Thursday, November 22, 2012

Be thankful, because you can

I was going to write today on Facebook what I was thankful for -- on Thanksgiving -- but who am I kidding? There is not enough room on FB for that, so on the blog I go.


I realize that I am a little late in doing so tonight, but I have pretty much been in bed all day sick. That, I'm not thankful for.

But I am thankful that, although I kind of ruined my Mom's Thanksgiving get-together being sick, I am thankful that I was here and my mother was able to take care of me. You're never too old to have your mom take care of you.

To start with, I am thankful that the Rapid City Journal had enough faith in me to hire me, bringing me to the Black Hills again after being away for 30 years. I say that because it became apparent that nobody else in Wyoming had the same faith in me despite all that I accomplished there.

I wouldn't have been able to come to Rapid City if not for my brother, Ralph, and his wife, Sharon, as they have brought me into their home without hesitation. With my house in Laramie, there is no way I could afford two residences. Thank you, Ralph and Sharon.


I'm thankful for all of my friends and especially my family, who have always been there for me.


I'm thankful that my in-laws, Frank and Pat Poindexter, still consider me part of the family and call me just to see how I am doing.

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I'm thankful for my step-daughter, Cassie, for keeping things together -- including the house -- even though she lost her mother and has been missing her just as much as anybody. Cassie, know your mother is proud of the way you have become an adult, just as we all are.

Last, but not least, I am thankful for having Teresa in my life the last few years. There isn't a day that I don't think about her and wish that she was still with us. I know she was in so much pain in her life, especially at the end and she is in a better place now, but I can't help but feel ashamed that I wish her here for selfish purposes, such as for my own benefit, especially at this time of the year.

I keep on promising myself that I am going to just think of the good times at the holidays rather than the bad, because Teresa so loved the holidays. It's hard, though, because our last memories of her was spending the last three years of her life in hospitals for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A couple of months before she passed, she recorded what she thought was going to be a first chapter of a book that she wanted to write to help others dealing with similar problems. It ended up being all that she recorded. One line stuck with me.

"Enjoy life, because you can."

For Teresa, it also meant, "Be thankful, because you can."





































Be thankful, because you can

I was going to write today on Facebook what I was thankful for -- on Thanksgiving -- but who am I kidding? There is not enough room on FB for that, so on the blog I go.

I realize that I am a little late in doing so tonight, but I have pretty much been in bed all day sick. That, I'm not thankful for.

But I am thankful that, although I kind  of ruined my Mom's Thanksgiving get-together being sick, I am thankful that I was here and my mother was able to take care of me. You're never too old to have your mom take care of you.

To start with, I am thankful that the Rapid City Journal had enough faith in me to hire me at the end of the summer, bringing me to the Black Hills again after being away for 30 years. I say that because it became apparent that nobody else in Wyoming had the same faith in me despite all that I accomplished there.

I wouldn't have been able to come to Rapid City if not for my brother, Ralph, and his wife, Sharon, as they have brought me into their home without hesitation. With my house in Laramie, there is no way I could afford two residences. Thank you, Ralph and Sharon.

I'm thankful for all of my friends and especially family who have always been there for me.

I'm thankful that my in-laws, Frank and Pat Poindexter, still consider me part of the family and call me just to see how I am doing.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

A special Christmas present

About a month ago while still in the hospital, Teresa asked me what I wanted for Christmas.

My answer was nothing other than for her to come home for Christmas.

As turned out, my prayers were answered; she's been home for nearly two weeks.

When we first got her discharge date a couple months ago, Teresa began planning ahead. As you would expect, she had many goals in mind, but her three main goals were to: 1. Get home, 2. Decorate the house for Christmas, 3. Cook for Christmas.

As it turned out, she fulfilled just one of those goals. Physically she just isn't ready for the last two.

We haven't really decorated (probably my fault) and we are ordering out for Christmas dinner (for Christmas Eve, as Teresa's mother is here but will leave for home on Christmas Day).

