Monday, May 17, 2010

Today I Watched a Man Die

What a way to start a blog entry, huh? It was just as startling to me watching it as it was to me writing it just now and reading it. I’ll write more about it toward the end of this entry.

After the week we both had last week (he getting a completely new and different shift and I working so many hours), Melon Man and I and decided at the very last minute to turn our “staycation” into a “vacation” and so we up and headed out to San Diego early this morning after dropping Dog off at his favorite Petshotel late last night. We stopped by McDonalds for a couple drinks and sausage McMuffins and we were on our way. The ride was lovely. I slept. He drove. As usual. I was so exhausted from the week. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. I barely remember getting on the 85 and heading toward Gila Bend. He could have stopped there like normal for all I know, but I didn’t wake up until we hit Yuma. From then on, I was awake…most of the time. We had to go through our normal 3 border inspections. We took pictures along the way and emailed them to Michigan Man. One of the pictures we sent was of the border station. We noted in the email that THIS is why Arizona has had to put into effect a new, controversial law regarding illegal immigrants.

Melon Man and I finally decided to listen to some music.  I opened up HIS CD case and decided that my husband has VERY different tastes in music...some that really just make me go, "huh?" 

We start our descent out of the mountains and I’m the first to see it…the marine layer! “There it is! The marine layer!” I yell out. Usually Melon Man is the first to notice it, but not this time!  It was definitely there.  I think this is part of what they call "May Gray."  It seems like the marine layer just sticks around and doesn't "burn off."  It was pretty obvious - but, it was still early morning.  Maybe it would burn off by the afternoon and we'd have pretty blue skies afterall.

As we got to the top of the mountains outside of San Diego, we hit this….fog. Eh?  No, it wasn't marine layer this time.  It was true fog.  Here it is May and there is thick fog just 20 miles east of SD?  Weird!  It reminded me of the time (March 2006) we took Michigan Man and Woman to San Diego and we almost got snowed in!  Really!

It’s the middle of May for goodness sake! It only “hung” around for about 15 minutes of the drive, but it made me tense, that’s for sure.

We soon came out of the fog and are closing in on the city, but not before I’ve nodded off to sleep again.  However, I wake up again and soon I’m the one saying the other ritual first…”Tide’s out!” These are the things I’ve come to love about our annual trips here. Things Melon Man has brought back into my life from when I was a child and didn’t know any different. I love that about him!

We arrive at our hotel – the Hyatt Regency. Oh, man, do I ever love this place. We came here about 3 years ago when we had a free night on Hyatt. That sold us. They have these corner suites that have a work area, a living area, a balcony, and a bed area with a king size bed, two flat screen TVs, and an iHome. Oh, and the view? To die for. Oops. I guess that’s not a very good phrase to use in this blog entry.

The pool looked so completely refreshing and inviting.  The last time we stayed here, the pool was being redone and we couldn't swim.  This time, it was all done and beautiful.  We brought our suits this time and planned to swim.  It is the only hotel pool in San Diego that has three waterslides.  Looks like fun! 

This is a picture of our actual hotel room.  I just love it.  The balcony is behind where I am standing...the doors are showing in the mirror.  I just love seeing the white curtains blowing in the breeze.  We always leave our windows open while staying here.  Since it's right on the bay and so close to the ocean, we get a nice breeze.  We never even turned the A/C on while we were here!

Anyhow, I’ve always wanted to come back, but the price on the room has always been too high for my liking and willingness to pay. Well, I guess they really need the business because ALL rooms (well, except the REALLY fancy rooms) were the same price and although it was about $40/night more than I am usually willing to pay, I figured we deserved it this time and also since we’d only be here two nights. So, THAT is why we are here at this beautiful place on the water with thousands of beautiful boats all around, water all around, and a view of the ocean not too far off; not because we’re rolling in the dough or anything.

We arrived early enough to still have breakfast/brunch on the beach at Armando’s Green Flash. We love dining “al fresco” and watching the waves roll in and the people stroll by, but it was quite gray and overcast so we were a little worried that it might be too cold. But, they had the patio heaters on so it was just right. The food was pretty good – I had the All-in-One omelet and Melon Man had the patty melt (which he'd already eaten part of by the time I took the picture).

I wish I’d just gotten the mushroom and cheese omelet though like I was going to or even the patty melt like Melon Man because it looked so good. Oh well. We ate and while we sat there, Melon Man talked with Michigan Man on the phone trying to determine if he could see us or not on the Pacific Beach webcam. He could see the restaurant, but couldn’t see us. We left and went out to the front of the restaurant and called him back to see if he could see us now, but he still couldn’t.

We finally found the webcam location, but Michigan Man thought it wasn’t a live feed at the time because he couldn’t see us. Melon Man even called him back from further down the street and pointed out a few points to look for us, sending him pictures and all, but still, it didn’t work.

Oh well. Bummer. Wouldn’t that have been cool…he’s 2,000 miles away from us and can see us on the beach? I guess it wasn’t meant to be.  (I later came back to our room and hooked up online to see the webcam for myself and found that if too many users are online, it locks you out for 90 seconds.)

