Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I went to Terre Haute on Sunday to have dinner with my family. It was nice. I was eager to take a look at everyone and kind of see for myself how everyone is doing. My brother and his fiance are seemingly well. We just can't wait for the baby to be born. My brother was pretty much back to his old self, laughin and actin crazy and whatnot. My mother, however, still has deep sadness just written all over her face. She wept a little at the table, but she also laughed a lot and had plenty of funny stories to tell and she too is ecstatic about the baby. It's just in her eyes...never in my whole life has she looked like that. Just pain. It's only natural...she met my dad when she was 14 and they were wed when she was 17. He literally has been her whole life. Everything that's ever gone on, he's been right by her side, even when they were divorced. I feel all left alone because Shanee broke up with me, but she is REALLY all alone now. Her biggest supporter, life partner, is gone. I was sad when she told me that she skipped her ring ceremony at her college because her and dad had planned to attend. She just couldn't see herself there without him. A group of my dad's friends also planned a couples vacation and they told her they still wanted her to come, but she declined. Said there's no way she could have gone without my dad. I'm gonna give her one more event to pass up before I really sit down and talk to her about it. I want to encourage her to carry on with her life. She's only 53, she can't just stop. I don't blame her for the couples vacation...would have been awkward. But there's also a huge, fancy wedding in Atlanta this summer (one of my cousins is marrying a Falcon) and she is already talking about how she doesn't feel like going. I think she needs to go. It will be a great time. She also shared that she still cries each and every night before she goes to sleep...the past two nights, I've really prayed extra for her because of that. Peace and comfort for her soul.

I guess the past couple days haven't been completely unventful...I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. A few weeks ago, I had an eye exam. The optometrist looked over my chart and remembered me telling her a year ago that whenever I work out, my vision gets hazy, like I'm looking through a fog. It doesn't happen any other time. At the time, she told me that I had exercise-induced high ocular pressure. Nothing to be concerned about, just the pressure in my eyeballs gets high when I exercise and if temporarily effects my vision. So, I chucked it up to a minor inconvenience and went on with life. Well, this year at the exam, she asked me if it was still happening. I said yes. She said that it concerns her and she wanted to research it and get back with me. The next day, I heard from her and she said it's Uhthoff's Phenomenon. It's linked to MS. I needed to see my doctor. So, I've been nervous. I had my appt yesterday and he took me through an entire battery of tests, all of which I passed marvelously. He said there isn't anything else he can tell by looking at me, so he scheduled me for a blood glucose test to make sure that diabetes hasn't crept up on me. And I'm being scheduled for a ct of my head. Because something else that's concerning is that my left arm and left leg often are numb, and they tingle, and sometimes they feel like dead weight. That's been going on for awhile, but I always just blamed it on poor circulation, or figured that I had been laying wrong or sitting funny, or that they were just asleep. But after the eye doctor said MS, I kind of freaked. Suddenly, I've been hyper-aware of the numbness and tingling and it's actually pretty constant. Like I told my doctor yesterday, it could just be psychological because I never paid it much attention before she said that. But we both figure it's worth pursuing, so I'll be having my head scanned. I've been in a lot of deep prayer about it. Kind of worried and scared. I haven't yet told my mother because I don't want to worry her or stress her any farther. I'll tell her when I find out exactly when my ct is.

A couple weeks ago, I called myself being economical and saving time and gas and decided to try and just wax my own eyebrows here at the crib. I fucked it up horribly. Shanee and a few of my other friends got a good laugh out of my horrible brows. I prefer to have them not be arched, just cleaned up a little so they don't look crazy. Well, one of them ended up horribly thin and the other one was almost perfect. I left them grow a couple weeks and went to a salon that's really close to my house and explained the situation to the girl. She said not to worry. So I leaned back and relaxed. She worked for almost 15 minutes, which is a little long for some eyebrows, but I reminded myself that I had come in there looking a mess and she was probably being really precise. When she handed me the mirror, I rolled my eyes. She did the opposite of what I wanted. The one that I had actually been okay with, she made it just as thin as the other one. And she added a nice strong arch to each brow. After I told her that I didn't like an arch. "You no like?" she asked. I told her that I was not pleased. I paid her anyhow and left without another word. I learned two lessons: Never attempt my own eyebrows here at home, and don't try a new salon.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

how's you and whatshername?

Phone pulsates thrice. Text message.

Chick: hey u
Me: yoooo
Chick: what you doin tonight?
Me: no real plans yet. my homegirl supposed to come over and eat waffles??
Chick: you cookin breakfast tonight?
Me: Noooo lol, I will be leggo'n some eggo
Chick: oh ok. how's you and whatshername in philly?
Me: We ain't.
Chick: oh word?
Me: my bond.
Chick: well damn... ;-)
Me: *smirk*
Chick: must be my lucky day.
Me: perhaps.
Chick: hit me up tonight?
Me: chea, ok. grab a drink or somethin.
Chick: ...or somethin.
Me: later woman.

(I know that everyone wants my phone number now since I text so kool, haha)
I must be growin the hell up. This time last year, hell, 6 months ago, I would have been like, "I get off work at 4:30, meet me at the crib at 4:45." To have not instantly jumped at the chance signals a slight growth for me. I'm proud of myself for ending that conversation. For exercising some control and restraint. I can't really make any promises for how I may conduct myself as the night progresses though. I am sad as hell and still can't really wrap my mind around the fact that Shanee "needs space" at the worst possible time. It hurts pretty damn bad...but the bright side is that I can feel "Single Erika" coming alive. Time to brush off my game, get my swag back. It don't all come as easy as that text message implies. Plus, summer's just around the corner, it's kool being single in summer. Not my first choice, but it's kool.

