BFF · breast cancer · cancer · Michele · reading · Shel · tears · writing

A Howling

I’m writing this post on an airplane to Grand Junction, where tomorrow we’re having a memorial service for Michele. Whenever mother called to tell me of the service, and ask if I would like to say something, there was never any doubt in my mind. Yes.
That was just over a week ago, and I am still unsure what I’ll be saying tomorrow.

Since Michele died in April, there has been a gaping hole in my life. A small tear that opened when she first told me she was sick, and grew larger with each progression of theater, until that day when she was gone. Leaving this rent in the fabric of my world. Our world, for there are many of us grieving her.
I’ve tried to read books by others who have lost loved ones, but never repast the first few chapters. Then I either begin crying so hard I can no longer see the page, or I become annoyed at the self-righteous tone taken by some, and my anger overflows. Either way , I end up crying.
While reading ‘Wild’  by Cheryl Strayed, a memoir about a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother dies of cancer, I stumbled on a passage that summed up exactly how I have felt in the last year.
“I almost howled in agony. I almost choked to death on what I knew…. I was going to live the rest of my life without my mother.”
Strayed says she felt this way from the moment her mother received her diagnosis; her cancer was so advanced there was no hope. Yet for me, these words say exactly how I have felt since I received that phone call, saying Shel was gone.
Inside my mind, my soul, there is a constant howling, a never ending scream of pain and sadness, loss and grief. The person I loved most in the world is gone, and I am alone. For the rest of my life.
We will never race wheelchairs through the rest home, and annoy the nurses. We’ll never make it to see Barry Manilow sing in Vegas, or do our Copa dance wearing the feathered hats we made. I’ll have to sit through the next class reunion alone. And without her, I have nobody to call and tell my life to.
Every day I miss her. That will never end. I believe the noise of grief inside me will quiet down; I’m hoping tomorrow’s memorial will help with that.
Until we are together again, I will grieve. I miss you, Michele.

anti-depressant · Bubble Wrap · insomnia · Major Depression · medication · tears

Bubble Meds, Anyone?


I spent most of yesterday in tears. And dressed in one of my least attractive outfits, which didn’t help how I felt at all.

It’s been years since I swam in the swimming pool of Major Depression, but it seems that when I wasn’t looking, I put on my suit & dove in. Last Fall I argued with my doctor about whether my sleeplessness was caused by depression; next week I’ll be asking for a new anti-depressant.
For the record, I detest these meds. In the past, between feeling EVERYTHING and feeling nothing, I’ve chosen everything. It seemed as if tears & darkness were a better option then. And I always had the time & strength to pull myself out of it. I don’t feel that way anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m older, maybe it’s because there are so many other things going on, maybe it’s because I’m just so frikkin tired. I don’t think I could pull myself back. So I’ll ask for help, and take the damn pills. And if that means I don’t feel anything, well, so be it. Life wrapped in bubble wrap could be fun, huh?
books · crap · crowded · epiphany · finances · hoarders · home · moving · rummage sale · selfish · Steven · stuff · tears · tiny flat · tools · understanding

This Isn’t a Home, It’s A Rummage Sale!

In the last month my entire life has shifted, not just physically, but in a rather spooky spiritual sense. Some background: it’s been a very rough year for us, as the gods of finances seem to be conspiring against us. Steven lost his job, and my itsy-bitsy monthly disability stipend just barely covers the rent. We decided to move to a smaller apartment in the same building in order to have enough to cover utilities, too.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, and a few days after, we moved the contents of our two-bedroom flat into a one-bedroom down the hall. a few things went into storage at my parents place, and more will go there eventually, I hope. More things must go. This place is tiny, and every bit of space is taken up with stuff–his desks & computer stuff, the amazing television & the sofa Dad gave us, my bookshelves & books, his tools, and boxes of stuff neither of us has been wiling to sort through or part with yet.

As we moved, I discovered three drawers full of my clothes that I’d forgotten about in the dresser I couldn’t get to in the closet. Now these are piled in the bedroom, waiting to be sorted. I must sort, because until I do, I cannot get to the other clothes! I was so angry at Steven when we moved, simply because I stood in the center of all this stuff, feeling like one of those people on “Hoarders.” All I could see were these endless stacks of crap, and I would start to cry & whine. Scared that I’d get crushed under a pile of old magazines & Philips head screwdrivers, I was tearful & not very nice to him. Looking back, I was being incredibly selfish, especially since he did 80% of the work for our move, including moving full bookshelves all by himself !

Fortunately, he is not only eternally understanding, he didn’t like the mess, either. After a day of rest, he began putting up shelves, and finding places for things, just so I’d be happy. We’re slowly settling in, and sorting out. I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter where we are, as long as were together; I also have to remind him of that, since he’s not real thrilled with many things right now.

The whole purpose of this move was to save money, and that isn’t going to happen. Yes, our landlord screwed us with extra fees and took all but three dollars of our damage deposit! So even though I’m happy here in our rummage sale home, I’m pretty ticked off. And crowded. But happy. And home. Oh, and as for my big spiritual epiphany, there wasn’t one. But it sure got ya reading, didn’t it?