Letters to Mom 024: Your Mother’s Day Card Sent to You with Love

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Hey mom,

It’s mother’s day.

I think this day is hard for you, too. I don’t have proof of this. Nothing rational or logical. It’s just a random thought I had earlier today; a feeling deep in my chest where the ache of your death lives. I think you miss being here just as much as we all miss having you here.

Today has been a day. It’s been painful and heavy. It’s been overcast and cold and wet and dreary. It has been for a while. It makes me think that summer will never come.

I don’t know what else to really say. I miss you. I hope you’re having a good day where ever you are. I hope you know I’m thinking about you. I hope you know I love you and that if you were still here I would have called by now. I would have sent you flowers or a card or something; most likely a cross-stitch with hearts and a sappy message about how much I love you because I never felt like I could say that phrase enough.

Since I can’t send anything to you here on Earth, this is my mother’s day card for you. I hope it finds you. I hope you read it and that it let’s you know how much you still mean to me.

You are the best mom ever. EVAR! You’re my own personal super mom and I’m the luckiest kid, aside from Jason and Jon, to be able to say you’re mine.

Happy mother’s day, mom. Thank you, so much, for being my mom and for all the things you did for me while you were alive and for all the things you continue to do for me after your death.

I love you, great big bunches, forever and for always.

~ Your earth dragon who could, who did, and who still is

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Daily Post 158: Saturday Burnout

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Writing from Saturday morning:


Work wasn’t awful yesterday. My FA was there for a bit in the morning but then had to leave to attend meetings in Lincoln. That left me with Float RN and New RN. We got everyone through their treatments and the clinic closed down on time. Go us!

I was dead by the time I got home. Sadly, the kids are here this weekend, so going to bed early wasn’t an option. I did crawl into bed with the lights off, but the TV in the living room was on and I could hear it. The kids kept running in and out of the rooms and chatting and being kids. It’s one of the pieces of friction with the home situation. I’m not able to have the solitude and quietness away from people when I need it, and yesterday and this morning were definitely times where I needed it.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I think I’m starting to fight off a cold again. I was congested for most of the night. I woke up several times even with using the Vix Vapor thingy we have in the room.

When I finally gave up on sleeping this morning, everyone was already up. The thought of having to cook breakfast and dealing with people being under my feet while I tried to do stuff or answering questions and just in general interacting with anything living that wasn’t a cat sucked. It all felt heavy. And that’s how my whole day was going to be; constantly surrounded by demands on energy I didn’t have to give.

The pervasive thought this morning is that it’s almost the three-year mark. Three years since mom died. Soon I will have to find another rose to add to her vase; a sign that I have once again survived to reach another year. A sign that I made it through all of the hard days, all of the good days, each and every day that ticked us closer and closer to “this” day.

It sucks. And knowing that I couldn’t have the one thing I wanted, to be left alone, made it worse.

I did end up making waffles for everyone. I used whole eggs this time instead of egg whites. I didn’t eat with the family, but I was told the waffles were good. I stepped outside with Ox for a cigarette after he had eaten. When I came back inside I curled up in bed under the covers with one of the cats. Mama Ox came to the doorway. Since the lights were off she couldn’t see me.

Mama Ox: Where did she go? It’s like she’s hiding. I thought she came in here but I can’t see her.

Right Brain: Um… yeah. I’m hiding. That’s sort of the point of hiding. To not be found or bothered.

Ox and I had some alone time. He let me cry. I had told him about a dream I had last night which might have added to the frustration I woke up with. I had been in the kitchen trying to do something, but there was trash everywhere that no one had thrown away. There was clutter and friction and all of this “stuff” that I had to work around or take care of before I could begin to do what needed to be done. It felt like I was the only one who cared and that made it all feel pointless. I can’t care for everyone. I can’t be the only one doing things all the time. That’s how people burn out and that’s what I woke up with; a burnt out feeling.

I’m glad to say that things are getting better. I’ve worked through all of the emails in my inbox that I didn’t get to on Tuesday. I’ve replied to posts and even an email from one of my uncles. I have a new niece. I doubt I’ll ever be very close to her, but I’m happy for my cousin. I hope she’s enjoying being a parent. I hope her daughter grows up to have a close relationship with her.

I proofread and posted my last writing. I’ve written this one, not that there’s really much to say. I feel tired. I feel emotionally drained. I still feel slightly confined though not as much as I was when I first woke up. I’m hoping to get through this weekend of rainy ickiness where the kids complain that they’re bored and how there’s nothing to do. I’m hoping one day I will have my dragon’s den and it won’t matter if the kids are here; I’ll still be able to sleep after an exhausting day of work. I’ll still be able to have my silence and solitude without interfering with everyone else’s life.

Today isn’t that day, though. Tomorrow isn’t going to be that day either. Right now I just need to breathe through the tension and realize this is a moment in time. Nothing is bad. Nothing is wrong. Everyone here loves me, it’s just not structured to the needs of an extremely introverted INFJ.

For today, I will be grateful.

I am grateful I had my mom in my life as long as I did. I’m grateful I still have her in my life in the ways that I do. I’m grateful that Ox loves me and tries as hard as he does to make me feel safe and cared for. I’m grateful for my life, even if it’s different than what I thought it was supposed to be.

Hopefully, I can remember those things when the tension starts to swell up again. I AM grateful. Even when things are hard and sad and I’m not alone like I want to be, I am grateful.



Written Sunday morning:

Today is off to a better start than yesterday. Granted, it’s only 6:30 in the morning, but already I have been equally as productive as I was for all of yesterday combined.

I woke up yesterday feeling out of it, and maybe that’s not the right way to describe it. I felt alright, just not up to the task of doing anything or socializing with anyone. It was one of those days where if I still lived in Orlando I would have slept all day and stayed in my room cuddling with Scarlet. Maybe if I had been feeling frisky I would have eaten something.

That’s not possible in the enviornment I live in now, though, and it most certainly isn’t possible while the kids are here.

I helped with breakfast yesterday, but I didn’t eat anything with the family. The bit of time I was in the kitchen with Mama Ox going back and forth and inserting her two cents on topics that didn’t matter and were mostly small talk that I had to fain instrest in had me frayed and feeling overwhelemed. It didn’t help that when I tried to go to the room to get away from it all, she followed me and commented about how I was hiding.

Yes. I’m hiding. Please respect that and leave me alone. >.<;

I wrote yesterday and continued with my posting for my leadership class. I have a handful of reflection sections left to post from the first book. I did buy the second book yesterday even though we won’t be working on it for the class until April. I figured since I’m going to be starting my Human Anatomy class soon that it would be better to try to get as ahead as possible. The next book is Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. I don’t know much about it, but the audio book is over 13 hours. I may start it up today depending on how things go.

I did start a load of laundry yesterday, but that’s all I did with it. I just switched it over before putting my roast in the oven, so both of those things are going. I’m trying something different with my roast. I used a Grill Mates marinade with it this time since I like how it turns out with chicken so much. We’ll see if it’s a success in about an hour.

Ox and I did go to the store here in town yesterday afternoon. We needed milk and eggs. Mama Ox wanted a new container of cashews. I wanted shredded cheddar cheese for the leftover chili that no one is eating. I got a small bag of the Reese’s snack popcorn that I like.

Other than that, I took a three hour nap yesterday and did a bunch of nothing. I haven’t cooked dinner all week, which I guess isn’t as awful as it sounds. There were leftovers for some of the days, and the others Mama Ox cooked burgers or other simple, quick things that the family liked.