We strolled through the little shop right there on the beach and I bought a 5-point starfish to make our annual Christmas tree ornament out of. I like to get ornaments from different places to remind us of the places we’ve been. We already have a couple from San Diego, but we like coming here, so what the heck. I also bought these uber-cute and very comfy pink flip flops…for just $5.99!

I took some pictures of the beach before we left...we'd brought chairs and our beach umbrella, but we weren't really in the mood to sit on the beach right then so we headed out.  I guess not a lot of other people felt like going to the beach either yet, because it was about 1 p.m. and the beach was relatively empty even though the temperature was nice.  There just wasn't any sun for the sun-worshippers to enjoy...yet.

We headed out and about and went to the BookStar for Melon Man. He didn’t find anything he wanted though so that was a bust. He kept asking me if I wanted to go to the bead store and I stuck with my guns and kept saying no. I was super tempted though because here we are…in the city with my two favorite bead stores in the world and I choose NOT to go to them? Eh? Is there something wrong with me? Yeah, I think so. See, I’ve figured out that I’ve spent way too much money on all my beading stuff (and scrapbooking stuff) and haven’t done much with all of it in a LONG time, so until I start using it and actually NEED to replace some of it, I will just have to avoid going to such stores.

So, instead, we came back to the hotel to rest. We were lying on the bed talking and laughing and relaxing and that’s when it all happened. We heard a bunch of sirens. We thought they would just keep going on down the street. But, they didn’t. They stopped at what sounded like right below our balcony. I got up and headed over to the balcony and looked down (we’re on the 9th floor). Right below our balcony, a man is laying on the ground lifeless. The paramedics are working on him. They’re giving him CPR. They’re pumping his chest feverishly. They’ve giving him all kinds of injections to try to stimulate his heart and what not. They’ve cut his pant leg open and have something hooked up to it. They work on him and work on him. He just lays there. He doesn’t move. An ambulance arrives. They bring the stretcher to the side of the area where he is laying and they just keep working on him. Nothing. Still nothing. At one point, I THINK I see his arm go flying up. Maybe it was just my imagination. Maybe it was a reaction from the impending death. I don’t know.

Melon Man is out there on the balcony with me now and we are fixated on the whole situation. I’m zooming in and taking pictures. I’m taking video. I’m just kind of in shock and sort of feel like I need to stop. I put the camera down. I pick it up again and take another picture. I take another video. I put it down. I pick it up. I can’t stop. I want to vomit. I feel sad for this man, laying on the ground by a cardboard baler in the greasy-grimy area of a hotel back-lot…dying...with none of his family or friends with him. Melon Man and I both say a prayer on our own for him. I guess it was just his time.

They put him on a back board and duct-tape him to it. Then, they lift him onto the stretcher and put him in the ambulance. They clean up the area and they are gone. A quick siren to get into the intersection and they are off. No more siren. No more urgency. Just lights and they were gone.

Melon Man and I both just felt a tremendous sense of loss even though we didn’t even know this man. Melon Man called down to the front desk and found out he did, in fact, die. He asked if there was anything we could do for his family. I was so touched by this genuine act of kindness and service. Here I was thinking how I wanted to move to the other side of the hotel so I wouldn’t have to look out over this spot where this man died and instead, Melon Man is thinking about his family and their needs. What a wonderful man I am married to.

We talked about what had happened and then we didn't talk of it and then we did and then we didn't.  It was just weird how this man was here one minute, just doing his job in glass recycling, and then the next minute, he's dead.  I sat down to journal my thoughts and Melon Man went to take a nap.

After I journaled my thoughts and feelings, I took a few pictures of the beautiful sites from the windows and balcony of our room....

I had to wonder as I looked at all of the boats below and thinking of all the rest of the recreational boats around the world, what so many people do that they can afford such nice things.  On one hand, I'm happy that they can have these beautiful things of luxury and recreation.  But, on the other hand, I'm somewhat jealous.  I know I will never have these things for my own.  And, as much as I would likely enjoy one of these things, I realize that they are only "things" and not something that I can take with me into the hereafter, which is ultimately far more important than the occasional enjoyment we would get out of one.  So, instead of coveting them or working even harder so we can afford to have one (in the desert, no less), I just will appreciate them from afar.

It’s now 7:30 p.m. and Melon Man's up from his nap.  We’re getting hungry, so off we go to our favorite pizza place – Filippi’s Pizza Grotto in Pacific Beach. I CANNOT wait to eat that pizza and their sourdough garlic bread. YUM. Then, maybe up to La Jolla for our traditional ice cream cone!

And while we go off to fill our bellies and enjoy this scrumptious food, somewhere out there, there is a family, who’s lost a dad, a husband, a brother, a son. And that makes me sad…when I should be really happy to be in such a lovely place.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Wow. You'll never forget this vacation! Your pictures are really good. Did you take them with your Nikon?