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Friday, February 3, 2012

Grief, it's a Bitch

Was not sure if I would write another entry. It has been quite a awhile since I felt the need to do so. Who knew a trip to Target would trigger a need.

Since I was not in a hurry, I decided to stroll around Target before checking out. I found myself looking at the boardgames for some reason. Girl who looked to be my age was standing there. Couple minutes went by and I hear "What game would you suggest for a game night" I began to tell her I use to play but so many new games and she starts crying. Looks away and mumbles a sorry and so embarrassed. I did what Mom would do, pulled out a tissue and asked if she was ok.
"Oh I feel so stupid. Having a group of friends over tomorrow night that I have not seen in awhile and I am so worried. I just want a fun night"
I just continue to wait for her to finish
" My dad died 8 months ago, I shut them all out"

I wanted to hug her right there and then. Oh I know I wanted to scream. I know exactly what you mean. I clenched my teeth praying I would just not start crying right there with her. Instead I found the words " I lost my Mom two years, I did the same thing"

The look of relief on her face. I knew the look. I had the same look anytime I talked to someone who had lost a parent. They did not judge you for your mood swings, your crying spells, the many many cancelled plans (real guilty there)

So there in a Target isle, two girls stood and chatted over a hour about grief and what a bitch it is. Grief, you must go through it but oh how it can break your spirit, ruin relationships, hurt your career, cause health problems etc. There is no pill or treatment to fix it. It is just a bitch. Sometimes it can make you stronger and might take years to do so or sometimes it can just ruin you.

I will call her Target Girl, oh how I hope Target Girl has fun with her friends tomorrow. I hope her friends will be able to look past her behavior and know it had nothing to do with them. I hope her friends can forgive her. I hope her friends will continue to "put up with" her future behavior. I lost so many close to me. I don't blame them now. I did, I thought how could you just walk away when I was hurting. Being that I completely shut them out, I really left them no choice. Besides, they loved who I was not who I was becoming.

So Target Girl has caused a blog entry.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two years after the GREATEST party

I can't believe it has been two years since we had the best day for Mom. I will never forget when she first told me she wanted a party. Here I was thinking maybe a few people at the house but nope, Mom wanted a HUGE party. What a amazing day. I only smile when I think of that day.
From the beautiful invite that I will always be so thankful for, I will never forget the poem Anne wrote to having Sweaty Teddy DJ the party. Everything Mom asked for happened. There was music, there was dancing, and more than anything, there were so many smiles and hugs. Of course so many had tears, so many did not expect to see Mom look so frail but yet she smiled the whole day.
The party was originally scheduled more than a month away. Mom's Dr pulled me aside one day and told me it was a must to move the party up. I was so worried that we would not be able to but will always be grateful to Andres for working with us. The staff there was so helpful and sensitive to our situation. They also had some tears while helping us plan the event, everyone was so touched and thought it was so beautiful what we were doing.
From the day Mom was diagnosed, I knew what was happening. When I think back to that first day to her last day, my eyes fill with tears and it is so hard to find a good memory. The one day I can focus on and the one day that brings a huge smile rather than tears is the day of her party. As I watched my parents dance their last dance, I did have to turn away for a moment to cry but what a beautiful moment. What a priceless moment. While it may cause a few tears to think about it, I do smile the entire time I remember.
It will be two years since we lost Mom in September. We may have gained a little bit of strength but we lost so much more. Not only did we lose Mom but I feel as those I lost my true smile, my true happiness, some family, some friends... losing her made me feel as though life was lost. I will say with each day, I do have more strength, I do have more smiles, and I hope to one day say I have finally dealt with my grief. I am in no hurry to do so, while many feel I should be over it by now, I will take it 5 minutes at a time if I need to. I know she is with me each day and watching over me. I know she smiles just as big as I do when she thinks about that amazing party.
Thank you to all who made that party so special, everyone there made it such a special day.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom


Happy Birthday Mom!!! It was a beautiful fall day, one you would have loved. Pop and I went to Jefferson Barracks. As you already know, I have a very hard time going there. Pop goes so often, at times I think he goes and never tells me. Yellow roses, your favorite. As I unwrapped them, three buds fell to the ground. I of course got upset but placed them on the headstone. Pop quietly said, "she did that, it is for the three of us" He gets so teary-eyed as he stands there. I just get angry, I get so angry. I always wipe off the headstone, I cant stand for any dust or dirt to be there. I get upset that the grass has maybe one tiny weed. I stand there hoping to feel you, to hear you speak to me, I never do. I realized today, its simply because you are not there. You are always with me, you are always with Pop. You are with all your Peaches. You are everywhere Mom, you are with your family when they need a little sense of calm or comfort. You are with your friends when they need to see or hear something for a giggle. You are just too busy being the angel you always were to be there.
It has been over a year now. Some days are easier, some days I still don't know how I manage. I wish I could tell you that I found a sense of peace with it. I hope that day does come soon.
Fall is here, my favorite time of the year. I decorated the house for you. You really have a lot of crap Mom :) The fall and Halloween decorations are out. Pop is upset I put out the 2 black cat heads. He told me like he always told you that they freak him out. Don't worry, they are right on the buffet where everyone can see them. I know with each holiday I need to decorate this house. I hope one day I will enjoy it again. I think while it bothers me this is your house not sure it would make a difference when I have my own place again or not. It is just pulling out the decorations and knowing a holiday is approaching, a holiday without you.
Bernice's Girls and Boys are starting to campaign again. The climb will be here before we know it. I hope we grow our team size and bring in even more donations. Each step for you Mom.
Happy Birthday Mom, my best friend and angel. I miss you so.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dear Mom

Nights like tonight tend to be harder than most. Nights like tonight where I look at my phone and wish I could call you. Much on my mind and I am so worried about something that is going on. You were always the first I called, the first I wanted to talk to. I can remember calling you at 2am when I could not sleep because something was troubling me. You always answered by the second the ring and I would immediately say sorry for waking you. You would always respond " I am not asleep, what is wrong" Times we would spend 2 hours on the phone and never once did you complain it was the middle of the night.
I so wish I could call you now. No one else I would rather to talk to. No one else I feel I can talk to. I am worried Mom, I am so worried and simply do not know what to do.
I miss you each day Mom. I just want to hear your voice and hear you say " I am not asleep, what is wrong"
I love you Mom

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One Year....

One year Mom, one year since I have been able to talk to you. One year since I have been able to hug you. One year since I have heard your voice. One year without you and not a day goes by that I don't think of you constantly. I was hoping Pop and I would reach the one year mark and could tell you we are doing better, sadly not the case. Anyone who tells you time heals and it gets easier is just full of shit.

A year ago tonight I said goodbye to you for the last time. I remember the night like yesterday. I was not sleeping at all. I had the air mattress in the living room for a week or so because I would not go downstairs. I had moved the guest bed right next to yours and stayed there with you for two days but felt that this night I should stay in the living room. Aunt Thelma stayed up with me and watched lifetime movie :) She went to bed and begged me to do the same. Of course, I could not sleep. At that time I was giving you pain meds every 1-2 hours. I was on the computer chatting away to Justin when I saw it was midnight, told Justin goodnight and went in to give you meds. I knew, I knew the moment I woke in. I don't know how long I stood in the doorway, I am sure it was 3 seconds but it felt like hours. I went over and held your hand, I told you it was ok to go. Part of me is glad I was with you. I know you went in peace. I don't know how long I sat there with you. I knew I had to wake Pop up and tell him you were gone. I finally went to wake Pop and Aunt Thelma. I then changed your clothes and painted your nails, I just had to paint your nails. Then all that strength I had left. I broke and suddenly Pop became the strong one. David rushed over and basically carried me out of the house. Roles for Pop and I changed that night. Here I was the one who was a mess and he seemed to handle it.

I think of that night so often. I make myself sick thinking I should have started CPR when you left. I know you did not want that though and I knew it was time for you to sleep. So many things I wish I could go back and change.

So many changes have happened in this last year Mom. So many things that I wish I could talk to you about it. I think you would be proud and upset with me about a few things. I think you would tell me to start living again. I know you would be upset that I am still here with Pop. You told me not to get stuck here :) I think you would tell me to break my wall down and start being honest with some about my feelings. I think you would tell me I have been a bad friend to Tara and Anne, you would be so upset with me over that. I think you would tell me there are those no longer in my life for a reason and to treasure those that did stay by my side no matter how distant I kept them. I think you would be so happy and proud of Kevin and David. Those two have helped and been for Pop and I, we really do have a a amazing family. I think you would be upset with tensions in the family as well, you would not want to ever see me not have relationships with family members.

