Daily Post 110: Conflicting Morals


I was trying to sleep, but it’s proving pretty futile. I’m at the hospital with mom again. She was pretty awake when I got here so we had some awesome conversation. I guess before I get into that I should talk about the other things that happened during the day because that factors into it.


So I got the green light from mom the other night about moving to Vegas. That meant I needed to start figuring out my employment situation. I had already talked to Zane about the possibility of me moving. It wasn’t official yet, but we had toed the subject. We agreed that until there was more information we would leave it alone.


Well… I had more information so I could at least move forward in one area. I sent a message to Clavan going into more detail about mom. He’s part of the Facebook message but I don’t put a whole lot of details in it. I keep it pretty much the same I do on here. Just enough information to get the idea that mom is doing better.


I asked what I needed to do as far as an exit interview and such, and returning the laptop since it was issued by the school. It’s going to suck losing it. At the end of the message I said alternatively I could work remotely from Vegas and take over the online classes. It would essentially be doing what I’m doing now, just at home in my PJs rather than sweaty and gross from biking to lab.


It would let me keep my pay rate. I could keep working on my Graphics Degree because I would still be employed by the school, and I would be able to do all of the updates to the documentation and such because I would actually have time to do it. I wouldn’t be burnt out all the time from constant interaction. I would be able to keep up with all of my financial obligations…


In my head I can’t think of a more perfect scenario.


At the end of the message I said that I needed to take a moment to be sappy and girly and to let him know that he has seriously been the best boss I have ever had, because it’s true and I need him to know that no matter what happens.


I haven’t heard back from him, and I don’t expect to for a few days. He’s most likely investigating what we’re able to do before letting me know yay or nay. I can’t help but hold my breath over this. I want it to work out in my favor so incredibly much. If anyone in my department deserves to have this chance I feel it’s me. I feel I would do incredibly well with this change and that it would actually benefit our department in the long run.


So that happened.


I talked to Mother Earth for a bit. I slept a little, too. It was hard to stay asleep though. I ended up waking up, showering, and talking to my mom’s neighbors again. The wife was out sweeping. That was the first time I have met her. I explained what was going on with mom and that I would be moving in. I saw her husband as well. It was nice to see him again and to give him the good information about mom doing so much better.


They told me where the mail boxes were located and told me when trash was picked up, both things that I had needed to figure out.


I went to Walmart to get a few more copies of mom’s key made. I wanted Lio to have her own key, and since we may have more visitors relatively soon I felt it was a good idea to have a few to give out as needed. I also got some sports bras because we’ve already established that I suck at packing during a crisis. It’s nice to be in a different bra rather than the one I’ve had to wear three days in a row. For every female reading this, I’m sure you know those feels.


I also got a yoga mat. I ran out of time to do a flow today, but it was nice to buy it regardless. It makes me feel like I’m taking care of myself, even if it’s in small steps.


I got more groceries while I was out. It’s been cold here, and windy. Oh my god. I take back every bit of complaining about the wind I did while I was in Orlando. If I had to bike out here in this wind I’m pretty sure I would die.


Anyway, since it’s colder I thought it would be really nice to make chili. It’s a warm, filling meal that normally makes for a lot. I’m cool with making something super simple that will last for a while. I got a handful of other things like onions and spinach to mix into my eggs in the morning. I know I need more veg intake right now. Though, if we’re being honest, I need more intake in general. More food and more water. I’m working on it. It’s getting easier to do.


I stopped by my brother’s before heading home. It’s nice that he lives so close to mom. Allison had sent flowers for mom that I wanted to take to the hospital with me. My debit card had also come in. Yay! I can stop freaking out about hitting my credit card limit now. Lame $700 plane ticket. : /


I had also thought I had lost my Warrior Dash hoodie. Not only that, but my Army hoodie as well. You know… the only two pieces of clothing that I actually have emotional attachment to…


The Warrior Dash hoodie is special because it is from the first 5K that I ever ran. The Army hoodie is the one I got when John graduated boot camp. They’re special to me and I want to keep them. So of course I lost them and couldn’t find them anywhere, and the lost and found at the hospital didn’t have anything… Not cool.


I found the Army hoodie at mom’s place. My uncle had moved it when he had stayed in the room. Jason was able to find my Warrior Dash hoodie at his place, so both have been retrived and returned, but yeah, that was another reason for me to stop by his place.


It was nice to see him. Even though I’ve been in Vegas for over a week I don’t think I’ve spent more than 5 hours total with my older brother. Even less time with my sister-in-law. While I was there he asked if I needed anything from him. I asked if he meant in relation to moving, to mom, or just in general.


He said just in general.


“Please don’t die,” was my response. Maybe that wasn’t fair of me. Maybe I should have held that inside. I don’t know. And sitting here in the hospital hallway I’m suddenly filled with emotions of vulnerability. I’ve been doing good all day, being productive and kicking ass and taking names, and all of a sudden I feel like breaking down and crying again.


I feel like any sudden change would be too much to handle right now. The thought of my brother not being there makes my brain seize up and refuse to function. I can keep going as long as I know that everyone around me is still there. I can keep manning the helm figuring out our heading as long as I know that he’s there for when I need a hug, or French toast sticks in the morning, or just someone to report to of the things I’ve done so I can feel like I’ve actually done something.


He assured me he would do his best to not die.


I have no idea what I would do at this point if something actually did happen. I’m so not ready to handle something like that. The only thing I need is for everyone else in my life to be ok for a few more days. Maybe a week or so. Maybe until I get moved out to Vegas. I just know that right now the thought is too heavy and threatens to overwhelm me, so I’m going to move on with my writing instead of dwelling on this.


