Saturday, January 19, 2008

Just a Bad Dream?

I had a nightmare as I was laying on the couch trying to take a nap to get ready for work tonight. I don't remember all of the details, but I remember John was being deployed to Afghanistan. He hugged me and walked away from me, stepping through these big double doors. Once inside, right over the threshold, he turned and made eye contact with me as the doors slid shut. I do remember tha panic I felt. I ran to the door, banging at the center where they closed, screaming for him to come back, to not leave me. I woke up crying.
John hugged me and asked why I was crying. I told him. His response was that it is going to happen. When this didn't help any, he just smiled and held me tighter, saying "But I will be right back to you!"
I am so scared for us.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hey Diddlehopper, Are You Watching This?

Sorry, here is yet another Ohio State post. After today, I will get back to my normal life. But on this day, more than any other role I occupy in my daily life, I am a Buckeye.

Just like I cannot help but think of my Mom on New Year's Eve, I cannot watch tonight's big game without thinking of my late brother, Dave. Yes I have brothers. We are far-flung around this half of the country, and so I do not see them a lot. But there are 4 big brothers. They were all pretty much hell-raisers. David, Mike, Spud, and Rick. (Spud is Charles, Jr. officially). In 2000, the year I met my husband, I got a call in the middle of the night. It was the type of call that seems almost dreamlike, simply because you do not believe what you hear.

My youngest brother, Dave, had collapsed. Of all of my brothers, he would have been the one least likely to have this happen. Not only because he was the youngest, but because he was always active in athletics. The healthiest of the family. Didn't smoke. Only socially drank.

It turned out that Dave had high blood pressure. He had been having headaches, and had made an appointment with the doctor to have the headaches checked out. On the morning of the appointment, he felt better, so he cancelled. Later that night is when he collapsed. His blood pressure had reached a high-enough point that it caused a massive hemmorrhage in his brainstem. The brainstem is the portion of the brain that controls our most primal functions: our reflexes, and breathing for example. Dave was not breathing on his own. When I arrived in the intensive care unit in Cincinnati, it looked as if he was merely sleeping. But as time progressed, his reflexes gradually faded. They would come in every so often and check his gag reflex, which was the one that lingered the longest. Eventually, his state became less sleep-like and it became more like he was an extension of the machines keeping him alive. With each whirr of the ventilator, his chest would rise, and then a popping sound would be heard and his chest would fall. Years later as an RT, I know what those sounds were. Valves in the machine opening and closing, etc. He was brain dead. And he was an organ donor.

Our entire family hung in the unit of that hospital, taking turns being by Dave's side. We went through the process necessary to donate his organs, which was cruel at best. The initial ruling of brain death had to be confirmed no earlier than 6 hours later to allow for the harvest of organs. I was 21. I did not have the education I have since had. I could not wrap my mind around the fact that my brother was dead, yet was still warm from the heart that was still pumping blood through his body.

At the end of the very long night, I said my goodbyes to my youngest big brother. The one who always made us laugh, who tortured the dates of his little sisters. He would drool into ashtrays to act like he was mentally retarded. As a teen managing a fast food restauraunt, he would set people up for practical jokes, like making kids mop a walk-in freezer. David could not be gone.

David, the fierce Buckeye. My whole family is about Ohio State, but Dave was the ringleader. Woody and Archie were his heroes. But he loved all of the home teams, including the Reds and the Bengals.

As I left the hospital, whizzing by the Reds' stadium at the end of a game, after saying goodbye to my brother, the fireworks exploded over Riverfront Stadium (Now the Great American Ballpark) to signal a Reds victory. It would have been about the same time David would have been in the OR, about the same time his heart had been taken to put in the chest of another, so that they may live from our loss. I couldn't help but smile. That was Dave.

So here I am on the day of the big game. And I know my big bro is watching. The consumate Buckeye.

Here's To My Boys

Please, please, please Boys! Don't let me down! Once a Buckeye, always a buckeye! Screw LSU. Take 'em out! Your record is better, and they said you don't belong in this championship. Yes you do. Ohio State IS football. Prove it to 'em!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mood Music

The Countdown Has Begun!

2 Days! In about 48 hours, my boys take on LSU in New Orleans for the National title! I am off work, the fridge is stocked with game-day foods, and I am ready to go. But I am pissed. It would seem that Ohio State has been labeled the Underdog for this game. I am so, so tired of it. I have heard that we don't belong in the championship again. Why? We have lost one season game in 2 years. And out of the past 32 games my boys have played, they lost 2, one of which was last year's title game. How could they not belong there? Because they aren't an SEC school? And from what I read, the boys are gearing up for the big game way differently than they did last year. It would seem that my boy JT gave the guys weeks off before the big one last year, and they didn't perform when the time came. Everything is different this time around, from their practice schedule to the opinion of them going into the game. But whomever is labeling the boys in scarlet and gray the "Underdog" needs to be careful. America loves an underdog, and underdogs have a way of coming back to bite you in the ass. So.... Please, boys, do not let me down again this year! Go Bucks!

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Video I Found

This song is titled "1 2 3 4 Marine Corps" I think, and was recorded by Marine Corps Hip Hop Cadence. There is a link on the side bar that you can use to buy their CD or just take a listen.

Reenlistment News

We talked to the recruiters today. There is a document that is needed to get a waiver, so it is back to the paperwork. In the meantime, John fell off the wagon HARD over the holidays. We lived off of junk food while we were moving. After all, it is hard to cook when you can't find your cookware. Ha! But I was successful in getting the YMCA membership transferred yesterday, so there is nothing in his way as far as PT goes from now on. Oorah, John, get your ass in gear!