A time to mourn

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I still can't really believe my grandmother is dead.  Even the word has an empty, hollow, metallic, tone to it. 

In the last few years of her life I was able to spend a good amount of time with her and I am forever grateful.  She was never too busy for a chat or too busy for a visit.

Now, the kids will do something, and I think, "Oh Grandma will really get a kick out of that" but its me who gets a kick- she's dead.

The big thing that I wish I could tell her more about was Stinky going fishing.  Her husband, my grandfather- one of the people Stinky is named for loved to fish.  I wish I could sit with her and tell her more about it.  She would have loved it.  My brief- "He went fishing and actually caught fish!!!" does not do it justice.  Grandma would have laughed at how excited he was and laughed when I told her how awful I was at baiting the hook for him. 

One thing that stays with me is, the last time she was in the hospital and I was with her she was begging me to 'unfasten' her restraints.  First, who uses unfasten-- why not just say take them off?  Down to the word choice it was perfectly her.  Second, the angel of a nurse let me take off her restraints as long as I was with her- of course- then I would stay for the next few hours, because tying her back to the bed was the last thing that she wanted (or I wanted). 

She also asked for a handkerchief. Not a tissue. A handkerchief.  Small choices in the word choice made her-- her. 

After she had her handkerchief and was relaxed I read to her from Tom Sawyer- I didn't know any authors she liked but figured Tom Sawyer was a safe bet.

My grandmother was a wonderful woman.  An amazing person. 

Possesion is 9 tenths of the law

Friday, July 26, 2013

But perspective is 9 tenths of life.

Princess went through a phase drawing little smiley faces on the walls.  They were tiny and you never really knew when you'd come across one. Kind of like easter eggs in TV shows

When I was little my parents would have murdered (maybe only a slight exaggeration) if I drew on the walls. ESPECIALLY if I was over the age of 2. 

I'm not mad about it.  Here's why:

a) they are smiley faces- there are worse things
b) its a fun surprise when I find them. 
c) Is it really that big of a deal???

No- I don't clean them up whenever I find one.  Its actually fun- especially if I am in a grumpy mood.  Finding one helps remind me of my perspective and perception. So I leave them. Maybe they'll cheer someone else up. 

Pole Dancing

Did you think I would stay away? NEVER.

My wrist still hurts a bit, and I have had to learn to not put too much stress on it, I also have had to adjust the tricks I can do to respect my wrists limitations- it is frustrating because I am used to being able to will my body to do what I want it to do.  I could always work hard enough and push hard enough I would be able to get my body, or brain, or whatever to bend to my will.

(me stubborn?? NEVER)

But now I have learned and am continuing to learn I need to respect my wrist's boundaries.  Its a process.  I have to regain my strength and flexibility.

I have gotten my Ayesha, pencil, brass monkey, pole sit back.  I and working on my cartwheel balance- I just need time to work on it- stopping when upside down is a challenge and supporting your body on your arms- away from your body.

Last night after a lot of practice I got my Dove back.  Next up- Superman fall.  

I have had a lot of questions about why I keep coming back-- or how.

Here's the thing.  Pole dancing is mine. My time. My thing. I love it.  I am proud of my body.  Even if I never lose another pound or always have some jiggle. My body is pretty amazing.  It has come through hell. Sickness. Injury. Childbirth. And yet. Is pretty great.  That feeling.  That feeling of accomplishment is why I come back.

Feeling connected to myself.  Feeling proud of myself.  Feeling happy. That is why I come back.
I would love to be able to share my absolute passion with other women.  This is one reason I am so proud to be an Ambassador for Tease. 

Me?? on a diving board??

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Heck, I am pretty reasonably in shape.  I pole dance. I do yoga. I have 5 kids- I have to chase them.

We went to a pool last week.  Princess's friend wanted to go off the diving board.  I made a deal with her, if she did, I would.

I walked to the end of the board- and thought what the hell am I doing here?  I am 31 years old. I have no need to be on a diving board.  Worst, I took my glasses off and I am really blind without my glasses so my biggest concern was swimming to the side of the pool to climb out.

But like any stupid move I have made, I jumped. It should be noted, I am a good swimmer. I just have to wear my goggles--you know the blind thing.

However I was in the water, it was sink or swim, and tread water (thanks for that 15 minutes treading test- legs only) wipe water out of my eyes and swam to the side. Easily. It felt good. My kids laughed.  It was great to see them laugh. 

We swam for a bit more, then headed home, I have no idea what the hell made me do that- but I did. It was fun- but I am not doing it again.

Having fun with my kids is the best part of parenting, seeing their faces light up seeing them laugh- it was a great way to release some stress. 

Everyone Grieves Differently

Saturday, July 20, 2013

We are all individuals so it shouldn't be so surprising should it?

Each of us grieve differently. Sometimes this does not go over so well when one's way of grieving drastically are opposed to another person- especially in close family.

Some people like to be around others and share memories, talk about the person who passed.  Others turn to prayer, others take charge and get things done.

Each of these types clearly has its practical application.

I am  the type of person who gets anxious. I can't sleep.  I get a nervous stomach. I want to hide.  My grief is private.

So it is hard.  Hard to balance the needs of my kids, the needs of my other family.

You see, my grandmother and I were not always particularly close.  I mean, I loved her- of course- but I felt it was a distant love- she was so amazing and so wonderful- I felt I could never measure up.

