Thursday, May 03, 2007

Time to break the logjam

This has been the longest draught in my blogging history.
It's not that things haven't been going on...most of the content of this blog is a positive commentary on the great work done in my field of mass communication research and by my colleagues at Indiana University's Dept. of Telecommunications.

But, it is also a way for me to humanize the life of a university professor for current/future/potential undergraduate and graduate students. So, when I had a sad thing happen in my seemed that blogging about it fit the latter purpose of this blog. But, then, how do you write about the death of your mom? It's difficult. It's emotional. It's high disclosure. But, once I decided that I needed to do it if this was to be an accurate portrayal of big events in the life of a professor...I needed to figure out how.

Mom died of a heart attack on Easter Sunday. I did not make it to Washington State in time to see her again before she died. But, I had visited her in October as part of a research trip to the Society for Psychphysiological Research conference in Vancouver BC. That visit was very positive and leaves me with good memories. Here is a picture of her and her husband (my stepfather) at their assisted-living facility...a place that they were very happy to move to about 18 months ago.

I heard that mom had died by placing a cell phone call to my sister while sitting in a plane at the Indianapolis Airport...waiting to fly to see her.
Making that phone call made me realize that the mad dash to try to get there had turned into a slow crawl to wait the 5 days for a memorial service that took place at their church.

But, that crawl began with a drive over Snoqualmie Pass from Seattle to Richland. I had flown into Seattle to save money. And I had also used the internet to book a one-way rental car. I'll let my wife tell the rest of the story. Here's an email that my wife sent out to friends and family....the sad stuff is at the beginning...and then there is the saga of me and the F150!!...
Hello everyone,
I am very sorry to have to make this a
mass email but I wanted to let as many people know with the least amount of
Sunday evening, Rob's mom passed away. She had MS and diabetes,
what ultimately took her life was a heart attack but with her body being as weak
as it was it didn't take much. Rob flew out Sunday night to Seattle and is
driving to Kennewick which is 3-4 hours away. He should arrive sometime this
afternoon our time...

...Rob just called and asked me to relate this story just to
lighten the mood. When he arrived in Seattle, at 11pm (one our time), the plan
was to rent the smallest car and then go to a hotel. The car that the rental
company wants Rob to take to Kennewick is not a speck but a Ford F150. I'll let
that mental image settle for a moment. I asked Rob if that came with an extra
step-stool. He said no but if he would remember to use the running boards he
wouldn't have to fling himself up into the truck. And if that isn't funny enough
he said that he might ask the hotel for a pillow to sit on. He said that the
hardest thing to deal with is the looks he gets when he free-falls, I mean,
jumps down from the truck. He feels as though everyone is thinking, "Oh, he is
totally a overcompensating."

Thank you for all of the prayers and well wishes, I will let you
know the funeral details when I know them. Please look at the list of people
that I have sent this too, if I have missed someone please pass it on.

So, with the story of little Robbie in a BIG TRUCK to lighten the mood, I knew how I would blog about mom's death. She would have laughed so hard at that story...she loved to laugh and was partial for the stupid stories her son told.

But, that was weeks ago. And I still remained silent on the blog. It just seemed that I needed to have a special time set aside to write the TRIBUTE. But, time just dragged on...and now I have so many good things to blog about that it was just time to break the logjam and get this down on pixels.

I love you Mom. I'll miss you. Here's a picture of visiting our house in Bloomington just a couple of weeks after we moved.

1 comment:

Samuel D. Bradley said...

Great post, Rob. We are sorry for your loss but encouraged to see the strength of humanity once again shine brightly in the most difficult of times.