Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

One Day At A Time...I guess

I don't always realise that I'm really pretty fucking wrecked since my dad died.  It should be so obvious.  It's like, my parents dying horribly should be the giant elephant in the room. My mom first, and then my dad  almost four years later.  Four years of stress.  OBVIOUS.  But it slips in and out of sight.


Nobody else is thinking about it?  The world hasn't stopped moving?  Nobody really asks "so how ya doing these days?"  And why would they?  I'm still here.  I'm still cracking jokes (less, I think).  I'm still getting the bulk of the laundry done (it takes a really long goddamn time), I wash my hair, I shave my legs every day.  I go for POWER WALKS.  Anyone who goes for POWER WALKS is functioning just fine.

But then something comes up, like a doctor's appointment.  Something out of the NORM.  Maybe one of the kids has an appointment.  Maybe one of the kids is COUGHING in the night.  And that's it--it's back to waking up with the racing pulse and that feeling that doom is right around the corner.  Or maybe it's that library book that I could not return; Lauren Bacall telling about her romance with Humphrey Bogart.  As if I could even make it to the part where Bogey finds out he has cancer and begins to wither away painfully.  Overdue book.  Overdue fine growing by the day.  I could not just throw that damn thing through the slot.  I could not go ONLINE to renew it.  I'm on my laptop all the time, but I could not do it.  In another era, I'd explain this by saying; "I don't know, man--I just CAN'T DEAL."

It's being really busy most days and then that day arrives that I now know as the "useless" day.  That's the day that I'm having a BIG nap and the rest of the day I'm sitting on the couch, next to the cat, with my laptop atop my lap (heh), and I'm unscrambling words, and reading bland celebrity news.  And that's all I'm doing.  But it's quiet and civilized, and there's no weeping and wailing.  Why, I'm really no trouble at all.

Mostly I harden my heart.  I echo my mother:  of course it's hard, so what are you going to do?  This means, I just keep moving forward. Always forward.  But then a holiday rolls around, like Thanksgiving.  I had a great time..ate way too much, et cetera, et cetera.  But after dinner, an image shot into my head of my dad sitting in the rocking chair last Thanksgiving, with his breathing machine on, me standing beside him, holding his cold, withered hand.  I could not stop thinking about that hand.

And on one hand, I say; "why am I so sad?"  And then my brain says; "uh, duh--it's only been seven months. You loved someone for forty plus years.  You'e allowed to miss them.

I'd tell that to anyone.  There'd be no question about it. Why is it so hard to tell yourself?  Why am I so sad?  I'm wearing fresh, clean clothes.  Aren't I supposed to be unable to get out of bed if I'm so sad?

Apparently not.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

This morning, right before I woke up, I had a very vivid dream.  My Mom was there, and she was putting on this two piece skirt/blouse outfit that had flowers on it.  She looked wonderful, and she was healthy.  No crippled arthritic body.  In the dream, her stomach was exposed from between the low skirt and the blouse and I said; "Mom, you're showing a lot of skin though."  She laughed and said; "now it's like YOU'RE the MOM and I'M the CHILD."

I felt so relieved in the dream, because she was in remission from ALS, even though it was ALS that took my dad.  I was so happy she was there, and that she was healthy and happy and beautiful.

Facebook is full of good wishes for Mother's Day.  It's filled with women sharing pictures of them with their own mothers, so much so that it was causing me great pangs of the heart.  Do you know that feeling?  Surely this is whence the expression "heartache" is derived.  In fact, it was causing me such pain that last night I thought, yup, that's it.  I'm just going to avoid Facebook tomorrow until Mother's Day is over. In four years, this day is still a reminder of how much I miss her.

I got up, got washed.  I hugged my own children.  I love them very much.  I put on my workout clothes, laced up my big girl shoes, put on my shades, put that idiot new fangled cell phone in my little purse, queued up my ipod and headed out the door, bright and early, just the way I like.

