Memorial Weekend - 2005
Coming at the end of the month, most of my dialysis clinic rounds were completed and I started the weekend with 6 patients in 4 hospitals. This gave me some time with sunflowers, planting, watching 2 great races, and, as usual, contemplating all of the other things I either should be doing, or want to be doing.
For instance, there's an elderly English lady with whom I've lost touch. Lin and I met her at Christ College, Oxford, about 2 or 3 summers ago, where she was a guest attendee for a conference on the Enigma codebreakers and their role during World War II. She was one of the codebreakers recruited to Bletchley Park, and we met her there, and corresponded for too short a time. She is a talented artist and she kindly sent some of her work to us, but I fear I may have unintentionally insulted her by sending her a token payment for her work. I've been meaning to write to her, and try to catch up. I don't know how to say I'm sorry. She is up there in years and this is not something I should put off.
Bruce Yamashita is an American of Japanese ancestry who fought for a commission in the United States Marines, and was kind enough to contact me when I sent in a letter of support. Our last communication was in 1994, and I've been meaning to look him up. And now, there's google!
One of my dialysis patients died in the early morning hours of May 29th. Pneumonia and congestive heart failure are hard to overcome when you are in your seventies. He had survived a very slow heart rate and a pacemaker, and had a fighting chance at recovery. He had no family and lived in a nursing home, but when I called them to get their fax number so I could send a discharge summary, the nurse who answered actually knew him, remembered him, and liked him. Still, he was alone.
The pictures I"ve chosen to go along with this entry don't quite fit, but they are contemporary.... starting with the playhouse that our grandchildren love, that Lin, my wife, had the imagination to realize that it would be an attraction for our granddaughters. It's idyllic, and so perfect in a child's fantasy.... the American Dream, family, a protected childhood, loving parents, a world insulated from the unpleasant realities in so many places.
Then there is the race, in this case the Indianapolis 500, and the almost win by Danica Patrick, 5 feet, 2 inches, 100 pounds, a rookie, beautiful, hard as nails, mature beyond her years. She almost made it. Lin and I watched the entire race and I made my rounds after it was over.
Finally, a dinner in our underused dining room, with candles and light classical music, and believe it or not, WINE on the table. Not up to the standards of our friends, Phil (Vineyard 29) or the fabulous BV 1992 (!) that our friend Wayne brought over, but a big step forward for the wine wooses on Barrett Lane.
And, still enough time to enjoy the flowers and commemorate the almost ready for prime time, first of my very own sunflowers, about to open.
Finally, the rebirth of spring, transitioning to summer, with house sparrow babies just above the doorframe entry to our house. The mother sparrow, or her descendants, have returned to the same nest for the last three years. I've fared better with the sparrows than with the mocking birds..... but that's another story.
And, all of this tsimmes, from a very grateful man who benefits everyday from the sacrifices of the many who have gone before, and tries to give a little back. Thank you, Veterans, for allowing my fantasies to be awfully close to reality, and to those who fought for, and fight for, Peace with Justice, around the world.