18 July 2013
00:20 Huge black fly in my wife’s wine. She picks up fly & and says, “Spit it out!” Old Irish joke in my family works in French.
12:45 Cousins. Summer : https://t.co/oUpd8JsfUM
17:59 @HRH_Mommy Sarah we found we were so busy with appointments, meals, diapers never time for any other activities during 2nd adoption.
21:46 Too beautiful to sauté ? https://t.co/19Mbi68yik
23:04 Sonoma dinner: purple cauliflower, polenta and pesto : https://t.co/PpbHdhg7o2
19 July 2013
4:47 Just heard coyotes. They sound like a pack of whiny kids.
11:27 Shocking how little attention patients & families can get in hospitals. Wish med staff paid as much attention as billing.
18:16 Heard from many docs & nurses that they have too many clerical chores to pay attention they’d like to patients. That’s like-
18:18 -farmers who would say he has to fill out too many USDA forms to grow anything. We take our family to a place that’s not-
18:20 -like that. But life’s emergencies sometimes catch us in other spots. It’s alarming to see so little information, care.
21:20 Local credo on our vacation : https://t.co/kB1g4r1lei
21:34 Perfect simple appetizer at Bistro Ralph: (padrone peppers) https://t.co/b1cMRKKEAR
22:16 Missing my Mamacita but marking my next novel at Bistro Ralph w/ family. I’m luckiest SOB in the world: https://t.co/FfYwLKtypI
20 July 2013
12:04 @saabrian why LOL? A startling likeness, dismay.
13:50 Healdsburg Farmers Market. Hope that’s pink lemonade next to salmon. https://t.co/DWrkoFayQr
18:05 Smallest member if our family atop seriously cute pony (Cheerio) at Mark West stables: https://t.co/1avBqcQAMM
21:03 How have I gotten so far in life without hearing about Padron peppers?
21 July 2013
00:56 @cindybloch what a beautiful pepper! Hard to find?
1:01 If you watchman American Girl movie at night w/ yr daughters, you’ll learn something. Tonight is Felicity. Huzzah!
1:23 @msirismg my gosh yes. We have an Addy in our family!
11:33 @ducsai hmmm probably not. We were at Healdsburg FM. But I wouldn’t know a zinnia from a zebra!
13:23 Do you ever want to tell Siri just to put a cork in it?
22 July 2013
0:05 New family motto: no tamale left behind.
0:58 This city fan watching #ultimatesurvivalalaska with awe & popcorn.
5:45 This is no joke: just awoke from a dream in which Ed Koch was our houseguest & had to borrow my clothes, even my briefcase. He’d keep-
5:47 -us up to hear his stories or he’d burst into tears. Ate everything in kitchen, then complained. Analysis, doctors?
9:47 At bedtime & on drives, we’re reading @halseanderson ‘s outstanding American Revolution novels to daughters. Enthralled.
16:24 I brought news to my Irish mother in hospital of the royal birth, & she said, “We have a king!” Always a UK, eh?
18:51 @halseanderson thank you so much Laurie. I guess that story is my favorite “driveway moment” too!
18:53 I’m less upset at Ryan Braun for steroids than for trying to ruin the career of an honest man.
23 July 2013
13:19 I just want to say that ICU nurses are remarkable people. Thank you for what you do for our loved ones.
15:16 My mother in ICU sees Kate & Will holding baby and tears: “Every baby boy is a little king to his parents. ” So I tear too.
20:06 My mother in ICU has first liquids in 2 days. Clear broth so good “@Rick_Bayless could have made it.” Power of suggestion.
23:24 Spouses of disgraced polls have lots of reasons–kids, career–to support the spouses who betrayed them. But do voters?
23:29 Also: just once I want disgraced pol to take his or her lumps by himself at a presser, not hide behind spousal forgiveness.
24 July 2013
16:38 Almost run over be texting driver. “That’s illegal,” I told her. “Arrest me, ***hole,” she said. Helpful dialog.
19:40 So whole raft of @elischeesecake goodies just personally delivered to ICU. Delicious. More important–epochally thoughtful.
21:34 Watching ChiSox vs Tigers game in ICU w/ mother. Score not improving MY blood pressure.
25 July 2013
4:35 Bless all ICU nurses who are getting people through pain & anxieties tonight.
4:50 All hospitals should have roll-out chairs in ICU rooms so loved ones can spend night w/ patients & not sleep on floor. @NMHnews
8:48 Thanks for prayers my mother in ICU. She greeted the woman who picks up trash: “Blanca, you herald a new day.” Class.
9:19 Man giving my mother meds asks ” How they get $500,000 to rehab Wrigley Field and not to keep those schools from closing?”
