There are no coincidences, right? How perfect that I am finishing up my very long and emotional spring semester right in time for D-Blog Week? It’s a great opportunity for me to catch up on all the DOC goings on in a short period of time. I don’t have the time to participate, studying for finals and an endo appointment are taking up this week for me, BUT I’ll be reading. And if I find the time maybe even writing an update. I’ve missed you all, whoever you may be. I’ve missed what writing does for me. So here we go again…
So here we are.
On the other side of the worst possible thing that has ever happened to me and my family. On Saturday, we buried my wonderful Nana. I can barely say or write her name without feeling choked up. I spent most of the drive home Sunday randomly crying and speeding, things that do not go together. Don’t worry I made it home in one piece, physically. Mentally is another story. Every little thing sets me off. A comment from my father, feels like judgement and yelling. Thinking I lost the claddagh ring she left behind. Having a nosebleed. Are now all tearful experiences.
I keep thinking about my Pop Pop. My grandparents would have been married 60 years this November, but they’d known each other since they were in grade school. He lost the true love of his life. Their love story is perfection to me. Bumpy, but filled with greatness. An example to live by. And now he’s all alone in that big house, one she stayed in even when it meant being basically trapped on the first floor due to her lack of mobility. It’s just so sad. I don’t know how he’s going to go on. Even if we could financially bring him to live with us, I don’t think he would agree to it. That’s the house he was born in, the last place he lived with her, I don’t think he’s leaving it.
To top it off, my Pop Pop’s closest friend (Mr. M.) had a seizure during the service which caused everything to halt. Later we found out that the seizure was a result of an aneurysm, and Mr. M passed early Sunday morning. Trying to put a positive spin on things, our family joked that my Nana who was a nurse made it possible for Mr. M to be in a church surrounded by people who could help him instead of alone in his house when the aneurysm burst. So, not only did my grandfather lose his beloved wife, but also his best friend in less than a week’s time. Mr. M. could have been a great help to my Pop Pop, he lost his wife a few years ago. It’s not fair, but what in life is?
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get the images of my Pop Pop, mother, sister, uncle, aunt, and little cousins crying in that church as we walked out behind the casket. The little ones are the worst. My cousin (M) started crying as soon as they wheeled the casket from the back of the church to the front for the start of the service. (He’s really hurting. The poor kid changed the password on his iPod to Nana for goodness sakes.) My sister, who played this whole situation very cool, lost it during the service. And by the end my youngest cousin (R) was crying as my sister carried her out of the church. It was awful. Just awful. It’s not fair. My sister and I had her for the longest, I only hope that they have a solid memory of her. Our Nana was the greatest, I hope we all do a good job of helping them remember that.
If this whole thing has done anything for our family, it’s brought us even closer together. Bringing old friends to a house left silent by the absence of my grandmother. A house where holidays used to mean high school buddies and beer, once again had life this weekend. To celebrate one of the greatest people I’ll ever know. My little cousin R is right, Nana is an angel now. Because she always was one.
“One Sweet Day” – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
I don’t want to be the girl who cried wolf on this one, but I’m pretty sure today is going to be the day my Nana dies. She’s in intensive care with pneumonia and lungs filled with fluid and a DNR order.
I just feel the need to write this down, to get it all out.
You see this is the first person who matters to me that is going to be passing away. I mean there have been countless elderly aunts and uncles over the years, but strangely because I didn’t see them often it didn’t mean much. It’s almost like they just drifted off and I forgot. Is that terrible? I’ve never even been to a funeral, just one memorial service last February for my best friend’s grandmother. I lost my dog in September, although it happened suddenly, it was my choice and he was suffering. Even though I know it was the right choice, I spend a good amount of time thinking I made the wrong decision. But this is a person I’ve known my whole life. I have no control. I know she has been suffering for so long. Her body is giving out, that’s what happens. We have had so many extra years and memories with her that were a gift. But I just keep thinking so many things.
I didn’t go to visit her at the hospital on Christmas, because I was tired, a bit angry, and I’d seen her in a slightly better state over Thanksgiving. I’d like to think she understands. No, I know she does because for all our differences she got me and all my quirks.
I sent the present I make specially for her every year, a calendar filled with pictures I’ve taken over the previous year. She’s not even going to make it though the first month, a yellow rose probably my best one chosen for just that reason (secretly).