I believe that my mother and I may be taking steps toward healing. We argued for the first time yesterday since my dad was hospitalized. My mother and I love one another, but we don't get along forreal. The running joke is that if we aren't fighting, something is wrong. And something has been very wrong. We honestly haven't said one smart or rude thing to each other in about 2 months...but yesterday, we had it out. That means that we're kind of feeling like our old selves a tiny bit. No need to just instantly agree with one another in an attempt to avoid confrontation. I was disagreeing with her and she got to hangin the phone up on me. That isn't anything new...I'm forever sayin something smart to her and having her hang up on me. But this time, I really didn't say anything smart. She was being rude for no real reason at all. So, after the third conversation that ended with a big "CLICK!" in my ear, I went off. I called her back and let her know that I wasn't feeling it, I didn't deserve it, and she should knock it off.

My left eyelid will not stop twitching. From what I understand about muscle twitches, in my situation, it's brought on by stress, lack of sleep, lack of vitamins, and too much alcohol. I guess I should take steps to get myself back together in terms of health.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

ooo i can't believe it...she don't want me, want me

Shanee and I are "chillin."

She needs space. She needs to focus on herself. She needs to "do her."

My ride-or-die ain't ridin for me anymore.

I proposed last week that we give each other a little breathing room just because the situation had grown tense. But within two days, I could see that it was a huge mistake and I immediately wanted to reneg. I was miserable and didn't want to be "2/3 of a step back" anymore. Unfortunately for me, she flourished. She liked it. She enjoyed her little breathing room. And opted to keep it that way.

I have done some shitty things to her throughout the course of our relationship and she's always been right there, by my side, never leaving, never wavering. My babygirl. But now...now that I'm damn near depressed, now that I'm sad beyond belief, now that I need emotional support, now that I need her to have my back more than ever....she needs to work on herself. I'm needy right now. I'm going through the hardest thing I've ever faced in my entire life. Exxcccuuuuuse me for being selfish. Apparently, I'm just too much to handle right now. She can't be available when I need her and she said she can't be the girlfriend that I need her to be right now. So, she wants to take this time to just do her own thing so that she'll be better for me in the future. I told her we don't have a future...if she can turn her back on me with what I'm going through, why would I want to be with her later? If she can't handle me at my worst, then she doesn't deserve me at my best.

She keeps telling me that she's still available and still there for me and she's not turning her back on me and she's not putting any distance between us. She even told me that I was her best friend. That's new. I didn't even ask about it, I just reminded her that if she was my best friend, she wouldn't dream of turnin from me at a time like this. A best friend would put their own needs last and be the support that I need right now. There wasn't any response to that.

I'm just so blown. Talk about adding insult to injury. I don't think anyone has ever kicked me while I'm down before. It feels pretty terrible.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Like somethin out of a movie...

I was at work today. Doin my lil job. Up to the photo counter walks this lady. A white upper-class, middle-aged woman. Blond hair. A deep tan this early in the season. She dropped off two rolls of film and then she whipped out a disposable camera.

"This is my daughter's...it was laying on her desk and I noticed that it was finished...I figured I would do her a favor and get it done for her while I'm here!"

I gave her the fake smile and filled out her order forms for her and sent her on her way. I process the two rolls first...it's just pictures of suburban family life...spring break on the beach, bicycle rides, pictures of a teenage girl in a formal dress.

Then I processed the last roll, her daughter's.

It was the teenage girl from the first two rolls...and she was with another teenage girl in the pictures.

Pictures of them lying across a bed.

Pictures of them with their heads pressed together making funny faces at the camera.

Pictures of them with their arms around one another.

Halfway through, the pictures quit being friendly.

It was pictures of them kissing.

Running their fingers through one another's hair.

Pictures of them staring longingly into one another's eyes.

The very last picture was two hands coming together to make a heart. Complete with matching rainbow thumb rings.

Of course, images of two women in love with one another is always a nice sight, in my opinion. But I didn't stop and gawk at the pictures or anything, just cut and sleeved the negatives and packaged the orders and soon forgot about them.

Until the woman came back to pick them up. I wasn't paying her much attention...she paid for the three packages and like most people, she stood right there at the counter and ripped them open. I always stay close by when people do that just to ensure that there's no complaints or concerns. I didn't watch her look through the first two...just saw her smiling out of the corner of my eye. Heard her soft sighs as she went through the pictures. This was a woman overjoyed with her perfect little suburban family...her heart was just bursting with love and warmth as she flipped through the images.

