Wednesday, July 26, 2006





Bugger??? No, BogHER...Why not Boghim? BogHER BogHER! Bless you!



I am going on vacation, dear readers, for two whole weeks of bliss... with my husband that poses as a Comedian abroad.
That is, if my husband, can make it home from London tonight... The plane that was supposed to take him home to my loving arms has rerouted itself to Cyprus to pick up some people in greater need than us. When he returns we will not be going to Blogher, nor Bloghim just to a cottage on cliff that overlooks a lake with the most wondrous sunsets in the world.

So, hoping that he does make it home, as I am anxious when he is so far from us, last year he narrowly escaped the bombings in the tubes on July 7th.(all I can say about that is I am so grateful that he is forgetful as he was at the staion at just two minutes before the explosion, and realized he had to go back to the hotel as he forgot a pass, three hours of agonizing waiting to find him safe...)

But as I wait in anticipation for my man, I thought, I would fill up some loose ends from my blogthis past month, to keep you, dear reader, uptodate on the goings of Ms. Pendullum.

Dr. Jekyl has come and gone with a haze of happy well wishers. We had endless dinner parties at our home to welcome our time-traveled friend home. For a week and a half it was party haven here.
He dropped a bit of a bomb on us by letting us know that he is planning one more trip. His last trip before he hangs up the ole bicycle gears...
He is going to cycle from Korea(He will take a boat) to Australia. Australia is his 'training cycling ground' for the great wall of China/the Far East and ending his journey in South Africa. I am not happy with his decision. I know that it is not my decision to make... But still...
Besides the Far East and all the problems in Pakistan and India, besides Iran, besides him doing it ALONE, besides the fact that he is pushing 50, alone on a bike with no one waiting for him at the finish line... Besides all that... there is Africa...
And there are a great deal of wars that are not even mentioned here...
A friend of mine who is working as a prosecutor for the UN on crimes against humanity was nearly murdered there just a few months ago... and that was with an entourage...
Not a lonely westerner on a bike with perceived disposable income...

As you can see I am worried... And the condescending 'he knows what he is doing' is not going to get you far in this gal's blog...
as 'All the power to him' 'Good on him' seems like hollow by yours truly.
My question to him as he left for his plane bound for Korea was 'what are you running away from?' and as he laughed sheepishly, he said 'Good Question, good question!'

Harvey and I went to see Rita. It was horrible. I have experienced 10 friends of mine who have all died from this horrible disease but none were as bad or as helpless as young,dear,sweet,Rita.

When we entered the room, we were greeted by Alice (go figure?). Alice talked to us as if Rita was not there. In the far corner of the dimly lit room was Rita's older sister who is a nurse. She was writing in a journal and when she looked up... I saw what Rita would have looked like had she the opportunity to turn 50. The possibility of what future wrinkles and fuller figure will never be there for my dear, sweet friend who had sunken eyes, a bald head and weighed no more than seventy pounds.

We talked, and Harvey brought pictures of his children, he held Rita's hand and told her of his travels and of the orphanage in which he volunteered, he talked about becoming a vegetarian and he talked about his business failing. He stood the entire visit.

I would like to say it was beautiful. It was. But all the while Alice was lyin gon her back, on Rita's bed. Alice was asking about the possibility of meeting Harvey for a coffee, she was talking about her new found religion, that, being a new GP that knew everything. And to me, Alice knew a lot of nothing.

They, Harvey and Alice, talked about anti-depressants together and the lack of sex drive. I could not believe Alice. I could not believe that she was flirting on a dying woman's bed even though she 'lacked sex drive'. Looked to me that she was not lacking in the flirting department... Just a catty observation...

I knew where Harvey was coming from. I knew that he was scared. I knew through his pacing. I knew that he was hurting and trying to find Rita through the morphine and pain. Trying to find the beautiful vivacious graceful woman that he knew. And that is what I wrote in her memory book that Rita's sister asked me to sign.

I wrote that while Harvey was talking about his life, all the while underneath it all, was a whisper of love, that Rita mattered so much in his life, Rita, that you were loved by him, that you instilled a grace in a room, your laughter could feel a room, your insights into the worlds workings will be missed and that, he, wishes you Godspeed old friend.

When we walked out of the hospice, we were reeling with all kinds of emotions. I know that I was hurting and I was angry because I hurt so much. I just turned to Harvey and asked what the hell Alice all about...

