Tag Archives: duck races

Dad’s Progress

healing therapy

For the many people who have asked….just a quick update on dad. He is doing much better.  He was admitted to the hospital on Sunday for shortness of breath, nausea and excessive sweating. Of course the first thought was his heart – he had a quadruple bypass in 2005 – but fortunately all of the tests on his heart came back clear.

After hearing a lot of wheezing, ER doctors decided to give him a chest x-ray. Diagnosis… and it sounds much worse than it is… “Congestive Heart Failure.” It sounds terrible, but fortunately, after being put on medication he is doing much better and should be home by Wednesday.

When dad, who rarely complains, calls one of us and mentions that “he might need to go the the ER” you know something is up. The awesome Maplewood Fire Department medics and the police officer who arrive at his house were terrific and helped calm his nerves, getting him to the hospital in no time at all. The staff in the emergency room was great and it was oddly quiet while we were there allowing for quick treatment and he got admitted a room in record time!

So…thanks for all the well wishes. He appreciates it and my brothers, sister and I do too.

He should be home in time for the duck race!



My dad is on his way to recovery.  He was sitting in a chair out of his hospital bed this morning when I went to visit.  He had eaten his breakfast and brushed his teeth.  Definitely on the upswing.  The doctors want him up and walking around now.  He wasn’t ready to do it while I was there so I made him promise he’d do it when my sister arrived. Waiting to hear from her if he followed through!

He was gazing out the window talking about what a beautiful day it looked like outside and he was right!  Memorial Day weekend started off a bit rainy, but today, the weather was perfect.  Tomorrow is expected to be the same which is great for the Memorial Day Parade and Duck Races in town.

When we knew how nice the weather was supposed to be, DJ had asked us if he could take Drew to a Somerset Patriot Game today.   They are a minor league baseball team about 45 minutes from our house.  Dave and I debated about letting him take him without us.  It would be his first drive on the highway since getting his license without one of us being in the car with him.  There were two options for him to get there.  One required driving on two highways, and the other was to take Route 22.  If you aren’t from this area, you would not understand the apprehension we have with Route 22.  The best word to describe it would be chaotic.  There are cars merging on and off of it from the left and right.  Jug handles and u-turns every few miles.  There are center islands with many stores, and cars pulling out from all directions.  Traffic lights every few minutes.  Total mayhem!  I have been driving for over 25 years and I still don’t like driving on it!  You have to be aggressive enough, but not overly aggressive at the same time.

Last night, we discussed it and I told him we had to make a decision, either Route 22 where he could drive 45 mph or the two highways with higher  speeds, more traffic and no lights to slow him down.  So after some debate and asking DJ what he thought, the choice was Route 22.  I went to bed a little nervous but feeling like we made the right choice.  He’s going to have to do it sooner or later and I can’t let my nervousness stop him.

This morning, they got up and were getting ready to leave when a text came in from my brother offering him two tickets to The Met’s Game.  So, the decision making began again.  Letting him take Drew to Citi Field by train(s) or sticking to the original plan and going to the minor league game.  I have let DJ go to plenty of Mets’ Games by train, it was having Drew tag along with no adult supervision that made me nervous.  The only problem with making the decision this time, was that I had to do it on my own since Dave was playing in a soccer game and I couldn’t reach him before they’d have to leave.

I finally decided to let them go see the Mets.  They aren’t little kids.  They are totally capable and I know this. Kids who grow up in the city travel this way all of the time.  They sent me a message when they got there and took a photo for me to see their seats.   I love when they spend time together.  Their five year age span sometimes makes this a challenge.  Drew tries so hard to to get DJ to spend time with him and he loves it when he does.  I know they are having a great time.  I have to give them more opportunities to do things like this.  In just over a year, DJ will be going to college and depending how far away he goes, their time together cold be limited so I need to let them enjoy it while they can!


You Can’t Please Everyone

you can't please everyone

I was hoping to catch my dad’s doctor at the hospital this morning so Kathi and I went early, around 8 o’clock hoping we’d get to talk to him.  Unfortunately the doctor visited at 6:45 and we missed him.  Both of us had rushed to get there assuming we’d be early enough but we weren’t.  Fortunately my dad is much more alert today and a lot of the questions we had for the doctor, dad remembered to ask so that was good.  He seems to be feeling much better.  I guess the antibiotics must be kicking in.  He told us that the doctor told him he should be out of there in a few more days.