I didn't look directly at her again until I heard soft sobs. She was sniffling something awful, her face had gone beet red, and pure pain was in her eyes. She was going through the third package, her daughter's pictures. She just slowly, very slowly, kept flipping through them. She was studying them. She would grimace and begin to cry harder with each passing picture. I didn't say anything or move. I just stood there and looked on as she went through all 24 exposures about 3-5 times. She was in pure shock and disbelief. It hit me that she had no idea that her daughter was obviously very much in love with another girl. She had no idea what was going on at sleepovers and get-togethers. She was none the wiser to what was going on, probably in her very own home, behind closed doors when her daughter's "friend" was over. She seemed to be oblivious to my standing there. Just weeping openly. I kind of began to feel like I should offer up a comforting word or two. Then she kind of suddenly became aware that she was in public...she reached up and brushed her hair with her hand and hurried to dry her eyes. She did a quick scan of her surroundings to see who had witnessed her display of emotion. Her eyes landed on me and she straightened up a bit. I just looked at her with the blank face and asked her if she was alright. She gave me the up and down, took in my appearance. She kind of cut her eyes at me, as if it was my fault. As if I personally turned her daughter on to women. As if I planted the pictures there for her to see. Her face slowly softened up, as if she wanted to ask personal questions about my life...like why are people gay, and if it's the end of her life as she knows it. I wanted to tell her to just relax. There's worse things in life to concern yourself with than what your daughter does in her bedroom. (That's one thing I will always appreciate about my parents...when they found out that I was gay, they said "so?") I wanted to tell her that her perfect little suburban existence isn't shattered by the discovery of the fact that her daughter is dealing with someone else's daughter. She seemed so sad, like everything she'd ever worked for in her life had just been obliterated. Not knowing her or her beliefs and values, it very well could have. I didn't know what to do. I really did want to say those things to her. Wanted to tell her to just go home and give her daughter the pictures and then just sit back and wait for her daughter to come to her. Wanted to tell her to discuss it quietly with her husband, but not to make a scene about it. Wanted to tell her that it's okay. Instead, I gave her a half smile. She returned it, then told me to have a pleasant day, then turned and left the store.

I can only imagine what is happening at their house tonight.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's been two weeks...

I think the next several Thursdays are going to be extremely tough. Each Thursday ticks off another week in which I haven't seen my father alive or had an earthly conversation. I cried today specifically for that reason. It's really hard. I'm kind of mad at the world because it seems that people give their condolences and whatnot, then it's back to business as usual. It's like I want to throw my hands in the air and yell that it's not okay. Everybody needs to stop. I'm still hurting. Life can't just carry on like regular. I'm going through the motions, pressing on, have my chin up, and I'm maintaining. But moments today where it just hit me that my life will never be the same and it hurts with a pain so deep that it's indescribable. Shanee said some really nice things earlier about how she knows that my dad is watching over me and he's proud of who I am and it made the tears fall pretty easily. I only hope that it's the truth. The day of his surgery, my mother had arrived at the hospital about 40 minutes ahead of me and he asked where I was and my mom told him that I'd elected to sleep awhile longer. My mom said that his response was, "you know, she's been so fantastic to me. I couldn't have asked for a better daughter." I'm so happy to know that those were his last sentiments about me. I know that at the time of his death, he was very proud of me. I just hope that as the rest of my life unfolds, I don't do anything to change that. I just miss him so much. I hate that I live one block away from the hospital...I have to drive past there every single day and my stomach knots up each time. I know it will get easier, but it sucks for now.

Me and a group of friends went out to dinner tonight. Ran up a huge bill at Benihana. It was only mildly worth it. Then we went and had some martinis and struck up a conversation with the owners of the bar. We talked about dating and relationships and I learned a lotttt. One man said that the only way to make a relationship work for life is to lay down all your wants and desires in favor of the other person's. If both parties do that, neither party will go unsatisfied. You inevitably always meet in the middle. If you're putting all your desires on the back burner, there's no way you will let your partner put theirs on the back burner also...ergo, everyone ends up happy. The premise is so simple, but I had never heard it put in those words before and it really resonated with me. Had me feelin like I had been given the key to success in love and relationships.

Much more to write, but much too exhausted...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

back back, back back...gimme 50 feet

Hey Eren.....Unfortunately, no. I got nada before I came back home. Nothing.

Am I kind of over it? Kind of.

If I think about it for longer than 30 seconds, do I still get heated? Absolutely.

Her and I actually decided yesterday to kind of give each other some space. Breathing room, I guess. My exact words were "let's just take 2/3 of a step back" and her response was "ok booboo, sounds good." I need time and space to grieve and put my life back together, and I originally thought that she could be down for that. But the truth of the matter is that she just needs this time to focus on herself and do her own thing and have her fun and just be 21. I want and expect more than she can give me right now. And truth be told, we're different people than when we met. She had just turned 20 and I was 23 when we met...and now I'm 25 and she'll turn 22 in less than a week. (For most of the year, I'm 4 years older than her.) There's a big difference between 22 and 25. We want different things and we expect different things. I think we'll be a great couple when our ages level out and we're on the same page. At 25, I'm simply not amused when TWICE we're out at dinner and she attempts to blow the candles out at the table. When I was 22, I probably would have laughed, or even jumped in and did it too. I smirked the first night she did it...the next night when she tried it again, I just rolled my eyes. She doesn't see anything wrong with texting her friends while I'm there exclusively to spend time with her. It's rude in general to be at a dinner table or be in conversation with someone and also be texting someone else. But it's double rude to do that when you're with your girlfriend that you only get to see every few months. I feel like her and I's time together is so limited that we should be focused only on one another while we're in the presence of one another. She feels that since every single day we're in constant communication from the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep, she gives me more time and attention than she could ever imagine giving anyone else, so who cares if she texts while we're out having dinner. We just don't agree on things like that and she herself even says that it's because of age. She has kind of watched me grow up a lil bit too...she can see the changes in me from the time that we met up to now. She knows that I used to do a lot of sneaky and underhanded things at my job and I didn't really take it seriously at all, but that's a totally different story now. And she's really quick to remind me that if I were to compare myself at her age to how she acts now, I was wayyyy worse. She knows all my secrets and she's heard all my stories, so she knows that when I was her age, I was completely off the hook. But somehow, I expect her to be more mature and serious about things than she is now. Also, this weekend she made a handful of distasteful comments concerning race and sexuality that were very unattractive and I let her know that I wasn't appreciative of remarks like those. Basically, the age difference has just led us to mutually get on each other's nerves and wear each other out. On Sunday while we were at dinner, I flat- out told her that I was ready for her to get some age on her and come on up out of the stage that she's in. She was like "why, so I'll stop doing so many things that just get on your last nerve?" The answer was "exactly." It was a light-hearted conversation, but we both said serious things that we meant. I think that we both agree that if we are serious about being together in the future, we have to pump the brakes right now before we end up seriously disliking one another.

