Monthly Archives: May 2013

Sticks and Stones

sticks-and-stones

Sticks and stones may break my bones. But names will never hurt me.

I disagree with this. Words are powerful. They can cut like a knife, they can traumatize you, they can destroy a marriage. There are loaded words that only serve to hurt, control, scare or intimidate those who are close to you. Three words are particularly harmful. I don’t allow them to be said in my home.

Today I read an article by Julie Orlov. It describes the three words and how Janet used them to harm our relationship.

Never

Never implies a sense of hopelessness and finality. When you use “never,” you’re telling your spouse that they are no good, will never be any good and that there’s no hope for change. It’s an all-or-nothing phrase that does not lend itself to listening, compromising and creating good will.

Always

Always implies a sense of rigidity and righteousness. When you use “always,” you’re telling your spouse that they are wrong, you are right, and that there’s nothing that can be done about it. It’s also an all-or-nothing phrase, and it does not lend itself to understanding, learning, or healing.

Divorce

Divorce. Threatening to divorce, suggesting divorce as an option, or accusing your spouse of destroying the marriage will lead to just that. A divorce is a very serious decision, and using it as a weapon or method of control creates anxiety and despair. It’s not conducive for effective communication, conflict resolution, problem solving, or intimacy.

Craigslist Redemption

craigslist-redemption

It was time to get rid of the last vestige of my disastrous marriage. I didn’t have the heart to throw it away, as it was still in excellent condition. So I threw up a Craigslist ad. Then the fun commenced.

A lady emails right away, saying she wants it. We set a time for the next day. The time comes and goes, a no-show. So I respond to a few more emails saying it’s still available. Another lady calls, says she’ll be over in a few hours. I wait for her and then she arrives, ffirst thing she says is “Where is the box spring?” I said the ad stated clearly no box spring, she says “oh well I must have not read the ad clearly, so I can’t take it”.

I call up another contact, they can barely speak English, kept asking me if it was free. I though no way do I want them over my place so I hung up. Then I call another contact, she says “Good, it’s still available. I want it. I need to think about it and I’ll call you back.” I say “Ma’am, it’s free and in great shape. You need to come now if you want it.” She said she’d call me right back.

Some dude Mike then calls me, straightforward as all heck. “You still have the Mattress?” I reply “Yes”. He says “Good. What’s your address in Santa Margarita? I’m 10 minutes away and I will leave now”. I give him the address.

Five minutes after I hung up with Mike, the last lady calls saying she’s take it. I tell her sorry, but another person is on the way. She acted all disappointed. I reminded her that when she last spoke she was “thinking about it”. Doofus.

So Mike pulls in the drive, driving an old Chevy ¾ ton. This big bear of a man hops out the driver’s door and immediately goes to the crew door and retrieves an adorable little girl out of the child seat.

Mike and I go over the mattress, he asks a few questions about where the mattress was used, if I was the original owner, where it had been stored, etc. He says “I liked your listing and had to come see this”. He says he’ll take it.

I help load it into the bed of the truck and we get to start talking. Turns out he’s a single Dad, with custody of his Daughter, and looking for steady work. He offered me $15 for the mattress. I said no, go buy your daughter a treat. He gives me a big hug and drives off.

For all the assholes you run across while dealing on Craigslist, it sure gives me faith when people like Mike show up.

6th Time Around

6th-time-around

Alex is returning home this afternoon. She just had her 6th endoscopic procedure at Cedars Sinai hospital. Alex has endured a lot in the past six months.

It all began last fall when she switched her Primary Doctor. One of the things he ordered was a routine blood test, something the other Doctor failed to do. The new Doctor was concerned with the test results indicating a possibility of Pancreatic Cancer. Alex called her Brother-in-Law Bill, a noted Professor of Immunology and Chair, Emeritus, of the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at UCLA. Bill advised us to go to Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and see Dr. Lo, Chair of the Department of Gastroenterology. He’s one of the premier specialists in the world.

We were impressed with Dr. Lo’s knowledge and his compassionate bedside manner. Dr. Lo scheduled an exploratory endoscopic procedure to have a look. The day arrives and I send Alex into the OR. After a few anxious hours, Dr. Lo comes out into the waiting room to consult me. They found a tumor and he wanted to remove it now, not later. Alex and I talked about this possibility beforehand so I gave him the consent to proceed.

Tests later show the tumor to be benign, good news for sure. But Alex had developed some severe complications. The surgical team went in again to address the severe hemorrhaging. After several more harrowing days Alex was finally discharged with orders to maintain a strict clear liquid diet. Over the next several weeks Alex lost almost 30 pounds. She became the disappearing woman.

Alex went down to Cedars Sinai five more times for operations. Each time they operated to address a new complication. All the procedures were painful. After every one, she had to start the clear liquid diet. When she was able to start eating solid foods the ache would return to her stomach. Alex was weak many days and missed out on several family activities. She always found the strength to get back to her daily routine, only to return for another operation. She is one tough girl.

She missed a lot of time at work. Her Company is very, very supportive of her. Several of her co-workers donated a day of their vacation days to mitigate Alex’s lost time. That is testament to the love and admiration Alex receives wherever she is.

Alex has been her happy and optimistic self throughout all of this. She lights up any room when she walks in. She’s supporting her Mother through open heart surgery. Alex is there for her son Connor, Savannah, Courtney and Douglas. She’s been by my side while I recover from PTSD.

Thank you Erica and Bill Clark, her Sister and Husband, for there warm and generous hospitality in their LA home. Thank you Dr. Lo for his steely resolve to get this resolved. Thank you to the wonderful staff at Cedars Sinai. Thank you to our friends for your support and love.

I can’t wait to see her this afternoon, stepping off that train. I hope this is the last of the procedures. I hope she can ride with me again. I hope to have her back at her full self, full of energy and optimism. The picture above says a lot. Welcome back, My Love.