Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We Dodged Another Bullet

The social worker came into mom’s room tonight to talk about what we would prefer in terms of rehab. Mom hasn’t gotten out of bed since last Friday so rehab wasn’t even a consideration. In fact, after the stroke on Friday (at least that’s what they think it was), we didn’t think she would even be breathing—so rehab was far from our reality. Let me take you back to right after the “Sylvia” remark. You remember that two weeks ago when she had her first “pause” (that’s what we call it in the Dubroff family), she couldn’t remember her name so when the doctor asked her she didn’t pause for a minute before she said, “Sylvia. Her name is Rose. Anyway, my brother Jeff arrived last Thursday so I could take a little mother break. We took her from the hospital to rehab and when we arrived she was in such good shape she insisted on walking just using her walker and not a wheel chair. It was remarkable and we were confident that she was well on her way to good health and back to her home at the Mews. Then on Friday her blood pressure was thru the roof and she didn’t know who or where she was. Jeff rushed her back to the hospital where she lay in emergency for 10 hours. Then they took her to the stroke seizure floor. But luckily a nurse who actually knew something about medicine, realized what was going on and moved her to critical care. Saturday she was not able to move at all and she wasn’t talking. We were sure it was the end of the Rose saga. But on Sunday she seemed to rally a bit—at least she opened her eyes.

Jordan sings to her Nana

Then yesterday she started to move her right arm and when Rosalie visited her she was able to mouth “I love you”. Today she was moving her arms, she was lucid, she was talking and when Jordan sang her a song, her shoulders danced—maybe by tomorrow she’ll do a jig. So, rehab, surprising as it is, looks like a reality by next week. That’s the good news and I thank all our readers who wrote and expressed concern.

What’s the bad news? Michael Deaver died on Saturday. Michael crafted the Ronald Reagan image campaign. He was pretty much a PR genius and a terrific guy. He even returned phone calls—something too many Washington VIP’s don’t have the courtesy to do. I met but didn’t get to know him until years after he left the Reagan Administration when we were invited to a sing along with some friends, and Michael accompanied us on the piano. In addition, his wife Carolyn is a tapper so we tapped together to many tunes. When you live in Washington and work in politics, (at least this was true in the past), you might not agree with someone politically, but if they are a genuinely decent person, you develop a respect that transcends any disagreement about issues. That’s how I felt about Mike Deaver. Many people agree that he became an easy target and got a really raw deal after his Time Magazine cover, but ultimately that all worked for him and he conquered his demons and turned his life around. We are going to miss those wonderful evenings of song and dance.

In the category of other bad news, we also lost Stanley Myron Handelman. He was not a household name, but he was a very funny fellow. I guess he was at his peak in the 60’s. He wore a newspaper boy’s cap and enormous glasses. When he walked on a stage, just the sight of him made you laugh. He was one of the regulars on Ed Sullivan and the late night TV shows. He was born in Brooklyn and being New Yorker was his whole shtick. He brought all of us many hours of smiles. Being a comedian is not an easy way to live. First of all, you have to be funny. Have you ever tried to be funny for a living? I mean, I’m pretty funny, but if I had to be funny all the time, (once people find out that you’re funny they expect you to be funny on cue), it would put me in a very bad mood and then I really couldn’t even be pleasant, yet alone funny. My friends who are comedians are fabulous people and incredibly crazy—it’s part of their charm. They are usually delightful to be with yet unusually complicated. Just look at the people who are successful comedians. They are often great actors and the roles they choose are often the antithesis of how they appear on stage as stand-ups – which is part of the ‘complicated’. I think being in any performing art is hard. Dancers probably have the hardest time because once your body goes you either become a choreographer or a real estate agent. It’s not much different for singers because if the voice goes, the career ends. Actors can last a long time if they find a niche and an audience. But comedians need to change with the times. What was funny yesterday is old news today and God knows what tomorrow will bring. In addition, is there anything worse then standing on a stage and telling a joke that totally falls flat. Doesn’t your heart just go out to an aspiring comedian who is not amusing.

Tina called to say that Joeybubbles was also gone. He was a blind guy who had perfect pitch, so he could imitate the beeps on a touchtone phone and make free calls. Talk about talent. I guess we’ll miss him but I don’t know why. On the other hand I know exactly why we’ll miss Michael and Stanley and Thank God, not yet Sylvia. We’re just sayin...Iris

1 comment:

m_harding said...

Hey guys,

What can one say? Life is hard when something so beautiful is so fragile. I went through it with my mom too. Keep singing to her,it does make a difference.

I hope you all find strenght,peace and wisdom for this difficult part love.

Get well soon Rose.

Michael