Archive for January, 2007

days without her

What has it been like, I suppose I should at least attempt to write some of the random thoughts rolling around in my head.

First off, I keep thinking, “oh I need to go and check on Mom” - something that has been ingrained in me for about 4-6 years now, and more recently, the checkups have needed to be more frequent.  Then I catch myself, and remember, oh, right, she’s not back there anymore.  Still I am drawn back into her room… the largest room in the house, a large sun-room addition that Dad had installed some years ago - before Mom’s strokes had totally taken away her ability to talk and to walk. It has most of her plants in it.

Today, I woke up really early, as I’ve been doing for several days if not weeks.  The sun was not up.  I hate that moment in one’s life where you have this fuzzy haze wearing off from your slumber and you realize that the events of yesterday are going to make today kinda suck.  I guess that happens every once in a while, but not every day does one lose their mom.  So it was like that… waking up, realizing the massive weight of what had happened and realizing that today would be heavy too.   The wishing that you could have slept longer.

The house has been full of people coming and going… companies picking up med machinery, caregivers picking up their final checks, neighbors popping over to A. wish us their condolences, and B.  needing to know if we needed a photographer?    and C. whether we were selling the house?

My sister arrived and we headed (me, her and Dad) to 1. pick out flowers for the memorial service and 2. to view Mom’s body.  I told my sister last night that I probably was not up for the viewing, but that I would travel with her and Dad to the place and would probably wait outside the room where the viewing took place.  We selected flowers first.  Then it was time to proceed to the room where mom’s body was.  I thought I just might really like to SEE her one last time, but as I crossed the threshold, I saw her face from a distance and knew immediately that I most certainly did NOT want a closer look, she seemed so pale and almost bluish… I shook my head tearfully - my sister saw - and I turned and walked down the hallway, away from the gruesomeness of seeing my mom’s body without her in it.    i grabbed a hold of my  little picture of her, and said aloud to her, quietly. “I know you aren’t in there, I know you’re not dead, I know you’re in a much better place, I know all these things and I know that your body is not where you are living anymore. I love you very much, miss you, although I know, I know, you are right here with me now.”  To me it felt as though her spirit was in the room and that she had her arms around me and was agreeing that I was right and that there was no need for me to go inside… I certainly don’t knock anyone else’s need to see a body to believe that someone has passed on.  But for me it was entirely unnecessary, and my mom would have supported my decision not to view a body if I didn’t want to.

I have known, as I have always known, that upon her death, that my mom would be more present in my day to day life than she has been able to be in the past several years, confined to her body that would not function well and do her mind’s bidding. See, I’ve had some experience with being contacted by people who have passed onto the other side, albeit limited… but I am a believer in the ‘other side’ and I believe it is a hair’s breadth away from our world, a closeness that is so close that you probably couldn’t measure it if science were allowed to do so. I don’t see things so much as feel and hear them. I was quite the skeptic for many years, but then, some things have happened in my life in the past 15 years that have turned me into a believer of that other world that spirits reside in. I don’t really talk about it much, it’s kinda personal to be perfectly honest.  It’s not an everyday occurrence in my life, but then, now, perhaps that my mom is over there on the other side, it may be more frequent.  It may not.  But I welcome my mom’s guidance in my life if she wants to give it.  Time will tell.

I digress.  On that first day without her, I finally got up the courage to pick up mom’s pillow and hug it and smell it.  I dunno how it is for everyone else, but my sense of scent and my sense of hearing are very mnemonic for me.  IE, those senses hold memories as well or better than my eyes do at times.  I cried when I smelled her familiar scent lingering on the pillow.  Everything good in my life emanated from that scent of my mother, you see, as far back as my earliest memories.  THAT ONE SCENT, unique and unlike any other, indescribable, but unforgettable, not laden with perfume, but a very human thing, the way her hair’s scent has always been,  a beautiful lovely remembrance of my mom.  It’s like that with my cat, Meisha, who passed away about 3-4 years ago, too.  I have known quite clearly for some time now that the reason she had to leave was to prepare me for the loss of my mom… a little cat named Meisha helped me walk through that fire first, and gave me a taste of the pure love that allows a person to let go of the ones they love most, in favor of diminishing their pain in this world, to put others before one’s own needs and to allow someone to be freed from the mortal coil.

