rivka: (smite)
SUUSI actually got better for a while in the middle, after I wrote my last post. But you're not going to hear about that, because what happened at the end overshadowed everything for our family.

everyone is physically okay, kids are fine, Michael and I are upset )
rivka: (Rivka and Misha)
When Michael started at his current company, a transportation engineering firm, he had been unemployed for a long time. He started working there as, essentially, a contract laborer, doing unskilled or barely-skilled work for a low hourly rate, sometimes working very strange shifts and very long days in undesirable conditions. It helped put food on our table.

He got signed on for a longer-term project, still low-paid contract work, conducting a survey of public transit passengers in Baltimore. He spent a lot of time riding buses and trains on distant routes over scary parts of the city. Sometimes he had to be at the bus stop at 5am. When the bus-riding part of the project was over and they were compiling and checking the data, Michael distinguished himself by showing that he could make good data out of bad, applying logic and reasoning to figure out what was meant by the responses to a poorly filled-out survey.

A job opened up as a courier. Still menial labor paid at a low rate, but full time. They offered it to Michael. He did it well. It offered him the opportunity to be known around the company.

Then a job opened in the accounting department. Michael had been wanting to move into a financial position, having developed that interest serving as the treasurer of our church. He interviewed well for the job, but it was hardly surprising (although disappointing) when they gave it to someone who had several years of experience working in a similar position. Michael kept on with his courier job, doing it cheerfully and well.

Eventually the supervisor of the accounting department contacted him again. They kept being slammed with work, and she had received permission to create a new position for someone to help out with a variety of tasks across the department, filling in for someone who was about to go on maternity leave and then also picking up the slack in a number of areas. She thought Michael would be a fine person for the job. He stopped couriering and was given an office of his own. He learned billing and accounting skills on the job.

Over time, Michael has developed a reputation in his department: if a project is a total mess, and something very strange has happened in the intricate details of billing and payment, and you can't figure out what the hell is going on, Michael is the person you want to give it to. He digs back through years of records and straightens everything out. He likes the challenging assignments. Over time, his boss has handed him responsibility for more and more tricky projects.

On Friday she called him in to her office. The partners had announced that no one would be getting raises this year due to the dismal overall financial climate, as he knew, but she wanted Michael to know that she was so impressed with his effort and his skill and his positive attitude about challenging projects that she had gone to the mat for him. There won't be any COLA raises across the board, but she was able to secure Michael a 10% merit raise. In this economy, that's a very big deal.

I am so proud of Michael for getting his foot in the door at this company and working his way into a great position via techniques which are almost Horatio Alger-esque. He never acted like the early, crappy, menial, contract projects were beneath him. He made himself highly visible as a person it would be good to hire and then promote, and it paid off, and now he has a job he enjoys and a job he does extremely well.
rivka: (ouch)
Michael has the flu.

He started feeling a bit under the weather on Tuesday night, and by Wednesday afternoon he felt (and looked) awful. Oddly, he's not running a fever at all. When Alex had it, she seemed much sicker than her relatively low fever would suggest; Michael seems to be following the same pattern.

He went to our doctor today. She prescribed Tamiflu and also an antibiotic because she didn't like the way his lungs sounded. (Our doctor hands out antibiotics like candy.)

Tamiflu needs to be taken in the first day or two of symptoms to be effective, so I became livid when I went to the pharmacy this evening and the pharmacist told me that they had to order more Tamiflu and wouldn't have it until tomorrow. I asked her why she didn't tell Michael this when he dropped the prescription off earlier in the day, or at least call us when she realized they didn't have it. She shrugged and told me that I could have the prescription back if I wanted to take it elsewhere. Then she said that, also, they didn't have the Prozac refill I had called in the day before, because she was going to have to order that too.

So I became That Customer. I raised my voice and said "This is absolutely unacceptable," and explained why. An assistant manager nearby heard me, as I had intended him to, and he came over to investigate the situation. He found my Prozac prescription already filled and waiting on the rack. Then he called around until he found another pharmacy branch that still had Tamiflu in stock and faxed Michael's prescription over there. After a few more rounds of drama (it was faxed to the wrong number and I had to track down what had happened and get them to re-send it), Michael finally wound up with meds in hand. Whew.

