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    February And No Florida?!

    I have some troubling news to tell you. The long and short of it is that I won’t be taking my annual trip this winter down to Florida. This is due in great part to the fact that my Mom won’t be down there this year. And that is because she recently went through open-heart surgery. Thank goodness she is doing well and was treated at the most well known heart surgery hospital in this country. Ironically, it happens to be the Cleveland Clinic. Which is where she lives.

    The thing of it was, she had no idea she was even ill. Then one day while playing tennis, she became short of breath and felt just awful. That prompted her to see a doctor. Turns out she had three major blockages. At first her doctor was going to put in stents, which have had great success in clearing up blockages in patients that have had them put in. After much discussion with Mom about her options though, they decided together to go ahead and do a triple bypass instead. The way her doctor explained it, the triple bypass was a more invasive surgery, but with her particular circumstances, it was the better choice.

    So I’m here in Caroga Lake knowing that I needed to get to Cleveland in a hurry. My sister, Debbie, was already there from Chicago and my other sister, Linda was coming in the next day by plane. Herman and I with the help of my aide packed quickly and he and I were on the road within the hour. There was no way I wouldn’t be there for Mom!

    As always, it was an 8-hour drive, though due to the circumstances, it felt much longer. Upon our arrival, what struck me as the most odd was not seeing Mom greet us at the door. I recovered quickly, and as it was late, went directly to bed in preparation to get to the hospital early the next morning. I definitely wanted to see her before she went into surgery.

    When we got to her room at The Cleveland Clinic, I was happy to see her alert and full of energy. It was difficult, though, to see her in a hospital bed wearing a hospital gown. She took one look at me and very knowingly said, "don’t you dare start crying!" I took this cue to heart and simply told her how much I loved her and that it was scary to see her in a hospital. She simply stated that she wasn’t happy about being there, but it was her only choice.

    Later that morning my sister Linda arrived from the airport. Then we all waited until Mom was taken into surgery. When she was finally out of surgery, we were all taken to wait to see her. While we were waiting, I needed to use a restroom. It was at that precise moment that we were allowed to see Mom. When I met up with my sisters again, they were pretty shaken up. I guess it was a lot to see Mom right after surgery. By the time I asked the nurse if I could see Mom, evidently she was too tired.

    I did see her the next morning and every day we were in town. This was in December, and as of this writing she is still continuing to do well! I think that my Mom is a very tough lady. And I think it runs in the family. So this year Florida will have to survive without me and Mom. I will try to have her come to Caroga Lake and the beach here this summer! It’s not that far away…

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"