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3:06 p.m. - 2006-07-28

"I NEED HELP"

There were several reasons why I stopped writing back in April and just now came back into the fold.

The main reason was I was tired of writing and being "Uncle Bob".

But when I scratched the surface of why I was tired of writing and being Uncle Bob, two bigger reasons laid underneath.

My Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in November of last year.

And more and more people were telling me that my son was "different".

These two facts laid heavy on my heart.

We began taking Andrew to several doctors/therapists/people who knew more about his condition than we did.

At the same time, my Mom began her chemotherapy.

As the months went on, "Uncle Bob" became more and more boring, much less funny as I knew that while I had made an unwritten commitment to you to entertain you each morning ... my thoughts were really with my mother and son.

Finally two days ago, we were told that Andrew's kindergarten teacher wouldn't be working anymore and that we'd have to scramble to find someplace else for Andrew to enroll in.

Also on Wednesday we received the final diagnosis that Andrew has "autistic tendencies" and "developmental delays". While he's perfectly normal to the eye he's beyond what I had conveniently labeled as "quirky" and "a loner".

In a nutshell, his brain doesn't tick like yours and mine does.

So we're having to quickly find a school where his weaknesses will be fostered and qualified professionals can work with him and help him expand.

We went to a school for "gifted" children yesterday.

Andrew's gifted.

He reads on an 8 year-old's level.

He's five.

Academically, he's the smartest and youngest kid on our street. We know. We've seen it with our own eyes.

I just got home from the Montesorri Academy and while I think he might do okay there, I'm leaning toward the gifted school.

So there's that.


Back in May I went to see my Mother in the hospital because everyone was convinced that this time ... THIS TIME ... I needed to come see her.

She was bald, weighed about a hundred pounds and struggled to lift a can of Diet Coke.

Hooked to about a dozen IVs and catheters and whatever else was jammed into her leathered skin, she looked like a tiny withered old man ... not the youthful, full-of-life Mother that I remembered.

My sister and I arrived on Friday and she didn't look good.

Saturday she looked better.

Sunday, when we left, her cheeks were full of color and when I made a joke about her hair (or lack thereof), she flipped me her middle finger.

My Mom was getting better.

Last night I got a phone call from my sister.

She asked if I had talked to Dad and I said "no".

Yesterday Dad took Mom to her oncologist and the news wasn't good.

The doctor gave her three to six months to live.

He told her to get her affairs in order, asked her if she wanted to stay hooked up to life support and told her she might think about arranging for Hospice because Dad's 68 years old and quite frankly, he's not really trained in taking care of her and has been doing the best job he could since last November.

That was yesterday.

This morning the phone rang at 5:45 a.m.

Dad had gone to her room to wake her at 5 a.m.

He found her vomiting blood.

She said "I need help".

By the time Dad called 911 and hung up the phone, my Mom had passed away.

Roughly ten hours ago.

Mom's last words were "I need help" and Dad's last words to her were "I'm calling 911 right now".

It wasn't a heroic Hollywood goodbye.

It was a terribly sad and sudden way to end a 45-year marriage.


I've been blessed enough not to have anyone truly close to me die.

I've had friends die.

And friends of friends die.

But nobody TRULY close.

Honestly, I'm lost.

I don't know what to do.

I went to work this morning.

I told my supervisor that my Mom had passed away about two hours beforehand.

She told me to go home and I didn't.

I got my work caught up and left around 11:30 a.m.

I met a bride and groom for lunch and sold them on my services and will be performing at their wedding reception in February.

I followed that up with a meeting at Montesorri where I listened to a wonderful hippie chick bestow all the greatness that is Montesorri ... but I didn't hear a word of it.

I got my oil changed, my hair cut, my car washed, my tires checked.

And now I'm sitting here, pouring my heart out to people I've never met.

I should be packing.

I should be calling neighbors and arranging for them to pick up our mail for the next 4-5 days.

I should be doing something ... anything.

But I can't.

I'm carrying on today like it's any other day.

Yep.

It's a typical Friday.

Except for the fact that I'll never hear my mother's voice again and my son is going to be struggling to fit into this world for the rest of his life.

I'm lost.

And I don't know what to do.

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