OMG I’M OLD

This morning, while showering, I realized I will be 53 years old this coming birthday. I said it into the air and heard the words resonate in my head. 53…That is hella old!

I remember when my mom was 53. Poor lady had me at almost 40 and dealt with my teen years in her 50’s. My youngest is 21 and when he was the age I was when my mom was my age, well lets just say it would not have been good for either of us. I hurt everywhere some days. My feet hurt and all of my past injuries creep up on me in the form of pain and stiffness. I stand all day and now my legs swell during my work week. It’s ugly. I hate getting old.

Yesterday I was having forgetful moments. I will blame it on how my day started out of the gate. I fell and slid on the wet grass just outside my apartment. I screamed while falling, like a dork, and afterward I noticed that my pants were muddy. I had only enough time to run back into my apartment, grab a pair of pants, and run to my ride who was patiently waiting for me in the driveway. Later, while at work, I kept having those forgetful moments I mentioned. I lost my wipes, then lost my walkie talkie, then later my pen. I blame stress, not early onset dementia, thank you very much.

Today has been a better morning. Just that I woke up feeling well slept makes a difference. It’s my Friday to make things even better. I love my job, which keeps me grounded, and tomorrow I get to pick up a brand new Cpap machine. Woot!

Lately, I’ve been wondering what I will do with myself once I get too old to work. Can I retire at a decent age? Will I find someone to love and who will love me forever. I don’t think loving me forever should be too hard since I’m already old, right? Am I the only one that thinks of these things?

I have to stay focused I think, in order to get myself into a position to grow old with grace. I have so far learned to be calm and patient. I don’t think I am quite as hard headed as I was in my 40’s. There are bonuses to getting older with wisdom being one of them.

I have a list of things I want to implement into my daily life that I’m finding hard to do because I work myself to exhaustion. I would like to start cooking again. I would like to read a book. But tomorrow is another day. I have an embroidery project that I plan to finish then. I am trying hard to stop focusing on how old I’m getting, but I feel as if there is a clock ticking in my head. Again, am I the only one who thinks these things?

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Say What?

This summer I was noticing that my brain was having spasms. At first they would occur in the evening. I would come home from work, sit down, feel my brain spasm and, a few hours later, wake up from a nap I never knew I was going to take. This happened frequently, daily to be honest.

One day, while I was working, I noticed my brain spasm. I’m thinking to myself, oh holy cow! If there is something wrong with me and I’m in the middle of caring for someone, things could get dangerous. So, I made a doctor appointment.

When I say it spasms, I mean that it feels like an electrical current is zapping through it. There is no pain, just a zap. The zap turns to zaps unless I rest. My doctor was alarmed when she heard about it, but more so when she heard I was sleeping without knowing it. She thought that I may be having seizures, so she sent me in for two things; a CT and a visit to the sleep study department at OHSU to rule out narcolepsy.

I got my CT first and they found a dark spot on the X-ray that was about the size of a walnut. That discovery sent me in for an MRI. Scared and worried, I then did a sleep study and learned I have narcolepsy that was triggered by sleep apnea. Since narcolepsy runs in my family (one uncle had it and, from the stories my mom used to tell me, one great uncle had it) it made sense that I had it. With that knowledge in mind, I then saw a neurologist. Aside from him being a stone cold fox, he was very knowledgeable and, after looking at my MRI results, he discovered that I had a stroke. He said it was a small stroke but it left damage and he aged it to occurring within the last decade. He also showed me pockets of damage from my years of having migraines. Pretty scary stuff.

After going into compete shock at that news, on top of the other news, I went back in my memory and suddenly a whole lot of things started to make sense. Within the last decade I went through some major changes emotionally. I went through a severe depression that I didn’t even know I was having as I just thought I was unhappy with my life, but my doctor told me that the location of the stroke is where impulsiveness was controlled, so my divorce, depression, disconnecting with my friends, were all more than likely relative. Wow and ….wow!

The stroke also impacted my memory. There are times that my kids remember vividly that I just do not even at all, in the slightest, ever never ever remember.

