Initially, it was hard even to figure out which end was up, and we just went day by day trying to figure everything out. After a few months, however, we settled into figuring out a routine that would work for us so we could get mom to all of her appointments while also keeping track of shopping and meal prep and everything that needed to be maintained around the house.
I felt sad that our afternoon had ended, but it was getting late, and mom would be cooking dinner by the time we arrived. It was during our walk back to the house that dad happened to mention that the fish didn't have any teeth. "What???" I asked him. "WHAT????"
Lincoln Memorial - Washington DC / S.A.Leys Photo I took this photo sometime around 2010 ish. One of the benefits of working 12-hour shifts every Friday, Saturday and Sunday was that around 6:00am on a weekday, I could get up, grab my camera, drive into DC and get some photos of some of my favorite…
After a few more days, mom and I were scheduled to meet with the neurology team to discuss whether he would ever come out of this coma and what our best next steps should be in caring for him (i.e., “do we bring him home?”, “does he need surgery?”, “what is his overall prognosis?”). From his team at the Brigham, we learned that multi-organ failure was a symptom of Wegener’s and that there were less than 500 people in the United States who had been diagnosed with it. It was referred to as an “orphan illness.”
On this day - it's about the funny quirky stuff. If mom was still alive the stress would have started about a month ago - just before her birthday. The phone would ring and she would say "I can't find my calendar.
We discuss how relationships are interesting like that - how you really see someone's strength when they are faced with adversity. He smiles upon hearing this "yes, she was quite a fighter," he says.
On this the 18th anniversary of 9/11/01 I wish we could have a national (if not a global) debrief on where we all were and the lessons we learned.
The "it" was the Melanoma that had showed up as a spot on the back of my leg. In a place I couldn't see, in a spot I wouldn't have thought to check. Because I wasn't really paying attention anyway..to that spot..on the back of my leg.
In a way that I really can't explain, there's something reassuring about this teeny little kitten just hanging out with mom and dad that always makes me feel a little bit better and more reassured.
"It's delft," she responds. "Delft? What the hell is delft?" I've never heard of this color. As I drive the cart a little further, I quickly scan my mind looking for the place that has all of the colors in a Crayola 64 pack of crayons. I'm thinking midnight blue, navy blue, sky blue, blue-green, periwinkle and then off to the land of lime green, bubble gum and burnt sienna.
Whenever I moved, dad would always encourage me to find a good auto mechanic in case anything ever happened to the car. “You need someone you can trust,” he told me “and if you do, and they’re good, you can keep driving that car”. Did I listen to him? - No.
It happened again just as it always has. 6:00 am, I have just fallen back asleep again after getting up and there's Mercy, your friend, walking into a room where I am sitting and looking down at me with a big smile and a warm hello.
The Cats Are Alright While I knew that cats grieve like their owners, I never knew or realized how bad this grief process could be until I watched Trey for several days after mom's death.
The title "home is the sailor, home from the sea" is from the poem Requiem by Robert Louis Stevenson. This was how my mom would greet me whenever I would return home after being away at school. When my parents sold their house, they asked me if there was anything I wanted to take. The one…
I knew immediately what to keep and what to let go of. Other times, when I would open a closet or a drawer or look at a picture, I felt like I was going to throw up right then and there from the combination of sorrow and grief mixed with the intense sadness that went with missing mom.