Never Forget September 11

I am not a political person, in fact hatred of office politics is a top reason I work for myself but I could not let the 20th anniversary of the September 11 tragedy pass without acknowledging it. Like many other people, I remember exactly what I was doing the morning of September 11, 2001. I was getting ready to go to work at my corporate job and had the habit of turning the TV on to check the weather forecast to help me decide what to wear. This was before I owned a smartphone, now it is so easy to check the weather on the phone. I was in complete shock when instead I saw an airplane crashing into the Twin Towers. I stared at the TV screen in disbelief, it looked like a movie but unfortunately it was real life. Our family's first thought was to make sure Rachel was OK, she was working in Manhattan at the time. Mother could not get a hold of her that day so the worry was very real. Luckily Rachel was able to get out of there safely and eventually subway, electricity and cell phone service was restored. I recall that she had to take quite a few buses to get back to the Bronx because the subway was out of commission.

When I was 21 and just starting my corporate career I had the opportunity to take two business trips to New York. We stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria one time and at the Vista Hotel in the World Trade Center the other time. I have great memories of those trips, yes it was work but I really appreciated the chance to stay at these beautiful hotels and dine in nice restaurants. I was able to experience the "city that never sleeps" for the first time. To see the World Trade Center destroyed in a matter of moments was so devastating. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy, I know the effects have been long-lasting.

I was in the midst of major changes at that time, I purchased my current home in Mount Prospect in May 2001 and my divorce was finalized in July of 2001. I was so unhappy at my job, I was there nearly 10 years at the time. It became such a toxic environment because of all the politics and poor treatment by management and coworkers. It would take all my strength to walk into that building every Monday morning. The failure of my marriage really contributed to my overall sadness as well. Thank goodness for Kuochun, he was such a great support at that time. He understood completely because he was being treated the same way. But I am a glass half full person and in May of 2002 I picked myself up and left the corporate world to start my own business, never looking back. I will never forget the day I left, Kuochun decided not to work anymore that day and followed me out the door. I was never worried about how I was going to make a living but just relieved that the torture was over. I am amazed at how far my work has come 20 years later. Out of adversity has come a diamond of a business and a dream side hustle. I learned from my past experiences what I did not want to be as a boss and to let common sense rule.

A lot has changed since 9/11, both in the world and in my life. Now we are dealing with the pandemic and it is heartbreaking to see the country divided over the mask / vaccine issue. The country came together in response to 9/11 and it is a shame that we cannot come together now. I do not see it ever happening, all we can hope for is that the virus will dissipate on its own over time.

Now for our weekly recap. I posted the above jewelry lot last Sunday evening - the cuff bracelet on the left, the sunface charm, the choker necklace with jacla pieces, the earrings at the lower right and the fabulous Tom Willeto kachina earrings have sold, the other items are available. The kachina ring is only a size 5.5, otherwise I think it would have sold as well. I decided to keep the matching pendant, it completes my trifecta of Southwest themed jewelry - kachina, kokopelli and fetish bear. Now I have each in pendant form. I feel like they are too Southwest to wear here but will make more sense in Arizona. Now I will have Arizona and Chicago jewelry, just like my clothing! The kachina pieces are amazing, they are by Tom Willeto who is a Navajo artist. I could not find any information about the artist online but the workmanship is impeccable. I am very pleased to add the kachina to my collection. I am most surprised that the multi-color heishi necklace did not sell, it is great for men or women. Here is Kuochun modeling it for me!

Little did I know that just a few hours after posting this jewelry for sale I would receive bad news. Mother called and said she had a fall and needed to go to the emergency room. She and Rachel had tried to go out earlier in the day and she tripped on the cord from her portable oxygen machine on the concrete path leading from the house to the driveway and landed on top of the machine, with it hitting the side of her abdomen. Her abdomen grew to three times its normal size. I rushed over and got her to the emergency room. Thankfully Northwest Community Hospital is only a mile away which is one of the reasons I encouraged Mother to move to this neighborhood. It was way more efficient to take her myself and get wheelchair assistance once we arrived than to wait for an ambulance. Unfortunately they were short staffed and the waiting room was pretty full. Mother was in so much pain, I really had to push the staff to see her as soon as possible. She was very uncomfortable sitting in the wheelchair. We got her into a room and she was screaming in pain and that caused her oxygen level to go way too low, it was so upsetting. They gave her morphine by IV, it basically took until the next day to alleviate the pain. It turned out she had a hematoma (internal bleeding in the tissues) which is easy to have happen in patients who take blood thinners.

