Saturday, November 13, 2010

long time

I haven't felt like writing on here for a while. Life has been crazy for me. My sister ended up dying this past August, just a week before Fall Semester started...
Fall Semester started and considering I have finally declared a major (I want to teach theatre classes), I am required to audition for shows the University puts on. So, I'm in "Cabaret" and I'm having a blast...but I have had no time to really grieve losing my sister. Granted, I took a role in the show so I would have something to focus on instead of crying all the time.... But I haven't really had much time to do any grieving. And now the holidays (Turkey Day and Winter Holiday) are upon us and these were both my moms and my sisters favorite holidays, so of course they will both be on my mind the entire time.

I will write more again. Just not right now. We have finally started "Cabaret" and the show ends next Saturday and I'll have just a tad more time to reflect and move forward...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A bit more light-hearted

So I read my first couple of posts and realized they were quite dispiriting. I do admit that my life has taken a dramatic turn since my mom died. I will also admit that the news of my sister's health has definitely affected me, too. Perhaps it is because I am unemployed and awaiting for the Fall Semester to start back up that has caused me to feel so down right now. I mean, aside from seeking a job, my mind doesn't really have a lot to worry about so I worry about my sister's heath.

I am quite fortunate, though. And I do know this and I recognize it. For as long as I can remember (back to about 3- to 4-years of age), I have wanted to have a positive impact on the people in my immediate life. Be they family or friends or casual acquaintances, I always wanted to provide them with a little sunshine to their life. It would be incredible to me if I was in any way successful with this goal. I would like to believe that I was. Sure, I'm a human being and I have made plenty of mistakes along the way. But I think I did a relatively good job of providing folks with a shoulder when they needed one, a few good laughs when necessary, and was a friend to them. I started to screw that up (royally) when I hit age 30 and it wasn't until my mom died when I was 35 that I finally got my shit together. I'll save that 5 year story for another time.
All in all, I would really like to believe I was a good person. Perhaps I wasn't. That would be for others to tell me.

These days, I enjoy the simpler things in life. One main reason is due to my being a student and relying on student loans. hehe! But, aside from that, I believe I have finally come to terms with life and death. I am not saying I am comfortable with death, but I do accept it and am not afraid of it anymore. Because of this, I believe it has opened my eyes to the natural beauty of life and has led me to appreciate being alive a lot more. I definitely went through an "angry" period after my mom died, but I've let most of that anger go. It's such a useless emotion. Just as I let go of "jealousy" in my 20's. That emotion is absolutely useless.

Oh, I still get angry at times and I still experience the pangs of jealousy every once-in-a-blue-moon, but I have recognized these emotions for what they are. Interferences with being happy and being able to move forward with ones' life.
This blog definitely helps me to purge any anger I have towards a situation or towards society-at-large. (Sometimes, I purge my anger and frustration on Facebook even though so many feel that is inappropriate---which is one of the reasons I started this blog)

However, I do my very best to enjoy what each day brings me. I have a fantastic man in my life that shows me more love than I ever thought possible. Oh, we have the occasional argument here and there...but we always make up because we can not stand arguing with one another. LOL! I have said this about every man in my life, but this fellow has surpassed them all. He may tire of being with me one day, but until that day, I am going to hold on to this relationship with both hands and show him how much I love him each and every day.
I have two fantastic dogs that are so incredibly well-behaved and so happy and loved. I thank Cesar Milan (The Dog Whisperer) for helping to train me to be a better pack-leader for my dogs. I screw up with them every once in a while, too, because I am human.
Rick and the girls (Parker and Roxie) provide me with more security than I have ever known. And that is saying a lot considering I'm a broke-ass student. LOL!

And, yes, I do blame being human as a reason for screwing up...but I blame myself for it, too. What?! Oh yes, I blame myself for all of my faults. I do not blame my family. I do not blame my friends. I do not blame society. I am the only one at fault for my own actions. Sure, I may be influenced to some degree by others, but every single time I screw up---it's My fault because everything I do in life is, ultimately, My choice. Therefore, my actions are my responsibility.

I hope this entry was less heavy than my previous ones. Most of this is supposed to be funny. Since I am not actually able to "speak" the words and am only able to "write" them, it is doubtful anyone reading this will laugh.
Today, I believe Rick and the girls and I will go on a picnic. Spend time in the sun. And enjoy the natural beauty our planet has to provide us. Hooray for living!