So that's that....we didn't part ways or break up by any means, we'll still be in contact with one another, and I still love her a sickening amount, but we each just need to focus on ourselves. It took the pressure off of her and took the expectation off of me. She's free to say as many inappropriate things about racial groups and subcategories of homosexuals as she likes, act foolish at dinner tables, and text whoever she wants because I'm not going to concern myself with it.

Anyhow, yesterday was my first day back at work in almost two weeks. It felt good to get back in a routine and for life to feel somewhat normal again. I was touched and kind of overwhelmed by all the wonderful things my coworkers said to me. I was surprised by some of the people who pulled me aside and told me that they were thinking about me and were praying for me. Also, a coworker of a friend, who I've only met ONE time for 5 minutes, sent me a card with her phone number in it and told me to call her if I ever needed to talk. I texted her immediately to thank her and let her know that I will definitely hang on to her number and will stay in touch. Her father just passed on February 16th, so we both have super fresh wounds. I suggested getting together to hang out and she instantly agreed. I think it will be a good thing. Although I never anticipated bonding with someone over the death of my father, I guess that's what support groups basically are....people bonding, uplifting one another, and helping each other through an ugly situation. Anyway, back to work also meant back to reality...my incompetent employees, of course, didn't handle shit on their own and I had a stack of things to sort through and get settled. By tomorrow, things should be back kool. It's annoying though. Today was kind of tough at work on an emotional level. I wasn't crumbling and falling apart or anything, but just very heavy-hearted. I was so thankful that my mom called when I was on my lunch break because her voice did wonders for me...I immediately felt calm and at peace. I haven't always gotten along with my mom or been very happy with some of the decisions that she's made in her life, but I am so glad that I have her in my life. Through my father's death, I am learning a lot of lessons that I wouldn't have otherwise learned. I'm also seeing some sort of silver lining...her and I have grown close. Hearing her voice on the telephone has never been a treat to me, but it is now. I'm thankful for that. A few posts back, I wrote about how Shanee is just naturally a positive person with a good disposition who isn't held down long at all by anything. My mother is the exact same way. Some would say that it's the reason I cleave to Shanee so strongly. They are very similar. Just the way they talk, the way they laugh, their positive energy, they get stressed out but they don't let it get them truly down and out, they're quick to laugh and smile, they have a playful spirit (Shanee's will return at the end of the week when midterns and projects are done)...and these qualities just set me at ease. I'm thankful to have women like them in my corner, pressed nerves and all.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was officially through with facebook. So, I deactivated my account. Now I'm regretting it because there are some people that I would love to be in contact with and facebook was our only means. I'm thinking of getting back on there just long enough to get some email addresses and phone numbers, then being gone again. We'll see.

In other news, I drank too much green beer last night. Fell into that deep, dreamless sleep that only alcohol can drive a person into. I had a good time at the bars though. Love watchin people do the stanky leg. Good times are welcome these days.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Sexless in Philadelphia

My plane touched down in Philadelphia on Thursday evening. It's Monday. And no sex has been had.

I'm mad.

All of my attempts and advances have been thwarted. I have never in my life felt so rejected, unwanted, unloved, and unattractive. It's making me feel really insecure. I've asked about it and talked to her about it several times since Friday. She maintains that she's just got a lot on her mind. She's stressed over midterms, projects, and the fact that she doesn't have a plan for after graduation. Just said sex is not on her list of priorities right now. I'm deeply disturbed by this. I asked her about 6 times if there's somebody else that she's having sex with and she just doesn't have the heart to tell me right now because my dad just died. She swore that wasn't it. I asked if I'm not attractive to her anymore. Obviously my presence doesn't turn her on. She said I'm still sexy. I asked if my obvious attempts to be affectionate didn't feel good or even slightly put her in the mood to be sexual...she said it feels good, but doesn't wanna take it there. We went over it like 5 times and I still just don't understand why she's so opposed to having sex.

Maybe it wasn't right and maybe it wasn't fair, but I reminded her that burying my father just a couple days ago was wayyy more stressful than midterms and the regular senior year shit that everybody in college goes through. I know that everyone deals with stress differently....to me, sex is a welcome break from whatever is boggling my mind. To her, it's just not. She can't get turned on when other things in life get heavy. How unfortunate. But why can't she just set aside her problems for like an hour or two and focus on my needs???

