Monday, March 19, 2007

Good things in Houston

Hi all . . . Jeff here. First of, let me just say that I wish I wasn't in Houston. The thing that's keeping me here is the same thing that has thrown so many lives into total upheaval. My mom could be at home helping to plan my sister's wedding instead of doing my laundry and driving me to get blood tests; my neighbors and friends could be relaxing with their families instead of shoveling my driveway and making dinners for us; my kids would have a mom and dad at home with them instead of far away for too long. It really sucks that I have to be in Houston.

BUT . . . having said that, I also have to say that this whole experience has given me many opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with Marc Schulte, a very good friend (and one of Aubrey's godfathers) who came to visit me in Houston from his home in Seattle. I have had the opportunity to reconnect with Kevin Gardner, one of my college roommates, and get to see what his life is like (and get to play with his very cute toddler son). I had the opportunity to eat lunch at PubFiction, a very hip and happening place owned by Jim Crable, one of my high school classmates. And I've had the opportunity to personally thank my old babysitter, Betty (Hanigan) and her husband, Stefano Costantini, for recommending Dr. Legha and helping us find the wonderful apartment where we are staying.

Being here, I also have met some amazing people, including Cathy Connors, the tireless and very generous president of the ND Club of Houston (and recently elected director of the national board of the Notre Dame Alumni Association!), and Jerry and Margaret Toomey, who have welcomed me, Kelly, my kids, and my mom into their car, their home, and their lives. We had a wonderful meal at Jerry and Margaret's last night, and it gave me a chance to feel like life was back to normal for a few hours instead of preoccupied by blood counts and biochemo side-effects. My mom said when she sees Jerry and Margaret at the airport, it's like she's seeing family. And for giving us that experience in this big city so far from home, I can't thank them enough.

So even though I wish I wasn't here and hate the reason for being here, life is still good in so many ways.

9 comments:

mka said...

Hi Jeff. I'm glad to hear you're up and around enough to complain. If you were still under the heavy influence of medications, you wouldn't care where you were. So even complaining about being in Houston is a good thing. You also said a lot of nice things about Houston though, while probably still thinking "There's no place like home". So just keep getting better. Love, Myrna (mom)

Michelle & Jeff said...

Jeff -
You are such a great person!!
Love,
Michelle

gardiner said...

Jeff, what a gift that you are able to see the "opportunities" this experience has brought your
way. Also, it's wonderful to hear
of all the generous people that
are pulling together for you. There is no one in the world that deserves it more than you! Love,
Meaghen, Brendan, Grace, Clare.

Martha said...

Hey Jeff--So to back track to a previous blog.....blk beans. I have a wonderful recipe for a black beans and salsa dip if you feel like something different. Keep gaining weight!!!! We all love you!!
Sandstroms

Steel said...

Good things come from all kinds of circumstances. The love and care and giving nature is not always so obvious, but what your negative has brought to you has also resulted in the positives being seen and done by so many others. I suppose I wished that others in the community were as caring and giving, but I believed my wish to be more of an ideal than the reality it has proven to be. There are good things in not-so-good times with many more good things to come. Keep up the spirit, Jeff!

Chris

ksu_rock said...

Jeff & family,
Keep up the good attitude and spirits and we'll keep up the prayers - it's a deal!

ksu_rock said...

Jeff & family,
Keep up the good attitude and spirits and we'll keep up the prayers - it's a deal!

Here's hoping to see you standing strong at Michelle's wedding, if not in person then in spirit.

God bless,
JJ, Anna, Evan & Ethan

Katie Clancy said...

Jeff- your positive outlook is just one of the many things all of us are admiring about your approach to your illness. You've taught me that challenges should be faced head on with strength, prayer and determination. Its your example that I and many others will look to while in our own struggles. You've taught all of us about poise in a very tough time. Keep home in sight - it is just around the corner, even if it feels like time is dragging and standing still. Talk soon - love
Katie

Jim said...

Jim here, thought I'd tell you some funny stuff to cheer you up Jeff, not the most appropriate, but funny; here goes...
- I saw a video the other day of a kid laying in the street with his pants pulled down, he had a bottle rocket in his butt and his friend lit it. The rocket ignited, he clinched his butt and the rocket never launched. It hissed and sparked as it would have had it been soaring 800 meters in the air and then it burst on his butt, he yelled and screamed. It was one of the stupidest and most idiotic things I'd seen in awhile and I laughed till I cried.
- When I was a kid, I was in Tennis briefly. Once after practice the coach had us all gathered in a group, he was squatted down in front of us as he spoke and explained Tennis things to us. The entire time his balls were hanging out the left side of his shorts. The speech lasted awhile and he never noticed this and he never stood up from the squatting position, I think every eye there was glued to his balls during his entire speech, glued to them in disbelief at how could he not know, anyway, it was damn funny!
- When we were kids, John got a bright idea from a cartoon of all things. He thought if he blew a handful of pepper in my face it would make me sneeze like in the cartoon. He waited around the corner of a wall with a huge handfull of pepper, as I walked around he blew all of that pepper into my face. It burned my eyes bad and I cried, it never made me sneeze though.
- I took a dump on the top of Boot Hill. Not that funny I know, but here are the details. I had to take a dump, but there was more to it. I ran from Boot Hill all the way home, got a roll of toilet paper, then ran all the way back to the top of Boot Hill and took my dump next to the trail by a Yucca Plant. It was one of the dumps that required 1 million wipes, I left the soiled toilet paper strewn about the top of Boot Hill and then went home. The toilet paper was left to vanish in the wind, vanish like a tumbleweed in the passing wind, erased from history forever.
- I wiped sugar babies on my bare ass once and fed them to a friend of mine. I got the idea from Grandpa, he told me once that he had wiped jelly beans on his ass and gave them to his friend. I guess the tradition just gets passed down from generation to generation. I will not say who I fed them to because Brian Hornbacher might read this blog.
- That's all for now, hope this cheered you up Jeff, I hope this cheered everybody up!