Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Moon is Beautiful

4:30 in the morning.  It is nice and cool outside, I can see the quarter moon from my back porch over Georgia Highway 67.

A year after Natasha died, I decided I didn't want to be crazy any longer.  Coincidentally, it was also at 4:30 am that I had this epiphany.

I started going back to Alanon meetings.  At last night's meeting the topic was acceptance.  Halfway through the meeting, I shared that, so far, we had been talking about acceptance in terms of alcohol and the alcoholics in our lives, straight from the first step.  But I was thinking about the Serenity prayer.  In the first third of it, we say God grant me the serenity to accept the things we cannot change.

Acceptance is a gift. And it is a gift that we constantly have to ask God for.  I quit asking after Natasha's death.  It was too painful to revisit that everyday, sometimes many times in one day.  I felt I would be better off just struggling through.  It was not that I thought I could do it better on my own, I just didn't think I could do it at all.

That was kind of like turning up the radio, rolling down the windows, flooring the gas pedal and taking my hands off the steering wheel.  As much fun as it is to do that, it never ends well.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

One year ago today

Natasha Suarez  
January 8, 1986-September 2, 2011

I don't know why God took you from me. But knowing would not replace the pain of your absence.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

Adrienne, driving by, trying to find a parking place
I am waitingat  Vinnie van Gogo's Pizza in Savannah while Adrienne park's the car .  There is a certain incongruity in the atmosphere.   The wraith like waitstaff stalk around the tables on their fleshy, ink covered stilts from Hell legs, their Betty Page bangs slick with sweat of the humid Savannah air.  Danzig era Misfits (from a cassette!) drifts from the sound system in the bar, adding a 1980s-ish, punk/hardcore cachet to the ambiance.  Inside the bar looks like the bar where I saw him perform with Samhain.  The bar and tables are surrounded by customers wearing University of Georgia jerseys, the women sporting shiny, golden open-toed sandals with bright pedicures and men in crisp denim and khaki shorts.

Mercedes often strikes a similar pose 
There is an attitude of tough, almost aloof like behavior from the crew that works here.  The hostess cautions the Ralph Lauren clad older couple next to me, "The waitress may be a few minutes, but she is here."  When she arrives, she is solicitous and congenial.  Obviously, she isn't so hardcore that she doesn't have bills to pay.

Issac seems to have moved on after having done its damage to Louisiana.  This time last year, Hurricane Irene had mysteriously made it's way all the way to Vermont, resulting in extensive flooding, damaging or destroying many of Vermont's historic and beautiful covered bridges, cutting off several rural towns and causing at least three deaths.

During the days of high winds and down pour, Natasha was struggling to get treated for the pain and stiffness in her neck.  Sent home from the emergency room  of the hospital in Middlebury with pain killers, she resorted to calling 911 and was taken by ambulance to the hospital at Fletcher-Allen Healthcare, in Burlington.  By the time it was discovered she had an abscess in her spine, the hole in her spine that should not have been there had done a pretty thourough job of flooding her system with infectious sewage.

Without medical attention, the body's weapons against infection are few, fever and flooding.  As her temperature rose, Natasha's began producing copious amounts of fluids and opening up its capillaries.  She began to fill up with bacteria and white blood cells and rotten tissue, casualties of the war going on inside her.  With her internal roadblocks removed, the infection took advantage of the increased avenues of access to rapidly escalate its attack on her.  Her lungs quickly filled up the excess fluids.

The ICU doctor told us that her lungs were so filled with fluid that they were invisible on the X-rays, like someone had used white out to remove them from the picture.

Even if she could have gotten oxygen into the lungs, Natasha's blood was so full of infected cells that it couldn't carry enough to sustain her.  Her system was so delicate that the shock of trying to move her for an MRI to pinpoint the abscess that had turned her body into a toxic sewer was too much and her heart stopped.