Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

What to do in Traffic besides Honk the Horn

It happened a few days ago. Not sure why cars were slowing down to a crawl for no reason — no trucks to blame — yet the main span was choking with vehicles. Time to capture the sky through familiar metal as soon it will be gone.

Talk at the facility where mom’s recuperating from a broken leg is often about how the new bridge will help traffic. Or won’t.Several people have relatives who visit from Rockland, and two nurses who live there say it will be a big mess of three lanes into four and then back into three.

This is another view I’ll miss. I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

July 4th Reminiscing: Broadway Shows and 1776


Dad loved Broadway shows and took mom to the The Great White Way at least twice a month. When my little brother and I were old enough, they took us to see Annie, Pippin, Chicago, Cabaret, Camelot, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd, Gemini, among others.

1 of 3 covers - May 1971/ Playbill Vault

1 of 3 covers – May 1971/ Playbill Vault

One show I found very entertaining, and remember to this day, was 1776, which opened on March 16, 1969. And my favorite song from that show, one that always makes me smile because of its catchy tune, is this:

If you plan being on the river, then be aware of the new boater safety rules.

Detailed information — including the Coast Guard’s weekly Local Notice to Mariners, excerpted and in its entirety — is also listed on the project website.  A LNM primer is here.

Happy 4th of July. Stay safe and have fun!

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017

Impromptu Drive brings Moments of Reminiscing

Disappearing bridge hidden in clouds and fog right before it began to snow./EarthCam®

Disappearing bridge hidden in clouds and fog right before it began to snow./EarthCam®

By the time we left Nyack it was snowing lightly so that you couldn’t tell if it was rain. The village looked magical, and the towers looked pretty cloaked in a heavy sky that wasn’t as heavy earlier on the way there.

“When are they going to take this bridge away?” mom asked. She and dad were married less than eight weeks before it opened. Sometimes she asks if they can keep it with the new bridge.

She wanted to see what was doing with the project, and since it’s difficult for her to get to the viewing area, much less in cold weather, we drove to Nyack.

She asked a few more questions. “When is this going to get done? Do you think it will ever open?” I smiled and asked if she remembered the first time she crossed it. She was married by then, a newlywed. She didn’t answer.

* * * * *

Friday night my dad visited me. I walked into the foyer of our house to find him by grandma’s table that holds family pictures. The back of his pants near the waist was cut away.

He turned around and smiled; I said, “Daddy!” and reached to hug him. He hugged me and made a pained face. Then I hugged him again, and he made the same pained face.

Mom reminded me he’s always had a bad back.

Dreams occur usually just before a person wakes (sometimes). When I awoke it was Saturday (December 10),so the dream was probably early Saturday morning.

Tonight I realized, after checking a log I kept of dad’s last months, that the date correlated to an incident exactly three years ago, when his back was injured. He was trying to tell me he was in pain.

I loved hugging him, and he, me. Dreams can be widely interpreted.

He left us February 2014, and while I knew it was a dream I was so happy to see him! This is the fourth time he’s visited me. Articles I read about visitation say the person is younger and healthier (he looked that way every time) than when last seen. He wears one or the other of a brightly-colored sweater, one of which is in my closet, and while he always has a broad smile he never speaks to me.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

Thanksgiving Memories: Wanting a Sleepover

movie star dadIt was my dad’s first night at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. I’m grateful to the facility for accepting him on short notice and for giving him dignity during his last days. I wrote this nearly three years ago and kept it private until now.

Eyes widening, he asked me in a quiet voice to stay over one night. I look at him, my own eyes questioning silently. “Are you sure?” I asked. “Yes,” he half-mouthed, half-said.

Dad’s vulnerability frightened us both. “Why don’t Mom and I both stay over?” I asked, looking up as she wordlessly in a chair. “Otherwise, I’d have to visit without her, and she’d be home alone.”

When I heard he’d been accepted here, I cried tears of relief and joy. The past two months were emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and — as Mom and I’d learned the day before — spiritually frustrating.

Several years ago I penned “Open Faced Sandwich” about helplessly watching Dad struggle, determined to advocate for him. I have, and continue to do it.

His request for me to stay overnight in his hospital room is the end of a long road that started on Thanksgiving Day. For weeks, I was haunted with the belief I’d personally escorted Dad deeper into a hole from which he’d never return.

For the second time in less than two weeks, my conscious was wracked with guilt because, three hours after Mom and I left the place I chose for him, Dad fell on the floor. The call came at 9:57 p.m.; my heart stopped, thinking it was that call.

“Your dad fell, and we’re putting down floor mats,” the assistant told me. Putting down floor mats NOW? Mom and I saw them in his room earlier, and were assured they’d be placed under his bed.

Dad plunged deeper; Mom and I were livid. The doctor sent him back to the hospital, where he languished for the next six weeks — speechless, mouthing words, repeating a word or two when he could. He sometimes ate, mostly not, and always surprised us.

“We found the Holy Grail yesterday, daddy!” my December 30 journal entry said. “You had half of a huge pastrami sandwich with mustard on a hard roll, and see, the nurses didn’t think you were hungry. It took five calls to the hospital to get the doctor to take you off soft (mushy yuck) diet; she was afraid you’d aspirate and choke.”

“You’re smarter than that, daddy, and couldn’t wait to eat. Tomorrow I’m bringing you a pad and pens so you can talk on paper. I don’t know if we’ll have a conversation again, daddy, yet I pray and hope that things will turn around for you. I love you.”

Several days later, Dad was talking, reading “Happy New Year” from the paper on which I’d written it. It was wonderful to see recognition in his eyes, and then he looked at me as if to say, ‘Why are you asking me to read this?’ I wanted to know if there was a connection, if his brain was working, my scientific trial.

Until back into that dark place he fell.

Doctors told us dementia is cruel, plays tricks, teases, gives false information. I didn’t believe it, not in Dad.

What happened next can only be described as a miracle.

His brown eyes opened wide when I walked into his hospital room later that day. I greeted him, and then I heard the sweetest sound: his voice. I asked him a question, and he answered; I asked him something else. He again responded.

From somewhere far away, Dad had climbed out, back to us. Mom and I believe it’s because we demanded that he be taken off both sedative medications. I blamed them for his fall in the rehabilitation facility; since he’d lost weight and was eating little, his body wasn’t able to absorb it.

I question if his earlier inability to communicate was due to overmedication.

Dad’s doctor, and the medical team attending him here, listen and understand, and I’m grateful for their compassion and communication with Mom and me.

“Are you sure?” I asked again. “Yes,” he replied a second time. I’m looking forward to our sleepover, Dad.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

U.S. Air Force First Lieutenant Harold V. Rosman

dad

My favorite veteran left us nearly three years ago. We have this picture in the foyer and meant to have it framed; however, where it is now offers a clear view of dad’s smile as we walk in the door.

I love you and miss you, dad. During one of our last conversations I told you about something on my mind, something I was thinking about doing. When I finished speaking you looked at me, grinned and said, “Go for it!”

This is my new mantra, dad. Happy Veteran’s Day on the other side.

I love you and miss you,

Janie

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