Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I steal therefore I am

These beautiful flowers were the center piece on a table I walked by. I decided I would really enjoy them, so I took them. I am sure that who ever they belonged to would have wanted me to have them because they cheered me up. I giggled all the way home, knowing I stole them.

At least 10 people watched me take them and walk out with them, no one said a word and no one stopped me. I took that as a sign that they were meant to be mine. Of course I am not advocating that all of you just take stuff you find pretty, stealing is bad. What I did was wrong, bad karma, stealing is bad, did you hear me, bad, don't do it. Unless of course you can get away with it, like I did. (I'm kidding, sort of, kinda) Damn it was fun and those flowers sure are pretty.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Feliz dia de los Padres

No matter how much time passes, the void left by my dads death will never be filled. I am missing you greatly, still, today, always.

My dad and mom doing the sexy beach thing, what the hell was he thinking with that suit?

United States Army: served in Korea

One of many girlfriends, he loved the ladies.

Cousin Tony, my dad and Tia Felisa

That's one big piece of meat! It was a gift from one of his nephews.

Dad, you were perfect, and I'm not just saying that because I am your daughter. I have heard it said time and time again by everyone who ever knew you. Your sense of humor, your love of life, your devotion to family, your honesty, your work ethic and your compassion all traits I sure hope you passed on to me.
Te adoro, estaras siempre en mi corazon.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The end

Dearest Huckleberries,

With overwhelming sadness I sit here trying to decide what to tell you about the last week. It was a horrible week and the details are many. Death finally arrived on Sunday, May 25th at around 6AM. We brought our loved one home on Thursday, deciding that dying at home was perhaps the only viable, yet painful thing left to do. Hospice care was in place, as was all the equipment necessary to make the last days as comfortable as possible. Between Thursday night when we arrived home from the hospital to Sunday morning when this part of my life ended, we had a steady stream of people in and out of the house. Doctors, nurses, friends and family all working to making things as easy as possible under the circumstances.

I slept in the room with "love" every night, OK truth is I didn't really sleep but I was there to do all that needed to be done. I was there all night to listen to the labored breathing, and the oxygen machine. I was there all night to do things I never imagined I could do but did, all in the hope that the suffering was lessened by my feeble nursing attempts. I was there all night to wonder why and to fear the inevitable end. I was there standing by the bed as the last breath was taken on Sunday morning. I made each and every phone call to everyone who needed to be informed. I made all the arrangements. I was there each and every moment of the last 7 weeks. I was there until the very end.

The images from this journey creep into my brain every so often filling me with grief and undeniable pain. Somewhere in my head I can still hear the gurgling, the suction machine and the oxygen tank. Somewhere in my head I can still hear that last breath. Somewhere in my head I can still see those gorgeous blue eyes, empty and awaiting death. I am physically exhausted, emotionally numb. I have moments when the sadness makes me want to curl into a fetal position. And moments when I make a list of all the things that need to still be done. This I do while feeling completely detached from the task at hand. I have already started to sort through stuff, deciding what should be thrown away, what should I give away, what should be donated and of course there is that pile of stuff that I can't stand to even look at right now.

I wasn't ready for the "dying" part. I knew it was coming, I was expecting it, but I wasn't ready for it to show up without warning me. It never gave me a sign that it was so close and for this I am angry. Would it had been easier if I had been told it was moments away? Perhaps not. Are we ever really ready to face the inevitable end? Sometimes this journey flashes before me in short snippets. Images of various scenes, the hospital, a nurse, the cafeteria, the blood, and the faces of my family and the worse one, the body being taken away.

I am still mostly silent. I don't feel the need to say much, everything seems so trivial. I speak when I have to, otherwise I prefer not to. Sometimes the silence in my own head is deafening. ( I now understand that phrase... silence being deafening) As yet another saying goes "life does go on" and so we shall. In time. Slowly.

It sucks to be me right now but there are some things I am grateful for, despite my grief. I witnessed many random acts of kindness during this journey. There was a complete stranger who bought me coffee, or the one who held my hand never speaking a word, another who brought us lunch, people we didn't know, who witnessed our pain and tried to make it better. I am grateful for the medical team who were wonderful and compassionate. The hospice team was a true gift. All the people who came to the funeral, family and friends, I am grateful. To all of you, who kept me company via your comments, emails, voice mails and texts. To my comadres, who daily, for this entire time "had my back". To Tony and Daisy, I can never truly put into words what the two of you have meant to me during this. Your love, and support reminded me every day that I would be OK. I know what a sacrifice you made to be here this week from cash, to work, to your personal lives and I am so unbelievably grateful. To the love of my vida, yet again you sat quietly in the background, but trust me, not once did I ever forget you were there. Not once did I ever forget you were ready to do whatever it took to hold me together. I am truly grateful for all of you.

Today, as I have done every day this week, I remind myself that there are wonderful memories to fill some of the void. I remind myself that yes, it will get better and the void will get smaller and I'll be OK, in time. Slowly. Ever so slowly. For now I will go back to making my lists and sorting through stuff and allow myself the time to curl up into a fetal position if time allows, crying when I can't stop the steam of tears. For today I will pretend it's a "normal" day, cuddle my cat (if he lets me) and look forward to the day when life will be almost normal, almost normal in a different way.

Besos, Es

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