While decorating and cooking was something that Teresa wanted to do desperately at first, she has realized that this year was just too early for her to be able to do that. I expect that to change bext year, knock on wood.

In the meantime, things have gone well for her physically. The last two weeks have been hectic, to say the least. Between home health care aides (twice a day), home health nurses, physical therapy and social work, two different doctor's house calls (only in Wyoming, huh?), along with medical supplies being delivered on a daily basis, it has been a revolving front door.

Our dog Sam has greeted every person who has walked through the door, first with a bark, then with his tail waging a hundred miles an hour. Let's put it this way, he's a 120-pound black lab with the need to be in the way at all times. At the same time, Sam has stayed at Teresa's side since the instant she came home. He missed his Mama, too.

While I earlier said things have gone well physically for Teresa, it's been a little up and down mentally. While it has been very positive to finally come home after being in a hospital for 14 months, it has been a little concerning for Teresa as well. She is worried that her being home will be a burden for everyone. Let's face it, she still is a paraplegic and needs constant care with her medication and everything that the nurses did in her hospital stay. That needs to be done basically 24 hours a day, so sleep can be at a minimum at times.

When she is feeling down, I have to remind her that she is not a burden. She's my wife. She's my life. I take our vows of "for better or for worse" seriously. I have no doubt that if the role was reversed, she would have dropped everything in her life to take care of me. That's just the way she is.

A while back we had agreed to not buy each other gifts for Christmas. A couple days ago I found out that Teresa had talked to a friend about getting presents for me, her daughter Cassie and her mother.

Of course, that meant a quick trip for me to Wal-Mart.

Recently, I had to take my car into the shop for brake work that cost me over $800, which is probably the last thing that we needed as I'm only working part-time and we still have a lot of remodeling to do to get the house right for Teresa's disability. Then Friday we got a Christmas card that appeared to be just another Christmas card. But this card was a little different. Inside was a personal check from a long-time friend of Teresa's for $1,000.

When I showed it to her and told her exactly how much the check was for, she screamed (and cried) like we had just won the lottery.

Except for we already had won the lottery. Teresa was home.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ghost kids in Teresa's hospital

In Teresa's hospital in Denver there is talk about the facility being a little haunted, so to speak. Haunted in the sense that there have been sightings of ghost children, particularly of a little girl on the sixth floor.

The sixth floor is currently being renovated into a short-term nursing home. At one time, it was a pediatric ward.

The rumor is a little girl died in the elevator. Evidently, she still hangs around, constantly roaming the halls.

At some point somebody got a picture of her, which resembled mostly a shadow. But several people have verified they have seen her.

Teresa , meanwhile, believes she has seen a shadow figure of a little boy playing at the foot of her bed. She's even talked him, asking him what is his name and what he is doing. The boy has never answered, but he has apparently shut the bathroom door, the main door and has shaken the blinds on the window, when the window was closed.

At other times, he has apparently scared some of the nurses to the point whee they are afraid to go in certain rooms. There have also been various reports of doors slamming and elevator doors opening with no one there.

About three weeks ago, Teresa was puttering around in her electric wheelchair and by mistake went up to the sixth floor. It was in the elevator where she had an accident and the door smashed her leg, cutting it and actually breaking her fibula bone.

Teresa said she actually believes the ghost girl tried to help her by getting a construction worker's attention and he helped get Teresa back down to the fourth floor, where she resides.

Although one could also suggests that the girl ghost was trying to hurt Teresa by shutting the door on her, she thinks that that wasn't the case.

While telling an aide tonight of the ghost kids, the aide suddenly got goose bumps and she seemed a little spooked.

With it being Halloween, the ghost kids might do a little trick-or-treating tonight. It's a good thing we have plenty of candy.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Shoot the ball

If a team shoots well, its chances of success increase considerably.

That's frickin' brilliant, if I do say so myself. I need to start posting on the local sports message boards so I can test my sports knowledge with former junior varsity players who actually believe they can coach better than the current coach and school donors who automatically know more because they donate more.

This week for the Wyoming basketball teams, shooting well was the key in wins over Air Force.

