Thursday, September 23, 2010

Still here

Hi- I'm still here.

Have not had much to blog about in the last couple of weeks. The beginning of the month was way to much. (see last post).

My cousin & her hubs are up from SC with their pups for the next week or so. We are going have a small cemetey service Grampa while they are up here.

Watching munchkin this weekend, thinking maybe of an Essex train ride.... we'll have to see what the time/weather allows.

Maybe tonight I will go thru some of the pics I took on vacation & post some (depends on how they come out)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Someone is looking down on me. RIP Grampa 11/21/28 - 09/08/10

I made the tough announcement earlier this week while on vacation, but I wanted to take a moment to write down my thoughts. On Wednesday September 8th, in the late afternoon, my Grampa went with God, he is now up in heaven with his son and family & will be watching over us.

I found his obituary on Friday, and reading it I learned wonderful things about my grampa. I am so proud of the man he was. Check this out...

"Richard J. "Dick" Marshall, 81, beloved husband of Mary Jane (Mulrooney) Marshall, died peacefully Wednesday, at his home with his family by his side. He was born November 21, 1928 in Schenectady, NY. Richard was a graduate of Fairfield University, Class of 1951, where he received his Bachelor of Special Studies Degree. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Staff Sergeant during the Korean Conflict. Dick spent his entire career in the Insurance Industry. After retiring after 30 years as Director for Royal Globe Insurance Company, he joined Frank B. Hall and Co. as a Vice President and Corporate Director, and retired after more than ten years as Senior Vice President. Dick was a member of and counter for St. Mary's Church in Simsbury, was an avid golfer, a member and Past President of the Simsbury Volunteer Ambulance Association and Past President of the Stratton Forest Homeowners Association. He also was a volunteer driver for McLean's Meals on Wheels and an active volunteer with Boy Scout Troup #176. Dick was a car buff, having owned more than 67 cars over the years, but the one he most regretted trading in was his '65 Mustang Convertible. "

I knew that he had been in the service when he was younger, but I never knew what he did. I knew that he was an active member of his local RC Church. I also knew that he always worked in the insurance industry, but I never knew he went to such heights. I know he was proud that I was following in the family footsteps by also having a career in the insurance business. He mentioned several times that when he was younger, he had given great thought to starting up an insurance agency, and he wondered what would have happened if that had been fact. He didn't know that his (ex) daughter in law and granddaughter would both have careers in the same business. I have to wonder as well.

My grampa was a HUGE car buff. It was a family joke that when he bought a car, it would last only until time for the first major service. Another story -he went out for milk and came home with a new car. I remember a year where he had 3 different cars. My Grandma was exactly the opposite, she liked to keep and maintain her cars for years. He learned very quickly, that while he could trade in cars (as long as they were his), her car was to be left alone. When he got bored in retirement, he worked for local dealerships as a car swap driver. He would be the man picking your new car up from one dealer & driving down to the local dealer- oh how he loved that job.

That man had a giant sweet tooth. His sweets of choice for as long as I could remember were gingersnaps (with coffee or milk), homemade strawberry rhubarb pie, cake, and ice cream. He would routinely get gifts of homemade sweets from my stepmom that he hoarded like a miser & would say that it was all his.

He loved all his family and when my niece was born, he was over the moon with being a great grampa. He had the great honor last year of walking my cousin down the isle for her outdoor wedding. It also happened to co-incide with his 56th anniversary with my grandma. He joked and asked me if I was going to be walking down the isle any time soon. While I laughed it off, I do know that if and when I get married, I will be missing him.

Shortly before Christmas last year he got the news that he had a melanoma that metacised to his liver. He underwent chemo, and a few months later, a grim discovery that he now had lesions on the brain. Radiation followed. Since the beginning of the year we saw the ravages that the cancers were taking out on him. About a month ago we realized that he was stage 4 and untreatable. He was a-typical from the start- he didn't suffer or have horrendous pain that many other cancer patients have. I went to see him at home right before vacation and said my goodbyes and kissed him. I knew that time was getting short, and that this was going to be my last visit. I wanted my memories of my grampa to look like he always was, not the man that was confined to the hospital bed in his home. My last thoughts of my maternal grandpa was hard, he had Alzheimer's and I remember him weak, frail, and not knowing who we were. I wanted better memories of my paternal grandpa.

