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.

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?


Tomorrow isn’t a promise.


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.


My uncle and my cousin.

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

Where is the fucking sunshine again?


How do you decide between Quality vs. Quantity?

How do you make a choice so fraught with emotions, that, either way, someone will end up hurting?

How do you say, I’m going to live,  really LIVE for a little while, rather than spend months & years with loved ones…but be in pain, sick & tired?

How do you make this choice?

I don’t know.
I really don’t.

I know/knew 2 people who’ve made this choice. Both choosing Quality over Quantity.

And as much as I can say that I understand, even respect, their choice…

It still hurts.

And I know that it’s not my choice to make.

I hope that I am never faced with this choice…because honestly, I don’t know how I would answer the question.

Do you fight? Do you go down swinging, even if it’s a slow, pain-ridden ride?

Or do you finish out your time in a blaze of glory & adventure,  knowing that every moment could be your last?

How do you choose?

Problems, who me? No- Let’s Talk about You

I am a chronic “helper”.  There, I said it.

I suffer from the “in-denial-about-home-issues” and “all-over-other-people’s-problems” syndrome.  I hope there’s a name for it, cause I just ran out of hyphens.  I’d much rather help someone else with their stuff, than deal with my own most days.  It’s a form of denial, I know, but I still do it.

And now, for a short segue:

I grew up in a household full of medical know how.  My mother is an LPN, my grandmother was an RN.  Both of my parents had periods of their lives while I was growing up that they were First Responders (rural equivalent to EMTs that get there before the ambulance).  I even had a stint as a CNA at a nursing home,  as well as working in a grouphome setting for developmentally disabled adults for a while when I was younger. 

I don’t profess to have a LOT of knowledge about all things medical *laughing*, far from it.  But I do know how to ask the right questions, where to look for answers, and I know the value of “getting there quickly”. I have a strong Good Samaritan gene streaking through my DNA.

Back to the topic at hand:

And so, even though there are times in my life when I just want to crawl back under the covers, hide under tables, whatever, when a friend tells me that there’s trouble a’brewing in their lives? 

I’m all over it.

I’ll gladly chuck my own problems over my shoulder, race wherever my spidey senses tell me the emergency is, and pitch in till everyone’s safely out.  “Here, let me help you with that – What me?  Problems?  No, Let’s talk about you.”

Example:  Recently, an old friend and member of my “chosen family”, someone I consider like a little brother from my younger years, told me he has a serious medical condition.  Without going into details, let’s just say that my spidey senses went haywire, and threatened to fry my little ant brain.  Needless to say, all my own problems jumped to the end of the line, and I went all “medical commando”, trying to get as much information as I could, asking questions, and telling my friend to call me anytime, any day, no matter what.  If he wanted someone to prop him up, I was his gal; if he needed someone to kick him in the hind region to motivate him, just whine; and if he needed an ear to vent to, or a shoulder to cry on, I’d get some clean tissues.

And, when he tried to dissemble and say that he was “going to be fine”, I called Bull.

Told him not to blow smoke there, and to stop worrying about me worrying about him.

He told me that I was the first person to tell him to stop worrying about others, the first person to say that we (his friends and family) have to handle our upset over this on our own, and that he needs to be selfish and think about himself first

Yeah, it’s that kind of serious.

Yes, I’m upset about it.  Yes, it scares me right down to my toes, and I pray every day that the treatments work.

But that’s my own emotional crap.  And he doesn’t need to hear it. 

So, I wait.  And I hope.  And Nurse Brea sits at attention, ready to fly.