Last Thursday was Valentine's Day. It was also my 2-year wedding anniversary. It was, by far, the most understated celebration ever. I even waited 3 days to post anything about it! We celebrated by staying home and dinner consisted of 49-cent cheeseburgers from McD's (Happy Anniversary honey, here have a heart attack) and reheated spaghetti leftovers - LOL!! We had more fun last night when we actually got dressed up and went out dancing at a local nightclub. I even wore a miniskirt ... will the wonders never cease?
Yeah so last night was dinner and dancing. Dinner was at the ever-popular Iguana Mia's which has the best Mexican food I've ever, ever eaten. The service was mediocre but otherwise it was quite enjoyable. After dinner we went alllllllllllll the way into downtown Fort Myers for the Edison Festival of Lights parade. The parade was, in a word, entertaining. We hit 2 bars, 3 if you count the dance club we went to in the Cape. It was me, Glenn, Daniel and our roommate Ken. Daniel had to dress up Glenn in his clothes before we could go to Pearl (the dance club), as they have a dress code. Glenn looked very handsome, I was so proud of him! :))
Glenn and Daniel got cigars at the cigar shop next to Iguana Mia's and my nostrils can still smell it. That's one thing I do not miss about my dad, the cigar-smoking. Blech.
I spent the first half of yesterday (Saturday) looking for a car. With Daniel's help (Glenn's brother) we got ourselves into a VERY nice ride! A white, 1995 Mercury Couger XR7. It has only 70,000 miles on it, it has a CD player, digital climate control, tinted windows, automatic doorlocks with remote and keyless entry ... it is sweet. It also has a V8 engine, a very, very good V8 engine. The only thing wrong with it is the right front tire took some damage that required a repair to it that left it with a very noticeable squeak, and it makes the car pull to the left when you apply the brakes. We were told it's not supposed to be a problem, even though it feels like a problem. Daniel felt confident that it would see us through the long haul. The main thing is the engine is mint. And if the tire/axle problem sidelines us we know we can get $1000 for the engine alone. This model of Mercury Cougar is the old body style, not my favorite, but the car's so pretty I don't care!
This gem was a straight-up steal too: the lady we bought it from sold it to us for less than half of what it's worth.
The real story here however, is the lady who sold us the car. After we sealed the deal, after she had the money in her hand and our signatures on the bill of sale, she told us her amazing story. She's selling everything so she can raise money to get her heart fixed. She suffers from pediatric congenital heart defect, and the state of Florida turned her down for the surgery she needs to correct it. But she is optimistic. In fact, she is stunningly optimistic for what she's going through - she also has 3 kids who are very sick, a completely separate situation, independent from her heart issue. Her kids got sick because they used to live near a power plant in Ohio that dumped toxic waste into the environment around them. She fed her kids from her garden - and they wound up with damage to their nervous system. They were wheelchair-bound, until she took them off the medications the doctors put them on. She stopped giving them medication and they got better - 2 of them no longer use a wheelchair! All of them are college-age and all of them are in college, I believe.
But back to my friend Sheila. She is one of only 2 people in the world who is alive with her particular heart defect. She told us, "You don't live with this. It's very unusual. This type of defect usually kills people." Yet here she stands, smiling and faithful and looking forward to a bright future with her kids. She told us she's a 98.9% candidate for a stem cell program in Thailand, and for that she is really hoping she can get in on it. The surgery is a much more sketchy deal - she may not wake up from it. She has all kinds of problems she can't have surgery for because her heart will not allow her to have anesthetic.
The stem cells are much more promising however, because it would allow her own body to heal itself, and these are not the "baby" stem cells, but the ones your own blood produce.
She got to the end of telling us her story and made the statement: "It could be worse." My friends, if that isn't exactly the attitude we should ALL approach life with, I don't know what it is. She is the most remarkable person I've ever met in my life, and I've met some remarkable people. I left her my phone number and email address, and I hope she takes advantage of it.
And that was my weekend. :)