Try, Try Again.

I read a quote a long time ago, that said “so long as you’re trying, I’m staying.” I have often said this to my husband, who has gone through some battles that are not mine to share, but have caused him to have to try very hard at many emotional aspects of life. This, of course, includes our relationship, and I must say it is not a one-way street- I, too, have much baggage, and we have agreed that’s so long as we’re trying to heal and fix our issues, we will support one another 100%.

This blog is about trying.

I am a little sad as I write this, because I am always a little sad since Momma’s passing. I, of course, think of her many times a day, and when I think about the word “trying,” she is who comes to mind. She is the one who always encouraged me to keep trying, even if I felt like I was up against insurmountable odds. She had unlimited faith in me, and she gave that faith to me, instilling it in my brain. Maybe that’s why I have such ridiculous self confidence, but I would be lying if I told you my mother ever told me to give up.

I have been trying very hard as of late to live what I consider to be a “normal” life. I have not had much experience with this, because as soon as things started to fall into place for me, I became sick. That seems to be the trend over the past few years. For instance, yesterday: I woke very sick. I vomited several times, and I tried to chalk it up to stress. And perhaps it was in that moment, because I had a busy day ahead. I had to be at Avis at 8:00 a.m. and I knew that there was a lot of work waiting for me there, and we are back from school now as well, so I had to be there by 2:30. Somehow, miraculously, I managed to get myself to Avis and work my full shift, only running to the bathroom to throw up once. By the time I left however, I was in extreme pain. On the drive home, I had to pull over to the side of the road it got so bad. When I got home, the vomiting had started, and then 2 hours later I find found myself in the emergency room. It got to the point this time where I was coughing up blood, which usually means damage to my esophagus. Wonderful. They gave me some medicine that did nothing, and then a nurse looked at my chart and realized they didn’t give me the medicine they were supposed to. Lifesaver nurse goes and gets it immediately, and I drift off into a 2-hour sleep. When I wake up they are giving me water, and sending me home.

I still felt like death, and woke up periodically through the night to get sick again. I was certain I would be sick this morning. Alas, here we are. I obviously did not make it to school in the afternoon, and when I awoke this morning to a group text from my boss about attendance, I won’t lie that I felt called out. Not that I don’t understand, especially given the educational field’s need for ratios. And it’s not like we have unlimited staff. The problem is that I have been in this situation before- I had a job that I loved and then I lost because of my stupid uncooperative stomach.

See, I thought I could try- I could try again with something a little less demanding, and I can see how it went. I’ve been there for a year, and it’s been a good year, but still my stomach- she prevents it from being a great one. Same with Avis, I thought I could try and have an almost normal work schedule. But then I got really sick earlier this month, and now I am scared I will be sick again and miss more time there- no, there are no ratios to contend with, but it is just me and boss-Mark. That’s two people for what I would consider to be a five person business.  And still, I want to try, likely because of the old saying that the grass is greener on the other side. Sure, I bet there are plenty of people working a nine to five who would be happy to be free of that schedule, but oh, what would I not give for it. To be able to rely on such things, what a wonderful world that would be.

Anyway, I think I need to try something else. I’m not saying I’m quitting my jobs, those are just examples, but I have to try to make a living in a way that my stomach cannot interfere with- and so far as close as I have gotten is the writing. I just need to make more money at it somehow.

What would my mom tell me to do? Keep hunting, keep trying, do whatever you need to do to get to where you want to go. So that is what I will do, wake up each day and try harder. And if I can’t try harder, I will try a little. Either way, I will, in the immortal words of my aunt Ka, my mother’s sister, I shall keep on keeping on.  I will try.


40 Days

One of the Catholic Church’s favorite things to play is the waiting game…we have Advent, the four weeks prior to Christmas, and then we have Lent, the 6 weeks before Easter.