Friday, July 16, 2010

After A Long Week

So it has been such a long week.

At the start of this week, I was informed by my dad that my older sister was going to have surgery on her colon. My sister is 42-years old and has not had the best life that one could have. Just over a decade ago, she lost her first child, Angel, at the super young age of 4 due to some old lady driving into the front of a dollar store and little Angel was crushed under the car. She suffered severe depression after losing her daughter, but focused a lot of attention and love upon her 1-year old son. Then, my sister was informed she had Lupus about 3 years later. As I've already mentioned, we lost our mom 3 years ago, so that was a blow to my sister, as well. Then, this past year she found out she had cervical cancer. That has now spread into her uterus, her bladder, her kidneys, and her colon. There's a tumor in her colon that has been preventing her from excrementing. I guess her doctors had to insert a colostomy bag or something horrible like that. Fortunately, my sister came out of the operation well enough. Sadly, the doctors that are taking care of her have admitted that there is really nothing they can do for her aside from trying to keep her comfortable. I guess that's a nice way of saying she's gonna die, but we don't know when and there's nothing we can do to prevent it.

A couple of good friend of mine in Portland, Oregon, have been so kind as to use one of their plane vouchers to buy me a round-trip ticket to Houston and back. I could not possibly be happier and more thankful to them. I am glad I'll have the chance to see my sister in a few weeks. I'm not happy that I have to go to Texas to do this because it is HOT down there--which is just one of the many reasons I left Texas. LOL But I look forward to seeing her. Fortunately, Rick is going to be able to go down with me. Rick's sister is allowing him to use her SkyMiles towards a round-trip ticket. We'll be flying on different airlines, but we'll be arriving in Houston at about the same time. Rick is my support. He's my everything, actually.

Still searching for jobs that do not exist here in Pocatello. That has been my primary objective for the past several weeks. I try not to let it get me down, but not finding a job and not having money really does weigh a person down. I mean, Rick is paying for everything. Everything. Rent. Groceries. Bills. Gas for the 4RUNNER. Entertainment. Everything.
I guess it really never occurred to me that I would not have a job this summer. Not once did I think it was even possible to go this long without a job of some sort. It is quite frustrating. At this point, I'm looking forward to the Fall term starting because that means I'll have student loan money and can finally start paying my share of everything (rent, bills, etc.).

It's been a long week, indeed. The weekend is here and it is still the middle of the summer, but there is so much stress. I know I'm not the only one experiencing it. I do not know of a single person that hasn't been feeling the stress of life over the past couple of years. I wish there were some way that we could all just ignore the economy and the sad state of affairs that the entire planet finds itself in. I suppose it is all a part of life and growing.
Oh such is life.

I hope you folks find yourselves in a better state-of-mind for the weekend than I am in at the moment. I am going to try and choose my own attitude and do my best to not allow anyone to influence it in a negative way. My goal is to succeed at something. And my current goal is to keep in mind that life can still be great. After all, I am still breathing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A tough night

