Another Trip Around The Sun

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Well, another year has come and gone. It’s  true…birthdays come a lot faster when you get older. 

This year has been more about changes for our kids than for me. Isabel started a good job, and moved into an apartment with her girlfriend.  She’s doing really well, and is happy.

Ben graduated from high school; and, in an unfortunate set of circumstances, stayed here for school and is not playing football. He has completed EMT training, and is going to go through the fire academy. Staying here has been a growing experience for him and led him to a new path.

Each kid totaled a car, and walked away relatively unscathed. I have a few silver hairs due to late night phone calls.

 Ben has saved a life and stayed with another as a life ended.

Dave continues cancer-free and working away.

And me? I’m here.

After the long weekend, I was asked if I did anything special. The truth is, other than some chores, and dinner with my family, I spent the time drawing. Over the past year, and especially in the past couple of months, I have gained ground and confidence. I want to get better…oh, how I want to get better; but, I just keep plugging away, and every once in awhile, I draw something that looks like what I intended.

It was nice to have the quiet time. There’s been enough drama in the past couple of years that quiet is good.

It’s been a stressful year due to politics. I’m not proud of the fact that I’ve lost friends because of politics; but, I won’t apologize for speaking up, marching against the administration, or limiting interactions with those who deliberately set out to bait me or people I love.

In the coming year, I’m going to volunteer for the Democratic Party. I’m not sure how, yet; but, I will figure it out.

I’m going to keep working. Health insurance is a dicey game these days; but, it’s what I know.

I’m going to keep drawing…I am going to try new techniques and styles.

I’m going to move my body and take care of myself.

I’m going to celebrate twenty-five years of marriage to a good, good man

I’m going to try to be the best wife, mother, daughter, and friend that I can be.

For 49, that should be good…doncha think?

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His Name Was Logan #Rereverb

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I woke up in the middle of the night last night. This isn’t unusual.  It’s a bad habit that I’ve gotten into, and it explains why you will often see posts on Facebook or Twitter at two or three in the morning.

Last night, I started googling.  I was looking for a name, and I found it and so much more.

On February 23rd, I was just leaving a client lunch and on my way back to the office.  My phone rang, and it was Ben.  Ben never calls me unless something is wrong and he needs to talk.

He had been out delivering parts for his job with a transmissions distributor.  He works there part time for a family friend, on days when he is not in school.  He is going through EMT training and will be going to through the fire academy in the fall.  

As he was driving down Bell Road, a busy main street here in town, a guy flew past him on a motorcycle.  The guy was going at least eighty.  A couple of miles down the road, Ben came to a an intersection, just after the accident.  A car had turned left in front of the cyclist, and he’d crashed directly into the passenger side.  The car ended up facing the opposite direction it had been traveling, behind the light pole, in a ditch.  The motorcycle and the rider had stopped right at the point of impact.

Ben pulled over and jumped out.  He ran to the rider and put his hand on the guy’s shoulder, saying, “Buddy..hey, Buddy?  Are you ok?”

He could see that the rider clearly wasn’t alright.  The guy was curled up at an odd angle, with his chest flat to the ground, and his hips turned funny.

Ben carefully braced him, and rolled him over.  He checked for vitals, as he’s been trained, and began CPR.  

As other people came running up, they asked if Ben knew what he was doing.  He said that he was CPR certified and training to be an EMT.  He had one man get his keys from his pocket, to move his truck.  Another person pulled out Ben’s phone to call 911, though they’d already been called.  Ben kept up CPR until another man approached, and said that he was an ER tech.  He offered to take over CPR, and Ben held C-Spine.  

Emergency crews arrived and they got the driver loaded onto a gurney.  As they were wheeling him to the ambulance, someone said, “We’ve still got a heartbeat…not much; but, it’s there.”

They were still doing CPR as they drove away.

It was later, when we were talking at home that Ben told me more.

The rider was young…Ben said he couldn’t have been more than early 20s.  He was wearing protective gear, including a helmet; but, he must have hit the car face first, as the glass of the helmet had shattered and cut his face badly.  His teeth had gone through his lower lip.