I hate this damn pharmacy. They are constantly running out of things and having to order more, or asking me to accept 24 hours worth of pills because they don't have enough right now to fill my full prescription. But, you know, they're a block from our house and they're open 24 hours. It's hard to change.

I had a headache earlier, but I think it was just stress. I've had a lot of that lately, and it's always ramped up by having to deal with both kids solo for long periods of time. (Even if Michael were feeling up to caring for them, we don't really want him touching them.) I was hoping that Michael had seasonal flu, for which I have already been vaccinated, but our doctor thinks it's more likely to be H1N1. Keeping my fingers crossed.
rivka: (family)
I was on the way to the midwife this afternoon when Michael called. He said that Alex woke up from a nap at nursery school (already a red flag; she never naps) complaining of severe ear pain. The school didn't think she absolutely positively had to be picked up - it was our call. Of course, I was on the way to the midwife in our only car.

We agreed that I would go on to the office and survey the scene. If it seemed like they'd get me through soon, I would go to my appointment and then pick up Alex. Otherwise, Michael would go to nursery school and either stay with her until I came, or walk/carry her home.

Fortunately, no one else was in the office. (They used to have long waits. Maybe that's just for the senior midwife?) I breezed through my appointment: I've gained five pounds, my blood pressure is a beautiful 118/72, I'm measuring a centimeter or two ahead, the Niblet's heartbeat sounds great, I'm not having sugar or protein problems. My symptoms (hypoglycemic episodes, shortness of breath) are normal for this stage of pregnancy. She wrote me orders for the delightful 28-week testing extravaganza: I'll get bloodwork, a glucose tolerance test, and a shot of tasty tasty RhoGAM.

I hastened out of there and made my way to nursery school. It was still naptime, so I felt awful about coming into the classroom, but what can you do? I could tell in an instant that Alex was genuinely sick: washed-out complection, puffy eyes with dark circles under them, whimpery mood. She was excited to report that Miss Megan had let her have a juice box right in the middle of naptime, and that Miss Jen had let her sit at the table and color instead of staying on her cot. They're good to her there.

We went straight to the pediatrician's office; Michael had set up an appointment while I was at the midwife. Much to my surprise, it was with Alex's own doctor. (You don't expect that on an hour's notice.) He checked in her ears, pronounced them "the reddest ears I've seen all week," checked her throat and lungs for thoroughness' sake, and wrote out a prescription for amoxicillin. (Alex: "Yay! Bubblegum medicine!") He also agreed to be the Niblet's pediatrician and suggested that Alex get a flu shot this year to help protect the Niblet. (He'll have antibodies from my flu shot, but given the vaccine's incomplete protection it helps to not bring the virus into the house at all.)

Then we came home. She's sacked out on the couch with a video, all dosed up with Tylenol, and seems to be feeling better.

Michael also went to the doctor this morning, which makes a complete sweep for all three/four of us. His tendonitis is apparently not nearly as bad as it could be, and he has a treatment plan with lots of PT. So that's good news.

Home!!

Aug. 28th, 2008 10:19 am
rivka: (trust beyond reason)
Michael is coming home today!! He's coming in on a 5:55pm plane. You just wouldn't believe how much rejoicing there is.

His father seems to be stable-ish, for now. There was an unfortunate incident yesterday. On Tuesday it appeared to have been established that they would give physical therapy 24-48 hours to work, and then discuss surgery. But yesterday at lunchtime, before the physical therapist had even come by, the surgeon came in and announced that he had scheduled surgery for today. Because, apparently, he has a funeral to go to tomorrow, and then it will be the holiday weekend. (I'm not sure how nakedly these scheduling difficulties were presented.)

The long and the short of it is that Michael's father refused to consent to surgery, and the surgeon got angry, and they had an argument. Now we are waiting for a second surgical opinion. In the meantime, Michael's father has been up and walking with a walker, and appears to be doing better. But either way, unless a dire emergency develops there won't be any surgery earlier than next week. So Michael is coming home.

At some point yesterday, Michael's father's internist pulled Michael out into the hall and told him that his father's heart is not doing well at all. His ejection fraction - the ability of his heart to pump out blood - is down to 20%. (Normal is about 60%). There doesn't seem to be much that they can do about this. It definitely makes any further surgery questionable - and that's on top of his already-compromised lungs, which suffered radiation damage during lung cancer treatment.