Lio had made spaghetti and offered me a bowl. Super tasty. It was nice having a hot home made meal. She helped me carry everything out to the car when I left. She asked how I was holding up. I told her about as well as can be expect. That it was easier now that mom sounded like mom again.


She said Jason was worried that he wasn’t going enough. That John and I are doing most of the “work” by staying with mom all the time. I told her that he was doing plenty. I said that I felt bad for him because, yeah, I might spend a bunch of time at the hospital, but when I leave I have alone time where I can cry or do whatever I want / need to do. Jason has to go home and be a dad. He doesn’t get a break to cope with life.


I told her that we all feel like we’re not doing enough, but we are, and we need to understand that about ourselves. Even her. She’s taking care of Jace and cooking dinner and keeping the home running. She’s playing her part and being supportive even though in her head she’s doing nothing. We’re our own worst enemies.


I came home, ate, took out the trash, talked to my Aunt Brenda, switched the wash to the dryer and folded the load that was already done. I also ran the dishwasher but I forgot to put the dishes away. Guess I should add that to my list so I don’t forget it again.


I came back to the hospital and shift changed with John.


Thus the conversation with my mom. She asked me about the moving situation and how that would work out with Zane. What I am thinking will work best is to fly back to Orlando, rent a U-Haul van, pack up my stuff, and drive back to Vegas. That drive is going to suck, but I think it’s the best option.


I would most likely leave my car with Zane. I have my mom’s out here, so there’s not real need to me to have mine. Zane could use it to still get to and from work, and really, if he crashed the car while I’m away it would actually be less inconvenient than if I were in Orlando. That’s because out here in Vegas I would still have a car, while in Orlando I wouldn’t. He’s on the insurance so if anything happened I would be ok… I don’t know. There just doesn’t seem like a reason to have to have the car with me. It would be another level of annoying to have to tow the car behind the van. That’s something I’ve never done before, and not something I’m really interested in learning.


The rent situation depends on my financial situation, which is why I’m so hoping that the remote job works out. If it does then I can keep meeting all of my obligations until they are able to replace me as a roommate. Otherwise I don’t know what’s going to happen.


The only reason Zane is still in Orlando is because I was supposed to go out to California with him. That slowly changed to me joining the military, but the base truth is that the apartment was renewed mostly because I was staying, and now I’m not. So yeah… there’s that.


There’s also the fact that moving is going to be expensive in its own right. I’m thinking about creating a Go-Fund-Me page thing when details are ironed out. I’m hoping to raise as much money with it as possible. What ever is left over from making the move would be used for mom’s hospital bills since I’m sure those aren’t going to be cheap. We don’t know what her insurance is covering yet.


I have set up a request to meet with my mom’s case worker so we can get started with Social Security and figuring out home care.


I also need to get documentation to send to school to be excused from my classes for a month or so. Though I guess that really depends on if I can continue to be an employee. I figured it was better to have the documentation and not need it than need it and not have it.


The only other major thing I can think of is that my younger brother and I are disagreeing on telling mom about her lungs.


John thinks we shouldn’t say anything yet and wait until she’s better so we don’t deter her recovery. Jason and I think the omission of truth is just as bad as lying. Not sure if I wrote this or not but the first night I stayed with mom after the second surgery, maybe it was the second… I guess when doesn’t really matter. It was the first time she started sounding like mom so we sat and played 20 questions. I told her about the surgeries and everything that had happened.


I told her the only thing she needed to remember were that we loved her, and that I wouldn’t lie to her. So here I am… lying to her… at least that’s what it feels like. Mom had said she wanted to wait on the rest of the information, but waiting and not remembering that there’s more are two different things, and I don’t think she remembers that there’s more.


John feels like he’s being alienated and that he’s “overruled” and that it’s a moot point. I really don’t want our family to be divided over this. I really don’t’ want him to hold a grudge or be resentful over it, but I know john. I know he will be pretty bitchy about it. I also know mom, and I know the longer we wait the more she’s going to feel betrayed that we didn’t tell her.


I really don’t need this drama in my life right now…


John: I’m against the idea because it might be a bit much for mom to handle. And while it may seem like she is all there she isn’t 100% yet. More like 75 or 80. But like I said earlier, I’m over ruled so it’s a moot point. Just wanted to have my last 2 cents on the matter.


Me: It’s not a moot point and you’re not over ruled. We can talk about it with Jason in the hall. We need to stay united as a family. We may disagree on things and some of us may not get our way all the time. But we can’t let that tear us apart or hold grudges and let resentment build.


We can talk about it as adults tomorrow and see everyone’s perspective. Alternatively we can ask mom if she’s ready for part 2 of the situation and leave the choice up to her.


You aren’t being over ruled and we aren’t trying to alienate you. Mom has a right to know abut her health. Omission of truth is still lying and I told mom we wouldn’t lie to her. She needs to know she can trust us, even if it’s not fun news. We can’t keep secrets and expect her to believe us in the future. Trust doesn’t work like that.



I haven’t heard back from him, but I’m hoping that we can at least agree to disagree.


Phew… I hadn’t realized how much writing would take it out of me. I’m cool with getting off the emotional roller coaster. I really should try to sleep again. I don’t’ think I’ll be able to though. I’m worried about tomorrow and john blowing up and being himself. As much as I love him he can be insanely frustrating sometimes. I need him to not get his back up if mom wants to know, and really, I need him to understand that just because he thinks it’s a bad idea doesn’t really matter. We have to think about what mom would want. She would want to know. There isn’t going to be a “good time” to talk about it. The sooner it happens the sooner we can reassure her that we’ll survive whatever it is.


