A Life Less Ordinary

It’s amazing how an ordinary day can be a special day. It’s all in how you look at things.

This morning my alarm went off at the usual time. I’ve fought an upper respiratory thing for the last week or so, and this morning it was especially difficult to drag myself out of bed. By 6:50 a.m. I was in the shower. I soaked up the steam in hopes my chest would feel better. Ten minutes later, I turned the water off and stepped out. In less than a minute, I got back in bed. I popped a lozenge and decided to go back to sleep. I slept soundly until 10. When I awoke the second time, I felt better.

I got ready for the rest of the day. First off was the Rochester chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s first annual Purple Dress Luncheon at the Memorial Art Gallery. Kate and I purchased tickets to attend about a month ago. Since Mom’s diagnosis in 2001, I’ve learned a lot about this dreaded disease but since she’s passed, I feel compelled to find a way to be involved. As we checked in, I purchased a copy of Maria Shriver’s, “The Shriver Report, A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s.” When I’m done with tonight’s entry, I plan to make it my bedtime reading. Seated at our table, Kate and I were pleased to meet so many interesting and engaging women, all in some way connected to the cause. There were three women from the University of Rochester, two from St. Ann’s Community, two from the local Alzheimer’s chapter and, finally, a Ph.D. who works for the pharmaceutical company that sells Aricept, the landmark drug developed for the treatment of the disease. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone, a few us shared contact information, and I hope we stay in touch.

Then it was off to work. I have the privilege of working with a great group of people and, even when I don’t feel well, I look forward to being with everyone. It’s always a challenge, though, to walk in mid-day when the troops are in full operation mode. It takes me several minutes to answer questions and check in before I get to my desk and turn on my computer. A short afternoon in the office and I still managed to attend two meetings and get some work done at my desk.

Frank called during one of my meetings to ask when I expected to arrive home. He asked for a call back so that he could prepare dinner! Don’t get me wrong, Frank always tries to do something for dinner but he is not a cook. His idea of dinner is opening a package of frozen mac and cheese or a pot pie and popping it in the microwave. We’ve talked recently about the need to practice better nutrition. So today, he went grocery shopping and decided to cook. He grilled us lean pork chops, baked us each a potato and made a vegetable platter. I was pleased as punch and told him he is welcome to keep trying. I reminded him that anyone can follow a recipe so he might find himself enjoying that and learning some culinary skills to boot!

Just as we started dinner, the phone rang. Five-year old granddaughter number two, Anna Rose, called to tell us about her day.  She took several minutes to describe her milestone event. Anna Rose is a story teller and I’m certain some level of embellishment occurred as she described losing her first tooth at school today. She gave it to her teacher, who placed it in a special bag for safekeeping, until the end of the school day (you gotta love the teacher). Anna told us about the special tooth song. The toothless person of the day is serenaded with a special song about losing your teeth. Frank and I listened on speaker phone and tried not to laugh as she attempted to sing the entire song. After several more minutes of intense conversation about the tooth fairy, we said good-bye. We returned to our dinner, most of it cold by now. We didn’t seem to mind – Anna’s story was too good to miss.

After dinner I indulged myself and watched my guilty pleasure, “Entertainment Tonight,” so that I could catch up on the latest Charlie Sheen antics and other celebrity gossip. I admit it. I am a celebrity junkie. I speed read People Magazine at the doctor’s office and at the hair salon, even when the news is weeks old!

Rounding out the day we received a phone call from our oldest, Julie, a few minutes before I sat down to write. If you’ve read some of my earlier blog entries, you will remember the story of Julie, and her hopes to adopt Paris. Paris is a three-year old medically fragile child who has been in foster care since she was an infant. She is awaiting another heart surgery and we’ve been waiting since January for her cardiologist appointment this month to learn when it might be done. Paris is in Texas. Julie got a call this afternoon from Paris’s foster-mother. It looks like Paris will have her surgery in April. Julie was excited to hear that things are finally moving along. It’s been a very long process. She plans to go to Texas to be with her as soon as the date is finalized. If all goes well with her recovery, Paris should be able to come to us early summer.

It’s just about 9:15 p.m. My life is filled with the kind of special, yet ordinary moments I experienced today. Now that I am an official blogger, I can tell you this. At the end of the day, there is no better way to reflect than by writing about my day, my dreams, or one of my favorite memories.

I hope I am not one of the 11 million baby boomers that gets diagnosed with the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease, but if it happens, I know I will have a “memory book” to remember my ordinary but special life.

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