*twitch*

Jul. 29th, 2010 03:10 pm
kyburg: (Default)
Wil Wheaton is turning 38 today. If I'm to believe the Twitter feed, he is having a perfectly awesome day of things. But - earlier this week, he was also telling jokes and being an ass, and sincerely reminding me of Cliff in more ways than were absolutely comfortable.

My 38th birthday was two months after Cliff had died.

About the only thing that comes to mind to do about it? Isn't realistic in the nth degree. It's not like drafting a huge email saying 'I'm glad you aren't having my 38th birthday and this is why' makes any logical sense. Except I'm THRILLED for him.

Another blogger posted an update to a story [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire had alerted me to the other day, one in which, as the parent of a child with a significantly reduced quality/quantity of life, instead of doing her day job, she told everyone what it was like. REALLY like.

She thought, oh, only a few people would get it.

Her ISP was sending her panic mail before the day was over. 22,000 hits. One day.

And she says today that we should tell our stories too.

Nuh uh. Not this little red hen.

I've been writing since I could put pencil to lined notebook paper, and my first real memory of writing something (and then hiding it) was before I was nine. I was on every school newspaper from sixth grade through college (and was editor of the high school paper in my senior year), wrote as much fan fiction as much as I could put out and planned my college education with an eye to writing for a living when I finished it. Wanted to write for television, and there's not much about the market for the one-hour dramatic format in the mid-80's I can't talk about.

Then I met a type I diabetic my senior year of college, and all that went into a box that gets opened only once in a while these days.

You see, things went bad, and I mean BAD to the point I can't talk about it without making a whole room cry. No, I don't want to try it again to see if that's changed. No, you cry - not me. I learned to stop crying when it scared Cliff. You think I'm kidding, ask Jim.

I could talk. I could start writing about it - but.

That was another life, and it's over now.

Cliff and Steve Irwin were born two weeks apart from each other. Cliff was programming in FORTRAN when he was 14 for Voyager. He spent many happy hours with his coworkers writing programs to get around the laser holes software companies used as copy protection back in the day of 5 1/4" floppy disks (and IBM PCXT machines). Because yo, we liked playing games.

He's the one who introduced me to Thai food, and Japanese food that wasn't teriyaki chicken. He's also the one who took me outside my comfort zone on a regular basis and taught me how to like it. We didn't buy furniture. We took trips outside the United States, and that had priority over everything. See the world we live in - it's wonderful, exciting and you won't learn much any other way. (He was right.)

When I lost my second job the summer the Olympics were in Los Angeles because the employer did not want to pay the agency fee for my permanent placement - and there was now no money to see the Olympics, nor find another job until they were over - and came home furious...he threw me in the swimming pool. When I came up drenched and furious (and keep in mind, this is back in the day of 'dress for success' - I'd been wearing a dress, heels, stockings, makeup, glasses, everything), he threw me in again. Coming up for air, he stood there on the side of the pool, looked down at me and advised me that yes, he'd do it again and to get over it. I would get another job, don't worry about it. This was a perfectly good pool, it was going to be a nice break and make the most of it, okay?

No time for whining.

He made me watch Poltergeist, the little shit. I DON'T DO HORROR.

Days like this, I really miss him. I'd rather you knew why instead of why he isn't here anymore.

*twitch*

Jul. 29th, 2010 03:10 pm
kyburg: (Default)
Wil Wheaton is turning 38 today. If I'm to believe the Twitter feed, he is having a perfectly awesome day of things. But - earlier this week, he was also telling jokes and being an ass, and sincerely reminding me of Cliff in more ways than were absolutely comfortable.

My 38th birthday was two months after Cliff had died.

About the only thing that comes to mind to do about it? Isn't realistic in the nth degree. It's not like drafting a huge email saying 'I'm glad you aren't having my 38th birthday and this is why' makes any logical sense. Except I'm THRILLED for him.

Another blogger posted an update to a story [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire had alerted me to the other day, one in which, as the parent of a child with a significantly reduced quality/quantity of life, instead of doing her day job, she told everyone what it was like. REALLY like.

She thought, oh, only a few people would get it.

Her ISP was sending her panic mail before the day was over. 22,000 hits. One day.

And she says today that we should tell our stories too.

Nuh uh. Not this little red hen.

I've been writing since I could put pencil to lined notebook paper, and my first real memory of writing something (and then hiding it) was before I was nine. I was on every school newspaper from sixth grade through college (and was editor of the high school paper in my senior year), wrote as much fan fiction as much as I could put out and planned my college education with an eye to writing for a living when I finished it. Wanted to write for television, and there's not much about the market for the one-hour dramatic format in the mid-80's I can't talk about.

Then I met a type I diabetic my senior year of college, and all that went into a box that gets opened only once in a while these days.

You see, things went bad, and I mean BAD to the point I can't talk about it without making a whole room cry. No, I don't want to try it again to see if that's changed. No, you cry - not me. I learned to stop crying when it scared Cliff. You think I'm kidding, ask Jim.

I could talk. I could start writing about it - but.

That was another life, and it's over now.

Cliff and Steve Irwin were born two weeks apart from each other. Cliff was programming in FORTRAN when he was 14 for Voyager. He spent many happy hours with his coworkers writing programs to get around the laser holes software companies used as copy protection back in the day of 5 1/4" floppy disks (and IBM PCXT machines). Because yo, we liked playing games.

He's the one who introduced me to Thai food, and Japanese food that wasn't teriyaki chicken. He's also the one who took me outside my comfort zone on a regular basis and taught me how to like it. We didn't buy furniture. We took trips outside the United States, and that had priority over everything. See the world we live in - it's wonderful, exciting and you won't learn much any other way. (He was right.)