There was a point last night where she said she was scared about going home and I asked why.


Mom: Because it will be different.


Me: Yeah it will be different. But a lot of it will still be the same. There will still be laundry to do, and dishes to wash. You’ll still wake up to an alarm clock, or maybe not because you’ll sleep in. The mail will still run… Just because some of it will be different doesn’t mean it will be bad.


This situation is like that. At the moment it’s just information. It’s not good or bad, it’s just a fact. Something showed up on the x-ray. We have no idea what it is.


So yeah, she’s going to be scared, but every day she has been getting better. Those whatever they are have been there through this whole week of amazing recovery, and that’s the point we have to make her see. Just because she’s aware of it doesn’t change anything. She’s still going to get stronger. She’s still going to be mom to us, and we’re still going to love her, and eventually she’ll be home and we can cross this new, sort of distant bridge when we get there.


It’s easy to jump to “Oh god, it’s terminal cancer and the world is ruined.” Right now we don’t know and worrying about it isn’t going to make anything easier, or better, or make her heal faster. It’s about knowing we have a pretty long road ahead of us, but when we get there it will feel like child’s play compared to what we have already come through.


We have to make her see that we’ll get through it, together, all of us. It will be hard, it will be scary, and we’ll all need each other and the support structure of family and friends, but we WILL get through it.


Tomorrow might be a crappy day, but you know what, when compared to the fact that we might not have had this day just a short week ago I think it’s still going to be a pretty awesome day in my book. I just wish I could count on John not being a dick to me for it… gah… siblings…


Daily Post 109: A Good Day


Wrote this last night
but didn’t get around to posting until this morning. 


I’m tired. I’m with mom. She’s sleeping.


Today has been a good day for her. While I was gone, while my brothers were with her, she was able to get up and walk. She’s been approved to have cups of water and ice chips.


I have road maps for what I need to do next. Social security is something I need to get the ball rolling on. It’s possible there is home care stuff available which would help pay for me to stay with mom once she leaves the hospital. There are things to look into. Steps to take. I’m good at that. I’m good at getting things taken care of.


I made tuna earlier today so there’s food. I’ve eaten twice today which is more than I have been. I had a bottle of water, too. It’s been over a week since I’ve done any sort of exercise, but I could care less at the moment.


At least, I would care less except my muscles are reminding me that I’m not using them. They’re sore from sitting and sleeping in a hospital chair for so many hours so many days in a row. I hadn’t realized just how sore I was until I took the time to use coconut oil these past two days. The act of massaging and rubbing the stiffness out of my muscles made me realize that just because I’m not working out doesn’t mean they aren’t tensed up.


I’ve had some amazing conversations with Mother Earth. She helped to silence some of the evil voices in my head. The ones telling me that I’m not doing enough. My mom’s friend Aunt Brenda has helped with that, too. She said my mom would be proud of me. She said I come from a long line of strong women, and that I am strong just like them.


This event has caused me to reconnect with so many people in my life. Even my dad. At least a little bit. I let him know what has been going on. I keep him updated the same with everyone else. I doubt we’ll re-bond over this, but we still know the other exists.


Tomorrow should be a bit of a slower day. A more normal day. I have things like “do laundry” on the list. Check the mail. Figure out trash pick up. With mom doing so much better it feels like the worst part, the most uncertain part, is mostly over. Now that the fall is over we can begin the slow track up the path of recovery.


As I showered earlier, standing under the hot water, I realized how much easier I was breathing. I noticed that I was actually still breathing, and living, and how so was mom, and how much everyone has helped support me and my family.


As I stood in my mom’s kitchen using her cast-iron skillet to cook my breakfast I realized maybe this situation isn’t so awful. The family is together again, something we all have wanted, but haven’t made a priority.


I didn’t feel as lost because last night mom finally sounded like mom again. A very sick and weak mom, but my mom. Not a drugged patient. I needed. So much. I needed to hear her answer my question, “Do you know who I am?” with her slight eye roll of, “Jennifer.” As if to say, “Of course I know who you are. What type of question is that?”


I’ve taken care of a few of the procedures for the nurses tonight. I’ve watched them over the past few days and have learned how to care for mom so I don’t feel like a useless bystander anymore. I can write down numbers on the chart as we track different outputs. I’m learning how to read blood pressures and what numbers are ok and what ones we want to watch for.


I’m hoping when mom wakes up we can talk more about me moving to Vegas so I can get the ball rolling in that court as well. I might not be able to do much for a little bit, but I want to make sure, 100% sure, that mom is ok with me moving in with her. We joked about it all the time when we would talk on the phone, but it would mean a lot to me and make me more comfortable to hear her confirmation one more time.


The past week is catching up to me. I’ve slept most of the morning / afternoon. At least I think I have. And still I’m tired. It’s quiet here. There’s no beeping tonight for low oxygen saturation levels. The lights are low. There’s just the sound of mom breathing. The most beautiful sound I have ever heard. My own personal lullaby as I hold her hand while she sleeps.

Musing Moment 088: The Power of Kindness



I have been so moved by the people in my life, and the random strangers who do absolutely nothing special, but have helped make this situation so much easier for me just by being themselves.


We weren’t sure if my mom had set up an auto bill pay for her rent, so I had to contact the landlord to figure it out. She was extremely kind and assured me there would be no late fee if it wasn’t set up. We would wait to see if it paid itself, otherwise she would contact us and we could figure it out then.


