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Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions, mostly because I think they're kind of lame.  I'm more a fan of the idea that if you want to change your life, change it now - no need to put it off until Janary 1.  This year, though I did make one.  After three years without any TV at all (aside from Hulu and Netflix streaming), Ben and I decided to order cable when we moved into our new place. 

Even though our original purpose in setting up DirecTV was to make sure we could catch all the Twins games (and how fun was that this year...), we pretty quickly found ourselves turning on the TV and channel surfing whenever we were bored, just to "see what was on." Occasionally we would discover little nuggets like a documentary about Giant Squid, but more often than not we'd just watch a bazillion reruns of something we felt ambivalent about.  Well I've decided to put an end to that.  My New Years Resolution-ish thing is that when I am bored, I'll read instead of turning on the TV.

I LOVE reading - when I was in grade school I got in trouble all the time for reading during class, and my parents were scared I would get hit by a car and die because I often walked down our (busy) street with my nose in a book.
Reading doesn't just mean books - it can mean nerdy magazines, too!

I also realized recently that many of the books I count as my "favorites", I read between the ages of 16 and 20.  Considering how much I've changed in the last 8-10 years, I wondered whether I would still love these books as much now as I did then.  I resolved to re-read all of them, alternating new books with old until I had finished my all-time favorite novels and come to a conclusion as to whether they still belong on the list.  On my mental bedside table are:
- Les Miserables
- Crime and Punishment
- The entire Dealing with Dragons series
- The Poisonwood Bible
- Naked
- The Toilers of the Sea
- Treasure Island
...I'm sure I'll think of more as I continue along.  I didn't add Shalimar the Clown or any of the Harry Potter books because I've read those relatively recently.

I made it through The Toilers of the sea and Treasure Island on the honeymoon, and am in the middle of Crime and Punishment at the moment.  Verdict far, I love these books even more now than I did when I was younger.  I think the perspective of age and having lived in the real world a bit gives them more depth and flavor then they had when I was in college.  Don't get me wrong, I know I'm still young - but the distance from 18 to 28 feels like a million years.

For someone who loves a good novel, I have a lot of non-fiction on my bedside table right now...

Speaking of the Toilers of the Sea, my mom suggested sending my grandma a book for Christmas, I knew right away that this was the one I wanted to send her. My grandma, for better or worse, has always taken a lot of her reading suggestions from me...and by that I mean, she looks at the cover of whatever I'm reading, goes out and buys it for herself, and then calls me a week later to tell me what a weird book it was.  But for some reason she keeps buying books I like.  I can't figure it out.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, my grandma was in a car accident.  She passed out at the wheel which, it turned out, was because her heart was not pumping enough oxygen to her brain and she needed a pacemaker.  My mom flew out to Montana to see her for Thanksgiving, and grandma cancelled her plans to fly here for Christmas because she still wasn't well enough to travel.
Since she missed seeing us at Christmas, my parents decided to fly out for a visit last weekend.  They called on Saturday evening as Ben and I were heading out to dinner, and within five seconds of talking to my grandma on the phone I could tell something wasn't right.  Even after her accident and at Christmas she'd been mentally sharp, but now she sounded like she had no idea what was going on and wasn't really processing what I was saying.  My sister noticed a big difference too, and obviously so did my parents.

My mom was getting increasingly worried so she took her to the doctor on Monday to run a bunch of tests - and they did a CAT scan too, just in case.  Good thing, because the scan came back showing two subdural hematomas.
Luckily they were able to get her into the ICU right away for emergency surgery, but we're not really sure if she'll recover to her usual level of functioning.  Maybe the bleeding was the result of her car accident, maybe not - chronic hematomas can go undetected for weeks, but she also had a CAT scan shortly after her accident that showed nothing.  So really we have no idea.

Anyway, life got busy and I kept forgetting to send her the book. I wish I had, because she could have read it easily in the three weeks since Christmas - and now she might never read it.  My mom and I used to joke about how my grandma would probably live forever.  She beat cancer twice and seemed determined to keep living if for no other reason than to give a big old middle finger to the world.  My grandma is a complicated lady but that doesn't mean I don't love her.

We think we have all this time with people and then suddenly, we realize that maybe we don't.

1 comment:

  1. I hate when it takes medical drama to remember to cherish moments with people I love. Good message to keep in mind :)


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