Quality time with the family

Posted: December 16, 2012 in Bariatric surgery, Baseball, diabetes, family, music, Supportive Partner Woman, Weight loss

So, since Supportive Partner Woman (Editor extraordinaire!) had to work tonight, I headed off to the hinterlands of South Jersey to join in a family Christmas tradition at my cousin Kurt’s home.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but Kurt is a bit of an expert on ballparks. He’s written a series of e-books called Ballpark E-Guides, in which he tells you the best way to get to the park, best way to score low-price tickets, even the best concession deals. He puts a lot of time into the books and they are meticulously researched. I know because I went to a Brewers – Nationals game with him at Nationals Park and barely saw him… he was so busy checking sight lines and chatting up ballpark employees.

Anyway, Kurt and his lovely wife and daughter opened their home to a large contingent of the family. I drove down, survived the traffic at King of Prussia and the cattle chutes on the Walt Whitman Bridge, and spent an enjoyable afternoon with my favorite branch of the family.

Far_Side ©Gary Larson

Well, it’s a family tree.

Sadly, we don’t see each other enough. Usually of late, it’s been at a funeral, and that’s gotta stop. We have so much fun… my cousins are intelligent and able to hold a conversation on multiple topics at the same time. For example, when I arrived, there was a big discussion going on regarding the best double albums ever recorded and whether or not they would be OK as a single album.

This is the kind of stuff we talk about at family gatherings. For the record, we figured that there’s no way Tommy or Quadrophenia could e trimmed, however, my cousin Doug feels that The Wall could be trimmed. There was not much agreement on that one.

They can be loud and boisterous, but better people are hard to find. A few weeks ago, when I was feeling pretty down in the dumps, my cousin sent me a lovely e-mail that brought tears to my ears, reassuring me that the family had my back. Not only that, he called my mom to make sure I was doing OK.

That’s what I love about this particular branch of the family tree. Not only do they care, they can laugh at the antics of some other branches of said tree. During our Giant Catholic Wedding Circus©, one of my cousins from Pittsburgh got exceedingly trashed and pretty much surgically attached herself to SPW’s arm, slurring all the way. This is always good for some chuckles at family gatherings.

Speaking of family, I finally told my mother that I intend to have the gastric bypass surgery. She took it a lot better than I expected. She said that she respects the fact I didn’t rush right into it and I took the time to talk to people who have had the operation with varying degrees of success. That was one of the major hurdles, because I fully expected a load of objections about the risks and all that. I told her that in my mind, the rewards outweigh the risks. Yes, it’s major abdominal surgery. Yes, it’s general anesthesia. Yes, there are risks. The chance to live a life free of the syringe makes all the risk worthwhile. It’s not going to be an easy journey, but after a year, I want to be patient of the month at support group, telling how I managed to make my decision and get off the fence and how it helped me lead a normal, non-diabetic life.

Plus, not looking like a whale in a chair is a great incentive.

Have a great rest of the weekend, folks!

Song of the Day: I Believe in Father Christmas – Greg Lake
Currently reading: A Blaze of Glory – Jeff Shaara

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family. – Mother Teresa

  1. Kurt Smith says:

    Thanks Brian for the kind words, the plug for http://www.BallparkEGuides.com, and the enjoyable post. Very glad you could make it yesterday, that was a pleasant and cool surprise!

    Of course, you have our support, thoughts and prayers through everything, no matter what decisions you make.

    For the record, I do kinda think The Wall could have been a single album. I know I’m in the minority saying that though. Albums that are good as double albums: The White Album (I finally conceded this), The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Out of The Blue, and Chicago Transit Authority I…I’m sure I’ll think of some more…

    Thanks again for coming Brian. It was a better time because of your being there, unfortunate that SPW couldn’t make it. And I promise we’ll talk more at the next ballgame!

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