Spoke to my grandmother today. After struggling to help her friend Flo (recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s) to receive some sort of medical aid/intervention and hitting nothing but walls, she called Flo’s nephew and pleaded with him to intervene. He did and agreed to take her to live in Florida permanently.
My grandmother is completely heartbroken and guilt ridden. they’ve been friends for 63 years
I’m not sure if there’s anything sadder than listening to your grandmother weep over the phone, especially when you know there’s no one else in the house to comfort her.
She also told me they found what they think is a tumor in my uncle (the son she takes care of) he’s going for a biopsy Monday and then the following week she said he’s going in for an MRI (she called it a brain scan, that’s the same thing right?) he also needs a procedure done on his ear. The man’s a mess, and that’s breaking her heart too.
She told me she was afraid for him. Afraid of what’s happening now and afraid of what will happen when she’s no longer able to be his caretaker.
I told her she needed a vacation.
She told me that’s what books are for.
Well played Nan, well played.
Ben got out early, I figured I’d go food shopping while I waited for him to get here, by the time he arrived I’d be done. Except now I’m done and he’s still 20 minutes away stuck in traffic that only happens when you don’t want it to. I was going to wait outside but it’s balls hot and I’ve got too much refrigerated crap that I’m worried about spoiling if it sits out too long, so now I’m camping in the freezer section of the market hoping they don’t ask me to leave or get the fuck out of the way.
OMG Ben I wanna go home where are youuuuuu?!!!
there’s a state offered teaching program in the city that will pay you to get your masters and then a guaranteed job placement to teach in one of the 5 boroughs. Ben’s mother offered to let us move back in with them rent free so that Ben could enroll in the program to teach art. We talked about it and there’s no reason not to. It would definitely be a step towards improving things. He’s going to apply, if he’s accepted we’re going to see if we can make it work without having to move. I love this place too much! I don’t think Ben ever envisioned himself with an education career but I think he’ll be good at it. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
On the way home from work, Ben brought up my birthday. He told me he had found the perfect gift for me until he saw how much it cost. I asked him to tell what it was and I got the typical “No, it’s just gonna make you sad because we can’t do it blah blah blah”
But how do you tell someone you found the “perfect whatever” and then not tell them what it is?
So here it is: The Museum of Natural History is hosting it’s first “adult” sleepover. It’s a “classier” version of what they do for children’s sleepovers. The night’s events start off with a champagne reception with live music (ok, maybe that’s a bit much for us but everything else is cool). You get to do the flashlight thing, eat delicious noms, there’s a midnight viewing of the Dark Universe Space Show (narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson of course), a live animal demonstration, you get to sleep under the whale, and then there’s breakfast in the morning.
It is the perfect gift for me.
"So how much?" I asked him
"375 a person."
It is not the perfect gift for me.
But what’s awesome, is that after he told me, I wasn’t sad or disappointed (for reals). I was touched, and I was happy. I know it’s an over used saying, but the thought really does count. And I love that this is the kind of sweet stuff he thinks of when he wants to do something special for me. I know he’d give me the world if he could.
It’s probably the best gift he never gave me.
Finally spoke to my grandmother after a three week silence. Not intentional. She was asleep at her dining room table (yet again) and my call woke her up. She said she had gone into the dining room to reset the air-conditioner (apparently there’s a process to this and it’s too complicated for my Uncle to take care of),she sat down to rest and ended up dozing off.
My Uncle was home at the time too.
This is why I worry.
She told me she was sad about some news she received today, her cousin who she’d been trying to get in touch with for a while had passed away.
Three years ago.
In the age of the internet how are you not able to notify family of someone’s passing?
Talking about her cousin drifted into talking about her youngest (and closest) brother, she got into the details of how and when he died (heart attack at home) where she was (going home from Glen Cove, it was almost 5pm) My Uncle (the one who still lives with her) was a volunteer fire fighter at the time. He has a CB radio in his room that announces any calls that come in. He kinda freaked when he heard the familiar address. By the time they got to the hospital her brother was already gone.
She told me she went into his room and sat with Diane (her sister in-law) she remembered touching his knee and the only thing she could think to say was “he’s still warm”. She said she didn’t realize it at the time, but it was her way of clinging onto the hope that he might open his eyes again. Warm meant you were alive.
And then she told me she felt so stupid for saying it in front of Diane, that it was a pointless thing to say to someone who had just lost her husband.
I assured her Diane didn’t mind.
Then she got to talking about her other siblings who are no longer around, and that her childhood family is pretty much gone. Her class reunions get smaller each time too and most of her close neighbors and friends are gone also.
She always apologizes for bringing this stuff up, I guess she thinks it’s too depressing to talk about. And it is depressing, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get it off her chest if she needs to.