It is just so hard not being able to talk to you Mom. I miss your wisdom and advice. I always knew you were my best friend. I always knew you were the first I called for advice, guidance, good news, bad news, you just were always the first phone call. I miss that. I miss that so very much. There is no one else who will ever love someone as much as a Mother loves her child.

I am trying my best to deal with my grief Mom. I have made both good and bad decisions in dealing with it. I know you are still here with me. I know I need to start living again and make you proud.

One year without you. Oh Mom, how I miss you so.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

Easter is this Sunday. It will mark one year that you woke up feeling ill. It will mark one year that we thought you might have pink eye. One year ago Mom, you woke up with pink eye and that began a course of events I never saw coming. Who would have thought that you would have pink eye and then a flu like bug which caused a chest x-ray that changed our lives forever.

You always loved every holiday so it would be hard for me to pick your favorite. I might go with Easter though. You always had this house decorated from top to bottom with your spring/Easter decor. You would just get tickled when your flowers began to bloom. You really loved this time of year. It is my first spring without you. I am dreading Sunday. Easter Sunday is to me the day that started all this. You had asked me to come over early that day before you went to church to see my Easter basket. You were all dressed up when I came in your new outfit. You stood by smiling and giggling as I looked at my basket. Cute flip flops, candle, two books, and a pair of high heels. The perfect Easter basket!! A couple pieces of chocolate were always thrown in that you would joke were for Pop. I knew you felt funny but you promised you were fine and I would see you at Uncle Jimmy's later that day. I left and went back home to get ready. When I walked in Uncle Jimmy's the first thing I heard was you were not coming. I called you right then and there. Easter was not the same without you. We had the big adult egg hunt. All of us still went crazy pushing each other trying to find the prize eggs but you were missing. You and the little dance you would do each time you found a egg. Your constant laugh during the egg hunt. The unspoken rule that the only person you don't push or steal a egg from is you. It was not the same but at that time I thought, she will be here next year. But you wont. I wont wake up and call you first thing. I wont come over to have breakfast and have this amazing Easter basket with ribbons all over it. I wont be here the day before and dye 6 dozen eggs with you. You wont do your dance during the egg hunt. I know you would want me to go. Its just so hard without you Mom. I don't want to hate the holidays. I don't want to dread Easter each year but it is such a reminder, I feel that day started it all and I hate that. In one year Mom you were taken from us. How did all this happen in just a year.

I had lunch today with my friend named Annie. You would love her. She attends the same grief meeting as Pop. My age and lost her Mom in Dec of last year. Pop introduced us, he was so right to do so. Our stories are so similar. She had a relationship with her Mom just like ours. You would think she was talking about the two of us when she talks about her and her Mom. I can really talk to her about you. How much I miss you. We just talk... we talk about you, we talk about her Mom, we talk about how hard it is. We cry and we laugh. Today I found myself thinking how much you would love her. We both can relate to each other so well. Its hard Mom, its hard trying to talk about you and how to deal with this. I have found that some feel enough time has passed and maybe I should be over it by now. You would yell at me for what I would like to do to those people. Some just avoid me, I guess they don't know what to say. At the same time I have not made the best choices on how to deal with this and I think some have left and grew tired of me. I do have the best ones still, the ones that call constantly no matter how many times I don't answer. Tara Rose has been amazing. She never yells when I don't answer and never questions me about it. She does not get mad when I say I am going to come out and then change my mind. She really has been that big older sister who just lets me know she is always there. I know you are not surprised by that, you did tell me that you knew Tara and Anne would both get me thru this. I am so thankful to now have Annie in my life as well. No one could better understand than her tight now. We both are at the same grief stage. We talked today about how this year is going to be our first of so many things. First Easter without our Moms.

I don't go in the yellow room that much anymore. I just don't feel like I can talk to you in there like before. I asked Pop to drive me out to see you on Monday. I thought maybe I could talk to you there. Instead I felt sick and just could not believe I was standing at your grave. I need to find that place again where I feel like I can talk to you. I know you are here. I just, I don't know, maybe I just want more. I of course just want you Mom. Simply put.. I miss you. I just want you here, I just want a hug.