I'm so glad that Michael went down to Memphis. I'm glad that he got a chance to see his father and spend time with him while his father was conscious and aware, because with the next health crisis - and there will inevitably be one - there may not be that opportunity.

And I'm so, so glad that he's coming home now.
rivka: (Rivka and Misha)
Michael called me this morning and said that his father was having some final tests preparatory to being moved to a regular room. If all continued to go well, then maybe Michael would come home tomorrow. He asked me to look into flights.

This afternoon, he called again. The surgeon had been by. Apparently, one of the problems that led to one of the emergency surgeries was that a piece of Michael's father's bowel was caught up in a hernia. They thought that was what was causing an intestinal blockage. But they fixed the hernia, and the blockage is still there.

They're going to try physical therapy, in hopes that things will become unblocked if Michael's father gets up and moves around. Apparently sometimes that happens. The surgeon is willing to give that 24 to 48 hours to work. If it doesn't? Major abdominal surgery, opening the whole belly.

I know from my research assistant's experience that trying to unblock the intestines is often a multistep, multisurgery problem. Because things that have been operated on tend to adhere together, and adhesions can re-block what was just opened up.

So Michael won't be coming home tomorrow unless a miracle occurs. The best-case scenario is that he'll stay another couple of days until the physical therapy can be proven to have worked. Alternatively...

...let's just focus on the best-case scenario for now.

You know, Michael and I have been married for nine years, together for eleven. And lately I've thought of our relationship as... very comfortable, and kind of mundane. Domestic, loving, friendly. But now it occurs to me: fish probably describe water as comfortable, mundane, domestic, and friendly, too. And the absolute essentiality of it probably isn't evident until it's gone.

I miss Michael so much. I'm coping fine with what needs to be done, but I feel like something's been amputated. And he sounds so tired and stretched on the phone. We need each other.
rivka: (for god's sake)
Everything changes so fast.

I put Michael on an airplane to Memphis this afternoon. Bought his plane ticket at 1pm for a 3pm flight. He started a load of laundry that he didn't have time to finish. Now Alex and I are alone and waiting for news.

His father has been sick for a while. He had a blockage in an artery in his leg. They tried to go in with a minimally invasive procedure - no luck. They scheduled him for surgery a week and a half ago. When they went in, they were able to clean out the artery and place a stent, but they found another blockage in an artery to his kidney, which they couldn't fix properly. He lost a lot of blood and needed transfusions. Last Sunday, he went home.

Thursday we got a call that he was back in the hospital, throwing up blood. They found that he had an abdominal obstruction, and the hernia he's had for a while had also started impinging on something serious. Plus a raging infection requiring IV antibiotics. Friday he had surgery again.

Yesterday the hospital phones weren't working properly all day, and we couldn't be connected to his room. No one answered his cell phone. No one called us.

Michael called the hospital after church today. Someone else answered the phone in his patient room. The hospital switchboard told us that he was in the ICU. We called and talked to Michael's stepmother's son, who told us that my father-in-law had spiked a high fever which didn't come down even when they packed him in ice. He was in surgery again. They'd call when they knew something. (They still haven't called.)

I bought Michael a one-way ticket on Southwest, to Nashville. While I was online trying to book the 5:30pm flight, it sold out. So we had to rush to get Michael on the 3:05pm flight instead, which is what led to the abandoned laundry. He'll need to make do with whatever he had that was clean. He'll rent a car in Nashville and drive to Memphis. Who knows what he'll find when he gets there.

In the car on the way to the airport, after a little silence, Michael said, "I didn't pack a suit, because."

"If it comes to that, Alex and I will be coming down anyway," I said. "We'll bring you a suit."

I kept focusing, in the dumb way that you do, on making all the practical arrangements. "Call me when you get to Nashville, and I'll tell you where I was able to reserve a car. Do you have your boss's number? Did you pack your toothbrush? If you get there after the last ICU visiting hour, go ahead and try to get them to let you see him anyway. The worst they can do is say no. Here's a slip of paper with all your flight arrangements on it."

I know Michael knows me well enough to be able to translate all of that: I love you so much. I am really worried. I wish I could go with you and take care of you. I love you.

I'm waiting for him to call and tell me that he's landed in Nashville. In the meantime? I am fretting. And in the midst of all of this heavy planning/organization/arrangement work, our fucking internet connection keeps going down without warning. And Alex is behaving in the classic manner of a preschooler whose world has been suddenly disrupted - alternately clingy, whiny, and incredibly poorly behaved.