The nurses have been beyond patient with me, answering all of my questions no matter how simple or silly they seem. When I need new sponge swabs for mom they bring them to me, even if they’re not my mom’s assigned nurse. Every time they say something about my mom looking better, doing better, it’s a small handhold that I cling to on the cliff-face that I’m climbing.


The server we had when my younger brother and I went out to celebrate his birthday last night was so nice. He most likely wasn’t doing anything special, nothing he doesn’t do for all his tables. He didn’t know our mom was in the hospital or that we were going through anything super heavy. But he smiled and joked with us, and helped make John’s birthday that much nicer.


The cashiers I’ve had when I have gone to the grocery store also most likely aren’t doing anything aside from their job, but their genuine kindness and wishing me a good day has made it seem less overwhelming.


All of the amazing support from my friends, my mom’s friends, my brother’s friends, other family members… I wouldn’t have made it through these past few days without them. My mom’s best friend has quickly turned into my mentor and one of a handful of confidants that I feel I am able to turn to.


Mother Earth has been the ground beneath my feet, letting me know that I’m not free falling.


Sirrandius’ messages of checking in and hoping that I am doing better brighten my day even if I’m not able to respond, or forget to with everything that happens during the days.


The guy at the Taco Bell drive-thru that I almost didn’t stop at because I didn’t know if I would be able to keep food down… “No rush, take your time.” Again, such a small comment that any other day I wouldn’t think twice about helped to alleviate my almost overwhelming anxiety. The thoughts of, “I have no idea what I want and there are people behind me and they’re going to get annoyed with me, and is it really worth going through this just to eat? Is it worth eating when my mom can’t?” All of it gone because he took away the pressure. No rush. Take as much time as you need. There is no pressure in this one area of your life. There’s nothing here to worry about.


And as he passed my food to me, his one word with a true smile. “Enjoy.” Remember to take pleasure in the small things that you have. Enjoy the food. Take time to actually taste it and experience it rather than mindlessly going through motions. Live life still.


Maybe I read way too much into things, but every small interaction I have with anyone has made me so grateful for the kindness I am shown. The support, the warmth, the compassion even though most people have no idea about this side of my life. It’s not like I go around with a neon sign saying, “My mom almost died and is still in the hospital and I don’t know if she has terminal cancer yet.”


No. I smile a smile which most likely doesn’t reach my eyes. I keep going. I buy groceries. I make to-do lists. I breakdown in my mom’s car as I drive to places. I worry and fret, and prolong going to sleep as long as my body will let me because I’m worried about not waking up to a phone call.


But every comment I get saying that I’m doing the right thing, that I’m doing great and helping to support the family… Every comment of how my mom would be proud of me… it validates a part of me. It makes it easier to keep going, keep fighting. Every small act of kindness helps me feel like I’m not alone and it means the world to me.


So, thank you, to every person I’ll never be able to thank. Thank you for being you.


I encourage you to go out and smile at someone. Do something nice. Hold open a door for someone. Wish someone a good day. Some small, free act of kindness and compassion. We never know what another person is going through. Your one moment of kindness could make an entire world of difference. I know it has for me, and I’ll always go forward from this situation with that in mind.


Love your fellow human.


Daily Post 108: Post Eruption


I was going to wait to write until after I had slept again, before going back to the hospital, but my mind won’t let me rest until I spill these thoughts out, so here I am, back in front of the computer after a full day of tasking. It is a much more stable position that what I was in earlier this morning though, and so maybe it’s good to write again now so it doesn’t seem like I’m as unstable as I felt during my previous writing.


It was good to write. It was good to get all of it out, all of those words that I can’t say to mom.


There was one point the night before last when I was with her. When she was out of ICU and on the med surge floor where she said she was sorry. She thought we were mad at her for being so sick. She said she didn’t mean for any of this to happen.


My heart wanted to break.


How could my mom think we would be mad at her? How could we be? How could we have anything but unconditional love for such an amazing person?


I did everything I could to assure her that no one was mad. That we all loved her. That we were all here for her, and wanted nothing but for her to rest. How that was the only thing she had to worry about.


She’s not allowed to eat or drink, and that has a lot to do with the type of surgery she had. I don’t want to go into details, mostly because they’re not mine to say. I’m sure I’ve already broken all sorts of rules by talking about what I have.


I was going somewhere with that thought…


Oh yeah, I remember. The water fairy thing. She’s not allowed to drink, but her mouth gets dried out because of her breathing. We’re allowed to use little flavored sponge swabs (don’t let the “flavored” part fool you, they suck). Basically, we dip them in a cup of water and we can let mom suck the moisture from it. I was the only one with her for a while, so we sort of got a routine going with it. When the rest of my family came back the joke broke out that I was the “water fairy” and so now I have a mission to find fairy wings to wear at the hospital so I can really be her fairy. I think it would make her smile.


There was another point where she was pretty awake and we had to go through a paper about past medical stuff. Are you allergic to… have you ever had… that type of stuff.


One of the questions was have you ever had a serious illness while pregnant. There were a handful of jokes and playful jabs and as they died off I was said something like, “Maybe regret…” everyone cracked up. Even mom thought it was a really good joke.


Another one was something like have you ever taken street drugs and my older brother was like, “Come on now. She’s not barbaric. She doesn’t do them in the street. She takes it home like a decent person.”


You can kind of get idea of what type of humor my family has…


There was a lot of laughing, though. A lot of playfulness and I think that helped mom a lot. I think it will continue to help her as she gets better and comes ‘round from this most recent surgery.


