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When Mom calls at work

July 17, 2008 - Cindy Votruba
When your mom calls you at work, it usually isn’t good news. Well, when my mom calls me at work, it usually isn’t good news.

Yeah, my mom has a hard time getting a hold of me at home (I’m mainly on the computer, and yeah, I have dial-up connection. I’m so 2003). So once in a while, she’ll try contacting me at work.

One of those times was yesterday. My office manager told me that my mom had called. So I dial my folks’ digits on my cell and when she answered, I said “what do ya want?” Yeah, that can be a typical greeting between me and mom. I was thinking maybe it had to do with my brother coming to visit this weekend. Actually, she started out with “I have a little bit of bad news...” OK, who died? was my next thought. She proceeds to tell me that my uncle Paul, my dad’s youngest brother (he comes from a family of 12 kids) was diagnosed with Lou Gerhig’s. She had told me that he was having symptoms with his legs and he was having whatever was causing it checked out. Lou Gehrig’s, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a pretty severe disease. Three years ago, I did a story on a woman from Hanley Falls with ALS. By that time, she had already lived with the disease for two years. She said the disease takes away everything except your eyes and your mind. Eventually it takes away your nerve cells and you can’t move or talk. One of my high school classmates was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago. He, like the woman from Hanley Falls, has young children.

Uncle Paul has a daughter, Kate, who is getting married in September in Chicago. I know that somehow he will find a way to walk her down the aisle, whether it’s in a wheelchair or not.

Also, my mom went on to tell me that her sister-in-law, my aunt Viv, is having a double mastectomy. Mom hated to be the bearer of bad news, but she felt she had to let me know what’s going on.

On a lighter note, my brother is going to spend next week working on a portfolio for an internship. He’s studying sociology at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. He’s also minoring in criminal justice (something I still can’t envision), so he’s looking to get in with either working for one of the surrounding counties with either juveniles or probation (I can’t remember which). Yes, he is a non-trad student, but it’s great to see that he’s on the road to getting his bachelor’s degree. Hopefully he’ll get it in 2009, he said.


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