When I lost my second job the summer the Olympics were in Los Angeles because the employer did not want to pay the agency fee for my permanent placement - and there was now no money to see the Olympics, nor find another job until they were over - and came home furious...he threw me in the swimming pool. When I came up drenched and furious (and keep in mind, this is back in the day of 'dress for success' - I'd been wearing a dress, heels, stockings, makeup, glasses, everything), he threw me in again. Coming up for air, he stood there on the side of the pool, looked down at me and advised me that yes, he'd do it again and to get over it. I would get another job, don't worry about it. This was a perfectly good pool, it was going to be a nice break and make the most of it, okay?

No time for whining.

He made me watch Poltergeist, the little shit. I DON'T DO HORROR.

Days like this, I really miss him. I'd rather you knew why instead of why he isn't here anymore.

*twitch*

Jul. 29th, 2010 03:10 pm
kyburg: (Default)
Wil Wheaton is turning 38 today. If I'm to believe the Twitter feed, he is having a perfectly awesome day of things. But - earlier this week, he was also telling jokes and being an ass, and sincerely reminding me of Cliff in more ways than were absolutely comfortable.

My 38th birthday was two months after Cliff had died.

About the only thing that comes to mind to do about it? Isn't realistic in the nth degree. It's not like drafting a huge email saying 'I'm glad you aren't having my 38th birthday and this is why' makes any logical sense. Except I'm THRILLED for him.

Another blogger posted an update to a story [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire had alerted me to the other day, one in which, as the parent of a child with a significantly reduced quality/quantity of life, instead of doing her day job, she told everyone what it was like. REALLY like.

She thought, oh, only a few people would get it.

Her ISP was sending her panic mail before the day was over. 22,000 hits. One day.

And she says today that we should tell our stories too.

Nuh uh. Not this little red hen.

I've been writing since I could put pencil to lined notebook paper, and my first real memory of writing something (and then hiding it) was before I was nine. I was on every school newspaper from sixth grade through college (and was editor of the high school paper in my senior year), wrote as much fan fiction as much as I could put out and planned my college education with an eye to writing for a living when I finished it. Wanted to write for television, and there's not much about the market for the one-hour dramatic format in the mid-80's I can't talk about.

Then I met a type I diabetic my senior year of college, and all that went into a box that gets opened only once in a while these days.

You see, things went bad, and I mean BAD to the point I can't talk about it without making a whole room cry. No, I don't want to try it again to see if that's changed. No, you cry - not me. I learned to stop crying when it scared Cliff. You think I'm kidding, ask Jim.

I could talk. I could start writing about it - but.

That was another life, and it's over now.

Cliff and Steve Irwin were born two weeks apart from each other. Cliff was programming in FORTRAN when he was 14 for Voyager. He spent many happy hours with his coworkers writing programs to get around the laser holes software companies used as copy protection back in the day of 5 1/4" floppy disks (and IBM PCXT machines). Because yo, we liked playing games.

He's the one who introduced me to Thai food, and Japanese food that wasn't teriyaki chicken. He's also the one who took me outside my comfort zone on a regular basis and taught me how to like it. We didn't buy furniture. We took trips outside the United States, and that had priority over everything. See the world we live in - it's wonderful, exciting and you won't learn much any other way. (He was right.)

When I lost my second job the summer the Olympics were in Los Angeles because the employer did not want to pay the agency fee for my permanent placement - and there was now no money to see the Olympics, nor find another job until they were over - and came home furious...he threw me in the swimming pool. When I came up drenched and furious (and keep in mind, this is back in the day of 'dress for success' - I'd been wearing a dress, heels, stockings, makeup, glasses, everything), he threw me in again. Coming up for air, he stood there on the side of the pool, looked down at me and advised me that yes, he'd do it again and to get over it. I would get another job, don't worry about it. This was a perfectly good pool, it was going to be a nice break and make the most of it, okay?

No time for whining.

He made me watch Poltergeist, the little shit. I DON'T DO HORROR.

Days like this, I really miss him. I'd rather you knew why instead of why he isn't here anymore.
kyburg: (swiss)
Switzerland is calling. No, really this time.

I received a letter from Cliff's aunt in Switzerland - in English - something she's NEVER done, not in the 25 years we've known each other, and certainly there's been little communication of any kind since Cliff passed.

They're coming out in February/March, and want to see me. Awesome.

I get home from con last night, and my old co-worker from Schmid Telecom AG has called and left voicemail thanking me for the Christmas card and letter.

Mom said that was an incredible letter - I re-read it this morning. I...guess so.

Hearing from Dad would complete the trifecta, but that's not needed.

Time to get my butt in gear. It's time to go back. And this time, I'm taking MY family to see the place. That'll be...strange...in the extreme.
kyburg: (swiss)
Switzerland is calling. No, really this time.

I received a letter from Cliff's aunt in Switzerland - in English - something she's NEVER done, not in the 25 years we've known each other, and certainly there's been little communication of any kind since Cliff passed.

They're coming out in February/March, and want to see me. Awesome.

I get home from con last night, and my old co-worker from Schmid Telecom AG has called and left voicemail thanking me for the Christmas card and letter.

Mom said that was an incredible letter - I re-read it this morning. I...guess so.

Hearing from Dad would complete the trifecta, but that's not needed.

Time to get my butt in gear. It's time to go back. And this time, I'm taking MY family to see the place. That'll be...strange...in the extreme.
kyburg: (swiss)
Switzerland is calling. No, really this time.

I received a letter from Cliff's aunt in Switzerland - in English - something she's NEVER done, not in the 25 years we've known each other, and certainly there's been little communication of any kind since Cliff passed.

They're coming out in February/March, and want to see me. Awesome.

I get home from con last night, and my old co-worker from Schmid Telecom AG has called and left voicemail thanking me for the Christmas card and letter.

Mom said that was an incredible letter - I re-read it this morning. I...guess so.

Hearing from Dad would complete the trifecta, but that's not needed.

