Closure

I’ve been tossing around adding an entry to this blog for quite a bit, but haven’t felt the usual surge of emotion that usually inspires me.

I decided earlier today to re-post an older entry and then take a nap (which I half did…I posted…I didn’t nap).  And then…I just kept thinking about what’s been going on.  In my head and in my life.

Last week was rough. Like REALLY rough (insert needed emotion!).

I  say this a lot, but if anyone knows me knows…that I have dealt with loss.  Grief.

I still do.  The pain is real.  My other half is amazing when it comes to understanding and caring for me during me “down” times.  I try to keep it real, but the rest of the family is pretty protected from my spiral.  I try to be fully there for them when they do their spiral.  Which for the youngest, it has happened more recently lately.  I think it’s just the time of year.

Anyhow, I got stuck in some memories.  Some pretty bad ones.  It involved a boyfriend who I adored, Matthew, who passed from leukemia.  His last days, as you can expect, were extremely hard.

So F-ing hard.

There’s many layers to that.  Not only for the obvious reasons…of him dying. But (as I have written about before, yes, I know), there were so many other situations that were happening at the same time.  There were some of his family members who treated me unjustly.  In so, so many ways.  From being denied a last good-bye…to items in the home…to the obituary (and so on…).

For whatever reason, though, I was catapulted to just before that.  The week before that. For really one of the first times.  I haven’t talked much about the before.

The week before….this poor man’s chest was filling up with fluid,  he needed chest tubes.  First one lung…then the other.  Then he needed a home nurse to drain them.  I stepped in to help (I then realized nursing would never be my career… maybe it would be different if I wasn’t in an intimate situation with my patient?).  Judging by my struggle to not pass out, it worked out okay that the hospital staff were the ones that tended to that task.  But when going back to the ER, he looked at me.  I am not sure why I forgot that look.  And I forgot that moment.  Until last week.

“I don’t want to do this any more”.

He looked at me and said this.  He was done fighting.

That moment was front and center last week.  Like it was yesterday.

And I got the very last look from him…a bit later,  when the doctor told him he was being intubated and put on life support before being transported to Boston. It was just us. Because I was there…not just at the end…not when it was convenient…but because I was there every second I could be.

I’m still not sure why I was treated so badly right after that moment…I welcome the family to reach out to me to explain.

But, now looking back, I did get the goodbye I needed.

Closure? I think so.

 

 

 

My Cherry on Top <3

Why do I blog…when do I blog…what do I blog…???

There’s no definitive answer for those questions.

I first started to write at the direction of a friend who thought that, as a single and involved Mom, I may have some insight and tips and tricks to share to maybe help others in their daily life.  My first posts were more recipe driven…cooking is a passion of mine, so that’s no surprise.  There will be more of those in the future…I’m sure.

Life went on and I soon after realized how therapeutic it was to sit and write about what was on my mind and in my heart.  It felt good.  I, over the years, have had a lot of hurt.  People deal with their hurts differently.  I talk.  I write.  I quickly learned that it heals me.  It helps me process what’s on my mind, what I am going through.  Blogging became a journal of mine, whether it was read or not.  It was for me.

It is scary, sometimes, hitting “post”.  I talk about some sensitive issues and sometimes disclose not only my own baggage, but that of others’ as well.  After the initial panic sets in wondering how my thoughts and words will be received…and after the alerts slow down as to who has read and liked…or read and not liked my post, the calm sets in.  The reason for me using this platform.

What I wasn’t expecting was the secondary outcome of me doing this type of journaling.  I have been written to and approached on a regular basis with regard to how my blog has helped someone. It astounds me every time.  When I was writing the cancerdotcalm blog, I knew that it was helping people.  It was helping keep friends and family, and even those I didn’t know that were going through the same struggle, informed of what was going on with my then boyfriend and his journey battling leukemia. Everyone wanted to be tuned in and be updated.  With this blog though, I have been repeatedly and pleasantly surprised with the kind words of folks who keep reading momdotcalm.com.  How I have helped and inspired them.  Whether dealing with grief, a domestic issue or just as a parent trying to keep it together.

Please don’t get me wrong…I have also been greeted with the hate mail, and even a house visit, with disapproval for what I have written about. My opinion?  Don’t like it?  Don’t read it.  Please keep scrolling by and don’t visit my site.  You do you, I’ll do me.