We.  I still, automatically, type the word “we.” I mentioned to Mark this morning that Catholicism is very much still a part of me even though I have shirked the religious aspect. I suppose I am still a cultural Catholic in many ways, all due to my indoctrination into the church at a very young age. For instance, during Lent one is supposed to observe abstinence from meat on Friday’s. Even now, more than a decade after leaving the church, I feel guilty eating a pepperoni pizza on a Friday in March. The whole shebang starts with Ash Wednesday, which was yesterday, wherein the faithful get a cross made of ashes upon their forehead. From dust you come, to dust you shall return. It is a symbol of repentance and belief as well as mortality. It is to symbolize beginning of the 40 days Jesus spent wandering the desert.
The ashes are made from burnt Palms from the previous years Palm Sunday, and you are not supposed to wipe them away. So it was completely normal, you see, for me to be in a school full of children with dirt on their foreheads one day a year.

And oh! Then there’s the activity of Lent, and not just of the food variety. During Lent, one is asked to give up a pleasure or a vice as a sacrifice and act of repentance. So, every year we all had to give something up. I remember one year when a schoolmate of mine’s mother moved their television set out to garage for the entire 40 days, forcing her kids to give up TV. I routinely gave up candy, which was simple because I wasn’t allowed candy in the first place. I don’t think my mother ever took this into consideration, she was always just happy that I was “working on my weight.” When I was in high school, there was a girl who gave up Lent for Lent, as she was Pentecostal and attending a Catholic School. I recall her getting some heat for this comment, which I found to be brave and bold and intriguing. When I left school though, I stopped giving things up. I stopped eating fish on Friday’s, and I stopped getting ashes on my forehead.

Obviously, if you are a regular reader, you know that I am a bit of a pagan nowadays. So, it probably surprises you none at all that I am going to tell you that the Christian’s stole Easter from the pagan’s Spring Equinox festival. Much like the feast of Saint Brigid, which I recently wrote about, Easter was appropriated from the pagans.  Shocking turn of events, am I right?

This morning Carey asked me about Ash Wednesday. She thinks she noticed more crosses on people’s foreheads this year than ever before. Myself, I didn’t see a single one. But that’s probably a good thing because I was still triggered all damn day.

As soon as I realize it was Ash Wednesday, I thought of years of arguments with my mother, starting from when I was 16 and taking confirmation class. Her and I were so close, finally, to seeing eye to eye spiritually, but I knew I would never truly take her away from her home, which was the Church. When we had her funeral, it was a great big Catholic Mass at a great big Catholic Church, attended by girls who went to Catholic School with her, and many Catholic nuns who knew her well.  When Father Bill, a former priest at my elementary school, invited everyone up for communion, my father rose and accepted it. I looked behind me and I realized no one else got up. Not me or my sister; certainly not my husband or kids, none of whom were eligible to receive it anyway. I don’t even think I saw any of my friends move, and it reminded me of an article I read once about a spiritual awakening supposed to occur on planet Earth in the early to mid 2000s. I made a note in my phone to write a blog about this observation, but of course that was in between the funeral Mass and breakfast, so the note kind of got lost in the shuffle. But the article expressly said that we would throw off the shackles of religion. We would learn to live spiritually and harmoniously without it. Future generations would be taught that it was a general mistake, which only brought about greater division, and kept us as humans from reaching our greatest potential. Geez,  do I wish I could cite this article for you, but I got it off MySpace in 2004. Anyway, I think that’s happening now.

This blog is kind of all over the place today, huh? It’s because I’m all messed up in the brain over the Catholicism, and while I quit the church in my twenties, it has taken until my late 30s to really start my deconstruction. And honestly, with my mother’s passing, I feel very little guilt regarding my spiritual path. All of that washed away when I stepped out of that church, knowing that I would never have to set foot in one again if I didn’t want to. Of course, I will attend a wedding or funeral, but no one is ever going to force me to go to church again. This brings us to a bittersweet silver lining, but I truly feel in my gut that when mom died, her soul looked around and said “oh, Brig was right,” because I have more freedom spiritually since her passing then I have ever felt, and I do believe she gave that to me.

