Sunday, April 27, 2008

LETTERS FROM STEVO...Family Trilogy Part I: The Legend of Ma Busch!

As the title indicates, I'm starting part I of a three part trilogy creatively titled: Family Trilogy!!! Part I is in honor of my mother, Laura Busch or "Ma Busch" whose birthday it just so happens to be this week. Just a little background on Ma Busch. She was raised in Farmington, NM by Bud and Memo. She graduated high school and went to college at Eastern New Mexico in Portales. While in high school and college, Ma Busch was noted for her abilities in choir and drama. After college, she married my dad (more on him in Part II) and converted to the LDS church. They soon moved to Albuquerque and gave birth to their beloved Stevo. Apparently at birth I came out blue with the cord wrapped around my neck. I had heard what the outside was like and wanted no part of it! Following my illustrious birth, there were apparently a couple of other siblings that came along (more on them in Part III). We soon moved to a small town outside of Farmington called Kirtland. Ma Busch scored a gig as a high school drama/english/communications teacher. Even though I attended this same high school, I mysteriously never had her as a teacher. She later admitted it was intentional as she wanted no part of me as a student. Her extra curricular activity has been coaching the drama club. She put together all the school plays. She's had a good reputation at school, she has generally been liked by the students. One student in particular would call her "mom." He was the varsity quarterback and renowned partier and troublemaker, (no, not me). Anytime he would see her in the hall he would yell out, "hi mom!" She is retiring this year, so anytime she calls to vent about her job my response is always, "why do you're retiring!"

As the result of being a teacher, she was off during the summers so she could always be there with her "beloved" sons! Wait! Who am I kidding??? We were awful!!! She was also the "Kool-aid mom" for all the other kids in the neighborhood. Of course she looks back at it with fondness now but at the time she couldn't stand it. She would often growl, "I'm not the kool-aid mom!!!" Because of her kool-aid momness she became the surrogate mom of our buddy who lived across the street. We did everything with this kid! Ironically, he's now in a federal penitentiary, so I guess that should speak volumes of her surrogate mothering ability! Then of course there is the corporal punishment. As part of the trilogy, I'm going to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 my parents overall spanking ability. The rating will be judged on two criteria: pain factor and weapons used. I'll give Ma Busch a 7. She would often use either a wooden spoon or brush which greatly enhanced the pain factor. We were usually spanked for fighting which just so happened to be our favorite summer activity...especially in clothing retail stores!

Now, in order for me to paint a more vivid picture of Ma Busch I need to discuss her personality traits. She has a very good sense of humor capped off with a very memorable laugh. She is notorious for this laugh! As kids, my parents would have friends over and they would make us go to bed. As we were attempting to go to sleep we would be suddenly awakened by this insanely loud laugh that would literally scare us! She also has a great singing voice and loves to be in and a part of plays. She has always loved being on a stage and performing for people...a total drama queen! As Bud is a dancing queen, Ma Busch is a drama queen. One joke in our family is that Ma Busch has two main food groups: ranch dressing and chocolate! If it ain't covered in chocolate or she can't dip it in ranch, she don't want it!!! If she ever needs an emergency blood transplant I'm seriously calling Hidden Valley! She bleeds that stuff. Then there are her "YaYa's" as she refers to them. They are a bunch of ladies that work for the school that get together every week to hang out and gossip. She of course named them after the "YaYa Sisterhood." She claims they only get to together to gossip, but I assert that there is some sort of secret combination going on! They're probably running some kind of organized crime syndicate. Of course she would never admit to it because they probably abide by 'Omerta.

She currently has three grandkids with a fourth on the way. Of course they love her and Mya, being the eldest grandchild gave her the moniker that she will be forever known as a grandmother...LaLa. Mya was very young and was trying to pronounce her name and came up with...LaLa. She is now referred to as "Grandma LaLa" by all of the grandkids. Mya likes to call her every so often to gossip and throw her daddy under the bus. What amazes Amy and I is how similar Mya and Ma Busch actually are. They share an affinity for drama, music, chocolate, ranch and gossip!

So that's Ma Busch in a nutshell...If I could use to two words to describe her it would be...DRAMA QUEEN!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Big Family

The last 3 weeks I have been so impressed by my "big family". Not the huge extended family I was raised so close to, but the big family of friends and relatives around me. The outpouring of love and support is truly amazing! I am one of those people that reluctantly accepts any type of service. I need that from my Mom of course, but I have this stubbornly independent attitude that makes it very difficult for me to accept any kind of charity from others. I am always happy to give however I am needed, but receiving has always been difficult (again, from everyone except my mom - sorry mom!). However, during the last 3 weeks I have really needed it. And no we do not "need" food (I do not cook anyway!). But what I have needed is love and support and friendship. And I am not really a needy person in this way. I had no idea how hard this experience would be on me. I am not the one in the cast, so how could it be hard on me? But it is. I hate seeing my child in pain. I hate seeing my child unable to do things. I hate seeing my child so sad. I hate these things, because I am helpless to change them. With that said, there is very little I can do. However, the one thing that makes Mya happy during this trial in her life is the visits from family and friends. And of course this makes me happy too. Apparently we are more socially needy than I once thought! :)

In our church there is a great deal of service and charity available anytime it is needed. I always used to feel like this service was robotic, like when you have Home or Visiting teachers over and they have to ask the required, "Is there anything we can do for you?" Does anyone ever say yes?? This time in my life I realize that it service is definitely not forced. Because you can feel service in your heart. You know how sincere it is. You can feel love and support in the calls, emails, and visits. I have had so many amazing friends and family by my side, offering meals, comfort, company, treats, books, markers, toys, play dates, and so much more. And again, my Mom. I could not live with out her during my normal life, so you can only imagine how much I have needed her lately. I have the best friends and family a person can ask for. I never realized how much I need them and how much I appreciate them. I cannot thank them enough or give back enough to show how thankful I am for it. But I am here for them, and always will be. I guess that is what being a big family is all about - just being there for each other - "willing to mourn with those that mourn..comfort those that stand in need of comfort". Thank you for all the comfort and love!

