Thursday, November 26, 2009

So she's gone.

I was going to post something brief when I found out, but I wasn't sure what to say. I guess all there is to say is that it's over. I wish it could be that simple, but the truth is is that it won't be over.

I made it home from work, stopped by the house I was watching, then went "home." I called my mom to see where she was, but she wasn't there yet. Can't quite remember where she was, probably at the hospital. Yes, that's right. She was visiting at the hospital. She asked me if I could go let their dogs out, and I said yes. I made it to their driveway before breaking down completely.

I went in and saw the dogs, and wondered if they knew. Lucy, I'm sure, knew. I'd stopped by the night it happened, and she went up to their bedroom and wouldn't leave it. Goober was unusually playful, chewing on my arm at times.

My mom eventually came in with my sister, and we all cried and hugged. Then my mom went to drive an accompanying neighbor home. My sister and I left a little later, and I eventually went home.

That was Monday night. Tuesday they pulled the plug, and Wednesday morning she passed away.

I only saw her every so often, so I'm sure it hasn't quite hit me yet. Like I've said to everyone, though: every so often it does. It hits me. It hits me when I look through my old pictures, and see how close her and my mom were. I mean, I knew they were close, but when I see the pictures I took of them together, at the fair or shopping for flowers. And then I think of all the times she's been over at her house, or gone out for lunch with her, and I can't even imagine how much time they spend together when I'm at work. It just sucks for her.

It sucks for her husband, too. Who is going to do the dishes, and who is going to cook? Who is going to sweep the floors--not to completely domesticate her, but that was who she was. She was the loving mother and wife, and everytime I'm in that house I think of her. Her cigarettes. White hair and smile. Her laugh, and the things that made me lose patience with her. I wish I had been more patient.

It was hard those first two nights at her house, but it was even harder last night. A friend and I went to check on her Thanksgiving Turkey. The one she'd bought and invited us over for. The dinner we politely declined because we didn't want to wait hand and foot on a select few of her family members; more than that we didn't want to watch HER wait on them. Would that be irony? I don't know.

It was hard enough walking in that first day, finding that oxygen mask in the Thanksgiving basket. Seeing the whole house festively decorated with turkeys, leaves, and pilgrims. But to go upstairs, to that long room where they held their get-togethers--and seeing all the decorations there, all the table cloths, and all the plates. That was hardest of all. I can't imagine her up there, decorating it all herself. So happy and excited for the holiday... It just... yeah, it sucks.

Mom cried a lot today. Sister slept all day. I teared up several times, but my only real, tears streaming down, emotional moment was when I first woke up. The rest of the time I kept my brave-face on.

I don't know what is more depressing, though. The fact that she's gone, or the fact life will go on. The world will keep turning, clocks will keep ticking, and life will go on. That stupid, logical part of my brain tells me that sooner or later we all must die.. I know that, despite the pain I feel, I will keep moving on. One day, I might not even remember this person. I might be browsing some old photographs, 30 years from now, and stumble upon her face. "Who...?" I might ask.. I might remember, I might not. I hope I remember.

They're making the funeral arrangements. Her husband is going to bury her on his land. At first,, I thought it was a tad creepy. Now that I think of it, I'd rather be buried with my family and not surrounded by strangers. Not that it matters, I guess.

They need to find a wig for her, though. They had to shave away a lot of her hair for the tubing that drained her brain... I can't imagine her without her hair. And worse--with some wig that isn't her hair. What if it is the wrong color? What if they can't mask the hole in her head? I just don't know what to expect. This is Maine we're talking about--a place where they think great pizza is... well... I don't know. I'm just scared. I'm scared to see her, and I know that's perfectly normal (or, at least, I hope it is perfectly normal) but yet.. I don't know.

My grandmother died from an aneurysm. Years ago. I didn't see her, but they told me it was bad. real bad. For years, I had some false assumption that if I had chosen to go and see her, I could have said "goodbye." That's the mind of a child, for you; incapable of conceiving just what "real bad" meant. Real bad is a shaved head with tubes everywhere. Real bad is eyes shut with tongue hanging out, as my mother visually depicted out of raw emotion. Real bad is something I couldn't bring myself to see. I had the choice to see her, but couldn't do it.

When I saw my grandmother, at her funeral, I had this one reoccurring nightmare that she'd wake up and we'd hang out together. But she wasn't right, she had these large, swirly blue-purple pinwheel eyes. That's all I remember.

I'm afraid of that too. Of what memories it will drudge up, and what I'll wake up seeing in the middle of the night. I guess that's selfish. Selfish like Thanksgiving.

