Tuesday, October 27, 2009

To your hearts

Music: Come Undone - Duran Duran

My grandma's still in the hospital...last night she needed a blood transfusion. She seems to be getting sicker, the longer she's in there.
I'd rather talk about how amazing my grandma is...I've covered a lot of ground here, though, so I may repeat myself.

1. My afghan. You have to see it to appreciate it. It's huge, every color of the rainbow, and some kind of complicated pattern...Moma has made many afghans over the years, but mine is the most special and beautiful thing ever. You would think I was the favorite, it's that beautiful. She loves me, and every night when I sleep under the afghan she made for me so many years ago, I'm reminded of it.

2. My books. My parents moved me away to Germany when I was ten and it devastated me to be away from my grandma, and it devastated her, too. She sent me letters, and tapes, and books... Every single book was a special, huge classic book, with an inscription inside from her telling me how much she loved me. The Little House books, Little Women, Heidi, Ballet Shoes, and more, these books still populate my bookshelf, and remind me of the time when we may have been separated by distance, but she refused to let me forget how much we loved each other.

3. Travel. I've seen so many different places, most of it thanks to my grandmother. She herself has been to 46 states and nine countries. She decides she wants to see a place and just...goes there. And sometimes, if I'm around, I'm lucky enough to get to go, too. Otherwise, I might catch her when she gets back and she says, oh, I drove to so-and-so for the week, it was great. !!!

4. Hair. I have very long, curly brown hair. My grandmother is directly responsible for this, as she kept cutting all my hair off every time she ever got me alone. You can see in photo albums from my childhood when my summer-long stays at Moma's house were, because the 'before' pictures always showed me with long tangled hair, and the 'after' pictures were always me with short hair looking like a boy, with a very sad look on my face. I rebelled at eighth grade and said no more haircuts and I meant it, I've never had short hair again. And it's all her fault.
And she is still trying to this day, I don't think a conversation goes by without her mentioning haircut this or haircut that, or how good I'd look with short hair, etc. When my grandma doesn't get her way she never stops trying until she does get her way. Every conversation, every day, forever.

5. Inspiration. She didn't go beyond the eighth grade, but she studied and got her GED. She was the daughter of a tobacco farmer, born and raised in the holler, and she married and divorced and at twenty-two was a single mom. She made the hard decision to leave the babies with her mom while she left the holler and went north to work, and then when she had made enough to buy a house, she moved the babies and her mom up north to Louisville to live. My grandma was the original working, single mom, way before it became fashionable. She's the strongest person I know.

Yes, we just have to remember that...she's the strongest person we know.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Music: In My Arms - Plumb

My grandma's been in the hospital since Tuesday. She had her first and only chemo treatment and she still hasn't recovered. Her remaining chemo schedule has been put off indefinitely, and now they're talking feeding tube.

How did we get here? She was fine three months ago...

I guess I should say she seemed fine three months ago. Even then, the cancer was eating away at her, and we didn't know it.

I love a lot of people...my family, and my friends, and my coworkers...sometimes my heart feels almost too full when I think about all the wonderful people in my life. Sometimes I might get hurt, if I expect something from someone and it doesn't happen... but then I laugh it off, and forgive if needed. There's no room for resentment in my heart. It just doesn't go well with the love...

This has been a more disjointed entry than usual...I'm just finding it hard to focus lately, I guess. Worried, and disappointed. The world turned upside down when my grandma got sick, and it still hasn't righted itself.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Walking with hope

Music: For Blue Skies - Strays Don't Sleep

I came home from my accident today... crawled in bed... and I haven't moved since then.

Of course I know I'm being childish. I talked on the phone to my grandmother who is in the hospital for her overnight chemo treatment, and she was all, "Honey, it'll be okay," trying to get me to stop crying. I mean, we have bigger problems than that I am afraid to drive and I have no self-confidence behind the wheel anymore. You know...CHEMO TREATMENT.

I'm just overwhelmed by my sheer incompetence at life. I can't seem to get out of bed. Ever. Today is just maybe the last straw, Those 'depression' ads have started to sound kind of familiar, making me think I should call my doctor and look into getting that prescription, but I'd much rather stare at the wall, blankly.

I don't know how my daughter is getting to school in the morning, because I can't seem to move...

It was pretty funny, the guy I hit was calling the police and wanted to know what type of car I drove and I was so in shock, I had no idea. I just looked at him. He asked me again. I said, well, that's a good question. Wait a minute. Give me a minute. Of course I know what kind of car I drive. It's my car. Um. ... After a few more seconds of this (and don't ask me how come he couldn't just walk around the car and see for himself), he finally says, well, it's green, right, and I said, oh yes, it is green, and just looked at him again. Then he goes, it looks like a Chevy...

Sheesh! That's what it took for me to remember that I drive a Chevy Malibu.

Is it me? What?

Listening to: Star Trek:TNG

I had another wreck today...it's about that time of year, you know. I cried and cried and wanted my mommy, but I couldn't have her because today was my grandma's first day of chemo, so my mom was at the hospital with her, instead.

That about sums up my life the past few months: wreck, tears, grandma, cancer (Stage 4), chemo. Lots and lots of tears.

