Saturday, November 6, 2010

How We Roll

"Prius!" was the yell I heard from the back seat right before I felt a hard punch to the back of my left shoulder.

"Ouch!" I responded, as I reached my hand to rub my shoulder and turned to face my brother, seated in the back of my car.  "That really hurt."

"I'm sorry," he said through a grin.  He was beating me at the Prius game, and he knew it.

We learned the game from my youngest brother's girlfriend.  It's a modification from Punch Bug, a game we had learned while growing up (the one our parents wouldn't let us play because it was a bit violent).  There's a phenomenon that occurs when kids are stuck in a car for hours at a time.  Some call it boredom.  And to alleviate the pains of the phenomenon, some kid somewhere came up with Punch Bug.  It's simple, really.  You just keep your eyes out for Volkswagen Beetles.  And when you see one, you yell "Punch Bug!" or "Punchbuggy!" while swinging your fist to nail your sibling in the arm or the leg.  Simple.  In such a game, you'd think the winner would be the one who found the most "Punch Bugs."  But the real satisfaction was in getting to smack your sibling.

Punch Bug!

On Wednesday this past week, we were heading back to D.C. after spending a couple of days working on my house in Pennsylvania.  Bobby and Danny were in the back seat, and I was in the front.  (My dad was driving.)  Bobby and Danny were not satisfied with the Prius game alone, so they combined it with Punch Bug.  So they were on the lookout for two kinds of cars--not one.  They were also dissatisfied with having their sister sit out of the game.  Being in the back seat with a direct shot to the back of my shoulder, they roped me in via a direct shot to the back of my shoulder.  I was never asked if I wanted to join the game.  I was punched into it.  But as a sister among 4 brothers, I guess that's just "how we roll."

Can you easily recognize one of these, in the dark, before your brothers do, so that you can avoid being punched?

I love having four brothers.  Sometimes it hurts--as in the Prius game--but I can handle it.  :-)  I love my brothers and I wouldn't ask for anything different.

Given the fact that we've got a little fight in us, and given the fact that Billy is stuck in a hospital bed and is sometimes quite bored, I've been thinking about things for him to do.  Several weeks ago, my friend Rachel came to visit, and we stopped at Target.  I wanted to find a gift to bring back to Billy.  We went to look at the games, and none of them seemed all that appealing...until we found the dart guns!  There was a pack of three of them--just $5.00!  I wasn't sure how Billy would take it, but I figured we'd give it a shot.  :-)

Rachel and I returned to the hospital, loaded up the guns and stashed them in her purse.  Then we headed back to Billy's room.  We joked around with my family and patiently waited until the room cleared out.  Then, when it was just Rachel, Billy, and me, we made our move.  Billy was distracted (or so I thought), so I grabbed a gun and crawled across the floor.  When I got to the other side of his bed, I peeked up, my dart gun at the ready.

"What are you doing?" he asked, his hand up to block my gun.

"I thought maybe you wouldn't see me," I said, as I took aim.

"Yeah right," he replied.  I lowered my gun as I stood up.  I guess I'm just not much of a sniper.  And it seemed sort of cruel to shoot a cancer patient who had no gun to defend himself.

But I was determined to make this fun.  So I had Billy stash a gun under his sheets--for later.  :-)

Later, Bobby came in the room.  He plunked himself down on the chair at the foot of Billy's bed, and proceeded to talk about the day.  At one point, he looked down--just for a moment, but it was long enough.  Billy quietly snuck out the gun, took aim, and hit Bobby right in the chest.  Bobby had no idea what to say.  Billy had nailed him.  And I was satisfied.  The expression on Bobby's face was worth it!

So how is Billy?
He's doing well, hanging in there, healing a bit more each day.  His strength is coming back.  He's walking more and more.  And he's starting to do a little bit more for himself.

For the past few weeks, dressing changes have been part of the routine.  Some of the nurses and doctors are sort of particular about the way things happen with the dressing change; others like to have help.  The other day, the nurse gathered up the supplies for the dressing change and put them in a bin.  Something happened down the hall, so she stepped out to take care of it.

