Friday, September 22, 2006

Talking about death...

This morning over breakfast I told B that our dear friend Roo is losing her best friend, Didi, to cancer. Roo (not her real name, but what I've called her for over 20 years :) & I became friends in 1983 when we spent the summer working at the same summer camp. In fact, Didi, whom she's known since high school, also worked at camp that summer, so I've known her as long as I've known Roo, but Roo & I just hit it off that summer & have been good friends ever since. There's something pretty special about a friend that you've known longer than your husband... & Roo has been with me through all my ups & downs for nearly half my life (although we've never lived in the same town :). We visit at least twice a year these days & talk on the phone or email in between visits. Since Didi was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago I've tried to be one of Roo's supports as she's supported Didi. Now Didi is in hospice care & so I wanted B to know what was happening with Roo, since she's an important part of his life, too, & that I will probably be going to be with her when Didi dies.

B's closest experience with death so far was when we lost grampie, my stepfather, 4 1/2 years ago. When grampie collapsed with a heart attack & was hospitalised while he & my mom were in Florida, we couldn't be with them but we were in phone contact with mom & my stepbrothers & sisters. C, being a physician, had a very good idea from what they were relaying to us about his condition that he would never recover, so we were able to prepare B. What amazed me about B's reaction to the news that grampie was dying was that he was more upset on behalf of grammie than for himself. He kept moaning "poor grammie, poor grammie" over & over until he fell asleep, the evening we told him (he was 6 then). It was hard to lose grampie, but I was so glad that B was old enough when grampie died that he'd remember him.

This morning B was sad for Roo, & sad for my sadness. He asked me if Didi had ever played Star Trek at camp (one of our goofy, down-time activities at camp, where we all took on ST characters & communicated over the intercom system in character :), which is one of B's favourite camp stories, & I told him she'd been Mr. Spock (his favourite character). This led me to more happy memories of Didi to share with B. last year Roo decided to ask all of her friends everywhere to ask their friends to send birthday cards to Didi, to cheer her up as she coped with pain & chemo. It was at the end of December & Roo told me later that they sat together on New Years Eve & looked through hundreds of cards from all over the country & the world. Two summers ago, when Didi was on break from her first round of chemotherapy, she & Roo took off for Hawaii & had a memorable time. When Roo came back she told me about the luau they had gone to & how the purple poi had been too weird for her. When Roo next visited us we made sure to find some blue potatoes & serve them to her mashed, so she'd think they were poi :) B still giggles gleefully about our poi prank... I think that B wanted to hear about Didi because she really has touched his life, even though he's never met her. It was comforting to me to talk about her, too. Our chat made us nearly late for school, but it was good to know that he'll understand when I have to be away with Roo, & that it won't take him by surprise.

While B was at school I was messing around with iTunes & discovered that I can download episodes of Kim Possible for us to watch. I got myself signed-in (finally) & made the attempt... which actually worked! KP is one of B's & my favourite shows (& the reason Rufus the naked mole rat is part of our lives), but since we don't have cable tv we've had to rely on grammie taping it for us & the occasional dvd collections. So there are holes in our KP repertoire, although B has a bunch of the novalisations of the episodes (a blatant & successful attempt to get him reading independantly a couple of years ago :). I ended-up downloading 2 episodes (at $1.99 each, which I thought wasn't too bad) before I picked up B from school. I knew he'd be psyched. Before we could come home & enjoy KP, though, the "great bionicle search" had to take place...

I have never considered myself one of those parents who will pursue kid-fad items till they drop... (KP doesn't count because we both like her & because it's taken me a few years' wait to see some of these episodes!), but today I found myself traveling to not one, but two McDonalds' looking for the new bionicle happy meal. Go fig. It was partly driven by advertising at the lego site & partly by another parent at school getting B all revved-up about them (she was taking her kids on the same hunt after school). Luckily, she also informed us that you don't actually have to buy the Happy Meal to buy the toy, which was a relief since B is now vegetarian & there's no way he was eating any chicken nuggets or burgers, even for a bionicle :) The first (& closest, of course) McD's to school had never heard of the bionicle promo & was still handing out Mario toys... So we learned that "at participating McDonald's" were not empty words. Sigh. We went a bit farther afield & struck gold, although B was disappointed that they began the promotion by handing out the bad guys, which he's heartily sick of... but not so sick that he didn't want the toy... so we got fries & drinks & the toy & toddled on home to watch KP. B had informed me yesterday that this is an 8-week promotion (!) so I told him this afternoon that the first one is a freebie, but if he wants the next ones he'lll have to earn them with his homework chart, & he was amenable to this. No such thing as a free bionicle, kid...

Definitely a "from the sublime to the ridiculous" type of day...

1 Comments:

At 12:18 AM, Blogger Kristina Chew said...

We have such days all the time!

Just a "typical day in Autismland".....

 

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