Aside from narcolepsy, my sleep apnea impacts my speech. When I don’t sleep well, I slur my words. Sometimes it is bad enough to sound as if I’ve had a few too many drinks. Also, I have a lot of “what did I go into this room for?” moments. I was prescribed a cpap machine and used it for a few months before losing my health insurance. After a couple of weeks of using the machine, my brain zaps stopped and my fatigue, tho it was still there, was not nearly as severe as before, and those moments of narcolepsy still occurred but less frequently.

What a hot mess I am.

I take an aspirin everyday to ward off another stroke, and I have health insurance and am awaiting approval for a cpap machine. Life threw me some lemons, sure, but I just keep going forward. More importantly, I feel that having a diagnosis has created a calm in me that I have never had before.

A friend of mine, who had a severe stroke but lived to tell about it, has been with me through this entire ordeal. He called the stroke before they even discovered it on the MRI. He took me to all of my doctor appointments and hugged me through them all. He was there when the doctor gave me the news and he cried instead of me. I cherish him for that sensitivity. Our bond as friends has strengthened through this. And now we joke. Whenever I’m having a ditzy moment, he will look at me and say sarcastically, “What’s the matter? Did you have a stroke or something?” It’s good to have friends like him.

Knowing what is wrong with me has really helped my life, believe it or not. Each day that passes has become special to me. My struggles and stressful days always turn into me going suddenly calm. Sure, I stress, and sometimes I cry because that stress is too much to handle, but afterward, BAM….and I’m calm. It’s like I took a 150mg dose of peace. My mind just stops worrying. I feel like the guy from Office Space who got stuck after he was hypnotized. And I smile a whole hell of a lot more often now. I love deeper and more sincerely. I hug people more. I am a better person because of it. It’s weird. I could have chosen to crumble, but I just kept going.

I would like to end this on a happy note: Life goes on, dude. We chose to go on with it. Keep living, keep being kind, and keep that chin up because no matter what lemons are thrown at ya, you still have to get through the next day and your choice is whether you want to do it happily or not.

Winter

Since moving to Oregon, my interpretation of winter has changed. Once charming and doable, it has become something to be contended with. It’s cold and wet, and if you don’t know any better you don’t own anything from Columbia or North Face. After living here for a year, I’ve finally acclimated to the cold. The summers here are hot enough to undo some of that acclimation, but each winter that comes thereafter isn’t as bad as the one before. How’s that for being positive?

Being a human without a car, I have struggled with the action of layering my clothes whenever I have to venture outdoors. When I lived in the high desert in California, it was my daughter who would dress me. She was my go-to person whenever I needed fashion advice and for anything that pertained to dressing for climate. Her magical touch always included looking trendy and not so much like I was dressing to keep warm. How she did it is beyond my comprehension. As it sits, I layer and I look like I’ve gained 40 pounds.

Snow is a whole other beast in and of itself. Snow is the reason we wear warm boots, scarves, and beanies. Back in California, snow meant I was going snowboarding, which required an hour drive to the mountains. Fun right? In Oregon, snow is inevitable where I sit. The only thing keeping me from being in the snow is the walls to my apartment. I have learned that walking in snow can be injurious, if not deadly. It also looks awkward as you can’t walk heal to toe, you have to walk a little flat footed and hope that you don’t slip.

Driving in the snow is absolutely no fun. It’s dangerous and scary. Last winter I drove in the snow and the car decided to slide backward towards the parked cars lined up along the street. Those poor cars were ignorant to the fact that they were about to be smashed into. Luckily the car slowed itself enough for the brakes to be of any use and I was able to resume the trip of my intentions, which was to the market for coffee creamer. After that scare, guess what isn’t worth driving in the snow for anymore. Right, you got it, coffee creamer!

Speaking of cars and snow, I have a number of friends who have damaged their cars from the use of tire chains. If you’re vehicle is moving and they snap, they tend to rip right through fenders and bumpers, leaving the car looking mangled. One of my friends had this happen to her new car that she had just gotten no more than a month earlier. She was upset, but she told me that she learned something from that, which was to invest in snow tires instead. I should call her and ask if she ever made good on that investment.

