Sunday, May 14, 2006

[Photo: (L) Mother's Day card with message from Mike - obtained with the help of Susan Murphy, though the writing is from Michael himself. It reads: "Happy Mothers Day, Mike PS: I love you." I cried a very good cry upon reading this card this afternoon. (R) Baxter Newland wearing his beloved "Taggie" (Thanks, Anne and Michael!) as a hat.]

Happy Mother's Day, everyone - and thank you for all the nice mothers day notes.

Today Bax had a nice, but brief visit with Mike. Jonathan, Anna, Tresa and I drove to the hospital with Bax and we met up with Tom and Mary there. Nurse Suzette got Mike all washed up, put on a normal polo shirt and hospital pants and wheeled him out to the hallway. Mike is affectively rather flat, but you can see a delayed response of happiness when it comes to Baxter. Bax doesn't act weird around Dada at all. He sees him and says, "up!" meaning he wants to be on his lap. Bax then sits on Mike's lap and Mike just kisses his head over and over and closes his eyes and rubs his cheek on Baxter's red hair. It's really beautiful.

Bax was a little nut, running all around, loving the attention of friends and strangers. I crouched down in front of Mike and said, "Your son is being crazy." And Mike pointed to me and said, "No. Your son is being crazy." We then kept saying it back and forth, escalating to, "Your son is mad crazy whack, yo." Mike got tired very quickly and we got him settled into his room again and grabbed some brunch.

This evening we had a lowkey gathering at the house with all the family members in town - it was really nice. I am looking forward to tomorrow's graduation ceremony, but Mike will not be there. It is just too much for me, for him, for everyone. He would need an ambulance and a nurse the whole time, and between his catheter and other needs --- I just couldn't get my head around it.

Besides - tomorrow is a graduation ceremony, but the envelope I'll be receiving is empty - no diploma. It's not my official graduation - which doesn't occur until I defend the dissertation. In my estimation, my dissertation requires about 2 solid weeks (meaning about 100 hours or 2 months in current Danna time) to be completed. When it's done and defended, I'm throwing a huge party and Mike will certainly be there.


csm said...


I hope that tomorrow is a wonderful day for you and your family. I can't wait to see pix and to hear all about it. Please make sure you take a pic of you and Mike when you stop by to see him in your fancy gown and floppy hat. I'll be thinking of you while I am at UD flunking all of my freshmen on their final exam (cue sinister laugh).


Emily W. said...


I'm thinking of you today at your Annenberg/Penn graduation. Many, many congratulations on a job well done (whether it's 100% presently complete or not matters little I think!). This is just the first celebration, and as you suggest, you can look forward to holding a defense party when Mike is able to participate and share this with you.
Emily W.

Jalena said...

Thinking of you!! Enjoy!! You've earned a Day for Danna!!!

nicole said...

Hi nearly-Dr. Danna,

I wanted to congratulate you on graduating. I am stuck in Boston, but I wanted to send you my love (Russ should be there to provide hugs on my behalf). I was thinking this morning about how when I started Annenberg everyone said to me, "you must meet Danna, you'll LOVE her." And they were SO right. You were really one of the people who made the transition to Annenberg bearable for me, and I miss being able to procrastinate and gossip. Heck, who else can (wrongly) convince Matt Carlson I have a crush on him, and not piss me off?

When I'm back in town I hope I can be of help to you, and I look forward to spending more time together. You are really an incredible lady, Danna. Every day, as I follow your trials, I am more and more impressed by you. You really do us all proud.


Anne Ladenson said...

Rachel wants to know how Baxter got her Taggie from when she was a little baby. I told her it was a different one, but just like hers since she loved it so much. Would you believe each of my kids have TWO of those things now? I'm so glad Bax likes it.

Hope your graduation went well today; looking forward to seeing pics. Also PLEASE post and let us know what we can do that will help you get the time you need to finish up your work.


Jenny S-G said...


I've been thinking of you today, and feeling very proud of you and for you.

Even though there's no diploma in that envelope, you've already accomplished so much.

The two weeks that you need to finish the diss will make themselves available when you're ready. In the meantime, continue to give yourself space to *be* with Mike, Bax, your warm, supporting family and friends, and not let that annoying guilt creep in. It'll be done when it's time to be done.

Love and a huge hug,