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Libby's Journal - April

April 2

Well about an hour after I wrote that last journal entry -- while I was still floating around the house feeling warm and fuzzy and good about myself -- my mom called to say Grandma was taken to the hospital.

I drove out there immediately and went straight to the hospital, and even tho mom had tried to prepare me for what I was gonna see, I still wasn't prepared when I came into the room. I had never seen Grandma not wearing her dentures for example. I had never seen her without her hair fixed. Mostly tho, I had never seen her look back at me vacantly, not knowing who I was.

And when she did seem to recognize me she called me "Maggie," which is my mother's name, and asked me if I'd done my homework. Grandma has called me Maggie before but it's just when she's fumbling thru all the girl names in the family trying to get to mine. She always did it in order too, starting with my mom and going in succession from the oldest granddaughter down to me -- but she always knew it was me! I sat there holding her hands and trying not to cry, but I am terrible at that and tears were just streaming down my face -- and that's when she recognized me, squeezing my hand and saying "there, there Libby" like she did five million times when I was growing up crying over one thing or another.

The first two days or so were the worst. She was hooked up to breathing apparatus much of the time, not a ventilator with tubes down her throat, but just an oxygen mask and a pump which forced the air deep into her lungs and forced a deep exhale. The doctor said part of the problem was that her lungs weren't working hard enough to expel the carbon dioxide and that the CO2 buildup was what was causing the dementia. That was the first time we realized that her mental state was just a temporary result of her physical condition. Nobody had really told us that the first day or so. Everyone was so focused on her physical situation and what was scaring us so much was that she seemed like a person with Alzheimer's.

So now, a few days later, she is stable physically and being moved to a transition ward where they get you ready to go home, and most importantly she is back to her old self mentally with her sharp clear eyes and her witty sense of humor and her opinions about everything. This morning she was watching CNN and explaining to the woman in the other bed the whole history of the Arab-Israeli conflict! That's my Grandma!

I'm gonna stick around here a while longer to help out. Mom and Anna both have jobs so I can be at the hospital all day if I need to and I can help out at the house and by going to grandma's house to water her plants and feed her cats and get her mail and stuff. This is the most useful I've been to anybody in a long time. Mona loves me and "needs" me emotionally, but she doesn't need me to do anything for her like this. I cook and clean and so on, but she can get along without me in that way. I miss her desperately of course and I miss my own home and bed, but it is also pretty interesting being home in the house where I grew up, sleeping in my old room in my old bed.

Of course, I've been at my mom's house hundreds of times but that has been when visiting with Mona. When she is with me we sleep in the "guest room" which used to be my oldest sister's room and it has a big double bed in it, while my old room just has a single bed so we never use it when we are here together.

And while mom and Anna are at work and if I am not at the hospital or running errands I am here at "home" doing things. It feels different that when just visiting.Another interesting thing: normally I can't sleep alone. When Mona is away on a biz trip I usually go over to Margot and Jayne's and sleep in bed with them (nothing sexual if that's what u were thinking -- I just need the company), and since Andrea and Dana have been staying with us I have done the same with them that one time earlier this year. It wasn't enough that they were in the same house, right down the hall in their room. I wasn't comfortable sleeping unless I was right in there with them. But here at Mom's house I have been sleeping alone in my old bed just fine. One night I slept with Mom and Anna, but it was only cause we were watching movies and I fell asleep there.

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April 5

I forgot I wanted to write about my Easter experience last Sunday. We went to the church I grew up in and there were several people I knew who it was nice seeing again. I go back to that church now and then when visiting home, so it was not the first time I'd been back for years or anything.

It's a lot bigger than the church I go to at home, and much more traditional. All the old-line Catholic stuff, no inclusive language, etc. But I'm pretty flexible about that stuff. I just take in what is good and filter out what is not.

But the thing I wanted to write about is that I had another of my "serendipity" moments in which I feel blessed by some little thing that happens. (I have written about this on my Spirituality and Prayer pages.)

This was, of course, just a couple days after I'd gone home to be with Grandma (who continues to get better by the way), but at that moment she was still pretty bad off and when the priest asked for whom we should pray I spoke up and told about her being in the hospital and asked for prayers. I managed not to get too choked up to speak, but the tears flowed like a faucet.

And then immediately afterwards this nice thing happened. In the pew in front of me there was a couple I didn't know and they had a little 18-month-old Korean girl whom they had apparently adopted. I watched them and felt good knowing that there was always the option of adopting for me if things don't work out otherwise.

And this little girl was very beautiful and she started staring at me with a calm expression on her face. Her mom was holding her on her shoulder and so the little girl's face was looking backwards. Right at me. Would not stop looking at me. I smiled back and flirted with her, but she didn't really respond - just kept serenely staring back at me.

