Here’s where we gotta be
Love and community
Laughter is eternity
If joy is real
– U2 , Get on Your Boots
I just thought I’d have to use the name of the U2 album which came out this week as the title of one of my posts. Life has been crazy with 5 consecutive weeks of travel, many sleepless nights (some due to my own pursuit of pleasure), and much going on in every aspect of my life. If I stayed true to my metaphor of “the road of life”, I’d be driving a VW Bus filled with all my life’s belongings listening to the Doobie Brothers and going on a road trip to nowhere. Yes, truly, no line on that horizon for sure. Just going where the wind takes me. Oh and for those who really know me and say that I can fall asleep anywhere, it is true. I think I’m probably the only person around who sleeps from takeoff to landing on flights. In fact, this morning I slept my whole way down to LA.
Sitting down with my thoughts or even going for a run on my own has been a bit of a chore these days. Even as I write this I find myself sitting on a cramped stool at a Samsung Mobile station at Los Angelese International Airport (LAX).
The cab ride here through Los Angeles rush hour traffic actually gave me time to take a snooze and think about things for once. My wife was back home getting her monthly shot and is preparing for her revision surgery. I asked her if it was getting “old hat” and she said, “hardly”. Silly me. At least it was the easy technician who knew what he was doing she said. Did I ever mention I hate needles? It is hard asking her “how did your day go” without wincing. I never hear really terrible things come out of her mouth, but I still worry something will. She’s such a trooper and makes my life much easier than it really should be. In some ways I feel guilty for not letting her put more on me.
Someone asked me about my recent post about my father and asked me why I don’t talk about my mother. Funny, but they are right and I have been thinking about her a lot. I was very close to my dad and many say that I am most like him. We shared many close memories and I guess I talk about him more because I miss him. My mother is turning 70-something this weekend and I feel like she is going on 60. She’s been through a lot and now 3 years after my dad passed I look at her and see a woman who is fiercely independent, very strong, and extremely happy. I still see her missing my dad, but nothing has changed for her and I’ve found my mom’s attitude to be one that my wife should follow.
5 years removed from breast cancer, my mother doesn’t even think of breast cancer. When she walked back into the clinics this past year with my wife, she said the smell and feel of the hospital made her sick. She had put those years behind her and was fighting even before her hair grew back. I can’t recall them all but since she had her surgery she’s been to China, South Africa, Morocco, several trips to New York and Vegas, Hawaii, Japan, Tibet, The Amazon, Costa Rica, Egypt and Russia. “Where’s Mom now?” seems to be the cry amongst my siblings these days. I told her that although she was an unstoppable ball of energy before her cancer that she seemed to be crazier than ever (I always tell people about how my mom is your proto-typical California mom who asks you “What’s your sign” before she asks your name). My wife will never forget the first time they met. My wife had this big painted wooden fish around her neck that she got somewhere in Mexico. “Just call me Sue. I’m a Pisces” were the words that rung out. My future wife just giggled and looked at me. I’m not that into astrology but I think Pisces and Sagittarius signs must get along very well. Amyway, my mother said that cancer only made her more hungry to do more and make sure she left no stone unturned. Every obstacle to her is now an opportunity and it shows. She just never stops seeing the good in things. I love it.
Today as I flew down to Los Angeles I called her just to say hi and how I look forward to seeing her this weekend. I only got her voicemail (it’s all I get these days). I could see her rolling her eyes wondering why I wanted to bother her. I still hear her telling me to get outside and do things instead of sitting in front of the television.
I guess that is why travelling for work is not that bad for me. Los Angeles is great people watching (at least better than sitting at my desk). Today I went to lunch with a few colleagues. They asked where I wanted to go eat and I always tell them that as long as there is good people watching, I’ll go anywhere. We went to Le Petit Four on trendy W. Sunset in Hollywood. Lots of blondes with too much cleavage sitting with old men with George Hamilton tans, but it was good although spendy. I did spot Neil Sedaka though and he was the biggest star quality I could notice. Please tell me if you are reading this that you know who he is. My two colleagues were too young to know. Boy am I getting old. Anyway, Neil was very flattered that this star-gazer spotted him and gave me a knowing smile.
Well unfortunately there is a line on my horizon tonight as I have to board my plane!