Outside, it is 26 degrees. Cold enough to bite. Thank goodness it isn’t raining, but the fog is pretty intense, even at this time in the afternoon. Fog makes me happy so I’m not complaining. Also, this is my weekend and I’m content staying inside. I want for nothing as my fridge and pantry are stocked, and I have plenty of different teas to keep me warm.

Tomorrow is another day and another story altogether as I will be returning to work for the beginning of my work week. If it’s raining, I will dress accordingly with a backpack filled with my work clothes and Adidas. If it’s just freezing, I will layer, hoping in vain to capture the talent of my daughter, but failing miserably. I miss my Kiki.

So those are my thoughts about winter. Now I am off to finish my laundry. Hopefully, wherever you are, the winter has been gentle to you.

Sometimes you just have to ask

I’ve decided after everything that life has put before me, all the obstacles, all the heartaches, all the tears and stress, that I am not below begging for money to help get me to a better place.

One of my favorite college professors once told me that the dumbest question is the one that isn’t asked.  So I’m asking…..for help.

This gofundme thing inspired me.  I’ve seen people get donations for all sorts of things.  Some things are major, like hospital debts, others are not so major, like sending a dog from one state to another.

I tried using this site to help cremate my mother when she passed a few months ago.  My goal was $3000.  $1000 of it was to cremate her, the rest was to pay some of the debts she had left me.  I thought that it would be a no brainer posting to my facebook for all my friends to see that this was something major, but apparently to them it wasn’t so and all I got was $600.  After gofundme took out their portion, I had a whopping $545 to cremate my mom.  This wasn’t enough so I had to call a cousin, who stepped in and paid for the cremation.  I was grateful for him, but unfortunately for my facebook friends, I was left feeling really super unloved.  I’ve known some of them for ever.  They all knew my situation with my mom while I was her caretaker….and yet when I really needed it most of them didn’t even contribute a buck.  For goodness sake, a dog got $4000 to be shipped to another state and I can’t get enough to cremate my mom?  What is wrong with this society when a dog is more important than a human being?

I was and forever will be grateful to the people who did contribute.  They knew it was major and they gave from their heart.  I would’ve done the same thing with no questions asked.  So why didn’t a majority of my friends contribute?  I understand they aren’t all drowning in money, but the friends who could have contributed didn’t.  I have been working on my bitterness since this happened.  I actually stopped going on facebook because of it. I just cannot stomach their frivolous spending posts knowing they couldn’t help me with so much as a dollar to cremate my mom.

Then, the other day, I found myself at a stress level that I know isn’t healthy.  I don’t want to die yet but I know this level of stress will be what does me in.   Here is my story:

When my mom had her stroke she recovered at a convalescent home for 3 months.  Each day of those 3 months I dropped off my son at school and went to see my mom for breakfast.  I would stay with her for 2 hours, go home to manage things there, then I’d go back to see my mom for lunch, and then I’d be the one who tucked her in bed at night.  She was scared being there.  Some of the nurses were a little rough with her but with me being there she was able to feel safe.  During that time I learned how to help her get to the bathroom.  I learned that she needed help pulling her pants down and pulling them back up.  I learned how to dress her and how to balance her when she tried to stand.  I learned how to clean her if she had an accident in bed.  I learned how to change her bedsheets while she was still on the bed. I learned that she had lost a little bit of sight from her stroke so I found her a ginormous magnifier so she could read her books.

Most of all though, I learned that my once mobile mother, my yard sale buddy, my thrift store pal, the woman who would run to my car whenever I’d pick her up to grab lunch, was forever gone.  She wasn’t going to come back either.  We could hope for some recovery, but that was far reaching and, in the end she never did recover. That alone was very hard on my mom’s emotions.  I remember sitting down with her and having the truth talk where I had to remind her that she at least didn’t die and that I would be there for her, always!

