Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pedicures and the Definition of Ability

I managed to paint my toenails Opi "Oriental Red" last night during a nice quiet moment with the dogs on the couch after Ian went to work and the kids finally fell asleep. I have to enjoy those quiet nights while I've got 'em! Ian just scored a sweet union job at Yale, so we're pretty much set for life. The benefits alone are amazing, nevermind pension, etc. While he'll still keep some shifts at the bar--that money is just too easy and too good to pass up, especially with Christmas coming--they'll likely be cut back at some point in the future. So for now, with the dogs bookending me in the livingroom, I'll enjoy my home pedicures followed by a little yoga.

I have to find a new nighttime routine anyway. It's playoff season for baseball, and I'll follow the games despite the fact that all the NY teams are out. I usually root for the AL...but we'll see this year. Six months or more out of the year I do yoga in front of a game on TV at night. But I admit it won't be the same this October. I will miss the musings of Ken Singleton, lulling me into statistics nirvana as I arch into upward bow.

Playoff season. Football season. Time for chili and cornbread. Time for more visits to Grandma's kitchen table, where I sat with her for an impromptu breakfast on my way to work last week. While we munched away on pumpkin muffins, she spoke of a good friend who had recently lost another friend to cancer.

"I guess she gave it a good fight," Grandma noted, her own body beating the odds and living with liver cancer that has shrunk considerably in the past year. "She was only in her mid-50s. What a story that woman had, though."

"Oh yeah?" I wondered, mouth full of pumpkin muffin. "What about it?"

"Well, her son contracted spinal menengitis as a child, and both of his arms and legs had to amputated--can you imagine?"

I stared at her, not chewing. No, I could not imagine.

"Because of that, she went on to argue for the importance of the vaccine, and it's because of her work on Capitol Hill that incoming college freshman have to be innoculated against it."

"That's really inspiring and really horrible."

"Well, it gets better. Her son recently competed in the ParaOlympics in Beijing. I can't remember if he's a swimmer, or--well, whatever his event is, he won the gold."

"That is amazing," I said, ready to cry. "Does he use prosthetics?"

"I guess he has them but dislikes using them, so he usually doesn't. He wasn't going to compete because his mother was at that point VERY sick, but his family encouraged him to go to China. So he went. I guess they kept the events on the television in his mother's hospital room. She had been pretty unresponsive up to that point, but whenever his name was mentioned on television, they noticed her heart rate would jump up. After he won the gold, she died."

Happy Tuesday.

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