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Sunday, February 21, 2016


My dear friend, Sally, was here for a week and just left yesterday.  Sally and I go way back.  We used to work together and in the late 1980's, we both went through divorces, and rather bonded over that. And though we have kept in touch, I haven't seen her since around 1999, so we had 17 years of catching up to do!

Between catching up, we caught some sights including these manatees, lazing about in the bay:

The manatee in the forefront is rolling over, you can see his flippers.
We also did some shopping, went to the beach and all around had a great time.

Another visitor showed up in the early hours of dawn on Friday when I was startled awake, and saw my digital alarm clock flashing the time "12:43" a.m.  Now the thing was flashing, like it does when there is a power outage or power surge -- but when that happens it's always "00:00" that is flashing not "12:43".  So this is rather odd.  And odder still, I remember having woken earlier to see the time as "1:48" and falling back to sleep.  So basically the clock went backward in time and stopped and started flashing...  Odd, that.  I turned on my nightstand light and reset the clock to the right time, which was 5:48, and then I turned off the light, laid back down to try to catch some last minute sleep, when suddenly a lamp in the kitchen turned on.

And it was not just any lamp, but a lamp that Bob had painstakingly restored long ago.  That lamp stayed on.  It didn't just flicker.  It just snapped on and stayed on, causing both Kona and Ripley to look up and regard the light coming from the kitchen.

I got up, thinking maybe Sally was up already and had turned the light on, but no one was there.  I turned the light off and noticed the microwave which also has a digital clock was working perfectly, no flashing numbers there.

And then I knew it was certainly Bob who was paying me an early morning visit.

That day, Sally and I hit the beach, but before we left the house, Sally called out, "Bob!  We're going to beach!  You wanna join us?" And we both laughed.

At the beach, we rented a cabana and while Sally went on a long shell hunt, I lounged and read a book, looking up occasionally to admire the endless Gulf of Mexico and, above that, the too blue sky without a cloud in it.  I asked Bob to give me a sign that he was there with me, something like maybe a cloud or a bird ---  And a few minutes later, I looked up again to see one small wispy cloud had appeared, directly in my line of vision and that cloud quickly formed into the shape of a face, then, just as quick, disappeared.

Then Sally returned and we were pretty much dive bombed by a flock of seagulls.  Though that could be maybe explained by someone nearby having food.....

Right now, I'm resting up for my next visitor, Jenn, who is due to arrive in March.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Chris Transferred

So, the news today was that Chris was transferred to Kindred.  Now, Kindred is a speciality pulmonary hospital which I am well familiar with because Bob spent about a month there back in 2010.  They are experts with weaning off ventilators and treating severe pneumonias and other pulmonary issues.  Bob had pneumonia and a pulmonary embolism and I remember thinking (upon noticing the other patients there) that Bob was doing better than most of them. Kindred does tend to take in the severe cases.

I spoke with Chris's daughter today and she told me that Chris is not doing very well at all.  She is very bloated and has a huge gaping open wound in her stomach -- the latter caused by an infection that set in her feeding tube.  The smell from this open draining wound was so bad in the room that the daughter had to wear a mask to keep from gagging.

Chris is not coherent. And seems to be "drifting on and off".  Her urine is orange, and they are suctioning green gunk from her lungs.

The daughter was not able to get much information from the one nurse present and could not find a doctor (no surprise here, as I had the same problem when Bob was there.) So the daughter did not get much information as to Chris's status....

I do know that Kindred is the only facility I ever had Bob admitted to where they asked on admission if I wanted to issue a DNR. On admission! jeepers...  Of course, I declined.

I also remember when Bob was discharged and transferred to Acute Rehab that the transport driver told me that it was "pretty rare" to pick up someone alive from Kindred as usually patients there check in but don't check out...

Prayers, people.  If you have a moment.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Goodbye, Bobmobile

Yesterday, I sold The Bobmobile.  I sold it back to the dealer whom we had bought it from, the same one who gave me the $30,000 offer on the phone. And they were true to that promise.


I also donated Bob's power chair.  I'd been wanting to do this, but not sure how to get it to the right type of person who needed that type of specialized wheelchair.  Turns out the company I sold the van to, also sells/repairs power chairs and has many contacts with local charities and often donates chairs to folks in need who cannot otherwise afford them.  The salesman told me that they would be happy to refurbish Bob's wheelchair and find it new home with the right person who otherwise couldn't afford it.  So, one of the employees drove me home (in the Bobmobile) and picked up Bob's wheelchair.

It was bittersweet.

Sweet, because the 30G will pay off my Honda Fit, and then some.  And I've checked the power chair off my list of things to do...

Bitter, because every time I get rid of something that was Bob's, I feel like I'm erasing him....

In other news, today I'm expecting Sally, a long time friend from up north, who will be staying here for about a week, and I am looking forward to it, and especially looking forward to having company on Valentine's Day, which will be hard for me, because that day also marks our one year anniversary of moving into the new house.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


So, this is weird....  When I posted my last blog post, I was rather shocked when I clicked on the "View Blog" button and up came my blog, with my new post, and I saw that both Boomer and Zenith's photos were gone.

