John Ritter suffered the same medical fate as my late husband, Charles. Thoracic aortic dissection is a wicked medical event that is not a heart attack but symptomatically masks itself as one. So when the EKG gets run in the emergency room, it shows nothing. Since the unraveling of the aorta, which is what TAD is, may have temporarily subsided, no further testing appears called for and the patient is often unwittingly sent home to die. John Ritter’s wife, Amy Yasbeck, chan
Do you remember Fred? My pelican friend who so impressed me with his work ethic and get-up-and-do-what-you-gotta-do-attitude? Yesterday, I noticed Fred in the distance sort of lollygagging in the canal and I thought - what’s that about? Upon closer inspection, I realized the fisherman across the way had brought his boat in and was cleaning his catch. The bonus for Fred was that the extra parts were being tossed his way. Fred is clearly no dummy (nor were his several frien
In the Everglades area of Florida is Chokoloskee Island. Chokoloskee is a gem of a place, anchored by the quaint Everglades City just down the road, across the causeway. The island is small enough and welcoming enough that, during my January here so far, I’ve met the neighbors, and their dogs and cats, and even been invited to dinner. I’ve been up close and personal (carefully, respectfully) with alligators, and pelicans, and all manner of Everglades wildlife. I now know
The steeple of a tiny church across the canal from my temporary digs in southern Florida pushes its tiny cross toward the sky. I’ve been asked to travel to Orlando for a radio interview and then elsewhere for tv, and have to prepare for that, as well as to write almost daily for a variety of media interested in “Hey, God? Yes, Charles.” But I work really hard to be “home” every day I can, at 9, noon, and 5, so that I can sit on a bench beside the water. In a moment, sweet b
I’m currently hanging around the Everglades area and so love a book I’m reading by Bill Lea. The title is “The Everglades” but the subtitle is “Where Wonders Only Whisper.” As fascinating as the Everglades are and as illuminating as this book is, that subtitle first went another direction in my head. Grief has often taken me to a place that’s even louder than my normal high-decibel life. The cacophony threatened to drown out everything else. I may have even sought it out.
I’m sitting beside a neat little canal that runs off the Everglades. The sliver of water is at the moment serving as a runway. A brown pelican I’ll call Fred zooms above the canal and then dives headfirst into the water, first just off to my right. After coming up either victorious or empty-handed (empty-mouthed?), Fred processes the moment and then heads off to my left to repeat his short flight. And in about 45 seconds he’ll be heading back right again. I watched Fred do
My daddy was always a rock for me but never more so than in that first year after both my husband and my mother died, even though that meant he’d lost a wife and a “son.” He was a country boy and a World War II veteran and a bit of an anomaly among his peers because he never drank, at any age, unless medicinal of course. He was also a practical man. He saw no need to monitor his eating intake and, since he lived to be 91, all my sage nutritional advice fell on deaf ears. In
I must have the wisest friends because I am constantly stealing their thoughts. One recently shared with me her perspective of life…that it’s like a deck of cards, constantly reshuffled, re-dealt. Some days you get a really good hand. You might even get two good hands in a row, but, sooner or later, the hand will be lousy. We all know to play the hand you’re dealt as best you can. But, beyond that, my thought is to always - always – appreciate the good hand. And do two th