Ten years ago today, Mike’s mom passed away. In some ways it’s difficult to believe that it’s been that long, and in other ways it seems like it’s been much longer.
I only knew her for a few years before she passed away. After being friends for about 2 years, Mike and I started dating in early 1996. In the fall of 1996, Peg was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. As she got sicker, Mike and I grew closer. I’ve never felt so helpless. Trying to be supportive to him and his family and at the same time not wanting to interfere. Having to keep myself from speaking up and offering my opinion while Mike’s dad and the rest of the family debated on methods of care and other decisions that needed to be made. Just . . .being there when needed, and silently disappearing when not.
She was an amazing woman. Strong and yet delicate, opinionated and yet rational, stubborn as can be, and although hard on the outside, she was oh-so soft on the inside. I see so much of her in Mike and his siblings.
The hospital that she was in when she died, where Mike’s dad used to work, is slated for demolition to make way for the new arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They attempted the demolition last Friday and it didn’t work. The building is old and made almost entirely of steel and concrete. Instead of using explosives, the crew was supposed to use cables to wrap around the columns and then tear the building apart column-by-column so that the building would eventually fall. The first beam went down, but the second wouldn’t budge and the crew ended up breaking cables. The ground on Friday night was also too muddy for the excavation crew to be effective. Demolition was re-scheduled for tonight.
But today we’ve been pounded with about 5 inches of snow, it’s warmed up and is now alternating between rain and sleet, and when the temperature drops tonight we’re supposed to get up to 4 more inches of snow. So, needless to say, the demolition attempt is probably going to be postponed.
I got chills when I first heard that the demolition was scheduled for tonight. The destruction of the building that has such a history for Mike’s family on such a meaningful day. But now that it’s not going to happen, I can’t help but smile and think of Peg–she always found a way to get what she wanted, and maybe she just doesn’t want that building to come down.