Tag Archives: death

A Bologna Sandwich

6 Jan

Sometimes, when you’re grieving, that’s all it takes.

Only a few days after my dad passed away, my mom made lunch for everyone. It just so happened that she was making fried bologna sandwiches, a childhood favorite of mine. If you haven’t had it, try it! It’s pretty damned good.

I put my sandwich together, held it in one hand and went to grab a plate. I looked down at it for a second, looked up at my mom and all I had to say was “This reminds me of Dad” to start to well up with tears. It’s true though, he was always the one who made them for lunch.

To stop myself from completely crying, I had to go so far as to set the sandwich down. I told me mom “The last thing I need to do is cry over a damn bologna sandwich”.

My father’s death was expected. And at least for me, it isn’t the day to day monotony that makes me sad or overwhelms me, or even talking about it – it’s the little things that unexpectedly pop up that you aren’t prepared for that upset me. A song, a trinket, a memory…a sandwich. That is really all it takes.

But I’m doing okay.

[Hopefully] Happy New Year

31 Dec

While I know that when I wake up tomorrow, life won’t be suddenly rainbow and butterflies, but with the beginning of a new year upon us, I can only hope that the next one will be better.

I hope that it will be a time of healing, a time of self-discovery, a time of exploration, and most of all…a time of happiness.

The past year and a half has challenged me with multiple deaths, homelessness, losing friends, and more downs than ups. I can’t imagine what life could possibly throw at me in the coming year that would be worse.

Actually, I can imagine. But I’d rather not.

I’d rather just hope that the universe has kept me down and out for long enough, and that I’m on my way up.

I sure could use a bit of that happiness I hear of…

Cheers!

Dear Dad [Rest in Peace]

26 Dec

DSC00466

Dear Dad,

I called you dad, pa, daddy, Roberto, papa. You called me Michelleeanna, Annie, hot rod…Anner Nanner.

You’ve been the best father that a girl could hope for, and you’ve been with me through every moment of my life, big or small. As we go through your belongings, we find things that bring back the best memories…memories I’ll cherish the rest of my life. You may be gone in body, now, but you’ll never be gone in spirit.

The day of my wedding, you’ll be there.
The day I finally buy a house, you’ll be there.
The day I graduate with my next degree…you’ll be there.

You live on in me and my sister, our mother, and your grand children.

I find solace knowing that you are finally at peace, and that your pain has ended. You fought a good fight, Dad, and I knew that no matter the outcome, the day you told me I’m going to fight this damn cancer  that everything would be okay. And I know that as much as I love you, and I admire you that you love me and are proud of me.

Everything I’ve done until this day, and everything I’ll do in the future is to make you and Mom proud of me. You are such a major part of who I are, and who I’ve become. You’re the fire to my phoenix.

I know that you held on as long as you did for us, to make sure we were ready and that we would be okay once you were gone. Thank you for that. I know it was a hard, long struggle. I know you were worried. But we will be okay. I got to spend one last Christmas with my papa, even if you were only hanging on by a thread, even if you couldn’t sit with us next to the Christmas tree…I got to sing Christmas carols to you, and buy you one last Christmas present, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

I’ll miss you. I love you.

Give ’em hell, Dad

Rest in Peace
12.26.14
2:19 pm

When “Alone” Doesn’t Begin to Cover It: Being the “Balanced” One

2 Dec

Over Thanksgiving, I was once again reminded of my role in the family: the balanced one. I don’t know how I got stuck with that title, but it appears I have no choice. My sister and my mother can’t seem to stand each other. One owes the other, and one can’t see that she’ll never be repaid. They are both anxious and nervous, and can’t seem to talk to one another even on the eve of my fathers death.

So Mom comes to me to cry about everything because my sister isn’t talking to her. My sister comes to me to cry about everything because she isn’t talking to my mom. No one seems to be able to remain calm but me.

Balance.

Being the balanced one means I don’t get a lot of time to be unbalanced, which sometimes I so desperately need. I have to be balanced, because if I become unhinged like everyone else, the world plummets into chaos. And I can’t handle chaos.

It’s lonely when you’re balanced.

My mother told me something on the phone the other day that I just can’t seem to shake. I know it’s true, and I know that means I’ll be alone. She told me, when talking about the grief counselor that hospice sends over once a week, that herself, my sister, and I will each need someone to be our rock on that day, and that my mom doesn’t think she will be able to do it.

I haven’t heard such a truthful statement.

And on that day, I will be the loneliest, most alone person on the planet. My mom has the grief counselor, my sister has her husband, and me…well…

I have no one.

But I’m the balanced one. And the balanced one must remain balanced, so naturally I will use logic to assess my emotions, that my emotions are valid, that death is necessary and predictable, and that having no one is a result of being balanced. Because only the balanced one can be okay without someone else to balance for them.

And on that day, I fear nothing more than my entire family becoming unhinged and estranged from one another, simply because the person who made the balanced person balance, is gone.