When those 3 months were over, the fact was that she couldn’t live on her own anymore.  My husband and I moved her into our home and I nursed her back to something that resembled my mom.  I did physical therapy with her, I changed her diet and managed to rid her of the diabetes the stroke had produced in her body.  I bathed her, fed her, shopped for her, cooked for her, took her to every doctor appointment she had set up, I held her when she cried out of fear and frustration.   I managed her medications, which at the time were a total of seven different ones, I fought the doctor on some meds that needed to be adjusted or just outright taken out of her daily supply based on what they were doing to her.  Some made her sick, some were completely unnecessary.  I never understood the need for the latter meds or why they were prescribed to her but one doctor’s assistant tried explaining to me that it was standard procedure.  Yeah.  My mom was now just a number to them.

Months later she went to stay with my sister.  There are things that happened that caused this that are an entirely different blog altogether, and perhaps those things just need to be put in a box and buried to save our family anymore unhappiness they’ve already caused.  In any event, she was there for a good minute and during her time at my sister’s I went through a divorce and I moved to another city.  I found myself raising my last child alone and in a city I wasn’t really familiar with.  My son had his moments of stress trying to find new friends, leaving his old friends, and adjusting to a new school, but we were good.  We were happy and safe and things were looking positive for us.  Then something really terrible happened and I found myself moving my mom back in with me.  I never minded this because I loved that woman.  She was my mom.  She was my friend.  She was my prayer warrior.

During her time with us, she developed dementia.  My plan to find a job and get us a bigger place to live was put to a halt with that disease.  More and more of my time spent with her was going into things I had no idea how to deal with.  One of those things was her sneaking out in the middle of the night.  She would walk out of the house at midnight and cruise the streets in her pajamas.  Our street had been made aware of 4 different bear sightings in as many months, so her roaming the streets was not only dangerous in that she could get lost, but with the bears it could very well have been deadly.  Supermarket shopping was limited to 20 minutes because any more time would have sent her roaming the streets again looking for me.  I had nobody to help me.  No family member to come take the load or the stress off.  Nobody came to visit her.  At one time, someone from my family actually had the audacity to call the police and accuse me of leaving my mom home alone for 3-4 days at a time based on a phone call they received from my mom saying I was never home, which was just not the truth.  My mom’s dementia had gotten so bad that if I wasn’t in the same room with her she would think I wasn’t home at all.

My income was limited to whatever my mom got from social security and what I got in child support.  I got so desperate that I figured I’d look for work and deal with my moms care when I got a job.  There was hope for one particular job. I thought I had that one for sure, but during the interview they kept asking about how I was going to be able to care for my mom and show up for work everyday.  They knew about my mom because my friend who referred me had mentioned it to them.  It was an innocent inclusion on his part when he referred me, but it was detrimental to my getting the job. After that I didn’t get any calls for interviews to any of the million places I had applied to.  Things were really looking bleak.

Because of the lack of income and being unable to pay my bills I was evicted.  I had gotten behind on my car payments and there was no way I was going to be able to make up the difference.  We found ourselves an hour and a half away from home living on the floor of my friend house, I was at this point driving a stolen vehicle.  My friend and I decided we could actually save money if we combined what we had and move into a bigger place.  This actually helped enough that we weren’t starving but not enough to catch up on my car payments, and finally, 2 years later, I lost my car.

One month before losing my car, my child’s father decided he didn’t want to pay child support anymore so I lost that income, and two weeks after losing my car, I lost my mom.  Now here I sit with no income and freaking the hell out.  I have applied to numerous places and by the grace of God I got hired at Del Taco.  This probably never would have happened if it weren’t for one of my son’s friends who works there and put in a good word for me.  So I get hired there, signed all the employment paperwork and I’m stoked….but I haven’t received any hours yet.

My rent is due today.  I don’t have the rent.  I live in a house full of stress and unhappiness.  There is a job opening at the Von’s in my old neighborhood that I am positive I could get because they all know me there and I’m friends with everyone at that store…they could put in a good word for me.  I know the manager.  This would be my job, I know it, but I don’t live there and I don’t have a car to get to an interview there.  Being cooped up in this house with my mom has limited my contact with people so I don’t have friends here that could loan me their car, not to mention how bad I’d feel even asking them to do that for me.  It’s bad enough asking for rides to the supermarket but to borrow someones car?  Yowza.

