Sunday, September 6, 2009

Conversations with a dying man

This week Manny's health was going downhill...

Yesterday I went to his house after making his favorite meal Corned Beef, cabbage and potatoes...

When I arrived he was in bed... he was sleeping... so I rubbed his arm to wake him up and let him know I was there...

He declared in a raspy voice "I think I am dying" I said softly "I know Honey"
"You do?" "Ya, you have been declining all week" "Do you think I will make it through the night?" "I don't know... Do YOU think you'll make it through the night?"
"I don't know... I don't think so..." "Okay then... what do you want to do?" "I don't wanna go to the hospital" "Ok... you dont have to go to the hospital... I'll stay with you" "Ok... I'm sorry Kid, you won't get paid anymore" I laughed "Manny it was never about the money... I would have done it for free" "I know"
"Do you want some food? I brought your favorite meal" "Ok... just some potatoes"

So I went and got some out of the bowl... It was very hot when I brought it over to him... So I mushed some of the potatoes up and started spoon feeding one to him...
He looks at me... frowns and says... "I'm dying and your feeding me cold potatoes!" I laughed so hard... then teased him "Ok... I'll go heat them up... sheesh... who knew you were gonna get all picky for your last meal..." and he laughed back...
He had a few bites and then started drifting between this world and the next... I sat on the side of his bed, spoon in hand, when he starts talking to someone... looking at them, using hand gestures... I just sat there... Ive seen that happen before and it always fascinates me... It happened with my Mom and Grampa... I find it comforting... It solidifies my belief that there is something on the other side waiting...
Suddenly, he comes back to this world... smiles embarrassed and shrugs his shoulders... as if to say "Oops... you busted me acting crazy"
"It's ok... are you seeing people from the other side Honey?"
"No" he says too quickly and I know he is lying
"Its ok if you do... its common to see those who have already died coming to help you to the other side... Are you sure your not seeing anyone?"
"No" [translation... I am a Marine from WWII and that is too weird to talk about]
"Ok, I gotta go call Sam and tell him I am staying with you..."
"Ok" and he drifts back to the other side...

A few hours go by... I just sit there in a chair, playing with the kitten... watching him, constantly moving... He can't get comfortable... His poor body is full of cancer and he is not on any medication for pain... Its his Marine mentality... He is a tough guy...
Finally by 8pm, he decides he wants to go to the VA Hospital... [Its 80 miles away but I dont care... Its the hospital he wants]
I called Sam to help me get him into the car because Manny can't walk...
Sam comes over and carries him to the car...
On the drive there he says... "You did a great job taking care of me Kid!" "Awww thanks, you better become an angel in heaven and watch over me okay?" "Ok... I'll wave at you once in awhile" I laugh... "Ok" "I'm going to miss you Manny" "I'm gonna miss all of you too" [he means Sam and the kids]
and he drifts off again...
Long story longer...
I stayed with Manny till he was admitted to the VA hospital... "I am going to die here" he states in a whisper by now..."You want to die here Manny?"I need to be sure I understand "Yes" "You dont want to go home?" "No I want to die here" "Ok... I love you and I will be back this weekend if your still here..." He smiles and he is asleep again...
He is still alive... but barely at the VA...
It was THE perfect dying conversation I ever could have had with him... I said what I needed to say, he did the same, it wasn't emotional and sad... it was matter of fact and funny...
It was PERFECT...

Then...

At 3am...

I cried all the way home... because I would really miss 'My Manny Man the Marine'

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Moonshine &

Yesterday my oldest son Kris [27] and two of his friends came up to our house... to ride motorcycles... one of his friends just got a bike...
Anyway... I had already invited Manny for some of my famous baby back ribs... I make THE BEST ribs you have eaten... Seriously... I do... Ask Nurse Pam or Gram Pam they are the BEST!!!

So I was a little worried I might not have enough with Kameron and Kieffer up here also... but I did... Whew...

Wait... that is not the point of my story... The point is 'My Manny Man'...

{For those of you who don't know...Manny is my 83 yr old neighbor who I thought died a couple of months ago because he was in the ICU at the VA Hospital for 2 months and when I found out he didn't die... I have been spoiling him rotten... He said he loved baby back ribs one day and I said "Manny you haven't had good ribs till you've had mine"}

So back to my story...

At 5pm on the dot... here comes Manny with a bottle in his hand... He hands it to me and says "I brought some white wine for dinner" I thanked him and left him with the boys to talk... I was laughing to myself as I walked in the house looking at the bottle...

If this bottle had white wine in it... I was the Pope!!! My first clue was the screw off top... my second clue was the 80 proof title!!! My third clue was the name... OMG... ever heard of "AALBORG AKVAVIT" The Danish National Drink??? Jim? You guys drink this in the Area 51??? Hhhhhhmmmmm??? I was cracking up...

