Detour ahead

Life throws detours at you. Might as well just get used to that fact.

This morning we tried to get from Lawrenceville to the South Side for church. A few blocks away, we came to a barricade on Butler Street.

No problem for this yinzer. We’ll just zip down to Smallman and get around it. Another barricade on Smallman.

DIgging deep into my yinzer GPS, I decided to go old school and try the little alleys and backways. Barricades, barricades, barricades.

Eventually, our car ended up here.


As any Pittsburgher knows, there are times you just have to say, “Yeah, you can’t get there from here.” All you can do is say, “Well played, 10K race!” Then you turn around and retrace your path back home.

Yesterday was another detour day. Got a call from my dad saying that my mom was about to go in for brain surgery.

That’s strange, I thought. I don’t remember hearing anything about this.

It was my dad’s stoic way of telling me that he had found my mom on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood that morning. She has bleeding on her brain and they are going in. Oh, and the doctor said it’s a pretty risky surgery that could result in paralysis or death. Talk about burying the lead.

Mom’s health has been deteriorating recently, but not in an easily diagnosable way. She’s had dizzy spells, falling, insomnia at night and sleeping all day, and just seeming out of it. She’s passed stroke tests with flying colors. And it seems more physical than an Alzheimer’s mental thing. They had an appointment to see both a sleep specialist and a neurologist. Then, Saturday happened.

The surgery was successful. Mom will be in the hospital for a week to 10 days. Then she’ll go to a rehab center. Beyond that, it’s all wait and see.

At first, I thought I’d go down later in the week, so I could use the weekend instead of vacation days. I also have a big sales presentation on Monday. I really wanted to vote in a key election on Tuesday. But a couple “mom friends” of mine both said, “As a mother, if you are not on a plane on Sunday, I’d be pissed!”

Jean also helped in my shock-and-awe state of decision making. “You only have one Mom. She could still get worse this week. Your dad wouldn’t ask for help if he lost both arms and legs. You should be there.”

detourLife throws detours at you. You have to roll with it. All your firm plans can change in one phone call. One moment, you are at the mall on a Saturday morning, with your whole week planned out; Sunday afternoon, you are on an airplane to Phoenix. Thanks for any thoughts and prayers you can send my way. I’ll update from the desert next week.

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About carpetbagger

Tom and Jean are just a couple of Chicago transplants in Lawrenceville, a neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Posted on November 3, 2013, in Faith, Pittsburgh and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. So sorry, Tom. You and your mom will definitely be in my thoughts.

    Safe travels.

  2. I will definitely be thinking of you as well as tossing in a prayer and some good vibes. Take care.

  3. How scary!

    Will say a prayer for a speedy recovery and safe trip!

  4. Tom, prayers are with you and Jean and your parents. I am so sorry to hear this. Sending hugs and love!

  5. Have a safe trip, Tom. All the best to your Mom.

    And if you’re worried about the election, just have Jean go in twice.

  6. I hope all goes well with the recovery!

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