Middle of the Road

Over the past few months, I have been shouting out a lot of birthday’s on Facebook. Usually, I will post on a friend’s timeline or I will send a private message, but this year most of my people are hitting a milestone. We are staring down the barrel of the big four-oh. Now, I suppose this could be the time we call midlife, although I don’t think it feels for any of us the way we thought it would. Just last night, I was telling a 29-year-old to not worry about what’s ahead, because the 30s were way better than the 20s. I’m going to go on a limb and assume that the 40s are even better. Maybe because it’s true, maybe because it’s what I need to tell myself to get myself through the day.

My birthday is in 4 months. 4 months until 40, which would make a good poem title. I remember being 29 and scared of turning 30, having just come off the quarter-life crisis. Now here I am at my midlife crisis, and I am faring much better than I thought I would. I am not having some torrid affair, neither have I made some obnoxious purchase, and I haven’t even gone so far as to change my hairstyle, really. I have had a spiritual transformation over the past few months, so perhaps that is how my crisis is presenting itself. And I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t constantly thinking about the way the world works- in my place within it. And oh! Let us not forget the bones and the muscles and the organs that start to weaken! This morning I awoke with an incredible pain in my right shoulder, caused by literally nothing but unwittingly sleeping in an uncomfortable position. It is 7 hours later, and my shoulders still hurts. Welcome to 40.

I wrote a blog or two ago about how I am concerned regarding my birthday this year, seeing as how my mother made plans for it that will not come to fruition. But I am also looking forward to it, because I am kind of done with my 30s. I think it is time to move on to the next decade of life- level up, so to speak. This is nothing like 29, when I wanted to stay young forever. Being young is stupid- I can’t wait until I grow older. The older I get, the stronger and wiser I get, so why on Earth would I still want youth when I could have that?
Anyway. Happy 40. You know, if it applies.

Never Again

Probably the most annoying bit of being a new member to the Dead Parent Club is the “never again’s.”  The first was me getting sick and realizing that never again woud my mother take care of me, holding back my hair or bringing me a cool cloth for my forehead. That was a “big” thing, which sent me spiraling to tears.  Another big one is cups of coffee. I almost always think of her when I have my morning coffee.  One thing I am deeply grateful for is that I spent the last year of her active life drinking coffee with her every morning.  Still, the “never again” hurts.

And the little things, like never again going to Home Goods or Clothes Mentor with her. Or even just not being able to call when I’m feeling icky in the brain. Yeah, I can call my dad, but it’s almost like switching to a new therapist…sure, he’s familiar with my file, but he doesn’t have the details of daily sessions. 

Valentine’s Day was a little rough.  Mom always made a thing if it, and when I asked Mark what he wanted to do this year, it was he who reminded me of my father’s first VDay as a widower. So, I went and made the dinner mom would have, a surf and turf situation with hot fudge sundaes provided by Bernie. It was a yummy dinner…but I started the day in tears, because no one was buying me Valentine’s Day cupcakes this year. Mom wasn’t there to call me first thing and wish me a happy day.

One interesting thing about our situation is that come late May…we will have already done a year, in a way.  Mom was here…but she also wasn’t. She peaced out around Easter last year, so I already had my first birthday without her, in a way.  But this one is going to hurt…she was planning a big party for my 40th. I am asking now that all my friends and family bear with me during my birthday week this year…I will be missing her. 

We also had many plans for this summer, you see. We didn’t plan anything for last year because we knew she would still be in recovery, followed by ankle surgery, as was the plan. So all our morning conversations were in regard to plans for 2023. We were going to go back to Stonybrook and go hiking.  We were going to renew her fishing license. We were going to go to the beach, and Lilydale, and there was even talk of finally attending the Country Living Fair. But it’s never happening…and that sucks.
Never again will we go estate sale hunting or eat bagels in the park at 6am or discuss 90s hip-hop superstars, a subject she knew a weird amount about.  We won’t sing along to Ellis Paul, or even argue about Catholicism and calories-two topics that drove us both crazy.

Damn, I miss my mom. Everyday IS a little bit easier, just a tiny shred, but right now at 6am as I sip my coffee?  These moments are the worst.

