Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ups and Downs

I don't have anything important to say, but I'm in the mood to write a little bit.

I'm still having good days and bad days. At least the nightmares have stopped.

Right after dad died I kept dreaming he needed help and I kept failing him. One dream involved robbers breaking into his home and throwing him to the floor violently, and I wasn't able to catch his head before it cracked on the ground and he bled on me. Awful stuff. So none of those for a couple of weeks is a very good thing.

I just feel really isolated, and frustrated, almost angry. Angry with everything. I'm not a patient person by nature, and this life I've led has been one massive exercise in patience. I believe that is my purpose here, to learn patience. Taking care of a man who was slowly deteriorating, and who frankly was a pain in the ass when he was well, was the crowning jewel. Well, that and stepparenthood.

I've been reading a lot. Reading and playing with the kitten are my biggest two escapes. I feel lonely a lot, even when there's tons of people around. I want to be alone and I don't want to be alone at the same time. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

There has been no crying lately. Just quiet. I don't feel like talking much. I just am trying to "be".

I have still been corresponding with my dad's cousin. He and my dad were close growing up, like brothers (Dad was also an only child). I kept him in the loop of his illness and we email frequently. I've never met the man, but he has the same kind of dry wit that my dad had, so it's like that little piece is left. He and I were the only family dad had at the end. (And yes, that was his own fault.) So we are the last two people standing, so to speak, and I think that's why we have connected like we have. There's over 40 years between us, yet we connect.

I did get a new job. New job, same corporation. I'm relieved beyond belief, as my immediate boss is totally psycho. Condescending, hard to communicate with, moody, always unhappy. It's like a black cloud over you. It got to the point where I dreaded meetings with her, and felt myself getting ready to blow up. I was ready to quit some time ago, but she got breast cancer. I didn't feel right leaving my department high and dry when she was sick, so I stuck it out. Then this other internal position opened, so it was obviously meant to be. It's more of a sales oriented job, so it will be very different from the behind the scenes marketing I've been doing for the past 2 years. There will be travel at times, which I am looking forward to. An office with a window, quarterly bonuses, all those little perks. I should be more excited than I am, but few things excite me right now.

I also did recommit to a 100% vegetarian diet. I have lost 6 pounds in under two weeks, and aside from the weight loss (which is so needed - ugh) I feel "right" again. I feel much more in balance. I always ate meat sparingly, but this feels better. This feels like me again.

I was loosely compiling essays etc into a book called "My Father's Daughter." Now stupid Gwenyth Paltrow (ok, she's not stupid, I'm just bitter haha) has come out with a book called that. I'd been calling the "project" that for so long that now I haven't the foggiest how to continue. I initially started it because I was a single 20-something caring for a parent with Dementia. I had to figure it all out on my own - none of my friends had gone through it as their parents weren't so much older then they. I wished I would have known someone to bounce ideas off of.

Which reminds me of another thing - I have volunteered to start a Lewy Body Dementia support group. I haven't finished the paperwork yet (been lazy and no energy) but it would be a once a month commitment. I think this may be a way that I can honor my father and help people out. God knows I went through just about the entire spectrum of dementia with him, everything from misdiagnosis to the VA Health System, to researching all the meds, Medicaid, Medicare etc. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. So maybe I can help someone not feel as isolated as I did throughout the process. I just need to suck it up and commit already.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I am in love.

Meet Maddie.
Under 2 lbs of fuzzy cuteness. Cuddling her, playing with her, even getting up and making her food in the middle of the night (she has to be fed every 4 hours right now, because she's so teeny) makes my heart feel like it's going to burst.
I am sure it's a different experience to those who have actually experienced it, but this is what I imagine having a baby is like. I imagine this as I will never have the opportunity to have a human baby, which bothers me more some days than other days... but the pure, heavy, unconditional love that I feel for this little girl when she crawls into the crook of my neck and falls asleep or even when she smears poop all over the floor in valiant attempts at the litter box just makes me feel AMAZING.
I L O V E her. HARD. So hard. Already. (It's been 2 days with her).
She is exactly what I needed right now. EXACTLY. Things have not been good for me. In me, whatever. She helps.
She helps me remember what it's like to feel happy, to feel like I have purpose, to feel love, why life is worth it, even the yucky parts, like saying goodbye to those that have passed. It's all worth it, because little miracles like Maddie are out there, just waiting for me to discover them.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Last Saturday David and I went out to Rockaway Beach to give dad a burial at sea.

On the way down we saw 6 hawks (Dad always pointed out Hawks when we were in the car - sometimes after hours of silence - lol, thank you "vacation dad") and tons of other various birds.

The weather was perfect. The beach was uncrowded. The sunset was... well... you see. :) Beautiful.

Dave and I went out on the beach at low tide, dug a trench, scooped Dad in and watched him go out to sea with the waves when the tide came in. We collected various beach rocks for our (in progress) Zen Garden and we found one perfect, beautiful cockle shell.

We then went out to dinner, and I had Prime Rib - his favorite dish. I couldn't order it rare like he did though.

I slept like a rock. And have slept better since.

I haven't had a crying spell since Dad went out to sea. I understand, for the first time, why funerals or similar ceremonies exist - for closure.

Of course I still miss him. But at that beach, I felt it - it's all good. He's ok. For the first time in a long time.