The Cowboys broke an eight-game slide by hitting 9 of 23 3-pointers and playing solid defense. Now, 9 of 23 3-pointers isn't Earth shaking, but for the 'Pokes, that wasn't too bad. Actually, it was pretty darn good.

"As simple as it sounds, we made some shots tonight," Wyoming coach Heath Schroyer said after the win over the Falcons. "When you make nine threes, that is going to give you a chance to win."

Earth-shaking stuff, huh.

For some reason, the Earth seems to shake in the Cowgirls favor against the Falcons. In two games, Wyoming has scored 165 points, connecting on 38 of 61 3-point attempts. If you saw Wyoming crush Air Force earlier in the season in Laramie, you saw a team hit an incredible 20 of 30 3-pointers. At that point, you would think that that could never happen again.

Think again, kind of. In Wednesday night's win, the Cowgirls connected of 18 of 31 attempts.

In Sunday's four-point loss to Utah at home, Wyoming was just 3 of 15 beyond the land of trey. In fact, between the two Air Force games, the Cowgirls had hit just 27 percent of their 3-pointers.

“Once again, we shot the ball extremely well against Air Force,” UW head coach Joe Legerski said.

Like I said, the better you shoot the basketball, the better you play. I just can't get over myself.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thanks for the memories

As I put my watch up to my ear, I expect to hear click, click, click, as each second moves forward.

Kind of like my current days as a sportswriter ... click, click, click.

For some reason, though, the watch is silent as it continues time.

Again, kind of like my current days of operating Wyoming Sports.org.

Yikes, cliche' overload here.

The simple fact is my sports website is probably on its last leg. I say probably because in two weeks I will begin a new job as news copy editor/designer for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in Cheyenne.

Not only will I not have the time to cover local sporting events in Laramie, I can see my new employers likely not wanting me to compete against the WTE's fine sports staff. It makes perfect sense and I totally understand.

When the position opened a while back, with my wife's blessing and encouragement, I decided to apply for the job. Friday night I was offered the position and I accepted.

I do admit it will be a little strange not being a sportswriter, something that I have done since my high school days. But it came down to having a full-time position again, something I haven't had since my departure from the Boomerang in October 2007. The WTE job is not in sports, but that's OK. I can adapt and I look forward to the challenge.

After that "departure" from the Boomerang, I did some freelance writing before starting Wyoming sports.org. I started the website for the simple fact that the freelance jobs had dried up a bit and I was still going to all of the local sporting contests. Why not still write about them?

Eventually, I was able to get the capabilities for advertising on Wyoming Sports.org with the intent of making a living off of what I love to do, being a sportswriter. The money aspect, however, just never picked up. I guess the timing wasn't right.

I was also to pick up a little time some part-time Associated Press work for home UW men's and women's basketball and a little airtime on local radio stations KOWB and KCGY as one of the hosts of Sportsline Live, as well as some part-time board work at the stations. That has been great and I truly thank David Settle for the opportunity for SLL. Depending on my days' off at the WTE, I hope to continue to be on SLL, as I will commute to Cheyenne for the time being.

With the recent rash of bad health of my wife, the need for a full-time job was critical, as Teresa is not able to work any longer. Hence, the looking for a job again in the newspaper business. I feel truly blessed that I have been able to find work again because I wouldn't wish being unemployed on anyone. I had worked full time since my college graduation in 1982, and under no circumstances, did I ever feel like I would be without a job. But it did happen. It's been a tough, tough last 2 1/2 years, to say the least.

I would expect to faze out parts of Wyoming Sports.org in the next couple of weeks. Will I drop it completely? I'm not sure yet. We'll see.

Regardless, I have enjoyed my little adventure in the online media business (other than not being paid). And here's a huge thank you to the University of Wyoming sports information department for keeping me credentialed and treating me like I still belonged. Thank you to my loyal readers in the last couple of years. Until I scaled things back a few months ago, the numbers were promising, so I knew that I had a little audience out there.

Oh yeah, make sure you read the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.