Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gaming Post, I promise

I have to share this.  For the past couple of years, I've been running the RPG club for middle school kids at my school.  I've been using the Swords & Wizardry Core Rules with a few modifications and a heavy dose of "gonzo".  They love it.  In fact, the club is so popular this year, I have had to split the group into two and have each group meet on a different day.  So, I've got each group meeting weekly, but I'm running twice a week.

Anyway, each year by now, the boys have been excited telling their parents about the game.  I always tell the kids that it's very much like the original Dungeons & Dragons from the late 1970's and they get that.  Well, because of that, the dads have been keeping up with the games through their sons and some have even been running games at home with the whole family.  Last month, one of the dads stopped by to watch and kibitz the kids as they played.  The next game, he sent the boy with Mountain Dew and Cheetos.  On this past Wednesday, one of the kids arrives with a binder.  "It's my dad's D&D binder!  Look at all the cool stuff!", he excitedly called out.  The boys gathered around and spent 30 minutes looking at the drawings, maps and characters in the binder.  "Why aren't any of these on character sheets?" one of them asked.  "Because there were no special character sheets back then." I responded.  ""

And another generation is hooked.  And, even better, the dads are now playing in their own groups and running games for their kids. 

And I'm Back....

Wow...been a little while and so much has happened.  Unfortunately, not much of it was gaming.  So, if you're looking for gaming stuff, skip this and go to the next post.

Well, picking up where the last post left off, Dad forgot to include me in the meeting with the doctors as they reviewed his CT scan.  So, he gave me some garbled version of what all they said which I kinda figured out as "unless you commit to be here, there's not much we can do for you".  So, he went back home to Pecos and returned for the next round of chemo in late May as usual.  Which kinda threw them for a loop because he hadn't really discussed that with them.  I drove down to Houston to be there for this one.  Luckily, the finals schedule and all the other stuff worked out so that I could go and not miss anything.  My visit with the doctor with him gave me a much better view of what they had said and had confirmed my deduction.  Basically, if he had checked himself into MDA back in March, they could have brought full power to defeating the cancer.  However, since he was adamant that his job absolutely required his presence, he refused to follow their orders.  So, they could only try to get him to take his meds and rest and all that.  He wouldn't do it.  And thus, in our meeting, the doctor flatly stated, "you might as well go home and enjoy what little time you have left with your family".  He gave Dad 2 months. 

I therefore refused to let Dad go back to Pecos and instead moved him into our house.  I called in my favors by contacting parents of kids I had taught, talking with the oncologists and managing to get Dad into Texas Oncology here.  They tried to get him to check in, but he refused.  We did chemo for two months and they then said that all the test results and a new CT scan showed that the cancer had spread too far and was too advanced.  In late July, he was put into hospice.  I was sleeping on a cot in his room to help him up in the night to go to the bathroom or get him water.  I became his full time caregiver until school started.  Public school started two weeks before we did, so the wife and the kids were off in school all day.  The hospice nurse would stop by three times a week and an aide stopped by on the days the nurse wasn't coming.  When my school started its in-service, I scheduled a sitter through hospice to be here while I was at work.  After one day, they suggested moving him into a hospital because he was bedridden at that time and was mentally confused constantly.  Two days in the hospital, during the drive to the last day of in-service, they called and suggested that I come there as he was showing all the signs of being "eminent".  So, I called my sister and we met there.  After two hours, he was not conscious for any of it, he passed away on Aug. 23rd.

His funeral was over the Labor Day weekend and because he had so many friends we filled the chapel at the funeral home.  Since then, I've been out to Pecos 4 times.  Each time I either clean up his trailer or deal with his bank and financial stuff or load up stuff from his storage unit.  I figure I've got one or two more trips until it's all done.  There's still stuff to be done about his insurance, selling his trailer, selling his truck, and closing his accounts.  But there's light at the end of the tunnel now.  Been doing some gaming, but my heart's not been fully into it.  I feel like I'm letting the groups down by not being as involved as before, or by distracting them with off the wall comments and such.  Not looking forward to Christmas because that was his big holiday.  He loved giving gifts and dressing up as Santa or an elf and bringing a smile to everyone's face.

Sorry for the long depressing post but I figured I owed some an explanation for not writing.  I'll get back to writing about games soon.  Losing myself in some dungeon drawing & stocking or drawing up & labeling a wilderness area has been a nice escape.  I'll write about some of those things next time.