Sunday, September 29, 2013

The End

I realize it has been a little Sturm und Drang around here lately, but when life plays you a dirge the only thing you can really do is slow dance to it. Which is what I've been doing, even though my feet are tired and I honest-to-god feel dehydrated from crying.

Saturday was my mom's memorial, and I sobbed through my eulogy and pretty much any time someone so much as looked at me. Still, I think we did her proud.
We drank Cheerwine and ate pulled pork, hush puppies and creamed corn, listened to Mississippi John Hurt and David Bowie and told stories about what a force she was.
After the memorial, Bryan and I went to the pet ER where Nacho has been since Thursday. He was not getting better, and had such significant brain damage that the vets gave him a 10% chance of any recovery, so we held his floppy body and told him what a kick ass cat he was, that we loved him, and then we kissed him goodbye as the vet put him to sleep.

Then today my dad, my brother and his wife came over and we decorated boxes for my mom's ashes. The gaudier, the glitterier the better. My mom was a maximalist who believed that more is more. Then add a little bit more.
Tomorrow is Monday, and not to get all sloppy sappy shut up, but I am going to start thinking of my mom and Nacho not in sadness but in gratitude. I am so incredibly lucky to have had such an amazing mom for as long as I did, and to have had such a sweet little fur baby like my Nacho. Not to deny my grief, but I do believe you have a choice in how you react, and I am going to make an effort to react in joy.

Which reminds me--when my mom was really sick, disoriented and could barely speak, my brother asked her if there was anything she wanted to tell him, and all she said was kindness. I don't know if that meant that she wanted us to remember her for her kindness or that we should act in kindness, but maybe it doesn't matter. The word itself is all that matters. Kindness. Such a simple word, not fancy at all (nothing like Sturm und Drang), but I think I am going to make that word my mantra. It can mean so many things.

On that note, I also want to thank all of you. For your comments and emails...even if you didn't reach out but just took a moment to think about me and my family. Thank you.

I'm turning the dirge off now. Anyone have a new song I can dance to?


Friday, September 27, 2013

FYI: September is Cholesterol Education Month, Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month and Apple Month. I Hate Apples.

Dear September 2013,

I get it. You hate me. I don't know what I ever did to you, but whatevs. You're a dick and in 3 days I will be done with you.
I don't know what kind of fucked up kid's game this is, but in better times I might want to play it.
I came home yesterday to find Nacho having seizures and semi-comatose. He had pooped and peed and was just lying there in it, twitching. Long story short, I rushed him to the ER Pet Hospital where he has been ever since. I guess his blood sugar dropped and he went into diabetic shock; we don't know how long he had been like that but it's now the next day, we are $3,000 into this and he is still in a coma. The vet says that all we can do now is wait to see how severe the brain damage is...

So yes, it is September, my mom died and MY CAT HAS BRAIN DAMAGE. Fuck you, September.

Tomorrow is my mom's memorial and I have no idea what to say.

But I do know I am coming at October with a nosegay of flowers and a timid little smile.

Not an x, not an o, not a love, but a dash--

Monday, September 23, 2013

What Comes Next

Today was my first day back at work after 5 weeks off to be with my mom, and then to mourn for her, and it felt sad, a small word for something far bigger. Because, I mean--this is it? I thought that all day. Am thinking it still. Everything just goes back to "normal" now? The proverbial "life goes on" can't be right, it seems disrespectful, wrong. It makes me sad. I think I said that before, and then last week Nacho was diagnosed with diabetes. I give my cat two shots a day now, the exact same insulin that Bryan gives himself, only one is covered by insurance and the other is not, so there's that, plus the caterpillars I ordered for the kids have spun themselves into chrysalids that hang delicate and dry from the butterfly house, and this photo that I took of Ozzy who walked down the stairs slowly, very carefully arranged himself and then called out to me with a straight face before cracking himself up. This is how life goes on, I guess.
I just miss her so fucking much.

Friday, September 13, 2013

She Is Gone

My mom passed away yesterday, and all I can think is she is gone. Like that. Even if it wasn't like that at all--it was long, she hung on, we were "ready"--but now she is gone and her not being here is a weight, a thing that I hold in my hands, not knowing what to do. How can she be gone?
Maybe you've heard me say this before, but my mom was magic. To try and explain her would be a disservice to words.
She was beyond superlative: the funniest, the smartest, the kindest, the strongest, the most beautiful, the most eccentric, the most complicated, the mostest...even so. Those words do nothing to describe her.
Now she will no longer be limited by words or body or health. She will live on in the sound of me whistling, in Zoey's eyes, in Ozzy's sense of humor, in the way that I fold my legs when I sit, how I arrange flowers, my collarbone...sometimes I even hear myself breathe and think, god, that sounds like my mother breathing.
Still. It will never be enough. I will never stop missing her, loving her, wanting to smell that mix of perfume and smoke as she brushes her fingers across my face, wishing she were here to tell me one of her long-winded stories filled with the strangest of pauses.
Stupid stupid words, all of them, all of this, falling so stupidly short of what has been lost. Leaving me with this, saved voice mails that I play over and over pretending it's a Sunday months ago, before she was gone.

I love you, I love you, I love you, and I miss you so, so much, too.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Hardest Part (So Far)

In case you were wondering, I am still here, waiting. Like a Tom Petty song, and I hate Tom Petty. (Sorry Tom Petty.)

I have actually been steering clear of this here blog and even Facebook lest my innards seep out, getting my emotions all over your everything. So let's not with that. Instead let me just say hello and let you know that I am here, waiting. And that I heard a genius lifehack that you can use an empty Pringles can to store opened dry spaghetti, so I bought and just polished off an entire can of Sour Cream & Onion Pringles just now only to find that spaghetti is an inch too long for the can. Now I have a stomach ache, bad breath and feel lifefacked.
But I am here.