I took the helm of all the elaborate Christmas dinner planning and cooking in 2010, when my mother finally admitted she wasn't able to stand as long as all that festivity required. We opened a bottle of Dom Perignon to toast my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, which they'd celebrated just 9 days before. A landmark, a lifetime together. That was my brother's and my last Christmas with our parents. Sudden and cruel illnesses took them over and took them away in the six months that followed. And so last year my brothers and I faced our final Christmas at their home, before we packed everything our parents had lovingly collected over the years into an armada of boxes and sent them off to be auctioned away to strangers. ...more
The uncomfortable nothingness. It’s a feeling I get sometimes. I know in my core it is not the true feeling. It is a mask hovering over the true emotions that are lurking beneath the surface.The nothingness is uncomfortable for that reason only. I can not trust it. I know some surprise emotion will show itself sooner or later. But in the meantime I wait.I also appreciate it because I feel it is my body and mind’s emotional shield. Subconsciously it knows what I can handle and what I can not....more
A city-data forum recently had a thread started by a person who had suddenly lost both of her parents. She ponders regret for not having children in a way had not thought of before, and the 11 pages of comments are worth the read....more
November was not typical for me and my family.I’m wondering how much of what happened this month I should write down. What do I want to remember? What should I try to forget? Don’t worry, I’m not thinking about putting it all in this post. I wouldn’t do that to you.Some of this is going to be sad, so you don’t have to keep reading if you don’t want to. But not all of it is sad....more
I heard grown men crying openly as they called in to "The Sports Morning" host, recounting the sad situation of having two plane crashes within ten years impact the OSU Athletic Department and community. Becoming emotional, one man couldn't finish his comment and simply hung up. Responding to the following caller who was excited about some BCS Bowl possibility, the radio announcer said, "I wish I didn't even have to work today. This feels weird and wrong to be doing this kind of show right now." Let's make that that three new experiences: At that moment, I gained respect for the radio announcer on Sports Talk Radio.
My dad, 86, passed away from us yesterday. He leaves his wife Nancy of 63 years, 5 children, their spouses, seven grandkids, two great-grands.He was a loving husband, a good father, a diligent worker, a sometimes difficult man, extremely modest about his achievements, a great cook, WW II combat vet (Iwo Jima/occupied Japan), quick with the one-liners and loved to laugh....more
I am not good at sad. I have a hard time being sad, I have an even harder time helping someone else who is sad. It's not that I'm unsympathetic, or unfeeling, it's just that sadness makes me want to jump up and sing Hello! Ma Baby and make armpit farts and hump rubber chickens. Anything I can do to banish sadness, even if it's replaced by what the fuck is that? Sadness turns me into Carrot Top. ...more
Over on Facebook, I pondered why I always got such nice sympathy cards from my vet when I lost a pet, but had received nothing from any of my mother's doctors when she died. (Granted, it's not too late. A card or phone call could turn up at some point, but for now the flow of cards has slowed and I'm assuming the window for sending would have passed.)...more
We never talked about the cancer. She had described herself as a cancer patient once, and I knew about the work she did to fundraise for a cure, but I never thought of her in this context. Our time together was something cancer would never penetrate. It was a Faraday cage that resisted the impertinent discharges of worry, doubt, anxiety and fear. In it, there was nothing but us at our most essential, our most free.
As Halloween approaches, it brings a tide of childhood memories: handmade princess costumes, the joy of free candy, the rule among my peers to hold our breath when passing a cemetery so we wouldn't ‘catch’ death. As children, it seemed that simple not to die, and secular America hasn't outgrown that belief. But by ignoring and hiding death, we remain helpless against our fundamental fear of it. Through my practice of mindfulness meditation I have discovered just how fearful and resistant I am to the concept of death as I develop a mindful approach to facing it.