My Grandmother Died

It happened. January 26, 2013; it finally happened.

When your grandmother dies–a woman who is a week and a half short of her 102nd birthday–there really isn’t too much to say. In some way, when a person is almost 102, you expect that they will pass at any moment. The tough part though, is that when someone is almost 102, you also expect that person to live forever.

I grew up with my grandmother. She lived in the same house as me my whole life; well, except for the brief time I lived in Virginia or in the dorms during college. Now that would have been wild. In fact, my grandmother always lived one door away from me. She had an apartment in my house that I could get to by opening one of the doors in my bedroom. I’ll bet you can imagine all the trouble the two of us would get into. I grew up watching three soap operas a day: Days of Our Lives, As the World Turns, and Guiding Light. I watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy every night and enjoyed our weekly 60 minutes and Unsolved Mysteries. My grandmother was my friend growing up. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

 

This post has been in my drafts since April. Every time I read it in my draft folder I feel like there is so much more to say about my Memere, but I’m at a loss for words. It’s about time I just publish the post, and let it be. I love you and miss you Memere. I hope you are enjoying your time up there in heaven.

This entry was posted in Death.

Internet Finds: Week Four

My grandmother died today. She was 101 years old, just 12 days short of her 102 birthday.

I wish I had more to share with you. I wish I had taken a few minutes to prepare a few links for this week, but unfortunately I didn’t. I don’t have much to say either. After being with my grandmother this week, and watching her pass away, I am a bit shy with words right now.

I’m grateful that she has been in my life; I’m grateful that she met Ryan and Madden, even if she didn’t get to know them in the way I would have liked. I’m grateful that she has been healthy and happy. I hope that my memere can now be with her husband, my pepere who died before I met him. I hope that the heaven my grandmother believed in exists, and she is happy there.

Health and Wellbeing

Today I am grateful for my health and wellbeing. I’m also very grateful for my family and friends’ health and wellbeing too.

In 24 hours I’ve heard so many sad stories. Someone is dying from multiple myeloma, another person has to have a double mastectomy, Phil found out that a previous roommate committed suicide. It all jus makes me so sad.

2012 has been a difficult year, especially in regards to health. Good people I know have passed away. Others have beed terminally diagnosed. I’m really looking forward to starting fresh with a new year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for 2013.

I’m just so grateful to be as happy and healthy as I am. I’m beyond thankful that my family members and friends are healthy and happy as well. We all have our daily struggles, but we should take a second and recognize how great things actually are right this second.

March Observations

March Highlights:

  • Vacation! Mr. O, Wolverine and I went to New Hampshire for a long weekend. I love vacations.
  • The Emerson’s came up from GA for a week, and Mr. O finally got to meet the Mr. and Mrs. I wish I could have spent some time with Toddler Emerson seeing as how it has been over a year since I’ve seen him, but I can’t complain. It was amazing to see my friends. I love them so much.
  • Actually writing new material for my thesis. Not only that, but I’m pretty excited to find new uses for old material which I wasn’t planning on including. Even if the essay doesn’t appear in its original form, paragraphs have been brought to life in new essays.
  • My eye doctor is extremely pleased with my healing after the Lasik surgery last month. I’m pretty pleased with it too.
  • My friend Doodles (not her real name) had her baby! A healthy little baby girl was born on 3/22/12.
  • I’m actually keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 57.
  • I went to the Blog Better Boston Conference at the Google offices and FINALLY met my blogger friend Kate. I also met new friends like Sara and Lindsay and Germana.

