Steve Update #3

Wednesday


It is not length of life, but depth of life.

Watching Steve serenely sleep, vulnerable, each unlabored breath, a blessing. I am inspired to reflect on Steve's depth of life.

Steve received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Airforce as a Telecommunications Specialist in 1982 and then focused on his passion for writing. 'Stephen Spotswood' was published in various journals and was a frequent contributor to The Dallas Morning News Editorial pages.  A member of Phi Theta Kappa and Golden Key Honor Societies, Steve was also listed in Who's Who in American Junior Colleges, 1991.  

An Honor Graduate of both an Associates Degree of Arts and an Associates Degree of Paralegal Study, Steve completed his Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, graduating cum laude.

Not too shabby for a guy with the challenges of Asperger's Syndrome. Diagnosed just ten years ago, Asperger's just added another puzzle piece to Steve's personality but it is far from what defines him. 

Steve loves all things British and we were fortunate to have traveled with him to England last year, along with his sister Sheila and our brother-in-law, Rich. Questions about British politics, history or current events? Steve was our 'go-to' guy. 

Other interests? 
  • Superheroes
  • Vampires
  • Betty Boop
  • Marylin Monroe
  • Mike Hammer
  • Old movies
  • Alice Cooper
  • Enya
  • Celtic music
  • The Go-Go's
  • Evanescence
  • The Simpson's
  • South Park
  • Politics
  • Halloween
  • The Mark of Zorro
  • Mars Attacks
  • The Ramones
  • The Cravens
 I'm going to miss him.

Steve Update #2

Sunday


 He sleeps. He dreams. And every now and then, we see him smile.

The last conversation we had with Steve was 48 hours ago. Since then, he has remained asleep. Occasionally waking up for a few moments, he remains silent..

We anticipated Steve's decline and had a hospital bed placed in our family room last week. Doug called it "Steve's Barca-lounger" and Steve had the opportunity to "test-drive" it while watching TV.

Today, we relocated him from our guestroom and into his "Barca-lounger".
 
We're watching him closely for any non-verbal signs of pain or discomfort and with sincere thanks to our hospice program, we have the appropriate medicines to help him should the need arise.

We give him ice chips and teaspoons of water as he is too sleepy to sip from a straw or drink from a cup. Medicines are liquid and administered with a dropper.

It will not be long before Steve is gone.

For now, we thank God that he sleeps...and dreams ...and smiles every now and then.

Disco Fever

In the spirit of lightening up a little bit, I'm thinking that my posts have been a little dreary lately so let's say we 'Turn The Beat Around" with Vickie Sue Robinson...

Ya gotta admit...didn't that just make you all happy and want to just get up and dance?

My addiction of 1975-1980 was...'dancing-to-the-rhythm-of-the-disco-beat-bop-bop-bop-bop'.

Every weekend my fellow 'disco queens', (my BFF Mo, my cousin Susie and an assorted number of fellow nursing students) and I would get our fix by finding a lighted dance floor somewhere within a 10 mile radius of our dorm. A mirrored ball hanging from the ceiling and dry ice 'smoke' billowing on to us while we doing 'The Bump' and 'The Hustle' amongst other celebrated dance moves was just gravy. And yes, we would be stylin'... with wings in our hair, swingy dresses and high heels. Cruel disco shoes? ...Ha ! As if.

Dancing the night away to Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff", Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive", Le Freak's "Chic" took all the pain away. And then, as if we couldn't take any more disco madness, the movie, "Saturday Night Fever" and its soundtrack only fueled our devotion to all things 'disco'.

Hello... 'Disco Inferno' by The Trammps...


At this point you might be asking yourselves...did guys really dress like that? Sadly,  I've got to tell you that yes, they really did. But more disturbing than that, is the fact that we (the disco queens) thought they looked way hot and actually dated these guys..

I blame it on my youth.

Then, circa 1980 while cruising around with my fellow disco queen Mo, I recall hearing on the radio that "disco was dead". "Oh, puhleeeese" I said to her, dripping of sarcasm, rolling my eyes. my expression disdainful..."As if disco would ever die"...

It was only a couple of years later that my disco shoes were laid to rest and replaced by cowboy boots. 'Boot Scootin' at local Dallas honky-tonks was all that I lived for on my weekends off. The lure of Country Music was where it was at. But that's another story.

The Unfortunate Incident - Part Two

Monday

"What bothers me most is that just because I've been raped once, I'm not immune. It can happen again." Diane said.

Not surprisingly, our life was completely focused on Diane's rape. Referred to "The Unfortunate Incident" by our older, staid Nurse Manager. we facetiously adopted the term.

There was a time when opening a window on a pretty spring day was a reflex action, inviting a date to come into our apartment and/or allowing the front door to remain unlocked from time to time was commonplace. Our world had dramatically changed. Security was paramount.

In our search for peace and understanding, we educated ourselves by attending lectures and workshops on self defense and assault prevention. Interestingly, we learned that an overwhelming number of assault victims  report seeing their attacker prior to the assault and feeling uncomfortable in their presence. Lesson learned.

In the months that followed "The Unfortunate Incident", Diane changed jobs, starting seeing (and soon broke up with) a Dallas police officer, sought counseling and eventually moved back home to San Antonio.

It was a year later, when Diane called. She had been contacted by the Dallas Police following the arrest of a man attempting to rape a woman at White Rock Lake. Fortunately, the woman's assault was interrupted by two men nearby who had heard her cry for help.

Diane was asked to identify her assailant in a photo line up of five men by signing the back of the photo that she knew to be her rapist. She got him.

The trial lasted only a few days. The "Wino & Winette" who had helped Diane were sober when they testified.

Diane's rapist received life imprisonment.

I never heard from her again.

Paranoid in South America

Anticipating travel to South America was both exciting and scary. Admittedly, reports of muggings, kidnappings and police corruption go...