Friday, April 18, 2008

LETTERS FROM for the game (the art of the block)

So I joined a flag football league this year. I wanted to join a tackle football league on the south side of town but Amy wouldn't let me. She told me I was too old to play tackle! What??? I play tackle every Thanksgiving in Farmington with my brother and some other guys and I have yet to get "hurt". I do the hurting!!! And no, I'm not too old! So I'll be 32 in a couple of weeks and most of the guys we play with are 18-25...big deal, I can hang! My knees are only sore for a few days! Anyway, the flag football league is fun, we have a great offensive line anchored by yours truly. I have yet to give up a sack! Our problem is our backs and receivers are all 5'8" and shorter and don't seem to know how to catch passes. Age wise, I'm on the upper end of the scale but I have a niche in that I'm big and I prefer to block whereas the others don't. Last night we played this team that had a player named Walt. I call him big Walt, he's a little shorter than me and weighs in about the 250-260 range. Big Walt is the guy pictured above. He lined up on the other side of the line away from me. On one play he decided he wanted a piece of me so he lined up across from me. He didn't get near the quarterback! That was the last time I saw big Walt, he went back to his other spot. The guy I faced was smaller and quicker and would try to juke me. The problem with this is I don't go after the defender, I let them come to me and I'm quick enough on my feet that I can stay with them if they are trying to go around me. Anyway, I'm probably boring you with the details...the art of the block is to stay in your chair and keep your hands up!

I took Peyton to Farmington over this past weekend to see some family and attend my grandmothers 80th birthday shindig. Amy and Mya stayed home to attend Shirley Carlson's 80th birthday party. Our grandmothers were born a day apart! My grandmother was flown out from her home in Bristol, VA. She is my maternal grandmother and was at one time married to Bud (see post titled "This Bud's for you!) We grandkids call her Memo, a nickname I dubbed at a very young age being the eldest grandchild. She used to live in Farmington and she spoiled us rotten. We would spend the night at her house every Friday and she would take us out to eat at Furr's Cafeteria...we seriously thought that was mighty fine dining! When it was time for bed she would read us stories from a book about some rabbit dude named "Uncle Wiggly". It was pretty awesome! And she didn't put up with any Busch brother fighting...she would take the broom to us!

Peyton was a trooper. He spent the whole time playing with his cousin Gavin. He slept on the flight down and behaved himself on the flight back too. We flew on a puddle jumper and met some serious turbulence on the way down ( I really thought I was going to hurl) but Peyton slept thru it. I made him walk with me through DIA which is no small task and he handled it well. He even behaved himself at the birthday party. I even got to do some weightlifting while I was there, my uncle Bill let me bench press him.

In conclusion, I would like to offer some advice that I offer many when it comes to dealing with the curveballs that life throws at you...stay in your chair and keep your hands up! It's not just good blocking technique, it's words to live by...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Before, During, After...

Everything went as planned on Tuesday. We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 in the morning. Mya was super sleepy and hungry, but she enjoyed being wheeled around in the wagon, looking at all the fun things the Children's Hospital has to offer prior to the surgery. Knowing her personality and fears, we had her take the medicine that would relax her and forget the surgery stuff (Just picture a very drunk 4 year old!). We took her into the operating room at about 7:30 a.m. and had to kiss her goodbye after they put her to sleep. They came to us about 3 hours later...
Everything went well and as planned. They were able to cast her around her torso and hips, and down just one leg, which is such a blessing. And at her request she has a purple cast. She also had to put on her new silky PJ's right away. No hospital gown for her! She was very confused and upset about everything when we finally got to her side. The medicine was making her sick, and the cast was making her miserable and as I mentioned in the previous post, the moment they wake up in the cast they just look at you
with that look of absolute horror. The thing I was not prepared for was the fact that this time around she could speak and let me know all about how miserable and sad and awful this is. She cannot walk, or run, or dance, or just sit in the window with her cousins. She cannot sleep or go to the bathroom normally. She cannot be happy with such a miserable cast. However, as the days and nights go by, she is adjusting. She is smiling and laughing and is enjoying all the extra TV. She also loves the wheel chair. She asked today if she could keep it after they take off the cast in case she ever had to have another one. She can move all over with that thing! Thank goodness for all our tile! :) She is being a good sport for the most part. I think she likes the pampering and surprises and presents people keep bringing her. What kid wouldn't?! She gets very sad and weepy at night, which just breaks my heart. There were many tears the first week. But we are officially done with week one! Only 5 more weeks to go! Thank you to all my amazing family and friends for their support, prayers, and love! We could not survive this without you all!