Time to get my butt in gear. It's time to go back. And this time, I'm taking MY family to see the place. That'll be...strange...in the extreme.
kyburg: (wonder)
Why yes, I do remember Pearl Harbor.

And I remember looking at the pictures posted at the shrines in Tokyo taken of the results of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima - pictures I remember I needed a parent's permission slip to see in high school - posted out in the open for everyone to see, granthers to babes in arms. When they get old and weather-beaten, they get taken down and new ones made. Nobody is going to forget.

Believe me. The Japanese remember Pearl Harbor as well. Just - we haven't noticed, or learned much from their experience. But it is there to learn from.

More to the point - it would be 29 years today, if Cliff was still alive (and we were still married). Next year, it will be 15 years - twice over the time we had together. Nine years with Jim.

Boy, has time flown. It does that, I'm told.
kyburg: (wonder)
Why yes, I do remember Pearl Harbor.

And I remember looking at the pictures posted at the shrines in Tokyo taken of the results of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima - pictures I remember I needed a parent's permission slip to see in high school - posted out in the open for everyone to see, granthers to babes in arms. When they get old and weather-beaten, they get taken down and new ones made. Nobody is going to forget.

Believe me. The Japanese remember Pearl Harbor as well. Just - we haven't noticed, or learned much from their experience. But it is there to learn from.

More to the point - it would be 29 years today, if Cliff was still alive (and we were still married). Next year, it will be 15 years - twice over the time we had together. Nine years with Jim.

Boy, has time flown. It does that, I'm told.
kyburg: (wonder)
Why yes, I do remember Pearl Harbor.

And I remember looking at the pictures posted at the shrines in Tokyo taken of the results of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima - pictures I remember I needed a parent's permission slip to see in high school - posted out in the open for everyone to see, granthers to babes in arms. When they get old and weather-beaten, they get taken down and new ones made. Nobody is going to forget.

Believe me. The Japanese remember Pearl Harbor as well. Just - we haven't noticed, or learned much from their experience. But it is there to learn from.

More to the point - it would be 29 years today, if Cliff was still alive (and we were still married). Next year, it will be 15 years - twice over the time we had together. Nine years with Jim.

Boy, has time flown. It does that, I'm told.
kyburg: (Default)
I am relieved beyond relief that it would appear (so far) the issue with [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna's travel may be resolved - I am staying tuned, however.

I know I've mentioned this - perhaps it was only in passing - but it really does deserve some better documentation.

See, I've been at the mercy of forces out of my control, stuck in a hotel in a place where I didn't speak the language and desperate to get where I had intended to go.

It was in Greece, Athens to be precise - and it was in September, 1990.

Yes, I was in Athens when they decided the Olympics for Atlanta )

That sort of thing kinda stays with you.

Pavlo introduced himself as 'Pavlo - Paul - like the best one of the Beatles!'

So that's why Xander is Alexander-Paul. That's why.

And now you know why it was so important to me that Cat get her trip. Because when you're SO close - it's almost criminal to accept anything less.

If it's only money - hell, we can fix that.
kyburg: (Default)
I am relieved beyond relief that it would appear (so far) the issue with [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna's travel may be resolved - I am staying tuned, however.

I know I've mentioned this - perhaps it was only in passing - but it really does deserve some better documentation.

See, I've been at the mercy of forces out of my control, stuck in a hotel in a place where I didn't speak the language and desperate to get where I had intended to go.

It was in Greece, Athens to be precise - and it was in September, 1990.

Yes, I was in Athens when they decided the Olympics for Atlanta )

That sort of thing kinda stays with you.

Pavlo introduced himself as 'Pavlo - Paul - like the best one of the Beatles!'

So that's why Xander is Alexander-Paul. That's why.

And now you know why it was so important to me that Cat get her trip. Because when you're SO close - it's almost criminal to accept anything less.

If it's only money - hell, we can fix that.
kyburg: (Default)
I am relieved beyond relief that it would appear (so far) the issue with [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna's travel may be resolved - I am staying tuned, however.

I know I've mentioned this - perhaps it was only in passing - but it really does deserve some better documentation.

See, I've been at the mercy of forces out of my control, stuck in a hotel in a place where I didn't speak the language and desperate to get where I had intended to go.

It was in Greece, Athens to be precise - and it was in September, 1990.

Yes, I was in Athens when they decided the Olympics for Atlanta )

That sort of thing kinda stays with you.

Pavlo introduced himself as 'Pavlo - Paul - like the best one of the Beatles!'

So that's why Xander is Alexander-Paul. That's why.

And now you know why it was so important to me that Cat get her trip. Because when you're SO close - it's almost criminal to accept anything less.

If it's only money - hell, we can fix that.
kyburg: (wonder)
As of 1:30 this morning, Cliff has been gone for eleven years.

I can tell you where I was when I got the news, what I was doing and what I was wearing. I can see my nephew waking up in the middle of the night to come tell me (and his mother) he had a sore throat, but didn't know why. (Yes, I was at Sis's house. I had to work the next day OR ELSE but Cliff's status had been poor when I saw him at the hospital that afternoon. He was septic as HELL - but the resident had released me when I asked if I needed to stay. Cliff had been worse, and lived - nobody said anything to me about that being 'It.' Turned out, it was.)

Nephew is a bit more like me. He might not always know why, but he certainly knows when something has come through the building.

My immediate reaction was relief and shock. Relief that it was finally over (it had been AWFUL far too long, with no hope of anything good ever again...too long. Waaaay too long - )and shock that oh my it really COULD happen, and it had.

Sometime in the next day afterward, I 'listened' for him - and was rewarded with a presence like searing cold champagne - bubbly, FAST moving, effervescent and jubilant. He had told me to celebrate his freedom upon his death - and oh, he was. He so very was.