This wasn’t really the best week for me to do much, what with working late and having to travel. Maybe that was part of yesterday; burnout from a rougher week than I had thought it was.

I told Ox last night that I feel like I don’t handle things as well as I used to. I don’t know if that’s me getting older or still being broken from the ordeal that was mom’s death. I don’t remember crying as much during high school, though. I don’t remember feeling as overwhelmed and bombarded by small, simple social interactions. I also didn’t have to deal with them very much for the seven-ish years I lived in Florida. I was able to have my own room and to avoid the world when I wanted to. I still don’t have that option here and so maybe I’m the same it’s just the situations are different. Different stressors, different coping behaviors… I wish I knew.

Ox, for his part, was himself. Ridiculously understanding, supportive, and reassuring. He let me sleep during the day. He dealt with my grouchiness. He held me, encouraging me to take deep breaths when the tension started to build in my chest. He said two months. He doesn’t want me to sleep in the addition with it being so cold. He didn’t want me to sleep in my car either for the same reason when I brought that option up last night. I didn’t want to be away from home, so the thought of a hotel room didn’t sit very well with me.

I just want a quiet space here. A safe space. A “my” space where I belong and I have my things with me instead of them being packed away still in a storage unit I haven’t seen in roughly seven months. I keep thinking in the back of my mind that I’m going to unwrap my china and all of the pieces are going to be broken because of how cold it has been. It’s a shitty thought that doesn’t help anything when my brain is already being a terrorist.

I don’t really know where to go from here as far as my writing goes. Ox said two months. I have my trip next week to see my brother and dad and Mother Earth and Sir. I don’t have a lot of time while I’m there. Maybe I should have tried to plan this better. I don’t think I’ll have time to visit my home clinic. I don’t know if I want to see Warren while I’m there. It will most likely be like pulling teeth and I doubt any headway will be made in regards to the money he owes me. I would like to see my therapist before she retires. I would like to go to the dojo, but I don’t know if I should or not. I haven’t been going to the one here, and though I’ve been better about the gym this past week, I still feel like I’m behind in regards to the workout section of my life.

It was rainy and misirable all day yesterday and it’s suppposed to stay that way for a while. The tempratures are supposed to rise, though. Hopefully spring is arriving and all of this snow will melt and it will be sunny once again. I hope so. I really, really hope that I’m almost at the end of whatever this is and that I do good in school and my yearly review goes well and I eventually get my safe, quiet place and all of this tension and stress and apathy melt away with the snow.

Daily Post 155: Finding the Words

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So far today is going better than Tuesday. It’s almost 7 am. I woke up at 6ish. I stayed in bed for a bit with the cats, knowing Mama Ox would be awake soon. I was trying to avoid over socializing so early in the morning. My bladder wasn’t on board with that idea, though, so I found myself up and about.

I’ve made coffee. I’ve eaten most of my breakfast. The remainder of both are sitting in front of me as I type.

Mama Ox and I had a brief conversation about why I had inquired about Photoshop being on Papa Ox’s computer last night. We’ve talked about teas and different things to help fight off sickness since she’s been extremely congested this week.

Overall, it wasn’t the horrific dreaded task it usually feels like; talking to people. It was actually… mildly pleasant… I think.

Yesterday wasn’t as awful as Monday. The new RN was there. She shadowed my FA for most of the day, learning the nursing side of things. How to give and chart meds. How to chart in the computer systems. Things like that which I know the theory behind, but have never actually had to do since I’m not a nurse, yet.

I mixed acid yesterday. It went smoothly. The whole processes. No hiccups. No bumps in the road. It was awesome. The PD nurse drove down to talk to several of our patients about home modalities for their treatment. Instead of coming to the clinic for four hours three days a week, they could stay at home and do their treatments at night while they sleep. It’s a much more lifestyle friend form of treatment. I know I personally would rather that option or self-cannulation, but then I’ve worked through my fear of needles and I trust myself more than others.

Anywho. The PD nurse was there. The social worker was there. The dietitian was there. And the nurse practitioner rounded as well. It was a party.

We were actually running ahead of schedule. We would have been out early except one of our first shift patients had issues with his standing blood pressure again, which caused our last second shift patient to start late. At least the lateness wasn’t our fault. It wasn’t because we were throwing up our hands and being shitty workers. It was something outside our control and sometimes you just have to roll with it so we did.

I was able to make needle packs as well. New Tech hadn’t been able to get to them Friday last week, which is fine. If that’s the only thing that didn’t get done, then the week was a success in my book. Needle packs are super easy and I don’t mind doing them. I also got some in-service training done.

So yeah. A much better day. Things aren’t getting better for my FA as far as the personal matters requiring her attention. I wish there was more I could do to lighten her workload. I feel the only thing I can do is continuing being a worker she can rely on, so that’s what I’m doing.

I cried most of the way home after work. Even screamed like how I did when mom was first hospitalized and the times when my grief is so intense. I don’t know what it was about yesterday that triggered that type of event for me. Maybe it was left over frustration from Monday on top of all the emotional and mental work I’ve been doing for my leadership class along with my companion of Grief who I seldom give enough time to.

I’m not sure. But when I felt the urge to cry I didn’t try to stop it. I embraced it and when it built to the point of screaming I didn’t give myself shit. Instead, I thought about how I hadn’t screamed in a while. Maybe it’s what I needed. No other cars were around me. I was driving through the middle of nowhere Nebraska. If there were ever a time to do it, now was it. So I did.

I screamed and screamed and eventually, I found the words I wanted to say.

“I miss you. Goddamnit. I miss you, mom. I love you. I want you to meet him. I finally found someone you would be proud of and you’re not here. He buys me waffle makers and is so kind and actually loves me. He wants me to be his wife and I want to be a wife for him. I want to wear a dress and have you tell me I’m pretty and I would actually have a kid with him so you could be a grandma and you’re not here. In a few years, I’ll actually be able to afford potentially having a kid. I finally have my shit together. I’m finally not a fuck up and you’re not here. I’m sorry and I’m sorry for being sorry.”

I could feel her with me as I drove. I felt her the whole way home. If felt good to talk to her.

Ox came outside when I got there because I wasn’t ready to go into the house yet. He hugged me and asked me what was wrong. I told him about my drive home; how I missed mom and it sucked.

He mentioned that Mama Ox wanted to cook dinner again, which I was ok with. I didn’t have it in me to arm wrestle for the task. After eating, I poked around on my computer for a bit. I didn’t stay up much longer after dinner. Ox found a small space heater for our room. I had mentioned that I had been painfully cold for the past few nights and that I felt it was one of the reasons I haven’t been sleeping well.

I slept with the electric blanket wrapped around my feet again. I think the space heater and the blanket helped. I slept the whole night, without Benadryl or alcohol to force me into slumber. I woke up when Ox was getting ready for work. We didn’t have a cigarette this morning, which I think I”m ok with. I’ve been smoking less and less. It’s getting to the point where I can’t finish a whole one on my own. I get to the halfway point and physically I’m done. I can’t do more.

While I do enjoy my morning minutes with Ox, having him hug and kiss me goodbye while I was still wrapped up and warm in bed as also nice. I was able to go back to sleep for a few hours with the cats curled up around me.

And so here I am, a bit later, rested, emotionally even. Not really flatlined. But not jagged and broken either. I think crying yesterday helped. I think it was a good cry. A cleansing cry.