Lots of curling up in bed and just letting time go by. Nothing seems to really matter very much, anymore...

Friday, July 17, 2009


My family... My whole life, whenever I refer to my family, it's always been my mom's side. I do have some family on my dad's side - cousins, uncles, an aunt - but my paternal grandparents both died when I was a teenager, and my dad, an alcoholic, drifts in and out of my life.

My family on mom's side, however, is extremely close and has been the same tight family unit for as long as I can remember. Mom (mom). John (brother). Moma (grandmother). Popa (grandfather). Edie (great-aunt). Aunt Sondra (aunt). Annie (cousin). The unit has of course gotten bigger over the years, first by me with the addition of my daughter and my SO, and then my brother got married and had my nephew and niece. Chelsea (daughter). Dwayne (SO). Carol (SIL). Johnny (nephew). Chloe (niece).

So for all of my 36 years, I've experienced the joys of a close family... The now thirteen of us not only gather for every birthday, every holiday and every summoning by my grandmother, but we also travel, en masse, every year to vacation together for a long weekend to coincide with our family's Decoration Day at our ancestral home. These have been our traditions forever. I can only vaguely remember when our family unit included one more, my great-grandmother (Ma), who lived one street over and died when I was seven. My grandmother still calls her Mommy and cries when she talks about her.

Another of the hard times our family endured was when my dad was stationed in Germany for three years and took us with him. I cried for my grandmother every night for a week, but from what I hear, my grandmother took it much worse, having her babies so far away. My aunt got pregnant and had a baby and my mom, her sister, was an ocean away and couldn't be there with her. My brother graduated from high school in Germany but my grandmother crossed the ocean and came to Germany for that one!

When I graduated from high school and again, from college, my whole family was there to see me. I have been so lucky, my whole life, to have been blessed with my family, no matter how infuriating and annoying I may sometimes find them. They are family, you know!

And since this is Kentucky and everyone has kids when they're teenagers, my grandparents are only 75 and 79 years old. I've been expecting to have at least fifteen more years with them.

So when Mom told me that Moma was being tested for ovarian cancer, it was really the last thing I ever expected to hear.

Thursday, February 26, 2009



My pretty bought-new UK blue car broke to pieces when I hit that tree, and after more than a month of waiting and then car shopping, I ended up with a brand new used car...

I had bought my last two cars new, both, again, UK blue... but nowadays, times are tough and I had to go for used only, with what the insurance paid off when they totaled out my car.

So my mom and my grandma are out looking for cars while I'm at work, and one day they call and tell me they've found my car and they've had my mechanic check it and all they need is my social security number...

So now I have a little nondescript dark green car, and it looks like every other car in the parking lot. It doesn't stand out like my pretty bright UK blue car did! But that's okay, because I'm in love with the inside of it. It's an LS, nicer inside than any of my new cars ever were, and best of all, the stereo is awesome...

Which is really all I care about. I always offer my car to drive anywhere now, because of my really cool stereo. I LOVE my stereo...

Yeah, I offer my car to drive - not me driving. Other people drive my car alot. I don't wanna drive, and for some reason, people don't seem to want me to drive them around... I can't imagine why...

December -

By December I'm so tired I can barely make it in to work. My arms get tired just blow drying my hair and folding clothes. Once I'm down, I'm down... at home that means going from my bedroom to the kitchen is impossible, and at work that means going from my desk to the breakroom is impossible.

My brain finally remembered that I felt this way a year ago and my anemia had gotten really, really bad... It took me a while to catch on because this year I didn't have any symptoms exacerbating it like I did last year.

So I start taking some over the counter iron pills, but they're not helping...

January -

Cyst on my neck. Surgery to remove it. Stitches. Scar. Ow. At least it's benign.

Oh, and the doctor tested my blood, said my anemia has my blood count almost down to the levels it was last year (8), and got me off the stupid self-medicating and on some proper pills.

My post-op check was delayed by the ice storm that knocked out everybody's power for a week and destroyed all the trees.

Yeah, first the windstorm caused by the hurricane, and then less than six months later, we have the ice storm.

At least all those generators everybody bought the first time around got put to good use....

But I can't stand to see all the broken trees.

February -

Birthday time. After last year's debacle I said, no birthday party. So when my aunt called to let me know that the time of my birthday party had changed, I figured out quickly that my mom had planned it against my wishes...

So, halfway through the party, celebrating it the day after my birthday, with one family member having left the house in anger and walking aimlessly around the neighborhood, and another family member in the kitchen talking angrily about leaving and how they shouldn't have even came, there was me in my mom's bathroom crying and desperately wishing to go back to the day before.

My mom came in there and told me she was sorry, she knew I had said no party, and next year we would just go out of town.

Cool. Or, how about, just. no. party.

On the up side, I'm feeling much, much, much better. The doctor's prescription for my anemia has worked like magic. I'm actually able to go for walks now...

This time, I'm going to keep taking the pills even though I'm feeling better. I've been anemic since I was a teenager, and have gone through spells ever since of my iron dropping to really low levels, but never like it has the past two years.

Take your medicine! It's my new motto... I'm not getting any younger, obviously, with the way these dreaded birthdays keep coming around...