Paper Flower

Shortly before the fugue state, my mother told K that she wanted to take us to the Botanical Gardens. Buffalo has a amazing domed greenhouse placed amongst its even more amazing Parks System, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the early 1900s. One time, when the kids were smaller, we took them sledding on the slope in front of the Garden. I remember K asking if we could go inside, and I sadly had to tell her we could not, since we didn’t have any money. Anyway, I forgot both these things, but she apparently did not.

So on Saturday morning, when she came into my bedroom and asked me what we were doing for the day, I was a little dismayed because I had made no plans. That is a difficult thing to do in the dead of winter in Buffalo- we can’t do any of our outdoorsy stuff that we do the rest of the year. I was thinking of “outdoors” when I mentioned the Botanical Gardens offhand, and she immediately wanted to go, reminding me that my mom was supposed to take us. I panicked, because I don’t have any “going to the Gardens” money, but K saved up some of hers for just such an occasion. I thought it was truly sweet of her, and I also appreciate that she would rather spend her money on an experience with her stepmother then on some Dollar Store crap like I would have when I was her age. I was very proud of her, and graciously accepted her offer.

We drove there and I could tell she was a little worried we wouldn’t get tickets because the website suggested you buy them online, and she, of course, does not have a debit card. It was pleasantly empty however, except for a baby shower happening in one of the greenhouses. When we arrived, the cashier looked to me for information and money, and was surprised when K stepped forward to ask for two tickets. She then handed us a flyer with nine flowers on it that were all pink. They were scattered about the gardens, and there was a special Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt for them. If you found them all, you won a prize! K and I spent the next 2 hours wandering around the greenhouses, looking for pink flowers. I showed her some of my favorite bits- like the koi pond, the corpse plants, and the Venus fly trap. She enjoyed all the fish, and the cactus room. And in the end, after half an hour of searching the Palm Room for a plant we walked by maybe six times, we completed the scavenger hunt! We went out to the cashier and told her, and she gave us stickers with pictures of the front of the Garden building. It was a little bit of a lame prize, but it was definitely a beautiful time. K went to look around the gift shop, and when we got back to the car she handed me a candle that she saw me admiring.  Again, I, myself, at 13 years old, was far too selfish to think to do such kindness for my elders. My heart swelled once more.

This is pretty much just a K appreciation post, I guess. I wrote one about E once, so I guess K is definitely due for it. She is growing into such a lovely and special young woman, and I am very proud of her. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in the future.

Zombie Apocolypse

When M was little we talked often about apocalyptic survival. He thought he’d fare quite well, particularly against zombies. I told him he best just leave my dead weight behind, to which he devised many plans to keep me alive, even insofar as suggesting I used a mallet or bat for combat, given my strregth abilities. I thought this was adorable, but told him it would all be over the second I lost my glasses.

Then I had eye surgery last year, so I can’t use that excuse anymore. I also used to argue that I would need meds, but the obvious solution to M was that we raid the pharmacy on the corner first. So considerate, the child was. He also recommended I keep the croquet mallets I had by the door handy. Resourceful child, also. 

Anyway, I’m still not living through the apocalypse. 

I love end of the world stories. Maybe it’s my deep-seated morbidity, but alas, I love to watch hypothetical endings of a great civilization.  Give me your disasters, your diseases, your mutations! I shall indulge in them all..  but when the time comes…brother, I am OUT.

Mark and I have been watching The Last of Us on HBO.  We just finished episode 3, a beautiful love story about a doomsday prepper who falls for a random who wanders onto his property. I understand how Bill, the prepper, made it through the end times…he had every intention. His partner, Frank, is more my speed, though…he was taken by surprise, ran off on his own, and found himself trapped and left for dead. That’s me, folks, except some burly homesteader isn’t going to find my sorry self.

