Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vegetable Oil, Dog Hair, and Death

For about a week, I'd been looking for the clippers. When I asked around about the whereabouts, I got the following answers:

"I think I saw them on the coffee table," my husband said. Uh, I wasn't looking for the toenail clippers.

"Last time I saw them, they were on the picnic table," the youngest replied. Nope, I wasn't looking for the hedge clippers.

"Leave me alone. I don't have them. Why are you always accusing me of taking things? They aren't in my room," the oldest ranted. Geez, I don't even think he knew which clippers I was requesting, but thanks, nonetheless.

I was looking for the hair clippers. The buzz cutters. I finally found them today while tidying up in the bedroom. I know I'm always threatening to shave my head and dye what's left pink, but I mainly wanted them for the puppy. But, it's always good to know where they are should I take myself up on that threat.

Now, I must say giving a toddler a haircut was easy in comparison. As soon as he heard them, he bolted. I got the leash, attached him, and sat on it. This caused him to flip out. I wasn't getting anywhere, obviously. However, the old dog plopped down and decided he wanted trimmed. The dog is about thirteen years old. He'd never been sheared.

Things were moving right along until the clippers seized up. I opted for vegetable oil to lubricate the blades. Worked good. I retrieved the puppy, which was none too pleased at the prospect of getting a hair cut. I said to myself, "Self, you ought put that lid on the Crisco because that dad-blasted pup is going to flip around and spill it."

But, I didn't listen. I ended up covered in dog hair and vegetable oil. The pup is pretty oily himself, but since he got a bath last night after the youngest decided to take him to the creek, I'm leaving him alone for now. For now, though. He looks like he was attacked by a bunch of hair dressers with A.D.D. and epilepsy. My hat is off to dog groomers.

Since I'm at a loss to transition to the next subject on my mind, I'll just move right along here. The oldest, angsty son, who is graduating from high school next weekend, called me the other evening from work.

"Bill isn't doing so good," he told me.

Bill is one of the residents at the "retirement community," otherwise known as a nursing home, where he works. There's never been a shortage of Bill stories. My son has grown quite attached.

He started working in the kitchen as a dishwasher and was later promoted to a server. The residents aren't allowed to give them tips, but they do give them pieces of candy to show their appreciation. At Christmas time, Bill's wife handed my son a piece of candy and whispered, "Be sure to open that up when no one else is around." She winked at him. He opened the wrapper and there was a five dollar bill folded to resemble a Riesen candy.

Bill was all about football season, and my son shared the stories of making it to semi-state. A once center (the same position my son played), he told stories about his days of football when the helmets didn't serve much purpose for protection and football had actual laces.

My son has always spoken very fondly of Bill and his wife, both in their 90s. His voice cracked when he told me that Bill was moved to continuing care, and wasn't expected to make it through the night. One day, he seemed to be getting along just fine. The next, he was pumped with morphine and having trouble breathing.

"I'm going to go see him before I leave work," my son told me.

I didn't have to tell him he should go see him. I didn't have to instruct that it might be the last chance and the right thing to do. It was his idea, one of which that made me proud. You see, it would be a hard visit for me to make knowing that someone I cared about was slipping away to the afterlife. Especially at the age of 18. He wasn't scared. He wasn't apprehensive. He went to see the man who was like a grandpa to him.

He and another boy he works with spent one hour with Bill and his family. "I don't care what anyone says about you, you're a great guy. You're my best friend," Bill told him. The family thanked him for visiting.

"I'll come see you tomorrow," my son told him before he left the other evening.

I held my breath yesterday around 4 pm when I knew my son would be at work and clocking in. I half expected a frantic phone call letting me know that Bill had passed away. A little after 7, I got a call saying he was going to go see him.

It wasn't good news to report. Bill was slipping in and out of consciousness. The years added up, his body continued to weaken, and things were just shutting down. Even knowing this, it didn't stop my son from visiting. He didn't look for an excuse, like needing to get home. He sat with him for about a half hour. Bill's daughter, probably well into her late 60s, welcomed him into their family.

I searched for the right words to say to my son that might bring him a little comfort. The truth, which we all know, is that people get old and they die. Sometimes, people die an untimely death. It's the path that we all take. I wanted him to know it was perfectly fine to be sad knowing the inevitable is going to happen and Bill will pass away. It's a fact of life. People are born and they die. It never gets any easier, but the older you get, it becomes less of a shock.

"I guess I always thought he'd always be there in the dining room waiting on me to take his order and tell me a story," my son said.

As any parent knows, it's hard to see your children hurting. I had to choke back my own tears as I told my son what a wonderful thing to have made enough of an impact on a man in his later years to tell him that he's his best friend. What an honor to have made a difference in someone's life. Even though he doesn't have to work tonight, my son plans on stopping in to see how Bill is doing.

I'm always amazed at the compassion my son shows for others. When he announced he wanted to be a nurse, I wondered if it were an occupation that he could handle. I figured we'd see what would happen, and I certainly wouldn't discourage him. But now, I'm sure he'll do well and he'll make a fine nurse. One that will hopefully make a difference in many, many lives.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Strangest Spam Scam Yet

I got this email today. Do people actually fall for things like this?

Hello, How are you today, My name is Cabana Tammy I am a consultant gynecologist surgeon and oncologist doctor, I work for different prominent hospital, me and my husband are giving out this little puppy for free (Adoption),This little girl weighs 1.3Lbs at 9 weeks old & should be 3Lbs when full grown only. She is very friendly with children she fit in both Palms of your hands. She is AKC/CERF registered puppy .Adorable and sociable with great Personalities and very good bloodlines. She is vet-checked, up to date on shots and deforming, and is health is guaranteed. Recently checked by a licensed Vet Doctor for heart, knees, skin, correct bite, and eyes. Bottom and straight sides and tender, she is A.K.C and CERF registered and shots are given up to date. She will come along with Travel crate, AKC/CERF Registered Papers, Toys and Food and Birth Certificate, I resided in the state with my husband but after my son's death me and my husband moved to Africa due to our work and we have the puppy right here with us. TheFor free. You have to promise me that you will take good care of her as she will be a New family member, please if you are not going to take good care of the puppy, do not reply but if you are going to take good care of her kindly reply for more details about her. I await your urgent Response.Thanks.Cabana Tammy