I did not handle it well... But a woman flirting??? And dear reader she was...
Asking if Harvey's wife would be threatened by an ex? Laughing and imagining if they had kids? Talking about how Rita's husband had deserted her and only she, Alice and the sister are there...(Blatant lie, as I talked with the sister and she informed that Rita's husband has been there everyday. He also brings their child every single morning///)
People handle things differently I suppose but taking credit and discrediting people for your own benefit... Big no!no! My way I tell ya...
But as I established I was angry. And Sad... And Helpless... Nothing was going to bring Rita back. And through the haze of it all we wanted it to be a big mistake. But htere was no question it was Rita and when there were those brief moments when she was lucid, we saw our friend trying to make cancer okay for us.

We made it home, quite late, in the evening. We arrived home at around 12 am. And my house was dark. My husband and daughter were asleep. Harvey needed to have a cigarette(which we purchased on our walk home. He has not smoked in fiv years) and a beer. I needed a big honking glass of wine...

And as we settled onto my front porch... My daughter comes barreling down the stairs crying...
Momma, Momma, I could not sleep... You were in big trouble... I could feel it... I could feel your heart being sad... Momma... I could feel it...
Are you ok???(May I add, that she did not see us off... She was in playdate heaven and had no idea about our trip... so she indeed felt us and our grief)

My husband turned on the light and all I could see was his silhouette form from our dark front porch, somehow I was calming seeing his wild haired bedheaded being...

He just shrugged and told my daughter 'See... They're home...'
And with that she retorted 'Not Yet!'
And she insisted;insisted; that we take out an old video...
An old movie that I took out about a month ago...Folklore at this stage of our lives...
It was of a time together, Harvey, my husband and I, when we had countless get togethers, before children, before bankruptcies, before cancer...
A time of frivolous humour...

My 8 year old was right! We laughed and laughed, and somehow it grounded us through our history. Funny how old movies do that.

So, that when we departed for bed, we could toss and turn about Rita in our own way. We would have all our own silent tormented dreams about our dear Rita. But all the while a flicker of that video of happiness and laughter played in our subconscious dreams.

We did not sleep well. But we did have the visions of the past dancing in our heads.

The following day, I was walking with my husband and daughter and we were going to cross our favourite bridge to the lake... when... all these police cars swarmed all around us just as we began to cross the bridge...
And to our horror, there was a young woman getting ready to jump. she was all poised to leave this planet, when I diverted my daughter and my dog's attention to look at the train coming towards us instead of the horror unfolding behind us...
By the time my daughter had her eyes turned around, the lady jumper, was wrestled to the ground by 4 cops. I explained that she was not feeling right and that she needed medication so that she would not be hurt. She was used to the restraints needed for a friend that has drastic seizures so she seemed fine with our explanation.

So, as you can see dear reader... I need a vacation. Where my main concern in life is if I put enough sunscreen on my daughter, if I can really body surf the next wave, catch a frog, or see a heron...

I look forward to toasting the sunsets on the lake. I look forward to thanking the sun for a glorious sunny day... I embrace our dinners on the cliff with a bottle of wine, I salute our bonfires, and we will stare up at the stars in wonder... and at the end of it all, I look forward to dragging my butt up the 100 stairs, to our cottage and putting on a old Danny Kaye movie or whatever else strikes my fancy, and watch a movie with my tired husband, my exuberant daughter and my naughty dog...

Ohh... And by the way... During all of the above I managed to reach 40 years of age. My mother called me on my big day and asked 'How depressed are you?' As she remembered how depressed she was when she turned 40....
And my retort that 'I was sad for Rita and all my friends that could not share the moment with me...' I told my mother, as I am telling you...I am going to throw a big party in the fall at a dance hall for my 40th year... I was going to charge $10 a ticket and all my profits were going to the Cancer Society. I skidded into 40. I have had a lot of friends that have parted, that I was so blessed to have known... and I know that they will be with me, when I take off my red high heels, and dance like there was no tomorrow...

I hope I get wireless service up there. And will hopefully check in with all of you.
I hope you have fun at Blogher. I hope to see lots of pics posted on the internet with wild witty remarks. I hope that I can read all your blogs in the morning light, with a sip of coffee and watching the waves from above. But if not... I will have visions of Catch, Nikki, Rhonda, Kirstin, Kim,Kristi, Mimi, Domestic Chicky,Oh the Joys, Motherhood Uncensored, Painter Beach Girl,Mrs. Moghul, Domesticator, Kevin Charnis, Mothergousemouse, Pandamonium and countless others in my head...

29 comments:

Flame Lilly said...

Enjoy saluting the morning sun, walking those 100 stairs, watching the sunsets and having quality time with your family and "naughty" dog! Have a GREAT holiday! AND Happy Birthday!

Babaloo said...

Rita sounds beautiful. My mom died just a year-and-a-half ago from the same disease as your friend is now suffering from. She tried to make cancer okay for us too. I would definitely by a ticket to your party in the fall...even if I don't attend. And? It so happens I'm skidding into my 40th year right now as well. Enjoy those 100-step climbs to watch the sunsets!

