Saturday, July 21, 2012


We made it through the night the night before thanks, I believe, mostly to the vigilant effort of our nurse. Maybe he would not have crossed that threshold into ICU anyway, but he was surely toeing the line. I know that I’ve proved my ignorance many times during the last seven months of posting, so this will come as no surprise that I thought the term was “towing the line”, as in holding a rope and either pulling it or keeping it steady. Again, another example of why a lengthy journalistic career was not likely for me. But, the expression is “toe the line” or “toe the mark.”  I was enlightened while listening to Talk Radio one morning years ago – and on more things than misinterpreted idioms – so it’s interesting to me when I hear or read it. From my quick curiosity readings I learned that the origin seems to be disputable. It means simply to stand at a boundary and not cross it. A couple of believable explanations on websites said that it can be traced back to early 19th century sea life when barefooted deck hands were to line up for either inspection or punishment. They used the crack in the planks of the deck as a guide to keep them straight. Other sources say it is more likely to originate from sports. In a foot race, a line would be drawn as the start and runners were asked “toe the mark” as in line up on the line to begin the race. In boxing, referees drew a scratch line for each boxer to stand facing each other toe to toe to begin the fight. The fighters were told to “toe the scratch” or “toe the line.” But, the really fun thing is that this misuse of a homophone is called an eggcorn. This term is from 2003 where a story was told on a language website about a lady who kept saying or writing “eggcorn” for “acorn”, so the site started calling the swapping of homophones an eggcorn. Eli has had a decent day compared to yesterday, but it hasn’t been without its ups and downs. For the most part we are so glad to be done with our third round of chemo. Sunday, which is day minus one, is his rest day – laundry day for me. I just can’t get away from it. The day has been a roller coaster of fever, rash, shaking, diarrhea and high heart rate. He has had moments of irritability, or a kind of sadness as his fever would creep up and make him feel bad. His arms were incredibly blotchy red and he would kind of whimper about that. I think it scared him a little to see it. But, then he would have a time period when it would be clear and his fever was down, so he played Mario Kart or Super Mario Brothers or some kind of Camero racing game on the Wii that is here in the room.  But, that was only, ONLY when he wasn’t watching the Spongebob marathon that ran from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. And, I’m telling you that we didn’t miss more than an hour and a half of the marathon. The most disappointing thing about having to watch Spongebob all day besides having to watch Spongebob all day is that Plankton and Karen were hardly in any of the episodes. And, I actually don’t hate Spongebob as most do, but my very favorite cartoon that the kids will watch that I will watch without them is Phineas and Ferb on Disney. It is going to be one of the greats in the history of cartoons mostly because of Doofensmirtz and partly because of Candace. Anyway, here at midnight I am actually going to try to get some sleep tonight. The nurse last night, which I loved, kept asking me if I was going to get some sleep as she promised she was keeping a close eye on him. I didn’t doubt her but the night was so fragile, I just had to be aware of every minute until things were stable and the morning was closer. The picture tonight is of Eli during one of the up periods today when he felt well enough to sit up, and we had been for one of our walks. In the reflection of the windows beside him can be seen the Pyramid. We always cross our fingers to have it as our view.

2 comments:

  1. I've been following your blog for months and wanted to comment. Always praying for Eli! Always! He has such a great mom!!! :)

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