A Peculiar Synchronicity

The funeral will probably be on Tuesday, to accommodate her out-of-town relatives, and the burial on Wednesday.

Well, if you read the latter comments to yesterday’s post, you know that my mom, Gertrude Elizabeth (Trudy) Green, died yesterday morning. She was 83, had suffered a massive stroke (9 cm, as opposed to the usual 2 to 3 cm) on Friday. And still I was surprised, and yet not.

Mom with Lydia

I’ll probably undoubtedly write more on this event over time, but I do want to make a couple of observations.

Thanks for the outpouring of kind words and thoughts and prayers that I have received.

Before each of my parents died, they each had a stroke, though my father’s was less severe. I was the last of the three Green children to arrive in Charlotte, and shortly after each of them saw me, they died. It was as though they were waiting on my arrival so that they could let go. there’s more than a little ambivalence in that.

I think this is interesting. Continue reading “A Peculiar Synchronicity”

Take The Train to Charlotte


So, it’s Sunday morning when I’m writing this. I note it because, usually, I allow the magic of posting ahead of time give you the (false) impression that I get up every morning and write some purple prose. Actually, some days I write nothing, and others, such as this past Saturday, I might compose three.

I mention this because I may be offline for a while, not responding to comments, not visiting other blogs. Or not – I don’t know yet.

Friday, my sister Marcia called me at work. She said that our mom seemed fine that morning, took a shower and started getting dressed. Suddenly, she started complaining about a severe headache. She was screaming, like she did when she was in a car accident a few months ago. Marcia decided to take her to the doctor, but by the time they were trying to get ready, my mother had become listless. So my sister called an ambulance, and Mom went to the hospital.

It turned out Mom has a brain bleed. Apparently, this layman has discovered, there are two types of strokes: one in which the blood vessels are constricted and one in which a vessel can burst; my mother has the latter.

Some factors: my mom is 83 years old, with high blood pressure plus other medical issues, and possibly most significantly, does amazingly poorly with the various anesthesia she’s had in the past. So calling Dr. Derek Shepherd of Grey’s Anatomy to do some sort of surgery is not a high percentage option.

Marcia called me Saturday. Mom has developed a full-blown case of pneumonia, from a little spot on her lungs to much worse merely hours later. My sister Leslie flew into Charlotte, NC from San Diego, CA on Sunday, for an extended visit she had been anticipating doing for a while anyway.

I’ve decided to go to Charlotte, too. But taking the plane is not only expensive, it becomes more so because I don’t know when I can come back. I can book it for a week, but then I might need to change it and incur a $150 change fee; no, Southwest doesn’t fly to Charlotte. Moreover, the best deal on a flight from Albany, NY to Charlotte, NC goes through Detroit, MI, an airport I HATE, HATE, HATE. Going through Atlanta, GA is not much better. The one direct flight is way more expensive.

Most of all, I really have come to despise what now passes for air travel in America, where I get to toss my four-ounce bottle of shampoo because I could be a terrorist. (More ranting at another time.) It’s become a flying bus, and I’m just not fond.

That leaves taking the train. It’s 15 hours, and I’ll either have to leave Albany or get to Charlotte in the middle of the night. Still, I like the train. I like walking around on the train, going to the dining car and meeting people on the train. The train is civilized; the plane is a meat market. At some point, quite probably by the time you read this, I’ll be in Charlotte, and I don’t know for how long. Since there is no real round-trip ticket, the return is more flexible.

All of this to say that I’ll probably be posting every day for the next week or so, stuff already written, or perhaps not. I’m sure I’ll be blogging from Charlotte once I figure out what the situation is.

Fiddlin John Carson And His Virginia Reelers-Take The Train To Charlotte

30-Day Challenge: Day 17- A Childhood Picture

The elementary school I went to was the one closest to my grandmother’s house, rather than the one closest to our house.

Here’s a picture of (L-R) me, my sister Leslie (16.5 months younger), sister Marcia (5 years, 2 months younger).

My recollection is that we were 10, 9 and 5. One of my sisters thinks 8, 7, and 3. My mother doesn’t remember.

Regardless, it is our very favorite picture of us, especially compared with the next picture of the three of us (NOT SHOWN, thank you very much, which we call the “year of the bad glasses.” Mine were opversized horn-rimmed, and the girls were wearing cats-eyes.

The picture above, I THINK, was taken at McLean’s department store in downtown Binghamton, NY, where my mother worked in the bookkeeping department. For all the time I can remember, my mom worked outside of the home, at McLean’s, then at Columbia Gas & Electric. When she moved to Charlotte, NC, she worked at First Union Bank as a teller.
Continue reading “30-Day Challenge: Day 17- A Childhood Picture”

Mother’s Day 2010

I saw, with my wife and daughter, my mother last month. This is a good thing; she lives in North Carolina, so it is a sometimes thing. The previous time was June 2009, with the Daughter, not my favorite visit, let’s say.

She is doing reasonably well. All her vital signs are good. Her cholesterol is in a good range, and we wonder if she still needs her medications. Continue reading “Mother’s Day 2010”