We were singing one of those beautiful Catholic hymns that sound really good when done by the choir, but not so good when sung by the congregation cause us ordinary people can't hit half the notes And I heard a woman with a perfect voice singing right behind me, as if she were singing just to me. And at the same time these little black eyes staring into me from the other direction, never looking away, hardly blinking.

And suddenly I felt a rush of emotion flow through me, as if there were an electric current going from that baby's eyes, through me, to the voice behind and then back again in a wave in which the voice and the eyes somehow belonged to the same entity. It was a Serendipity Moment, in which everything that happened did so "by chance" and yet perhaps not entirely so. What impulse moved each of us to sit where we did? Might The Spirit have brought us together with a nudge here and a whisper there? I have been in situations a few times when the fact of me being there right at that moment became important to someone else. And looking back, I knew I almost didn't end up in that spot at that time had not this happened or that happened.

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April 6

Okay, everyone who is tired of hearing me talk about infertility, religion, death and hospitals raise your hands. I thought so. Well, now I will reward you for your patience by talking about SEX.

I have had sex on the brain (and other parts of my body) this weekend cause Mona and I were separated all last week -- and tomorrow I am going back to my mom's house for another week. So when I got home Friday evening Mona leaped on me and I was very glad to be leaped upon. We have been in the sack quite a bit this weekend and now, Sunday evening, certain of my body parts are rather tired and sore -- but they are happy and quite willing to go at it some more tonight cause tomorrow morning I drive back to Mom's house. My body parts know they got all week to recover!

So this afternoon while Mona was having a little snoozy, I added some stuff to my Sex Page answering some probing reader questions about lesbian sex. For some reason, that page gets more hits than my pages on spirituality or mental illness.

Anyways, I was reminded to write more about sex because, well, we did several specific things this weekend. "Mr. Microphone" was involved, as was the special thing I do with my chin . . . and the thing which our closest friends are occasionally lucky enough to observe. It was a busy weekend!

So for those of you who are now Very Curious about just what the heck I am referring to, take a look at this new section of my Sex page. But don't go there if you you are easily offended by mildly explicit descriptions of girl-on-girl sex, okay? I wouldn't want to upset anyone.

Now the rest of you, let's talk about theology. Now the Apostle Paul wrote in the first letter to the Corinthians . . . he wrote that . . . um . . . is anyone there? Now where did they all go?

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April 10

We are talking to various doctors about the possibility of me taking Pergonal. Some people might say that is is the most logical next step forward in our situation. Others might say that if you are clinically crazy and are already white-knuckling it through Depakote withdrawal, why muddy things up by throwing Pergonal into the mix? I say: Amateurs.

You may have noticed that I have not been as eager recently to add info to my Pregnancy page. I could say something about it, but it would be, at this point, repetitive.

Okay, so here's what matters: I am back at my mom's house and spent most of Monday & Tuesday visiting Grandma and running errands for her. She is doing really well mentally and emotionally. She just has a few things going on physically that the doctors are concerned about.

She looks more frail than she actually is. My grandma is a little thing -- barely over five feet tall and doesn't weigh more than a bird. She even looks like a bird and had the metabolism of a bird -- always moving -- flitting around-- and chirping away the whole time. They can't keep her in that hospital bed, and she won't use the wheelchair. She has to wear the oxygen tube under her nose so she wheels the oxygen tank around the hospital corridors, chatting it up with the more lethargic patients on the floor.

By the way, if you have ever wondered why I am such a chatterbox, well, it's genetic. Skipped a generation tho. Mom is more quiet and steady and sensible than either her mother or her daughter. Well, at least this daughter. I guess my older sisters are a lot more like my mother than they are like Grandma. I'm the only one who got her genes and we are trouble when we get together.

When I was in college and at whatever stage of my drawn-out nervous breakdown, Grandma took me to New York City and we had a great time. But we had no plan for what we were doing . We just walked everywhere and took the subway lots of places -- often in neighborhoods where two white chicks shouldn't go alone (tho we had no problem at all) -- and we didn't see a single Broadway show and we didn't go to the Empire State Building or to the Statue of Liberty, but somehow we sure had fun. With No Plan.

Grandma has gone her whole life without a Plan, but she has lived life well -- and that is what you are supposed to do with your life. Nobody knows why we are here. Nobody knows if there is a God. (Some people think they know, but they don't).

But there is one thing we can all know for certain. And that is . . . (drumroll please) . . . it is a Gift to walk the face of this planet. We are blessed to have our scant time here, breathing this fine air and seeing with these amazing eyes the beauty that so surrounds us that we cannot help but step upon it.