I'm just deeply disappointed. We've been together, on and off, for like 2 years and we haven't seen each other in 2 months....no one can blame me for wanting some sex. She was all like "I don't understand why we can't just enjoy each other's company and have a good time. I'm having a good time just talking to you, being around you, and having fun." I felt the same way....but wanted that to include sex. She didn't understand what the big deal was and didn't think that sex was anything to fight about. Sex is important to me. I enjoy it a lot. I am not in this relationship strictly for the sex, obviously, since we live 600 miles away from one another. I love her for the person she is, but when I see her, I expect some sex. We've been together all this time, but she suddenly now wants to withhold sex. She assured me that I didn't do anything, as I already knew I hadn't. But I'm still very uncomfortable with the situation. She has said the same thing over and over...that she's stressed and has big things on her mind. She even said that she doesn't understand how I even want to have sex. She can't understand how I buried my father a few days ago, but still am concerned about sex. I don't see how I couldn't be thinkin about sex...what a perfect way to take my mind off things and just enjoy some good feelings. I told her that. And still nothing. I'm feeling like my needs don't matter. It hurts. This may sound immature or selfish, but I don't see how she can't forget about her midterm for a couple hours to tend to me and what I need, since she's claiming to be so sensitive to my loss. I often feel like she already has it made up in her mind how I'm going to feel about something and she doesn't pay attention or truly search for how I really feel about things. She just assumed that sex wouldn't be on my mind because of what else I've been going through. She never once asked me how I really felt or how I wanted to spend the time.

I understand that every person has the right to decide when they will or will not have sex. They shouldn't be pressured into it or punished because of their choice. But I am unfulfilled and dissatisfied. Stress or not, we have to take advantage of the little bit of time we have and make the most of it...and I would like that to include sex. Like I told her, for what we've been doing since I got here, which is eat, watch TV, and sleep, I didn't need to come visit, we could have did that over the phone. While I'm here, we need to do the things that we can't do over the phone, like fuck.

I asked her did she want me to begin seeing other people when I got home. I'm that upset about this. She was just like "if that's what you think you want to do...is that what you want?" I told her that I want to have sex. Preferably, I want to have sex with her. But when I see her for the first time after two months and she won't touch me, it honestly pisses me off. Makes me want to see other people. I hate that our relationship is long distance, but now it's sexless too? No thanks. I'm not some freak that can't control my urges. I can. But sex is still a big enough of a deal to me to be deeply upset by this. She said she acted nonchalant about it because it upset her that I would even ask that. She knows me pretty well and she knows how I am though. She knows what my sexual appetite is like. What part of her thought that I was going to be okay with not having sex this weekend?

She's always quick to say that almost all of our problems wouldn't exist if we lived in the same city. And she's right, they wouldn't. If we could see each other 4 or 5 times a week, one weekend without sex wouldn't cause me any grief. But she's failing to see that because we're a long distance couple, this one weekend is extremely important. There's no room for just not feeling like having sex.

I'm confused. I don't know what to do. Like I said, I just feel really rejected. Like she doesn't want me. Like I'm not sexy anymore. Like she doesn't care enough to make sure I'm satisfied. Do I just swallow my rejection and disappointment and frustration and carry on as if this is okay? Or am I really supposed to be understanding and accepting and again, just carry on as if I'm okay with it? Because I'm obviously not okay with it. But what kind of heathen does that make me to break up with someone because they didn't wanna have sex one weekend? It's probably a pretty dickheadish thing to do. And I won't break up with her over it. But I'm angry. And looks like I will return home tonight incredibly frustrated.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

this is what it is...

I made it through the funeral today.

Kind of.

I cried so hard I almost threw up. My poor brother was the only reason I stayed on my feet...and that was barely. He weighs about 150 and he's 6 feet tall. He's a bean pole. I had on heels that put me at about 6'1" and I weigh 270. When I began to crumble, several people had to jump in and keep me off the floor. People were fanning me. People were running about bringing me water. I was escorted out of the sanctuary about 3 times. I snotted all over my mother's outfit. I buried my head in her chest and wailed out loud when they closed the casket. I was gagging and dry-heaving so much that a trash can was placed between my legs.

After the service, people just kept patting me on the back, telling me I did good. I wasn't quite sure what I'd done well, but I just hugged them and thanked them.

The service was nice though. I'm pleased with the way it all turned out.