I told myself, "On this Thanksgiving, I will be thankful for knowing an angel" and that was how I tried to live the day. I think that's just a lame excuse to eat turkey and pretend nothing really changed, but I don't know. I just don't know.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

As of today

They've taken her off life support. Nothing has changed. I'm not sure there is much else to say.

A part of me does feel better; like she's fighting. Maybe I should start fighting too. I just can't believe this is Thanksgiving.

2 Cups Cocoa; 2 Cups Tea. Maybe 3 or so Chocolate Milk

Fasting is a type of prayer. Maybe That's why I'm not eating. I just know if I have a slice of pizza or eat my cereal and something happens, I'm going to feel cursed forever. I don't dare change my sudden liquid diet.

Last I heard was that there was no change, but that wasn't the last text I got from my mother. "Let me know when you're leaving work." She said. What does it mean? I can't bring myself to ask. I can't drive home in tears, and I certainly can't go get my sister. But both are things I must do, so I sit and wonder if anything has, in fact, changed.
I'm on my second cup of tea; burned my taste buds, and poured in too much powdered creamer.

I haven't told anyone, but they've noticed. One of the kids even told the science teacher not to pick on me today. A friend offered to cover my last two blocks, but then what would I do? Go home and sit? I can't.

I should have thought about getting my sister sooner; then maybe I would have left. But it's too late now, I'll just wait out the rest of the day--all of the 23 minutes before vacation.

What are we supposed to do? How can we celebrate Thanksgiving? How will all this end? Here come the tears again, better stop. Must hold it together, regardless of the impending doom I feel.

I'm not sure if blogging has helped or not. In a way it's like talking out my problems, and in a way it's like showcasing them. Staring right at them doesn't make them go away.

This sucks.

Haven't Eaten All Day; Perhaps I'm Superstitous... Just Maybe

I haven't eaten all day. I'm not really hungry, and I don't quite feel like forcing myself to eat. It feels selfish.

I have taken in nourishment; Started with a big glass of half and half chocolate milk---half milk, half chocolate soy. (I don't drink coffee creamer.) Like I said, I started with that this morning, when I couldn't force myself to eat the Reeses Puffs I bought at the store the other day. I brought a container to work, thinking I'd be hungry, and I brought a container of milk. I brought a DanActive yogurt too. I drank the milk, I drank the yogurt, and I've since had two cups of cocoa, in addition to a chocolate milk I stored in the fridge last week. I guess I'm just afraid to eat.

She is still alive, whatever that means and as far as I know. Although, I was pretty sure my mother was lying to me this morning when she said she hadn't heard anything. I was sure it was over, and she just didn't want to tell me until after I'd gotten home. The same way she tried protecting my sister last night by not telling her.

What? What on earth happened? For those of you who don't know (the slim, zero to none of you readers I am not related to) a good friend of the family's (and quite possibly someone who is closer to us than 88.8% of the family we do have) was found on the kitchen floor of her home yesterday morning. Aneurysm. They rushed her to 3 hospitals during the day and were prepping her for a surgery last night. The surgery, as I last heard, was not preformed. There was too much swelling in her brain to try it.

Like I said, I thought it was over. And maybe I was just being hopeful. The damage, on a scale of 1-5 was a 4. As far as the surgery, the doctors said if she were to survive it she'd need to spend the rest of her life in a nursing home. They said "normal brains" function at a level 14, and she'd be a 3.

I know her son flew out from California, and he should have been there by 9AM. My mom left to visit her around 10. I don't know what to do. I still don't know what to think. I just know that this Thanksgiving will never be the same, and it's impossible for me to smile and wish anybody a happy vacation. What do I say when they ask me what I'm doing? I've been keeping my head down low and avoiding eye-contact. I've been trying not to cry. I've been trying not to think. I'm surprised I've held it together this long.

It's noon. Two hours to go. I can't wait to get out of here, and yet I can wait to leave. I know I'm just going back to the house to sit alone. Do I eat? Do I change my socks? Do I pray for the best? What is the best? I'm trying not to be superstitious, and I'm trying to convince myself not to give up, but I can't let go to my logic and set myself up for disappointment. I can't smile and say, "it's ok," and I can't let myself think things will get better. I want to, so badly, but I know that if I start thinking that I'll fall flat on my face.

So it's just a waiting game, now. To see what happens. How things play out.

I have a facemask and rubber glove in my car. The paramedics left it behind. In the Thanksgiving basket she got from the church. The sight of it makes me tear up. I took it to hide from her husband; I couldn't throw it out, though, either. I know it's stupid to be so superstitious, but I don't know what else to be.

I'll continue drinking chocolate milk and figuring out what I'm supposed to be feeling.

Distraction is Key

So I've been reading up on my cousin's blog and I hope he doesn't mind me exposing his secret relatedness to me, or that I linked him to my insanity, but I don't think he will. If he does mind... oops. Too late.