"Will you hand me that bin?" Billy asked.  He proceeded to change the dressing.  When the nurse stepped back into the room, he was just finishing with the last piece of tape  He looked up with that, "Oh no, I just got caught," expression on his face.  But the nurse wasn't mad.  She smiled.  Billy is getting strong enough to take care of some things on his own, and that's a good thing.  :-)

How is Billy handling all of this?
He's a fighter, that's for sure.

Just the other day, I stepped around the corner from his bed to get something for him.  When I returned, I was greeted with a dart, and it came from Billy's bed.

"What in the world?" I asked, as I went to grab a dart gun from the stash.  Over the past several weeks, I had aimed the dart gun at Billy, but he'd just raise his hand and duck his head.  It's no fun to shoot someone who's already down!  So then I'd lower the gun.  Billy never seemed to want to fight back.

So he completely caught me by surprise when he hit me with a dart.  Having 4 brothers and being the fighter that I am, I shot him right back.  And we proceeded to exchange dart gun fire for a while.  Bobby--being the fighter that he is--couldn't bear to just watch, so he grabbed the third gun from the stash.  Also, being the loyal brother that he is, he couldn't bear to let Billy fight on his own, so he proceeded to team up with Billy.  Now, I had two dart guns aimed my way.  The fight was on!

Notice Billy's grin, just after he nailed me.

Bobby, taking Billy's side in shooting me.

After the fight was "over," Bobby proceeded to sit on me and steal my dart gun. We may have exchanged a few wet willies.

Video of the gun fight.

All of my brothers like to pick on me.  That's just how life goes.  And when Billy's well enough to join in, I know he's doing okay.  We're all fighters.  It's how we roll.  :-)

Please continue to pray for Billy's stomach to start working.  He'd like to be able to enjoy some of his favorite Thanksgiving foods.


  1. Okay. I loooovvveeed the music added to the video! You'll have to ask Rob what he and Hailey's version of the "punchbug" game is. Vicious, I tell you. That boy has no mercy, even on an 8 y.o. ;)
    I can't wait to be there with you all. I really am terribly excited. So are the girls. So is Jason. Just a few more days.

    Praying for miracles (and believing that they are coming)

  2. AHAHAHAHHAHAAAA!!! That's awesome!!! Love the pictures and commentaries!!! Keep fighting and stayin' strong!!!

  3. When you are laughing it's a good sign ;) mindy

  4. Your dart gun story made me laugh out loud, literally! :) It's so great to read such positive posts! Every cloud has a silver lining! Keep smiling!


  6. Love to see that you're having some fun. Still praying for you all. Daily.

  7. Love it!!!! Keep each other laughing.

  8. That's a great update. :)

    We call it "slug bug", and have some family rules. The first rule is, players have to be in the same row of seats: no slugging from behind. The next is: the goal is to count coup, not wound, so a touch is enough. Anything beyond a touch is enough to warrant a retaliatory slug, with no penalty.

    And finally, we're free to make up any rhyming combination that combines a make of car with a form of striking.

    Slug Bug
    Cruiser Bruiser
    Ram Wham
    Cadillac Whack
    'Vette Pet (with gentle strokes, not strikes, and both can reciprocate)
    Tanker Spanker
    Mini... Something (because we couldn't come up with a rhyme, but Minis are just so cool!)

    Thanks for the update on Billy. It's great that you're laughing.

  9. Praying in Arizona. Sending all my love on the wings of a desert sparrow, Deborah

  10. I loved it! Keep on smiling,

  11. I check in about once a week to see how things are going. Ya'll are on prayer chains here. From one "only girl" to another stay strong and keep smiling. May God's face shine upon you and give you sweet peace.

  12. Wow, you guys are having a blast. I also loved the music for your video. Does Billy like music? what kind? I am praying for him to be able to taste that turkey and mashed potatoes. God Bless you Michelle. You're fighting the good fight.

  13. Bliss...He does like music, but hasn't really been listening to much in the room.

    Thanks for your prayers!


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