I didn't serve it with dinner... I knew this stuff was more like Russian vodka than white wine... So I waited till afterwards... Hey I didn't want to be rude and NOT serve it yanno...

OH BOY... I think it was 'Danish White Lighting Moonshine'... Whew... one sip was enough! Even Manny takes a sip and says "I feel dizzy' LOL

Kameron took a sip and then said in a Russian accent "Make you strong... like Bull"

Moonshine &

Yesterday my oldest son Kris [27] and two of his friends came up to our house... to ride motorcycles... one of his friends just got a bike...
Anyway... I had already invited Manny for some of my famous baby back ribs... I make THE BEST ribs you have eaten... Seriously... I do... Ask Nurse Pam or Gram Pam they are the BEST!!!

So I was a little worried I might not have enough with Kameron and Kieffer up here also... but I did... Whew...

Wait... that is not the point of my story... The point is 'My Manny Man'...

{For those of you who don't know...Manny is my 83 yr old neighbor who I thought died a couple of months ago because he was in the ICU at the VA Hospital for 2 months and when I found out he didn't die... I have been spoiling him rotten... He said he loved baby back ribs one day and I said "Manny you haven't had good ribs till you've had mine"}

So back to my story...

At 5pm on the dot... here comes Manny with a bottle in his hand... He hands it to me and says "I brought some white wine for dinner" I thanked him and left him with the boys to talk... I was laughing to myself as I walked in the house looking at the bottle...

If this bottle had white wine in it... I was the Pope!!! My first clue was the screw off top... my second clue was the 80 proof title!!! My third clue was the name... OMG... ever heard of "AALBORG AKVAVIT" The Danish National Drink??? Jim? You guys drink this in the Area 51??? Hhhhhhmmmmm??? I was cracking up...

I didn't serve it with dinner... I knew this stuff was more like Russian vodka than white wine... So I waited till afterwards... Hey I didn't want to be rude and NOT serve it yanno...

OH BOY... I think it was 'Danish White Lighting Moonshine'... Whew... one sip was enough! Even Manny takes a sip and says "I feel dizzy' LOL

Kameron took a sip and then said in a Russian accent "Make you strong... like Bull"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vegas story number 1


Above Lance and Kieffer at the Go Carting place


Kieffer and Kameron



The Go Carts




Kieffer after taking his helmet off




Time for practice at the World Mini Grand Prix Weeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hey Ya'all,
Back from racing in Las Vegas at the World Mini Grand Prix... We left last Saturday to put the truck and trailer in line [so we can get a good place inside the gate]
Usually there are 3,500 racers attending this race...
After dropping the truck and trailer off we went to Sam's Town and checked in...
Sam, Me, Kieffer, Kameron and Kieff's friend Lance... We had 2 days to play in Vegas before the racing started... We took the boys over to a cart racing place... They have these really fast go carts... Kameron and Kieffer had the top times of the week... LOL
Afterwards, we went to New York, New York and Kieffer and I rode the roller coaster... Kameron doesn't like roller coasters... WTH is up with that? This is a kid who flies through the air on a motorcycle, 5th gear tapped... but he won't ride a roller coaster? He says its because he is in control of it... Doesn't like it when he is not the one in control... I still think its weird...
Later we took the boys to the 'Body Exhibit' at the Luxor... They loved it... If it comes to your town go see it... Its real human bodies... An Anatomy Book come to life!

Monday - The gates opened and we were allowed in to set up camp at the races...
Tuesday - Practice started... Kieffer was complaining about his wrist all day... When Kieffer complains about pain, I take it seriously... He has a HIGH pain tolerance! So I took him over the mobile x-ray unit at the track... Its free, but they like donations... I have NO PROBLEM giving them a donation... WAY better than going to an orthopedic yanno!
So they xray Kieffer's wrist and say "Oh its your broken wrist from a couple of years ago acting up" Kieffer and I look at each other? We were thinking... Uhhhh What broken wrist? See what I mean... he has a very high pain tolerance! That kid is going to drive me to drink!!!


Stay tuned... LOL

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm HOME... Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am home from the National races in Las Vegas... Had a blast!!! Are you ready for some stories?

Oh boy... the stuff that happens to me LOL...

However I need some sleep...

Missed you guys!! Bunches!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What I wanted to say... but I have been drinking... shhhhhh

Ok... forgive me for this entry but I am 3 sheets to the wind...

3 Ameretto Disarrono's with O.J.


Not O.J. Simpson... orange juice... I did meet O.J. Simpson once but that is another story...

Whoa time out...

3 sheets to the wind... what does that mean anyway?

