Tuesday, November 8, 2016


To my son Tommy,

By most accounts, at least in the 1st world, our family still has a lot on its plate. From Grandpa Leo's brain cancer, to Grandma Roro's MS and diabetes and heart trouble, to Mommy's bone cancer and crohn's disease and (among other things) a revisit of the hip pain that started the bone surgeries, to my own newly diagnosed diabetes, to your asthma, to selling the old house, and even to Nana Jeanne's age and past medical history, we have plenty to worry about. Life is more about treading water than an Olympic butterfly sprint.

We have gotten fairly good at treading water. Some times we get good enough to have the appearance that everything is hunkie dorie. Sure it was easier when either of your great uncles were around to help, but they have families and responsibilities to them and can't stay with us forever. Plus Grandpa Leo isn't doing chemo and radiation anymore so the transportation burden is definitely been lessened. So I think we are doing okay.

Still, some days are better than others. This was a tough day. The whole downstairs family (you, me, mommy) have gotten ill. You're home from school until Thursday or until your oxygen level in your blood starts naturally saturating at at least 95% because your sinus infection fell down into your chest. You are on some steroids and neb treatments as well as some azithromycin. I am home from work because this sinus cold that I got from you has me wiped out. The doctor gave me a z-pac but basically said going to take a day or two before things get better. The only reason Mommy isn't snuggled up with us right now, she had previous doctor appointments made. She just had an MRI of her hip/pelvis and sure enough she had a reaction to the contrast they used in the MRI. Never had it before but just her luck that she got it today, which delayed her coming home in between her other appointments and made you and I have to run chores together,

So we ran chores, and the first chore was for Daddy to vote. Even as bad as today has been going, there are more important things. Voting is one of them. It would have been easy to skip. I don't think many would have faulted me. Still I had to vote today, it was a moral imperative. I wish I was as smart as your Mommy and voted during the early voting period, but I didn't. So on the way to my doctor, we stopped by and voted. You were all worried because I have been explaining the election process and the voting system and the age requirements, and of course you were not 18 when you accompanied me to the voting table. You even hid the sticker they gave me and I handed to you, worried that you were rigging the election in some way.

Remember, no matter how bad life gets, there are things you still must do. Voting is one of the major players in our civic duty, but there are even more important things still that happen each and every week as opposed to an occasional event that happens once or twice every two years or so. Going to church, telling your mom you love her, doing your best, getting an education, being honest, and being kind are just a couple things that come to mind as the most important things to do no matter what your current lot in life is, even beyond voting though voting goes hand in hand . This, this cold, this horrible election... this too shall pass...and then we will be left with how well we lived, what we did when the chips were stacked against us.

Sincerely with love from your dad,