Stinky March Moments:

  • My boss’s husband passed away…and her dog too. Her husband was young and healthy and loved and he died too quickly. I was incredibly moved by his death, and wish there was something I could do to change the past few months in her life. I can’t. Then her dog died. This sucks.
  • A few other acquaintances–family friends–passed away.
  • I got a vicious migraine at the beginning of the month. I haven’t had a bad one like that in quite some time, so it was very scary.
  • This is my thesis semester. Boo. It is a lot of work. (I’m thinking this might be here every month until I graduate).
  • I had to get an old filling fixed. I like my dentist, but I don’t love dental procedures. Actually, I had a whole bunch of doctor appointments. Same goes for them. I like my doctors, but I’d rather spend my time elsewhere.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • March 12 made one year since I was hit by a drunk driver. I’ll be honest. I was happy to make it home unscathed that day. I’m proud to admit no one under the influence has driven into me this year (so far- fingers crossed.
  • My god-daughter/niece turned two years old this month.
  • My wonderful friends Ashley, Michaela, Jessica, Jim, Gail, Mr. O’s mom and three of our friend’s children also had birthdays. This month was full of birthday parties and baby showers.
  • Mr. O did my taxes for me. I mailed them in, and then they mailed me a refund! Woot Woot.
  • Wolverine built a pretty fancy Leprechaun trap. We actually thought it worked and we caught a leprechaun, but when we opened up the trap door, we realized the leprechaun was too smart for us. He somehow stole all the gold and escaped! We will get you next year, Lucky!
  • I finally got a massage that Mr. O’s family bought me as part of my birthday present (in September). That was nice.

I’m looking forward to____ in April:

  • Mr. O, Wolverine and I are going to the Museum of Science in Boston. I’ve wanted to go for a very long time now. It even found its way onto my current 101 in 1001 goals list.
  • Another one of my pregnant friends is due to deliver in April… on my brother’s birthday actually. There are a lot of birthdays coming in April.
  • I will be reviewing my first book for TLC book tours. Look for it at the end of the month.
  • Finishing my thesis. Or at least being SOOOOO CLOSE to being finished. It needs to get approved during the month of May, so I pretty much need to be 100% done editing my creative writing and my critical introduction before I turn it in for approval. I can do this (fingers crossed).

Overall Thoughts:

Like February, March was just an okay month. I felt pretty overwhelmed all month, but I survived. I am so thankful that winter is over. I love Spring and I look forward to the days getting longer and the temperature getting warmer. I’m actually so done with this month. It’s not like I hated February and March, I just didn’t enjoy them. I loved cuddling on the couch with Mr. O, building the leprechaun trap with Wolverine, going to the hospital to meet and hold (I love holding newborns!) Doodle’s new baby and the Blog Better Boston Conference. It’s not like there weren’t good moments. I’m just glad the month is finished. I’m ready for April.

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Want to know more about my year? Check out the previous months: January and February

MLK Quote

I was talking to Micaela about  Osama bin Ladin’s death and my sordid emotions, and she sent me a quote I really liked, so I’m sharing it with you. I asked her if she minded if I shared it on my blog, and she said “Nah, I don’t think Martin Luther King would mind too much.

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King, Jr

The Death of Osama Bin Ladin: A Moment in History

Yesterday Osama Bin Ladin was killed by American troops. Today Americans are celebrating.
I don’t really know how I feel about all of this. Am I happy they “caught” the mastermind behind September 11th? Yes, of course. Can I sit here with a clear conscious and celebrate a man’s murder (even if he is a bad man)? Not really.
No, not after my friend was murdered by a suicide bomber. Where was the patriotism then? We only notice the world around us when it either effects us directly or effects the country as a whole.
I don’t want to sounds as negative as I know I sound right now.  I just wish Americans put more effort into celebrating the lives of American soldiers. I wish families of soldiers who died overseas had more support and love by Americans.
So how do I feel? I don’t really know.

a little sunshine

Its been a tough week. My sister-in-law’s grandfather passed away. We all loved him very much. Another family member had a health scare, and just other little things.

But with all that happening… I’ve still really had a great week. Sounds insane. All the scary things have worked themselves out. Death is a fact of life; I’m just so fortunate that I knew Poppa. My family member is healthy, and that is the biggest relief. The other things cleared themselves up like they always do.