I screamed in my car as I drove to my brother’s house this morning. That helped to. It’s not something I can do around people. The total emotional… I don’t even know what to call it. I don’t think of it as a break down. Nothing is breaking. It’s an overflow. It’s a volcano, earthquake, rockslide force of nature that refuses to be stopped or silence. And it can only happen when no one is there. This change, this shift, can only happen when I completely let go and allow all of the walls and dams and barriers to be destroyed, wiped away. These emotions and facts and sensations and truths have to force their way into my being. They have to be incorporated within myself, and a change that drastic, that reactive, can’t happen correctly around people. It’s a transformation. A painful, brutal, excruciating change.


I am not the same person I was last night as I bit my knuckle to keep from crying in the hospital room as I watched the RNs bath my mom and change the bed sheets.


I am not the same person who packed two shirts, four pairs of gym shorts, no sleeping cloths and two pairs of panties. I guess wardrobe wasn’t a big concern for me at the time…


I hate thinking that I’m a “different” person. I hate the way that sounds. We’re always who we are. I am still me, but at the same time I’m not. This experience has shifted the landscape inside of my soul and while I am the same person, I am also different and I don’t know how to explain it better than that yet.


I am me, it’s just a different me.


I screamed alone in the car as I drove down the Las Vegas roads to my brother’s house. It was windy and bright and sunny and I metamorphosized under the sun, alone, and came out a quivering new thing by the end of the ride. Weak from the effort and energy it took to go through the experience, but stable and getting stronger.


It wasn’t done. I got my bag from my brother’s place. I drove to my mom’s where I did a few things before writing, which is where it continued. Instead of the anger of screaming, it was the sobs of pain and anguish and helplessness. It was accepting that I have no control in this situation. This is life, and it will play out how it wants and all I can do is my best even if with every fiber of my being it doesn’t feel like enough.


I have to love myself, I have to be understanding that I am human. I have to understand that just as my mom is sick and injured, so am I. I am doing a lot. I am making things so much easier for my bothers. I am holding my own and taking care of the family. I’m taking care of myself so I don’t get sick and end up being another person they have to look after. I am getting keys made for apartments, and paying bills, and running to the store, and keeping people informed and connecting and making sure people have an address to send flowers to. I need to understand that all of that has value, and is worthwhile, and is, in itself, enough. I need to be just as understanding of myself as I am with other people, especially now.


I went out and bought more clothes so I have things to wear other than the same pair of pants that I’ve been in for days now. I got food for the apartment so we can eat breakfast. I plan to make tuna later. Nothing fancy but if food is already made people will be more likely to actually eat.


I got body wash and coconut oil so I can still keep my routines that I so desperately need right now. Something normal, something to balance out the chaos of change and uncertainty. I’m going to eventually go to the YMCA and see about a temporary membership out here in Las Vegas. I’ve already called Bank of America and had them issue me a new debit card.


I can’t remember if I mentioned that. I doubt it. They thought there was fraudulent activity with my debit card, so the canceled it and issued me a new one. Yep. I’m out in Vegas visiting my mom in ICU and they took my card away from me so I can’t buy anything. Luckily they didn’t fuck with my credit card, but I’m beyond pissed with Bank of America. Every fucking god damn time I need, legitimately need, my cards I can’t use them because they get canceled.


At least I was able to have them send the new one to my brother’s address out here, so I should get it in 7 to 10 business days… fuck you Bank of Fail. I’m hoping you burn in a special place in hell right now.


Anyway. I looked into seeing what I could do about my plane ticket out here. It was $700. Yep… that sucked. I didn’t even think twice about it. I didn’t know there was such as a thing as bereavement flights. I really think it’s shit like that we need to be taught in high school rather than the formula for figuring out carbon decay and logarithms. Just saying… this was life information that could have helped me out more. You know… actually enriched my life and shit.


I used Southwest Air to get out here, and wouldn’t you know, they don’t have bereavement rates because their rates are already so fantastically amazing. So I guess I’m going to have to eat that whole fee, but at least I know for next time.


I got keys made for my mom’s apartment, that way my brothers can get in and out as they need to. I even got little tags to go with them and wrote the gate codes down on them for my brother’s house and my mom’s, that way we don’t have to worry about trying to remember all of these numbers. At least some of them are written down and easily referred to.


Tomorrow is John’s birthday. I like to think of it as, ”Happy birthday. Mom is still alive.”


Or better yet, “Happy birthday. The whole family is together.”


I’m trying to find the silver lining around things and I think I’m doing a pretty good job. It’s one of the things a co-worker mentioned about me in their answers to the survey I had to send out for my leadership class. I’m always able to find something positive to say, or something good about a situation.


Yet I still sit here and worry about the masses in my mom’s lungs and worry that it’s terminal cancer and that even though she’s doing better that I only have a short time left with her and that it won’t be enough. It will never be enough.


Those thoughts don’t stay very long though. I’m aware of how much different my mentality is from when I found out about mom’s stroke, verses my mentality of when I was younger and in an abusive relationship.


I have grown so much as a person, and I will continue to grow and evolve and morph and change through this ordeal. And I know most of it won’t be fun, pretty, or easy. Its’ going to be its own kind of torture.


I am not looking forward to it. But I am resigned. One of my tasks is to look into teaching out here in Vegas. In my head I’ve already moved into mom’s apartment. Her patio has the perfect setup for an herb garden… Not that I was thinking about that or how to arrange one of the spare bedrooms… You should see the kitchen… Counter space for days.