I have ideas of what I want to do today, but I’m not really sure what’s going to get done. I want to shower and go to the gym to see if that fosters more warmth and movement, motivation, within myself. I want to create the mockup image of the Wall of Fame which is why I wanted Photoshop. I want to finish flushing out the grocery list since Ox and I are supposed to meet in town for lunch and shopping. I would like to finally, FINALLY, do something about all the recipes I’ve been trying out. And there’s the ever-present leadership book that I found out has eight chapters, not six, so while I’m still past the halfway mark, I still have three chapters to go… ;-;

I need to go to the school at some point and talk to Finacial Aid. I want to make a hair appointment to have my ends cleaned up and maybe get my brows waxed before my first class meet for the leadership course. That’s coming up. Next week actually. Oh, god. >.<

I think today will be an ok day. I think I’ll get a decent amount of things done.

Daily Post 152: Finally Up to Today

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Just a warning… this will most likely be long-ish post.

It’s 7:30 in the morning. Both kids are already up. Bacon is thawing so we can have breakfast in a little bit. Ox is still sleeping, and though I thought I heard Mama Ox moving around, she must have gone back to her room because I didn’t see her when I got up to use the restroom and make coffee.

I’m hoping to have enough time to catch up on my writing before the day starts in full swing. I sort of feel like the Universe is snickering at me behind my back in that regard since the last two or three posts have all been about events from over a week ago at this point.

Continuing from my last post… Ox and I were “beta-testing”. I had finally admitted after maybe about an hour of not knowing that I wasn’t 100% sure what he had said and that I was sorry for that. I was sorry if I had misheard. I was sorry if I was making a big deal out of nothing. I was sorry for being myself and confused about the emotions I felt.

Ox: I said wife.

Everything inside me went still. Quiet. Calm. I don’t think I have ever felt a warmth like that within my chest before. If I have, it must have been in a slightly different way because nothing comes to mind. It felt like I belonged. It felt right. It felt like I had finally been given something I hadn’t realized I ached for.

Me: Ok. I’m your wife.

And that’s how that went down. No proposal. No romantic down on one knee. It was simpler than that. Deeper than that. It was the stating of a fact and an acceptance of that fact as true. Undeniably accurate.

There still aren’t plans for anything legal or formal. I don’t know if that means it’s less “real” to others or not, but as one person put it I didn’t get married to make them happy. If they want it to play out a different way, they can make their own choices. They can do it differently and in a way that works for them.

This way worked for me and Ox. We affirmed something to each other that I think we’ve felt and known for a long time. That we’re not going anywhere. That we’re together regardless of what the government says or recognizes. We’re loyal, considerate, compassionate, respectful and supportive of each other without a piece of paper saying that’s how we’re supposed to be.

I have a new word, a new title to go along with all of the other ones Ox uses to identify me. I’m his kitten. I’m his Jennifer. I’m his wife. And I’m ok with that.

I don’t really remember a whole lot about Thursday after that point. I don’t think a whole lot happened for the rest of Thursday which was totally ok in my book. Thursday was a hell of a long day full of lots of stuff.

Friday I worked. It was the last day before my stay-cation week; this past week. I was with my FA. It was a smooth day. I didn’t go to the dojo. I came home instead. I was tired. I’m pretty sure I went to bed early-ish.

Saturday and Sunday happened. I don’t remember much about those days either. Well… now that I think a bit harder on it. I do.

Saturday started out rough. I had gotten groceries to make protein waffles to go with the eggs and bacon for breakfast. Papa Ox is doing really well with sticking to a keto diet, but it does sort of suck to feel like you can’t have any of the stuff you like or are used to. I’ve had a recipe from my sister-in-law for a while. It was a recipe she had made for me one morning while I was visiting my older brother. It had turned out good, but since no one was on the “healthy eating” train until recently, I never really had a reason to make the waffles.

Well, that was my project for Saturday, the only downside was I had tried making a homemade syrup and it had turned out awful. And I’m not just saying that to be down on myself. This was Grade-A awful stuff and I don’t even know why it turned out that bad. I followed the recipe…

But it sucked and I was left in a “breakfast is ruined” state before it even really began since I had tried the syrup when I got up that morning. The recipe said to refrigerate it overnight. You can’t have waffles without syrup… You just can’t.

So what was I going to do to recover? Drive to the gas station so I could be out of the house and have a breakdown. That will totally solve all of this.

I called Ox while I was there.

Me: I don’t know what’s wrong, but I’m trying to figure it out and I’m sorry.

We talked on the phone for a little bit. Having distance between me and the crushing feeling of everyone being awake and not having a place to retreat to helped me start to feel a bit better. Hearing Ox’s calm voice helped. I found a different recipe to try on my phone. I came back home and made it, and though it still wasn’t what I had been hoping for as far as a syrup goes, it was passable for the time being. Breakfast was salvaged.

After breakfast Ox and I went back into town. We went to Bed Bath and Beyond to look at waffle makers. We have one, but it’s not a very good one. You can’t pop the waffle molds out to wash them. That really bothers me since I’m a bit of a germaphobe. If I can’t clean it “properly” with hot water and soap, then it’s most likely not clean and shouldn’t be used.

Bed Bath and Beyond didn’t have what I was looking for. Mom had a waffle maker that had different plates that could be swapped out. I was looking for something similar. While we were out Ox and I stopped at a grocery store. There was a particular syrup brand mentioned in the protein waffle recipe that was low carb and ok to use. Walmart hadn’t had it when I went grocery shopping the day before which is why I had tried to make my own.

The store we stopped at on Saturday had a HUUUUGGGGEEEE selection of this particular brand. Walden’s Farms. They have salad dressing, syrups, jellies, all sorts of stuff. And so far, everything we have tried has tasted pretty alright. We got a couple bottles of syrup; one pancake and one blueberry. Breakfast on Sunday went over much better. Everyone is ok with the new waffles and the syrup is a pretty good substitute for normal pancake syrup. You can tell there’s a bit of a difference, but it’s not a bad difference.

So that was last weekend. I got a bunch of the chores done. I’m not sure when I got through chapter two, but at some point, I did that. That was a bunch of emotional stuff. I meal planned for the coming week and had a grocery list made out. I went to sleep Sunday night looking forward to not having to get up early for work.

Monday I had a text message from my FA saying patient census was down and that I didn’t need to come in to help with change over. Score. I still had my meeting with the head of the LPN program at 9:30. I drove down and met with her. We talked for about an hour. She gave me some things to look into as far as the application process goes as well as some ideas for as which classes to register for and how. She gave me a few names of people for me to contact in regards to financial aid and my application, and with that, I had a clearer idea of what I needed to get done for school and when.

Tuesday Ox and I met in town for lunch at Arby’s and to do grocery shopping at Walmart. I woke up tired from not sleeping well the night before. The simple act of walking out to my car to drive had me short of breath; like I had just finished a light workout at the gym. When Ox and I hugged I told him how I was feeling. It didn’t feel like sickness. I wasn’t overly congested or anything. It was just hard to feel like I was breathing right. I didn’t have an arrhythmia… I didn’t get it. I didn’t really think there was a reason for me to be feeling the way I was, but regardless of that, this was how I was feeling.

I had planned to try to get my blood drawn after grocery shopping. The school needs to know my immunization status for a few things as part of the application process.

Ox: Why don’t you save that for Thursday. Today we’ll get lunch, do the shopping, then go home.

I was on board with the “not doing much” idea. Lunch was enjoyable. We tweaked the shopping list a bit to try doing a homemade cauliflower crust pizza since the frozen one had been alright, but not awesome. The shopping trip itself went well. We spent about $110 dollars, keeping a few things I wanted as a separate transaction. Mama Ox had left $60 sitting on the kitchen table for me, so it worked out well.

