Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm running out of heroes.

Kirsten died today. She was one of the refractory Hodgers that I looked to and said, "If she can do it, then I can." She was just working out only a couple of months ago and seemed to be her energetic self. She lived in Vancover and couldn't stand the fact that the Olympics were in her town, wreaking havoc on her daily life. She kept telling people to go home. She was very funny.

Kirsten found the Hodge at about the same time I found mine. But she had been through a couple more clinical trials than me in that time. That's basically what killed her. All those treatments, all that poison in your body, it just ruins things in the process of trying to make you better. Her platelets were slammed down by so many treatments that they eventually gave up on her. She went into the hospital and the staff gave her transfusions. By then it was too late. With her platelets so low, the cancer had a chance to really get ahold of her body and it did.

My plan to jump from treatment to treatment is a failure and I know it more and more every day. I now understand what Custer felt like when he took that last dip into the high grasslands of eastern Montana. It's sort of like, "Oh no. What have I done?" Luckily I have more time than Custer. Now, I have heard from some of you that my entries have become more somber. I'm sorry for that. If you don't want to feel that way and I'm making you feel that way, please stop reading this.

My daughter, McKenna, makes bracelets and hair pins out of duck tape. Yes, I spelled it right. Her tape is duck tape and you can find it at Target. It's a cheap rip off of duct tape, the big daddy of any tool chest. The bracelets go for fifty cents and the pins go for one dollar and fifty cents. She is donating all proceeds to cancer research. She'll probably make about six or seven bucks.

McKenna knows. She talks around it every day. It's on her mind and I can tell that she wants to remember us and the moments. I thought she would be the one who can be immune to this. She used to have her own cool, fun world until I came around and ruined it all. I'm really going to miss her when I'm gone. She's the one who is most fascinated with life and because she is, it makes her the most fascinating person in mine.

Her bonehead teacher decided to give the class an assignment to read this story about a kid who's mom died. The kid has this struggle because he is losing memories of his mom as he goes through his life and he is very upset about this. I can't believe that fat slob of a teacher gave my daughter this book to read but he did. He's a fucking moron. Her book report, written in perfect English and exquisite penmanship, talked of her being in a similar situation and I could tell for the first time that my death is on her mind. A rush went through me as I read this book report. What the fuck have I done to my kids?

I'd like to say that McKenna and all my kids can take the place of my hodge heroes. I think they deserve it. I've always admired them. What parent hasn't admired what their kids can do? But it's not quite hero worship. While looking up to them, I'm so damn busy worrying about them at the same time that it just can't qualify. I love my kids. I wish that was enough. One day it won't be enough because I had a stupid plan but it was my only plan and it failed. In the meantime, does anyone want to buy a bracelet?


  1. To start, let me have $20 worth of those bracelets. I have a special use for them.

    As for the somber tone, I suppose that's to be expected. However, that's where I come in. We all have our purposes in life and since you are not up for being the comedic foil right now, I shall pick up that gauntlet and carry forward.

    Not too much in the way of work humor right now. I was recently dealing with a client who allegedly has some anger issues. This is not entirely surprising or unusual as I frequently deal with clients who have anger issues or who are accused of having such issues by the spouse or former spouse. In this particular instance, the other attorney made some vague references about my client hating his ex-wife and how he really needed to get over it. Like the experienced attorney I am, I quickly responded that if the ex-wife wasn't such a bitch she would not treated as such. It occurred to me that I should probably get my client's take on things before I started throwing out my other thoughts on his ex-wife. So I called him up and he matter-of- factly explained that the ex had ticked him off so he took it upon himself to explain to his 13 year old why his mother was such an evil person. I calmly listened and immediately called the other attorney back and my guy is now going to counseling.

    Just finished my annual January of abstinence. I honestly don't remember when or how or why I started doing this, but I imagine it was some drunken bet made on New Year's Eve when I was still dumb enough to make drunken bets. For some reason, I "forgot" to abstain last year, but this year I was back at it. It was darn nice of the weather g-ds to wait until February 1 to dump 20 inches of snow on us. I spent the storm looking out the window with a beer in my hand.

    Like most guys I hate to shop. First off, I'm cheap and shopping involves spending money. Secondly, you know what you invariably find in stores? People. I really hate people. Not people I know, strangers. Every single one of them seems like they were put on this earth for the sole purpose of annoying me because they're stupid or to waste my time. I was at the grocery store on Sunday picking up two items. I proceed to the express checkout and there's one guy in front of me. Now he was not one of the idiots who gets in the line for 12 or fewer items with 25 things in his cart so I figure I'm in good shape. Wrong. After the cashier has wrung up his ten items, he pulls out the damn sales section of the paper and starts tearing out coupons for the items he is buying. This goes on for 5 minutes and he saves a grand total of $2. I wrote down his license plate so I can figure out where he lives and have him waterboarded.

    The solution to the shopping dilemma is of course the internet. More specifically, ebay. In the last month I've bought 2 computers, a printer, a float switch for a sump pump, rechargeable batteries, baseball bats, baseball uniforms, and these really hideous red gym shoes that look like something spider man would wear. Not only is everything crazy cheap but I don't have to deal with people and I'm like a giddy school girl waiting for the mail every day. I may need therapy for what is clearly becoming an addiction. I guess I should call my client and find out if his anger counseling guy handles compulsive behavior.

  2. I've been thinking of you, Michael, and hope you are strong and feeling in good spirits. Anything is possible and you'll fight your way through any obstacles in your path. I just ran a 10k on Saturday and the last couple miles were a struggle ... but I finished it. So if I can get my fat body and out of shape ass through a 10k, anything is possible. Miss you, buddy. Keep smiling.