Sunday, September 11, 2016

Those Left Behind

Death, oddly, is the easy part. When someone passes away, in that moment it is devastating. The world ceases to exist and we are tormented and consumed by our grief, our loss. That is the easy part. Laying to rest a loved one, watching those around you shed their emotional shrouds and grieve with you, suffering their loss, that is the easy part. In the moment of loss and the days and even the few weeks after, those are the easy parts. You have an army of loved ones that are there for you, their shoulder to cry on and cry with you. It gets easier to deal with the grief. That is the easy part.

The hardest part for those left behind comes years later, after you have moved on with your life and begin living your everyday lives again. It sneaks up on you and strikes with absolutely no warning. You’re happy and having a great time, maybe learning how to Snapchat for the first time, having an amazing time with those around you. You’re taking hilarious photos and videos, laughing and enjoying the little moments that make up our existence. Then it happens, that brief moment that your brain decides it’s on holiday and you think your loved one is still alive. You think, Oh my gosh, I need to show this to Mom, she’d love it. Then reality instantly stabs you in the heart and smiles down at you with the most sickening grin you’ve ever seen. When your consciousness finally realizes what has happened, that you can never share that moment with them, that debilitating grief grips your heart again. That’s the hardest part because you are instantly drawn back to that day when you lost that loved one. Your heart is filled with the same pain and anguish that you felt all those years ago, but now, you can’t show it. You have to keep a brave front and not bring those around you down into the pit of sadness you have instantly been kicked into. You have to go on and tuck that sorrow into you pocket until you’re alone.

In the days or weeks after that initial loss, everyone is feeling the same sadness, the same feeling of loss and if we suddenly breakdown into tears, it’s understandable. Those around us know exactly what’s wrong and are there to help. It’s years later, when your brain is an evil beast and torments you by letting you forget about your loss. It thrusts that moment back into your cognizant world at the most inconvenient times, making that grief just as fresh as it was ages ago. That is the hardest part for those left behind. We experience the same grief but we don’t have that army of loved ones around us to hold us up and grieve with us. Why is it in those moments of extreme joy that we have to remember? It’s hard enough in the quiet moments of our lives that we remember the loss. In the shower, lying in bed trying to fall asleep, those are hard but we can silently cry and feel the pain without bringing those around us down. The hardest part is hiding that anguish from our loved ones as to not bring them into that pit with you. That is the hardest part.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sincere Intimacy - The Night Shift Finale

Yes, Monday's will seem more bleak over the summer with nothing to look forward to on Monday night except Tuesday morning. But the end of season 2 of The Night Shift, brings on a long summer where Gabe Sachs and his writers will be able to write scrips that will continue to pull us in and care about what happens next to the entourage at San Antonio Memorial. 

This entire season has been a roller coaster ride that I have thoroughly enjoyed. The best part, the character development of the ensemble of characters. What stood out the most to me this season is the story arch on Robert's character, Paul. It was the most inspiring and heartfelt in my opinion. To see where he came from and the confrontation with his father was incredible. I'm sure most of us were sitting at home saying, "Give 'em hell Paul! Lay into your dad and tell him what he really needs to hear." But, he didn't. The writers kept him true to his character and handled things with grace and dignity. I can't wait to see next season and how he handles his current issues. 

I have to admit that I have been putting off watching The Night Shift season finale, not because I didn't want the season to end (I don't) but because of the subject matter. As soon as they revealed that Jordan was pregnant, I knew the storyline was headed in this direction. It's been 13 and a half years since I had two miscarriages back to back. Even now the pain of those losses runs deep. That being said, I was afraid of two things, either it would be written in way that would lessen what it is to lose a baby before it was born or that it would tear my heart in two because of the acting abilities of the two wonderful actors, Jill and Eoin. I'm glad to say that I was genuinely moved by both the writing and the actors. 

The one line that Jordan said about how she didn't want people to tell her she could get pregnant again was genuine and heartbreaking. That is absolutely the WORST thing someone can say to anyone who has had a miscarriage. It's like saying to someone who lost a child, "Meh, that's ok. You have another one." Harsh, but true. That entire scene was so sincerely intimate with the writing and with the outstanding skills of Jill and Eoin. It touch my soul. After all these years, it was a relief to know that I wasn't alone in what I was thinking. I knew that I would be blown away by Eoin's performance. His ability to harness and draw on his own raw emotions comes through in those performances. I will always be moved and awed by his ability to do that. Being honest, I wasn't sure how Jill would be able to handle the task of that scene. I've enjoyed her work, but I couldn't recall any truly emotional scenes that she's done. Well, I was impressed beyond words. Thank you for making that moment real, Jill. The chemistry between Jill and Eoin has been phenomenal this season. The connection they have is great and I look forward to next season to see where they are headed.