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April 17

Man, the weather has been great the past couple days -- suddenly in the high 80s after a really cool spring so far. And it is driving me NUTS cause I am not home cavorting naked in my garden where I belong!

No, I belong here too. We got Grandma moved back to her little house and she is very happy to be there. She is still using the oxygen 12 hours per day, mostly while she sleeps. I stayed at her house one night, sleeping on the couch, but it wasn't really necessary.

Anyways, I'm glad I did this and I'm coming back to check on her regularly, but Thursday I'm going home to my sweetie and I'm gonna stay put for a while!

Sure hope this great weather holds. This is my kinda weather and being here so much really makes me appreciate all the open, private space I have back home. When I was a kid I occasionally sneaked outside naked in our back yard to soak up some sun or let the rain fall on me, and there is a little bitty portion of the back yard that is private enuf for that -- but only after the leaves are full.

Of course, Mom and Anna have been accustomed to my naturist habits for years and it is no big deal at all with them. When they visit my house I don't dress, but while at their house I mostly do. The front part of the house seems too close to the neighbors to me nowadays, and there are a couple of adolescent boys next door who's momma prob wouldn't appreciate me putting on a show.

The back part of the house is okay -- the kitchen and family room. I tend to be undressed early in the morning eating breakfast and then sometimes late in the evening watching some TV in the family room, but the rest of the time I dress like a "normal" person.

But after living on so much open land, especially in this weather, I have felt extremely confined here. I want to be home where I don't even hafta think about it, I just go outside as I please. Heck, I can walk way over to Jayne's if I want. When the construction guys are done at Dana & Andrea's I will walk over there if I want. I haven't walked up to Jack's little house yet, not naked while he was home anyways, but that is only cause he hasn't been there that much. I no longer dress around him when he visits our house.

Anyways, I'll check it out in a couple days when I am home where I belong!!!

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April 19

I'm  home!!!!!!!!

And boy do I feel good about it. I got home yesterday (Thursday) mid-afternoon and Mona took off work early so she could give me a proper welcome. First she "welcomed" me in the kitchen and then I led her outside so's she could give me a really really good welcome outside on the grass in this amazingly beautiful weather we've been having all week.

We ended up under the magnolia which was so wonderful cause it has been in peak bloom this week and the petals have slowly begun to drop. Magnolia petals are among the most sensuous things God made when She created our world.

So we were under the magnolia making love in Mona's favorite way, which meant I was on my back looking at the sky with the sun in my face, filtered thru the pink blossoms on the tree. And blossoms were all around me on the grass and falling on my face and on my chest even at that moment. I saw and felt them land on me and each was an individual experience, and all the while I could look down past them to Mona's blue eyes and wild orange-red hair down there between my legs, and all I had to do was look up at the magnolia blossoms raining down on me and smile up at God, who I'm pretty sure knows how to have a pretty good time Herself.

Today I spent all day outside. I finally got my not-so-early peas in the ground and moved two rose bushes that weren't getting enough light. Had a nice bath in the afternoon. Got some more loving when Mona got home (this time in the bedroom cause Dana and Andrea were also home). And now it is about six-thirty. I've got dinner in the oven and Jayne and Margot are coming over any minute so we can have a nice little party. I plan to do a lotta dancing!

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April 30

Right after I came home a week or so ago it got cold and rainy and stayed that way, but we are starting to get some nice weather again today. I am eager to do garden stuff and hafta hold off on most of the fun stuff til May anyways. Much of our yard has just been squishy wet. I like that in mid summer when it has been hot and we get a big rain that leaves big shallow puddles in the grass. And then it is hot and sunny the next day and the little pools are bathwater-warm. Then I go out and lay down in them. Lately it has been too chilly for that to be as much fun -- but it is never too cold to have a nice roll in the wet grass.

Well Andrea and Dana's wedding is less than 2 months away!!! We are all very excited about this and much planning and fretting has been going on. Dana is going to wear a traditional white wedding dress with veil and Andrea is going to wear a black evening gown that shows her muscley arms and shoulders. This was my brilliant suggestion and I helped pick out both dresses.

When me and Mona got married, we both wore white dresses, but Andrea wasn't quite comfortable with that but didn't want to wear a pant-suit or tux. The evening gown is just right -- very femme, but also the stark simple black is similar to a tux and with her height it will be a very nice look.

The wedding is going to be on their property, down the hill and over by the ravine. The main part of their house is done, and the construction guys are mostly working on the inside now. But no landscaping has been done and right now it is a mud pit. But by June 15 they should have some grass coming in. Dana picked out a nice spot where the original grass has not been ripped up which is where the ceremony will be. She is unbelievably excited and nervous about this -- worse than I was. We had good weather for our wedding, but rented a big white tent just in case. Dana & Andrea are doing the same.

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