Never, ever have I had a week that was as full of darkness as this past week. Deena's stepdad, Gene, passed away after a long illness, my brother Kenny had exploratory surgery for heart disease, Wisconsin public workers lost collective bargaining rights thanks to Republicans totally trashing the First Amendment and Democrats too wimpy to stand up to them in person, the Pacers have been knocked out of the playoff rankings by half a game, the Middle East is a war zone (even more than usual), and, oh, yeah, Tokyo looks like Godzilla and all his buddies from Monster Island had a hoedown.
Is there any way to put a positive spin on any of this?
Well, let's start from the top:
Deena's mom, Donna, has had a really rough time of it all. I got a first hand look at what she had to go through just to get Gene ready to go to dialysis three times a week. It was tough enough to get Gene situated from the house to the adjoining garage and into the car when he still had one good leg and his prosthetic. Just before he passed, Gene's good leg went septic and had to amputated, which placed him in a deep depression which he sadly never recovered from. And I can only imagine in my worst nightmares what managing Gene would be for Donna. I'm quite certain it would have killed her.
So, as tragic as Gene's death has been for the entire family, I think it has been a blessing for everyone involved. Gene is forever free of the pain and misery he has endured for years, and Donna's burden is now off her shoulders. She's even contemplating a trip to Florida for a couple of weeks to visit her son Kent and his wife Rosie and their kids Kent, Jr. and Kiki in Boca Raton. I think now she can finally have a long and deliberate period of fun. More than about time.
The surgery on Kenny went very well and revealed no irregularities in his heart. Which does not mean he can continue smoking and eating crappy McDonalds and Wendy's food. So I can only hope that this is Kenny's wake-up call to make healthier choices.
After a six game losing streak, the Pacers had a great away victory over the Knicks last night, and maybe this is a re-direction to get us back in playoff contention. Tyler Hansborough may be the diamond in the rough.
As for Wisconsin, the Middle East, and Tokyo... not a whole lot of ideas on that.