16:21 @101Below Thank you so much for your prayer for my mother in that historic church. Our whole family is grateful.
16:23 I am getting a life’s lesson about grace from my mother in the ICU. We never stop learning from our mothers, do we?
1910 In line at hospital Starbucks. Dancing in the Streets comes on. Line begins to sing, “They’re dancin’ in Chi-caw-go!”
26 July 2013
10:15 Restorative night at Frontera. Tomato dish worth flying from Dubai to eat. Maybe @rick_bayless can reveal how it’s done.
10:19 Tnx for all but wishes for my mother in ICU. Her anthem, more than ever, is But I’m Still Here. She inspires us all.
11:33 My mother knows the name & story of every nurse & doctor in the ICU. She keeps no one a stranger.
15:13 What is the idea behind deep fried onion rings in a hospital cafeteria?
17:58 Bought air mattress for ICU floor. Told salesperson “All I know about outdoors is I loath them.” “You looking for Bloomingdales?”
18:22 Our friend Wen Huang dropped by ICU to read to my mother from his book. She smiles, “Haven’t we had a lovely day?”
20:26 My mother & I just sang Que Sera Sera 3 times. God bless you Doris Day for giving us such a great theme song.
22:37 Tried to buy coffee for family w/ a mother in ICU too. Barista overheard, refused my card. “Your money’s no good here.”
23:13 I consider this a good sign: mother sez when time comes, obit headline should be Three Jewish Husbands, But No Guilt.
23:53 My mother drifts to sleep listening to Nat’s Unforgettable. I keep things light, but moments like this hard, if sweet.
27 July 2013
1:23 Mother can’t sleep. We listen to music, her face feels puffy, hot. We talk of much. I say “You need sleep.” “Not really.”
2:17 Mother & I just finished a duet of We’ll Meet Again. Every word has meaning. Nurse looks in, asks, “Do you take requests?”
2:22 Thanks for all good wishes. Mother says, “We can get through this, baby. The hardest part we’ll be for you when it’s over”
2:24 -I tell her, “You’ve given me strength to carry it.” She’s reciting White Cliffs of Dover now, becoming 14 before my eyes.
2:38 Nights are the hardest. But that’s why I’m here. I wish I could lift my mother’s pain & fears from her bones into mine.
2:40 And yes, wish my family was here. But want our daughters just to remember the Grandmere who lavished them w/ smiles.
6:41 No real sleep tonight. But songs poems memories laughs. My mother: “Thank you God for giving us this night & each other”
6:41 That will be my life.s slogan from now on.
6:45 My mother: “Believe me, those great death bed speeches are written ahead of time. ”
7:46 Mother: what time is it? Me: 6:30. Her: oh let’s raise the curtains on the city we love.
8:08 Mother: “I don’t know why this is going on so long. I’m late for everything I guess.”
8:09 She’s a tough Irish showgirl who doesn’t quit on those she loves.
10:49 Listening to La Boheme now, Bocelli. Mother can’t keep eyes closed. “Maybe opera will help. I always slept when I went.”
13:09 I tell my mother, “You’ll never stop teaching me.” She said, “Well don’t blame me for everything.”
13:20 Anytime you’ve heard me being gracious & kind, it reflected my mother’s teaching. Anytime I was unkind, I fell short.
13:45 We’re singing through musicals my mother taught me to love (Fiorello now). She says, “I’ve seen so much talent in this world!”
15:52 Old friend, Fr Chuck, comes by to recite Act of Contrition w/ my mother. We love him. My mother has nothing to be-
15:52 -contrite about. But she is typically gracious in saying it w/ Fr. Chuck.
16:02 My mother is breathing, finally sleeping. Docs asked what priority is. I just want to take her to sit in our favorite park.
21:54 Thanks for all kind messages. We’re watching 42 (movie), cherishing every second of normalcy. Cherish yr mother tonight too.
22:32 Watching 42, mother remembers Leo Durocher made passes at her twice: “Once as a Dodger, once as a Cub.” Who’s the all-star?
23:29 I don’t know how we’ll get through these next few days. And, I don’t want them to end.
28 July 2013
0:07 Mother asks, “Will this go on forever?” She means pain, dread. “No.” She says, “But we’ll go on forever. You & me.” Yes.
4:35 Wake up, see my hands shaking. Mother holds them, murmurs, “Goodnight Sweet Prince.” Morphine, but no sleep for her.
4:40 Family joins me today. Maybe they’ll help me to be strong. My mother showed me how that’s done, come to think of it.
4:46 I see dawn coming in sky and want to hold it back to keep my mother from what’s ahead–to keep my mother, period.