But it has been an awesome week… I’ve spent more time with my Memere. I’ve laughed my ass off every day. I have new ideas for three books and one short story. And I’m excited about making a Rockstar List and checking items off the list.

And on top of everything… Today is Micaela’s birthday 🙂

missing robert

I’m trying to convince myself that writing a blog post is productive, because at least I’m writing. I’ve yet to write anything of substance for this semester. Don’t get me wrong, I probably have about eight or nine or ten single spaced pages of nonsense, but nonsense just won’t cut it.

It’s just that I have this problem: every time I sit down to write lately, all I can think about is Robert. You don’t need to analyze me; I’ll do it for you. If I’m sitting down to write and all I can think about is one person, then that probably means there is an important story to be told.

So why not tell it? Good question. Because it hurts too much? Maybe I’m afraid? It makes me feel too vulnerable? Because I don’t even know what I have to say about him? The story isn’t just about him; its about me, it’s about people who are here and safe and out of harm’s way… people who I worried about for years. It’s about how I didn’t worry enough for Robert.

If I were to start my story, here is what I would say: “Robert was killed on Jeremy’s birthday.”

That is as far as I can get. I can’t write about sitting on my parent’s couch and getting a call from my brother telling me that he heard that Robert had been killed in Afghanistan. How Jeremy asked me to find out if it was true, to look on facebook, to make some calls. I can’t write about how I searched the internet  for hours like I was some kind of cyber detective looking for clues, even though my good friend John spoke with Robert’s mother and called to let me know. I don’t want to talk about how angry I was that the newspapers and tv stations weren’t announcing his death. Where was his picture? I don’t want to talk about how physically sick I felt and still feel when I actually saw his photo on tv, next to the words “Soldier Killed in Afghanistan.” I don’t want to write about how I still haven’t talked to his sister Becky since the funeral. How I don’t know how she is doing. How I don’t know how his two- maybe even three- year old daughter is doing.

I don’t want to write about how for years I made deals with God, crying and pleading, “If you bring Nicholas home safely I will never ever in my life smoke a cigarette again; I’ll go back to church. If you bring him home, I don’t care if he and I never even speak again, as long as he’s safe” or how I bargained with powers I don’t know for sure exisit to keep Gene and Stephan alive too. How even now, the USS Enterprise holds a special place in my heart. How that for years I was so terrified that something would happen to my friends. How I obsessed about it. How I was convinced that one day I would be forced to stand in front of a flag draped casket, to see their uniforms, empty boots on the side, to hear someone play Taps. I don’t want to write about how years later, when they were all safe and finished their tours of duty, there I was looking at a young boy’s empty boots, uniform, gun. I don’t want to write about how I didn’t even consider this being an option. How I didn’t obsess over Robert.

No, I don’t want to write about that. I don’t want to write about how the day before Robert shipped out, I told him he’d be fine “because I know everything.” My signature line. “Trust me; I know everything.” I hate those words. I hate myself for ever speaking those words. I don’t want to write about how we’d instant message each other at 3:00am because we both couldn’t sleep. How we’d always talk about my grad school applications, and how much work it all was. How he’d send me messages just to check in and make sure I wasn’t overdoing it; that I was taking care of myself. I don’t want to write about how he was a much better friend to me than I was to him. I don’t want to remember those conversations, even though they are all that’s really left.

I was looking through pictures of my oldest brother’s wedding a few weeks ago, when all of a sudden I saw Robert. I had looked at this picture many times before, but never did I notice him in the pew as Mike and I walked down the aisle. He looked so happy. He was always such a good friend to Jeremy; he looked up to him. Robert was still in high school then. He hadn’t yet enlisted. I remember how at Jeremy’s wedding he was talking about what a great time he was having, how he said he would have done the whole night over again when it was over.

Wouldn’t that be nice? To have the chance to do the whole night over….