So, I created a gofundme account to help me get a car and get back into Los Angeles.  I have sent an email to a pastor I know asking if he knew of anyone that could rent me a small place and give me grace on the rent until my hours at Del Taco are regular.  I asked him to refer me to anyone he knew who is hiring.  I’m willing to scrub floors or walk dogs.  I will clean their house or their yard.  I’m not above doing what needs to be done for survival.  Until I get any word from him or any of the other people I’ve asked for help, including my ex husband, and ex boyfriend, a couple of friends from my hometown, and some relatives, I am going to play with the idea that I can reach out for help and let’s just see if I can be more important to people than a dog.

The link to my gofundme account is:

http://www.gofundme.com/i95nyc

I’m begging for this to go viral.  If anything will make me believe I have value it would be that this fund reaches its goal.  I am begging you all.  Can you help me?

Living With The Guilt

Two months before my mom passed away I remember having a conversation that was so filled with anger and resentment that I think the guilt of it will never leave me.

My mom was at a point in her dementia where she was calling out for me literally for nothing.  She’d call for me to give her water, even though she had water right on her nightstand next to her, or she’d ask for toilet paper, an orange, to close her window, to turn on her light, to find her pencil, to cover her up with blankets, to find her pajamas, or her socks or her slippers.  When she would ask me for such things, she didn’t just give a shout out like, “Can you please get me some water?”.  No.  She would ask me for water and then repeat the request like a chant over and over and over and over and over again.  Then she would bang on her wall or the door with something, ironically sometimes it was with her water bottle that was filled with water.

I would tell her I was going to make dinner, and just as I was chopping the veggies or frying the chicken, she would holler from her bedroom that she was hungry, over and over and over and over again.  These repeated requests for things would drive me absolutely nuts.  One time she had me so nervous that I almost chopped my finger off while I was dicing potatoes.

Most of the things she requested of me were things she could have done herself, but towards the end of her life it seemed as if she had forgotten she was capable of doing them.  Like she talked herself out of wanting to do them, or like she really believed she couldn’t do them.  She was physically capable of turning her lights on or off and she could open and close her curtains.  These were things she’d done all of her life, but for some reason one day she just stopped being able to do them.  I remember tripping out on that.  It kinda freaked me out because I knew she was slipping deeper into her dementia.

Once we all got used to hearing her repeated requests for things, she started yelling for help.  Help me lord.  Help me somebody.  Help me Mandie….over and over and over. She sounded like she was hurt or had fallen but she wasn’t and she hadn’t.  More often than not, she would actually be sitting on her bed looking at her hands or her feet just yelling for help.  I can’t tell you how many times I’d rush into her bedroom thinking something was wrong only to find her sitting there chanting help help help help help, like a mantra.  I would ask her what she wanted and she would make stuff up because she really didn’t need anything and sometimes I think she didn’t even know she was yelling for help.  It was insane.  It was maddening.  I think the worst part was it didn’t make a difference if I told her that she scared me because I thought something was wrong, or that all the neighbors could hear her and were probably concerned because she couldn’t remember I’d say those things and 5 minutes after I’d leave the room she’d start yelling for help again.

Her requests for help didn’t stop at a certain time, like once she went to sleep, because she would wake up at 2 or 3am and start up all over again.  I would wake with a start and rush to her room.   One morning, around 4am I ran from my bedroom to her bedroom, my heart pounding, my eyes still groggy, because she was yelling for help. I asked her what was wrong.  She didn’t answer me so I got closer to her and realized she was asleep.  She was asleep yelling for help.  I called her name and roused her and she looked at me, still in a dreamstate and said, “Where is my food?” She wasn’t awake.  Wow

The conversation I had mentioned earlier was about how I felt trapped and how I felt that my choice to love and honor my mom by taking care of her gave me nothing but hardship.  It was rewardless.  My blood pressure was freaked out.  My heart was palpitating.  I broke out in a rash that would not go away no matter what I slathered or washed it with.  Then I started to break out in hives.  Every single night I’d break out in hives and I would be up for hours itching and miserable.  Financially I was finding it hard to make ends meet.  I couldn’t work because I had to take care of my mom 24/7. I couldn’t afford to have someone come in and watch her because I didn’t have a job.  I lost my car because I couldn’t afford to pay for it.  I had to apply for food stamps.