Mother was in the hospital until Thursday, she had a blood transfusion but had to stay longer because her levels were not going up as high as the doctors hoped. Thankfully they were high enough that she did not have to have surgery. Mother was very pleased with the care she received during her hospital stay. During one of my visits the doctor came into the room and I asked him about one of Rachel's concerns - that she is taking so much medication it will cause her liver to fail. He said looking at the medication list there is nothing that he can see that will do that and as of now her liver is fine. That provided me some relief.

I stressed to Mother that this was a freak accident that could have happened to anyone. Thank goodness she did not break anything! I am not sure why those oxygen cords are so long on a portable machine. The machine has a shoulder strap and the patient is supposed to carry it on their person. Rachel was able to shorten the cord. Kuochun took a group out for dim sum at MingHin Cuisine in Rolling Meadows Friday evening, I stayed behind to puppy sit. Rachel, John and Mother had a plan to visit the Frida Kahlo exhibit in Glen Ellyn Saturday morning so Rachel picked up a portable wheelchair for Mother so they could still go. I puppy sat again. They really enjoyed both events.

Ozzy is not a typical wiggly, kissy puppy but he was a little more warm towards me each time I visited. He definitely missed Rachel and had a bit of separation anxiety but I did my best to put him at ease. I could only pet him a little because my allergies were kicking in. The funniest thing he did was after he pooped in the backyard he got major zoomies. There was a concrete chicken in the yard and he would zoom over to it, stop and then zoom away. He is a great dog for Rachel and John. Rachel took Ozzy to a lakefront dog park twice during her visit and he just loved it. She has a video of him biting the water. He was more interested in the water than the other dogs running around. It is a shame that Mother was in the hospital for a lot of Rachel's visit but at least they were able to do a couple of things after John arrived and before they had to leave.

Rachel, John and Ozzy are driving back to New York now. Rachel is very concerned that Mother will be alone but I will work things out so she is alone as little as possible. She is nearly recovered mentally from the stroke and does not need to go to a facility. I asked Mother to promise me not to go down to the basement unless someone was there with her and she said she would. Due to her fall driving has been put on the backburner but that is OK, I am happy to continue to help her with wherever she needs to go. Luckily I have a flexible schedule, with a regular job it would be impossible. We will build back up to driving whenever Mother is ready. It is definitely helpful that the distance between our homes was cut in half due to her move to Arlington Heights.

The hope is to get Mother back to Scottsdale so she can get out of the bad weather and she will have me with her 24/7. One priority this week has been to fight to get all the paperwork I need to the attorney so she can work on my bad faith insurance case. I self-imposed a deadline of September 15 as it has been very challenging to obtain this paperwork and time keeps passing. I did make headway and was able to get information from the contractor and the independent adjuster this week but not the plumber. The plumber was supposed to check out my second job on Tuesday, I received the message that he was on the way but I never heard anything after that and now my messages are not being answered. The Phoenix area is so fun but the blow-off attitude from a lot of the service providers has been really frustrating. I am going to give it one more chance and pray he will come through for me. Now more than ever I really want to get this home back in order so Mother has a safe place to stay on one level. I can pick her up in the alley and there will only be one step there as opposed to the several steps leading into the front door or garage door. It is definitely looking like things will not go off on schedule as my original plan was to be back there in less than two months. I will take it as the growing pains of a new home and things will be back in order by this time next year for sure. By then I will plan to have a car there and it will be much more convenient to make trips back and forth.

I am at least feeling good about the estate sale paperwork as I am all caught up for the week. I have implemented a new schedule of completing the sale recap on Monday evenings, then Kuochun has all day and evening Tuesday to prepare the files for me while I work on the weekly newsletter and then completing the packages Wednesday to Friday. This will leave the weekend to do the schedule, ad discounting, Monday sale ads, payroll etc. and not have the packages to do too. I think this will really help my stress level. Getting back to exercise will be great too and that is the next thing to schedule in.

This is plenty to talk about for this week, see you next time!