The keyboard is about to be under water with my tears so I think its time to stop. I know you are reading this Mom. I know my diet coke angel Sarah is too. I miss you Mom.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Climbed 42 flights but now what???







As most of you know on March 6th I climbed the Met building downtown in memory of my Mom. The Lung Assoc. did a great job and had a huge turn out. My team, Bernice's Girls raised $4,667.00!!!!!!! That is INCREDIBLE!!!! We were in the top 7 teams and those other teams were corporate. It is incredible how much we raised considering we signed up late. I was so touched by those that donated. I had my babysitter from grade school to people I have not seen in over 15 years. Each day it seemed another donation was made that brought tears. Good tears!!
I was very honored when the Lung Assoc. asked me to be a Lung Champion. I think there was 7 or 8 of us. We had our stories on the Lung Champion wall and also a few of us spoke at the climb. I was terrified to speak but I knew I had to do it. I spoke before our climb. My team was there early to support me. My diet coke angel (Sarah) came with her boyfriend Mark who also climbed another team. They came early just to hear me speak. Anne stood at my side and it is very possible she had no feeling in her hand the rest of the day from my tight squeeze. I did it though, without tears, without getting stuck, with a strong voice and a smile. My team was amazing!!!! I brought flower headbands for all of us. We were actually mentioned in the St. Louis Post Dispatch for that :) I don't know what I would have done without my team. Each has already let me know they would be back next year and we are determined to raise $7000.00. I was asked by the Lung Assoc. to serve on the committee for next years climb. I am very proud to be a part of that.

This climb really helped me. It not only gave me something to focus on but I was doing something in memory of Mom. Every dollar we raised and each step that day was for her. I can honestly say that was the best day I have had since Mom was diagnosed.
So here I am after the climb and feeling lost once more. I had hoped things would be easier or that I would not feel this dark cloud over me each day. I have been told that the first year is hard but the next year is when you really start to grieve. What?? I can not imagine grieving more than I do now. I know on top of the mourning that I am frustrated. I am frustrated not knowing what to do next in terms of career. I am frustrated living at home with Pop.

I was sent a email the other day with the subject line of "what is up with you" . hmmm... I know some are concerned, I know I have distanced myself. What is up with me? I am sad. I am truly sad and never knew a person could feel such sadness. I know it will pass, I know things will get better. But when? Those answers we seek that no one knows are the hardest.

I have been lucky enough to meet a couple of girls my age that also lost their Moms in the last year. I have enjoyed my time with them. Its comforting to know someone else feels the same and understands. I think these two girls will become life long friends, we may have meet because of our tragedies but what a bond we share. I feel that Mom had something to do with bringing these two girls in my life, just like I believe Mom had something to do with me finding out about the climb. I know she is with me each day, I feel her right next to me.
Mom also has bought something else very special to me. When I learned the diagnose and knew what was coming, my first thought was a trip. Take Mom to Vegas or a cruise. I then found myself thinking what she needs is a huge party. I was hesitant to bring it up to her. I knew my Pop would not agree to it. So I remained silent but Mom had the same idea. When Mom approached me about her party idea, I was thrilled. I told her I was thinking the same thing and she said "of course you were". I know some did not think it was appropriate. I can understand that. That party was so wonderful. To see that banquet hall full of people who loved my Mom and wanted to celebrate her was incredible. My Mom asked that the Tashler family be invited to that party. We love the Tashlers and I was thrilled when they rsvp yes. I be live that not only did my Mom want to see them but my Mom wanted me to have them in my life again. And they are!!! Tammi has been a blessing, Mr. Tashler has been great to my Pop, we could not ask for a better family to take us in :) Tammi and her husband Aaron were so touched by the party. The three us began discussing how anyone with a terminal illness deserves that. What a awesome way to celebrate your loved one. My photo boards at Moms party had three words... Live, Laugh, Love. As the months have passed we have been planning how to make that party happen for those with a terminal illness. And so Live, Laugh, Love began. We hope to start this organization soon. We know it will take time, we know it will take funds but we each feel it is so important. Most of all it will be another thing I do to honor the most beautiful person I have ever known, my Mom.
With all that said, I don't really write on the blog much. I doubt anyone still checks it. But I will still write when I need to, I know one person who still reads each word and she matters most. Mom.
Thank you to all who made donations to Bernice's Girls!!! I can not thank you enough!!