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Missing Mom

There are days when grief is a bit like a frozen lake. Some days it's protected by a layer of ice that's thick enough to build roads over. Thick enough to travel across and live on. Other days the very air of an exhaled breath will shatter the delicate layers and the grief turns into waves that destroy every semblage of okayness you thought you had built. Suddenly you're back to Day 2. You feel as though you're back to surviving on coffee and Tylenol for crying induced headaches. You're not sure how to sleep or what to do next. Sometimes that feeling lasts for mere moments. Sometimes it's hours. Then just as suddenly your ice is intact again. You can still feel it but it's a little more distant.

Those moments are always worse for me in the mornings or at night. It's always the calm moments, the alone moments. Especially the times I would normally reach out to her.  It's dangerous to let my mind wander; that's when I'm transported to the lan…

12.5 Hours

I spent 12.5 hours at the hospital today. My first interaction began at 4am when the nurse called to give me report on my dad's status. He had a really rough night. And once I was up, I may as well stay up, so I got ready and headed down. While on my way I got another call letting me know they were taking him down to CT. I lost count midway through the day how many tests and procedures he had done today.

I will tell you that when I left, his vitals were stable, all 6 of his drains were operational, I witnessed my first NG tube placement today and I got to be a patient advocate. I also am a pro at mouth swabs and suctioning the moisture from the mouth swabs. I also know where all of the linens are kept, can wipe down faces like a pro and can stand my ground even when witnessing someone I love in pain or under duress.

Nothing tests your strength or your fortitude quite like necessity, but I'm grateful for every second that I am here. That I am able to be here and stand and read …

Waiting Rooms and Memories

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Here's the TL:DR Dad had his reconstruction surgery, he survived, I dealt with crazy people and nice ones in the waiting room and I cried in a store.

Dad went down for surgery this morning around 7:30am and they told me it would take approximately two hours. As we all know, surgery times are approximations and often don't mean much of anything. I had knitting so I wasn't concerned. I was also alone, so I knew I could get up and go for a walk or grab food when and if I felt like it. It was basically my ideal waiting situation. As I settled in, knitting my sock, a very kind gentleman asked me if I was knitting a sock. We ended up having a lovely conversation and we were shortly joined by the rest of his family. They were also lovely. Then the curse of my mother and I hit me. Maybe it was my mom just getting a laugh from the other side. Because the worst companion to ever descend upon me joined us in the waiting room. The woman who proceeds to tell you her entire life story, …

Flowers for Mom

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Yesterday would have been my Mom and Dad's 42nd wedding anniversary. And it was rough. I think it ended up being even tougher than Mother's Day. That may have been because it was so close to Mother's Day. It may have been because it was the first time I visited my mom's grave since the funeral. But it was a really, really rough day.

I did my daily hospital visit to Dad. They had to do trach care while I was there, which can be hard to witness. While I was there, he told the respiratory guy I was the boss. And that he had just lost his other boss, which of course set off the faucet. Then he told me he needed me to do something for him. He asked me to please go buy flowers and put them on Mom's grave for him. They needed to be from him. This doesn't seem like much, unless you know my dad. He almost never bought my mom flowers. It was a running joke in our family. If dad bought my mom flowers, it was because he had done something massive. In fact, the one time tha…

I survived another day

I went to a cookout over the weekend to hang out with some of dad's motorcycle club brothers and sisters. I mostly went to escape. I needed a break from the hospital, from the questions, from the bills and the medications, the tears and the "how are you?" And it was wonderful. My face hurt from laughing. If you need a break, hanging out with military vets and their families is a helluva way to have a good time.

I even survived Mother's Day. I broke down reading messages sent to me while sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. Tears just started streaming down my face while I was waiting to go back in and see Dad after his dressing change. There happened to be three lovely women sitting in there with me who noticed and they gave me the best hugs. They were kind as could be and talked with me a little while and I managed to pull myself back together before I went back in to see Dad again. Other than that, I managed to keep it together pretty well. I went to a brun…

Mother's Day

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Mother's Day has been a hard one for me for the last 8 years anyway. For anyone who doesn't know, I experienced the loss of three pregnancies and I already have mixed emotions about the day. But I push through them when this day rolls around every year. I now have three stepdaughters so I push through harder, because none of my grief or anger is their fault. And honestly, unless you've experienced such loss, you'll never truly understand the loss of what could have been.

 This year is different though. Because just a few days ago I lost my mom suddenly. So this year I'm grieving and I'm grieving hard. One of our family friends equated the loss of a strong and loving mom to the loss of your North Star. I could never have put it so eloquently myself, but it was the most accurate description I've heard. I am the luckiest woman in the world to have been able to call her mom. And I was the last person to speak with her before she ca…

Planning, planning and more planning

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I don't know about you, but I've fully fallen down the rabbit hole of planning. I have tried just about every planner I could get my hands on, but I think I've finally found a system that has brought me true planner peace! I've actually bought my third hobonichi cousin, which is a Japanese A5 planner. I use this primarily for work. I love the ability to use the pages for journaling, to do lists, notes about projects, etc. Then there are the monthly pages which allow for just enough room to write in, without feeling as though there is too much wasted space. And then even weekly pages that allow for timelines or to do lists as well. The semi blank pages, but overall structure is ideal for work situations. I can just flip to the right page and jot down a note or a meeting quickly on the dedicated space. It allows for quite a bit of customization! I think my favorite part of it is the paper. The tomoe river paper is so very thin, but very fountain pen friendly. The thin…