The Spider by Rick Crandall,posted Aug 10 2012 1:21PM
So last weekend while I was working on some sprinkler heads in the backyard I got bit on my right thumb by something. I didn't even feel it at first but as the week has gone on my thumb has become swollen, there's obviously an infection and it looks gross. Oh yea, AND IT HURTS LIKE HELL!!!! So I go to my doctor today, who I really like, and he says, "yep, something bit you. Take these pills and by the end of the weekend you should notice a big improvement." And with that he was off after spending 2 minutes and 17 seconds with me. In fact he left so fast I looked out the window to see if the building was on fire! END OF THE WEEKEND??? What part of "I was bite by a rare spider called The Slow, Painful, Agonizing Death Spider" did he not hear??? I need immediate relief. It's a miracle I'm able to still stand and speak. My life passed by my eyes twice, and I'm a slow passer. Wait, scratch that passer part. My point is I didn't go looking for relief eventually, I went looking for relief NOW. Have you tried zipping your pants without a thumb? I've been to HR three times this week. Diane says this is why men don't have babies, the pain would kill is. I say it's because my womb is full of Cheetos and Skittles. Anyway, please keep my thumb in your prayers. The doctor said my thumbnail will fall off eventually. I already have the 9 and a 1 dialed just in case.
I was with our grandchildren the other day, up to some kind of mischief like usual, and one of the boys picked something up and said, “This smells like Poppi”. I immediately turned around to see what he was holding, assuming the worst, and saw him clutching a t-shirt of mine. The other two took the shirt and made the same pronouncement, “Yep, this smells like Poppi for sure.” So I took my turn at the smell test, inhaled deeply and recognized my .79 cent a bottle After Shave Gel. I turned to the three of them and said, “Is that a bad thing?”, and they replied very emphatically, “Oh no, we like that Poppi smell!, and off they went to explore the world of trampolines and roly-poly bugs.
They are far too young to know this now but for the rest of their lives they will be reminded of Poppi when they smell .79 Gillette after shave gel. My legacy has been assured in the men’s toiletry aisle! Long after they’ve forgotten the computer we got them for Christmas, or the trip to the mountains, or the mending of scrapes and bruises, years from now when they are lost in lives of their own someone will walk by with that gel on and immediately they’ll remember Poppi. That’s funny because we spent days looking for the right Christmas present and I grabbed the shave gel in one second because it was on sale! But as I think of it, I remember many of my relatives that same way. My Grandfather on my Mom’s side had the prickliest moustache ever and whenever we saw him he’d give us a big kiss and my brothers and I would complain about how it hurt! I remember my grandmother for her wonderful laugh and how she said Ricky. She called me that until she died, long after I had told everyone else it was not cool to do. It was angelic when she said it. At some point in our lives we were imprinted by something special that creates a lasting impression of those we love. And 99 out of 100 times it’s the simplest of things, a moustache, a laugh, shave gel. What reminds you of those you loved most?
Some people aspire to greatness in deeds and accomplishments. Others make monuments from money they amass and things they collect. My lasting memory is being built on the shoulders of summer afternoons in the swimming pool, throwing grapes in the air and catching them in my mouth and .79 shaving gel. Thank you Gillette for assuring my grandchildren will always remember their grandfather
Have you ever walked down the aisle at the grocery or greeting card store and seen all the events that are celebrated with a card? Anniversaries, get well, miss you, good luck, new home, and a million different holidays. And there are birthday cards, but no where will you find a Re-Birthday card. That’s right, Re-Birthday. Never heard of it? Let me explain.
Six years ago today my wife, Diane, had a stroke. While she didn’t suffer any paralysis from the stroke she did lose the ability to communicate. In the middle of her stroke she was desperately trying to tell me something was wrong and all that came out was jumbled up words that made no sense in the order she was speaking them. She would later tell me that while I was hearing “Cowboy rain pajamas” she was trying to say “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” While she was writing “Morning lawnmower.” She was trying to write “I need to go to the doctor.” Get her to the doctor we did and the team at Aurora South did amazing work to stabilize Diane and get her on the road to recovery. For the first couple days Diane’s speech didn’t return. She could get a word out, but no two in a row that made sense. The hospital speech therapist visited and gave her a picture board so she could point at the things she was trying to say, or ask for. Diane threw the board and refused to use it. Then on the third day of her recovery, her rebirth happened. Our Priest, Father Steve Adams, visited and asked Diane if she wanted to pray. She said yes…and when asked which prayer she slowly managed to say the Lord’s Prayer. So we held hands and started with Our Father, and Diane said every word of the prayer in perfect order. It was loud…it was clear…and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard in my life. I believe that was when Diane was re-born. Father Steve still talks about it being one of the most powerful moments of prayer he’s ever seen. From that moment on Diane’s speech continued to make its way back, slowly at first and then much faster with the help of the brilliant team at Spalding Rehabilitation. I have often told them they did too good a job because she gives me more orders now than she did before!
In the six years since Diane had her stroke she has been a rock and has helped many people through their own obstacles. Even though she still is overwhelmed at times by large crowds and loud events, you likely wouldn’t know she had a stroke if you didn’t know. On August 6, 2006 Diane was given a second chance, re-born if you will. She certainly isn’t special in that regard. Lots of people are given a second chance. We’ve all heard of survivors of car wrecks and other dramatic events. We know people who lived through heart attacks and cancer and other disease to live long productive lives. How often have you said, “Oh if I only had it to do over again.”? Well, these people, my Diane included, have been given that chance. I’ve seen how she lives differently now, and I know many others who have embraced their re-birth to do things differently as well. But why wait for a stroke, or a crash to start over. Why not have a re-birth moment without the hospitalization. That’s the lesson in all this. Not only should our loved one who suffered be moved to change we who were part of the recovery should be moved as well. What do you say? It’s time for a new greeting card, a Happy Re-Birthday card. You only get a second chance once. We should celebrate it!