Tonight I found myself getting ready to lie in bed when, out of the blue, I started thinking about the last time I actually spoke with my mother. It was a Saturday at around 8pm on June 2, 2007. I was in Sacramento to celebrate her birthday (on June 7th) and a friends birthday that June 2nd. My friend had taken me to see my mom earlier that day, but no one answered the door when I knocked on it and no one was answering their phones. So, we went back to his place and I helped them prepare for the party that evening. The party kicked off at about 6pm and before any of us realized it, we had all had a bit too much to drink. Lots of good times that night. Then, I received a call from my Aunt (my mom was staying with her...her sister, of course).
Now, I knew that my mother had suffered a slight stroke recently, but no one warned me that she was unable to speak clearly. My Aunt gave my mom the phone and the next thing I knew, my heart was breaking. I was listening to my mom and she sounded absolutely... I don't even know how best to describe this without offending someone on the planet. If I hadn't recognized my mom's voice, I... Folks, to be horribly blunt, it sounded as though someone had given a mentally challenged person some LSD and cocaine and got them super drunk and had them call me. I could barely make out anything my mom was saying, but I could tell she was desperately trying to communicate with me. I could hear it in the desperation in her voice that she wanted so badly to express herself as clearly as possible, but she was no longer able to do so. I had no idea that my mom was suffering this much. It may seem selfish, but I was devastated. I could not make out a single thing my mom was saying, but I could hear the pain in her voice and so I did my best to pretend I understood what she was saying.
I'm a shit liar, by the way. I am quite sure my mom knew that I was struggling almost as much as she was.
Time for a quick history about my mom. My mother found out that she was HIV+ in 1993. How she got infected is not for me to share. At this time, my father and her had already divorced, so she was on her own. Very literally. Over the course of the next 15 years, my mother drank a lot, experimented with various drugs (things I had never heard of) and there were two instances where she was in the hospital and we (her family) thought we were going to lose her. Fast forward to the end of April 2007. That was when my Aunt had called me to let me know that my mothers liver had failed and her doctors were saying it was only a matter of time before my mom's body shut down completely. Knowing that I was going to lose my mom, I made sure to travel from Eugene, Oregon (where I was living at that time), to Sacramento in order to spend her birthday with her. I was unaware of just how badly my mom was doing until the night of the phone call.
I wanted so badly to drive over to see her, but, as I mentioned, I was at my friend's birthday party and I, along with everyone else, had already had too much to drink. It would seem that partying cost me from ever seeing my mother well again.
The following day (Sunday), my friend drove me over to my aunt's apartment again and I sat outside the door for nearly 2 1/2 hours knocking on the door and sitting on the front steps hoping someone was home or would come home. Nothing.
At this point, I was frustrated as hell because I had been calling and calling both my aunts and my moms phone numbers and no one was answering/responding with the exception of the one phone call that Saturday night during the party. I had called other relatives to find out if anyone knew of any other way to reach my aunt and/or my mom, to no avail. My grandmother (my mom's mom) said I should contact the police if no one answered the apartment door considering the condition my mother was in.
Sadly, that is what I had to do. I was banging on the door and the kitchen window of my aunt's apartment hoping that someone would answer the door. After waiting an hour, I called the police and let them know that I was worried for my mom's safety.
Racing through my mind was the awkward attempt at a conversation that I had had with my mom just two days prior. When the police arrived, I explained my mothers health condition and that I was getting worried because I had been over to this apartment for 3 days in a row and no one was answering the door, but I knew my mom was living there. The police knocked on the door, as well, with no response. After about 20 minutes they started searching for the property manager. Upon discovering the property manager was off-site (and on vacation, I believe), they decided they would risk breaking the door down. So, after having been there for nearly two hours, the police shouted that they were going to break the door down (in case someone inside had been asleep or something) and lo and behold, my aunt suddenly opens the door and asks "what is going on?"
I was so furious. I was pissed off. Folks, this is my favorite aunt I'm talking about, too. I had NO IDEA what her excuse was for not answering the door for nearly 2 hours. I still do not. But the police officers said I was not allowed to go up the stairs (her apartment was on the 2nd level of the building) until they went inside to check that everything was okay. Within 2 minutes, I heard sirens. An ambulance showed up and two fella's ran up the stairs with a stretcher. I tried to make my way up the stairs, but the police officer that was with me prevented me from doing so. Next thing I know, my mother is being brought down the stairs on the stretcher and when I was able to see her face, she looked incredibly gaunt. I do not remember if I said anything or not, but I do remember looking up the stairs and seeing my aunt and feeling a bundle of emotions I never thought it possible to feel towards someone in my family. The lack of communication I had experienced over the course of the 3 days leading to that moment...the only exception being the random phone call I got on Saturday night that lasted no more than 10 minutes and, considering that my mom was essentially speaking gibberish... I never want to feel that kind of hatred and loathing of a person ever again. I still love my aunt, folks. I do. But, at that moment, she disgusted me on so many levels. Her behavior was, and still is, inexcusable. I may never know why no one answered the door. I may never know if they had even been home the other times I had come over. I have no idea. What I do I was never able to see my mother coherent and aware again.

