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Back To Routine & To Worry

Ah, see, now I’d written this entire blog post less a paragraph or two and then my computer restarted and it was lost. Much like my computer last night restarting in the middle of my nice, relaxing yoga session causing me to almost immediately lose not only my zen, but my temper. But I digress.

So today marks the start of another school year. Even as a parent and not a student, I found myself approaching the school this morning, hand in hand with Ana, with nerves and excitement. The last two years of school have been a bit rough for Ana. We’ve discovered that she’s incredibly smart, but that she has a really hard time in large group settings. She doesn’t focus well, she creates conflict or drama with other students… its been an uphill battle, for sure.

We’re on the tail here of a really great summer. Her behavior was phenomenal, her tantrums were few and far between, and she really just seemed to grow up. I am so hopeful that this carries over into the classroom and that her school and her new teacher, whoever that winds up being, can see her for the dazzling, intelligent and kind being that she is and not as a “troubled kid.”

Here’s to a great year ahead.

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Twenty Years

Twenty years is a long time. A child becomes an adult. People grow and change. Grief fades, but is always present. 

Twenty years ago today was my mom’s last day with us. Breast cancer took her from us after a year of fighting and of hoping for a better outcome. 

Mom was an amazing woman who was so well-loved. I so badly wish that I had had the opportunity to know her better, to know her as an adult, to know her as a friend. 

Today marks twenty years without her and all I can do is shake my head at the horrible feeling of loss deep in my gut. Gone, but never ever forgotten. 

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The Things I Remember

My mother died on August 15, 1995, but I remember August 16th better. August 16 was the day that I found out she had passed away, as my sister and I were several hours away camping with church friends. 

I remember feeling so GUILTY that I’d been up late, in my tent, playing cards and crushing hard on a boy while my mom was dying. 

I remember Santa Monica Boulevard playing on the boat radio, the wind in my hair as I lifted my face to the sky, those first few motherless hours feeling so surreal. 

I remember the picnic table that my sister and I sat at, my dad in the middle of us, as we looked out over the water. My sister remembers making comments about the clouds for lack of anything else to say. 

When my mom was very first diagnosed with cancer, I remember wondering what it would be like to be the girl whose mom died of cancer. And I remember feeling guilty when it DID kill her. Did I cause that to happen by letting that thought cross my mind? 

I remember asking her if I could keep a blank book that I’d found and I remember being upset that she told me no. She later did give me that book and I remember being elated to have it – not cluing in that it meant that she knew she would have no need for it herself. 

I remember walking the hospice grounds and writing bad poetry by the large fish pond. 

I remember writing to my camp counselors that she had passed – and finishing the letter asking for advice on how to get a boy to like me because apparently I coped by not coping- by grabbing on to anything else to think or obsess about. 

I don’t remember any part of the actual service. I don’t remember who spoke, who was or wasn’t there. I DO remember running around with my sister and some friends and asking people some stupid immature question about snot or boogers and I am APPALLED that I did that. Coping by not coping. 

I remember the boat pulling into the dock and those first few seconds upon seeing my dad before I realized what his presence meant. 

I remember playing card games with a giant-sized deck of cards in the hospice sitting room. I remember spending a lot of time in the hospice that summer. 

I remember her smell. 

I remember her. 

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Fourth Of July Weekend

I learned a few things over this past fourth of July weekend spent largely with my family.

1) All it takes is a family of raccoons living in the treehouse for my family to be entertained for HOURS. Both in watching the raccoons (including two babies) and in debating the merits of letting them remain there and charging admission to this “nature refuge” vs the merits of draping their hides over the railing as a warning to future potential tenants of the treehouse. The majority of the family is for letting them stay. The homeowner is for draping the hides.

2) A full bottle of tequila does not last nearly as long as it probably should.

3) One two year old is capable of holding the attention of ten adults even when she’s sleeping.

4) If you’re picky when you order your food or drink (one shot of vanilla vodka in a martini glass that has to be chilled) in a restaurant, you will NEVER live it down.

5) Talking louder will only result in someone talking even louder over you.

I love my family. The whole crazy lot of them.

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When I Think Of My Grandma

… I think about the old jelly bean dispenser always full and ready for the grandkids on the counter.

… I remember the delicious turkey sandwiches from the day after Thanksgiving.

…. I hear her laughing as her grandkids slid, bumping and giggling, down the blue carpeted stairs over and over again.

… I see books stacked all over the rainbow room – read, in progress and waiting to be cracked.