Death: Logic & Reason VS. Feelings & Emotion

27 Oct

I tend to be a very logical person. A great example (at least to me) was the time that I blacked out in a hotel. Once I started to come to, my first full thought was “Please don’t need to go to the doctor to get IV fluids”.

Or, when I get broken up with or rejected or anything of that nature, I always acknowledge that it’s okay if you don’t like me. It is. You can’t force anyone to like you or to love you, and we don’t have control over our feelings.

I do tend to be a very sensitive individual, too. I don’t have any great examples for that one, so you’ll just have to trust me.

With death, and this may be a “me” thing or an “everyone” thing, I find that these two seemingly contradictory processes makes dealing difficult.

My dad has officially been placed on hospice care. The treatment for his cancer is too hard on his body, and he has been given only a couple of months to live. I can only hope that is a conservative guess, and that he might have something closer to 4 or 6 months.

Being faced with my father passing soon, I find myself conflicted. I just don’t know how to feel.

Death is probably the most logical, reasonable, and expected thing in life. We know it’s coming from the second we know what death is. It happens to everyone and everything, and the only thing we don’t necessarily know is when and how. Because it is such a logical thing, I feel like I’m being somewhat cold to the situation. Of course I think it is too soon, and if I had a choice my dad wouldn’t have to leave me, but he does. If it wasn’t soon, it would be later, and it would still happen. It  will happen to my mom and my sister, and eventually me and my husband. My nieces and nephews. All of us.

But like I said, I’m a sensitive soul. I’m torn up that I’m losing my father. He won’t get to walk my down the aisle when I get married. He won’t see me get my next degree. I won’t be able to take care of him when he gets older and I have the ability. There are so many times I turn to my father to make me feel accepted, and happy, and justified in my feelings. I feel frustrated with myself when I start being logical about the situation.

I’m stuck in the middle. One part of me says that I should stay strong and carry on, that feeling overwhelmingly sad is unnecessary. The other part of me says that I should quit my job and glue myself to my dad’s side until he passes and that there should be no moment that I’m not crying.  One part says that it is time to accept what is happening and the other part says do not accept defeat – you aren’t ready to lose Dad yet.

On one hand, I’m quite fortunate to be able to sort these things out [somewhat] before he passes, but on the other, it gives me more time to think things over too much.

How do you deal with death? Do you reason yourself through it, or do you just let the emotion flow? Is this a weird “me” thing, or is this an “everyone” thing? With the death you’ve had to deal with, was it sudden or did you prepare prior to it’s occurrence? 

Quote 22 Oct

Every time I tell someone that I want to get married soon, they say that I have all the time in the world. That I don’t need to rush. What they don’t understand is that the single most important thing to me about getting married is having my father walk me down the aisle. And for that…I have 2 months.

Faith: A Desperate Man’s Prayer

23 Aug

As I’ve grown older, I’ve almost completely stopped telling people about major events in my life that might garner some sort of sympathy. This is one of those times, but I find that it would be out of character if I didn’t make a point out of life events. It’s kind of my thing.

So, I regret to inform you that my dad has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer.

I don’t know the type or the prognosis or really much of anything, but my mom says that, while the doctor didn’t say much, it sounds like its terminal. If she is correct, she also didn’t give me a time frame to consider.

I’ve only actually disclosed this to 3 friends, and it was because I knew they wouldn’t have much to say on the matter. No amount of “I’m so sorry” will do anything. Nothing. My situation is not unique. And knowing that my friends are “there for me” doesn’t really do anything for me either (the only thing that might make me feel better is having a man in my life, but oh well).

Death is a fact of life, and I plan to treat is as thus.

It’s almost like a clean slate when you might be dying. You can do whatever you want. Even be reckless if you so desire. Maybe its even liberating.

But, of course, I don’t want to lose my father. I assumed I had at least 10 more years with him, but remarkably, I’ve been preparing myself for the loss of my parents since I was a small child. One night when I was probably 6, I woke up from a nightmare that both my parents had died. I told my mom, through tears, about the dream. She comforted me about this plan God had that one day, he will save the world and people will live forever again as they were once meant to.

I held onto that for years.

Unlike the rest of my family, I have not held onto that faith in a higher power. There are moments when I wish that if I prayed a miracle would happen, and being agnostic makes it even more difficult. And that is how I feel about faith in religion. Desperation. So I hold my faith in science and medicine, as I should. There have been remarkable advancements in cancer treatment, and I think that even if God did exist, he would have given us these tools for us to use.

While I hope that something amazing happens and his cancer goes into remission, I hope, too, that my father is proud of me. The two things I wanted my dad to still be here for were to walk me down the aisle of my wedding, and to see me graduate from vet school. Unfortunately, I’m not close to accomplishing either of those things and I do feel some degree of failure because of that, but deep down I know he is very proud of me (all I really have to do is ask and he’ll boast).

I love him very much, and I hope that if it’s time, I’ll at least be able to get the most knowledge I can out of him before then. Because goodness knows, I feel like I call him every other day asking him how to change or fix or make things.