I love you grandpa, and I know that uncle John and cousin Johnny have already welcomed you home.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I see spots

Fair warning- I got a little wordy

Every thursday since the start of the year I have been meeting my step mom and going for walks after work- inside or outside depending on the weather. Anyway earlier in the summer, I started riding my bike again ( maybe I should mention that it has been YEARS) since I rode. Can you say PAIN? The first ride was not so hot.

Fast forward 2 months. We decided to take a ride today in Farmington. My brother & niece came along for the ride. While I bring yoga capris and a tank to change into at work, I wasn't quite thinking it was going to be as hot as it was... Mid 90's and humid. We had an ambitious goal- riding from Farmington to Avon (Rte 44) and back. We came about a mile from that the first couple of rides. However the last 1/2 mile or so to Rte 44 severly kicked my ass. It is a decent hill that sneaks up on you. I down shifted to get the easier gears, but I was puffin. I made it to the top and we went down the hill towards the tunnel under 44. The tunnel was going to be our turn around point - Munchkin loves going thru tunnels. Well, on the other side of this lies a couple of benches & a picnic table. The other 2 kept on riding, but I needed a break. Got off the bike- wobbled a minute and sat on the bench, also thought it would be a good time to grab a drink of water. A couple of minutes passed & they came back, Patty was worried I fell- I said instead I just needed to recharge.

After we hopped back on the bikes, I powered up the hill on the other side of the tunnel. Well, I started to any way. My burst of energy was very fleeting, another damn hill. Got to the top of the biggest hill and had the pleasure of zooming down. At the bottom of the hill we have to cross a fairly busy road, but a break in the momentum was not appreciated. Why do you ask? Well, there is an itty bitty incline on the other side and I felt like I slammed into a mountain- 0 energy and the group was getting further and further ahead. I checked my mirror and noticed an ambulance behind me- (had a fleeting thought that someone called it for me- lol). I met up with the other 2 in the parking lot for the trail and said, "I'm spent". We decided to push on (plus we were still several miles away from the cars). We advanced to one of the 4 road crossings on the way back and as I rode up, Patty was giving my brother the keys to the car- he was going to head onto the car & give munchin a chance to get out of the carrier. Patty was going to ride back with me.

We went slower, and I kept telling myself that if it became too much, they could come back & pick me up. We chatted & rode, stopped for a couple of minutes where I went from bike to bench- for more water & to gather more oom ph. Before I knew it we were back to the parking lot. I got off the bike and walked it to the back of the car. Then the fun began.

My first inkling that I way over did it was the slightly woozy feeling- walked over to the bench & went PLOP- sat very heavily on the bench. Sipped my water, I knew guzzling it would not be good. Decided sitting straight up wasn't working so I leaned over- much better. A couple of minutes later I sat up- still woozy but I thought a bit better, but was apparently just waiting for woozy's cousin nausea to get there. Oh holy crap I felt shitty real fast. I almost wanted to get sick, just to make it go away. I was panicking at the thought of getting in the car & driving while feeling like this, so I knew I was going to stay there a bit. All the sudden sitting up was NOT good. I stretched out on the bench with my eyes closed & focused on just breathing & praying for a breeze to cool me down. Opened my eyes after a few minutes & saw little itty bitty dots in the sky- nope not back to normal yet. After about 5 minutes more I slowly got up and started walking around- slow, but progress. Finally, felt better. I felt bad that I didn't help load up the 3 bikes, but I knew I was in no condition to help.

As soon as I got home, a cool shower called- wonderful feeling. Now I am just really tired!

Ended up riding 9 miles in about an hour and 15 minutes in 90+ degree heat. I am spent, but so happy that the butt doesn't hurt!