I visit his grave on this day (and I'll go out later) if I at all can (and check on it when I'm in the neighborhood the rest of the year) and try to get a feel for how things are going with him. Lately, it's been very clear he's Not There. I've gotten a sense of the answering machine has been left on in the past - now, it's almost as if he's moved and not left a forwarding address.

But if I stick around a bit, tidying up the joint - I get a brief impression of irritation - 'what ARE you doing here?' He's busy doing other things. He's very clear that I really need to be doing other things as well, too.

Well, I am. This year more than any other. *thinks* He'd like Xander a whole lot - they share a wicked sense of humor, that's for sure.

Oh, I miss him. I miss him the most when I'm around people who won't know anything about him except what I tell them - and it will always be filtered around 'this is Donna's late husband' first and foremost.

People, he was so smart. (I say that about Xander, but here's why I wondered. Cliff WAS smart - and he'll be my touchstone going forward on the matter.) Cliff was bright enough to break brand-new plumbing by first finding the three-penny nails, and then dropping them from a high enough height to break the terracotta pipes (don't ask me why Dad used them, I don't know) - because he wanted to know if he could. About five years old or so.

By ten, he had devised a means to put an entire garden on the roof of the house using a pulley system cobbled together out of rope, buckets and the gears from his bicycle. Nobody even knew it was there until the earthworms started falling through the ceiling upstairs.

Dad was a thermionics guy at JPL - so at times, brought interesting things home. Like, the first samples of solar cells. They snapped so nice when broken in half. Yes, he did. He might have been younger than Xander at the time.

(He would have thought Phinneas & Ferb were pikers.)

He went to school in private schools because public schools wouldn't take a kid with diabetes. He had a healthy love/hate relationship with most organized religions as a result - and kept his Bible on the shelf right next to the book on Tarot (I still have that one) and the Joy of Sex (which he found dull). He also took the course on Human Sexuality in college and kept the textbooks, but warned people they were pretty pedestrian. I think I still have it as well - he wrote 'I AM NOT SANE' on the ribs of the pages. That's how you know which one was his.

He did three and four digit division and square roots in his head to keep from being bored. He would cover pages and pages of paper with Math just for fun.

So when a chance to work at JPL on a student project came along, he took it - and that's how he was programming for Voyager in FORTRAN at the age of 14.

By the time I met him in his early twenties, he had not only taken Basic Mountaineering with the Sierra Club, he had been teaching classes in it. He had bought a house. He had never worked for minimum wage - always knowing he was worth more, and asking for it. (When minimum was $2.90, he was working as a student engineer in Anaheim for $8.00, for example.)

Those happy days when the shuttle program was new and all that.

By the time he was thirty, complications had set in - he couldn't see well enough to climb. Soon, he would have strokes, heart attacks and then amputations, dialysis and disability that would leave him housebound inside of 600 sft. I said awful, right?

He wouldn't live long enough to see Y2K. The wii. Machines that had multi gig processor speeds, broadband internet in the home - none of that.

He also would never see any benefit or settlement on his workmans comp claims - they would never even consider it until he was dead and had said so to me with him sitting right next to me.

I miss him.

And I am glad he doesn't have to deal with any of that crap ever again.

So, husband of mine - I celebrate your freedom this day.

Give Freddie my regards, kick Michael Jackson's ass for me and tell Patrick Swayze everything is going to be okay.

I'll see you later.
kyburg: (wonder)
As of 1:30 this morning, Cliff has been gone for eleven years.

I can tell you where I was when I got the news, what I was doing and what I was wearing. I can see my nephew waking up in the middle of the night to come tell me (and his mother) he had a sore throat, but didn't know why. (Yes, I was at Sis's house. I had to work the next day OR ELSE but Cliff's status had been poor when I saw him at the hospital that afternoon. He was septic as HELL - but the resident had released me when I asked if I needed to stay. Cliff had been worse, and lived - nobody said anything to me about that being 'It.' Turned out, it was.)

Nephew is a bit more like me. He might not always know why, but he certainly knows when something has come through the building.

My immediate reaction was relief and shock. Relief that it was finally over (it had been AWFUL far too long, with no hope of anything good ever again...too long. Waaaay too long - )and shock that oh my it really COULD happen, and it had.

Sometime in the next day afterward, I 'listened' for him - and was rewarded with a presence like searing cold champagne - bubbly, FAST moving, effervescent and jubilant. He had told me to celebrate his freedom upon his death - and oh, he was. He so very was.

I visit his grave on this day (and I'll go out later) if I at all can (and check on it when I'm in the neighborhood the rest of the year) and try to get a feel for how things are going with him. Lately, it's been very clear he's Not There. I've gotten a sense of the answering machine has been left on in the past - now, it's almost as if he's moved and not left a forwarding address.

But if I stick around a bit, tidying up the joint - I get a brief impression of irritation - 'what ARE you doing here?' He's busy doing other things. He's very clear that I really need to be doing other things as well, too.

Well, I am. This year more than any other. *thinks* He'd like Xander a whole lot - they share a wicked sense of humor, that's for sure.

Oh, I miss him. I miss him the most when I'm around people who won't know anything about him except what I tell them - and it will always be filtered around 'this is Donna's late husband' first and foremost.

People, he was so smart. (I say that about Xander, but here's why I wondered. Cliff WAS smart - and he'll be my touchstone going forward on the matter.) Cliff was bright enough to break brand-new plumbing by first finding the three-penny nails, and then dropping them from a high enough height to break the terracotta pipes (don't ask me why Dad used them, I don't know) - because he wanted to know if he could. About five years old or so.

By ten, he had devised a means to put an entire garden on the roof of the house using a pulley system cobbled together out of rope, buckets and the gears from his bicycle. Nobody even knew it was there until the earthworms started falling through the ceiling upstairs.

Dad was a thermionics guy at JPL - so at times, brought interesting things home. Like, the first samples of solar cells. They snapped so nice when broken in half. Yes, he did. He might have been younger than Xander at the time.