4:47 A thought tonight for all who are in pain. We must be stronger than our fears.
5:03 If we only truly realized how little time we have..,
5:08 By request, my ICU bed. Hermes orange, my mother notes. Note functional nightstand, too: https://t.co/dDMQcOwbJW
6:00 Derek, mother’s kind & wise nurse, says “Get some sleep. Mothers like to see sons sleep.” But I hold her hand while I can.
8:23 When my mother woke briefly I sang her My Best Girl. She replied w/ You Are the Sunshine of My Life. Broadway in the ICU.
8:41 ICU seems to be staffed by good, smart young docs who think they know everything, and wise RN’s who really do.
8:48 I just realized: she once had to let me go into the big wide world. Now I have to let her go the same way.
10:43 City is cool, bright, & lovely this morning. My mother touches a splash of sunlight w/ her fingers. “Hello, Chicago!”
11:24 Just spent 45 mins looking for mother’ favorite dental floss. Waste of time? Act of faith.
13:59 I am not sure my mother understands Twitter or why I tell her millions of people love her–but she says she’s ver touched.
14:01 I think she wants me to pass along a couple of pieces of advice, ASAP. One: reach out to someone who seems lonely today.
14:02 And: listen to people in their 80’s. They have looked across the street at death for a decade. They know what’s vital.
14:06 Oh, and: Oh earth, you’re too wonderful for anyone to realize you. It goes too quickly.
14:58 Journos who say they’re hard-boiled cause they see so much should know ICU nurses see more in a week. And come out kind.
15:05 Been mulling (friendly, Merlot-soaked) arguments with CHitchens on God. Hitch knew more bible & eloquently pointed to-
15:07 -inanities. I always wound up saying, as I do now, Maybe you’re right. But it’s not the way I want to live.
16:01 My mother now wakes only to be gracious. “Is Reggie or Don on-duty? They’re both such exquisite gentlemen.” (and they are)
17:37 Mother groans w/ pleasure–over flossing. “When they mention great little things in life, they usually forget flossing.”
18:50 Breathing hard now. She sleeps, opens eyes a minute, sleeps. I sing, “I’ll always be there, as frightened as you,” to her.
19:31 My family has landed! ICU nurse works on mother’s hair, using makeup mirror. Almost falls. Mother: “Don’t let that break!”
19:51 In another ICU, father of our friend @RobertFalls201 passed away this AM after a helluva fight. We send our love and prayers.
22:00 Was my mother saving this line? My family flies in. My wife & I joke about me sleeping in the ICU (“All the beeps! Can’t –
22:02 -you med people keep it down?”) Tell my mother I’ll see my wife downstairs, back in 10. Mother says, “Have a quickie!”
22:30 I love holding my mother’s hand. Haven’t held it like this since I was 9. Why did I stop? I thought it unmanly? What crap.
23:50 Thought that my mother won’t get another glimpse of the city she loves is unbearable. My wife, from France, points out—
23:53 “She is seeing Chicago in the faces of the loving, tough, & kind souls working so hard for her in the ICU.” She’s right.
29 July 2013
1:09 Wish clever minds that invented the Space Shuttle or Roomba could devise an oxygen mask that doesn’t slip every 20 mins.
1:13 In middle of nights like this, my knees shake as if there’s an earthquake. I hold my mother’s arm for strength–still.
6:35 Mother cries Help Me at 2;30. Been holding her like a baby since. She’s asleep now. All I can do is hold on to her.
9:36 @SarahJonesNews Sarah contact firstname.lastname@example.org who is routing all contact.
9:44 Can’t hold my mother like a baby indefinitely–have to use the bathroom. My wife coming over w/ my mother’s husband.
9:45 Her passing might come any moment, or in an hour, or not for a day. Nurses saying hearing is last sense to go so I sing & joke.
9:46 When she asked for my help last night, we locked eyes. She calmed down. A look of love that surpasses understanding.
11:14 Listening to Nat & Natalie sing Unforgettable. Mother & I sang it just two nights ago. Coles have better voices for sure.
11:35 The loveli cityscape at the foot of my mother’s bed: https://t.co/Bu7AIfLaMs
14:46 I know end might be near as this is only day of my adulthood I’ve seen my mother and she hasn’t asked, “Why that shirt?”
19:17 @michele_norris Thank you, Michele. I miss my friends & colleagues but am so grateful to hear such warm words from so many.
19:23 I think I can safely reveal now that last night we snuck a dram of “grape juice” to my mother. Nurses shocked, shocked!
19:27 Heart rate dropping. Heart dropping.