In the past several years, I became close to her. It was hard to visit her, bringing all of the kids to see her- being quiet is not there strong suit- she loved seeing them.  I loved seeing her with them.  They played with the same coasters that I played with as a kid.

My grief is more wavy. Sometimes I need to be away from everyone. Alone.  I can remember her. I can remember her laugh, her smile, her amazing fudge.

Its a basic reaction kids do something funny- I think how she'll smile or laugh when she hears about it.  Then its back.  I don't need to tell her. I can't tell her. Her soul is next to Gd.

My kids are still little not all of them will have a clear memory of her.  Her memory will be honored though.  My kids will learn what she taught me, aside from making fudge, she taught me strength, compassion, and love.

Kids tell it like it is

Friday, July 19, 2013

My wonderful grandmother died. 

She was sick and unwell for a while before she passed and in hospice care for a short time.  So it was not unexpected.

However, for a while before she passed we had not been grocery shopping. 

I looked in the fridge and realized our option for dinner included spoiled leftovers or dijon mustard.
We had to go to the store.  There was no way around it. 

I took Princess- she is getting old enough now that she actually can be helpful- and she loves helping.  More importantly- she was closer to my grandmother than the other kids and was having a hard time with the loss.  I thought it would be important to have some time with her to talk about our grandmother's death.

While we went shopping she chattered on- like nine year old girls do.  When we got to check out the cashier was making small talk. Here is what ensued.

Cashier: Hows your day going?
Princess: Its awful.
Me: (getting nervous)-- Yep, it sure is hot out.
Cashier: It certainly is.
Princess: Yeah- that and my grandmother is dead.

*cue awkward silence*

I don't think she ever checked anyone out faster after that. 

Maybe we need to find a new grocery store.

But looking back it is hysterical.  I mean- she just laid it out there, no sugar coating. 

Happy Birthday Stinky!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Soon enough he will actually be stinky--- he is growing up so fast!

Today he is 7.  Just like the day he was born there was a lightening storm. 

He is a sweet and sensitive boy.  He is kind and generous. I cannot thank G-d enough for allowing me to be his mother and watch him grow.

He loves to learn by exploring and experiencing his world. Watching his face light as he learns something.  Stinky can take ideas and think beyond the information given and come up with his own ideas.  

How the last seven years have gone by is beyond me. 

Peace. Love. Rest. Death.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

* What I talk about here maybe hard for some people to read, please be aware*

My grandma died this morning.  She was dying for a while.  Dying is not a passive act. Nor is it immediate. It is a series.  Anyway. 

She had been in hospice care for nearly a week. 

She was agitated and upset but when she saw Henry she smiled at him.  She was crazy about the kids and they were crazy about her.

The last time I saw her smile was at Henry.  The smile lit up her whole face.  She reached for him. He let her hold him and he babbled, she laughed. 

It was so special to hear her laugh and see her smile. 

The kids made art work for her all the time and had enough of it to fill a museum. 

Anyway.  When death happens its a shocking thing.  Its obvious what made her--her--- her soul left.  Her soul, is with G-d. With G-d that she loved and taught us to love. 

My grandma- may she rest in peace- will be missed by many.  But she will never ever be forgotten.

Screaming Goat and trapped sneezes

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Most of you have have seen the Taylor Swift screaming goat videos right?

Yesterday, I was driving home from University of Chicago and I heard Selena Gomez's new song (that is an insult to songs everywhere): "Come and Get It".  The beginning sounds oddly like someone trying not to sneeze,  "Ah, Ah, Ah..." it was very odd. 

Oh Captain, My Captain

Saturday, July 6, 2013

With all of all the fuss over the BlackHawks winning the Stanley Cup in Chicago, people have been calling Jonathon Toews "Oh Captain, My Captain" ok fine.  He is the team captain. I get it.  But the Walt Whitman poem being quoted is a funeral poem written after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  As far as I'm aware no one has assassinated Toews- though I am sure some Bruins fans have at least considered it.

However, COME ON.  It is a classic poem that we all should have at least read at sometime during our school careers.  There are several well written analysis of the poem that explain that Abrahan Lincoln was a man whom Whitman greatly admired.  Toews while a great team captain has not lead a country through a war.

There has to be a better nickname for him.

Yes, I realize this is one of my crazy literary issues but give me this one.

Coumadin Conundrom

Since my TIA I have been on Coumadin. It is a blood thinner- and a fabulous way to see just how klutzy I am.  Really no on needs to know how many times I run into things.  It is just sad.  Bruises are not sexy.

Anyway Coumadin is a PITA.  Every week I have to get my blood tested to check my INR.  One week I am too high the next week to low.  Apparently every medicine in the world impacts Coumadin levels.  So if I have to go on prednisone for example- for asthma- my INR (clotting factor) drops too low which means that I need to increase my Coumadin dose.  Trouble is- Prednisone is dosed on a taper so as my Prednisone dose goes down I have to balance it with the Coumadin.  This is not even with dealing with diet issues! Obnoxious. This is for life- I will be on Coumadin (or other blood thinner forever).

So my dose changes every week. Sometimes more than once a week.  Then there are different doses every day, which is a pain to remember.

Coumadin is definitely preferable to another clot, but it is still pretty annoying