He was alert enough to instruct Kathi and me on how we needed to wrap all of the prizes for the duck races on Monday.  We met up with my Aunt Dale at his house.  Fortunately, as prizes were collected he piled them up on his dining room table so after getting everything in order, the three of us made a pretty good team and for the most part, they are all wrapped and ready to go.  My brother Tim is on a quest to get the few remaining prizes that weren’t dropped off.

When we were done, we discussed all getting together for dinner tonight.  17 of us.  It is challenging enough trying to get just the four of us to decide on one place for dinner so getting 17 to agree wasn’t easy.  My carb-free cousin preferred we skip Italian, my grandma didn’t want the Jewish Deli, Tim wanted to go to an all you can eat buffet, I wanted to “keep it on the cheap side.”

Dale suggested burgers and salads.  That’s easy enough, but finding a place that will accommodate us all was not!  We didn’t even care if it was fast food.  Kathi suggested Smashburger.  Tim wanted 5 Guys.   We were texting back and forth for other opinions, which just made it more confusing.  Gram liked the burger idea, but her caretaker had no idea how to get there.  Tim got angry that we weren’t going with his choice and stormed out of the house.  Ugh!  His temper is almost as bad as my dad’s!  I am as stubborn as him which always leads to arguments.  Kathi and Chip don’t chime in at all when we argue – which is just as frustrating!!

Finally, we have settled on Smashburger.  Will we all be able to sit together, probably not.  I am sure Gram will find something to complain about.  She is nearly 99, I guess she’s entitled….

It is one of those times when a suggestion of doing something small turns into an ordeal~ that makes me crazy!  We haven’t seen Gram all week and thought that taking her somewhere would be good for her.  She’s worried about dad and seeing us all in person letting her know he’s doing well will be good for her.  We won’t let her go and visit.  It will be too much for her.  He’s on a floor filled with sick, germy people.  She doesn’t need to be anywhere near that!  He should be home soon enough and she can visit him then.


Everything’s a Coincidence

coincidences and messages

As I drove to get my rubber duck tattoo yesterday, I was still debating whether or not I should go through with it.  I knew how much I wanted it, I was just unsure of the placement and whether or not it should be in a place that would be visible to everyone.

I found Ali, the tattoo artist through my friend Judi, who referred me to her.  Judi and another friend have both gotten them done by Ali and with their recommendation I decided to contact her a few weeks ago.  I saw some of her amazing work and thought that my “cute little duck” would be quite minor or insignificant to her.  When I told Ali about it and why I chose a duck, she shared a story with me.  Her mother’s name was Ping.  Some of you might know that there is an old story titled, “Ping, the Little Yellow Duck” written by Marjorie Flack.  She told me that she had a tattoo of a duck in memory of her mom.  I felt like that was a “sign.”

It was about a forty-five minute drive to Somerville where I had it done.  As I put my purse down on the seat, I found a penny laying there.  I put it in my pocket and looked up to heaven and said, “thanks mom,” as if it was her giving me permission.  As I got off the highway and entered the town of Somerville, the song “Burn” came on the radio.  A song played over and over I know, but it was the song that was playing the day I left the cemetery last month, when across the screen of my car radio it read, “ELLIE,” (the name of the artist who sings it.)  Of course, I took it as another sign from mom.  As I drove through the center of town, the first intersection I came too was, “Davenport Street.”  This is the last name of my friend who was the inspiration behind my first tattoo!   Of course, I was looking for signs and all of these things would have happened whether I was searching for them or not.  It still made me feel good about my decision though.

Last night, Drew and I went to my dad’s house to help with the duck counting process for the “big race.”  I figured it was the perfect situation to tell him about the tattoo.  He wasn’t as upset as I thought he’d be. I am 44 years old, what could he really do!??!  It actually got us all talking about tattoos.  My sister wants to get one too.  Possibly a duck like mine, or maybe a green ribbon symbolizing Mitochondrial Disease to spread awareness of her son’s illness.

In the end, I am so happy I did it. I can look at it and remember mom.  Now, when others see it, if they knew her, they’ll think of her too.  If they didn’t know her, they can ask me about it and I will be able to share another great story about my tattoos.