I mention him because, as I've said, I've been distracting myself by reading his blog. It makes me laugh to think of my little niece telling everyone "It doesn't work" when she fails to produce poo on her potty.

I need to think about happier things, today. And since I've been meaning to write down my happy moments in life (since last December when I went to NYC with my dad) I think now it the appropriate time get those memories out there.

This past summer, Homemakerman, Tumbleweed, their daughter Peanut, and I were walking up a back road to loop around to my house; as I suspected, and had been hoping, I found a baby toad no larger than a cocoa puff. Smaller in fact, nearly as slim as a cornflake, no taller than two or three stacked.

"Look at the baby frog, Peanut." I said, lying and saying it was a frog because I wasn't sure if she'd understand the technical difference between frog and toad. "Look how small, Peanut." I said, as I've always been amazed by the size of them. Ever since I was a little girl, and my dad would take me to that exact spot on his moped.

"Look, Peanut, he is so small he is smaller than that bug!" I exclaimed so perplexed. I pointed to a long, greenish bug that just so happened to be on the ground beside us. No sooner than I had pointed out that bug did my niece stare, pause, and squash. She lifted her foot, and her tiny, colorful sandal landed square on it. She squished it around a few times, making sure it was good and dead as her parents and I looked at each other in disbelief. Then we burst into laughter. "I don't know where she learned that one!" One of her parents laughed. I think they may have been embarrassed because they respect nature and want to raise their children to do the same. Still, it was funny as hell.
More recently, we went down to visit them on Mango Street. This was one of the first weeks of October, I believe. Mom and I had gone to the Fryeburg Fair on Friday, and Saturday we went down bearing Maple syrup cotton candy and other such goodies we had acquired. We sat on their black sofa, ate pizza, and busted out the cotton candy which caught Pumpkinman's attention. When no one was looking he latched onto the bag for dear life, and cried bloody murder when we took it away from him. Worst parents ever, those two--depriving their under-aged son of such a sweet (no pun intended) energy-increasing, cavity inducing treat.

Well Pumpkinman was quite upset until he stuck his fingers in the sofa and found a minuscule crumb of pizza, sauce and all. He was estatic, and when we figured out what he had uncovered, we laughed. The little darling stared at his Daddy, and if looks could kill (or steal pizza...) well, you get the picture.

What a great moment for poor baby pumpkinman.


Well, first, I must explain the embarrassing context which preceded this exclamation.

See, as you already know, Homemakerman and Tumbleweed visited us this summer, and what you don't know is that we spent most of our nights up all hours of the night playing board games. Well, I have wanted to play Pictionary since I bought it years ago, but it has since vanished. I've searched for it where it sat for a year (in my closet) then I briefly browsed the basement, where it was moved to after I got sick of looking for it.

Obviously, when I heard my sister say, "Pictionary is in mom's room." I was excited. Beyond excited, really, and I jumped up to go get it--completely missing my cousin's subtly mortified expressions. See, the game in my mother's room was Scategories, and not, in fact, pictionary. This fact I loudly shared with the whole household upon discovering it.


"Happy Birthday," They said to my sister, and it all made sense. Oops. Yes, I had blown my sister's birthday present and ruined their surprise..

With that detail out of the way, let's turn to the game:

The letter was A and the category was: something you'd exclaim.

Naturally, my mother wrote: Ape.

"Ape?" Homemakerman had asked,

My mom nonchalantly replied, "Yes, Ape. Like Oh my God There's an Ape over there!!"

She will never live that one down.


What else? What else? How about the Fashion Show tent I bought for Peanut. I know there was a hilarious moment with that, but it has since slipped my mind. She went in and out and in and out of that tent about a million times. She crawled, seamlessly, through the cat tunnel too. Homemakerman... not so much.

Oh the memories.

More to come, when I think of them.

Not as Guilty as I Feel

Right now, my life is on pause.

I'm suspended in mid-air, after just being off a cliff.

I know that at any minute the phone could ring, and that would be the end of that pause. I would either fall down, hard, into a land of miserable agony, or miraculously be spared. That is a horrible analogy, though. Really, if I were to be spared, I'd only be carted off into foreign territory of brain damage and despair. What am I to hope for? They tell us things will never go back to the way they were; do I cling to hope they are wrong? Faith in God and in miracles? The belief she had a good life? The humanity of not wanting to see her hooked up to a ventilator?

I don't know. I just wish I knew what to think. What to say. How to feel.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Merry Freakin Christmas

I've decided that I am going to say Merry Freaking Christmas this year, and I've come to this decision after picking up some a Christmas present for my mother's bird. In fact, I might go as far as saying, "Merry Freaking Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Bah-humbug!" Does that cover everything?

