of people to another, surrounded by a kind of envious respect because of Sophie's interest in me, although subjected to a certain mordant raillery from some of this witty company.-- Peter Brooks,
    World Elsewhere

  • ruth, noun :1.compassion for the misery of another 2 : sorrow for one's own faults. So we learned that "ruthful", to be filled with compassion, is indeed a word that we have never heard in conversation. But we have all heard "ruthless", to act without compassion, frequently. This is a sad statement about the human condition.

  • This made Don wonder whether "youthless" existed as the opposite of "youthful", but alas, it is not a word - yet. Perhaps if we all start describing Don himself as "youthless", we can get the word accepted into common usage.

  • Now this triggered the thought in Bill that his wife has frequently called him "useless", as in "you useless .......", but has never called him " useful". Bill , your challenge for the week is to get your wife to describe you as "useful" at least once.

  • Then we discussed that "regardless" and "irregardless" have the same meaning. "Irregardless" originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that "there is no such word." There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

  • We also learned middle names: Susan Jean, Jean Ann, Gladys Mae, Patricia Ann, Jo Ann. Gladys said they named thier first daughter, Jacqueline, after Jack, whose real name is actually "Jacques". Jack said his name is pronounced "Jock" and that his middle name is "Strap"! Gladys recalled once being in class at work, and having to get up and say her last name . The assignment was to link her last name to a visual to help others recall her name. She agonized over this since her last name is "Tittsworth" , visuals not needed. The group then speculated whether this was synonymous to "Tittsful" .

  • The next word discussed was "woe". a condition of deep suffering from misfortune, affliction, or grief . It turns out that one can be "woeful", but one cannot be "woeless". Use of the word "Tittsful" made Don recall that he had been told "Whoa" on many of his dates, bringing woe to himself. Now I am curious whether the English language contains many more words to describe misery than joy.

  • This triggered Bill to remember that he had been told that certain acts may cause blindness, so he did them just until he had to wear glasses.

  • Don wondered if "yo" is becoming an accepted word, as in "Yo have a good time", equivalent to "Y'all" as used in the South. While that use of "yo" is not recognized, "yo" is already in the dictionary as used to call attention, to indicate attentiveness, or to express affirmation. Yo!

  • This led to Doug noting that when he refs a game (oops, turns out "ref" is recognized as a noun meaning "referee", but not as a verb meaning "to referee"), the kids now say "My bad" to mean "My mistake" or "Sorry". They also say "Psych" to mean "I'm kidding" .

  • I asked my middle schooler for the current slang in class, and she reports that kids use the letters for text messaging verbally. Here are some examples: TTYL means Talk To You Later , OMG means Oh my God, BFF means Best Friends Forever, JK means Just Kidding, GTG means Got To Go, and LOL means Laugh Out Loud.

  • Yo, everyone, GTG!