Zane and I have worked out rent for this month. This week is Hannah’s turn to buy groceries, so that actually worked out well. I was thinking it was supposed to be me. Zane is taking care of Scarlet for me, but I know she misses me and is having a hard time with me not being there. I wish I had been able to bring her with me, but at the same time I don’t know how I would have been able to care for her at the moment. She’s with someone who loves her and will cuddle with her. I hope she will forgive me.


I’m living by my to-do list right now. Every thought I have of “I aught to, I need to, this has to happen…” gets written down. If I don’t have my notebook near me then it gets written down on my arms. At the moment I have “message dad” scrawled on my forearm in black marker because that’s all I had near me, and I didn’t want to forget to let him know about mom coming through the second surgery fine.


Eat. Sleep. Shower. Brush teeth. Those are all things written down. Give keys to John and Jason. Message Jodi about apartment gate code. I’m keeping it together because I have a road map, instructions, telling me how to breath, how to put one foot in front of the other so I don’t collapse down into a helpless wreck. My notebook is my life at the moment. It’s my “This is how you human”. It’s my structure, my framework, so even if everything falls apart I have the skeleton and foundation left to rebuild around.


I think my mind is pretty done with writing at the moment. I know there’s a ton of red squiggle lines, so I’ll save posting until after I wake up, but at least I wrote, and wandered through my mind and processed a fair amount of the events.


I don’t think I ever finished my thoughts about John’s birthday. But I’ll do that another time. I feel better now that I’ve had almost 10 solid hours to myself. My inner introvert needed this time. I needed to have the previous eruption and then the stillness afterwards to become accustomed to the new landscape within myself.


Shower, brush teeth, sleep. Those are my next steps to humaning. I’m looking forward to a warm shower. One I indulge in, standing under the water letting it wash everything away. Maybe crying more. Who knows. I’m looking forward to feeling clean, and sleeping, even if it’s light and only for a few hours. I’m looking forward to curling up in mom’s bed, her blanket pulled up close and breathing in the familiar scent of home. I’m looking forward to having a little bit more normal before going back to the hospital.

Musing Moment 087: I’m So Sorry


I have a few hours to myself again. I’m supposed to be sleeping but there are things I want to take care of before I do that. Updating people about mom was one of them. I updated the Facebook message I have going letting people know she’s doing ok. Getting hand soap and such for the bathrooms in mom’s apartment is another task since we are going to be staying here for the duration of mom’s hospitalization. I’m proud that I have eaten today. Once I have body wash I’ll shower. Brushing my teeth would be a good idea since I haven’t had a toothbrush to do that for days.


All of that sounds so gross and awful, and I’m sure in some world there are people who think less of me for that but all I can think about right now, alone, in front of my computer where I can finally take a few minutes to decompress from last night is the small plea my mom said.


I’ll write about the situation better once I have the emotions out. Another post with the facts and logic, but right now I need the emotions to have their time because they’ll kill me if I don’t.


She had surgery again. The hospital was supposed to call us once mom was being moved into her new room. It was going to take a while because they had to wait for the other patient to be discharged first, so we left the hospital during the surgery to get food and rest. All we would have been doing is sitting in the waiting room otherwise.


The hospital said they would call around 8pm, as soon as they were getting mom ready to be moved. At 10:30 we still hadn’t heard anything. My older brother asked me to go to the hospital to see what was going on, so I did. Of course as I got through security the hospital called Jason and told him they were moving mom. I said that since I was there I could stay with her, let everyone else get sleep, and then trade off in the morning. So that’s what we did.


Last night was one of the hardest nights I have ever lived through.


There were two instances where mom started moving around a lot. I asked if she was ok and she said her lower back hurt. The nurse said it was from being in the same position for so long. We were in the process of moving her around to get her more comfortable, but it was taking a bit of time.


I could see my mom becoming more and more pained. She started making little pained sounds, and before it was all over she had tears in her eyes.


“We’re going to get you comfy. I promise.”


“Please,” was her small, soft, barely formed word, choked out from her dry, chapped mouth which was covered by an oxygen mask because her oxygen saturation levels were too low on their own. She looked at me, begging me with her eyes to make the pain stop. Begging me with her one word that I’m sure took all of her strength and mental ability to form.


And I couldn’t.


I couldn’t make it stop. Not by myself. I had to wait and hold her hand while the nurse got more help to move her, and all I could think inside my head is, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”


I will never be able to forget that one word and how I was so powerless to be able to do anything. We did get her comfortable and the pain did go away. She didn’t want to take pain killers, and I’m sort of glad for that because she won’t be fighting through them to be coherent later.


But that happened twice last night. Twice my mom begged me to help stop her pain and I couldn’t. I can’t heal her. I can’t make her well.


All I can do is sit and hold her hand, and dip a little sponge swab into a cup of water and be her “water fairy” as I’m called now because for some reason I’m the only person she wants water from. All I can do is dab a wet cloth against her skin when she says she’s too warm even though she doesn’t have a fever.


I feel like the only things I can do aren’t enough.


She was finally able to sleep last night. This morning really since it was 5am,  all I can think about that is how perfect she looked. Even with tubes everywhere and bruises on her arms from all of the needles she’s been poked with. She was and is perfect and I love her so much. She’s the most beautiful person on the face of the planet and I couldn’t make the pain stop.


I haven’t told Jason or John about the experience. I don’t think they would understand until something like that happened to them. I hope it doesn’t.


I want to beg her for forgiveness. I so sorry you hurt last night. I’m so sorry that even though you raised me right and made sure I was strong that I couldn’t do anything other than hold your hand and keep my sobs inside until I got into the car to leave the hospital this morning.