Thank you Gabe, Eoin, Jill, JR, Brendan, Robert, Freddie, Jeananne and Scott for a wonderful ride this past season. My wish for next season is this, more character development. Don't get me wrong, the off the wall medical cases are really cool, but the heart of the show are the wonderful characters of the outstanding ensemble I listed above. I truly hope that The Night Shift will be able to have the longevity of the great medical dramas that have come before i.e., ER and Grey's Anatomy. The Night Shift is the next big thing and I look forward to watching in the years to come.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Katelyn!!!

Today is one of the best days of the year. January 15th is the day my lovely daughter was born. She turns 19 today. *sigh* Yes, I feel old now. There is SO much that I can say about this wonderful human being, but where to start is a daunting task. I can never express in words, how much I love her and how much she means to me. She started out so small, a mere 5lbs. 4oz. You were the tiniest one in the nursery, but you made your presence know, the nurses told us. You were the loudest. We giggled at the thought, a bit embarrassed, I suppose. But today, as I sit and think back to that glorious day, it fills me with pride and I pray you continue to do the same, from this day, to your last. Make yourself known Katelyn. Be proud of the lovely woman you have become, the lovely human being you have become. You amaze me with your strength to push through and try new things and how each time you come out on the other side stronger and a better person for it. I love you sweet, Katelyn. You are my pride and my joy and all that is good in my life. 

Yes, I could go on and on, but I won’t do that to everyone. My gift to you today Katelyn (I’m still working on the blanket) is the following poem. I wish you the happiest of birthdays Katelyn. I love you more than the earth and the moon and the stars, forever and ever and the day after that.

Oh Katelyn, My Katelyn,
I pray you seize the day.
Take hold of your future,
Do with it what you please.

You are young and bright,
Strong, brave and so true.
I envy you fondly,
There’s so much for you to do.

January 15, 1996
The best day of the year.
It was the day my heart grew,
Who knew.

You were early by a month,
To everyone’s surprise.
Every emotion took hold,
Love, joy, yes, even fear.

My heart overflows,
With ideas of your grandeur,
And pride in the greatness,
You already show.

Pride, I say,
With humility and grace,
Grace that G-d granted,
To your beautiful face.

I love you dear Katelyn,
My wonderful daughter.
Seize your future,
Oh Katelyn, My Katelyn

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Selfless vs Selfish

Selfless vs. Selfish

Not sure how to start. I’ve been bombarded with so much over the last couple of months that I feel like I’m spiraling down into a pit full of monsters that are trying to suck every last bit of hope and optimism out of me. I try to ignore the sad, melancholy doldrums I find myself in more often than I have in a long time. But the more I try to ignore it, the harder it is to do what I need to do. I find myself procrastinating more than I have in my entire life and ignoring things and people I shouldn’t. I’m filling my day with stupid mind numbing games or web surfing, anything to avoid the pain that accompanies my reality.

My mom is dying. There. I said it. And I don’t mean dying as in, everyone does sometime, but as in the ruthless monster that is cancer is killing my mom. She’s fought SO hard over the last few years, but it’s finally beaten her. The fact that she had colon cancer was bad enough. We later found out she had an extremely aggressive mutated form of it. It spread through out her entire abdomen, her liver and her lungs. The last round of chemo she was on wasn’t curing her, or even killing the cancer, it was at best, just keeping it managed, and it wasn’t spreading. My personal life was coming together, my daughter was about to graduate high school and my youngest was embarking on her first trip away from home, down to Key West. Be careful thinking that everything is ever as good as you think it can be. A month and a half ago I received a phone call from my dad, telling me that her bowel had ruptured and I needed to get there as soon as I could. I did just that but wasn’t there before she had to go into surgery. They just couldn’t wait. That was the most agonizing 5½ hour drive, the not knowing. My struggled begins there, is it selfless or selfish that I wish she had passed away then.

That feels so wrong to say out loud, or at least write down. I love my mom SO much and I’ve watched her pain and anger at the filthy disease called cancer. She has been fighting so hard, how can I just sit back and wish that? I hate myself for feeling that, but I do. I will NEVER be able to get the vision of her out of my head when I finally made it to the hospital. Death was standing in her room that night. I couldn’t see him, but I felt him. I wish he had taken her that night. She is a shell of a human now. There will never be any quality of life. My mom is at home now, with hospice care. I went up a few weeks ago to help my dad and brother out in taking care of her. She is so frail and weak, dependent on everyone else to care for her. She can’t eat and can barely drink water. My mom who taught me to be a strong, independent woman is not that at all anymore.

There are glimpses of her now and again, when she’s not sleeping. Her mind is there, but her body is failing her. The week I spent up caring for her was the hardest thing I have ever been through and believe me, that’s saying a lot. I stayed strong for her and my dad. I stood my ground with my brother who I feel will ALWAYS see me as a little kid. I cleaned up poo and vomit, dispensed medicine, changed sheets and dressing gowns, bathed and massaged. I scrubbed the house from one end to the other, dusted and vacuumed and swept and cleared out all the crap junk food my dad had been buying and stocked his fridge with healthy food, veggies, fruits and proteins. I was a good daughter, did my part.