I do not believe I will be sticking around for any end of the world scenario. And I know I’m not prepared at all, you see. Just Monday, we here in Buffalo NY had a flippin’ earthquake. Did we take shelter in doorways and bathtubs and check on neighbors after? No- we ran directly to the window while checking our Twitter feeds. Guys…we are not cut out for the apocalypse. I mean, perhaps if it comes in snow form, our Buffalonian stock could make it for a bit, but that’s still unlikely.   Especially if you add zombies to the mix.

So glasses and meds aside, I’m not gonna make it. I don’t have the physical or mental capabilities. I am no proponent of suicide, of course, but that’s probably one of two circumstances where I would swallow a bottle of pills (the other circumstance is terminal illness, just fyi.) Although, provided M really did manage to take over the pharmacy. I might knock down a zombie or two on my way out, but I’m not trying to apocalypse, folks.

Then the little voice in my brain whispers: “Liar! You know the inherent desire for life that humans possess! You will do whatever it takes.”  Yeah, probably.  Stupid instinct…ah well.  Guess I SHOULD keep those croquet mallets by the door, just in case.

Notes on Deconstruction

When I was a child, I had a few favorite little games. One was making stews. I would get a bowl and fill it with outdoor things and imagine I was feeding my creations to animal folk or faries or whatnot.  Another game I played was ‘”hospital,” where I’d create medicines and bandages from plants and mud and patch up my sick dolls. And then there were the damn rocks. I collected rocks like a starving child in an apple orchard. I hoarded them like money. They were….my precious.

And then at age 4, I watched The Worst Witch on free Disney weekend, which became my favorite flick for many years, despite its terrifying first impression of Tim Curry, kicking off a lifelong hate-affair with the man. Still, I watched that and was like “oh hey, I’m a witch!”  Then they marched me through the front doors of a religious institution that not only prohibited but villianized witchcraft, and I was all “oh hey, I’m screwed!”

Enter then 20+ years of indoctrination into a manufactured monotheistic reality, and what you spit out at age 30 is a very confused, very much religiously traumatized individual who then eschews all religions and Judeo-Christian beliefs structures and develops a fascination with cults and paganism. That’s what you get, Catholic school.

Fast forward. I know now I was doing all that weird witchy play stuff before I started school. I also know I was talking to spirits of some sort at the same age. I also know I always have KNOWN things, starting at age 4 when I found my parent’s stolen car.  I have also been lectured by seers more than once about wasting my inherent ability. And still, it took until damn near 40 for me to once again think “oh hey, I’m a witch!”

So, Bernadette and I went to the Psychic Fair over the weekend. I bought a book, and I got some gemstones that took me back to a simpler time…the time of my rock collections. I bought a rose quartz, which is often used for love both between others and also self- but all I remember is that it was my favorite as a small child. I liked quartz in general, and we had tons lining the edge of our pool, but none were the smoky pink of a rose quartz. I also got a little protection wreath for my altar, and found some cool candles I want in the future. It was a nice little morning, and it triggered all those aforementioned early year’s memories. That little rock sent me reeling back in time, to before the introduction of my small self to “the one true God,” when all was still visible to me. I am trying to harness that feeling, and live with that intention, as opposed to the one forced on me by a generational curse.

The moral of the story is that religious deconstruction is not for the faint of heart, and I completely understand why some folk just say screw it and go with God.  I got home from the fair and felt very peaceful after, and very much like I was on the right path, which is a foreign feeling I’ve only been receiving since the Salem trip. But I don’t often feel that way, spiritually. I try to, but mono-god is still up there, stuck in my brain like slime.  And all I want is my pretty rocks. 

Boot and Rally

Of course, it has been a few quiet months so my stupid stomach decided to make an appearance. It started by ruining a girl’s night in Erie PA with Sahar. She ended up driving me to the hospital in Buffalo, and as I threw up in a little blue baggie she wheeled me into the emergency room. Then, this saint of a woman, drove my father down to Pennsylvania to pick up his car that I left there. I was angry, because I missed work, and I was pretty sure at the time that it was related to the meal I had eaten the night before, and not actually gastroparesis. But then, I was sick for the next 3 days.