When Mama Ox got home later that night she asked me how much the grocery bill had been. I told her the amount and that it had worked out perfect. Everyone paid a quarter. She said, no, that she needed to give me more money. As she tried handing me another twenty I asked if I was allowed to not take it. It felt wrong to take more money because Ox and I eat the food, too. It’s not like I was buying stuff that we weren’t allowed to touch. We all ate the same meals and that’s what I had bought on the trip. It was food we all were going to be eating and we all had contributed. So if anything, I owed her $10.

Mama Ox: Next time.

She that certain smile… I think it’s a mom thing. It’s that smile where she knows she’s won and you’re going to accept her decision. End of story.

I sheepishly took the $20.

Me: Next time.

I don’t think Ox’s parents are used to someone being as proactive around the house as I am, or as concerned about balance and fairness. I used the extra $20 yesterday to get Halo Top ice cream for Papa Ox since it’s something that had come up in conversation. I really wanted to find SO coconut ice cream since it’s even lower on carbs, but sadly the Walmart I was at didn’t have that brand. Point being, I still used the money for the family. I didn’t spend it on myself because I didn’t think of it as “mine”.

The new pizza crust recipe turned out better than the frozen store bought one. There wasn’t corn starch in the homemade crust and it had more flavor from added spices. It was still pretty soft though instead of crispy so you had to eat it with a fork. I may or may not have forgotten to spray the foil for the first two crusts as well… >.>;

That was a disaster avoided due to Ox being amazing and helping me salvage the crusts. I now have a bag of almond flour so take three of the pizza crust will hopefully be an outstanding success.

So, that was Tuesday. My breathing got easier as the day went along so I’m still not sure what was up with my lungs in the morning.

Wednesday I went in to work for what I thought would be two hours of helping during change over which turned into 5.5 of making sure the clinic didn’t burn to the ground. Yeah…

So the story behind Wednesday…

I woke up thinking it would be a “normal” day. Normal for dialysis. Oh, how foolish of me.

Right before I got into the shower I got a text message from our float RN. She was going to have to leave the clinic for personal matters and wanted to know if I minded staying the rest of the day to cover for her. Um… Last I checked I wasn’t an RN yet so unless my FA was also going to be at the clinic there wasn’t much I could do as far as covering for her. I could be a third person on the floor, but I couldn’t be charge RN.

I told her to give me a few minutes to figure some stuff out. I had planned to use Wednesday to get through chapter three in my book. I didn’t really have time obligations, but working a mostly full day was definitely not having a “stay-cation”. Arg…

As I was driving down to the clinic I tried to call the float RN to figure out what was going on. Her cell phone doesn’t get good reception in the middle of nowhere so I couldn’t get through to her. I tried calling our new tech who was supposed to be at the clinic covering for me this week, but she didn’t answer either. I wasn’t all that surprised. I was calling right at the start of change over. I talked to Ox a bit to let him know the limited information I had. I told him I would keep him posted as to how my day changed.

When I got to the clinic I went straight to the floor. Good thing, too. The new doctor was rounding on our patients with my FA and the nurse practitioner and shit was hitting the fan. Never fear! PCT Jen is here.

I haven’t sweat that much during a change over in a while.

We got all of our first shift patients rinsed back, taped up, and out to go about their day. We got all of the machines disinfected, restrung and ready to go for second shift. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I’m pretty sure I rinsed back three of our patients, reset four of the machines and initiated four of our second shift patients. Out of eight, I did half.

Everyone was extremely grateful that I came in. I stayed until around three. That allowed the new PCT to go to lunch. That allowed my FA to talk to the doctor and round with him for the second shift patients. That allowed the float RN to leave once all of the second shift patients had received their meds. I was able to run an extremely important lab over to the hospital; one that was almost forgotten to be drawn.

I apologized to my FA for not knowing about the lab.

FA: Thank you. But it’s not your job.

Accurate… but my FA shouldn’t be the one to make sure everything gets taken care of either. There has to be some level of reliability, and right now it’s really hard to defend our float RN. She’s a great person. I don’t mind working with her as much as I did in the beginning. But when your boss can’t count on you to cover the shifts your scheduled for or to complete the tasks you’re supposed to be in charge of… I don’t know. It’s rough. And there was more than just those two situations that the RN dropped the ball on Wednesday.

I checked my email while I was at the clinic. My yearly review is coming up so I have a self-assessment to complete. More writing… I could feel my fingers glaring at me as I sat down to type out a few of my answers. I didn’t get it finished, but I’m over halfway through it.

I also got to talk to the social worker and my FA about the Wall of Fame I volunteered myself to do. I have some ideas brewing in my head. Unforantetly I haven’t done much in the way of progress on it. The week just hasn’t played out to let me do a whole lot in that regard.

I also got to talk to my FA about the few things I still needed to get taken care of for my LPN application. She gave me some information about the CPR class I need to take. I guess there’s an online option where all I will have to do is show up, provide proof that I’ve completed the online section, test out of my skills, and call it good. I’m down for quick and easy.

So Wednesday was a good day in the end. I’m glad I was able to help my team. It was good to see my patients smile at me. They hadn’t thought I would be there all week so it was a pleasant surprise when I walked out onto the floor.

Patient: What are you doing here? I thought you were on vacation.

Me: I’m here to join the party. : 3

So, five and half hours later, I clocked out and headed home.

Thursday started out better. I tried to register for a class online and found I couldn’t. The step by step instructions started with “click on this tab” only… I didn’t have that tab on my student page for the college’s website. I didn’t know if there was an issue with my application or what, but since I couldn’t complete the first step there wasn’t much else I could do on my end. I showered. I had breakfast. I meet Ox in town to have lunch at our Chinese place again. After we ate he asked if I wanted him to drive me to the different places I needed to go.

Me: I wouldn’t mind spending more time with you.
Ox: In that case… I’m going home.
Me: Wait! I meant I would mind spending time with you. I totally mind.
Ox: Oh… In that case… I’m going home.

I love how we can banter with each other like that. He did stick around, driving me to the clinic I needed to go to for my blood draw. That actually went extremely smoothly. No resticks or anything. They will automatically send my results to the college. Woo. Another item I can scratch off on the college to-do list.

After that, we went to the Lincoln campus to figure out the registration issue I was having. That got taken care of and while I was there I went ahead and registered for Human Anatomy. That’s going to be $417 dollars for just the one class. It will be another roughly $300 to $400 for the two books I need, depending on if I get hardback or not. Since I need the code which comes with the books, it wouldn’t be a good idea to buy them used or to try to rent them through the book store. The upside? These books will also be used for Human Physiology, so theoretically I won’t have to spend much, if anything, on books for that class. We’ll see…

I didn’t have to pay anything on Thursday for the class and I opted to wait on buying the books. I wanted to talk to Jon to see if the book he used was the same one my class was requiring. I sent him a message asking him to send me a picture of his book later when he got home. He said he would and if it was the same one I was welcome to use it. Code and all. Sweet.

Ox and I then went over to the Hy-Vee store where we had successfully found the pancake syrup over the weekend. I wanted to get salad dressing for Papa Ox since a lot of the meals I cook are served with a side salad. We also got a few jellies to try out.