I did my part… That’s where I feel even worse. Am I selfish for partially wanting to go? I feel an immense guilt for leaving all the while feeling a bit relieved. I’m angry that this monster has taken my mom from me. I’m angry that I can’t be there everyday to help out. I’m angry that I had to leave. I’m angry that I wanted to leave. I’m angry that she is still suffering. I’m angry that she confided in me that she wished my dad had slept just an hour longer and hadn’t found her in time. I’m angry that I agree with her. I could go on and on at what I’m angry about, another 4 or 5 pages I’m sure.

I want my mom back and she isn’t even gone yet. How the hell do I accept this? How do I let go? When does ANY of this start to make sense?

Monday, August 5, 2013

An Update If You Will

I have a request from any and everyone that reads this. Many of you already know what has been going on with my mother and for those that don’t, here is an explanation. Back in February of 2012, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. It has been a very long, scary road full of ups and downs. At one point we believed that she would beat this horrific disease but that is not the case. After her first round of chemo was complete, she was scheduled for surgery to remove what was left of the cancer cells. Our world fell apart when they went in and found that the cells had spread throughout her entire abdomen.

After many tests and another round of chemo, we have learned that there is no cure for her. The cells have mutated into an extremely aggressive type of cancer. It’s called the k-raz mutation. We found most of this out about 4 months ago. It has been very hard coming to terms with the fact that she will die from this. I don’t think that I will ever fully accept it, but I know that the end is near. It is both a blessing and a curse having this information. We hold on to each and every moment that we have left with each other. Two weeks ago my folks came to visit and it was the best visit we have had since I can remember. We all had so much fun. We were on a high from the frivolity we shard even after they left. We continued to text back and forth as they drove the four hours back home. The joy and happiness was quickly replaced with anxiety and sadness once they arrived home and had 11 messages from her Doctor on their answering machine.

The second round of chemo they used a different medicine and it was going very well. Her side effects were not nearly as severe as with the first round and the only downfall was that she actually lost her hair this time. This second round slowed the growth of the cells in all areas where the cancer had spread, except for the ovary. The Doctor said that the ovary is now the size of a football (American Football) and after a board review of her case they have decided to do a total hysterectomy as quickly as possible. I have a very bad feeling about this surgery tomorrow. I don’t know how or why, but I can’t shake it. Here is where the favor I asked for comes in. The only thing that we have left is hope and prayer. If you could Retweet this I’d consider it a prayer for my moms ability to make it through her surgery tomorrow. We still know that there is no cure, but we want to have all the time together that we can, for as long as we can.

Thank you to all of you that have been supporting me through all of this. I’m not sure I could have gotten through sometimes if it weren’t for several of you. Thank you to everyone else that will Retweet this and send a little prayer out into the universe for my mom and my family and I. Love to all of you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Remember The Love

Many we love have passed away too soon… without reason.

We remember them often in a thousand different ways…
In the morning… In the night…
When we look at the stars…
A date… A song… A place… A smell…

It’s those little things we see and feel,
That keep them close and never lost.
They may not be in our daily lives,
But memories of them we’ll always hold dear.

Gone from this place, from our tangible grasp,
It may fill our hearts with sorrow.
But our recollections of our loved ones, it’s those,
That keep them in our world, not just the past.

Live every moment as you did before,
Push past the pain and anguish.
Share their love and lessons they taught,
They will live into eternity, become legend, lore.

Don’t feel sad, or lonely, that you feel them present in a thousand different ways…
It’s their way of saying I love you… In the night… In the day…

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Does Hope Exist?

Hiding behind the world in plain sight,
It has worked for a time.
Yet a darkness has erupted, grabbing hold now,
Spreading a melancholy sadness my way.

I am scared for what happens next,
Staying positive and prayer hasn’t worked.
Each step of the way, I think the best,
Yet the monster has always come forth.

The darkness drips and oozes tears of pain,
And strips away my hope.
Running seems to be instinct,
For reality is brutal to this fragile soul.

Looking back, remembering the unknown,
It used to be my friend, a loved one embraced.
Now it is the scariest thoughts,
Carrying fear and sorrow to its extreme.

Betrayal has reared its hideous face now,
It is so hard to stay strong as pity is glared,
To try and sympathize what they do not know.
Anger brews deep within, boiling to disdain.

There is light, it seems at times to be,
Shining a path to climb from the darkness.
Bodiless souls that lift, push and pull,
Thrusting away my suffering thoughts.

When all seems darkest, an escape is sent.
Beacons of lights, in the oddest of places.
Words of comfort, not meant for me,
Yet they sooth my tortured brain.

A realization has been made,
It all ends the same way, for all.
It is what we do with the little time given,
That will define who we are.

The next round is facing me square in the face
And hope has crawled out of that dingy hole,
Kicking away the ooze,
Restoring some long lost faith.

The fight is not over yet, it has only begun,
I will not give in to the pain and fear.
Creation is a miracle to be cherished,
From beginning to the brutal end.