Monday, September 29, 2008

The Miracle that is Mom

I've updated this last week's happenings and have saved the best for last so that it would appear at the top of my blog - mom is doing so much better that it's hard to believe.

She and I have had long talks in the last few days. She doesn't hear as well as she used to and she still has a hard time eating. She will not regain the use of her legs to walk any time soon. But the most important part of her body, her brain, seems to have come through this ordeal relatively unscathed. Her memories have returned, both those from a long time ago as well as those that are recent. The only thing she doesn't remember is the time she was in that catatonic state - no surprise there!

She has regained her sense of humor and is joking a lot.

Today was special. She asked to talk with me one on one and then asked me my forgiveness for not having done her best for me as my mom. I told her she had nothing that needed forgiving. She has been a wonderful mother who did all she could for her children after the death of our father when I was only two and my sister was not yet born by three months. I then asked her for her forgiveness for the hard times I put her through as a teenager especially and she too told me that I needed no forgiving. A lot more was said but suffice it to say here that it was wonderful to have the opportunity after being told she would not survive last month to be able to have such a deep conversation!

My main job now is to get her to eat more - something she finds difficult to do. She's now lost 60 lbs but she was pretty overweight before, so that's not as bad as it sounds. If she can get her strength back and start some physical therapy on her legs, she can get back to the point where she is self-sufficient again, at least as much as she had been.

Thank you all for all the kind thoughts and prayers. My mom asked me to thank you all too!

Pizza with Friends and Family

After seeing mom yesterday, my sister and I joined her good friends and mine for a good pizza dinner in a very nice restaurant. On top is Davide, then Giuseppe, myself, my sister Sally and our friend Barbara. A nicer group of people you could never hope to meet!

What happens?

What happens when you mix Euro coins and batteries in your back pocket, as I did in my jeans today? Well, interestingly, as I was sitting in my sister's car while we were going to visit mom, my right butt cheek started feeling hot, then almost burning. What was going on??

I pulled out the coins and batteries and found that two of the batteries had become very hot! So the contact between those batteries and coins were causing some kind of overload and heating them up fast. If I had left them for much longer, I wonder if they might not have exploded. They always tell you not to throw batteries in a fire for fear that they will explode.

Any chemical engineers out there want to clue us in?

The Kittens Are Growing Up Fast

Since I was here in Italy in July and August, the three kittens have now become three cats, with one of them having been given away to another family. Both the kittens' mom and grandma have died in the interim, leaving here at the house the two kittens, quickly becoming cats, that you see here. They are so much fun to watch, constantly playing, jumping on each other, and so on, then resting their head on one another when resting.

If this keeps up, I might actually start liking cats! :-)

A Visit to San Benedetto Po

My sister and her Artisan Consortium has a two-month long exhibit at San Benedetto Po, a town about 90 minutes away from where she lives, just over the border in Lombardia (Lombardy) from Emilia-Romagna, the province in which she lives. Emilia-Romagna is right above Toscana (Tuscany). Hey, go look at a map. :-)

Quite a beautiful edifice, isn't it?

It dates from before Columbus.

Note in the second photo how there were two more arched entrances that sometime in the past were filled in with bricks.

My sister Sally is in the fifth photo.

A Car Aptly Named?

OK, I know it's taking it too far to say a Mercedes-Benz is not supposed to be Mercedes-BENDS, as in, "Oops, who bent this car?" But when you put on the side of the Mercedez-Bends the word "Kompressor" aren't you just asking it to be...well...compressed?

Stazione Centrale in Milan, Italy

Thees photos were taken very quickly and on the fly as I rushed through the Central Train Station in Milano, Italy. But...having lived in Milan as a teenager and having visited it many times since, I have always loved this train station. I just wanted to share its beauty, to which these photos do not do justice, with my many millions of blog readers. :-)

Flying Over the Alps

I love flying over the Alps, seeing the peaks of the mountains jutting out above the clouds, as if to say, you may think you're high and mighty flying above us all, but you will not hide from us what is above you!

Enough said. The photos say it all.

Nervous Fliers Going to Europe

Tuesday I flew back to Italy to see my mom. The first leg of the trip was to Zürich and the second to Milano. The plane to Zürich was full and noisy and I could not sleep a wink the whole flight. One of the flight attendants on the flight is a neighbor of mine and I went to the back of the plane to spend some time with him and the other flight attendants.

One flight attendant came back holding a coffee cup. She said in all the years she had been flying, she had never seen one with so many teeth marks around the edge! We could only surmise that the coffee drinker was one nervous flier!