(He would have thought Phinneas & Ferb were pikers.)

He went to school in private schools because public schools wouldn't take a kid with diabetes. He had a healthy love/hate relationship with most organized religions as a result - and kept his Bible on the shelf right next to the book on Tarot (I still have that one) and the Joy of Sex (which he found dull). He also took the course on Human Sexuality in college and kept the textbooks, but warned people they were pretty pedestrian. I think I still have it as well - he wrote 'I AM NOT SANE' on the ribs of the pages. That's how you know which one was his.

He did three and four digit division and square roots in his head to keep from being bored. He would cover pages and pages of paper with Math just for fun.

So when a chance to work at JPL on a student project came along, he took it - and that's how he was programming for Voyager in FORTRAN at the age of 14.

By the time I met him in his early twenties, he had not only taken Basic Mountaineering with the Sierra Club, he had been teaching classes in it. He had bought a house. He had never worked for minimum wage - always knowing he was worth more, and asking for it. (When minimum was $2.90, he was working as a student engineer in Anaheim for $8.00, for example.)

Those happy days when the shuttle program was new and all that.

By the time he was thirty, complications had set in - he couldn't see well enough to climb. Soon, he would have strokes, heart attacks and then amputations, dialysis and disability that would leave him housebound inside of 600 sft. I said awful, right?

He wouldn't live long enough to see Y2K. The wii. Machines that had multi gig processor speeds, broadband internet in the home - none of that.

He also would never see any benefit or settlement on his workmans comp claims - they would never even consider it until he was dead and had said so to me with him sitting right next to me.

I miss him.

And I am glad he doesn't have to deal with any of that crap ever again.

So, husband of mine - I celebrate your freedom this day.

Give Freddie my regards, kick Michael Jackson's ass for me and tell Patrick Swayze everything is going to be okay.

I'll see you later.
kyburg: (wonder)
As of 1:30 this morning, Cliff has been gone for eleven years.

I can tell you where I was when I got the news, what I was doing and what I was wearing. I can see my nephew waking up in the middle of the night to come tell me (and his mother) he had a sore throat, but didn't know why. (Yes, I was at Sis's house. I had to work the next day OR ELSE but Cliff's status had been poor when I saw him at the hospital that afternoon. He was septic as HELL - but the resident had released me when I asked if I needed to stay. Cliff had been worse, and lived - nobody said anything to me about that being 'It.' Turned out, it was.)

Nephew is a bit more like me. He might not always know why, but he certainly knows when something has come through the building.

My immediate reaction was relief and shock. Relief that it was finally over (it had been AWFUL far too long, with no hope of anything good ever again...too long. Waaaay too long - )and shock that oh my it really COULD happen, and it had.

Sometime in the next day afterward, I 'listened' for him - and was rewarded with a presence like searing cold champagne - bubbly, FAST moving, effervescent and jubilant. He had told me to celebrate his freedom upon his death - and oh, he was. He so very was.

I visit his grave on this day (and I'll go out later) if I at all can (and check on it when I'm in the neighborhood the rest of the year) and try to get a feel for how things are going with him. Lately, it's been very clear he's Not There. I've gotten a sense of the answering machine has been left on in the past - now, it's almost as if he's moved and not left a forwarding address.

But if I stick around a bit, tidying up the joint - I get a brief impression of irritation - 'what ARE you doing here?' He's busy doing other things. He's very clear that I really need to be doing other things as well, too.

Well, I am. This year more than any other. *thinks* He'd like Xander a whole lot - they share a wicked sense of humor, that's for sure.

Oh, I miss him. I miss him the most when I'm around people who won't know anything about him except what I tell them - and it will always be filtered around 'this is Donna's late husband' first and foremost.

People, he was so smart. (I say that about Xander, but here's why I wondered. Cliff WAS smart - and he'll be my touchstone going forward on the matter.) Cliff was bright enough to break brand-new plumbing by first finding the three-penny nails, and then dropping them from a high enough height to break the terracotta pipes (don't ask me why Dad used them, I don't know) - because he wanted to know if he could. About five years old or so.

By ten, he had devised a means to put an entire garden on the roof of the house using a pulley system cobbled together out of rope, buckets and the gears from his bicycle. Nobody even knew it was there until the earthworms started falling through the ceiling upstairs.

Dad was a thermionics guy at JPL - so at times, brought interesting things home. Like, the first samples of solar cells. They snapped so nice when broken in half. Yes, he did. He might have been younger than Xander at the time.

(He would have thought Phinneas & Ferb were pikers.)

He went to school in private schools because public schools wouldn't take a kid with diabetes. He had a healthy love/hate relationship with most organized religions as a result - and kept his Bible on the shelf right next to the book on Tarot (I still have that one) and the Joy of Sex (which he found dull). He also took the course on Human Sexuality in college and kept the textbooks, but warned people they were pretty pedestrian. I think I still have it as well - he wrote 'I AM NOT SANE' on the ribs of the pages. That's how you know which one was his.

He did three and four digit division and square roots in his head to keep from being bored. He would cover pages and pages of paper with Math just for fun.

So when a chance to work at JPL on a student project came along, he took it - and that's how he was programming for Voyager in FORTRAN at the age of 14.

By the time I met him in his early twenties, he had not only taken Basic Mountaineering with the Sierra Club, he had been teaching classes in it. He had bought a house. He had never worked for minimum wage - always knowing he was worth more, and asking for it. (When minimum was $2.90, he was working as a student engineer in Anaheim for $8.00, for example.)

Those happy days when the shuttle program was new and all that.

By the time he was thirty, complications had set in - he couldn't see well enough to climb. Soon, he would have strokes, heart attacks and then amputations, dialysis and disability that would leave him housebound inside of 600 sft. I said awful, right?