Everything…everything was broken.  His arms and legs, his back, his pelvis, his neck…Ben said that when he was doing CPR, the kid’s chest was just mush and he could hear bones making noises.

Ben talked about looking into the rider’s eyes, and seeing them dim…he said it was surreal.

In his EMT class the following Monday, his teacher and the paramedic speaker/evaluator talked about how situations like this are actually pretty rare.  A typical shift doesn’t include traumatic events like this one.

We saw on the news that night that the motorcyclist had not survived.  There were pictures of the accident, showing the car in the ditch and the crumpled wreckage of the bike.  Ben had to scrub and scrub to get the blood out from under his nails.

There were two other things that the rider had with him.  Ben said that in the jacket, there was paperwork from Ride Now.  Ride Now is a bike shop a couple of miles from the accident.  The bike was brand new.  On his helmet, a Go Pro was still running, recording everything.

With all of this, I kept thinking about the kid’s family.  Somebody got a phone call, telling them that their kid wasn’t coming home.  This has been stuck in my head for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve gotten phone calls after accidents…thankfully, they have turned out very differently.  Some mom wasn’t so lucky.

News stories about the accident hadn’t been updated with the rider’s name; but, in Google, it gave a name as a related search.  It took me to Facebook, and a life began to emerge.

His name was Logan.  

He was twenty years old, and he had a dad, a mom, and a sister who adored him.  He had lots of friends and they all ride bikes, too.  There was a celebration of life for Logan last weekend, at his dad’s house.  On one of the walls in the house, there was a big picture of Logan.  People wrote messages of love, attached other pictures, left flowers…the whole wall is now covered with tributes to a life cut short.   

His dad shared text messages from Logan…sweet words between a father and a son.  

They didn’t have a viewing, because Logan was just too broken.

It seems macabre, looking at all of this stuff in the middle of the night; but, the mom in me recognizes how lucky I am.  My children are living, breathing, working, playing…I just needed to know.

His name was Logan.

Dipping my toes back into #Rereverb

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Wow.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been here.  There was some housekeeping to be done, that’s for sure.

I’m not quite sure what this space is going to look like.  The old blog doesn’t really suit me anymore.

The last time that I was in here, I was waxing emotional about the new Star Wars movie, awash in nostalgia.  That was over a year ago, and I haven’t done much writing since.  I’ve focused on drawing, taking part in several small challenges, and the Post It Note doodles sort of took on a life of their own.

For a long stretch, the blog was a great outlet during a scary, stressful part of my life.  I’m so grateful for the support that was showered on my and on my family by the amazing friends that this blog brought into my life.  I was regularly in contact with so many wonderful people.

And, then I just shut it off.  As I’m sitting here, putting together this post, I recognize that this is a pattern with me.  I open up for a while, share parts of me that don’t often see the light of day, and then I turn everything off and move on to something else.

I did it in junior high, after my stepdad committed suicide.  I had regular appointments with my school counselor several days a week.  After about a month’s worth of appointments, talking, talking, talking…I couldn’t do it anymore.  My counselor later moved to the high school, and I stopped in one day during my junior year to say hello.

“Do you remember the last time that you came into my office?” she asked.

I shook my head.  I had no memory of our last encounter.

“You walked into my office for an appointment.  You didn’t sit down.  You very politely, very firmly, informed me that you would not be coming for any more appointments.  You were done talking.”

I never did go back.  I learned later that just deciding not to talk about things anymore doesn’t mean that you don’t have to deal with them.  Feelings, emotions, trauma…all those things tend to rear their ugly heads if you don’t process them correctly; but, I do have a bad habit of letting people and things go.

So, this blogging group will be an interesting experiment.  I didn’t participate in the various iterations of Reverb that have popped up because I just felt that I’d answered the same questions before.

And, yet…look how much has changed…with me, with my family, my job, my community, and in the world at large.

There just may be a few things to talk about here after all.

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