On Sunday, my aunts came over to help my mother and I write the obituary and get things situated. My aunt (dad's oldest sister) automatically assumed we would be having visitation on Tuesday night and the funeral on Wednesday. My mother and I both felt that we couldn't withstand two days of standing around, hearing how sorry everyone is, and being faced with that casket. We just couldn't. One day was all we could muster. Plus, everyone knows that in small towns and probably big cities as well, visitation services are only used to view the body for about 10 minutes or so...once people have told the family how sorry they are, they just begin gossiping. Totally not why we're gathered. So, on three separate occasions, we told my aunt this. She came over on Sunday and told us that regardless of how we felt about it, she was having a memorial service for my father on Tuesday night. She said she wasn't asking us, she was telling us. She made it like we weren't doing enough for my father or we weren't paying enough respect or giving enough honor. My mom snapped. Went completely off. I began bawling. We argued. It ended with her giving me a half-ass pat on the back and telling me, "I'm sorry that things aren't as black and white as you think they are." She apologized to my mother and walked out. She really hurt my feelings some kind of bad. My mother's too. How insensitive and disrespectful can you be? At the time when we need comfort and support more than anything, she totally went against our wishes. Just rude. Everybody knows that it's in poor taste to go against what the wife and children want to do. Everybody keeps telling me that she'll get hers. To just let it go. And I will. She gave me a lil hug today and told me she loved me. I looked over her head and said it back...I have avoided eye contact with her. I basically think she's horrible. I'm sure those feelings will fade over time, but right now, she's disgusting to me. Today during the ceremony, a friend of my mother's got up to deliver words of inspiration and she was checking to make sure the people in the back could hear her, and my same mean-ass aunt yelled "JUST SPEAK!" How rude can a person really be? And I have a strong feeling that there's been some shit-talk done about my mother and I because my other aunt, the one that's had such a massive stroke that she's about as functional as a 4 year old and has no control over her emotions, won't even acknowledge me. I catch her staring at me at odd moments. With contempt in her eyes. She doesn't get up to hug me when I enter a room like she used to. She doesn't say anything to me. When I say hi to her, she gives me half of a smile. In her state, she's easily influenced and I think the mean-ass aunt has said some things outside of my presence that has made her dislike me. My dad was her caretaker, but when my parents got remarried, she had to move in with the mean-ass. My dad was too sick to be caring for someone else, but did it anyway to spare her from having to live with someone so evil...that's just the type of person he was. I think they are both harboring ill feelings because their lives became more miserable when my parents reunited. Who wants to be 60-some years old, caring for your little sister who can't do ANYTHING on her own, have about 3 failed marriages under your belt, nobody else wants you, and your own kids don't even really like you? Sounds pretty miserable. They came over on Christmas morning to find all three of us in the kitchen, baking cookies and playing around, waiting on my brother and Jackie to arrive so we could eat dinner. You could see in their eyes and from some of the things they said that they were jealous. Maybe I'm wrong for saying those things because there's no proof, but it's what I feel. My opinion is obviously subjective, but it's real to me. Only clue I have as to why she has become so distant and cold towards me. I'm curious about it, but at the end of the day, it doesn't make or break me. I don't see them hardly at all anyhow, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Anyway, I am glad that the funeral and making all the arrangements is over. I feel like a weight has been lifted. Like I can try to put my life back together now. My brother and I agreed that we can look forward now. It's never going to stop hurting, but the toughest of the tough is behind us. I know there's going to be plenty more occasions when we just ache for him....holidays, when Damien (who made his first debut in the paper in the obituary) arrives, when my brother and Jackie get married, our birthdays, both of my parents' wedding anniversaries....just those occasions that we've never experienced without him. They're going to be painful.

My mother and I got the freaking-out of a lifetime this morning. We're having breakfast and we hear the side door on our garage open and close. My mom got up and went to the door that opens into the garage, thinking it was my brother and Jackie. No one was in there. We figured someone had been snooping around the garage and we just heard them leave, so we dashed outside to see who we could see. No one. We get back in the kitchen, and only a minute later, we hear the front door open and close. Again, no one. It was spooky. We may be some grievin' folk, but we haven't completely lost it. Trust that both my mother and I would not have heard that if it didn't really happen. We're not crazy. My mom almost cried. I tried not to think about it too much, but I could tell it stayed with her for awhile. Devin and Jackie were lookin at us like we were nuts when they arrived and we shared the event.

It's been great getting to be around my extended family. I exchanged email addresses with 50 million cousins for the 50 millionth time and I really do think I will use them this time. We make the same empty promises every time we see one another. I was touched by one of my friends. On Monday, she went to her boss and told them that she had a funeral to attend on Wednesday and asked for the day off. Her boss said no. So she quit. Yes. That's right. She quit her job. To be with me on the hardest day of my life. Kind of crazy? Maybe. She has a house and a son to look after. But she quit. In the worst of economic times...jobs are not plentiful. She quit her job. I don't think I'll ever forget that. I couldn't thank her enough. I told her that she shouldn't have messed with her livelihood like that. But I was deeply appreciative of that. I was overwhelmed by the commitment and devotion to our friendship. No one has ever quit their job for me before. I'm quickly learning and seeing who'll ride for me and who won't. It's interesting.

I'm heading to Philly tomorrow. Gonna go lay up with my babygirl for the weekend. I need some lovin. Some hugs. Some time to just let my mind be numb. To do whatever I feel like I need to do in the presence of the only person in the world who doesn't judge me. My mom is the one who suggested I go. She said that it will do me some good. She said that I need to get away. It will be a good lil minute before I have anymore vacation time at work, so I need to make the most of this time that I have left. Plus, she said she's ready to be alone for awhile. I have been in her face since Friday and she'd been staying with me since the previous Tuesday and she's ready to just do her own thing. Personally, I'm not ready to be alone yet. I had every intention of staying at my mother's house until Monday the 16th. But she has made it clear that she's ready for me to roll. She even offered to pay for my trip. So, it works out perfectly.

Thank you for the kind messages and comments on my last two posts. I appreciate the concern and support.