I’m so sorry mom. I love you so much and I wish I could do so much more than what I am. I wish I could make it better. I wish I could make it right.


I’m so, so sorry.

Daily Post 107: Mom Has Been Hospitalized


This is the first time since I flew out to Vegas that I have had time in front of a computer. That was Tuesday at 3am. I’m tired. I’m hanging in there. We all are. Even mom. I will write more as I have time to. I wanted to put this message on my blog while I had a second inbetween everything that is going on so I can have a marker for all of the events. There is so much, so many things, emotions, moments, people, tasks.


So much.


Jason is being the stoic leader of the family. John is being the medical guru, and I am being the organized force making sure all on the life side of things is still getting taken care of. I called my mom’s work, the landlord, and I made this message on Facebook and made sure as many people were added to it as needed to be. I’m manning the helm and making sure that no Is or Ts are forgotten as we try to make it through this storm.


We will not come out unscathed. But we will come out of it. Somehow. Some way. I know I will make it through this, and while I am around people I can keep it together. But when I’m alone it is so very hard to believe it. I don’t understand how I will. I don’t understand how I’m breathing much less taking care of things.


I’m hanging in there. We all are.



Original Facebook Message

Hi everyone,


I know this may be a bit impersonal but I couldn’t think of a more efficient way of reaching everyone with consistent information. All of you are either extremely important friends of mine, extremely important friends of my mom, or in most cases, both, and I felt you had a right to know what has happened.


A bit of backstory first…


Mom went to the doctor’s office early last week and was diagnosed with phenomena and a UTI. She was prescribed antibiotics and told to rest. Fast forwards to the day before yesterday… Mom still wasn’t feeling well so she went back to the doctor’s to see why the medication wasn’t working.


She ended up having to have emergency surgery and was placed in ICU afterward. They didn’t think she would make it through the night.




I want everyone to know that fact. Mom made it through because she’s a fighter. She started breathing on her own, and they were able to take her off of the blood pressure meds.


Mom is doing better. She is still in and out of sleep but is more and more lucid when she’s awake. She’s able to answer the doctor’s questions when she’s asked about the date, location, the people around her. Etc. She even joked with me and the ICU nurse last night.


At 3am this morning she was downgraded from ICU to a med surge unit and has been sleeping on and off since then.


The short-term goal is to make sure she is stable and recovering from the surgery, which seems to be going well.


Mid to long term we’re still not sure. While they were taking x-rays after the surgery they found masses in her lungs. They are running tests to see what information they can find out. If those don’t provide useful information the hospital wants to do a biopsy to see if she has cancer.


Aside from knowing that mom is doing better in this very specific moment, we don’t know much else.


Again, I apologize for the fact that for some of you this is the first you have heard of the news. The past 36 hours have been intense and aside from mostly immediate family we haven’t had a chance to ensure everyone knew about the situation.


If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to message me. I can’t promise I will be able to answer right away, but I will do my best to respond as soon as I am able to.


Thank you all for your understanding and support during this situation. I will keep you updated as we learn more.




Daily Post 106: So This is a Weekly Recap…


I was going to make a checklist of all the stuff I want to write about but then I thought better of it. I’m just going to write instead. And that most likely means this is going to be a long, rambling writing, but after all of the school work I’ve just got done doing, doing something free form would be great.


Not sure if I wrote about it… most likely not… I’ll just assume since so much time has past between my last actual daily post that I haven’t written about anything. Sorry if I end up repeating myself.


My Raise


Apparently my paperwork got lost after my review. Hooray… said no one ever. Give me my money…


Good news, they’ve resubmitted it so I “should” be getting that increase soon. I”ll also be back paid for everything I’m owed.


My current faith in the school is at an all time low though, so right now it’s more of an “I’ll believe it when I see it,” mentality.


Voting and All of That


Yeah. I voted. I’m still pissed about my state but there’s not much to be done about it other than actually moving forward on my plans for world domination. Funny that I have joked about that for years. I posted my blog to Facebook that day and one of my friends commented on it, asking if I had ever thought about running for office.


No… I hadn’t, but now I am. What’s stopping me? My lack of knowledge about everything political? I can fix that. It would still be 10 years before I could run anyway, but seriously… if I am so bent out of shape about my country why don’t I run and try to fix it?


Thoughts for another day…


Women’s Initiative Meeting


The same day I wrote my post about Florida being lame I had my first meeting for my leadership training.


All of the emotions. >.<;


I have a feeling this is going to be a great program. There was a lot of openness and sharing. One of the exercises we had to do was to write down what we hoped to gain from the training. Of course I wrote down a deep, dark, super personal and introspective reason, not knowing that we were going to have to stand up in front of everyone and read it out loud… shoot me now.


I think it was good though.


I don’t have my paper with me so this is going to be paraphrased but I essentially wrote:


I hope to gain a new perspective, a new understanding of myself, my values, and how to incorporate those values into my career.


I hope to find my passion, my drive, my purpose because those are things I feel I have lost.


I hope to find the actions I need to do, the steps I need to take, to achieve my goals and dreams.



Once I was done reading I quickly said, “Ok, so I’m going to sit here and let my inner introvert die a little bit.”


That got a lot of laughs which was nice. There was so much support. No one made me feel lame or bad for my writing. I was completely exhausted by the end of the meeting.


I went and took care of laundry afterwards. There was a ton of people there, with little kids who only wanted to cry. I set the laundry to wash then got back in the car to try to find something to eat and hopefully a quiet place to sit away from people.