My niece and her 14  year old daughter arrived that day and have been here since.  Little did I realize how incredibly hard it would be to have a young teen understand the massiveness of what has just taken place in my life.  Sometimes I chafed at the insensitivity I’ve experienced over the past few days, but then realize how not tuned in I was at that age, realizing that my mom probably chafed at my insensitivities  of that young age as well, but forgave me and loved me anyway.  I fear I may never be able to turn my cheek as often as my mother has in her life…

Up until yesterday, my Uncle was also here, my dad’s only brother.  Unfortunately, they got into a fight.  My uncle is more of a fast-decision-devil-may-care kinda guy.  He’s gambled much in his life and it has paid off many times, other times, his hasty decisions have caused him heartache. I won’t go into those here, as that’s his life, but suffice to say that my dad and he got into it yesterday and he left early.  It was probably a good thing, because the snow came last night and covered the ground, and surely the mountain passes that separate NM and Colorado from each other. At least he did not have to drive in the snow as much as he would have if he’d left today or tomorrow.  Everything does have its way to work itself out.

My uncle was kinda wierd on this visit, even to me.  He’s always been really pretty cool to me. But on this occasion, he wanted to know how long I was staying with dad, how long my niece would stay, etc. When I advised him that I ~had to~ leave on Jan 16/17, he got kinda upset with me because he wasn’t able to be here and was wondering who was going to look after dad. I told him that my job was taking me to Utah, and that as things currently were, I had deadlines for various upcoming events that I had to attend to, they were not something that could be put off, that they were date-driven and that was pretty much what my job was like… He got a bit belligerent with me… and couldn’t see why i wasn’t able to drop things for another several weeks for my dad.  I told him I had already spent the better part of 2 months up here, coming and going, coming and going… and would continue to do that around _my schedule_, but now Dad was free to travel and he could come to ABQ and visit me…. further, that my sister would be around, that we had discussed this back in December and that she understood that I needed to work to pay my bills.  Right now, things are extremely tight for me on the financial end, and although not all of it is my fault, it’s still my problem to deal with the incoming bills. He wanted Dad to go over there to Colorado, which, of course, Dad doesn’t want to do right now.

In the past several days, the hardest calls to take have been from the lovely women who were my mom’s caregivers over the past 6 years or so.  One of those was my mom’s cousin Shirley… they grew up together in Colorado, and when my parents moved here they didn’t realize that they were related until Shirley and Mom started to talk about family backgrounds. Strange that my mom lost touch with most of her family in favor of really becoming a part of Dad’s family.  I have held Shirley and also mom’s recent caregiver, Lillian, in my arms and have comforted them. So strange for me to be the one to be doing that.  I’ve been a bit of a mess myself these past several days, but to see the breadth of love that my mother instilled in others.  Many times over, people who were in her presence talked of a soothing calm that she had, and gave them, when in her presence. She was always calm around me, as well… I hardly ever saw her flip out on anyone for anything. I saw her get sad over others’ insensitive actions, sometimes she’d cry, but rarely. Most everyone who ever came into her presence always said that she was a rock of strength to them, a calming influence. She took steps slowly, towards her goals, but always firmly towards them. She was the sure-footed mountain goat, with a certainty… graceful, quiet, but determined, always focusing on her goals. We all can learn a lot from her,, and we all have, over the years.