Here is what happened: I was standing in line checking out when the lady told me that part of my purchase was free due to frequent buyer points. Couldn't have come at a better time, with Christmas coming. Plus with all the bills, my paycheck was just about gone, and I wasn't getting another for a week. The two clerks were chatting about what a rough time of year it was, and I chimed in, "Oh yeah, especially with Christmas shopping."

Well, the second clerk shook her head behind mine, and said, "Oh no, don't say that!"

"Say what?" I asked, noticing the expression on my clerks face.

"Don't say Christmas," The second clerk responded. Again, my clerk's face remained stoic.

"Oh....." I said, and the rest of my time was incredibly awkward. What was I to do? Should I wish them a Happy Thanksgiving? Do I ask if she is Jewish and wish her a Happy Hanukkah? Or Kwanzaa? Do I apologize?

As she helped me to the car, I wanted to apologize, but I didn't want to offend her. And then, when she went back into the store, I said, "Wait a minute. I don't mind respecting other people's beliefs, but they should respect mine too! I shouldn't have to censor myself."

That woman should have simply said, "Sorry, I don't believe in Christmas, I'm Jewish." And I would have apologized and wished her a Happy Hanukkah. That would have been the end of it, but instead I spend the next 3 days feeling offensive and offended at the same time. Not fair!

I'm honestly the same way with all cultures; I don't want to say the wrong thing because I'm afraid to be considered "mean" or "rude." I remember when I was in Elementary school, I was told never to call a black person black. "Call them African American." My teachers would say, "That's the polite thing to do."

Well, it's wrong, and it peeves me when I hear it. What about the people from the Dominican. What about Hati? Doesn't categorizing people with dark skin as "African American" steal from their heritage?

I need to give up on being so politically correct. I'm tired of desperately searching for the right words to say. I'm sick of the inner turmoil: Merry Freaking Christmas!!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


So out of pure boredom and interest, I logged onto my dating page. To my surprise (and that's pure sarcasm there, so you know) I had no new messages. Yes, I have successfully scared away 10/10 potential interests with my blunt sarcasm and knack for pointing out the obvious. Why men have such delicate egos, I'll never know, but like I tell my mother: if I can't have a conversation with them online, why would I want to meet them??

Take this winner, for example. I dubbed him "Weirdo."

From: Weirdo
Subject: I'm one of your favorites?


No joke; that was his message to me.

Minus the subject line, his entire message was simply a question mark.

Well, so you know the background, I had spent about 10 minutes browsing through the new users (you know, the ones I hadn't scared away yet...) When I find a guy that I 'really' like, I'll shoot him a quick message, but when I find a guy that sounds interesting enough (and looks just about "kissable") I will add him to my "favorites." That, in my opinion is the equivalent to smiling at someone in public. It says, "I'm sort of interested, but not enough to send you a message" and if they like you back, they can initiate the conversation. If not, I could care less because I don't quite like you that much to begin with.

Unfortunately, it has become apparent that adding men to a favorites list goes straight to their heads. This isn't the first time that simple click has had this effect on men. It is, however, the funniest.

Anyway, my reply was as simple as his mind: "Please note "Note #4""

Note #4 on my profile basically states: "Just because I added you to my favorites doesn't mean you are God's gift to women and that I'm madly in love with you."

His response?

"I already did note #4. I read your profile. But you didn't answer my question. If you don't want to talk to me, why are you adding me to your favorites?"

(Barely 3 minutes later)


So here is the message I sent him. Is it sad that I enjoy this?

Yes, I am such a weirdo for going to bed after the busy day I had--especially when I was feeling sick all day to begin with. Shame on me.

I am also so very sorry for having offended you by not answering your question--what was that again? Hmm, let me backtrack through your messages to make sure I didn't miss this "question" of yours.

"I'm one of your favorites?"

Oh, right. The subject line. Followed by a question mark. What a great conversation starter! How, ever, could I have ignored that lame attempt for an ego boost. I think that “question” probably went ignored because I thought it was a rhetorical question (given, of course, the obvious fact that I had already added you to my favorites list. Wouldn't an answer have been redundant?)

Silly, Silly me. Not realizing you were being serious. Here is my long awaited reply, if you are still interested…

"Yes, whatever your name is. I 'thought' you were a potentially interesting person. So, the sky is blue?"

Very sorry for misleading your ego; but I do thank you for proving just what a completely impatient and unstable individual you are. I love how my lack of response made you jump to call me names and assume I'm a “weirdo.”

Good luck in your quest of finding a woman who will jump to answer your dumb-ass questions. Oh yeah, and enjoy being blocked.

Insanely yours,