So I tell her not to worry and to say whatever she needs to say. So she does, and I think it helps her and honestly, even if the topic is a bummer, I’m just glad she’s still around to tell me about it.
Received some unexpected help and things aren’t looking as “drastic” as we first thought. We still have some changes that we need to make and it’ll be a couple of weeks before we know what’s going on for sure but it’s good.
What I’ve learned in this, (it’s a continual lesson) is that I must stay present when the unexpected happens. Instead of getting carried away into whatever I think might happen.
I did better with this though. If this had been last year, I would have been physically ill until it was resolved, I probably would have even called in sick, I would have thrown my hands up deciding we were completely fucked with no hope of it being fixed and I would have stayed there for days (maybe even weeks).
This time, I gave myself one really good cry and then we got to work figuring out how to get ourselves out of this predicament and when we knew what we were going to do, we did it and moved on. When I would start to sense that anxiousness again I simply ignored it and told myself to stfu.
I consider it progess.
it was gorgeous out (just slightly too warm for me). Ben wasn’t feeling well. He knows he can’t bail on me tomorrow so we decided to take it easy today and canceled our plans
walked for a bit, ben took a nap and i worked on some shit.
when he got back up we walked to the bakery he’s been getting the macarons from. there was another woman in there and she was haggling with the guy behind the counter. insisting that she should get a 20% discount because it was after 5 and the end of the day.
the kid was really polite and explained that he couldn’t do that. she demanded to see the manager. after a lot of obnoxious grumbling from her, she got what she wanted and stocked up on pastries.
It’s a fucking mom and pop place that’s struggling to stay in business on an island of closed down shops. Pay the man 20 bucks for your fucking red velvet cake and shut the fuck up.
We gave him our order. Macarons and iced tea. We went to pay and he told us it was 7.28 and then he threw in a piece of cake for the hell of it. it wasn’t until after we left that it occurred to me that he severely under charged us. The tea alone should have been 7 bucks. We figured he gave us some crazy discount because we had seen them give it to the other asshole.
I know maybe I should be happy to have gotten a good “deal”, but i can’t help but feel like i just watched this woman rob them in someway. She was condescending, bordering on racist. i wanted to hit her. i don’t want to benefit from that kind of bullshit.
ben and i have decided we’re just going to give them a lot of business. i’m ok going broke in the name of dessert.
I hate the saying “everything happens for a reason.” it’s become a mindless slogan we tell ourselves every time something fucked up happens, because we need to find a deeper meaning behind the tragedy. But I don’t think everything happens for a reason. I think everything just happens, whether we like it or not. Any reason behind it is our own fabrication. That’s not a bad thing, it’s how we cope. But it’s not necessarily reality
Jen reminded me today that if my father had been what I needed him to be, I’d be a completely different person with different people in my life.
That’s the silver lining. I’ll always wish I was someone else but I can’t imagine my life without the people I have in it now.
Then again, I only have Ben, and I only have the friends that I have because I am who I am. So maybe there’s no point in wanting to be someone else or wishing things had been different.
I’m starting to think different was never an option.
Ben and are having a silent war over the thermostat. I keep turning it up, he keeps turning it down. We don’t say anything about it though. We just keep freezing and overheating ourselves.
Ben’s mother has a friend who wants someone to write resumes for him. It never occurred to me that “resume writer” was an actual occupation. She asked if I was interested and I felt bad telling her I wasn’t. I’ll call the guy tomorrow to see what it’s all about.
I still have two weeks until my next (extra) day off. It might as well be a year.
I’m just fucking tired and my alarm clock is beginning to stress me out.
I need to call my grandmother, or visit her. And then I should call my aunt to see if she needs help cleaning and clearing out my grandmother’s house. They’ve been trying to get her things “organized” this year and to have something set up for my uncle for when the inevitable happens. I know it’s not an easy thing for my aunt to be taking care of (especially because my uncle can be quite stubborn and cranky) so I figured if I can help her I will.
I hate this whole aging and dying thing. It’s unnecessary and cruel.
I called my grandmother last night to check in with her. i try to call her once a week, especially if I know I’m not going to visit her on the weekends. I told her that Ben was taking me to the Cradle of Aviation (local museum) to see Nunley’s Carousel. I was so happy to hear that she had not heard of Nunley’s either! What I was not happy about, was that she also told me that she had never been to the Cradle of Aviation.
As I have spoken with my grandmother over the last few months, I’ve learned that our family was more involved in Long Island/American history than I realized. My grandfather worked for Grumman Engineering, he was part of the crew that built the LEMs used for the Apollo program and he also worked on the E-2 Hawkeyes that were used during the Vietnam War. Both are on display at the Cradle of Aviation. I could not believe she had never gone to see it.
Unacceptable. Especially because it’s maybe a 20 minute drive from her house. So I told her we would pick her up and take her with us. She gave me the whole ” I don’t want to intrude blah blah blah…” but in the end, she said she’d love to.