I miss her physical presence.  But her spirit is always around.  It’s an adjustment, and it’s a harsh adjustment at first. I’ve been cleaning like a mad woman, cooking like an insane chef… anything to just stay busy.  Dad expressed interest in going to UTAH with me… and I got a nice plant via FTD but there’s no indicator of who sent it.  If you are the person(s) who sent it, I just wanna say thanks.  It’s nice, very very nice.


free at last

Hey all.
Not much time, but wanted to get the word out… my mom passed on this morning. While this was sad news, it was also a huge relief because I know she no longer suffers and is free at last. It’s been such a long road for Mom, and it’s been so full of pain as of late. It’s been so hard to see her suffer and at least now, it’s over for her. She missed her 81st birthday by 2 days, and I honestly think that’s the way she would have wanted it, as she never really did like getting a year older. For her, the long journey here is over and her new one begins today, with wings, I’m sure of that.

I am in ABQ this morning, and have tried to contact many of you and let you know about this… I will be headed to Farmington today.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me and my family with calls, hugs, long talks, text messages, prayers, thoughts, emails, etc… I really really appreciate it. It’s been a great comfort to me to know that I am cared for by my friends, and I know that my mom appreciates it too.

Mom will be cremated and the memorial service will likely be on Feb 3rd, in Farmington. Her ashes will be kept by my sister for interment at a later date, to be determined by our family when we are ready to do that.

Again, none of this info is personal and anyone that you think would like to know that has not yet been informed, go ahead and tell them.


and now for something that totally pissed me off today

argh. So I called my dad today and he was a bit wierd on the phone, he gets that way when I’ve left for a few days and don’t call. Yeah, that’s right, I didn’t call on NYE or on NY day. so fucking sue me. I was taking some much-needed ‘ME TIME’ and I was on the road yesterday all day in a carful of friends coming from Austin TX… so I got to it today. Whatev.

He mentioned that mom had a seizure yesterday of sorts. That’s pretty much all he said, that he was there and he ‘helped her get through it.” so I called my sister to see how things ~really~ were, as that is usually how it goes. She said that the caregiver went to Dad because mom was turning blue.

Okay, so just so we’re clear on this… Mom is under hospice care. We have a signed DNR ( that’s a DO NOT RESUSCITATE ORDER for you folks who aren’t dealing with death in your daily lives.) We have gotten to the point where we readily admit to ourselves that Mom does not want to be kept here against her will, she does not want to have folks go to courageous measures to prolong her life. She signed THREE Living Wills to this exact perspective.

  So…. my dad goes back to where mom is, and starts pressing on her chest to start her to breathe again. Holy Mother of Gawd!!!! WHY WHY WHY WHY?!?!?!?

So… Mom’s still here. Thanks to Dad. Fucking awesome. That asshole.

  understand… Mom cannot speak. She cannnot move. She is completely bedridden and helpless to do anything at all for herself. She has not eaten a single bite of food since Dec 1. She has no desire to stay here in this state, obviously, that is what it all means to me, and to my sister and any other sane human being on the planet. And above all, helpless to prevent Dad from starting her breathing again.

This is a huge sorrowful event for my sister and I. We both feel horrid that we weren’t there to STOP it from happening. That said, neither of us can just be there all the time. We have our own lives to live and missions in our lives to perform. It’s just a damned shame that my Dad couldn’t be a real man and let my mama go. She deserves so much better from him than that. Goddammittttttt….


la la la la la la love libras

well. I had a great time in Austin TX over New Years Weekend. Alas, it was too short and I couldn’t see allllllllll of my fab friends there. I tried, I tried!! I crammed as much as I could into my days and nights there.

Best thing: My newfound appreciation for Libras. They are tons of FUN. Maybe that’s just because I’m Libra rising, but hell, I’m sayin, 2 thumbs up… and it’s strange when you have other people walking up to you on NYE and saying, thumbs up, you’re with him, that’s such a good move, he’s the best, yadda yadda yadda. He’s super, yes. Right now the geography is not in our favor too much, but that may change soon.*

* = ABQ’ers don’t panic. I’m not moving back to Austin. ;)

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