Today there is not a cloud in the sky.  I walked along feeling good.  No matter what self doubts I often grapple with, I am strong.  I am healthy.  When the mood strikes me, I can pick up my feet and fly down that sidewalk.  I feel unstoppable.  I no longer have anyone to make little amateurish cards for, bestow hanging baskets of flowers upon, share slightly awkward hugs with, but I can be the receiver of those hand-made paper treasures, and I can receive and give heart-strong embraces, and when the mood strikes me I can pick up my feet and fly down that sidewalk, carrying all the love and hope I have for my children, and my Mom with me every step of the way.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Which Shitty Disease or Disorder Should I Champion?

It's Tuesday night, and I'm having a goddamn rye and coke, and you know what?  I feel good about it.  Yeah, that's right.  I don't have any meds to get me through life.  No prozac, no seratonin reuptake inhibitors or whatever they're called, no magic little delightful pills to slip under my tongue that will melt all my troubles away.


I have two things:  horrible fitness dvd's and whisky.  An ironic pairing?  Perhaps!

Let us continue.

So anyway, life has become a great black hole of SUPER SUCK, and as such, sometimes I need a little helper.  So I've chosen POISON in a glass to make me feel better, and let me tell you my friends, at this moment, I truly don't give a shit if it gives me cancer, because then I'll say;



So anyhoo, I've been pondering all day.  As I google this and that, and read message boards about this farking disease, I invariably come across stuff like:

"WALK for ALS,"

and blah de blah de blah fundraiser, awareness, get-out-there-and-support-the-cause kind of biznatch.  And even though I'm livin' it (well, by association), I can't get all jazzed up about putting on an inspirational t-shirt, getting some pledges and walking my little heart out for it.

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

I mean, I'm all for raising awareness, and getting money for research for stuff and finding that CURE, but  I just can't get it up for ALS.

Before you start wondering if I truly am an asshole, here is my problem.

Take my Mom:  my Mom died of (from?) LUNG CANCER.  Well damn you, LUNG CANCER, YOU BASTARD!  I'll go champion YOUR cause!

But wait....technically we only knew my Mom had lung cancer for like a week.


Actually, my Mom suffered over twenty years with excruciating, debilitating, disfiguring rheumatoid arthritis.


My boyfriend died from Rhabdomyosarcoma when we were twenty!  I HATE YOU, RARE CANCER!  I STILL HATE YOU WITH A HATE THA'TS DRIPPING WITH LOATHE!



Oh, right...

well, my son has Autism.  That's a real ass muncher too.

So, ah---

yeah.  Just pour me another glass.

Hey girl, you think too much. Let me take care of that.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

And The Title Of This Post Is...

Seriously--I don't know.  I can't come up with a title, but I've got a few rolling around in my head right now:
"Major Drag"
"I Saw Myself In Another Woman's Eyes, and I Ain't Pretty"
"More Burnout?  Sure! Don't Mind If I Do!"

Dad, you're NOT allowed to read this post, so exit out here.  Har de har har.


It's one of those days.

The snow won't stop fucking snowing.  The kids won't stop fighting.  I'm so tired half my brain keeps trying to budget in a nap for the day while the other half says; "nope.  Sleeping at night is more important."  And, The Man now has to go away on business trips from time to time.  Let me tell you, gentle souls who are reading this, he didn't look particularly heart-broken to be leaving FIGHTY ANGST HOUSE today either  I mean, sure, there was the perfunctory; "I'm really gonna miss you guys," but there was an unmistakable twinkle in his eye.  And why not?  You can only say: "STOP FIGHTING YOU TWO!"  so many times.

Oh, and there's that fucking bastard ALS, who is like that dirtbag tenant you just can't evict.

Yeah.  ALS.  The past two weeks, I've been running in all directions at once.  I SUDDENLY woke up.  I SUDDENLY realised that I can't be in DENIAL or LA LA LAND any longer.  All the other kind people who were keeping my dad company, and making those hours go by, well I just let them.  I kept myself willfully and willingly in the dark.  It's like things went down like this:

Doctor:  "Yes.  You have ALS."
Dad:  "Doctor said it's ALS."
Me:  "Good luck with that, Dad.  Sorry for your luck.  I'll see ya!"

But then one day, all of a sudden (or so I imagine anyway), my dad couldn't go to the washroom a) without assistance, and b) without a breathing machine.

And it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

So I got my BIG GIRL BATHING SUIT on, and I dove in, and I started paddling and flapping my arms and legs like mad:  "DON'T WORRY DADDY! I'M A-COMIN'!  I'M A COMIN' TA SAVE YA, DADDY!"