Oh, The Joys said...

P - Have a great and relaxing time. I am away from it all too.
Best,
Jessica

Teri M. said...

Two weeks at a lake house sounds like bliss. And just the thing to soothe the soul.

And happy birthday!

Nikki said...

Pendullum - soak up the peace and quite and the wonderful times with hubby and daughter and rest.


We'll still be here when you get back.

pinknest said...

happy birthday and bon voyage! hope you have a lovely trip.

Panda said...

Sounds like it will be a fabulous vacation. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of it all.

And happy birthday, of course.

Misfit Hausfrau said...

Enjoy the calm.

Wendy said...

I love how even at the saddest moments, laughter can make things better, even if just for a few minutes. Have a wonderful vacation.

Kristin said...

Have a wonderful time... a secluded cabin sounds just about perfect.

Mrs. Chicky said...

My friend, I understand your pain. Rita sounds like a wonderful woman (her sister, not so much). Enjoy your vacation and celebrate your birthday by toasting the sunsets and old friends. Cheers!

Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

Ahhh. Very nice plan. Enjoy and Happy Birthday.

Lisa

Catch said...

This is such a moving post...you are such a wonderful person and I love the way you write....I hope you have a wonderful time on your vacation and yes sweety, you do deserve to go and do all the things you want to do! Sometimes things just seem like they pile up on us dont they? Its always nice to get away. Happy Birthday! WHen I turned 40 I had a huge anxiety attack!!! lol..I will never forget it. Have fun, relax with your hubby and your daughter ( and the naughty dog!) lol.

virtualsprite said...

Wow. I hope you have a wonderful vacation... you certainly deserve it. Enjoy the sunsets!

The Silent K said...

That picture is awesome. Happy 40th!

Kevin Charnas said...

What a satisfying post to read...I have chills on my skin and dampened eyes, a crinkled brow but a slight smile and still a warm heart. I felt it all...and feel as though I should thank you.

Happy Birthday and I hope that you have a rejuvenating and wonderous vacation. And I'll look forward to reading you when you return.

Kevin Charnas said...

AND...I CAN'T BELIEVE ALICE WAS FLIRTING! Actually, I can believe it, it just makes me sick.

Painter Beach Girl said...

an incredible experience that you relate in this writing beautifully.

chelle said...

Ooo I hope you husband arrived safely and your vacation is rejuvenating!

Happy Birthday and I adore you party idea!

sunshinedaily4me_wuz_here said...

I hope you are having a wonderful vacation. How relaxing. To get away from it all...with a husband - that would be the fun of it for me. hee hee (since I am single!)

Can't wait for you to get back! So sorry for your friend Rita. You so eloquently describe her. Cancer is such a thief stealing life away.

sunshinedaily4me_wuz_here said...

Oh, I forgot to add Happy Birthday. I just turned 40 this year myself!

Mommy off the Record said...

I was wondering where you were! I am sorry to hear about Rita. That is terribly sad. How interesting that your daughter brought out the video for you all to enjoy reminiscing about the good old days. I'm sure that helped a little.

Hope you're having a great vacation, and happy belated birthday!

mothergoosemouse said...

First and foremost, happy birthday!

That photo is gorgeous. I hope your trip is relaxing, as I can only imagine how much you need some down time after watching your friend leave for Asia and observing Rita/Harvey/Alice in the hospital. All very stressful and worrisome. You're a good friend, but I'm glad you will have some time for yourself.

mama_tulip said...

Happy Birthday. :) Enjoy your time away.

Pendullum said...

Hello All!!! I am back can not wait to visit all of you!!!!
Painter Girl... Where are you...
You have fallen off the blog map it seems...
and off I go to see what ALL of you have been up to....Before they find me in the darkened computer room like a junkie getting my blog fix...(Keep the room dark and they will not find me nearly as fast...)
(while the troups are occupied with unpacking the new toys they have both acquired...)

Nikki said...

You're back!

Hurray!!!!

Quick, tell me a story.

kim said...

Im glad youre back and I hope youve rested well, it was really needed wasnt it ? Congrats on gracefully reaching 40!! *big hugs*

While I read your posts I always feel so connected to you... you write everything with such feeling and detail ... I want to hug Rita, console Harvey, kick Alices ass and sit on the cliffs and share wine with you.

Some day I hope you can venture west , I would love to show you San Francisco and Sausilito.. the great Pacific ocean and the Golden Gate.. theres truly nothing in the world like it :)

Mommy off the Record said...

Hey! You're back...Hope you had a nice trip! I want details...details :)

Pattie said...

That is a beautiful picture...so relaxing. I hope you are having a nice vacation..looking forward to your return..... :)