Vacation!

Just a quick update!


I’m so glad that so many of you have found the 25 Ways to Be A Better Writer so helpful. It’s been fun to put together and I’ve been learning a lot myself. Look for the next installment next week sometime, probably on Tuesday.

For those of you that have been following this blog for the last several months you’ll know that for my MFA I was working on  a paper that focused on Harry Potter. Since you all were so awesome to put up with my ranting, moaning, and various other Harry Potter posts, I thought you might like to know the outcome.

I got an A!

AND My professor suggested with a bit more revision that it could be publishing ready, so woo! Also, I know that I was pretty hush hush about the focus of the paper on here. So I feel like I can finally reveal what I was working so hard on: I was looking at how the characters of Harry and Voldemort relate to one another in the terms of Jungian critical theory. TADA! 

At the moment husband and I are on vacation (with my parents) and are not only relaxing but having a great time celebrating the conclusion of this past semester. Look for regular blog posts next week as well as the review for Divergent‘s sequel Insurgent.     
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In Memoriam (Again)…

As I mentioned about a month ago my Uncle (Uncle Perrin) suffered a massive stroke and we had to take him off life support. He finally passed away almost a whole week later. I don’t know how familiar you all are with life support, but when they take you off it they take you off everything. Food. Water. But not meds. They still give you pain killers (thank God) and anti-anxiety medicine. So sadly, when people say that something is worse than death… this was one of those times.

And I will mention during that time I was floored by the strength and wisdom of my little cousin, who is almost seventeen and amazing. Literally, amazing.

But this post is about my Uncle. My Dad’s older brother. And this is a happy post. All about my favorite memories of him. There are some memories of him annoying the hell out of me, but those are for later.

Uncle Perrin was the guy who, when I was sixteen, decided to teach me how to drive a stick shift by sitting me in the passenger’s side of the car and explaining the inner workings of the engine and transmission. I remember sitting there staring at him, watching him use these wild hand gestures to explain how things would click together and thinking “wow, I really can tune people out.” He was like that. Uncle Perrin could talk for FOREVER. Another memory of him is talking to him on the phone at my family’s farm house. It’s kind-a old school out there (far far away from civilization) and we have a phone with a cord. Mind blowing I know. So, during this intense thunderstorm Uncle Perrin calls the farm house. I answer and listen to him for a few minutes  before saying, “Hey can we call you back? There’s a really bad thunderstorm and there’s a lot of lightening. I think I should get off the phone….” Did he stop talking? No. Did I get slightly electrocuted through the phone? Yes. 

One of my absolute FAVORITE memories is when I graduated from high school. Mom and Dad threw this big(ish) party for me and invited family and family friends. It was so much fun. And there was Uncle Perrin, on the outskirts of the crowd hanging out in his black t-shirt, black shorts, black socks, and black flip-flops. Just doing his thing. Later, it was Uncle Perrin and Dad who cornered me and told me that if I didn’t go to the party with my graduating class that they were going to force me in the car and drive me there.

Another memory is when my college roommate and I went to spend MLK weekend (of freshman year) with Uncle Perrin and family. Uncle Perrin took us jogging on the mountain trails (and by us I mean Uncle Perrin and my roomie jogged and I huffed and puffed behind them) and then later took us to the only bar in town where roomie and me drank lemonade out of a bottle and we all played darts.

Lastly, and most importantly, Uncle Perrin gave a toast at my wedding a few months back. He had already suffered a serious stroke six months before and hadn’t really been his old self for a while after that. But at my wedding, he got up in front of everyone and raised a glass to me and my husband. Just thinking about it makes me so happy that I tear up a bit.

One last memory is one that’s I’ve written about and posted here before. It’s supposed to be a bit of humorous writing but I don’t really think it comes off funny at all. It’s from when my grandfather died. If you want, you can read it here.

And there are lots of awesome things about Uncle Perrin that I didn’t witness but knew about. How after his first round of strokes he was up and walking 3 weeks before the doctors predicted (only a few days after his stroke) that he had an enlarged heart (and was a very kind and loving person so that’s symbolically appropriate) and even though he was on disability he was enrolled back in school so he could learn a new skill set to try and get back in the work force and be there for his family.

That’s how awesome of a man my Uncle Perrin is. Because my cousin is right, Uncle Perrin isn’t gone. Not really. He lives on in our memories.  

 

Family

Well, I would be posting about last night’s episode of Grimm (which I’m sure was awesome) but I had to miss it. Family comes first.

I got word the other day that my Uncle had another stroke. He had a massive one back in January but recovered. Then, the other night he had a stroke when he was alone and wasn’t found for several hours. This means that they missed a window to give him this super intense drug… What it would’ve done I have no idea. And he’s been unconscious for over two days. Which, sometimes is good for stroke patients. It gives the brain time to un-swell. But then he quit breathing on his own. And that’s bad. So, the family flocked to my Grandmothers and now my dad and his sisters are meeting with my Uncle’s wife (my aunt – duh) to talk about taking him off life support.

I have no idea how to feel. I feel scared and worried but not for my uncle. More for my dad (he’s only a few years younger) and my cousin (we’re both only children and I know how close he is to his dad). I don’t know what I would do if the tables were turned and it was my dad on life support. So readers, keep my family in your thoughts and/or prayers. I know that my uncle isn’t in pain and really, I think (and when it comes to statements like this maybe it’s not fair to say what you think they’d want but…) I think if he somehow woke up, he wouldn’t be happy living the way he’d have to live. The brain damage is bad enough where he couldn’t swallow on his own. And if that man can’t ride his bike then he’s miserable.

And a weird thing is: My best friend’s Dad just had an intense stroke earlier this week. Like Tuesday. And he’s good now, up walking and talking. But, (and with my family too) the thing is I really like seeing the power of family in these situations. Someone isn’t doing well at all and everyone (who can) comes running. I like my family. I mean, I think when it comes to family on some deep level there will always be love (even when they are awful people) but you don’t have to like them. I’m glad to be here with my family.

So even with the dark, foreboding cloud that is hanging over us… there is a little bit of light shining though. (That was corny, but whatever, corny things are true)