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Archive for January 1st, 2009

С новым годом

Or, Happy New Year.  Everybody else has been posting Happy New Year to their blogs, and I just wanted to do something different.  Or, I could simply have posted that the high today was 15 degrees, and the low, one above zero — with a wind chill to freeze your marrow.  I don’t think it gets any colder in Siberia.

We had a nice Christmas.  I think I mentioned awhile back that Chris has a new girlfriend, a real, live, actual girlfriend, who’s an investment counselor for a bank, and who consequently had to work both Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas, because That Time of Year is coming.  (Think April 15.)  This meant that she couldn’t go home for Christmas, “home” being in Arizona, so we had her to our house for dinner.  If any of you are familiar with the defunct  sci-fi show Firefly, she looks like a shorter version of Inara — just as feminine, but not in the same profession.  (Thank goodness.)  I’m not sure if this is going anywhere, but I have to say — I hope it does.  She’s very sweet and gentle, just the kind of girl for Chris.  And very literate.  Plus, she does cross stitch.  You see where this is going:  Someone to Leave My Stuff to.  She isn’t Orthodox, but neither is she committed to any particular religion, yet she says she’s “spiritual” — so there’s at least a chance she’d be OK with Chris being Orthodox, and go to church with him without too much fuss.

That was the good news.  The other is my stepfather, who, I think I mentioned, broke his hip back in September.  On December 23 he landed in the hospital with a pulmonary embolism, and he just isn’t getting any better.  His doctor told my sister today to start thinking in terms of hospice care for him.  Frankly, I’m glad someone brought it up.  I think hospice is one of this country’s most underused resources.  We’re all so focused on preserving life at any cost, that we tend to forget that it can’t last forever.  At Hospice, helping you to prepare for that is their job.  My sister is OK with it, my brothers are OK with it, I’m fine with it — my sister’s kids are taking it hard, though.

The hardest part for me is that Dad is such a good and truly humble person, and meanwhile, my father-in-law is still ticking along, two years after he broke his hip, making life as miserable as he possibly can for his only child.  At the hospital today, my dad’s nurse told my sister that the reality was that people who break a hip die within six months to a year.  And my sister (who knows my father-in-law) said her first thought was, “Not always!”  Yeah.  Only the good die young.  Or even relatively young.

So, if you’re up for it at this time of joy and celebration, I’d appreciate your putting in a prayer for Frank, my dad, the guy who actually never told God what to do:  “I just throw my prayers up in the air,” he once told my mother, “and let ’em come down where they’re needed.”  I can’t think of a better system.

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