Uncle Jeff

My Uncle Jeff passed away last night.

His son, my cousin Cody, passed away August 1st.

Once again, I will not be able to go to the funeral, because it’s 13 hours away. Also, my ElderDaughter & her family are coming this weekend to visit.

My head is a mess.

I’m glad I’ll get to see my grandbabies, EldestDaughter, her husband “Moose”, & her friend who’s traveling with them.

But my heart is also in shreds, after losing yet another family member to cancer. Father and son, both gone within weeks of each other.

At least he’s not suffering anymore”…they say

My head knows this is true.

My heart just wants to stop the pain.

My mom couldn’t even call me to tell me today, she texted me the news.

He was her baby brother.

My thoughts are so random and disjointed.

And I still have to clean house before the kids get here tomorrow night.

It doesn’t help that my water heater started leaking on Sunday, so I had to have a new one installed yesterday.

Another expense I can’t really afford…

Which just means that even if the kids weren’t coming this weekend, I still wouldn’t have been able to go to Iowa for the funeral.

I just can’t deal right now.

And yet, here I sit, again, trying to get through another pain-filled night by myself. I just really need someone to fucking hug me & tell me it will get better.

Just for a minute.

I want someone to comfort me, instead of always having to try to get through it alone.

I miss my family, but there’s no way to fix it.

I wish I could be there for my Aunt & my other cousins, but I can’t go.

I want to run.

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Adrift

The phone rings, and it’s Mom.

“Hi, honey”

“Hey, Mom”

“Yeah, so Krystal called, and Cody’s back in the hospital…they think it might be just a matter of days”

“Oh”

“Yeah, so your Dad and I are leaving Friday morning to go down, I think I told you that, but wanted to make sure…we’ll keep you in the loop”

“Yeah”

“So, how was your day, honey?”

“Ah, Mom, doesn’t even matter”

“Yeah”

….there were a few more words…but they seem to be little more than a buzz…

My cousin is dying.

It’s not fucking fair.

It’s not fucking fair.

Always Hug Goodbye

It was a whirlwind weekend.

My Youngerdaughter came home, as Saturday was her 25th birthday, & she wanted to see me & spend her birthday here before she & her boyfriend moved to Wisconsin next week.

Yeah, Youngerdaughter is finally spreading her wings towards new skies. Her boyfriend is going to be going to school there, & she’s been wanting to experience other places for a while now, before she settles down to family-life.

I was also lucky enough to have my eldest grandson, Schnicklefritz, here for the weekend!

He’s my snuggler, my buddy. And one of his big wishes for the summer was to spend time at my house, so YAY!

Yesterday was a FULL HOUSE.

My parents, Youngerdaughter & her BF, OnlySon & his doggo, & Schnickelfritz.

We had fried tacos & Texas chocolate cake for YD’s birthday dinner celebration, & everyone had a good time.

Except, my Mom dropped a family news bomb on me, but I’ll get to that.

Today…was difficult.

Today was all goodbyes.

Youngerdaughter & her BF left early this morning, and the hugs were choking and emotional, but I didn’t actually cry. Close…but no tears hit the ground.

Then this afternoon I had to drive Schnicklefritz back to his dad’s 75 miles away.

He didn’t want to go.

He misses his mom, his brother, his sister, his step-dad. He didn’t want to leave me.

His chin wobbled, and his eyes fogged up.

But Gramma’s are no-nonsense kind of chicks, you know, so I calmed him down & we got him home.

The drive home wasn’t so easy, alone.

Everybody was gone.

Yeah, yeah, I live alone.

I should be used to it, right?

Goodbyes suck.

And the family news bomb?

As I was making my daughter’s birthday cake, my mother told me that, not only is my uncle in hospice care with cancer, which I knew…

But so is his son, now.

My cousin who is 31 years old has only an expected couple of months to live.

And I won’t be able to go see them.

I can’t afford it.

I haven’t seen these family members in years.

Guilt, extreme grief, depression.

It’s at times like this, that I wish, when I come home, that there was someone here…

Someone who would put their arms around me, hug me, and let me know that I’m not always alone.

But that doesn’t happen anymore.

Always hug the ones you love goodbye.

Even if you know you’ll see them tomorrow?

Because…

Tomorrow isn’t a promise.

Ok?

Stop Dis-counting Me

I’ve been depressed for a long time.