Fast forward to this afternoon, my grandmother was really excited. kinda giddy. she really doesn’t get out much anymore and I think she craves opportunities to leave, I think she was also glad to actually have something new to see. Driving to the museum she kept pointing out streets and landmarks that she had forgotten about, hadn’t seen in years. She also kept pointing out the sky. How beautiful the clouds looked, the brightness of the sun, how blue it all was. Now I know where I get it from.
We pulled up to the museum, regretting we hand’t grabbed her handicapped parking pass. We set up her walker and made the very slow trek from the car to the entrance only to discover that today, the museum was closed to the public due to a birthday party! I went inside just to make sure someone hadn’t put those signs up accidentally. There were kids going bat shit everywhere, still this wasn’t enough to convince me, so I asked the clerk and she confirmed my disappointment. She also told me they had lost electricity so we wouldn’t have been able to see anything anyway.
We figured we could still check out the carousel. We passed the Hawkeyes on our way over and stopped for a few minutes so that she could look at them. She seemed really happy and shared a few more memories of grandpa.
There was a birthday infestation at the carousel too. Obviously this was not the right weekend. Back in the car, I suggested we stop by Aunt Ginny’s house, she was just down the road from where we were. Nan agreed that this was a great idea. Called Aunt Ginny, she thought this was a great idea too. Headed over there and hung around while she baked cupcakes for my cousin’s confirmation bake sale. She was glad to see my grandmother out of the house.
We talked for a while about life stuff and wedding stuff. Both she and my grandmother are advising caution about the backyard wedding idea. They had some valid points that Ben and I both agree with, so I’m just going to need to think on it a bit more when I have the energy to do so.
When the cupcakes had been properly iced, sprinkled and wrapped we headed back to my grandmother’s house, treating her to dinner along the way. She was annoyed that I wouldn’t let her pay but I didn’t care. We walked her back inside and said our goodbyes. She stood waving at her door until I couldn’t see the house anymore.
I’m glad I didn’t feel like taking a break from people today.
Talked /Skyped with my cousin tonight, I think it helped both of us, she’s been home sick and I just feel kinda life sick at the moment (is that a thing?) and I was just glad to be stupid with her for 40 minutes.
I need a vacation, or at least a few consecutive days with no plans or obligations. And this is when I feel conflicted about wanting to be around people but also wanting to be left alone.
And that’s another reason why I know Ben is good for me, he’s completely content just being in the same room together, he lets me be quiet when I need to be and then we play videogames.
We got a good thing.
it’s been a bumpy week and im glad it’s over.
been doing a lot of self reflection over the last few days, wondering if i handled my problems appropriately. i think i did. and even if i didn’t it, it doesn’t really matter because it’s already done. Doors closed and new ones opened.
on the plus side, i’ll still get to write the articles, it just won’t be through Soul Pancake anymore.
i’ve got a lot of thoughts on this whole experience that i’m not going to get into because i don’t want to be a dick, (which means i’m probably doing that already) still, i learned a few things because of it and I have a have a clearer idea of where I’d like to see myself in a few years.
it’s time to move on.
you know you’re involved with the right people if they care enough about you to let you know when you are hurting them.
i’m not talking about fighting and bickering and stupid drama, I’m talking about someone taking you gently aside and saying “hey, this thing that your doing, it’s hurting me and I care too much about you and our relationship to let it continue.”
i had this conversation today with a very close, long-time bestie of mine. my head has been up my ass for a while and I don’t always see how what I do or don’t do affects other people. This isn’t an excuse, it’s just what it is. And while the conversation started out a little uncomfortable, I consider myself lucky for having a friend who felt this was a necessary conversation to have. It gave me a clearer look into how things really are as opposed to my perceptions of things, and I’m not beneath saying that maybe I was a bit off in my understanding of the situation.
i think these things need to happen in relationships more often then they do. i don’t know what it is that keeps us from being honest with the people who mean the most to us. are we afraid of the bigger fight that might ensue? Are we afraid of hurting feelings? Or is it because we’re lazy and it’s just easier to “let it go”? The truth is, if you’re coming from a place of love (as opposed to hostility) then nothing bad can come from being honest.
Think about it, do you want to surround yourself with people who will yes you to death and then bitch and stew about it behind your back or would you rather have people who respect and love you enough to let you know when you’re being an unintentional douchebag (my words not hers). I will take the latter every single time because the person who can kindly tell you when you’re being a dick (my words not hers) is the person who wants to see you at your best and it’s the same person who accepts you at your worst. Pretty sure that’s the definition of unconditional love.
But you also have to be willing to hear them and be “ok” enough to admit when you’re in the wrong. I realized there was nothing she said that I could disagree with, and that’s ok. I’m aware of it now, and with awareness comes change.
You want friends who will help you grow.