I’m thinking about my mom. I hope she knows how much I love her. Her mom is her best friend. I’m extremely close to my mom, but not the way my mom is with her parents. I hope if anything this brings us closer together, because so far it’s just ripped us apart. As much as I would have loved to have spent the time with my mom in the car on weekends like we used to do, it wasn’t possible this time around for so many reasons. But I’m so glad my mom had all those weekends to sit in a room with my Nana as she told her stories of her stories of her past, my mom has that. What I wouldn’t give for a few more stories. God only knows what my mom wouldn’t give for a few more.
I’m thinking about my Pop Pop. He’s been living in their house alone since August, both of them hoping that she would one day come back. That’s not going to happen. He’s already so sad a shell of who he used to be, but that hope being gone, will break him. They’ve known each other since they were little kids. My Nana yelled at him for stealing her doormat to play in the street (a story I’ve heard so many times). They are my ideal. That house is the only other house I’m completely comfortable in. He’s lived in that house all his life. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. She should outlive him, it just would be better that way. What happens now? Does he move in with us? My uncle? Away from his siblings. His doctors. Does my mom keep spending long weekends there? Ultimately, what happens when it’s all over, and that house and that town aren’t the places we go in the summer, for holidays, for random weekends.
This is a transition I’ve never faced.
So I wait and there aren’t words for it.
Just a lot of tears I didn’t expect to fall.
My dad is leaving for the 3 hour drive.
I have to stay here and wait for my sister.
She doesn’t know.
I don’t know what to do.
I just want my mom.
My mom just wants her mom.
I’ll just hold on, close my eyes, and wait.
Because that’s what you do when you’re scared.
Is it over, yet?
“I Will Follow You Into The Dark” – Death Cab For Cutie
I’m not one for resolutions. I’ve made them and never succeeded. How about new a new attitude and ideas for the new year? Seems like a better spin. Here’s my list so far:
- Cook. Not only will this be a great way to contribute to the family it will also help me with the goal of trying new food!
- Save money. I want to get into couponing. It just seems like the most ridiculous, yet fun thing EVER.
- Take advantage of the city. People come on vacation to DC, and it’s literally been a short trip from my house my entire life. I had a few projects this semester that required going to some of the museums downtown, and I just kept thinking “why don’t I do this more?!”
- Be my own advocate. If there is something I want to do, I can make it happen.
- Volunteer. It feels great to help other people, usually I stick to people I know but strangers need it just as much, if not more.
- Be creative. How can I be an art major who only makes the “art” required for class? This also includes writing here.
- Say Yes. Whether it’s saying yes to things I want to stand by, yes to an invitation, yes to a new experience. It sounds better than my favorite word: NO.
- Be a better friend. I’m famous for disappearing from people’s lives. I just figure they are too busy, and I’m generally content on my own. If I want to spend time with someone, I should just ask. The worst that can happen is they turn me down.
- Take breaks. Alone time is crucial.
- Be weird. I don’t need to button up my personality.
- Speak my mind. Because those who matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter (Dr. Seuss)
Let’s see how this goes.
Uncharted – Sara Bareilles
It’s crazy how quickly your life can change. Had I sat down to write this post 3 days ago it would have had a different tone, a different subject. But here goes.
I’m adjusting well to Scholarship University. It’s a lot of change, but I’m handling it. Crazy professors, new friends, and reconnecting with old friends. So far, so good.
On Monday I turned 20. It’s kind of a weird age. Not that I care about 21 being on the horizon, but 21 feels more special and 19 was a good year. I feel older with this one though. I can see the difference between myself and freshman who I call classmates. It’s odd. I hate birthdays though. I haven’t had a good one in so long. I can think of only bad memories from the past few I’ve had; friends not showing up, mice in a movie theater, and this time deciding that my dog needed to be put down.
How do you decide something like that?
It honestly happened over my birthday dinner. For about a month my five year old dog Finn had been experiencing severe pain from an unknown neck/back injury. We tried steroids, limiting his mobility, consulted a neurologist. The options were continuing the medication, which really was not working, or an extremely expensive surgery that may or may not have worked. In the end, we knew that it was best to let him go. To see an animal so helpless, he literally would scream and scream as he paced around from discomfort, was more than we could handle. I miss him so much.