With all of that taken care of, Ox drove me back to my car and we headed home. Once we got home I began taking care of dinner. I had started it before I left since it was a slow cooker recipe. Shredded buffalo chicken bowls. It turned out alright, but it was definitely missing something that I can’t put my finger on. Not sure if I’ll be making it again in the future. I did listen to about half of chapter three. That happened while we were waiting for Mama Ox to come home. I got a bit of stitching done during that time as well.

Instead of cross-stitching after dinner like Ox had wanted me to, I went back to plucking away at my to-do list. I signed up for the CPR class I need to take. That was $55 dollars, but work will reimburse me for it. I set my debit and credit cards up for travel during my trip. I transferred $600 of my tax return to my credit card to cover the plane ticket and rental car I had already paid for. I updated my calendar. I set up the account I needed to begin making payments on the Trax since we’ve had that information for a little bit. That allowed me to put more papers away rather than having them scattered around my desk. I also created a “school” sub-calendar on my Google calendar since my class starts on April 1st. I’ve been told it’s not a joke and class actually will start that day. We’ll see… >.>

Oh! I also posted a daily post as well as my DSS assignment on Thursday.

For the record… the only reason I remember half of this stuff is because I actually wrote out a to-do list for Thursday so I have something to look back on. By the end of Thursday, I was beat. I felt like I had gotten a lot of stuff taken care of, which, I guess I kind of did.

Friday was another good day. It started with a phone call to Jon. It’s been nice talking to him so much. After talking to him I came inside and began writing for a bit. I didn’t get as far as I wanted to before I had to shower and head down to work.

I wasn’t there as long as I had been on Wednesday. Everyone was still glad to see me again which warmed me. It was just the float RN, the new tech, and myself. Originally my FA was supposed to be there, but personal matters came up which kept her from being at the clinic. The day turned out alright. The three of us found a rhythm that worked well. I helped end treatments and clean/reset machines. The new tech helped with ending treatments and walking the patients out. The float RN initiated the treatments for second shift. As the new tech got freed up, she began initiating treatments as well. Once all of the machines were restrung and ready to go, I also jumped in and helped start treatments. I’m the fastest and most experienced with our machines, and while, yes, the new tech is going to need to hone her skills, she’s going to be going back to Cap City for three weeks until our clinic is opened to six days a week again. Yesterday was not the day for skill honing. It was about surviving, and we did, and the system we found worked really well for us. I’m proud of us. Go, team!

I stayed at the clinic while the new tech took lunch. I checked my email again and replied to a few surveys that were sent out. I made sure some of the closing tasks were done so New Tech didn’t have to worry about them. When she came back to the floor I clocked out and hung out for another hour or so making CVC termination packs. I got to chat with our Administrative Assistant (AA) for a while. I got caught up on her new grandbaby stories and I told her about my continuing adventure with schooling. She’s happy for me.

Oh… And something I don’t remember writing about… On Thursday I found out that I made the Dean’s list for the fall quarter. All I did was take a CNA course. I don’t feel like I earned or deserve recognition for “academic excellence” but never the less, I have a certificate saying that I did well.

Both my AA and FA say they’re proud of me and are looking forward to me being a nurse. They say I’ll make a good nurse. I don’t know how I feel about that. There’s a part of my brain that shrinks away from those comments. It wants to say, “I don’t want to be a good nurse. I just want to help people.”

Another part of my brain feels like being “good” means there’s the potential to let people down or not live up to expectations. There’s the potential to fail. I guess that’s something I need to think more on since there’s a bit of discord there. Overall it was a good conversation. I’m looking forward to seeing my AA again on Monday once I’m back at the clinic.

Once I finally left work, I headed to the Beatrice campus for my college. I wanted to talk to someone in financial aid. After getting registered for my class, one of the other tasks I had tried to complete at home was putting my current loans back into forbearance since I’m officially a student again. That hadn’t been the one-step process I had been hoping for. The website did say that the school could send my information for me, though. I also had questions about additional loans. I mean, really, I didn’t have a lot of questions, but I felt better about talking to someone in person if they had time.

When I called to inquire, the woman I spoke with said any time was fine and to stop in whenever. So I stopped in. Yes, they will automatically send my information to the loan company so there’s nothing further I need to do with that. The deadline for scholarship applications with the school ended at midnight that night, Friday night, so if I was quick, I could still potentially get assistance through scholarships. There was also a step by step sheet of instructions for completing FASFA which wasn’t a lost cause. She explained that even though I already had loans that I might be able to get additional assistance for my new endeavor. It wasn’t guaranteed yes, but it wasn’t a guaranteed no, either. The worst they could say is no, and the application process was free to find out.

I thanked her for taking time out of her day to meet with me. I said I had a clearer idea of how to go about my next steps and that I appreciated her help. From the school I headed back home, stopping at the Walmart in Beatrice for a few extra things we would need over the weekend. Ox wanted me to try to make a keto brownie or cake type recipe for Papa Ox. I wanted to see about finding the keto friendly ice creams I had mentioned earlier in the week. I also needed to return a spice shaker I had bought on Tuesday.

Since I’ve been making my own spice mixes for a while, I’ve been wanting a larger container to keep them in with a shaker top. I haven’t been able to find anything in stores and I don’t want to buy something full of spice already, just to dump it out so I can use the container. That just seems ridiculously wasteful to me.

Well… while Ox and I were at the store on Tuesday I found one that I thought “might” be ok. It was pretty enough. It seemed larger than the containers I was currently using, but I wouldn’t really know how I felt about it until I tried it out.

Fast forward a bit to Tuesday evening when I emptied out a Kraft grated parmesan cheese container…

It’s… perfect.

It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for this whole time. I can fit multiple batches of my spice mixes in it, so I don’t have to worry about mixing them so often. Wooo! And there’s a second one in the fridge that’s almost empty and the tops are different colors so it will be easy to tell my spice mixes apart. Omg. My brain was/is so happy over how perfect they are for what I want. I don’t even have to worry about icky glue being on the side of the container because the container design was shrunk wrapped on. All I had to do was cut it off and poof! Perfectly clear, unmarked large plastic container with a shaker top that can come off if I would rather scoop an amount out instead.

So much happy.

Anywho, since I now had the perfect shaker already at home, I didn’t need the smaller one I had bought from the store. That got returned, and once that was done I was able to officially head home for the day. It was later than what I was expecting, but I had taken care of everything that I needed to and it felt good.

When I got home I told Ox about the scholorship application deadline and the FASFA application. Papa Ox and brought home dinner with Ornery Ox so I didn’t have to worry about making anything for the family. I heated up the leftover shredded chicken and began plucking away at the “paying for college” stuff.

I got the scholarship thing done well before the midnight deadline. I figured out FASFA, too, so that should be processed by the college before too long I hope. I had a half cup serving of the black cherry Halo Top ice cream. It’s not bad. Ox and I got some laundry put away. I got two more posts up on my blog. I got a phone call from New Tech letting me know that she hadn’t been able to get to creating the needle packs, but everything else should be in order for Monday. I told her that was fine and that I appreciated her covering my week off for me. We most likely won’t see each other for a while since she won’t be at the meeting on March 5th. I told her if she needed anything to feel free to call me.

And I think that’s about it for Friday. I woke up around midnight and had a hard time falling back asleep. Lame.

I woke up at 7:30 like I said when I started writing this and so far it’s been a good morning. I’ve spent most of it typing and recapping the past week. It’s not what I had in mind when I wrote my DSS post about starting “weekly recaps” again. I haven’t been all that awesome about getting to the gym or writing daily either, but I think I’m staying afloat.