I need to try to figure out contact resources for spiritual support for Michael. Our ministers retired in June, and were explicit about the fact that they don't make exceptions for counseling or special events for former parishioners. I understand that they have to do that, because it could prevent the church from moving on and bonding with new ministers. But our new minister doesn't start until Sep. 7th. I don't have her number, but I can get it. And, uh, we've met a UU minister from Memphis once before, at SUUSI. I could dig up his number. And, um, maybe the number of our old ministerial intern. She and Michael had a really great bond.

See what I mean? My mind is running in circles like a mouse in the bottom of a jar, trying to find something that I can do that will be useful. Because I love you so much and I'm so worried and I wish I could go with you to take care of you. And I can't. I have to stay here and take care of Alex and go to work and hold down the fort at home.
rivka: (Rivka and Misha)
Michael is a hero of the revolution.

He took Alex out of the house this morning so that I could sleep in. (Until 9:30!! Wow!!) And they went to the farmer's market and brought home fresh blueberries, so I could make blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

Yay, Michael.
rivka: (for god's sake)
Not when accepting sympathy from horrified people who've just found out.

Not when explaining to Alex again that there isn't a baby.

Not even when sorting and packing up some baby clothes for the move.

But without warning, this morning, while waiting for the elevator to take me to the hospital blood lab for a quantitative HCG follow-up, I completely lost my composure and started to cry. Half an hour later, I'm still feeling incredibly fragile. No idea why.

I would feel less broken right now if my reactions were easier to understand. In a way, it would make more sense if I were crying all day or unable to get out of bed. Instead, 90% of the time I feel totally normal and functional. And then: not.

The other thing that set me off without warning was hearing my father-in-law's voice, when we called him to make sure they'd escaped the tornadoes that slammed through Memphis on Tuesday.

Until recently, I had never really thought about the fact that the reason Michael was adopted is that his mother had several miscarriages, ultimately ending in a hysterectomy. Michael's father has never said a word to me about it. But somehow the kindness in his voice when he says "Hi, honey" connects me to this pain of his, more than forty years old but still present.

Michael's father is aware of, and solicitous of, Michael's pain and grief in a way that no one else seems to be. (I love Michael dearly, but I am ashamed to say that my grief is pretty self-centered right now.) I'm so glad that there is someone who sees his primary job as taking care of Michael. And yet what an awful, awful connection for a father and son to share.

Update

Jan. 8th, 2008 01:10 pm
rivka: (Rosie the riveter)
Alex woke up hungry and thirsty this morning. She's drinking an adequate quantity of electrolyte solution from a cup. And she even ate, and kept down, a couple handfuls of Cheerios and a dry toasted bagel.

One of the amazing things about kids is how sick they can get, so quickly. Another one of the amazing things about kids is how quickly they can bounce back.

The fly in the ointment: now Michael seems to have it. Although his case is much milder - he's having no problem keeping fluids down today.

We'll get through this.
rivka: (baby otter)
The first part of my birthday was, shall we say, satisfying only to that part of me that craves challenge, last-minute panic, drenching rain, and toddlers eager to discuss the fact that they don't like any of their former favorite foods.

The second part of my birthday was awesome.

Michael - Michael! Misha! [livejournal.com profile] curiousangel! Of all people! - baked me a birthday cake. A real one, spice cake (from a mix) with homemade vanilla icing and a votive candle on top. It was delicious! And this is a man whose pre-existing culinary repertoire consisted of spaghetti with meat sauce, scrambled eggs, and grilled sandwiches. He stepped waaayy far out of his comfort zone to make me feel special and taken care of on my birthday.

And! In my birthday card! Two tickets... to Avenue Q! I've been wanting to see this one since it came out on Broadway, so I am absolutely thrilled. I had no idea that he was planning this.

We decided to have takeout sushi from a new place for my birthday dinner. I put together a large order - the menu prices were a little on the low side, and I was afraid that meant the pieces would be small. I wound up with 30 pieces of nigiri and two rolls. After I read the long list to the restaurant guy, he read it back to me and said in a worried voice, "This is going to be very expensive. The menu you have is old-" (apparently he knew this because the number I called wasn't their main number anymore) "-we raised the price a little. It would be cheaper for you to get the sushi combo. Your order is about $70. The combo has 30 pieces of sushi and four rolls, and it's $55."