I got Finn when I dropped out of school because of anxiety and depression. Some days he was the only thing that encouraged me to get out of bed. I had to take care of the puppy if I did nothing else. I needed him just as much as he needed me. He was more mine than my first dog because I was old enough to truly take care of him. There was a running joke that guests loved Finn, but the family loved Massi more. It’s not true. We loved him, so much. He was the sweetest, calmest, most playful dog. He was quiet and fun, to our other dog’s loud and serious personality. He kept Massi young. There is nothing I loved more than hearing the two of them scamper across our hardwood floors, tags jingling. I’m glad we had the pair, because it’s easier to still have one dog. We are not getting another dog anytime soon. I can’t even think of “replacing” him. I think it’s kind of a sign though. I needed him for so long, we depended on each other when he was a puppy. In the end he needed me to help him escape the pain, so I did. I’ve grown so much since I got him and now he’s gone. If that’s not poetic, I don’t know what is.
Today is my 15 year Diaversary. I don’t really have anything to say. It’s been the best and worst 15 years. I’m complication free. I continue to strive for the best management possible, for me. Sometimes I’m scared about my future, but I’m okay today and that means a lot.
Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. I love her so much, there aren’t even enough words. I don’t know if she’s reading this. LOVE YOU MOM!
Something good better happen on Friday to balance out this crazy week.
So of course as soon as I posted that last one, my mom was able to get in contact her friend. We will see where it leads. I’m more on the “get a good experience and learn something” side of things than the “sell my soul for 7.25 an hour “one, so if it works out I’ll be pretty happy. Thanks to Scholarship University, my finances will be just fine when school starts, although I still want to look for an on campus job. Right now, it’s just making sure I can make it through the summer in a productive and happy manner.
Something I forgot to mention in the last post is what is really eating away at me with the whole “get a job” situation. I feel like my parents in particular, don’t recognize what I’ve been going through over the past few years. Not to toot my own horn, but I seriously turned my life around. Typically, I’m the last person to say I’m doing amazing, but I am. I’m always thinking of the people I know and those I don’t, who do more. I can find a million ways to show how my situation is a cake walk compared to others. But I’ve worked my ass off managing my diabetes, getting back into traditional school, finding ways to make my brain foot the bill for college, coming to terms with my mental health, and setting goals for my future, and that’s no small thing on a personal level. I didn’t have most of those things two years ago, I barely had a direction. Now I’m doing well, and I just wish they would recognize it. Laugh all you want, but my love language is words of affirmation. I honestly, need people to tell me that I’m doing well to help me believe it. Without that it feels like I’m wasting my time. Sad, but true.
Stitch By Stitch – Javier Colon
I’m in a strange place.
You see, it’s almost July. I’ve spent the time since I graduated doing “nothing”. And by that I mean, hanging out with friends and applying for jobs half heartedly. The majority of my friends are working, but some are not. I had big plans for this summer and then they fell through. I wanted to take a class to get ahead of schedule at Scholarship University, but then my grandmother got sick and my mom wasn’t home to pay for my class and I couldn’t do it online because I wasn’t technically a student anymore at my CC. The deadline passed before we could work it all out.
My mom has a friend with a graphic design business and it seemed like there was an opportunity to “intern” with her. I figured I could spend my time between class and the internship, with flexibility to enjoy the summer with friends. None of that worked out.
Now everyday is a series of “when are you getting a job” interrogations from my parents, my sister, and sometimes my friends. I get it. I should be working. But so should a lot of people, and jobs are not easy to come by. Especially when you have NO experience and admittedly are uncomfortable with most entry level/typical summer jobs. I hate the idea of working with money, too much room for error. Just the thought of what customers and coworkers bring to the table makes me nervous. There’s also the whole “will it look good on the resume” thing, internships are better but they are usually unpaid. Let’s also not forget that at this point I’d be working for 6-8 weeks before leaving the job, if I found one today. I’ve applied a few places, but I feel like giving up. I’m trying my best to find all the on campus opportunities available for the fall. At least if I can line something up for then, I’ll feel less useless. For now. I’ll keep surfing craigslist and various other sources.
I feel like I want to enjoy my summer, but my financial status is looming overhead. I’d rather spend time this summer improving myself and preparing for this upcoming year, than counting change. But only time will tell…
Firework – Katy Perry