He wouldn't live long enough to see Y2K. The wii. Machines that had multi gig processor speeds, broadband internet in the home - none of that.

He also would never see any benefit or settlement on his workmans comp claims - they would never even consider it until he was dead and had said so to me with him sitting right next to me.

I miss him.

And I am glad he doesn't have to deal with any of that crap ever again.

So, husband of mine - I celebrate your freedom this day.

Give Freddie my regards, kick Michael Jackson's ass for me and tell Patrick Swayze everything is going to be okay.

I'll see you later.
kyburg: (it's on)
Things that haven't changed, number one: I am still surrounded by people with diabetes.

Things that have changed: the cost of a bottle of insulin.

(The DDoS stuff yesterday made me lose a buttload of stuff - the fingers flew, but the network went OM NOM NOM NOM *finger* - alas.)

Keep in mind Cliff passed in 1998 - at the age of 36. This is not to say if you get a type I diabetes diagnosis, you will as well. When he was diagnosed in 1969 - NINETEEN SIXTY NINE - at the age of 5, there were no meters, no in-home anything other than wee little tabs you peed on (that ALWAYS indicated positive, if you left them alone long enough 'just to make sure'), no time-release style insulin, no disposable ANYTHING...and all insulin was of animal origin. You a vegetarian? Uh oh. Close your eyes and take the shot - it's all we got. And they thought one shot a day of regular was GREAT. (Oh, and no A1c monitoring. Have a nice life!)

Cliff was also from a family that had a high cholesterol issue - he never fell below the mid 300's without medication - and often was MUCH higher. Set-up? Oh very much so.)

He started showing signs of major complications in his teens.

You weren't allowed in public schools, public pools (yes, really) and people either thought you were contagious or genetically inferior. (You're still 4F for the draft.) It wouldn't be until AIDS showed up that type I would be 'discovered' as an auto-immune disease, likely of viral origin combined with a genetic tendency towards overkill - yay viral research, hooray - oh, about 1988.

I remember how much some things cost - finding the $$$ to pay for it all after he retired disabled and lost 1/3 of our income permanently will engrave such things on your memory.

A bottle of regular insulin, beef/pork origin from Eli Lilly - $8. Box of syringes, oh about another $11 or so. (I still have some tucked away - they're very useful. Don't look at me like that. I'll feed you some congnac-treated strawberries and amaretto lychees someday.)

So we would have multiple bottles working at any one time - and a kit in the car, a kit at the desk at work - no problem. Didn't even bill insurance for it. If I needed to get all the dough out of a medical savings plan, fine. But - *shrug* - eh.

The recombiant DNA insulins were *just* coming online in the nineties, and while they were recommended as soon as they came out, the stuff wasn't all that available, and was a tad bit more a bottle. We kind of looked it as an experiment and gee whiz, that's keen.

A tad being - oh, it was $12 vs. that $8 I just told you about, for the stuff Eli Lilly was culling from the slaughterhouses.

Imagine my surprise when I went to go shop plain regular insulin yesterday and discovered Eli Lilly had stopped manufacuring that $8 a bottle stuff in 2005. Now, all insulin (it looks like) is recombinant DNA origin - and the $12 a bottle stuff?

Would you believe $41 a bottle?!

*jaw drop* That's -

A lot of things I'd rather not put to paper. The fact this product is a result of my taxes going to fund research for it - not to mention voluntary donations and fund raisers to boot - ah. Yawp.

I can HEAR Cliff in the afterlife from here - the screeching is amazing. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS - yes, yes, yes. Okay. I got it. I got it.

When you hear in the news that diabetes is now an epidemic, you just tuck that away somewhere. Without this, people don't live. Without *enough* of it, people live very compromised lives - and complications? Don't get me started.

We have some of the best tools to treat this that has ever been. You get this diagnosis, you can expect to have a lot of work - and never see what Cliff saw before you leave this place for the next one. If you can get access to the tools and use them. Meters that retain records and only require a tiny scratch (Cliff was seen at a hospital in 1996 that was still doing all its monitoring by draw. That's a stick in the arm, for you and me. How many times a day? They recommend four times, yanno. DRAW. 1996. Yo. When he died, I donated them his meter in his memory. Dumbshits.) They routinely put kids on pumps like clockwork and the results are incredible.

$41 a bottle. I've said I am glad I don't have to do with Cliff what I did in the nineties, now. There is nothing like finding out your information is out of date to get slapped in the face - and do you think Eli Lilly has a prescription drug assistance plan for regular insulin? Gallows humor kicking in here. You might as well ask the Clean Air Board in California for financial assistance to get air to breathe.

Wow. If you ain't rich, what right do you have to live. They used to just keep you out of the public pools.
kyburg: (it's on)
Things that haven't changed, number one: I am still surrounded by people with diabetes.

Things that have changed: the cost of a bottle of insulin.

(The DDoS stuff yesterday made me lose a buttload of stuff - the fingers flew, but the network went OM NOM NOM NOM *finger* - alas.)

Keep in mind Cliff passed in 1998 - at the age of 36. This is not to say if you get a type I diabetes diagnosis, you will as well. When he was diagnosed in 1969 - NINETEEN SIXTY NINE - at the age of 5, there were no meters, no in-home anything other than wee little tabs you peed on (that ALWAYS indicated positive, if you left them alone long enough 'just to make sure'), no time-release style insulin, no disposable ANYTHING...and all insulin was of animal origin. You a vegetarian? Uh oh. Close your eyes and take the shot - it's all we got. And they thought one shot a day of regular was GREAT. (Oh, and no A1c monitoring. Have a nice life!)

Cliff was also from a family that had a high cholesterol issue - he never fell below the mid 300's without medication - and often was MUCH higher. Set-up? Oh very much so.)

He started showing signs of major complications in his teens.

