This entire year, so far, has been a runaway ride on an emotional roller coaster, reaching the lows and highs of grief and exhilaration, sometimes within days or hours of each other. In one month I lost my 87-year-old mother and my 13-year-old dog after both had been ill for more than a year. Between the two losses I was introduced to our precious first granddaughter, Clio, and a new dog that have both firmly claimed heart space. One month and ten days after my mom died we managed a wonderful celebration of my Dad's 90th birthday. In addition to all the personal stress, the constant antics of the dysfunctional administration running our national government have kept me on the edge of anger and hopelessness—and that was before the horror, chaos and mismanagement of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The good: We returned Sept 20 from Wisconsin where we spent five lovely days enjoying 4-year old H and celebrating P's first birthday. When we saw P last (in July) he was not walking. Now 2 1/2 months later he is running and beginning to say words. Having a local grandchild has made me more aware of how much I miss out on with my two boys in Wisconsin.
More good: Last Thursday evening W and G stopped over to visit. When she walked in she was holding something behind her back that she extended to Bob and I saying "We have a gift for you." It was an EPT test clearly reading: pregnant. She said she called her Mom, a pathologist in Brazil, and she was skeptical of the accuracy of a "pharmacy gimmick." The next day they took two more tests and all confirmed the same result.
Even more good: This morning we received a call from W's identical twin C (in Wisconsin) who said that his wife J had also taken a pregnancy test on Thursday night and they also are pregnant--with their third child--but didn't want to dampen W and G’s excitement over their first child--so they waited until today to call. Grandchildren seem to be "busting out all over."
The Scary: September 14, the day before we boarded Delta flights to Cincinnati and Appleton, Delta Airlines officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. We have now received information that we will lose approximately $1300 per month of our pension and probably our healthcare and dental as well. Bob is in a better position than some because he worked 20 years for Western Airlines and took his retirement fund from them in a lump sum and has invested it with a professional retirement fund manager. However, even that is precarious because on 9/11 and afterwards we, along with most others invested in stocks or mutual funds, lost 1/2 of that retirement account. We can make it--but we will definitely be rethinking many non-necessities in our budget. Employees who worked all their careers with Delta could likely lose most of their pension. Only a portion will go to the Federal Pension insurance department and it is also under funded and may not have the ability to pay anything to either current employees or retirees. We are in limbo while this all plays out in bankruptcy court.
The Chaos and major inconvenience of losing my computer for two days occurred on Saturday night as it kicked off and on reboot began a frenetic rolling, copying files and links, as part of recovering from "a serious error." My dear son W spent 7 hours yesterday tweaking, fixing and backing-up files in his portable hard drive. It seems that some of the problems were caused by having too little RAM and too many digital photos stored on my computer. Once he gives me the OK that the photos are safely burned to a DVD, I plan to do a major deletion and reorganizing. This computer is definitely showing its age and inadequacies but, in the face of potential financial belt-tightening, I really don't want to have to replace it right now.
I am really going to try to get back into my blogging and connecting more directly and personally with people in other ways as well. I have definitely been a recluse for far too long.