Where in H E double hockey sticks did that come from anyway?

Was someone doing laundry drunk and lost a sheet?

I mean...seriously?

Ok... never mind... anyway...

Your probably wondering why I decided to have a few 'toddies' on a Tuesday night right?

Well I had to 'play' real estate agent yesterday... Sometimes in life... you have ta be a grown up and sometimes people drive you crazy... yesterday was one of those days...

I won't go into details... just this... I am the listing agent on a commercial building...

this agent brought in buying clients...

I have never met this agent before but I was a little taken back by his dress attire...

Normally.... Real Estate Agents dress in suits... or nice slacks and button up shirts...

however this is in Southern California... so technically anything goes... ok...

Now... imagine... a white guy in his 50's maybe 60's... balding...

Walks in wearing... white tennis shoes, white socks, white shorts - mid thigh,
white polo shirt... collar up...

Message to me was clear...

"Hi... I wish it was the 80's... I just finished watching 'Risky Business' for the 800,000 time,
I wish I played tennis this morning... but my tan says I did not... hopefully you won't notice that... I think I know more than you in real estate... and every chance I get... I am going to act like that for my clients.... and your name is?"

I wanted to say...

"Hi... my name is... 'I think you look ridiculous'... why don't you go sell that car you are driving [1974 white convertible Mercedes coupe] while I talk to your clients... I mean after all... we are 'ALL' ignoring you anyway... I mean seriously... "Dude... WTF?"

Can you guys tell... This guy bugged the HELL outta me...

We were ALL ignoring him... I guess he decided he needed to EARN his commission because he says at the end of the meeting...

"We need to have a meeting on ...."How you decided on your asking price" with a fake laugh...

like I was out in left field with my price...

I wanted to say so bad...

"Ohhh I just pulled the number outta my ass..."

"Really... it was because the numbers flowed together so well... don't you agree... they just roll off the tongue in a natural way..."

HELLO... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Your clients are salivating, wanting to move in next week...

You better shut up before I FIND a tennis racquet and smack you upside the head with it...


Opps... Did I say that?

Sorry it was the laundry...

I am 3 sheets to the wind...

Where the HELL is that other sheet anyway?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How sad... our thoughts and prayers are with the family

We just found out the families killed in that plane crash in Montana were family members of Glen Helen Raceway... [Our hometown track that we race at] When I go to Glen Helen, I always stop in to see Betty Feldcamp, the mother of Bud Feldcamp... She is 80 something years old and I always enjoy visits with her... [Betty called me last year and wanted me to have Bud do my teeth but I had already had the oral surgery with someone else] Anyway, my point was... That
is how well we know the family...

Our thoughts and prayers are with them... We were driving home from Texas when we heard the story on the radio...

First we heard of the plane crash... an hour later they reported about the families with children
on board... then they reported they crashed into a cemetary... and I said to Sam... "Could this story get any more tragic? How horrible!"

My prayers go out to Bud... I can not imagine losing 2 daughters and 5 grand children...

Below is the AP story in case you have not heard...


The Associated Press is now reporting that the plane owned by Glen Helen Raceway owner Bud Feldkamp that crashed in Montana on Sunday contained three California famlies traveling to the Yellowstone Club for a skiing vacation. Among those killed in the crash were two of Feldcamp's daughters and their families.
The victims included two of Feldcamp's daughters, Amy Jacobson of St. Helena, California, and Vanessa Pullen of Lodi, California, Jacobson's husband, Erin. Their children, Taylor, 4, Ava, 3 and Jude, 1, also died in the crash as did Pullen's husband, Michael, and their children Sydney, 9, and Christopher, 7.
Feldkamp, a pilot, was not flying the plane and instead was driving with one of his sons to meet family members for the ski trip in Bozeman, Montana.
The flight was scheduled to fly from Oroville, California, to Bozeman, but after the single engine turboprop plane was en route, the pilot notified air traffic controller he was diverting to Butte, according to an Associated Press report.
The plane ended up crashing just short of the Bert Mooney Airport in Butte. National Transportation Safety Board members are currently investigating the area of the crash - the Holy Cross Cemetery. So far, no cause of the crash has been given.
Butte Silver-Bow Sheriff John Walsh told the AP that there were a few people at the cemetery at the time of the crash, but no one on the ground was injured.
It was the worst plane crash in America since a commuter plane last month fell on a house in a suburb of Buffalo, New York, killing all 49 passengers and a man in the home.
Phone calls to Glen Helen haven't been returned.
The plane took off from Brown Field Municipal airport in San Diego on Saturday evening and flew to Redlands. It then left Sunday morning for Vacaville. From there it flew to Oroville and on to Butte, according to AP reports.