You weren't allowed in public schools, public pools (yes, really) and people either thought you were contagious or genetically inferior. (You're still 4F for the draft.) It wouldn't be until AIDS showed up that type I would be 'discovered' as an auto-immune disease, likely of viral origin combined with a genetic tendency towards overkill - yay viral research, hooray - oh, about 1988.

I remember how much some things cost - finding the $$$ to pay for it all after he retired disabled and lost 1/3 of our income permanently will engrave such things on your memory.

A bottle of regular insulin, beef/pork origin from Eli Lilly - $8. Box of syringes, oh about another $11 or so. (I still have some tucked away - they're very useful. Don't look at me like that. I'll feed you some congnac-treated strawberries and amaretto lychees someday.)

So we would have multiple bottles working at any one time - and a kit in the car, a kit at the desk at work - no problem. Didn't even bill insurance for it. If I needed to get all the dough out of a medical savings plan, fine. But - *shrug* - eh.

The recombiant DNA insulins were *just* coming online in the nineties, and while they were recommended as soon as they came out, the stuff wasn't all that available, and was a tad bit more a bottle. We kind of looked it as an experiment and gee whiz, that's keen.

A tad being - oh, it was $12 vs. that $8 I just told you about, for the stuff Eli Lilly was culling from the slaughterhouses.

Imagine my surprise when I went to go shop plain regular insulin yesterday and discovered Eli Lilly had stopped manufacuring that $8 a bottle stuff in 2005. Now, all insulin (it looks like) is recombinant DNA origin - and the $12 a bottle stuff?

Would you believe $41 a bottle?!

*jaw drop* That's -

A lot of things I'd rather not put to paper. The fact this product is a result of my taxes going to fund research for it - not to mention voluntary donations and fund raisers to boot - ah. Yawp.

I can HEAR Cliff in the afterlife from here - the screeching is amazing. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS - yes, yes, yes. Okay. I got it. I got it.

When you hear in the news that diabetes is now an epidemic, you just tuck that away somewhere. Without this, people don't live. Without *enough* of it, people live very compromised lives - and complications? Don't get me started.

We have some of the best tools to treat this that has ever been. You get this diagnosis, you can expect to have a lot of work - and never see what Cliff saw before you leave this place for the next one. If you can get access to the tools and use them. Meters that retain records and only require a tiny scratch (Cliff was seen at a hospital in 1996 that was still doing all its monitoring by draw. That's a stick in the arm, for you and me. How many times a day? They recommend four times, yanno. DRAW. 1996. Yo. When he died, I donated them his meter in his memory. Dumbshits.) They routinely put kids on pumps like clockwork and the results are incredible.

$41 a bottle. I've said I am glad I don't have to do with Cliff what I did in the nineties, now. There is nothing like finding out your information is out of date to get slapped in the face - and do you think Eli Lilly has a prescription drug assistance plan for regular insulin? Gallows humor kicking in here. You might as well ask the Clean Air Board in California for financial assistance to get air to breathe.

Wow. If you ain't rich, what right do you have to live. They used to just keep you out of the public pools.
kyburg: (it's on)
Things that haven't changed, number one: I am still surrounded by people with diabetes.

Things that have changed: the cost of a bottle of insulin.

(The DDoS stuff yesterday made me lose a buttload of stuff - the fingers flew, but the network went OM NOM NOM NOM *finger* - alas.)

Keep in mind Cliff passed in 1998 - at the age of 36. This is not to say if you get a type I diabetes diagnosis, you will as well. When he was diagnosed in 1969 - NINETEEN SIXTY NINE - at the age of 5, there were no meters, no in-home anything other than wee little tabs you peed on (that ALWAYS indicated positive, if you left them alone long enough 'just to make sure'), no time-release style insulin, no disposable ANYTHING...and all insulin was of animal origin. You a vegetarian? Uh oh. Close your eyes and take the shot - it's all we got. And they thought one shot a day of regular was GREAT. (Oh, and no A1c monitoring. Have a nice life!)

Cliff was also from a family that had a high cholesterol issue - he never fell below the mid 300's without medication - and often was MUCH higher. Set-up? Oh very much so.)

He started showing signs of major complications in his teens.

You weren't allowed in public schools, public pools (yes, really) and people either thought you were contagious or genetically inferior. (You're still 4F for the draft.) It wouldn't be until AIDS showed up that type I would be 'discovered' as an auto-immune disease, likely of viral origin combined with a genetic tendency towards overkill - yay viral research, hooray - oh, about 1988.

I remember how much some things cost - finding the $$$ to pay for it all after he retired disabled and lost 1/3 of our income permanently will engrave such things on your memory.

A bottle of regular insulin, beef/pork origin from Eli Lilly - $8. Box of syringes, oh about another $11 or so. (I still have some tucked away - they're very useful. Don't look at me like that. I'll feed you some congnac-treated strawberries and amaretto lychees someday.)

So we would have multiple bottles working at any one time - and a kit in the car, a kit at the desk at work - no problem. Didn't even bill insurance for it. If I needed to get all the dough out of a medical savings plan, fine. But - *shrug* - eh.

The recombiant DNA insulins were *just* coming online in the nineties, and while they were recommended as soon as they came out, the stuff wasn't all that available, and was a tad bit more a bottle. We kind of looked it as an experiment and gee whiz, that's keen.

A tad being - oh, it was $12 vs. that $8 I just told you about, for the stuff Eli Lilly was culling from the slaughterhouses.

Imagine my surprise when I went to go shop plain regular insulin yesterday and discovered Eli Lilly had stopped manufacuring that $8 a bottle stuff in 2005. Now, all insulin (it looks like) is recombinant DNA origin - and the $12 a bottle stuff?

Would you believe $41 a bottle?!

*jaw drop* That's -

A lot of things I'd rather not put to paper. The fact this product is a result of my taxes going to fund research for it - not to mention voluntary donations and fund raisers to boot - ah. Yawp.

