Saturday, March 5, 2011

Random Thoughts

It hasn't been the kind of week that serves coherence. So, today on Elvis Sightings, a heaping helping of stream-of-consciousness.

  • We all went to Grandma Judy's wake last night. It was so good to be with family, and to take part in this shared ritual of closure. Neither Rose nor Joy had ever encountered an open casket before. But Rose bravely went up to the front to "pay her respects" as we had discussed with her beforehand. Joy went up a little later in my arms. I think she might have been a little confused, as she reached out to Grandma Judy with an uncertain smile. I told her that it was time to say "bye-bye." She gave a small wave and an adorable spoken "bye-bye."
  • Goodbyes are so hard.
  • We had brought all sorts of tools and tricks to get the girls through the evening, from a portable DVD player & Baby Einstein to Rose's sketchpad and her little ZhuZhu-pet video game. But it was AuntieS who saved the day. She brought a brand-new travel set of the game Guess Who? that Rose could play with her cousin. For Joy, she brought one of those soft plastic bath-scrubby-poufs with a terry-cloth ducky in the middle. Once again AuntieS scored big, as she did with the curly-ribbons at Thanksgiving time. Joy spent the rest of the evening watching video and happily shredding the bath-pouf. Simply perfect.
  • JoyDad will represent our little family today at the memorial service and burial. It didn't make sense to try to chivvy the girls through a day as long as this one will be. I'll be there in spirit, though.
  • This all comes at the end of a long, hard week. It's been on my heart to join the amazing huge creative peaceful protests at the Capitol building, and re-fill myself with their hope and energy, but I've been unable for over a week. Schedule is part of it, and sickness even more. Both Rose and Joy were home from school most of the week fighting the flu, and I was trying to care for them and fight pneumonia myself. Thank heaven for antibiotics (for me), and for speedy recovery (for all of us.)
  • The events of the day in Wisconsin continue to seep into most everything we do. When I went to the deli counter last weekend, wearing my "Save Medicaid" sticker on my coat, the guy at the counter asked "So, what can I get for you? [pause] Besides a new governor?" When I went to the doctor with my complaint of sleeping difficulty and on-rushing bronchial issues, he asked me whether there was a movement to recall this governor who has pushed forward this extreme agenda so very far in excess of anything he'd campaigned on. I left with prescriptions for the aforementioned antibiotics, a sleep aid, and the doctor's personal e-mail address -- promising to send him the website address where he could add his name to the pre-recall database at (In this state an official must hold office at least a year before a recall can take place; at that time, there is a 60-day window to collect sufficient signatures.)
  • Healthcare workers and professionals are marching in support of Medicaid in Wisconsin today (Saturday), starting at 11am on campus at Library Mall. I wish I could join them, but I'm on childcare today. I'll be thinking of them, and looking forward to seeing pictures.
  • I was on childcare last Saturday as well, while JoyDad and brothers were helping GrampaK get some things taken care of. Let me be clear, I am ever-so-willing to hold up my end and do what needs to be done! but last weekend it meant that I ended up forgoing the opportunity to be in this political ad: I have not embedded the ad-video here because it is highly partisan, and frames the events in Wisconsin as a "war," terminology that I would personally prefer to avoid. But it's a powerful piece, and I would very much have liked to add my story and get a mention of Medicaid into the ad, something that did not happen in my absence.
  • However, it's not as if I'm lacking a voice this week. I've had the opportunity to have some of my writing published on a national level (under my real name, so no link here, sorry!) And that feels good.
  • After several weeks of high intensity, I do feel now that the initial frantic urgency of "Medicaid emergency and nobody even knows!" is receding. People do know now, and many other voices are being heard. It's time to take a deep breath, and move things to a level more manageable for the longer term.
  • Right after I write just one more blogpost / Facebook status / protest letter...


Lynn said...

First of all, so sorry to hear about Grandma Judy.

And I am behind you and everyone in WI! Keep fighting the fight! My husband might be up in Madison at the end of the week on business and if he goes will definitely make a solidarity visit to the capitol. Wish I could have seen you in that commercial!

Anonymous said...

what a week, friend.

congratulations on your writing! is it online? can you email me a link?

hope that you can rest tonight.


Cindy G said...

I walked around (and around) the capitol yesterday. My sign said "Save Badgecare and Medicaid", in part because your blog has made me more aware and informed about this aspect of the horrible bill

Unknown said...

wow, that's a lot for anyone to handle! so sorry about Grandma. i pray that you will be granted some solstice in this challenging time. that was very touching to hear the story of Joy saying "bye bye". I can't imagine how you felt . . .

Unknown said...

i think i meant to say, i hope you find some "solace". ha ha! i'm not sure the sun's positioning is going to help you right now, but hey . . .you never know! good thoughts your way! :)

JoyMama said...

Lynn -- thank you so much -- you know where to e-mail me if you-all ever want to come and march with us!

rhemashope -- link sent. And sleep has been better. Thank you.

Cindy -- Wonderful. Thank you so much! The BadgerCare/Medicaid issue will get a big boost on Saturday with the planned tractor-cade around the square. Loss of BadgerCare coverage is what the family farmers are coming to protest -- it's the only thing that allows many of them to be able to make ends meet in small-scale farming.

Leah -- change "solstice" to "equinox" and I think we'll be on to something -- spring is coming, despite the snow that fell last night! Seriously, thank you for your prayers. It is such a comfort to be lifted up in this way.