Monday, September 23, 2013

Thoughts on the U of M Memorial Service (and other stuff)

Its 12:07 pm

   Its a cool overcast day here in SE Michigan. I just came home from St. Thomas a'Becket's and my grief therapy session with Debbie Miller. It felt good to sit and just talk openly about what is has been going on as late.
  We talked about Derek Jeter and why is his loss is much deeper then a normal loss of a pet. She really understands what his passing means and while she said to get another rescue kitty,not to rush it. But the more I sit here and dwell on it,the more I want to get another cat. My co-worker Kim says there is a abandoned black and white kitty by her house who is very friendly but needs help fast. I might have to see what this cat is all about even though I am inclined to get two cats so they can keep each other company. I am taking my cat carrier to work today for Kim to get the cat,she says she will have no problem getting it....which indeed tells me the cat has been abandoned. Now we just have to set up the timing on how and when we get him.
   We talked about my energy when I am outside the house compared to inside....if I am out and about,I do pretty well....but I lose focus when I  am inside,I just become a blob. I freely admit this and I am not happy about it to say the least so that is my goal....get back outside for activities. We shall see how we do with that..

    Saturday night saw me in Ann Arbor for the Candlelight Memorial service at the Cancer Center at the U of Michigan hospitals. I had asked my friend Sheri to go with me along with Marlene (Crash's mom) and Lori's best friend,Deb. Sheri ended up having to work,Marlene got very sick so it was Deb and her friend Michael who went with me. It was my first trip back since Dr. Johnston discharged us into hospice.
  The event was set up in the front entrance of the cancer center. You walked up and were met by a volunteer who checked your name off if you pre-registered as I did. Funny thing was,the volunteer couldn't find Lori or myself. I got concerned because after the ceremony,I wanted to get Lori's picture back that I had sent it. Misplacing that would have been not good. Plus,her name wouldn't be in the memorial book or read...just as I was getting stressed,Michael actually found it after he looked right where the volunteer had. She had totally missed Lori's name even after we had told her 3-4 times.
   After this small snafu,we signed a luminary bag and helped create some art by signing a strip of cloth and weaving it through a small display. We saw the memorial book and Lori's name in it. Then we found our seats and the program started. Now I know what I am going write will seem like sour grapes to some but since I was there and you weren't,you're going to have to trust me on this.
  It was a surreal memorial....it started off with a couple of hospital department heads speaking about how much they were touched by our loved ones and shared a couple of stories about patients who had moved them personally. Then a young Indian doctor stood and sang a lovely song in Hindu.
  A family member who had just lost their mother just 3 months ago led us the lighting of the candles. Then they read the names of those who had passed away. I got very choked up when my sweet Lori's picture came on the screen. I sent in a picture of her when she had just finished school at Western Michigan. Its a very cute picture I must say...
  But the following is where it went south,a trio of three Indian musicians came out and played some sort of instrumental piece for 12-15 minutes! Stairway to Heaven didn't even last as long as these guys played. They went on and on,once when it appeared they were finished,a few people started to clap....but it was just the halfway point...then you saw people get up to leave. I saw at least 8 couples walk out during the song. When it ended,no one clapped. It was very disrespectful in my opinion to have ANYONE play that long. The memorial is about the patients and their loved ones. It felt like they were auditioning for The X Factor or hyping a new album.
   The mood was pretty much broken after this and after a poem reading by the same Indian doctor who had sang and a closing remark,it was over.
   Deb was perplexed,she said at the candle lighting she had been too,the family members stood up,commented on their loved one,lit their candle and passed it on to the next person. That make sense to me and I would have liked to said a quick comment.
  But the one big thing thank REALLY rankled me and it has since the memorial...any oncologist who wasn't on duty should have been there. Now I don't expect any doctor to attend every funeral,that would be too mentally and emotionally stressful...but the ONE night a year they have this service,every doctor should have attended. This would have brought a real sense of togetherness for us....its just one night and the show of unity against this terrible destroyer would have been awesome to see.
  But that is me and I don't think the U of Michigan is heading their breath over my POV.
I am very thankful to Deb and Michael for coming with me and for buying dinner afterwards.

This week is going to be a busy one...the house looks clean but I still have work to do in the yard before it gets really cold. We are supposed to have a wet winter and I scratching around for extra cash for new window wipers for the Rodger Young. Also need a tune-up as well....all these expenses and nothing to pay them with....its depressing to say the least.
   And speaking of depressing,San Jose State's season sure has been. After a 24-0 win over FCS Sacramento State,the Spartans played hard against 5th ranked Stanford before losing 34-13. But the game last Saturday against Big 10 foe Minnesota was just disgusting. While the score was 43-24 for the Gophers,the 3-4 defense that was installed this year is exactly what I said it would be,a complete failure. The Spartans don't have enough size to play a good 3-4 but enough to handle a 4-3. The Gophers held on to the ball for 41 minutes and the defense wore down in the 4th quarter. The good news is the passing offense wole up as David Fales had a MONSTER game with over 400 yards passing and 3 TDs.  The terrible news is the same old thing....no run game. At all. The Spartans rushed for 47 yards....when you are a ball control offense,you need the ball to control the clock and 19 minutes just doesn't cut it. The Spartans season rests on this game on Friday against Utah State,win and things might lessen up in league play,lose and start planning for 2014. We will where we really stand come Saturday morning.

Like to say "thank you" to Kerri and Monique for your kind emails this week and to Brad for staying up late and talking with me. Debbie,my therapist,says I have a tender heart,I say my heart is tender because of the company I keep.

 So we had another mass shooting this past week,the second one at a military instillation. 13 dead this time out and yet we still continue to want to "punish" other countries except our own when it comes to acts of violence. And we keep pushing the guns and the violent video games. Grand Theft Auto V sold over a billion dollars the first week out. This is the game where you are rewarded for acts of violence,killing folks,sucker punching them,stealing and robbing folks. Now I know people mock the fact that video games don't affect people...I disagree. I think they do affect youngsters. But why games and not movies? Because you watch movies but in the game...you are doing the deed,not some face on a big screen.  There is a rush in achieving a task or mission (or playing a 3-4 defense on NCAA Football and not getting blown out) that can only happen when playing the game yourself. If you really listen to the people who really play these type of games,listen to the ease in how they describe the violence. Its a lot different then playing a sports game like Madden or Candy Crush.
  Now I am not blaming the games,I think they are a gateway to more dangerous actions like take a shotgun to work and killing 12 people. The gun is still the problem and it will forever be. That is just the facts.

That goofy Miley Cyrus really has started something now....even cats are getting in on the twerking craze as seen here as this orange kitty twerks for treats.


Alright,I'm outta here......I have to take on the Bishop of Battle!











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