And the positive feedback keeps blowing my mind every time.  I write for me.  And if my writing and purging my thoughts and feelings, whatever the random topic is, affects even one person to be inspired or feel like they are not alone…then that’s a great big cherry on top.

Thank you for reading and your messages. ❤

cherry

My Purpose

I have grown into believing that in every situation there is a lesson…and all that happens to us has a purpose.  Actually, if I think back…maybe I am just wired like that. I do distinctively recall a lot of eye rolling from my best friend through high school on when I would sputter “everything happens for a reason” whenever something adverse happened to her.  It drove her crazy!  Maybe it’s that those of us believing in this theory are just eternal optimists that are spinning each situation into having a silver lining to make ourselves feel better…but either way, it works for me that bad things don’t just happen for no reason at all.  I get to learn and evolve as I go.

Well, when someone you love dies it makes you question this theory.  Especially when it is someone who hasn’t lived a full life yet.  Someone who has children…and small ones at that.  Someone who was loved by all and fought as hard as he could and that made no difference.  He went through a hell of a year fighting and being sick for no difference in outcome than if he didn’t fight at all and just gave up.  He is gone.  It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.  He had plans, WE had plans.

This isn’t an “Everything happens for a reason” situation here.  If that was said to me a month ago…you’d get far more than an eye roll!!  However, I am beginning to look at things a bit differently as time marches on and I get further into the healing process.

I am beginning to believe that we all weren’t meant to be on this earth for 90 or 100 years.  I believe we all have a purpose…some have many purposes. Babies right through to those living 100+ years. When we are taken…our purpose(s) were served.  I’m sure Matt, over his 38 years and especially in his last year, inspired, motivated, healed, loved and impacted many.  I can’t say that there was a reason for him dying, but I can certainly say there was a reason for him living.

So many said to me over the year I was with Matt that I was an angel sent to him and then even more so just after he passed.  It made me uncomfortable because I wasn’t with him to be a saint, out of pity or for whatever reason some people thought (it was nastily said to me by a certain someone after he passed that I liked the “show” of being with Matt!!  I say prayers for that person!!).  I actually fell in love with him and he helped me more than I could have ever imagined in my own grieving process at the time.  Odd that I am left in albeit another time of grief by the one who helped me heal!

I, now that I am moving through my stages of grief and through starting a new relationship, am actually embracing being told that I was his angel.  That was MY purpose for him.  It wasn’t a cruel twist of the universe…as I first felt when he died…to give me love, healing and hope and then snatch it away like a greedy crook.  I look back and know how many times alone we spent cracking each other up.  Rides to the hospital flew by and I swear people thought we were nuts at the laughing and goofing off in the waiting rooms when everyone there was in the midst of a dire situation.  I brought him smiles, laughter and love.  And he brought me the same.  He was my angel, too.  My tears of grief that would arrive in those alone times (especially in the car!) lessened and finally disappeared because of him. The pain in my chest that I held for so long that I didn’t even realize was there…was replaced by feelings of love from and for him.  The grief never goes away, but Matt helped me live happily with it there.  A purpose he had was to help heal me and show me I was able to love again.

It’s nearing five months since he’s been gone.  I am lucky enough, and unlucky enough, to have met someone new to care for so soon.  Grief and a new partner has it’s own set of challenges for both parties.  But I see when starting a relationship without a sickness…which is all I have really known in the past decade…I was missing out on so much…even though I didn’t realize it then.   I didn’t feel like it was lacking anything…it was perfect for what it was at the time.  We were fulfilling a purpose for each other.  Just as this new man in my life is in a role of helping me heal, he is serving a purpose.  I am not sure if this is his only purpose with me and we will part ways tomorrow or next month or next year…or never…or how I am helping him, but he is making me smile and drying my tears (like literally drying them…hence the “unlucky enough” said previously).

purpose.PNG

I am now taking comfort in all the roles people past and present have played in my life.  I am embracing all the lessons, love and healing and trying to let that take precedence over what’s been lost and gone wrong.  Eye roll all you want.

“Give Sorrow Words”

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.” ~ Shakespeare

This insightful quote…and the encouragement of my kids…leaves me opening up a blank page and continue writing.  Keeping grief locked up keeps the pain locked up.  I’ll give my sorrow words…

Three years ago, I came to learn about real grief for the first time in my life.  I had lost numerous people…but when it is someone so close…someone you let into your heart…it’s far different.  This first experience was with my son’s father.  I guess it’s probably the same feeling as when you lose a best friend, parent, sibling, or even worse…God forbid a child.  I guess I was lucky making it 41 years escaping that pain.