Friday, March 6, 2009


My father went into surgery yesterday morning at 7am. His body immediately began rejecting the pump they implanted. At 3am this morning, the surgeons had done everything they could for him. His body just would not stabilize. Throughout the night, they gave him $20,000 worth of blood...all the blood at the hospital. They were contacting the Red Cross for additional supplies. They went from Plan A through Plan Z. None worked. It was over.

I am glad that I got a chance to personally thank the surgeons who cancelled all the other surgeries throughout the day in order to keep working...heart pumps are supposed to take 4 hours to insert. The surgeon, as he cried, told my mother that he'd never worked 20 hours on a person before. Most surgeons would have been like "this dude has smoked his whole life and ate carelessly and didn't seek medical attention soon enough" and thrown in the towel. He had the best heart surgeons in the city and they worked tirelessly. Exhausted every last option. It just wasn't meant to be. His body just wasn't going to handle it.

I am so comforted by the fact that he was happy and joyful and comfortable this morning before they took him down. He told my mother that he's in God's hands and that he's okay with whatever the Lord has in store for him. I am glad that he is okay now. No more pain, discomfort, exhaustion, shortness of breath, swollen nuts, wondering what's going to happen next. He's home. In good hands.

My stomach is in a million knots. I don't know what to do, think, say. I feel so bad for my mother...she had truly prepared herself to help him learn his new pump and to look after him and be there with him as his health returned and he regained his quality of life. She has to find comfort in the fact that God will do the care-taking directly now. It obviously just wasn't in His plans for her to do that. More than anything, she was looking forward to grandparenting together. She had already imagined how joyous the day was going to be, when she drove my dad to the hospital and they got to hold baby Damian together. She couldn't wait for that. And now, he'll be a memory on that day.

My poor brother is beside himself as well. He feels a lot of guilt for not coming to the hospital yesterday morning and visiting with him while he was still alive and talking and happy. He missed my mom dancing for my dad and I. We got some real good laughs in before they took him down to surgery. My brother feels horrible for having missed that. He regrets not making enough time to come to the hospital as much as I was there, which was daily. My mother and I told him to let it all go.It's alright. He desperately wishes that he could have shown his son to my dad. He said that it's not often that the best man he's ever met is his own dad. We talked about how incredibly blessed and lucky we are to have had him and gotten this many years with him. We know way too many people who don't know their father or who have true dickheads as fathers....so we cannot even be mad or feel cheated or say that it's unfair that our father is gone. We're abundantly blessed.

I told both my mother and brother that dad is okay now. He's well. He went bravely, comfortably, and in peace. And I reminded them that God is still in control. He's still good. He is still worthy to be praised. He does everything perfectly and in order. We may hurt now, but we still have a lot to be thankful for. We have a lot of joy still left. We are still being blessed. Even though it was extremely painful to walk out of the hospital last night and to know that he wasn't ever going to leave, we're troopers and we're going to be okay.

As my mother packed her things and left my apartment, she held a finger in the air and said "we are going to be okay." She's right.

This is my first time truly being alone since it all went down. It's been cryish. I know that it hasn't set all the way in yet. This is only the beginning. It probably has to get worse before it gets better. But my mom is right...we will be okay.

I fully understand that God and the love of Jesus are the only relief from the pain. I've been knowin that. But it hurts so bad. Support from family and friends helps a little. I'm so thankful for all the people in my corner. Shanee has been right by my side through all of this, up until about 7pm yesterday...I was hurt and disappointed that she made the [horrible] judgment call to attend a comedy show on campus as opposed to checking on me and being available to me. If the shoe were on the other foot and her father had been in surgery for 12 hours on a procedure that is supposed to take 4 hours and her and her family haven't heard a peep from the O.R., there is no way that I could have just went and got my laugh on. No way in hell. I just felt that it was a really selfish and insensitive thing to have done. She came within an inch of getting cursed out something terrible. I later apologized for the things that I said to her. I explained to her that I meant every word of it, but the manner in which I spoke wasn't right. The things I said were mean and didn't make me feel any better. She apologized for her actions and forgave me for the names I called her. It makes me nervous about the weeks and months to come...can I trust her to truly be there for me? Can I lean and depend on her? It just reaffirms for me that it is completely foolish of me to think for a second that I can fully depend on man. I cannot put my faith in anyone other than God. Nobody on this earth can provide the comfort that I need and can only get from Him. But still...it hurts that she acted that way and now I'm left to wonder if she really means all the things she says. She really dropped the ball and knows how to add insult to injury.

Part of me wants to just take a shower, put on my clothes, go out to lunch, go see a movie, and just act like nothing happened. Just act like everything is fine. All is well.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

a brief (sike) update

Yeah, last week, I was teetering on the border of depression. I've slipped in. Just the circumstances of things are tough.

My father is sicker than originally thought. They are implanting a pump in his chest on Thursday to do the work of his heart. When they cut him open to hook the pump up to his heart, they will do a biopsy of his lungs. They have some dark spots on them that are tiny. So small they can't test them. But when they lay his chest open to implant the pump, they will go ahead and take a biopsy of the spots. Whatever they are will determine whether he gets on the transplant list. If they are cancerous, no transplant. If they are just nodules that most people living in the midwest have, then he will get put on the list. But whether or not he gets put on the list, his heart needs help bad. We're praying that the spots are benign and that he'll get put on the list and that way the pump will just be there to hold him over.

