Monthly Archives: November 2009

a thanksgiving full of thanks for the family I’m far away from…

It’s Thanksgiving, and for the first time in 26 years I am not at my parent’s home with family, or at an Aunt or Uncle’s house to celebrate.   This is my first Thanksgiving being away from “home”.   Don’t get me wrong, I love Seattle, and I am extremely lucky to have my awesome sister and brother-in-law just a few blocks away to spend the evening with, but it’s still bittersweet to be so far away from the rest of my family on this holiday that normally brings families together.

As I sit at home alone this evening, with Lane snuggled next to me on the couch, I can’t help but to ponder the many things I am thankful for this year.  Some serious, some outrageous, some trivial, and some special, but being away from my family really makes me realize the most important thing I’m thankful for, above all else, is my family.

It may sound cliche to say “family” when asked what I am thankful for, but honestly it’s true.  This past month has been difficult for me.   At the beginning of November I was able to finagle a trip to Virginia Beach; tacked on to a business trip; to surprise my grandparents (on my dad’s side), whom I affectionately call  Baba & Bobo.  Baba was diagnosed with Alzheimers a few years ago and as the disease progresses it’s harder and harder to visit her, not physically, but mentally.  I love her, and no matter what she will always be my hero, but when visits are a barrage of the same 2 questions over and over, it’s hard to see past the disease and realize that the Baba I grew up with is still under there somewhere.   She has good and bad days, and I was lucky to see her on a good day.   I’m fairly certain she recognized me, as I’m sure I heard her say my name, but watching her dance around the living room, and laugh and giggle with my baby cousins like she hadn’t a care in the world, just made me realize that although she is there physically the grandmother that I used to sit on the ocuch with and chat about my day and life will never be back.   I love seeing her, but it’s hard to miss the loving mind that I adored and idealized as a child.   I can’t imagine my life without her, but part of me feels like she is already gone.  None the less, I can’t wait to fly home at Christmas and spend time with her, even if it means answering the “Where do you live?” and “When will you get married & make babies?” questions 20 times every hour.  I miss her, the way she was, but I’m still glad and incredibly thankful to have her in my life.

My grandpa’s (on my mom’s side)  health has been slowly deteriorating over the past couple years.  Seeing him in Washington, DC last summer made me realize how fragile he was, as he could barely get around, even with his walker.  Last week he was admitted to the hospital, and his prognosis isn’t good.  His heart is failing and the doctors have said there really isn’t anything they can do besides, give him medicine & monitor him.   Everytime my phone rang this week and the caller ID said “mom”, I dreaded picking up the phone to hear the next round of bad news about his health, or even worse.   I feel like a horrible granddaughter for not making time to visit Phoenix more, or not writing, or even emailing more.   Almost worse is I can tell the tole it’s taking on my mother.  She always tries to sound strong and just tell me the health news when she calls, but I can tell in her voice that she is scared and worried, and it breaks my heart to know she is hurting and there is nothing I can do to fix my grandpa or to make her feel better.   I am worried too.   Although I will admit to not being as close to my grandpa as I would like, mainly due me growing up in VA and him living in AZ, but he’s my family, and I love him, and I cherish the few times I do get to see him.   I think a trip to Phoenix will definitely be in the works soon, even if it’s just for a weekend to help take care of him or keep him company for a few days.  I don’t want to regret not spending more time with him after it’s too late.

Although this month has been emotionally tough on me, there are also good things to be thankful for in my family.  Lots of new cousin babies joining the Dominicci clan.  One due around Christmas time, and another on the way next year.  A marriage will bring Sarah (who has seemed like family for a long while now) officially into the Sprigings family next May, and over all everyone is happy and healthy.  Another positive is that I feel my relationship with my sister has been so great over the past year since moving to Seattle.  I don’t remember spending this much time with her since we were in elementary school, and I couldn’t be happier to have her living so close and being able to spend time with her.  We may bicker, because we are siblings and that’s what we do, but she is important to me and is a big part of my life.

Despite everything, I am extremely thankful for my family, and abundantly lucky to have such a large & loving family.   On this Thanksgiving Holiday, I hope they all know how much I love them, and how special they are to me.

Happy Thanksgiving.



dirty rotten wallet thiefs!

After spending a week travelling across the entire state of Virginia, ending with a 4 day stint in DC for work I couldn’t wait to get back to Seattle and just be home.  A friend of mine was defending her doctorate thesis in the AM and was having a bar night party to celebrate.  I got home by noon on Friday and rested up for the party.

Around 8pm I met up with my sister & brother-in-law to grab a quick bite to eat before meeting up with the rest of the party.  We went to a small bar/restaurant called The Bookstore in downtown Seattle and sat at a hightop.  I took my wallet out to show my ID to the waitress then promptly placed it back in my purse hanging on the back of my stool.  We sat for about an hour, ordered a round of drinks and some food.

We collected our things and walked out the door.  We walked a mere two blocks to the party and as I reached for my wallet to get out my ID, panic hit me.  I was feeling around furiously but could not find my wallet.  I opened my purse and peered in, grabbing everything in my hands.   My wallet was gone!  Now, I normally would’ve noticed my purse feeling extra “light” without my wallet, but it was pouring rain and I had thrown my umbrella in my purse earlier in the evening so it felt just as heavy as always.

We retraced our steps back to the bar.  Nothing.  We asked everyone who worked at the bar.  Nothing.  We asked the people at the hotel where the bar is located.  Nothing.  We asked the valet’s at the hotel.  Nothing.  My wallet had officially been stolen.  I called the police, filed a report, and immediately walked my depressed self home in the pouring rain and began calling every card company I had to cancel my accounts.

Today as I opened my AMEX corporate account to do my expense report I noticed charges that were definitely not mine.  I immediately called to dispute the charges.  AMEX had no answer as to how my card was able to be used on Saturday when I clearly called on Friday to cancel it, but none the less the dirty rotten wallet thief used my corporate amex at 2 different shell gas stations for a total of $100, then $12 at Mcdonald’s and another $53 at a chevron gas station.  Also, used another card of mine on Saturday at a shell gas station and then at a Jack in the Box 6 different times in 3 hours!!

Not sure how many times you can go to a gas station to purchase things, or how many times you can eat at Jack in the Box in a 3 hour window without looking suspicious, but…

Either way, I’m not being held to any of the charges since they happened after I reported the card stolen, but I still can’t believe that someone stole my wallet, from right next to me.  It’s a crazy world out there, filled with crazy idiot thiefs.   I feel kind of like my life was taken hostage…but I’m getting over it.  I’ll feel better once I purchase a new wallet, a new purse (with a zipper!) and get all my cards and driver’s license replaced.

Warning to ladies…have a purse with a zipper.  Not that it will stop someone from stealing your entire purse, but at least keep them from stealing just your wallet.