I hesitated a moment, because we like to pick out our own pieces. Then I decided, what the hell. "Okay, we'll take the combo."

"You can choose two more rolls." That surprised me a little, because I thought the whole point of a combo was that the chef picked the selection. But I chose two more rolls.

Michael came back from the restaurant with our order. I scanned it, trying to figure out whether there were enough things that Michael and Alex liked. (I am not picky about sushi, so I wasn't worried about myself.) Then I realized: the 30 pieces in the "sushi combo?" Were the 30 pieces I had ordered a la carte. They'd put together the exact selection I had initially requested, plus two extra rolls, for $15 less than the a la carte price. (And, contrary to our initial fears, the pieces weren't small.)

Yaaaay, sushi restaurant! Yaaaay, birthday dinner!

Ten years.

Jul. 11th, 2007 11:02 pm
rivka: (Rivka and Misha)
At playgroup this morning, Suzanne asked how Michael and I had met. I told her, and mentioned that it was ten years ago this month. So this evening, as I was casually surfing around, I decided that I should really try to figure out exactly when, ten years ago, we met.

Whoa! It was ten years ago TODAY.

Ten years ago today, I walked into a Nashville hotel room full of total strangers and met the man I would one day marry. Although we'd known each other in passing online, at that point we had no idea that we were, you know, destined for each other. As I recall, the first words he said directly to me were: "Bait? Y'all are going to eat bait?!"

It was the first ever alt.callahans Callahanicon. I'd only even been reading the newsgroup for about six months, and had never been to a convention of any kind. I don't even know what made me decide to hop on a plane from Iowa City to Nashville - it seems completely out-of-character for the person I was at the time. But I did it. And my life changed forever. Not just because I met Michael - I also met [livejournal.com profile] saoba that weekend, who became one of my dearest friends, performed our wedding, and helped ease Alex into the world. I met [livejournal.com profile] pixel, who, as I recall, jumped into my lap about five minutes after we met, and then fell off the bed. I talked to [livejournal.com profile] wcg for the first time, when he called in by phone. In a lot of ways, for the first time that weekend I felt like I had found my people. Geeky congoers who conducted their social life, and deep parts of their emotional life, over the Internet. It was the beginning of a whole lot of changes, for me.

Most of all, Michael. It really was almost as cliche as "our eyes met across a crowded room." For reasons that I couldn't articulate, I just felt incredibly drawn to him. We kept making casual excuses to sit near each other and talk to each other. By the time that this picture was taken on Saturday night, we were both already falling hard. A couple of hours after dinner, we kissed for the first time.

That's probably a good place to fade tastefully to black, huh?

Michael, I love you. Almost from the first day we met, I've felt such peace with you - such a sure and certain knowledge that, no matter what happened, we were always going to be on the same side. You are my rock and my refuge. Happy anniversary.




Oddly enough, even before we knew that tomorrow was our ten-year anniversary (if one dates from the first kiss), we had arranged to hire a babysitter so we could go on a date. Funny how these things work out. Not the most romantic of dates in the world - we're going to go shopping and see Ratatouille - but still, anything with a babysitter involved is kind of a big deal. Yay.
rivka: (talk about me)
My recent sparse, spasmodic posting style has left a ridiculous number of narrative threads dangling, hasn't it? My apologies to those of you who are reading for anything other than the cute Alex stories... such as, say, a sense of how my life is going.

Attempting to tie up loose ends in one big unmanageable knot:

My research assistants, Alex, Michael's job hunt, my work, SUUSI, forthcoming LJ posts, the adorable YouTube video with otters swimming around holding hands, me being Brenchley. )
Well, that was fun! If nothing else, it gave me a chance to use this icon, which I like but rarely have occasion to use.
rivka: (for god's sake)
Yesterday Michael had a second interview for a very good job - capital purchasing coordinator at Mercy Hospital. It's supposed to be an excellent place to work, with good benefits - it's even within walking distance of our house! And he thinks the interview went well.

They're planning to decide over the holiday, and let people know early next week. So we get to spend Thanksgiving biting our nails and wondering: employed or not employed?

Argh.