Monday morning found me feeling significantly better, which was a blessing because I HAD to go to work.  I had just missed several days, and the bills don’t care if you get sick. On the way to work, I was giving myself a pep talk, trying to rally myself to have a good day. I thought of the term “boot and rally,” the origins of which I am not sure, but refers to when, after a night of drinking, one then vomits, and then returns to the drinking. Seriously, this may be just a Buffalo thing, I have no idea, but it is definitely something we have all done. I feel like on Sunday and Monday I did the Supreme Boot and Rally, having been terribly sick on Sunday and managing by the grace of God to accomplish everything that needed to be accomplished on Monday. I say by the grace of God because it was no picnic. It was the most “Monday” Monday I’ve ever had in my life, where everything went wrong from spilling my coffee on myself to falling flat on my face on some ice. Alas, I soldiered on.

And do you know what kept me going? Maureen would have been proud of me. My mother would have been cheering me on all day, telling me I could do the hard things. Every time I accomplished something, I said “Mom would have been proud of me today.” That is what got me through Monday. But then came Tuesday, and a couple of overcrowded hospitals.

After I drive by both, and find long lines at both, I decided I would tough it out at home. I took every medication has ever been prescribed to me for my stomach, and I laid on the couch and waited for several hours, until finally I could not take it anymore. I had dad drive me out to St Joe’s, and waited about an hour to be put in a room, and weirdly by that time the vomiting had subsided. However, I knew that I was deeply dehydrated, so the best course of action would be for me to stay and get an IV…but my arms were so bruised from the past few days that they had to put it in my neck, which was scary and painful. They gave me some medication, which knocked me out, and I awoke around 1:00 a.m. thirsty but feeling good. When they let me have a glass of water, I felt even better. Then they sent me home, where I got a few hours of sleep, which brings us to now when I feel perfectly fine. And that is the problem.

One day I feel perfectly fine, like I can do anything, like I can take on anything that the world throws at me. And then I go to sleep every night worried that when I wake up I won’t have that perfectly fine day in the morning. I have an appointment with my physician early in the morning tomorrow, another with my surgeon at the end of the month, and a couple other appointments I need to make today. I am just so sick of being sick.. and it is threatening my livelihood again. I am going to have to consider making some big changes, which will be hard but worth it in the long run. At least, if it helps. I have to try anything that might help. I like the way my life is going, and I am not willing to lose it the way I have lost it before. All because of a digestive system that has betrayed me my whole life.  And still…I rally.

Just Block Me.

Listen, I’ve said it on Facebook, and I’ve said it on Twitter, and I’m pretty sure I mentioned it at least once in this blog, but you had to block me. You see, there are people I follow on social media that are not necessarily MY people. They’re the people of those I love- former friends, ex’s of all sorts, employers gone awry- those are the people who I do not block. Ergo, you have to block me.

First, I will tell you why I won’t block you, and then I will explain why you should block me. See, I will continue to follow you, not because I necessarily care for your well-being, although I can say with confidence most of the people I am speaking of are folks that I called friend at one point. What I do care about is your influence on people who remain dear to my heart. Here’s one super vague situation: my sister has a person who over the past year has been trying to violate the boundary that she has set to preserve her emotional health. This human follows me on all the socials, even likes to interact sometimes. I don’t block them, because I am petty.

Usually, people have a lot of trouble admitting their flaws, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it over the years, given immense amounts of therapy and introspective thought. I have no problem telling you the things I need to work on, and me holding the grudge on behalf of others is one of those things. Although, we are talking about my sister here, so I will probably go to the grave with this one. I’m fine with it, truly.

Anyway, I don’t block anyone I want to keep an eye on. Know thy enemy, and all that jazz. Which is why people really need to block me.  Don’t make me hold a grudge against you! If our lives no longer make a Venn diagram because of a person that we mutually know, feel free to drop me like a hot potato! Because I will absolutely report back every stupid or mean or idiotic thing I see you do on social media. It is a flaw, I am working on it, and I am asking you to help me. No, ex-boyfriend of my good friend, you do not want me to see the new tattoo or car or haircut you got. No, former boss of more than one person I care about, I do not need to know about your new job that is a clear step down from your previous one. And for the love of god, former friend of sister, accept the damn break up, because every time you like my shit, I immediately let her know. I am not an excellent person in this regard, and so I ask for your help. Block me. Help me to help you.

