Tell about a time when you had to be brave.
I could spend the next several months writing about all the times in my life when courage has been required of me, some of which I have mentioned here previously, e.g., arguing before the California Supreme Court, as well as the Third District Court of Appeal and trial court in order to save Robert Wendland, who was conscious, interactive and neither “minimally conscious” nor in a persistent vegetative state, from death by dehydration.
Additionally, I had to be brave when dealing with both of my parents’ health issues and deaths. In my father’s case, that meant sixteen years of being constantly “on call” — I used to envy people who talked about turning off their answering machines to “sleep in” on weekends because I could never do that. I lost count of the number of times I had to rush him to the emergency room. As it turned out, I was the one with him at his bedside when he died. In my mother’s case, it was a long, slow good-bye, but my sister and I were called upon to make decisions that required us to courageously do what we felt was best.
Another time that immediately comes to mind is Matthew’s birth. When he was just twenty-four hours old, I was prepared to be discharged and take my new son home. But only I was released from the hospital that day. He had to remain there for another six days because a very competent, observant nurse did not “like the sound of his cry.” Had she not been vigilant, the doctor told me we could easily have taken him home, completely unaware that he had aspiration pneumonia, and “lost him”. After giving birth, leaving the hospital without a baby is extremely difficult, as is seeing your newborn in the Neonatal ICU, hooked up to all kinds of machines by tubes attached all over his little body. Fortunately, the ending was happy and he is now completing his first year of high school.
Which upcoming movie are you excited about seeing?
I can’t think of one. I haven’t been to a movie theater since last summer when we saw the second “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, but I did finally see “The Queen” on DVD a couple of nights ago. Helen Mirren certainly deserved the Oscar.
Name an item you try to always have on hand.
I am never without my inhaler and prescription for Zyrtec.
Imagine the most relaxing room you can think of. Now describe it!
It is large and rounded, with near-white walls and gauze curtains hung next to floor-to-ceiling windows all across the front, overlooking a pristine, deserted beach. On one side of the room is a computer center, equipped with several PC’s, giant monitors, printers, scanners, etc. — all state of the art. On the other side is a grand piano, positioned so that the view of the beach is perfect when seated at the keys. There is also a series of stands holding several different makes and models of flutes, clarinets, guitars . . . even a couple of violins, violas, cellos and a string bass. There are banks of recording equipment, music stands and assorted comfortable chairs.
Facing the opposite wall the bank of windows is a large “pit” area with a circular, extremely comfortable couch and some soft, cozy loungers. Mounted on that wall is a huge flat screen and state of the art speakers. The projection controls are on the big table in front of the couch, along with plenty of chilled water, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other healthy snacks.
Finally, on either side of the projection screen are bookcases, packed with my favorite books, as well as the ones I have not yet read, in addition to volumes and volumes of musical scores.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being highest), how spiritual or religious are you?
I no longer attend or have any involvement in the institutional church or any form of organized “religion.”