Also yesterday, we got a letter from the nursery school we visited last month, explaining that they're currently trying to determine the makeup of the class, and outlining the dates in the admissions calendar since "many or most of you have applied to other schools as well."

Applied? We thought we'd reserved Alex a place in the class. I distinctly remember the director telling us that there were two places left in the class, and that we should get our form filled out and our deposit in as quickly as possible. Sure, the form said "application," but that seemed like a formality. She never said anything to make us think that we weren't all set - not "we'll let you know by such-and-such a date," not "we'll select a class from the applications received," not anything. So no, we haven't applied to other schools as well. I can't believe that we might be back to square one with our future childcare.

I don't even know if the $75 we put down will be refunded if Alex doesn't get a place. Application fees aren't usually refundable, but I'd expect a nonrefundable application fee to be a lot closer to $25. It's not like they're having to study Alex's transcripts and letters of recommendation, or anything.

So there's another thing to worry about, over the holidays. Childcare, or no childcare?

They say they'll make up the class by December 1st, and we'll get a letter by the 15th.

Argh.
rivka: (otters)
I just came home from an outing with Alex and put her down for her nap. Then I went into the study to check my e-mail. Our stuffed otter, 'Spectful, was perched at my keyboard.

A browser window was open.

To the Friends of the Sea Otter online store.

I tell you - my husband is so cute, it's disturbing.
rivka: (snorkeler)
[livejournal.com profile] therealjae happened upon the website of a pastor who is so right-wing-fundamentalist-wacko that he apparently spends most of his time railing against other right-wing-fundamentalist wackos for not being rigid enough. Nothing unusual there, unfortunately...

...except that the guy's name? His real name? Is Darwin Fish.

Seriously.

("Yes, Darwin Fish is my real name. It is the name my parents gave me when I was born in 1961. At the time, to my knowledge, there was no "DarwinFish" symbol made up at that time. My father's last name is "Fish," and my mother liked the name Darwin. So, this is my name. Some have suggested that I should change it, but I don't believe that would be honoring my father and mother (Exodus 20:12).

I have not openly cursed the day I was born as Jeremiah did (Jeremiah 20:14-18), but perhaps I have in my heart...")


[livejournal.com profile] therealjae was just delighted by the absurdity, of course, and of course so am I. Which led to the following IM conversation: Read more... )
rivka: (her majesty)
Right now I'm supposed to be on my first date with [livejournal.com profile] wcg in, oh, more than a year. We should be finishing up a delicious and leisurely dinner at the Helmand - I probably would have ordered the korma mahi, which is what I always get: sea bass stewed in ginger with sun-dried baby grapes, mint, tomatoes and red potatoes. We might be trying to decide whether there was time for Afghan ice cream (with dates, figs, mango, and coriander) or whether we ought to head up to the theater and grab seats for the play.

Instead, I am at home with a sick baby and a sick husband. cut for the squeamish )

The theater wouldn't let me trade our tickets in for another date, so Bill is going to go by himself. In a few minutes I'm going to go downstairs and tackle the dirty dishes and bottles that have been piling up all day, not to mention the heaps of toys strewn over every inch of the living room.

I'm well aware that, of the members of my family, I am currently the best off. But somehow that knowledge isn't enough to keep me from feeling sorry for myself tonight.
rivka: (robe)
I never imagined that polyamory would include waiting breathlessly at my computer for 10pm, when the CBC will start reporting election returns.
rivka: (otters)
My brilliant girlfriend was on TV! Explaining political blogging to the CBC. Catch it today before the link disappears - fast-forward to 35:28.

Some news.

Oct. 4th, 2005 02:49 pm
rivka: (dove of peace)
I just took [livejournal.com profile] wcg home from the hospital. I know the news that he was in the hospital has sort of partially propogated through our mutual circles; he's given me permission to post a brief update.

Yesterday, Bill went to the doctor because he'd had a few days of weird pain and tingling on his left side. When his blood pressure was discovered to be 200/135, they admitted him to the hospital, where he was discovered to have had a few lacunar strokes. The strokes were very small and don't appear to have caused any functional problems. However, the blood pressure problem is pretty alarming, and needs to be gotten under control immediately to prevent future (and possibly larger) strokes.

Bill's feeling fine, and will probably be posting to that effect any minute now. But I suspect that he, and everyone close to him, could probably use a hug.

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