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Posts Tagged ‘Almanzo’

I’ve been kind of sick for too long a while.  I’d rather be sicker and have it over more quickly.  There is simultaneously optimism and fear inside me – and a disheartened kind of grief.  A good, gracious man I know died on New Year’s Eve; he was only 61.  I’m not sure what’s going on inside my head but I need to watch videos like this and seek out information like you get here in order to continue to have faith in humanity

I have to remind myself there are so many amazing things. 

I forgot to bring my camera on my trip to see Jonah yesterday, so I’ll have to share older pics.  Jonah was a good boy.  He didn’t want me to sing, though, even though he was in a parroting mood.  Andy had on the radio and Jonah was humming snippets of the top 40 music and saying things to himself… then suddenly he’s quiet, moving his thumb easily and naturally into his mouth as he turns to look out the window.  It was a warm day – maybe even 40.  My mother and I were quiet on the ride home as she tolerated my music:  things like Kula Shaker, Paul Simon, Radiohead, and Death Cab for Cutie, this day.  I won’t subject her to Greenday or the Grateful Dead; I know where to draw the line.   It was a good visit tinged with the usual feeling that comes inside when you are driving farther and farther away from your innocent ten year old son. 

Today I made chicken cacciatore and M and I are watching Dick Proenneke’s Alone in the Wilderness.   It’s such an amazing documentary that tears come to my eyes as I watch it.  This man built a cabin in the middle of Twin Lakes, Alaska (where he was the only human) and lived there for thirty years, 1968-1998, until he was 81 years old.  He carved spoons and bowls out of wood in a matter of hours.  He could chop down 40 trees and shape them into useable logs to build the cabin, all before noon.  Amazing things.  He built carriers for food and moss.  Caught fish and avoided bear.  Somehow didn’t go insane even while so literally alone.

The things he accomplishes – the way he thinks, the way he moves through the world — it’s so mind-blowing sometimes I have no reaction but to laugh out loud in astonishment.

He builds tools, tables, chairs;  intricate, near-perfect hinges; neat, even boards for shelves and working surfaces.  He narrates most of the movie, sets the camera on a tripod and films himself measuring, building, climbing, chopping, carving, cooking, gardening.  Everything handmade.  A plane would come only, I think, twice a year to bring him very basic supplies.  Are there still people like him, people who know civilization but choose to leave it, with talent and skill and that true harmony with nature?  I am in such awe of it.  No wonder I love Laura Ingalls Wilder.

For me these people speak of possibility, and resilience, and determination.  

It’s good for me today.  So here are some random things while I make my exit to watch some more about Mr. Proenneke:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

O

Silly Me

Silly Me

O

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ScareMeNots recycle!

The Hudson River in March 2002Rhinebeck NY

Baby Jonah...Looking right at me.

Baby Jonah…
Looking right at me.

Gustav Klimt'sThe Kiss

Gustav Klimt’s
The Kiss

O

my child of the water

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fail

I guess I’m one of those people
who have a difficult time this time of year,
when everything is dark
and the days fly quickly
from one night sky to the next
in a foggy blur of countdown-to-Christmas,
the December rush and push and prepare
and pressure at work to do very well
at a very hard time of year to do well at all.
None of it feels okay to me right now.
I’m panicky, quivering.

I feel beaten down.

It’s almost too difficult to get into the whole Jonah mess but then, after all, this is a blog about him.  Last Thursday the school called to tell us he fell off a chair and had a few scratches on his back — but when we picked him up on Saturday he had a huge bruise on his buttock and a smaller one on his l0wer back.  I guess the nursing department felt they didn’t need to inform us because it was all part of the same incident they’d already told us about, but nobody at his house told us anything either, so we were shocked when he wanted bath and we saw him all black-and-blue.  I would post a picture but for fear of some sick pedophile looking at it for kicks.  As it turned out, the house caregivers thought the nursing department had told us.  They were sincerely concerned and, in fact, the nurse had just checked on Jonah Saturday morning before we got there.

Earlier in the week we’d learned Jonah has been without his Humira because of a delivery problem, and that they’d called his doctor who said it was okay if he missed a dose.  Turns out the “delivery problem” was that Caremark, the pharmacy folks who deliver his meds, would not release the medication until a $2,077 copay was remitted.  After taking a half a day off on Thursday to make calls and figure this out, I managed to get the name of his new Dutchess County Medicaid worker, but had to call about 7 times before I got her.  Usually the phone is busy, and sometimes it rings and rings until a recording says, simply and harshly, “you cannot leave messages in this mailbox.”  Then I had to fax shit over to her.