It seemed that every single horrible financial thing that could happen was happening to me and I couldn’t understand how my goodness was giving me such horrific karma.  I started to think that there must be a reason people don’t do the honorable thing because it doesn’t pay ya back.  I wondered how my life would have turned out had I put my mom in a home and walked away from that responsibility.  Would I have a good paying job?  Would I be living in a nice city and driving a nice car?  Would I have a boyfriend?  Would I be traveling?  All of those thoughts came pouring out of me during my conversation and all of the resentment towards my mom had built up to the point where I didn’t think I was going to be able to keep breathing.  It was pretty awful.  And then my mom died.

Thinking back on that conversation, I can understand that I was overwhelmed.  I didn’t have anyone helping me.  I had absolutely no support system, emotionally or financially. I felt alone and exhausted and sorry for myself.  Luckily, I didn’t stay in that bad place for too long.  I think it lasted all of one or two days, but it was intense while it lasted and because of its intensity, the memory of it will never go away.

I suppose I can go into a spiritual mindset and try to make sense of the timing.  Not two months had gone by after that conversation when my mom passed away.  Was it divine intervention for both me and my mom?  Had her life prolonged, would my life had been cut shorter?  Did God see that I just was not able to go through any more hardship?  Those are questions that will never be answered so I can’t beat myself over the head about it, but I suppose it’s all still so fresh and this is part of the mourning process and I’m just trying to deal.

I will say this though – If I had to do it all over again, for my mom I would do it in a heartbeat.  Sure I’d change some things and change some choices I had made during those 7 years, but I would definitely make the same decision to take care of her.  She was after all my mom.

 

 

The Finality

Today, I had to sign the paperwork that included my mom’s death certificate, a “contract” for the mortuary, and a form that said I agreed with the time of her death.  Yuck.  That last word sits on my tongue like poison.

I had set up an appointment to do this today at 10am, but I realized, after a long night of hearing things and just being uncomfortable, and tossing and turning…I wasn’t going to be able to make the appointment so I called to reschedule.  The man that has been working with me on this, and who I was supposed to meet up with to take care of the final paperwork wasn’t available, but I did speak to his wife.  She said to come in before 2.  I said I couldn’t make it at 2 so she suggested I just come in tomorrow morning.  My problem with this is that I no longer have a car, and if I rode my bike up there (it’s all uphill) I’d be out of breath and near death myself.  I’m relying on my friend, and the only time she can take me is after she picks up her kiddo from school, which is after 2:50.  I explained this to the wife and she told me that she also picks up her kid at the same time and she doesn’t go back to the mortuary after that, so if her husband isn’t available, which he was scheduled to be at funeral services all week, I wouldn’t be able to do it until I could make it before 2pm.  After hearing this, my friend made arrangements for me to get a ride with her boyfriend, Darin today before 2pm so all was cool.

Because this appointment was made yesterday, I had all the rest of the day, and all of this morning to mentally prepare for this.  Signing a document that allows someone to cremate my mom is weird.  I knew this day was coming.  I’m sure some of us all kinda know we’re going to do this for our parents, but when the time comes it just isn’t all that smooth an experience.  It’s kinda tough on the emotions.  It’s a step towards saying goodbye.  Like chiseling it into stone.  So it didn’t surprise me when I walked out my front door and almost threw up.  My stomach lurched and I thought for a second there that I was going to lose my lunch, but I managed to maintain and off we went.