Yes, they were missing. Both of them.

Which is really strange since I know I did not remove those photos and no one else has that kind of access to my computer or password, etc. In addition, nothing else was removed from my blog, just those two photos.

I do know that a couple of weeks ago, I had contemplated removing both those pictures because they rather made me sad to see them there, but then I found I just could not bring myself to do it.

Now the photos have disappeared and I can only think of 2-3 possibilities:  I did it my sleep (Ha!) or  I have developed memory loss problems (I hope that's not it) OR it's Bob's handiwork....


I must say, that sometimes Bob seems to be a busy guy over there on The Other Side.  Just this morning, while I was thinking about writing this post, about Signs from Bob, the doorbell tinkled.

And I mean tinkled.  Not the real brrrrr-RING that it usually makes, but a tinkle.  And I know it was the doorbell that made this sound as Kona went nuts barking at the door.

Our old fashion mechanical doorbell.
This is not the first time the doorbell has made a small tinkling noise and, upon opening the door, I find no one there.

And this never happened while Bob was alive.

Speaking of doors, while I was waiting in the shrink's office, Kona started growling -- a low ominous growling --- which is very unlike her when we are out in public, heck, it's very unlike her at all, so I was quite startled until I noticed that Kona was looking at the front door to the office, the door that leads outside into the parking lot, and that door had slowly opened a crack. Then Kona barked. So I got up, opened the door fully, and no one was there....

Then there's the back gate, last week, when I stepped outside to see if the rain had stopped enough to take Kona out for a walk and I heard, distinctly, the sound of the metal gate latch clicking open, and then the gate swung open wide, and I nearly shit my pants -- because, jeepers, I was expecting no one and it was night time, and I ran into the house, locked the door, peered out the window and no one was there.

There have been other signs, over the months, some subtle, some not so subtle. Like Bob's beloved C.Crane radio that flashes (like a wink) at me when I walk through the room, and that's when the radio is turned off. And it does this, at least, once a day, sometimes more.  I've gotten in the habit of just saying, "Hi, Bob!" when the thing winks the digital display at me.

Or the mysterious fortune cookie slip that I discovered in the middle of the kitchen floor one morning, and knowing, full well, I hadn't ordered any Chinese food in I can't remember how long, was quite shocked to pick up this slip of paper and see what it was.  Even more startling was the fact that this fortune did not have the "lucky lotto numbers" on the back of it, which is always the case with the Chinese place we order from. The slip is below:

There have been other things, too, like the night I was talking on the phone with my sister, and we were talking about Bob, when suddenly I heard a noise coming from my office, and when I went into that room, I found a video of Bob playing on my computer screen...

Or another night, when talking to a friend about Bob's artwork, when suddenly all the lights blinked out, and even the phone went dead for an instant, and then everything came back on.

And then there's the occasional strange shadow or reflection that appears on the living room walls.  The other day it was a reflection of a window that quickly moved from one side of the room to the other side, turning the corner onto the next wall before disappearing.  And I had the shades pulled down...  Another time it was the shadow of a head and shoulders of man, that walked across the top of the wall -- our walls are 9 feet high and I ran to the french doors to see if there was someone on our front porch, but no one was there.  And the shadow disappeared.

Or the sometimes strange websites that show up on my computer in the morning (I leave the computer on sleep mode at night, so usually what shows up is wherever I last was) -- websites that have no business being on my computer and usually have to do with gardening (a former hobby of mine) or -- once, an obscure musician singing a song about "finding your creativity".

On Bob's birthday, I was quite amazed to hear the anchor on our morning local news station announce "Today is National Nothing Day!" and for years, this had been a joke of Bob's because a long time ago someone had given him a desk calendar that had all the strange different designated  days (you know what I mean, such as National Artichoke Day, or Walk Your Dog Day, etc.) and on his birthday the calendar said "National Nothing Day".  And all these years, I have never heard anyone mention this, ever, except, of course, Bob, and here it was, on the morning news, with a brief history following of how the day became named back in the 1970's and designated as a day to "do nothing"....

And then there was my friend, Shirley, who wanted to take home a Florida souvenir and especially wanted a refrigerator magnet with preferably a flamingo on it, and we went hunting all over, not finding anything in all the gift shops we went into, and I finally had a sudden inspiration and said, "Let's check Walmart" and when we did, she came out of the store with a HUGE smile because she found not only a flamingo magnet but one with a thermometer on it -- and we had just been talking about how I collected flamingos and Bob collected thermometers.  She bought two.  One for her and one for me. And Shirley looked at me as she gave the magnet, and said, "That's a sign from Bob, I'm not kidding. This is too weird.  And they only had two of these!"

I know some folks may think I'm crazy, and that some of this is just coincidences or computer glitches or whatnot, but I must say, I believe.

I believe.

I believe.

I believe.

And I don't want to stop believing...