… I visualize her white hair always perfectly styled.

… her giant grin and her open arms – eager to give us hugs when we showed up for visits.

… I think of how sad I’m going to be when I get the inevitable call that she’s gone.

My grandmother is in a coma and isn’t going to make it much longer. I’m sad. I’m going to miss her.

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Looking Good

So far, 2010 is working out to be a better year. My dad had his surgery to remove the tumor just this past Tuesday and it went better than they (they being the doctors) had even hoped. He’s on his way home from the hospital as I type this post and it’ll be good to see him getting back to his regular ol’ self.

Derek and I have discussed our finances and while we hate to do it, we think that putting Ana in daycare so that I can actually find a full-time job with a full-time income is the right choice for us right now. So, the hunt begins for a full-time position that makes enough money that I can quit my half-assed job.

Ana is doing amazing, as always. She runs with her arms stretched behind her like Super-Girl and she does it everywhere she goes. She’s been a joy to everybody in 6 East at my dad’s hospital. She runs around the halls and pokes her nose into other people’s rooms where she points and says, “Hi!” She has a small vocabulary and I have the feeling that when it expands, it’s going to expand exponentially. For the time being she says dada (everybody is dada), mama (mainly when she’s upset), ball, cat (always in a whisper and repeatedly while pointing excitedly at the cats), and bye bye (as she waves at everybody even when she’s not leaving). And, of course, hi. She says hi to everybody. Shy kid? Not mine.

So we’re almost one month down and eleven to go and things are looking good. Things are really looking good.

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Year In Review. Sorta.

January – I had a cold. I tried to get some immigration stuff for my daughter done. (I never finished that, by the way. I should do that.) I got my heart trampled on. I got a confirmed diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

February – I bought tickets to go to Mexico for a wedding. I reflected on my grandmother’s deterioration into dementia and alzheimer’s. Ana takes on solid foods.

March – I took on the dentist and I think I won. Maybe. Except he took my teeth so he probably actually wins. Damnit. I contemplated my weight and what I needed to do about it. I had my four-year blogiversary and my six year wedding anniversary.

April – I saw Britney Spears walk off the stage in Vancouver. I got really sick. I had more wisdom teeth pulled. I tried to name my car. No name has really stuck.

May – I had my first run-in with kidney stones. I went to Mexico and had a mostly good time and would have had a great time if my poor kid wasn’t so sick that I was scared I was going to have to take an emergency flight home the whole time. Oh, and I broke my toe in Mexico, too. The wedding in Mexico was gorgeous. A tax error was discovered and I suddenly owed the Canadian government 2K. A gas station attendant asked me if I was having a boy or a girl. Yeah. Not pregnant. May was not so fun.

June – I discovered World of Warcraft and have been hooked ever since. Wow, I think that’s all I did in June. No pun intended. (Get it? Wow. WoW. Haha. i’m so funny.)

July – The fourth with my girls! It was the best. I love spending the fourth with my friends at the lake. My girlfriend had her baby daughter and she was and is beautiful. I went back to work after my year off for maternity leave.

August – We sold our condo. I gave notice at my hated job without a new job lined up. The stress of that move! Sheesh! My daughter turned a year old. Holy bajeez, I have a one year old.

September – I started a new job that I was offered the day before my last day at the old one. Phew. Except that three weeks later they announced lay-offs. Say what? I was hired by my sister-in-law so now I have two jobs with limited hours. My grandmother was diagnosed with late stage cancer.

October – My car got broken into. My grandmother got put into the hospital with a very limited time to live. My daughter got really sick and scared me with a high fever, but it turned out she was just fine. My daughter was the cutest little ladybug for Halloween.

November – I actually started off NaNoWriMo doing awesome. I didn’t even come close to hitting 50K words, but I still feel proud of the almost 10K that I did write and I hope to continue writing more. My grandmother died.

December – Ah, my month of no posts. We got a new iMac. My dad was diagnosed with cancer. I’m freaking out. I’m freaking THE FUCK out, people. And if you know me on Facebook, don’t say anything there, I don’t think he’s told everybody yet… he has surgery in a few weeks to remove it… it looks like it’s all early stage stuff right now, it was caught on accident, but have I mentioned that I’m freaking the fuck out? My “main” job announced a second round of lay-offs.

Overall, I’m glad that I barely blogged because I don’t know how much more depressing this blog can get. I’m tired. I’m depressed. I’m scared. I just want 2010 to be better. It has to be better, right?