For the next two weeks, I found myself in a position that I was completely unprepared for. She was in the hospital until Thursday, June 7th. Her birthday. That is the day that the doctors told us (my sister flew in from Houston, and my grandmother and 2 uncles came down from Oregon) that there was nothing to be done and that we had to make a decision. My sister had "power of attorney" and was the one that was supposed to take care of everything. We both had to make the decision, essentially, to have the doctors take out the feeding tube and take her off of oxygen and....we had to admit her to a nursing home until, well, until she died. On her birthday.
For the next week and a half, I did my best to be by her side to just spend time with her in the hopes that she would be aware enough to know that I was there. My sister had to return to Houston, so I ended up being the responsible party for my mom. What was supposed to be a 5-day trip turned into a little over two weeks.
I was working a minimum wage, part-time job as it was, so I ran out of funds very quickly. Sadly, on Saturday, June 16th, I had to return to Eugene to go back to work so I could make some money. I hated leaving my mom. Hated it. Something inside me told me I would never see her again. When I returned home, I called up my boss and asked if I could be put on the schedule. She said she'd be happy to have me come in on Wednesday, June 20th. That Wednesday morning I woke up to find several messages on my cell phone. My mother had died.

The whole time I was in Sacramento and was by her mom never recognized me. She had no idea that I was there. The last time she was able to acknowledge me was that Saturday night on the phone.

I'm not sure why I can't stop thinking about this tonight.
I guess it's because that was the last time I saw my sister, too. And, as crappy as this is, it looks as though I'll be lucky to still have my sister in my life passed this year. She's going through both radiation and chemotherapy treatments for a couple of forms of cancer. She also has Lupus. I hope I get to make it down to Texas to see her before she dies. I hope she doesn't die, of course. But things aren't looking so great.

So far, I seem to be doing rather well health-wise. I just wish I could say the same about my sister.
And I miss my mom so damn much. She and I were friends, folks. Actual friends. I wish I could have taken the HIV away from her and had it myself so that she didn't have to suffer so badly. It was painful to watch my mom during those two weeks. She could barely eat or drink anything. She couldn't move herself. She was a complete invalid and she was so gaunt. I wish there was some way I could have helped her.

I wish I could stop crying.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I am not superficial

Hi there. I wanted to start off by explaining the heading of this blog. In today's world it seems that folks are expected to share as little about themselves as possible. Text messaging, tweets, and the like all seem to be limited to a certain amount of text characters and limits proper spelling. I am not an English major, so if I do misspell a word or if I do not use the proper sentence structure -- I am sorry. Considering that I am not a fan of being limited to using 300 characters or whatever the limit is for "short messages", I have found myself frustrating folks on Facebook because it, too, limits the amount of words in one's initial posts. I try to explain my opinions and/or ideas as much as I can, but due to the limitations, I often fail.
After seeing some of my Facebook posts cause "friends" to get bent out of shape, ones that I was under the impression were relatively innocent, I decided it might be better to limit what I share on Facebook and create a blog so that I could try and better express my opinions and idea and...whatever.
My goal is to show that I am not a superficial person. It is incredibly possible that I had slowly become a bit of a shallow and superficial person in my late 20's and early 30's. I can not deny the possibility of that. However, for me, I find it boring to know nothing of others and I feel I am cheating others if I allow them to know nothing of me.
With this blog, I am not seeking validation of my opinions and thoughts. I am not worried about how many "follower's" I have, if any. My primary goal (for me) is to use this blog as a medium to vent my feelings and thought both positive and negative. I would love it if some folks agreed with what I write, but if they do not, it is not the end of my world. I am always intrigued when someone starts a debate with me, but it frustrates the hell out of me when someone disagrees with me so much that they feel it is okay to crap on my opinion. Yes, I will share things that annoy, frustrate, confuse, and even anger me. They may even provoke the same emotions and feelings from you, the reader. I will also share things that bring a smile to my face or make me laugh or affect me in a positive way, as well. I hope this may translate to some of those that find themselves reading this. Please keep in mind when you read my posts that what I am writing is coming from ME. I am not posting your opinion. I am not posting your ideas and/or thoughts. I am posting things from MY perspective. So try to read what I write knowing that it is being written by someone else.
Yes, sometimes I write things that will ruffle one's feathers, so to speak. I am not trying to piss anyone off, though. I am not looking to start a fight.

My next post will be as brief a history of me and my life as I can manage. That means that it will be about twenty paragraphs long. I hope I am kidding. I may not be, though, since I am trying to NOT be superficial. There are definitely things I would like to share with others but, ultimately, this blog is for me. Sometimes I feel like writing things down but they seem to be inappropriate for Facebook users. LOL! I love it, too. A social network that doesn't really want to be social.