I’ve been back and forth from the computer a bit. Ox and I made breakfast for everyone. The waffles seemed to go over well, though the kids aren’t giant fans of the new syrups. They don’t know that the waffles are made with oatmeal and cottage cheese.

I have plans to finish listening to chapter three in my book once I’m done writing this post. I’ll most likely cross stitch while I do so. Once I reach the end I’ll make my zucchini brownies for Papa Ox along with a batch of “normal” brownies so we can try to work through a bit of the stuff sitting in the cabinets while the kids are here.

Once I complete those kitchen projects, I’ll start work on the reflection sections for chapter three. This chapter is about purpose so I feel like it will be a bit easier to get through it than the previous two chapters. Purpose is a bit more defined for me. I might not have to dig as deep to find the answers to the questions asked. Only one way to find out… >.<;

I’m not sure what time it will be once I complete that task or if I’ll even be able to see that task to its completion today. It would be nice to start the laundry. It would also be nice to figure out the meal plan for the coming week along with the shopping list associated with it. I would like to make green curry. God that would be so awesome to have for lunches.

Anywho, today should continue to be a chill day. We have blizzard advisory warnings for today into the early morning of Sunday. So far it feels pretty nice outside. Cloudy and overcast, but it’s not ridiculously cold, so I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s been raining off and on. It would suck for temperatures to drop and for the roads to freeze over. I haven’t had to deal with black ice yet. At least not that I know of.

So I guess that’s enough procrastinating on my part. Time to go back and half-heartedly proof-read my writing and get it posted so I can continue going about my day.

It feels good to be caught up. It feels good to say I’m in school. I’m officially working on being a nurse. I’m one step closer to being an RN, mom. I know that would make you smile.

Daily Post 129: Boxes

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Today started out a little rough. But I guess before I get into that I should go back to yesterday.

Yesterday started with a 3 am wake up alarm. I showered and had breakfast before having a cigarette with Ox and hopping into my car to drive an hour and a half to get to the Fremont clinic. I’m proud to say that even though it’s been a while since I’ve been to the clinic that the route felt familiar and I only needed my GPS as a confidence booster.

I worked with a nurse and a tech that I had never met before. They were both fairly nice though a bit distant. Not as warm or welcoming as other workers I’ve met but the day went fairly smoothly. I got to see one of the patients I really like and had a good conversation with another one. I spent most of the downtime in the back room making CVC packs.

I was able to leave around 10:30. I didn’t make it back to Lincoln until close to noon which meant I would have been late for the class at the dojo. Since it was a super cold and icky day I decided to come home instead. That worked out for the best since it started snowing out of nowhere shortly after I got home and didn’t let up until well into the evening.

Instead of doing anything with the addition or outside, Ox and I played World of Warcraft. I still have 14 days left on my subscription. I got to talk with one of my favorite guildmates for a while and run some dungeons with her. All in all, it was a good day. Low key while still being mildly productive what with work happening right from the get-go.

I didn’t cross-stitch and I didn’t write, but I was ok with both of those things not happening. I haven’t gamed in a while and I haven’t “hung out” socialized in what feels like even longer.

Sexy time happened. It was deeper than physical. More than mental. It reached into the emotional and though I hesitate to say it, spiritual side of things. As an INFJ I have no problem accepting that truth within myself or believing and being non-judgemental of others when anything spiritual is mentioned. There is this pervasive feeling of vulnerability verbalizing that truth out loud, though. Even to Ox. Even here, on my blog; my little corner of the Internet where I can say whatever I want.

One of the things I value about my relationship with Ox is how we “beta-test” experiences we share or situations we find ourselves in. We talk about whatever it is outside, on the front porch, usually while we smoke together. We talk about what we liked. What we didn’t like. What we’re still unsure about. What could have made it better.

Our beta-testing is a safe time. It’s open. It’s honest. It’s secure and unjudgemental. It’s information to help both of us continually improve because you can’t become a better you without feedback.

Even in the safety and security of our beta-test time it was hard for me to admit that our experience reached deeper into my self than any of our sexual encounters over the past 10 months.

My heart still feels broken from mom’s death. Talking about or acknowledging my heart in the emotional sense, is something I struggle with. I function. I live. I have found new passions in the form of martial arts, and I have gone back to old ones in the forms of gaming and cross-stitching. But loving someone as fully, as deeply, as unconditionally, as I did my mom scares me.

For most of these 10 months, I have harbored sadness because I have felt like I could not love Ox the way he deserves to be loved. I have thought my heart could no longer work that way. I can and could love, but not completely. Only in a distant, halfway broken way because everyone is going to die so what’s the point in opening myself up to that type of pain again?

I think maybe that’s changing. Maybe I’m not broken and I’ve just needed more time to heal. Maybe I needed the words he said last night. Maybe I needed someone to take me down to that deep dark place in myself where my pain and sorrow and brokenness regarding relationships resides and confront those things with me.

I have known logically for a while that I am not alone. Emotionally I have felt less alone as I keep moving forward and for the most part standing tall since mom died. But now I’m starting to feel it in the place where for so long I have felt my invisible wound that no one can see. The one in the center of my chest that’s circular and aches at the edges when my grief flares up and demands my energy and attention.

I’m starting to feel love and closeness in my heart. In my chakra. In my self. And that scares me. On some level it makes me want to cry from fear. The fear of feeling that horribly soul-crushing feeling of aloneness again. But there’s also feelings of safety and acceptance. Things I hadn’t realized I missed or was denying myself.

I know all of these emotions are things I need to work through. Just when it feels like I’m finally getting one area of my life and emotions organized I find another box that needs to be sorted through and the only way to sort something is to make a mess to see what all you have to work with.

I’m scared of this mess though, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. This box contains all of the soft, squishy, girly, emotional stuff. It’s the broken pieces of my heart. The one that was stabbed when Zane cheated on me while mom was in the hospital. The one that was yelled and cursed at. The one that was never good enough. The one that still has a hard time beating sometimes with the knowledge that mom is dead and I’m not.

It’s so much easier, safer, less painful to keep it incased and locked away, shoved into a dusty box tucked back into a dark corner with other, less important boxes burying it down and keeping it from sight.

But alas, that’s not how I want to live my life and that’s not how I want my relationships to be.

So here we are, back to being emotionally confused and working through shit. /sigh

It never ends, does it? ;-;

Since this is such a recent development, there really isn’t more to say about it right now. I feel better than I have in a while emotionally. I feel more connected and grounded in the present. I still have a lot to meditate on, and none of that is going to be figured out overnight. So I guess the best way to sum it up is that I’m still healing, but I actually feel like I’m making progress and I think it’s a very positive type of progress.

I was up until about 11 last night due to being irresponsible and gaming. Because of that, I wasn’t ready to start the day when I woke up at 6:40. I didn’t get out of bed until after 7 and even then I could tell I was a little on the grouchy side. I decided to curl back up in bed for a bit and I think that did the trick. The second attempt at the day was better. I felt more with it. There was more sexy time with Ox. There was an amazing breakfast and lots of chore productivity before I headed into town for my hair appointment.

The roads still had a bit of snow on them, so I got a little bit of experience driving in it on my own. I had the same hairdresser that I did the last time I got my roots bleached so we were able to talk about what’s been going on in our lives and our plans for the holiday season. It was a pleasant experience and I’m glad I got everything taken care of. I currently have dye soaking into my hair. I’ll eventually shower before bed to rinse it out.