I ended up going to Chipotle, which is a place I haven’t been in a while. I think the last time was when I was living with Clavan about two years ago now. Wow. It has been a while.


It was really nice. The guy behind the counter explained the different options to me. I got to sit outside in the sun and listen to music on my phone while I ate. I felt better afterwards. More balanced. At least less overwhelmed to the point that I could finish the things I needed to do.


By the time laundry was done I had about 30 minutes before I had to go pick up Zane. Not really a lot of time to do much of anything, so I let myself zone out until I had to leave.


We did end up going to sushi for dinner. That was nice. Quiet, low key, filling.


I don’t really recall what happened for the rest of the evening. Nothing special I guess.


Saturday’s Migraine


That should really say it all. I spent most of the day fighting off a headache and losing. Much lame. It rained the whole day, too, which is why the past few days have been significantly colder. More lame.


Because of not feeling well not much got done.


Sunday’s Not Good Feelz


Since nothing got done Saturday, Sunday was a busy day. I rented a Uhaul to clear out the storage unit, which is where things got crappy. There’s a whole bunch of events that go along with the whole story, but essentially Zane says I ruined his weekend.


I’m still in the “go fuck yourself” mindset. I don’t know what that means for us. Nothing good I’m sure. Which is sad. His priority isn’t the relationship. It’s not me. I’m kind of done putting in all of this effort and time and caring for something that doesn’t care in equal portions back.


That’s where I am right now with it I guess.


I did get two really awesome solid wooden bookcases from a chick at the storage unit though. That was pretty cool. I need to get some hardware for them so I can set up the shelving, but I love them. Almost worth having to clear out the storage unit alone.


Monday Off


I took a sick day yesterday and did absolutely nothing productive. I still have a giant list of things that should get done, things I need to do. Each bullet letting me know how much of a slacker I am and how my life is falling into chaos even though it’s really not. It just feels that way.


I guess it’s one of those moments where you have so much to do that you decide to do none of it. No regrets. I shoved life off for a day and nothing burned down. That’s reassuring.


Today Tuesday


I woke up when Zane got ready for work and have been awake since then. I worked on my homework that was late. Got that finished and submitted. I went through the routine of shower, oil, and yoga. I biked to school where I continued working on my school stuff.


I posted to the websites I needed to. I critiqued my classmates work. By then it was time for lab. I had a message from David saying he was sick and wouldn’t be in, but that’s fine. I can run my CRI1 labs blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back.


Clavan stopped by. He talked to me about the incident that was last month. The formal complaint that was submitted for the Shading and Lighting class. I knew it was a matter of time before it got to me.


Clavan said that because of the issue I’m not allowed to cross stitch in lab any longer. He said he knows it’s stupid. He said he knows that I did nothing wrong and that I’m an outstanding employee. He also said that I WAS NOT getting written up for it, and that if he was pressed to that they would have to write him up because he wasn’t going to do it.


I have the best boss ever. Seriously. I almost cried when he said that. How many people can say that they have a boss who would stand up for them like that?


I do have a lot of things to be thankful for in my life, and this is one of them. I might intensely dislike my job right now, but I work with some amazing people.


My yoga socks came in. Sadly I find them lacking. They’re alright, but I feel like they could be better. I’m going to try a different brand this coming paycheck, but this will be my last foray into the yoga sock arena. If it doesn’t work out then I’m going to say that they’re not for me and move on.


I’ve gotten through all of reading for my class this week and aced the quiz.


I also, finally, got a reply from my instructor about the plagiarism incident. I’m not sure if he’s going to give me points back, but he said he hasn’t informed anyone about the issue, and that I should continue the course work and make sure to submit original work. He said if I had redesigned all of the Publix brand it would have been fine, but since I didn’t it was plagiarism.


Ok. Noted.


If I don’t get those points back at least in some regard then I’m not going to do very well in the class. At this point I just want the month to be over so I can move on to the next class. Which sucks because I was enjoying this one so much. Even the last assignment was pretty cool. I got to make a feature article about the benefits of role-playing games.


I haven’t gotten feedback for two weeks, though… no grades, no direction… Just sort of done with it all.


That’s about it for today, though.


So What Now?


I don’t know. I have to bike home soon. I don’t want to do grocery with Zane, so I’m most likely going to be doing my own thing food-wise this week. I don’t want to do his laundry any more either. I hung a bar up on our patio so I can air dry my stuff. That’s awesome because not only will that save money, but it means that I can do all of my stuff at the apartment and not go out which eats into my time.


I’m ok with the fact that Zane and I haven’t been sleeping next to each other.


His email seriously damaged our bridge. It’s so close to the INFJ door slam, and there’s nothing I can really do to change that. All I can think about are his words, and how he said he didn’t care if they hurt me.


And then I think about all the other times he’s said things like that. How he did care if I came home.


It just seems there’s a lot of “I don’t care.” I’m left wondering why I do care. I’m left wondering what I actually get out of our dynamic other than cheaper rent.


Are the handful of good times that we have worth enduring through this horrible lows where I feel worthless?


I don’t know yet. I haven’t looked that hard at the question to find the answer because if I had to answer right now, a gun to my head sort of answer, my answer would be no. It’s not worth it, and that makes me sad, and I don’t want to feel sad right now so it’s easier to ignore it and keep plucking away at my never ending list.


Bike home, eat, shower, go to store, make tuna for lunches, cook dinner for the rest of the week, try to call mom, try to be ok because I can’t not be ok because I’m overly emotional and break down all the time…




I’m hoping the bike ride home helps.