Sunday, September 25, 2011

Laying a Dream to Rest

There's a great episode of "Friends" where Ross makes a list of 5 famous people he's "allowed" to sleep with.  He bumps Isabella Rossellini (btw, one of the most beautiful women ever) for Wynona Ryder on his list and then runs into Isabella when she comes into the coffee house.  To see that scene watch here.

Almost 4 years ago, I wrote a blog post about Paul Kariya.  He was definitely always on my list, and, as I said then, my now husband knew that he was the only man I would ever leave him for.  One of my goals in the blog post was to one day have one of my hockey sweaters signed by him.  Now, I guess that dream won't come true.



I found out this week that Paul Kariya has retired from the NHL.  I knew that he was still suffering the effects of post-concussion syndrome, and that is why he sat out the entire last season.  I thought that with time he would be able to come back.  He had in the past with neck-strengthening exercises and physical therapy, but I guess now the risk was too great.  While I am happy that he won an olympic gold medal for Canada, I am sad he never won the ultimate prize in hockey, the Stanley Cup.

I haven't followed hockey in about 3 years, and I was really hoping this would be the year I would start again.  I looked up his name to see what team he had ended up signing on with only to find he had retired.  So there it is.  Without a local hockey team (at least not one where I can drive less than 6 hours to see), I have no impetus to even follow the sport.  Maybe one day I will again... but, I don't think there'll be another player I find as dynamic and exciting, who was always a great ambassador for the sport (two-time Lady Byng recipient).



I will miss you, Paul, but I think my husband might be sleeping a little easier... :-)

video


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago...


I got caught up in all the news shows and documentaries over the course of the last several days, and many focus on the fact that all of us can remember where we were that morning.

My aunt had died on that prior Thursday, and I had rushed home to California from Wisconsin to be with my mother.  I was a medical student on my Family Medicine rotation, so I only could miss a few days.  The funeral ended up being scheduled for later in the week, so I caught the Red Eye from Los Angeles back to Wisconsin on Monday night.  I arrived for my connecting flight in Chicago about 6:30 a.m. CDT, and we took off about 7 a.m.

I landed in Milwaukee about 7:45, and by the time I got to my car and the radio came on, my usual morning show was talking about smoke from the World Trade Center.  If you remember, there was a light plane that flew into a building in New York just a couple of months earlier, so I didn't really think anything about it.  I got home and turned on the news, just in time to see the results of the second plane having hit the second tower.

I called my mom to let her know I had made it home safely, but the phone just beeped with an "All Circuits are busy" message.  I remember listening to Peter Jennings on ABC reporting, and I wondered what was going on in the world.  I thought of friends I knew in New York, and something made me think of a jewelry vendor where I had bought a silver ring who had his stand just at the foot of the WTC steps.  I wondered if he had escaped or was injured.  I know, random thought.

Over the next several hours I attempted to get a hold of any family member, but the phone lines were out.  I watched and listened as the Pentagon was attacked, and I thought of military friends I knew stationed in the D.C. area.  I heard about the downed plane in Pennsylvania.  And, I watched in disbelief as the first then the second tower collapsed.

I went to the clinic at noon as scheduled.  I think we saw all of three patients even though the clinic had been booked solid.  A portable television was playing in the office, and would continued to play non-stop over the next 2 weeks.  I got sent home early since there weren't any patients, and my TV at home was on the news non-stop.

I finally got a hold of my mom later that evening, and she told me that family members had been calling her about me because they knew I was traveling cross country.  Had I made it home?  Had I been diverted?  Had she heard anything from me because there were plenty of rumors about other missing planes?

In the weeks that followed, friends and I had philosophical discussions about the choices people made on that day.  Would I have jumped from the burning towers?  Would I have voted yes to try to retake a plane held by terrorists?  Would I have run up the stairs to help others inside while everyone else was running down the stairs?

I know that ten years later I still have a kind of combination of morbid curiosity and PTSD surrounding the events of that day.  I cringe watching the video knowing what the outcome will be, but yet I want to hear the survivor stories, the "I could have been on the plane" stories, all the stories.  Because in a special way, we have all been affected and united by this event.  And those are stories that are going to be told over and over again for a very long time.