Western education 2013

Sunday, July 26, 2009

... a gathering

.... I am woozy getting up yesterday morning and would feel 'stoned' for most of the day. I want to go out to the party being held by a classmate for the graduating ElecEng class of '92. I am one of the guys and am consciously aware that I not only have aged but now I am only 4 days into recovery from surgery and I cannot wear a bra. My family helps me pull together an outfit that at least looks reasonable and hides the bandages under my arm while allowing me to remain cool in the gathering humidity. Some of my classmates know my journey but most do not as I make my way over to my friend's house.

I am met by a good sized group whose children are swimming in the pool or hanging out by the table and helping themselves to the snacks that have been brought by the guests now lounging in lawn chairs on the deck. Lydia wants her swimsuit on and is thrilled that the pool is heated. Ours is not and although she loves to be in it, she would spend the majority of the afternoon playing in the comfortable waters. William and Mitchel have come along and William manages to get in with his sister but Mitchel declines... not sure if he is not feeling well or is too shy to squeeze himself into his bathing trunks which need to be a size larger. He has grown this summer but has not thinned out yet. My head is spinning and feels like it is stuffed with sawdust - as Sarah would say 'stoned'. Good descriptive. I am not taking any medication but with the weather so damp and ominous today I wish I had. I need to sit and I am quickly offered a chair which I gratefully sink into. How am I going to get through today? My words come out thick and unorganized and I feel stupid... what did I just say? I am able to meander over and chat with our gracious host Jeff whom I have spent time chatting with on the phone a few hours before coming out. He is a wonderful, intelligent and an insightful friend as we talk about my journey, one he is all too familiar with. Suzanne was his wife, an inspiration to all she came in contact with - a strong, independent woman whose impact on her student's lives and their education will continue on even though she could not. She passed away two years ago in May of breast cancer and so I will dedicate these blogs in her memory. Bless you Jeff for your wonderful warm heart and thank you for sharing your memories with me and offering your help.

I get a chance to talk to all of the guys and besides the fact that we are all older (me being the oldest) I know them all by name and hug each one as we meet making sure I am not squeezing too hard.... has it really been 16 or so years? We talk about what we are doing and I am amazed that I am one of few who still has the same 'first' job out of college... but then, there has been so many changes in our working world since we graduated. My head starts to clog up and I need to sit down again.... Stacey joins me on the deck box and we get an opportunity to chat. The personalities are what I remember and I feel comfortable being there.... if only my head would cooperate. Shelley is getting the BBQ ready and Jeff is taking orders while the kids are pulling themselves out of the pool. We can all see that the thickening clouds are darkening quickly and we can hear the boom of thunder in the distance. I get William to help me grab out stuff to take out to the car and I can see everyone else has the same idea. The hamburgers are cooked and just in time for the heavens to open once again today to drench the city. We are now all indoors helping ourselves to the burgers, salads and treats brought by the guests. The food has a magical quality to it and i feel my strength pick up... the cloudy head is starting to dissipate along with the clouds outside.

Jeff has an amazing movie theatre that he built downstairs and the children gather there to watch 'holes' until the power goes out. No worries, the neighbor has a generator and in no time the guys have the generator going and the kids are back to watching the movie. I am chatting with some ladies up in the kitchen and feel out of sorts but find a conversation with Steve's wife interesting. I know that my journey will involve times where I wish I wasn't thinking about where I am at in my life.... I am distracted by my thoughts and my fuzzy brain and know that I need to leave. We finish our conversation when Steve pops into the kitchen and I head downstairs to retrieve my children. Lydia is upset - she is liking the movie but I am feeling really bad at this point and need to leave. She understands and the kids get themselves ready to go.... others are in the process of leaving and I weave myself around and give hugs and goodbyes. Jeff walks us down the driveway and I turn to hug him and pat the tiny dog he is holding with great affection. Thank you for being a wonderful host and a tremendous human being.... I am honored that you invited me out to your home and shared with me your deep insights. I can see what Suzanne saw in you.

William is perturbed and begins to kick up a fuss in the back seat and is now yelling at me - I tell him firmly that I will not put up with it and tell him to be quiet. He obeys, I think he realizes that I am not well and sits sulking quietly. The sky is still dark and ominous over our house as we pull in. Max and Paul have spent the afternoon watching TV or napping and the kids join them on the couch. William is upset now that he is unable to get on the internet and comes downstairs to reset the modem I am on the internet with. He gets a quick 'don't touch' and he heads upstairs in a foul mood. His usb wireless is not detecting the modem downstairs but I am too tired to bother.... he will have to wait until tomorrow. I check my mail and then head up to bed... I am exhausted and Lydia is already getting in to my bed and cozying in. I give her a hug and try to find a comfy spot to nestle in to.... tomorrow is another day....

No comments: