Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Vacation That Wasn't

I may have failed to mention this last week, but I figure by now you guys are used to the routine, as the Hammer Family has gone to the beach for the July 4 holiday at least ten straight years and hopefully will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. So that's where I've been for the past few days, although under different circumstances I probably would have posted a few times during the vacation, or at least mentioned here that I would be disappearing for a few days. In reality, however, my wife and I had a very sad thing happen in the family where a very, very close relative suffered a life-altering injury out of nowhere around the middle of last week.

I got the word when Hammer Wife called me in tears at my office, having heard the news via an emergency voicemail left by a friend of the family. Although (of course) my work made it impossible for me to extricate myself a day earlier than the vacation I already had planned, we basically dropped everything and left for the beach a day early (where the accident also coincidentally occurred). As I look back, I guess I didn't have time to post before breaking my balls at work for 24 hours straight and then jumping in the car for the solo ride down to the beach to meet my family who had arrived the day before.

In a nutshell, we spent the week in and out of the hospital, visiting, worrying and just generally helping out where we could, but it really made the normally festive and relaxing July 4 week not a fun one for anyone this time around. One interesting aspect of the weekend was how we handled it with the Hammer kids. M and K are at interesting ages with respect to this, as K, like the baby obviously, is just barely too young to really understand that the person may never be exactly the same again after the emergency last week. But M is pretty much just old enough to start to get it. Hammer Wife and I really went out of our way to keep the gory details from both kids, and even though they had to join us at the hospital on two separate days because of circumstances this week, in the end we decided not to bring them upstairs to the room, preferring for them not to experience the image of this person so different from how they have always seen them in the past. Only time will tell just how much M really understands and appreciates what exactly happened this week with one of her favorite people in the world.

So innocence was spared for some at least this weekend. But what about our feelings? The grown-ups, I mean, and not necessarily just the old ones. I mean, to be honest, the fact that this happened to a formerly-no-real-medical-problems, trim, incredibly healthy-eating person of course freaks all of us out. How could it not? I eat generally like crap and for sure don't have even one-tenth of the fake food that this person keeps at the house almost exclusively -- imitation butter, egg beaters, fake tofu cream cheese, fake turkey lite sausage, extra special light peanut butter that has literally zero taste at all, etc. -- and although I may be a bit younger, I don't exactly consider myself a spring chicken at this point in my life by a long shot. If this person can suffer such a horrifying accident, then it seems for sure it could happen to any of us. Myself? Without question. Probably, even.

Instead of a real vacation and a time to get away from the things that weigh on me, this past week turned out to be one of the first times I've been literally forced to sit and ponder my own mortality while also being deeply concerned about the mortality of a close family member. I always knew I've been lucky to be able to say I've gone this long and gotten this old without ever having to deal with something quite like this before, but now having been through just the beginning of this situation I realize for the first time just how incredibly lucky that is. Maybe it's ok that I must be about 50 or 60 percent below my long-term expected value results at poker -- between my family, my health, and the life I've been privileged to lead so far in my time on the earth, I'm still running way way good in the end.

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Blogger OES said...

Putting "positive energy out" as my hippy mom likes to call it.


9:10 PM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Hope things work out as good as possible.

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great summerisation mate. I have a terminally ill grandparent (slightly different from your situation I know) and every time I see her it makes me realise what a loser I am for moaning about bad beats and running under EV in cash games.

All the best to you and your family member

4:55 PM  
Blogger BWoP said...

Sorry to hear about that Hoy. I'm sending you and your family lots of good vibes.

2:16 AM  

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