Thursday, March 29, 2007


Well, it's been quite the day. After seeing my mom in the hospital and taking care of other things that needed to be done, I am just wanting to be alone. I don't know. I talked to my brother Bill tonight after I got home and he said that when he saw her tonight he wanted to cry, the difference he said between the time he brought her to the hospital till now was 'amazing',

"She was laughing and making jokes about going in, now she seems so worn out, what happened, Robert?".

That is not a good sign.

Bill is normally a very strong person and I understand what he is feeling, but I guess maybe it's because underneath that exterior is the Bill that I know, passionate, strong, emotional. Bill doesn't take any prisoners. Bill and my mom have a special bond. It never bothered me, I think that like with with my own children, you develop that. As I told my daughter Megan one time when she thought that I loved Melissa more than her, "all my children are like strings on my guitar, they all make different sounds, but they are just as important." Meg got that. Meg knows that I love her for who she is just as I love Sara, Justin, Melissa and Kayleigh. They are all unique people and I am very proud of them all and love them just as much.

Bill and 'Ma's' have always had that special bond, I think it goes way back to when we were kids. (Bill & Ma's on her birthday in 1983. me on the left attending to my son Justin-click to see bigger) All the turmoil of growing up with an alcoholic father that really got worse after Vietnam. And then Bill getting Diabetes, almost dying until they figured out what it was. Bill has always excelled at sports, I was always so proud of him and he was one of the best catchers I ever saw. Ma's always tried to make it to his games. Bill did very well in High School, and got a scholarship to college on Baseball. But diabetes seemed to take the heart out of his love for sports. I mean, he still loved sports, but somewhere he just seem to lose the confidence in himself to follow the path. And I think Ma's knew it and it broke her heart. And then my youngest sister Pepita got diabetes. So, now she had 2 kids dealing with it. I think that is probably the biggest reason I never really got into drugs like most people. I was watching 2 of my siblings struggling to accept and manage a disease and yet, I was watching friends of mine sticking needles in their arms to 'have a good time'. I could never figure that out.

Bill told me that me turning on Animal Planet for her before I left seemed to help distract her from the pain. And Bill doesn't take prisoners, he found out everything he could, talked to anyone he could to find out what is going on with Ma's. I really look up to Bill, and just because he's my younger brother doesn't mean anything. He is a man of tremendous courage, strength, love and compassion. And he loves our mom. He's always keen to make sure she has anything she needs. Bill is a good son and a good brother. Lord knows through all the turmoil I have gone through, he has helped me. (Ma's with 2 of her 'fur children, Mary Jo and a very young Buddy the Razor, ever the gentleman-click to see bigger)

Now we are fighting together. When we were kids, we
used to talk about joining the military like our dad and fighting together. But early on, I knew Bill was destined for sports. He has done well for himself with what he does now. And he loves golf. I often wondered had Bill and I joined the military if we wouldn't have kicked ass and took names. Now we are fighting to help our mother through a rough time. The woman that nurtured us, gave us the respect for other human beings, the compassion for those less fortunate, the love of all that is good. Sure, we're not perfect, we both are guilty of stupid things. But underneath it all, my mom made sure we always respected people, calling them 'sir' and 'ma'am'. My father was like that too, he was always sure to point out that we are all people, we all bleed red. We never knew racism until we 'left' the military. We played with kids from all ethnic backgrounds and treated them as they were, friends. My mom (the picture on the left, Bridget Philomena Walsh, 21 years old in 1952-click to see bigger) taught us to respect women, to help out those that needed it when we could, to learn and understand the world around us. To always understand that there is a God and he is not the God that so many people think of, the angry, vengeful God of the catholic school myth that we never learned about. My mom made sure we had clean clothes, new shoes and we did our homework. My mom herself taught us about strength, courage and independence. Loyalty, honesty, a sense of patriotism as she is from Newfoundland and she loves America. My mom would never tolerate disrespect and we didn't cross that line. She might be short, but she is all business and that Irish temper is not something to be crossed. But she has the biggest heart of gold and loves her children, her grandchildren and yes, her 'fur children.' Buddy's death was not easy on her. She felt so bad about not being well enough to be there when he finally died, and she was worried about me and how I was doing about Buddy dying. That's my mom. My friends all came over to my house and a lot of times, it was because Ma's would become to them, the mother they wished they had.

People often wonder I am sure, why I am so protective of her. Well, I figure after all she did for me, it's only right that I do what I can to take care of her. She might die tomorrow, she might die in 5 years, she might die in 10. Only God knows when he wants to bring her home. I pray he will bless us and let her hang around for a while longer. But that is God's decision, not mine. And so, I pray tonight that when the sun comes up tomorrow and I go to see her, that she will be doing better and that she will light up tomorrow evening when Bill comes to see her and she knows, her kids never stop fighting for what they believe in.

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