I made a trip to GNC to get two more cases of Bang since they are buy one get one half off. I made a trip to Walmart that was way more frustrating than it needed to be. I survived and made it home, but just barely. I picked up some stuff for work while I was at the store since we’re making Thanksgiving care packages. I tried finding pants that I liked but that’s still a no-go. I’ve been wearing my scrub bottoms since those are the only pants I really own aside from two fairly thin yoga type pants. They don’t exactly cut it in 20-degree weather. Who knew?

I’ve finished all of my meal prep for the coming week and the laundry is dry. I should put it away but instead, I’m most likely going to run to the gas station with Ox and pick up Subway for dinner before coming home and gaming a bit before going to sleep. That may change to cross-stitching so I can finish watching Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood… We’ll see.

But yeah, overall it’s been a good weekend. I even made an eye appointment for tomorrow after work so I can get more contacts since I’m on my last pair.

And on that note, I’m going to go since I’m hungry.

Daily Post 101: Day One In Vegas

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It’s been a while since I’ve written. Surprise, surprise.

I’m in Vegas right now, visiting with my family. Jon will be here later tonight so at the moment it’s just me with Jason, Lio, and Jace.

The morning has been nice so far. I spent most of last night talking with my older brother. We stopped at a game store and rented a few games for us to play as a family once Jon gets here. Zombicide and Geek Out. They seem promising.

I slept fairly well last night. At least I slept deeply. It felt like much-needed sleep. The type of sleep where you don’t worry about having to get up to go to work where the RN will be the one to ask you if a code should be called or not because that totally happened on Friday, which is a story in itself.

It was the type of sleep where you realize you finally don’t have to hold up the rest of the world and you can put all of the burdens on your shoulders down and finally rest. The armor can come off. There aren’t battles for a few days. You can breathe and assess and take stock of where you are, how far you’ve come, and where you plan to go without life raining down bullets or fireballs of destruction on you while you try to do it.

I was worried about being here. I cried while Ox hugged me yesterday morning saying how there was part of me who didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to be here. Mom wouldn’t be here. With the constant demand of work and life, it’s I guess… easy… in a way to forget. You can glaze over the fact that things are different.

Here, there’s no way to hide or pretend. There’s an empty chair during dinner. There’s not the smell of cappuccino in the morning. There’s a voice missing. A hug that isn’t there.

My sister in law has already said how I look so much like mom. I’m worried about that. I’m worried it makes it harder for my brothers. It’s been a year and a half since I’ve been here. So much about the house has changed. The kitchen has been remodeled. The floors are hardwood. The garage floor has been redone. The outside has been repainted. But it still has the feel of “home”. It still has the feel that mom should be here, and she’s not. She’s missing. She will always be missing. Her absence will always be noticed and felt and known.

It will always be different and that made leaving hard. I don’t want it to be different. I don’t want to acknowledge the fact any more than I have to. Like with physical therapy, I know this trip was something I had to do, but there was such a part of me that didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to be here even though I wanted to see my brothers.

It does hurts but not as much as I thought it would. It’s not soul-crushing. It’s something I’m able to at least breathe through. I’m able to handle it even though there was part of me who thought I wouldn’t be able to.

My sister in law is doing a program with her gym so I’m eating decently. We’ve already shared a bunch of recipes with each other. I had thought my progress with my trainer would be completely blown for this week but it doesn’t seem like it will be that way. I might not do a bunch of working out, but since I wasn’t doing that anyway in Nebraska I don’t really think it will be that awful.

I didn’t go to training last Thursday. I didn’t want to.

I covered an extra shift at the Dodge County clinic in Fremont. I enjoyed it. I worked well with their team. They’ve asked me if I would be ok with coming back in the future to which I answered yes.

The schedule for next month came out before I left. I’m still in Beatrice three days a week. No Cap City swaps, at least not yet. I’m ok with that. I’m happy my schedule is still consistent and that I’m not going to be in a clinic that I don’t like. I’m glad I get to stay with my patients.

I’m working on Friday when I get back. Since all the clinics are so short staffed, they weren’t able to find a replacement for me. It was just going to be my FA and a float RN, the one who asked me if she should call a code for one of our patients.

While I was on my lunch break Friday, my FA came out and had a cigarette with me. I asked her if she wanted me to come in the Friday I get back. I told her I would be in town and I could come in if I was needed.

She said it wasn’t fair of her to ask me to give up more of my vacation when I already got screwed out of the first week I had wanted to take off. She said she believes vacations are important and she wanted me to have my time off.

I told her that I didn’t want to leave her screwed over. I didn’t want to leave my patients screwed. I didn’t want to come back Monday to ashes. I was going to be sitting at home Friday trying to play video games and stressing over the thought of shit hitting the fan by me not being there.

I said if she would prefer to have me at the clinic that I could be there.

She said she would definitely prefer to have me there rather than anyone else, so I’m going in, and honestly, I don’t feel bad or cheated out of anything by going in. They’re going to give me back the PTO I had already been approved for that day and let me work the floor instead.

I get back Wednesday night. I have Thursday to myself. I work one day before having a two-day break to meal prep and get my life back to normal and then I have a three day a week schedule with training on my off days.

I have my doctor’s appointment on the 30th for my insurance discount with work. I can potentially do the dojo membership now that I know what my schedule is. I can also talk to my FA about starting classes because the more I talk to people, the more I go to other clinics, the more I’m on my own at my own clinic, the more I feel like going further with school would be good for me.

I think I’ll want to start with the LPN program because that will give me more options in the beginning rather than having to wait two years to even begin the RN program. It’s something I would like to look into while I’m here on vacation and have the silence and space to research and think about it.

I don’t really know what else to say. I know it’s been so long since I wrote, but honestly, not a lot has happened. I’ve worked. I’ve eaten carbs that I shouldn’t have. I’ve not worked out like I’ve “wanted” to. I’ve been sad a lot for no real reason. I haven’t had alone time to figure out the emotions. I’ve been escaping into Final Fantasy a lot because it’s easier to play a game than to figure out life. Almost all of my professions are level 30. I didn’t put my clothes away until yesterday morning because it hasn’t felt worth it to actually do much of anything. My clothes weren’t killing anything by being in a basket for weeks and no one else cared so what was the point?

I don’t like feeling that way. I don’t like thinking those thoughts. I don’t like having tons of projects around me that are unfinished or un-worked on. Boxes are pilling up again. The kid’s shelves are a mess from when they were here for two weeks. They left without cleaning them up; all of my previous hard work undone. It’s hard to keep doing when it feels like the effort doesn’t matter or that it doesn’t make a difference.

Maybe part of the emotions is being burnt out.

I don’t know.

This may be one of the last times that I write on my Windows Surface. Jon might be buying it from me. I can’t say that I was ever in love with it, but I do have memories of writing on it while at Friendly Confines. It was the keyboard I typed on when I wrote for my first birthday without mom. The first Christmas without her.

It was with me for significant moments and so I do feel like there will be a sense of loss when I give it to my brother. It will be another moment of moving on, moving forward. It’s hard to not feel like forward is “away”. Logically, I know I’m not moving further away from mom, but that’s not what the emotions feel like sometimes.

I am still trying to figure out the “loving through separation” thing. I’ve never been good at long distance relationships. I’m too much of a touch-based person. I want my hugs, damnit. I want to feel the people I love. Which… now that I think about it, isn’t all that true.

I still love my brothers when we’re apart. I still have feelings for Big Bad and my blacksmith. I still love Sir, and Mother Earth even though that’s complicated and confusing. I still love my patients in Orlando and my friends in California.

