Jonathon's Closet

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Not tired enough, I guess ...

Ok, so I'm the one who said that I'm tired of teaching "this lesson" - the lesson of life after the death of a parent. But I guess it's possible that I'm not quite tired enough ...

I signed up for "Voices" ... yes, I'll be reading my poem aloud in the high school auditorium.

Every time I get tired of teaching this lesson, I remember how important it is to teach ...


Thursday, April 24, 2008

About the art thing ...

There's a RECEPTION ... with the mayor and the governor and other local dignitaries. And the artists have to be there, and dress up, and be able to discuss their work with anyone who asks.

Great. If I'd have known that I had to dress up and make nice, I wouldn't have signed up - I've got a TON of other things to do with my time. It's not that it's not important - for people to learn about grief issues, that is. It IS important. I guess I'm just getting tired of teaching this lesson.

Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do for that either. It sucks, it really does. She hasn't really had a birthday since my Dad died, I don't think. But it's not like I can do much about it.

Tomorrow my Mom will turn the same age that my Dad was when he died. What a weird thought. Sorta unsettling.

My birthday is Monday. I've been a real jerk lately, a total pain in the (butt). Yeah, I edited myself ... I'm already on restriction for "inappropriate language", so I figured I don't need her reading it here... Anyway, Monday is my birthday, and I doubt we're going to do anything special for that either. After all, I wouldn't want to do anything special for someone who's been a real jerk either.

It's not going to be a great couple of weeks.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Every once in a while, he surprises me ...

Jona has decided to participate in a local art show!

I must admit, I was more than a bit surprised. This is the kid who claims that he can't draw anything! But the opportunity came to submit a piece of art into the local IMPACT art show, highlighting children's mental health challenges, and Jona choose to create a painting.

Jona hasn't painted in years! I have a few of his old grade school paintings, framed and hanging in my office. But since the 5th grade, he's opted out of this sort of thing.

At the first art workshop, he seemed to be intimidated by his surroundings. Can't be easy being the "new guy" in an after-school art program, and having all the other kids know their way around the art studio! But at the second workshop, he fit right in and really got into creating a painting of a tree ... a bleak, stark, leaf-less, black tree against a mottled gray and ice blue background. And then he took the beginning 7 stanzas of his old poem (the VERY FIRST post on this blog!), tore them out, and added them to his work.

I'll post pics after the show (May 3rd thru 9th)

It's quite simple, very rustic ... but awfully effective! Most definately a piece that evokes an emotional reaction.

And, when asked to explain his work, Jona simply stated: This is what life looks like, after your Dad dies ...

Monday, April 21, 2008


ok, so I just drove past the local Home Depot, right? And a pick-up truck was pulling in . Nothing unusual.

Until I read the side of the truck, advertising a business:


Let a Good Man do the job!

Laid Right Flooring, Lansing, MI

yeah, ya all know I blew coke out my nose, right???

Monday, April 14, 2008

YOU can save a life!

April is National Donate Life Month, a time to raise public awareness of the critical need for organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donation. ... Over the years, many participating organizations and individuals found it restrictive to limit special donation awareness efforts to one week in April-especially as the week often conflicted with other observances such as National Volunteer Week, or at times, with Passover or Holy Week. The change to a month-long observance of 'National Donate Life Month' underscores the importance of donation of not only organs and tissues, but also marrow and blood.

The goal is to "raise public awareness of the critical need." The need for...

In recent years, the science of organ transplantation has made great strides. Unfortunately, the process of securing and allocating organs has not matched this progress. There still is a critical shortage of organs. Here are some statistics: * The number of people waiting to receive an organ transplant in the United States is rising. There are now more than 82,000 people on the national organ transplantation waiting list. * Each day, 63 people receive an organ transplant, but another 16 people on the waiting list die because organs aren't available.

Every day, people on the waiting list die because organs aren't available.
There are two essential steps to saving lives through organ donation:
1. SHARE YOUR LIFE. Decide to be a donor.Transplants provide hope for thousands of people with organ failure. In addition, hundreds of thousands more can be helped with tissue transplants. Unfortunately, the need for donors is much greater than the actual number of donors. Your commitment to organ and tissue donation can save lives.

2. SHARE YOUR DECISION. Tell your family. The most important part of deciding to be a donor is telling your family. Talking about donation doesn't mean talking about death. It is talking about the opportunity to give another person a second chance at life...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

One day at a time ...

Being laid up certainly can give one a LOT of time to reflect ... especially once one has managed to have the flow to the brain restored!

A plan is coming together ... slowly, one step at a time ... a plan for the future ... and, for the first time in many many months, it actually seems do-able!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Wow - April already?

These last few months have passed me by. As I felt more exhausted and more ill, I slowly began to hibernate as much as possible. And now it seems as I've missed a considerable amount of time.

Jona, of course, was a typical teen during this time. He went back and forth between attempting to help (perhaps 25% of the time) and mastering the art of taking advantage of the fact that Mom was down for the count (sadly, the remaining 75% of the time). I'm really quite frustrated by the choices he's been making, but we're working on it. At least his grades are solid (4.0 on a 4-point scale) and his attitude at school is good.

It's really quite unimaginable, the situation that arises when an only parent becomes life-threateningly ill. We've dealt with common everyday illnesses in the years since Don's , but to be faced with an emergency hospitalization and all of the unknowns that come into play in a situation like this is really quite surreal.

Attempting to make arrangements for Jona to stay with a friend and ride a different bus and all of those odd details that need to be attended to ... while on oxygen, getting various fluids in various IV's, on major painkillers, barely able to breathe let alone to think or talk, and having my vitals taken by hospital staff every 15 minutes ... well, it's an experience I really would rather not repeat.

And Jona's post traumatic flash-back reaction to my hospitalization certainly didn't help matters any! Luckily for me, midway thru my 9-day hospital stay I encountered a wonderful social worker who actually appeared to have some level of understanding of what a widow and only parent faces when hospitalized ... and she pulled a few strings to get me a private room with a cot, so Jona could stay whenever he wanted.

We'll be trying to get Jona back on a level course - I'm certain it will take a while, he's really quite emotional right now. And I'm continuing to work towards recovery - well, as much "recovery" as is possible. Hoping to gain a bit more strength soon.

And of course, we're looking forward to the State Finals for Science Olympiad later this month!