20:17 The heavens over Chicago have opened and Patricia Lyons Simon Newman has stepped onstage.
20:17 She will make the face of heaven shine so fine that all the world will be in love with night.
20:29 Thank you for all yr warm wishes and prayers. Such love drives the world.
30 July 2013
8:14 You wake up and realize: you weren’t dreaming. It happened. Cry like you couldn’t last night.
8:16 Worst: telling our daughters. Oldest was flinty, youngest sobbed. But guess which one cried long into the night. . .
8:18 But as my mother said, the nice thing about being a Chicagoan is that she’ll continue to be able to vote on Election Day.
13:04 Bereaved families making arrangements are told ti cake a 1-800 DIGNITY number. Worthy of Evelyn Waugh…
13:17 Cemetery at first confuses my mother w/ another Patricia. Almost interred next to total stranger. Why not make new friends?
14:50 @mariashriver Thank you so much for your words, Maria. My family and I so appreciate it.
20:43 Discovery: couple who run cremation service delightful company! Warm & funny. Call themselves “post-health professionals.”
31 July 2013
0:58 @mfullilove Thanks for your nice note, Michael. And small world: my mother & I talked about yr new book in the hospital!
1:04 Tonight a night to panhandle in Chicago. Put $1s into every open palm & said, “From my mother.” Think I got a cop or two.
18:47 My mother had a couple of great wigs (made her look like Hallie Berry). Any idea of a cancer group that could use them?
23:27 So much important flotsam in the wake of a life. USPS says fill out change-of-address for deceased. Wish I knew to where…
1 August 2013
9:13 Our 6yr old sits on lap w/ us. I say, “This is what life is all about–the small things.” She says, “I’m bored.” Reality.
16:47 Someone I’ve found difficult to like sent me such a nice note on my mother I forget why I didn’t like him. Thanks Mother.
18:46 Mother’s last Netflix:Girl With a Pearl Earring, Vermeer movie. Told wife, “She loved art.” Wife: “She loved Colin Firth.”
2 August 2013
11:14 Day of my mother’s internment. Left hand quavered so much, daughter had to help w/ buttons. Glimpse of my future.
20:46 Just found my mother’s Chicago voter’s registration card. Looking forward to using it for many years!
3 August 2014
16:55 Finding it just a little hard to care about Simon Cowell & his Baby Mama story (which doesn’t mean I didn’t read it).
17:24 Will be on @ThisWeek w/ matchless @MarthaRaddatz. She was a bit gentler w/ me than she was w/ Romney & @BarackObama (a bit)
4 August 2013
9:46 Godfathers flew in from NYC to be w/ our daughters. Said they’d come for us anywhere–but so glad it’s Chicago.
9:47 Our children want to know if you’re dead forever. I tell them yes. But I wonder about that too.
17:28 Humor is a way of keeping something at a distance so that you can get close to it. (sounds crazy til you do it)
5 August 2013
16:07 Between last minute flights, fees, lawyers, forms, cemeteries etc. how do families afford deaths?
18:10 No Cubs or White Sox suspended for using “performance enhancing drugs.” Why not 50 victory credit for upholding rules?
6 August 2013
13:00 At airport. Getting to the point of choosing between buying lunch or a major city daily newspaper.
13:16 Alas, last tweet poorly phrased. Joking that price of a hot dog & @BostonGlobe & @washingtonpost ($250 mil) getting close.
15:47 Back copies of @chicagotribune w/ article on mother cost $15! Instead of increasing cost of paper, just sell ’em day late!
19:39 Have I gotten through the day without a A-Rod tweet? Oh, sorry, tried to.
7 August 2013
12:48 The most remarkable tribute my mother has received: https://t.co/BjdBsBI35U
18:47 Movies seem to be: uptight (but earnest) fed & scruffy (but sage) Boston cop improbably partnered. Epithets & love ensue.
8 August 2013
11:22 Dead shark found on NYC subway, 14th St stop. Big deal. Live sharks continue downtown to Wall St.
9 August 2013
0:13 Reading through so many nice message about my mother, it’s so nice to see so many say, “I held my mother’s hand today…”
13:58 Little League World Series on at gym. Like seeing kids in stands in shirts & ties playing Little League agents.
19:10 So glad to be w/ my family this week. However, now & then I felt the urge to be a reporter covering the Weiner campaign.
10 August 2013
10:03 Thanks for all kind greetings this morning. I’ll be back on @NPRWeekend next Saturday–ready to leap upon the news like…
18:26 So @FoodNetwork keeps devising new competitions. May wind up w/ chefs wrestling nude w/ rusty knives over a cantaloupe.