Anyway, this is just a semi-silly little post with something that’s been on my mind the past couple of days because of the aforementioned friend of sister. The point of it is that my fierce loyalty often gets me in trouble. But if I’m honest, I really don’t care. The people I love in life I love very hard, and I take threats to them as personal affronts to myself. If that’s a flaw, that’s one I’m not trying to change.

Time is Nothing

I guess we ought to talk about Momma. My therapist said it was the healthy thing to do…::eyeroll::

I mentioned in a news flash blog that my mother passed away on Christmas night. My father called me, and made noises that I never heard him make before, and once I figured out what was going on I joined him in the howling at the universe. When done, I made some phone calls, alerting the troops, if unable to rally them due to a snowstorm thqt was described as “once in a generation.” And it was. You get a lot of talk from the elders about the Blizzard of ’77 around here, and someday I will be telling my grandchildren about the Blizzard of ’22. Except for me, my story will be very sad. Time lost all meaning  the week after Christmas, much more than it usually does. I honestly can’t tell you what day it was that I made it to my father’s house- I think it was the 26th, but I could be wrong. It must have been, because I can’t imagine I went a whole 24 hours without seeing him after getting the call.

Everything was horrible, but I went to his house, trekking through feet of snow, and we did Christmas. It was weird, mostly because I think we were all still in shock. There was a week of time, more maybe, again as I said it’s all meaningless. We saw the family, which was a sad occasion but also made me feel better. My family is very big, and full of lots of very strong personalities, so sometimes it gets a little rambunctious, but there was no one I wanted more than them when everything went to hell. It was good to see them, and feel comforted by them. You see, all of my family is on my father’s side. My mother was the last McDonald.

Eventually time continued some more, and I called my boss at school and told her that I would not be coming in. It was simply too hard. I did do a shift at Avis, and it was agony. And then Saturday again, the 7th now, and we are laying my mother to rest.

Somewhere in the nothingness of time, we made all the plans for her funeral. My mother was unique in that she wrote her funeral 30 years ago. She spent a great portion of her life as a devoted Catholic, and so she requested a full Catholic Mass for her funeral, followed by a party of some sort. Probably my favorite part of the funeral was when they offered gluten-free Eucharist. Apparently, though I could not see them, a few of my friends had a really hard time not laughing. Which is fine, because my dad got up to receive communion, and when he turned around he noticed that everyone in the rows behind them was still sitting. He laughed at that. (He did receive the gluten-free Jesus that day.)

It was Sunday when time became real again. I didn’t have anything to do except go to work Avis and it was an okay morning even if I felt a little rusty at the wheel. Monday came, and it was back on schedule again. I went to Avis, and I went to work at the school, and I even came home and made dinner. Then, I cried a while. It would seem that now I have to allow a certain portion of my day to crying.  Anyway, that is what happened from my hazy perspective. Again, time is nothing.

Also, as a fun little treat, I have had laryngitis for over 2 weeks. Apparently I am not sick as per my doctor, and I feel fine, I can just barely talk. Which is super helpful when you are in both the education and customer service industries. The other day I saw a tweet by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They said “retweet if you’re taking it day by day.” Wow, that seems ambitious. Day by day, as opposed to hour by hour, or minute by minute. Mostly I am just taking it in moments, because time is nothing.

I am sure I will write much more about Momma in the future, but for today the best I can do is a play-by-play of what went down, at least what I can remember right now. But, oh boy, will there be blog entries! And oh, will there be poems! I dedicated A Lovely Wreckage to her, and I am very glad she saw that go to print, and saw her name on the dedication page. But the truth is, it wasn’t just that little chapbook that was for her- it’s all of it. I lost my biggest fan, and that kind of hurts, too.