I HAVE depression. It doesn’t just go away magickally, by itself.

Add my Generalized Anxiety Disorder into the mix, and it’s really a hot mess on the bad days.

And, I get it, it’s uncomfortable.

It’s difficult to talk about, especially when you don’t understand it, when you’ve never been through it yourself.

It’s not just being sad.

It’s not just being down today, because you have [insert legitimate reason here – breakup, funeral, bad grade, bad hair, flat tire] going on.

It’s not just a random feeling, one day, of anxiousness, or panic, because you have something big coming up.

This is ALL DAY. EVERY DAY. For weeks, months…..years…

I get it.

It’s hard to be around someone who has trouble enjoying life.

It’s hard being around someone who doesn’t socialize much, or at all, really.

It’s hard to be around someone who is always down on herself, uses self-deprecating jokes as a shield, and who is usually too tired to do all the really fun stuff.

It’s hard to be around someone who is quiet, most of the time, because she’s living so much in her own head. Mainly because that’s where she socializes. Because everyone else has already left to find the “interesting” people.

It’s hard to be around someone who wants to go home early, because she’s been watching everyone else enjoying themselves, out with their dates/spouses/S.O.’s, and is now on the verge of an internal meltdown, but doesn’t want anyone else to know – so she smiles tightly, says “Nope! Just tired/ gotta go home & feed the cats / do the laundry /” whatever reason gets her out quickest.

So you just stop asking her to go places.

You stop inviting her anywhere.

Because it’s uncomfortable.

I get it.

Even though, when you’re the one that’s having problems, I’m always there. Willing to lend a confidential ear, a shoulder, a tissue.

But that’s ok. I don’t keep score.

Because I know what pain feels like, I don’t want anyone else to have to experience it.

Because I know the crush of depression, I don’t want anyone else to have to live under it.

Because I know the constant dread of anxiety, I don’t want anyone else to have to fear it.

Just – stop dis-counting me.

I matter.

I’m not invisible.

And my feelings get hurt too. No matter what I might say in the moment.

Last weekend, OnlySon & I were arguing about addictions & video games, but something I said to him has stuck.

“Gaming addictions, drug addiction, alcoholism, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, you name it, they’re ALL chemical imbalances that cause physical and mental problems.

JUST LIKE DIABETES.

No one blames a diabetic for BEING diabetic.

Why do people blame someone with Depression for being Depressed??

I take my medications, but they don’t work perfectly. They don’t magically stop me from being depressed, or anxious.

They do stop me from being tense all the time, grinding my teeth in my sleep, oh – and they’ve stopped me from killing myself.

It’s the little things.

We, as a society, need to STOP dis-counting mental illnesses, and the people who have them.

They need to be seen as just as valid as diabetes, hypertension, etc. They are all medical conditions. They should all be treated as such.

Stop treating me as less than.

And maybe, just maybe, I’d stop seeing myself that way.

So then there was this…

I know I’ve been talking a lot about being depressed, lately. I know it can get to be repetitive, but… That’s what happens with depression cycles.

You cycle, and cycle, and cycle…until something finally brings you out of it.

I’m not there yet.

laughing softly and ironically under my breath…

I just seem to keep getting pulled in by new cycles of dark.

*I recently realized that when my old phone had its “stroke” & I had to get my new one, I lost a good portion of the phone numbers in my address book. One of the numbers was my ex-husband, which I find ironic, but now, if my son is in trouble, I can’t get ahold of the ex to reach him. I don’t really want to ask my son for his number…but I probably should. Fuck.

I didn’t realize I’d lost these numbers until just recently…because I’d isolated myself so well, I don’t receive calls or texts from anyone but family anymore, really. Chosen family counts here.

*I was going to go to a drag show this last weekend, but my mom called with bad family news.

Her baby brother, my Uncle J, has had throat cancer for a while. He went through chemo & radiation, & they thought he’d gone into remission.

Well, it’s now back, and is in another place. He’s back in chemo, but is not doing as well this time around.

On top of that, his son, my cousin C, also has cancer. He has a very rare, and virulent, form of lung cancer.

They live in Iowa, and are treating in Rochester, which is an exemplary facility…

But, according to Mom, C has ONE CHANCE at treatment. If this treatment doesn’t work…

Folks…he’s only 31.

31.

My uncle and my cousin.

Father and son…both dealing with life-threatening diseases.

Where is the fucking sunshine again?