Just Shelley


Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

My father will die today or tomorrow. All that made him what he was died yesterday so for me, he’s dead already and is just waiting for his tired, old body to catch up.

Dad held on to life tenaciously; too tenaciously, as his ending has been neither quick nor without emotional and physical difficulties. My brother and I had to make some very tough decisions, and I have no doubts they’ll come back to haunt us as in the future; they did during the drive home today.

I’ve been by Dad’s side since Friday, only getting sleep Saturday when I came back to St. Louis for a break in the evening and then headed back to Indiana Sunday morning. I knew I was reaching my limit last night, and this morning was told to leave and get sleep by several of the very caring nursing home staff. So, with a prearranged agreement with my brother, I came home, and I won’t be there for my Dad’s last breath; I specifically didn’t want to be. If that makes me selfish, so be it. I shared what was important with Dad yesterday.

I’ve had to let a great deal of work slide this week, and will get back to the sites I’m designing, and the IT Kitchen in a few days. Especially the IT Kitchen–the date for this remains the same, and I plan on doing even more aggressive recruiting next week.

But for the next few days I’m going to take some time, head into the hills, alone, with my new camera.

Dad’s body caught up with his spirit this afternoon.


Night ride

As soon as I finish this cup of very strong coffee, I’m on the road to Bloomington. I was thinking today that the leaves are finally starting to change in our neighborhood, and it is going to be a lovely Fall after all.

I think it’s time for another photo caption contest.

How’s this?

Hey! They found George Bush’s lost service records!

Or would you prefer…

And the two Democratic ducks invited the Nader duck to dinner, to make amends for past anger. Little did the little brown Nader duck know, but he was marching to the firing range…


The problem with file names and titles…

…in WordPress is that if you end up changing the focus of the post and, consequently, the title after having saved it originally as a draft, it still reflects the original title in the file name. This can be confusing to people who actually look at the file name.

(Note to self: Must remember to change the post slug when changing the title before publishing a post.)

Just Shelley


I had a call from my brother Thursday morning that my Dad’s breathing was labored and he wasn’t doing so good. No, not so good. His wife said so, the nurse, all agree – he’s not doing so good. My brother was going to call me last night after seeing Dad and tell me how he’s doing, but forgot. In the meantime I planned another trip over again today, but the weather promised rain and wind, and my little bubble on wheels does not do well on an Interstate in wind and rain; among the truckers who blow past you without any regard to the effect they have on a small car, or the rain they throw into your face. When Mike didn’t call last night, I called and left a message that I’ll come on Saturday, instead.

My brother called this morning and said, no, Dad was on his feet, eating in the dining room though his breathing was extremely labored, but he didn’t look bad. Seeing Dad on Saturday should be good enough. So I’ll go see Dad tomorrow, though these trips are beginning to take their toll. Too many times lately of having to go see Dad because this might be the last chance to see him alive, each time a four hour drive there and back. Each time bringing a plethora of emotions, most not particularly noble.

I have to now start making decisions about when I will and will not respond to an ‘event’. And this is probably the most difficult decision a family member has to make because any of these little crises could be the last chance to see him alive. However, if I continue heading over each time, I am going to continue getting more exhausted until eventually I’m going to get into a wreck and possibly kill someone. And I can kiss the work I have good-bye if I have to keep changing schedules because ‘my father is ill’. I need this work, and the people who have hired me, need me to be committed to the tasks.

After tomorrow, I am going to see my Dad once every seven to ten days (depending on work schedule) and enjoy his company, as is; no longer view each trip as potentially ‘the last’; no more rushing over in the middle of the week whenever something happens.

A year ago I could have joked with my Dad that he needs to make sure to kick the bucket right after I visit, so I wouldn’t feel guilty. A year ago, he would have laughed, and his eyes would have twinkled, as he promised solemnly he would do so. But that was a year ago, this is now.