And suddenly I was THERE, and I was learning who this lady was, and who that guy was, and I'm handing out my cell phone number to EVERYONE, and I'm putting MY NAME down as the contact person, and I'm upstairs on the phone with the technical lady pushing buttons on the incredibly scary new-fangled, computerized breathing machine my dad has up in his bedroom, and I'm unhooking the hose of my dad's breathing mask from the main machine to the portable machine, so he can get to the washroom, and all the while my brain is SHRIEKING; 'HURRY UP!!!!  MOVE! MOVE! MOVE! EVERY SECOND YOU TAKE HE'S STRUGGLING TO BREATHE!!!"  and I'm hooking that thing up with lightly shaking hands.  But by god, I did it.

And I'm realising something:  a lot, and I mean A LOT of people are idiots and flakes.  In fact, I see myself wading through a veritable sludge of idiots and flakes--people who would rather laugh with great open mouths than accomplish anything useful.

Details?  Oh yeah, the details.  In the past two weeks, I can't stop thinking of details. There are so many details.  Details pile up in my head.  Details spill out.  Details are here there and everywhere.  Holy crap there are so many details I need to think of. For example...a Personal Support Worker (PSW) comes Monday Wednesday and Friday at this time for two hours, then this time for one hour, and then one more time for one hour.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, a PSW comes in the morning and one hour only in the afternoon.  On Saturdays and Sundays they only come for one hour.  OH wait...there are more hours in the day...Dad's alone for those hours.  WHO'S FILLING IN THOSE HOURS?!?    How do I get more help?  How is this going to be enough?  How do I keep my dad out of a damn care facility?  How do I keep my dad at HOME?!?

So details?  Hell yeah, I got em.'  But nevermind.  Today the BOY wanted chocolate, and I wanted hair colour.  I'm walking around with too much white exposed at the temples, and dark roots.  You know the drill:  if you want to colour your hair, you don't wash it that day.  Well, let's go to the drug store.  And the fighting between the kids as they get on their boots, hats, coats and mitts?  RE-DIC (that's my new expression I invented for RIDICULOUS.  You like?). I mean, seriously stoopid.

Somehow we make it to the store.  I tried to plead with The Boy to just get started brushing the snow off the car windows while I got my boots on, but this elicited some AUTISTIC OUTRAGE.  WHY DO I HAVE TO HELP!?!  Fine.  Forget it.  We get to the store.  We get the chocolate.  We go to the hair colour aisle.  And, my colour is not there.  It's not there.  I need C13, and it's not there.  I'm walking around with this dopey hat over my lank hair, major bags under my eyes, and I can't stop staring at that section of the boxes of chemical dyes that will somehow transform me from tired karen into RADIANT KAREN.  In the meantime, the kids are not patient.  They're fighting, they're whining.  They're knocking stuff off the aisles by accident.

I just wanted that damn hair colour.  That's all I really wanted.  C13--beige blonde or whatever the fuck it's called.  I liked it last time.  I don't even have to experiment with anything else.  So, I try to plead with the kids to allow me (see the problem here?) to go to another store to look for some hair colour, but The Boy has more Autistic OUTRAGE.

So THEN, as we're headed to the cashier, the girl knocks over this 4 foot sign, and I've had it.  The line on my forehead gets SUPER DEEP.  I'm whining now at her to BEEEEE CAREFUL!!!!  and this woman--this immaculate, perfectly put together, neat as a pin, well-dressed, hair like a roots-less, glossy blonde helmet says in this calm, kindly voice; "Aw, it's not HER fault. Her coat caught the edge of it."

I saw myself.  Exhausted, angry, frustrated, struggling, impatient ogre mom, freaking at her kid for a little accident, and I can't say; "hey lady, I was awake from 1 til 4 the other night thinking about how I'm going to get enough care to keep my dad at home for the rest of his poor life, and all my kids do is fight anyway, and I extra can't take it today, and I just wanted some fucking C13 haircolour, okay?  That's all I wanted in life today."

Yeah, I saw myself alright--she wasn't very pretty. And now she has to have roots for at least another day.



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