Lyle's Blog

March on

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It is March already. How incredible it seems that time goes on so fast. Before you know it, the year will be behind us.

I guess since it is going so fast, that means so is my life and I will have to agree with that statement also. My days seem to fly by and I see no sign of slowing down in the immediate future.

The Phil watch still goes on. I took one of the lady Band of Brothers up to hospice along with Judy yesterday. Phil was more lucid and seemed to recognize us all. Another friend, Bob Dent, was sitting with him and when we arrived, Phil perked up and asked for his teeth and hearing aids.

After the nurse got them both, Judy asked him how he was and his answer made us all smile. "Pretty good for an old fart.". He was having a hard time moving his head over to the two women so Bob and I moved them over the the best side and let the girls talk with him as we went to the other side of the room.

He seemed to be enjoying their company and his spirit seemed high. He even joked with them asking one of them to trip the nurse as she walked by the room. Then, just as quickly, he became agitated by something. There were boxes on the wall that contained gloves for the nurses. "Get the nurse!", he demanded. "Those boxes have spots. I want the ___damn things taken over to the other side of the room.". We tried to make light of it but soon realized that it was greatly bothering him and we then tried to change the attention but to no avail.

The girls and I decided to leave as I needed to get back anyway and Bob was going to get him up and put him over by the window so he could watch the birds. Bob recognized Phil's reactions from something that he had read in a Hospice book of things a family should expect at the end of life. He asked the nurse for the book and gave it to Judy to read. She later told me that their were many things in the book that she saw in Phil today. We both want to try and continue to see him on a daily basis if possible.

Another friend, Tom Myers, is two rooms down. I will try and write about him another time but he is truly a special man also. His family is there every day waiting and watching. I can see he toll that it takes on his wife (especially) and his kids. Tom is a tough and extremely engaging man who is a joy to know. I stopped by to see him a couple of days ago as he was eating his breakfast. "How is your breakfast?", I asked. "Not half as good as one from your place.", he returned with a smile on his face.

I must admit that it is hard to see these two special men at the end of their lives like this.

Business is brisk and keeps me hoping also. Kevin, one of our cooks, recently graduated from rehab. He had an alcohol problem and after going into the hospital for the second time from it, I took him off of the line all together. I could not bring myself to just letting him go, however, and set up a cleaning position for him. He turned out to be an exceptional cleaner and I encouraged him to get help as he worked. I told him that the only way that I would consider giving him another chance at where he loved to work, he would have to complete a rehab program.

Since he was such a big part of the 'Jakes' family, two car loads of employees went with Judy and I to his graduation on Wednesday. We filled the room giving them what they said was the biggest graduation that they had ever had. His future and his sobriety is now in his hands. And it is great to have him back on the line as he is not only a good cook but fast with great presentation.

A couple of weeks back, the carpet cleaner asked where he was since he usually cleaned while they did the carpets. I told him that Kevin was in rehab but would soon be back. "I know why you are giving him this chance and keeping a job for him when he gets out.", the cleaner said. I stopped and looked up wondering what he saw was my reason. "You see his heart, don't you.". I could only smile and say, "Yes", gratified that someone else saw what I saw.

My latest surgeries are behind me and I am healing faster than ever. I think my different diet has so much to do with that as much as me staying cancer free also. I will get my stitches out next week.

I continue to be amazed and thankful for the business that finds us even though we are so much off of the road. It is the middle of winter and usually a time of more quiet and maintenance. This Sunday, I am having a painter come in and spruce up the place while the hood cleaners come in and maintain the hood. Yesterday, I stopped and saw Gary from Jack's upholstery who has gotten in the material to recover some of the booths. The chairs that were painted during the last remodel are my only bane. The black paint has worn from them and I am unsure what to do there. One of the brothers who did that sort of thing during his working years told me to leave them as they gave off a sort of worn look that was good.

While the winter is the time for sprucing up, it is also a time for many other end of year things such as taxes (both income and personal property), corporate minutes, and insurance resets.

Before we know it, it will be spring and we will start preparing for our first big BBQ before Memorial day.

To top off all the other busyness, I have signed up along with a couple of buddies to do the Bend City Police Citizens Academy. My good friend, Steve Esselton(sp) will be doing the classes that will start every Wednesday evening from the end of March to the end of May.

Last evening, Judy and I sat at the counter and ate supper when another friend came in and sat with us. We talked of our busy lives and he said something that rings in my ears as truth. Our lives are fleeting and fast. So, it is important that we do things that we enjoy and enjoy them while we do them.

Welcome to the month, my friends. As we March on through our lives.

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