Merry Christmas! Or Happy Belated Hannukah, Happy Belated Yule, Happy Other Possible Holidays I'm Forgetting About or Happy Tuesday!
Wow! Quite the year! So much has happened in these last twelve months I'm not sure where to begin. Mom and I moved out of our previous house and are renters now. We rescued one of the cats that dad used to feed at the old one, so now we have five. Five cats are truly a lot of cats, but we all seem to be managing. Bonk (the fifth cat, aptly named because she shows affection by smacking her head against you or any solid object near her) is very appreciative to be indoors and is enjoying her life with us. Lucky and Tiger are slowly warming to her and even Skippy doesn't mind sleeping near her as long as both of them are asleep-- which she will check on from time to time. Lucy's the only one who won't accept her, but Lucy's a bitch who barely tolerates the other girl cats, anyway.
I've been working tons. On New Year's Day, I was waitressing to tables that were constantly full. Hottie said that you can judge how the rest of your year will be by how the first day goes. I said, "I hope not! I worked my ass off!" Well that pretty much seemed to be how the rest of my year went. I passed two exams and got all the necessary licensing for my field, became full time, left waitressing (which Psychic Pam in Solvang told me I was terrible at, even though I never waited on her), worked at two different locations in order to be full-time and then finally began working full-time in one location and get to work closer to home. So yeah, I'm kind of tired sometimes.
Mom is doing well. It's been a tough year for her, naturally. She and my dad were close to celebrating their 40th anniversary before he passed. So going through that and making the choices she made this year has been difficult for her, but my mom is a strong woman and she's pulling through.
I'm sure you're wondering how I've taken the tough news of my imaginary boyfriend, Jason Segel, dating Michelle Williams. I'm getting by, thanks. I don't really have anything against her, so I'm happy for them. Truth be told, I haven't really taken part in the dating scene for a while. I tried it once this summer but was unsuccessful. Honestly this probably wasn't the year for me to date anyway, what with dealing with the loss of my dad and work and everything. It was hard to be happy a lot of times. The sudden death of my dad changed me a lot. It felt like nothing I said was right. Good things happened for a lot of my friends, and while I was happy for them, it was really hard to get there. I felt all sorts of guilt about the way I'd think about something or a choice I made. There is no right way to grieve, but you will grieve. I have friends who are going through the loss of a parent or will, and I'll tell you that it doesn't really get better. It gets easier, but sometimes emotions will hit you due to the weirdest things.
My dad passed from cancer. I personally cannot get into all of the "support cancer" stuff. He coincidentally died during men's cancer awareness month, which I guess is symbolized by mustaches. Since then, a mustache craze has formed. There is mustache merchandise to be had by all. My dad had a full-sized mustache. So immediately after his passing, tons of people were sporting fake ones on their faces or their shirts or coffee mugs. That was weird. I'm all for cancer research, but don't ask me to participate in walks or post things as my status for an hour. I'm not your girl.
Speaking of facebook, it's really gotten sucky, right? I personally can no longer load pictures onto it without a great deal of struggle. You may never know what I look like again, unless you see me in real life (gasp!) or I post them on here. And it was an election year. Yuck! Facebook got really nasty this year. Quite frankly, I'm ashamed of all of us and most of us are crazy. All I kept thinking was "Willie Wonka would never say that!" I tried really hard not to take part, but every now and then I did like something that I was concerned would raise some ire. If there's still a facebook four years from now, I may have to delete mine. I miss the days when facebook was all about stating the mundane thing you were doing without tagging and GPS and the only crazy thing you did was cast the top five friends on your list into an imaginary scenario. Good times.
It was tough to be positive with so much negativity going around this year. And we're primed for more negativity this year. So I want to pass along this observation. In his final years, my dad probably drank more than he should and probably smoked more than he should. He followed politics closely and romanticized the things he no longer had quite a bit. My mom and I were there for him as best as we could, but his thoughts made him feel alone. Sure, genetics and his actions were probably good motivators, but I feel his despair is what really gave him cancer. And no, I'm obviously not a doctor. I'm just a storyteller who hasn't written in a long time. But please do not despair. Times are really tough sometimes. For some, times are really tough all the time. But don't despair. Try to find the good that is in the present. Stop spreading the negative crap, because it's catching and some are more susceptible than others.
Finally, don't lose contact with the ones you love. I love all of you, in a perfectly healthy, non-stalkerish way.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
This is my last post on this blog. As much as I've enjoyed holding onto it, I can't access it on my own computer anymore. I'm barely able to access it on my mom's computer, and the threatening "download or else" message by Google Chrome means that I have to move on. For my last post, I'd like to write about the thing that has affected me most. On October 8th, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. On November 2nd, he passed away at home with mom and me there. It all happened so fast and so hard that grieving has been sporadic. It was and still is a difficult time. I know this has changed me. I feel I am more cynical now. It certainly didn't help that two cancer awareness months happened back-to-back while the worst of it was going on. While I recognize the importance of cancer research and treatment, equal importance must be placed in early detection, which my dad didn't have. Everyone, please remember: if something doesn't feel right, go to the freaking doctor. Putting that off doesn't mean you don't have something until it is diagnosed. Since my dad's passing, I haven't had one dream about him, until last night. In the dream, I was riding in a car. My fried was taking me home. The dream took place in Hesperia, and we were driving down E Street, if anyone cares to know. It was clear by the houses along the street that we were in a fairly well-off neighborhood. That was my main clue that it was a dream, because if you've ever been in that part of Hesperia, you know there are no such houses. Except that crazy out-of-place mansion that used to have the vulture statues on the roof. Anyway, not the point. My friend dropped me off at this Tudor-style house that was clearly too big for just me. I went inside and entered a room with a large fireplace. As I got closer to it, I saw little pictures of people all over the mantle. They turned out to be pictures of those who are or will be important in my life. I wanted to look at all of the pictures, but something caught my attention. I turned to look behind me and therer off to the side was my dad. He was sitting in his recliner smiling at me. I started crying and went over to him. He rose and hugged me for a long time. I could feel myself starting to wake up; my body moving from this room and out of his arms and into my bed. But I fought it and managed to stay long enough for him to whisper in my ear. "Keep going."