I can HEAR Cliff in the afterlife from here - the screeching is amazing. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS - yes, yes, yes. Okay. I got it. I got it.

When you hear in the news that diabetes is now an epidemic, you just tuck that away somewhere. Without this, people don't live. Without *enough* of it, people live very compromised lives - and complications? Don't get me started.

We have some of the best tools to treat this that has ever been. You get this diagnosis, you can expect to have a lot of work - and never see what Cliff saw before you leave this place for the next one. If you can get access to the tools and use them. Meters that retain records and only require a tiny scratch (Cliff was seen at a hospital in 1996 that was still doing all its monitoring by draw. That's a stick in the arm, for you and me. How many times a day? They recommend four times, yanno. DRAW. 1996. Yo. When he died, I donated them his meter in his memory. Dumbshits.) They routinely put kids on pumps like clockwork and the results are incredible.

$41 a bottle. I've said I am glad I don't have to do with Cliff what I did in the nineties, now. There is nothing like finding out your information is out of date to get slapped in the face - and do you think Eli Lilly has a prescription drug assistance plan for regular insulin? Gallows humor kicking in here. You might as well ask the Clean Air Board in California for financial assistance to get air to breathe.

Wow. If you ain't rich, what right do you have to live. They used to just keep you out of the public pools.
kyburg: (grief)
SNARK MODE=ON

I'm more than a bit out of sorts tonight. I'm going to call your attention to two passings of close, dear ones - not of mine, but in my circle. Dear ones of dear ones, as it were.

Shelton Jackson. AIDS.

Jennie Sutton. Cystic Fibrosis.

Half my age. Younger than Cliff when he left.

People mention what fighters they were. How terrible it was they 'lost the battle.'

As if.

Guys, having a disease process? Isn't a matter of a fight - because it's not, and it never will be.

You don't get to fight. This isn't a battle. You don't even get to defend yourself.

You get handed something to endure and deal with. You get something that doesn't care, doesn't even throw a punch at you - before it steals everything in your life, and then takes you life without batting an eye. It's insanity to even consider you will get a fair shot. A fair fight? *laughs*

This drives me nuts, because it implies that if you don't 'win?' You failed. You didn't do something. You didn't get help from the Right People. You were - unlucky. You can fill in the blank. Shoot, go ahead - co-op God. For good or ill. It's done. You know what it sounds like, you've heard it.

Here's your warning. You do this around me, you're going to get it.

You get to work as hard as you ever have - for vanishing returns. Maybe no returns at all, but you do it anyway because you want out of this nightmare and that's the only way that looks promising. You live in an acute awareness of being that is both a curse and a blessing. You wish you could have the day of a lifetime - because it could be your last, and tomorrow could be worse - and have to deal with the reality that this day has more suck (and no money) in it than anything else, and you can't. But you endure it - hoping tomorrow will be different. But today, you enjoy the sunlight. The rain. Whatever you can grab - because this is your time, the only time you are going to get. And you know you must make the most of it. It's all you'll get. Vitally aware.

Vitally aware you're getting the short end, but you make the best of it. It is what it is.

Fight. Fight what? Something that sits on your chest, sucks your blood, kills you from the inside out, short-circuits your nervous system, plays with your body chemistry like some science project from 6th grade, what? Oh yeah, that'll work.

Shelton did something wonderful. He told everyone what it was like. He took it in, hoped for the best and just did what he could. Hope's Voice. Dear God.

There's little braver than enduring a transplant, in my book. To consider it, do it and when it stops working? To consider doing it again? And why?

She failed the saving throw on the genetics. Yeah, I'd give the whole mess the finger. Cliff certainly did often enough.

I remember the absolute smugness Cliff had on his 35th birthday. He'd made it. He wouldn't see two more birthdays - but he'd made it to 35 when everyone said he wouldn't.

Fight. You wish. You manage to endure and survive these things, if you can. That's all.

Let me tell you something. This ain't no dress rehearsal. This is all you're going to get. One day, one hour, one moment at a time - and when it's gone, it's gone for good. It's not coming back for you to try again, this moment. Not ever.

So don't be surprised if I'm willing to do whatever I must to avoid being unhappy a single moment if I don't have to. Regret, sadness, whatever - those things are part of a healthy acceptance of life and its realities. But if depression rolls around? No. I spent too much time there already - and I know too much now to ever go back there. I don't deserve it. Nobody does.

And it's a fucking lie. Test those boundaries, push that envelope - it'll give. Promise. You won't die - of fail, embarrassment or panic. Hang in there, grab on by your fingernails and don't let go. Look for what is true and unchanging - the rest of the world is no more perfect than you are. Things fall down. It's okay. You deal. You move on. Let it be. It'll be okay, really. Trust me. Trust yourself.

I want to live my life in near exhaustion - every day as full as I can make it, curious about what's around the corner and willing to give it a go, even if I fall on my face. Like nobody's watching (and really, who is?). Hard to hit. Always in motion.

I'll never feel sorry for you if I see you need a shove back onto your feet more. Come on - your life is calling, can you hear it? Are you listening for someone else to relay the message instead (don't)? Get up, pay no attention to that bullshit hiding behind the curtain whispering threats. Deal. Cope. Work. (It's all just work, didn't anyone tell you that?)

You don't need anyone to tell you you're awesome. You just are. Accept it, tuck it close to your heart of hearts and never forget it. You're the first one to know this - nobody else can make it stick if you don't hear that from the bottom of your soul.

Strive. Get out in front and make it look like a parade. Fake it. You'll make it, eventually. No other choice - if you keep at it.

But this is IT. No do-overs, no going back to make changes. No rewrites.

Do your best.
Clean up your own messes.
Be aware of your impact on others.

People rock. You rock and you don't even know it yet.

Now get to work.

SNARK MODE=OFF

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