The unthinkable happened a couple days ago. My aunt, a CNA, was at the hospital visiting with my father when he requested a bath. Her being the caregiver type offered to help the nurse do it. My cousin, other aunt, and I left the room. After about 30 minutes, my aunt went back in. There was a commotion. I stuck my head in the door...and saw my dad sitting on the edge of his bed with his nuts, the size of grapefruits, on display. I screamed and immediately began dry heaving so much that I was crying and two nurses came to my assistance to ensure that I was alright. I was mortified. When all was settled, I returned to the room, but couldn't look my dad in the face.

Anyhow, the current state of affairs is wearing on me. It is stressing my whole family out. My dad is being a real trooper about everything...positive attitude, isn't being too emotional, seems pretty brave. My mom was preparing for him to just wait on a transplant...this pump is going to require a lot of work and she wasn't prepared for all of that. She has to learn all of the equipment along with him and be ready to assist him as needed. He will not be allowed to leave the hospital until they both have passed a test on how the pump works and what to do in emergency situations and whatnot. They also have to complete a couple of furlows away from the hospital successfully. It's just a lot of work that she wasn't prepared for. Just being at the hospital with him 24/7 is exhausting...he runs her to death. His thinking is that he doesn't need to call the nurse for everything with his wife sitting right there...and her thinking is that the nurses are being paid to care for him and there's no reason why they shouldn't be called. On top of that, my mother has set up camp in my apartment. I love her, but I am used to being alone. She snores, she puts her feet on me in her sleep, she made me sleep by the wall, she accidentally reset my clock and I was too exhausted to realize it until way later, she sent my ipod crashing towards the floor after I told her not to pick up my speaker for it, and somehow, she's kind of clueless about things. She got married when she was 17, one week after her high school graduation. She has never been alone or had to do anything for herself. She went directly from her parents to my father...never had to learn independence, never had to be self-sufficient. She's not dumb by any means, but just kind of clueless about things. It shows by some of the things she says and her attitudes about things. There is one advantage though...she has taken me out to dinner each night that she's been here. It's welcome.

I don't think there are enough words to describe the disappointment I feel over the fact that I had to cancel my trip to go see Shanee. I needed to see her. Some kind of bad. I miss her so bad it hurts. With everything else going on, I need physical comfort. I need her around me. I need her arms around me at night. I need to smile naturally without having to tell myself to. But with my father in his condition, I could not hop on a plane and leave town for a week with him just being less than a week out of surgery. So, we are doing our best for her to come out here instead. It won't be for the whole week, more like 5 days, which is way better than not seeing her at all. I've got to. I need to feel her love physically. I'm not physically alone because my mother is here, but emotionally, I need my babygirl. Everything going on has been made ten times harder by the fact that I'm so lonely. Like, my heart literally hurts. I'm not exagerrating...true, physical pain is what I feel. Each time I think about not getting to see her, the pain gets a little worse and I have to fight tears. The most important thing is that I see her, but I was looking forward to actually getting away. Being in a different environment for a little while. And I had special plans to meet my friend Ty. We've been kool online and on the phone for like 3 years now, he's from upstate New York. We had plans to meet in NYC and hang out...I was looking forward to it so much. I feel like a child...just utter disappointment and sadness after being excited about something and then not getting to do it. The whole trip was going to be so much fun, getting to see Shanee, hang out in NYC and DC and Philly like always, meet Ty for the first time, meet some of Shanee's friends, just all of it. When I think about not getting to go, I just get extremely sad on the inside. I feel so childish for it, but it's the truth.

I've been dealing with some other feeings too that have gone unsaid thus far. I am jealous of my girlfriend. I'm not really sure if jealous is the word, but I'm sure it's pretty close. It's so easy for her to just have a positive attitude...I have to work a little harder to be optimistic. When she found out that I wasn't coming, she was upset, but she seemingly just put her chin back up and pressed on. It's just not in her nature to dwell on the negative things. I have to remind myself to look on the bright side and be positive about things. The past couple days, I've had to really talk myself into smiling. She's just got a positive spirit. Nothing really gets her down. She may be upset for a day over the major things I've seen happen in her life, but she's fine after that. I wanna be like that. In the whole two years I've known her, the lowest I've ever seen her be...I have myself to blame for it. I hate that. I'm jealous that her mom just booked a trip to Jamaica for herself, Shanee, her sister, and her grandmother. I'm jealous that she's about to graduate and I won't get to partake in any of the festivities. It's an exciting time in her life and I'm not going to have any part in it. Makes me sad. I feel kind of guilty because I'm the only negative thing in her life, at least to my knowledge. Everything else is bright and on the up and up. Her intramural basketball team is doing well in their playoffs, her school assignments are going well, she's loving working on her school's radio station, she doesn't complain about her job too much anymore, she's got a good group of friends, she's about to graduate, she's going to Jamaica...but she's got one sad-ass, stressed out girlfriend. Who's pretty verbal about it. Lucky for her, she's so busy and her schedule is so jam-packed each and every day that she probably doesn't think much about it. And I have a feeling that with the current situation, if something were wrong or she had something that she needed to talk about, she probably wouldn't even tell me because she wouldn't want to burden me further.

On top of everything else, I am thoroughly exhausted. Just worn the hell out. We had inventory at my job on Sunday night and I worked like 20 hours and I'm still not caught up or back on track with my sleep.

One ounce of good news: I didn't get an angry/stupid text from the girl in my last post. Haven't heard from her at all. Definitely good news.