Then I had to call my primary health insurance company and his school, sift through all the red tape and bullshit, and still have no answer as to why, with primary and secondary insurance, I owe a co-pay of $2,077 for every dose of Humira my disabled son receives.  So, faced with no immediately forthcoming solution, I used my credit card, called Caremark and paid them to get my son his medication the very next day.  Merry Christmas!  And all that money is just a copay, and only for whatever they consider one refill.  Supposedly there are grants you can apply for, and maybe I can see if Medicaid will reimburse me, but at this rate I can afford about one more refill before no more Humira.  I’m working on figuring it out.  Maybe he doesn’t really need it so much; there has to be some other generic medication. I should call my pharmacist cousin.

(Wait’ll I tell you about the non-refundable vacation I booked in November.  Another post).

And to top it all off, my sweet kitty Almanzo is gone.  We haven’t seen him since Monday morning.  I put posters up around our neighborhood (Beacon Avenue near Berkshire Drive, Russell Road, State Office Campus) offering a $100 reward.  Then I put an ad in the Times Union in print and online, and on the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society website.  Damn it, I miss him.   He was just getting so he’d sleep with Jack and lie in my lap so I could pet him.

O

We adopted him from the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in (I think) July of 2011.  He was 4 then and they didn’t know what his life had been like.  I wanted to keep him an indoor cat but it was crystal clear he was an outdoor cat;  he has always longed (incessantly and loudly) to go outside.  I’d rather have a happy cat than a miserable one, even if it means he is gone from me.  He was a hunter — had such fun chasing and catching critters, mice and such (though I always hated when he got a bird).

I’m rambling, my fingers shaking over the keyboard.   I need a little blog break, maybe for a while.

Manzo, please come home.

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“The bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mountain, the bear went over the mooun—taaain…and what do you think he saw?”  ~ Children’s song

I’m the mama over the mountain.  And I can’t help but feel bad for enjoying the view.  If I keep speaking in riddle and metaphor, maybe I won’t have to admit there is freedom and a calm happiness to my life now, and I like that.  I’m going to visit Jonah again with my dad this Sunday, but I skipped visiting him last weekend.

Instead I unpacked boxes from the apartment, did loads of laundry, watched tree surgeons cut up the giant maple killed by Irene, and visited my friend D at dialysis.  I watched Almanzo and Jack get along unbelievably nicely:

Jack’s such a big lummox his ball toy is a basketball:

And Almanzo loves to squeeze himself into boxes he’s a bit too big for:

(Andy will appreciate that, if he reads this.  Put the cat in the box…)

I did normal people things, got a lot accomplished, and felt as good as if I’d rested for a long, long time.

I really miss Jonah.  I was okay with skipping one weekend.

Are those things mutually exclusive?

Either Andy or I call every night to hear how he’s doing.  Lately he’s been aggressive, but they sound like they expect it and it’s nothing they can’t handle.  They like him, even, I think.  They think he’s bright. 

He’s funny, his teacher e-mailed me.  He’s such a pleasure to have in the classroom.  I don’t even care if she doesn’t mean it.  To picture him laughing and learning is wonderful.  I want to know he is happy and not hurting others.  And I’m looking forward to seeing him again; I’ll bring a picnic lunch for Sunday afternoon and hopefully it’ll be dry enough to swing and climb on the playground.

My father wants me to help guide how often he goes to see Jonah, at least for now.  He’s concerned, maybe even over-concerned, about whether his visiting will impede Jonah’s acclimation to Anderson.   My mother, on the other hand, is different about Jonah.  Every ounce of her wants to be with him, as much as possible, all day if she could.  She’s more of the just try and keep me away from my precious grandson type.

The fact that Andy lives five minutes away is key to everyone’s comfort level about this whole thing.  His presence in the same town is more appreciated than he probably knows.

Sometimes I feel guilty because I dare enjoy this new life where I’m not attacked every time I see my son.  I’m the mama over the mountain.  Selfish, maybe.  Surreal, definitely. 

And what do you think she saw? 

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