When we got there I told Darin I didn’t want to go in.  I was starting to panic.  He said he’d go in with me.  Okay.  That made me less scared and I was thankful to have someone there with me.  When we walk in the wife pulled us into a room to sign the documents.  I noticed her eye was red and she said it was hurting her and she’d made an appointment with the doctor. I told her I hoped it wasn’t pink eye.  Darin chimed in that it’s called conjunctivitis and then made a joke about how if he’d said that to my mom she would have said, “what?” because she was so hard of hearing.  Then we joked about how she would have made the word conjunctivitis into an entirely different word that in no way meant the same thing, and we both laughed.  The wife just kinda sat there looking at us.  Darin tried to explain that my mom was hard of hearing, and the wife just sat there emotionless but this time just looking at him.

She told me to go over the paperwork and make sure there weren’t any errors.  I noticed one and she rolled her eyes..  Then I noticed another, another eye roll from her.  During this time Darin was reflecting about how my mom would ask him to help her get things out of a shelf in her closet.  My mom would ask him this, and then she’d go on and on about how tall and helpful he was.  Darin was feeling sad, but during his reflection the wife started tapping her fingers loudly against the table.  I thought it was rude of her so I asked her if she was bored.  She said she wasn’t, so I pointed out that she was tapping her fingers against the table.  She kinda buckled and looked a bit embarrassed but she stopped tapping.  As I was signing the papers, I was overwhelmed with the finality of this part of my mom’s life and I almost started to cry.  I looked at her and said I was missing my mom, and she said “Nobody said it was going to be easy”.  It wasn’t even like she felt sad for me or that she was trying to make me feel like she cared.  It was like a naggy irritated statement.  I was in complete shock.  Imagine being in the business of helping people with the death of their loved ones and having no compassion.  This was who this woman was.  She was dead herself, inside.

I signed the last document and we left, but on the way out I was burning with anger.  This woman was cold.  I imagined how she treats other people.  Do you think she treats parents who’ve lost a child like this?  If I were signing these very documents for one of my kids and she said what she said to me about their death, I would have poked her eyes out.  Yes, I would have lunged at her and choked her out.  She would have needed her own services.  Because it was my mom, and I knew my mother’s passing was inevitable, I held my tongue.  Also, I want my mom’s ashes in my hands before I file a formal complaint.  I will complain.  This doesn’t get to happen and then be forgotten.  I will complain loudly to anyone who will listen.  Our local sheriffs department highly recommended this mortuary to me so they will also get a complaint.  I’m appalled.

After a good 2 hours of this woman’s words ruining my happiness, I got over it by summing up that her words and her actions are just a reflection of an ignorant ass, but I plotted her demise.  I just need to have my mom’s ashes in my hands before she tastes my wrath.

The D Word

It’s been a little over a week and I find I’m having a hard time, when talking about my mother’s passing, saying that she’s d.e.a.d.  Ugh.  Just typing that out, even with the periods makes me cringe.  I hate that word.  She’s passed, or she’s passed away, or she’s with Jesus, or she’s gone home, or she’s in heaven….anything other than that she’s d.e.a.d.  My mom isn’t d.e.a.d.  Her personality was way too strong to be d.e.a.d., especially her last few years on this planet.  That lady was very much a burning candle, very much demanding attention from all of those who were in her life.  Her passing has left a loud silence for all of us who were in her life and to think she’s going to be regarded as d.e.a.d. just doesn’t fly with me.  It’s too final.

Maybe I’m being over sensitive.  Maybe I got my quirks, but that was my mom and if I don’t feel cool saying that my mom is d.e.a.d. than so be it.  I wonder how normal it is that I can’t bring myself to say it, and god forbid anyone else were to say it to my face.  I don’t know why I am so sensitive but I am.   I have, for the past few days, tried in vain to remember how some of my friends refer to their parents who’ve passed away.  Do they say their mom or dad is dead?  I just can’t recall.

Don’t get me wrong.  I know she’s no longer here, and I know she isn’t coming back, she’s not on vacation, or just living far far away.  Her time as a human being walking this earth is over.  I just don’t really like the word dead and I most certainly don’t like the words “mom” and “dead” used in the same sentence.

I’m sure one day this will not be an issue.  I’ll probably have no qualms about saying it later later later in the future, but for now I can’t do it.