I love so many people even though they’re not in my daily life. I love them regardless of distance and the time in-between when we talk or see each other.

So why is it so hard for me to grasp the concept that even though mom isn’t physically here, that we can still love each other across the distance that separates us and the time between we see each other?

Mom and I still love each other and Death can’t change that. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to remember that, or feel that during the hard days. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to believe it and for it to not feel like a lie and like I’m all alone sometimes.

I think overall that I’m doing well. I think the sadness and the hurt are things that I’m surviving and working through. I think this trip is what I needed and I’m glad I’m here even though there’s still a part of me who wants to hide in the guest room and cry. It would be a healing cry I think. An accepting cry.

I’m supposed to have a phone call with a former coworker from Orlando. I want to call Chrys and chat with her while I have time to as well. Other than that, there aren’t really plans for the day. Jason and I are thinking about going out to dinner before picking Jon up from the airport.

Aside from that, it’s a chillax day. A quiet day. A good day.

Letters to Mom 019: Good Morning

Standard

Hey mom,

I don’t have a lot of time and I’m sorry for that. I went back to sleep after Ox left for work and have stayed in bed for longer than I should have if I wanted to have more time to write.

I talked to Jon for a little bit just now. I know it would make you happy to know we’re getting along better than we ever did while you were alive. I know it would make you feel like you had done something right to know that we love each other as much as we do and that we support each other as much as we are. We’re there for each other and I think, in the end, that’s all you ever wanted for us to learn.

The past few days have been hard. I’ve been missing you a lot and I don’t know why. I know it’s almost the fourth and so that means it will be two years and three months since you died. I know that a lot of people think it’s unhealthy to count that way and to be so aware of the numbers like that. But when I have to write the date, everyday, on everything I open at work, when I write the date at the top of my to-do list everyday, when I’m so hyper-aware of what date it actually is in relation to when you died… it’s hard to not be conscious of it; to not know. At the moment my brain processes the information in that way and I don’t know how to make it not do that, just like I don’t know how to not breathe or blink or how to make my heart stop beating on its own, firing off electrical impulses to move my blood through my body. I don’t know how to make my muscles not use energy.

I don’t know how to make my body not do all of these automatic functions, and knowing how many days it’s been since I last held your hand is one of those automatic functions now. Maybe that will change with time, but so far it hasn’t and it’s one of the things I live with; this constant knowing, constant counting, constant ticking further and further away from that day.

I miss you a lot. It hurts and I don’t know how to explain to anyone what it feels like. I know it’s pain. I know it’s in my chest. I know I can feel the edges of this wound. It feels circular. I know it doesn’t pierce all the way through to my back but I don’t know how far in it goes. It feels deep. It feels like it reaches into something past my self, into something that is no longer physical; a part of myself that can’t be seen or touched. I know it feels like it’s on the inside and that it’s under the surface of my skin; beneath the bones of my rib cage. It’s higher up in my chest, sort of below my collar bones. I know it feels like the edges are trying to close rather than growing bigger. I know it feels like spasms when I do feel the pain of missing you, like the muscles around this invisible, untouchable wound are twitching, contracting. It makes my shoulders hunch inward. It makes it hard to breathe. It makes silent tears run down my face and I have no control over them. I can’t hide them or stop them any more than I can stop anything else. They’re an automatic response to the pain just like the short shallow breathes I have to force myself to take to get through the aching twitching spasms in my chest where something used to be.

The pain makes everything feel heavy. The pain makes me feel injured because even though I can’t see it or show it to anyone, even though it seems like it’s not there, there is a wound and I am injured and when I hurt the most I wonder if I’ll ever heal at all.

Ox tried to hug me after one particular episode of Violet Evergarden and I pulled away because I knew his hug would be too much. It would hurt too much because I felt my wound more than ever and accepting the hug would acknowledge it; would acknowledge the pain that has no cure. It would admit that I’m lonely and that I miss you and that I hurt in ways that I try so hard to hide and work through on my own.

That hug would have meant it’s all real. Your death. My pain. The invisible wound that connects us… It’s all real and I can’t hide it.

I love you, mom. I never knew or understood how much until you died and I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry for all the times I was selfish and didn’t do the things you asked me to. For not taking care of the dishes or cleaning the litter boxes. I’m sorry for all the times you asked for my help and I didn’t only to turn around and ask something of you and for you to selflessly give your time and energy.

I know I wasn’t an awful child. I know that you’re proud of me and that you feel you raised me right. I feel like you did, too. I feel like I’m the person I am because you were, because you are, my mother. I’m grateful for having had as much time with you as I did.

The past few days have been hard and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that with the kids being gone and me not working overtime as much as I was, I finally have the time and space to address the wound that I haven’t given much time to.

I think there’s still a lot I need to address in regards to your death. I don’t really agree with the stages of grief but I also don’t have anything else to express what I’m going through. I feel like, on the inside, there is more anger now than in the previous years. I know that I do feel regret now even though I try not to.

I regret that Ox will never be able to meet you. I regret that you’ll never be able to play Cards Against Humanity with him. I regret that you won’t be able to banter with him because his sense of humor totally fits our family. I regret that I am with someone I know you would be proud of and that he’s the one person you’ll never be able to meet face to face.

It sucks and I’m angry about it even though I don’t want to be angry. I fight and try so hard not to be and that most likely makes it all that much harder.

I’ve fought for so long, mom. Ever since you died. And now I don’t have to. I don’t have to fight to pay rent. I don’t have to fight to get to the gym. I don’t have to fight through the exhaustion of work.

I don’t know how to not fight. I don’t know how to not have things be a struggle and I guess that’s part of learning how to live this new life that I’ve moved to. I guess it makes it harder, feeling like I can’t call or ask for advice on how to do this.

How do I be a parent, mom? How do I be happy? How do I love someone after everything I’ve been through? How do I stop fighting and let people get close again?

Did I make life easier or harder for you when dad left? Did I give you purpose, a reason, to get out of bed on the mornings you didn’t want to? Did I make life feel heavy and like an overwhelming burden on the days that were hard? Did I help you after Mawmaw died? How did you get through those days? When did you cry? Did you every scream because it hurt so much to not have her anymore?

Did you ever feel like giving up?

Why can’t you be here to answer all of these questions? Why can’t you come back? Why did you have to leave? Why? Was it a choice? Did you know how everything would turn out? Is there some major thing in the distant future where it will all make sense and I’ll understand why and that the pain was worth it and things really are and were ok?

I wish I could hear you say those words one more time. I wish you could tell me “It’s ok,” just once more. I promise I would believe them. I promise I would cherish them.

Hate that I need to go for now. I hate that I have training at the gym at 10. I hope I do better than Thursday. I hope I don’t break down during my training and yell about how it sucks and it’s unfair and what’s the point and how no one understands because how can they? They weren’t, aren’t, your daughter. No one but me will know what it feels like to be me in the wake of your death. And in a way, I think I’m ok with that. It makes me feel privileged. It makes me feel honored.

I’m ok with being your only daughter. I’m ok because I’m YOUR daughter. Even if you had had another one she still wouldn’t have been me.

I don’t know. I didn’t know what I wanted to write when I started this.

I guess… I guess I just wanted to say good morning, mom, and that I love you and that I miss you and that I’m going to try to make today a day. I hope you’re doing ok. I hope that you don’t worry too much about me. I hope that I’m making smart choices and that even if I am giving you more gray hair that it makes you smile because at least it’s me doing it.

I love you. Forever and for always.