So, this time around, losing Matt a week ago, it doesn’t hurt any less.  However, this time around I have some hope that I won’t always be stuck where I am.  That feeling where I just want it to be bed time so I can sleep (well, lie there and try and sleep), having that walking around in a fog type of feeling, just plain being non-functional.  Like not remembering how to even tie your shoes type of non-functional.

This time, I am able to see the milestones and know that I am headed in the right direction.  Today, for instance, I made my cup of coffee this morning and came to the computer rather than back to bed.  Baby steps.  I clicked on the website for the grocery store circular armed with paper and pen.   The goal was  to make a list and plan dinners judging on the sales and get myself out to the store…eventually. I clicked on the site.  I haven’t looked at it and the paper and pen sit in front of me untouched.  But it’s still baby steps.

Right now, I am going to put on my Pandora music stations and attempt to get some cleaning done.  Then get back to my grocery list.  I don’t know how far I will get, but getting the music on and out of this chair (and avoiding my bed) will be steps in the right direction.  Moving forward…

Clearing the Blog Fog…

us

I sit here with all sorts of thoughts running through my head (which if you know me…is pretty typical) and not sure what direction to go in for a blog. I just knew it was time to write.

I re-read my “about me” section this morning and over the past few weeks have visited some of my older posts. It’s fun (and a little scary) to look back and see where my head was at on those days and at those times. I’m glad I get to see my journey and growth through grief and dating dilemmas sprinkled with who I am at the core, a Mommy…with a passion for cooking.

I am happy to say (ok, more like ecstatic) that my dating is now not a dilemma…and my grief and pain is being lessened and eased. This man who was right under my nose has unexpectedly put his arms around me and made me feel, for the first time in my adult life, that I have someone to lean on. Lean on and not fall flat on my face. Safe. Effortlessly he is healing wounds that I thought were just a part of who I was and learned to just carry on with. There is no possible way I can fully describe how that feels.

Our relationship is still new. Filled with butterflies in the tummy and goodnight kisses that last hours.  Filled with laughter.  Lots of laughter.  Filled with learning what each other likes and dislikes, wants and needs. Funny, we spent the early weeks after our first tequila tainted kiss getting to know each other by texting question after question. We wanted to know everything about each other. How do you like your eggs? Steak? Coffee? Movie type? Beach or lake? Mayo or mustard? Hours and hours of this. I think we know more about each other than many people dating years.

Our relationship is also mature. We have been catapulted into squeezing as much as we can into the times that we have. Between chemo treatments and obvious side effects and looking at a date in September that is going to drastically change things for a time. We are left with a seriousness and a fast track in our bonding. Again, effortlessly. It’s allowing me to see how this sweetest and sincerest man I know can handle such adversity…and it’s pretty impressive. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the softness and strength that exists at the same time within the same person.

This September date coming up will be a Stem Cell Transplant. The Cure. Buh-bye Leukemia. I knew nothing about this procedure before…and it’s still something I am gathering information about as I go. I also realize that there are not a whole lot of blogs about it and what’s out there is a lot of medical mumbo-jumbo that an inexperienced person like me doesn’t fully understand (Wheels spinning… cancerdotcalm.com?). I am happy I will be joining him to the next big visits so I can understand a little better…both what he will go through and what to expect.

So, I guess where my blog was going is that I found a love I didn’t know existed in a man that already existed in my life. He is doing incredible things for me and has incredible things to go through. Our love story isn’t perfect, but it’s perfectly okay (I’ll say this a million times).  He’s got this. We’ve got this.

The Beginning of a Love Story

28Life gaurdLifegaurd (Love) Shack, Short Sands, York, ME

I know with that headline in my blog…those reading are probably expecting a sarcastic little article here or think I am referring to one of my children.  However, (clearing my throat) I actually did meet a guy.  Well, technically, I have known him for years.  And technically again, I have met a lot of guys.  This guy, though, has not sent me running for the hills in a panic nor has he left me scratching my head wondering what the hell just happened as he darts off to a tropical location with his girlfriend and/or wife (Yes, two different guys, same experience…I never got to blog about. I assure you that both men were “unattached”, or so they said, when an interest was sparked). Anyway, back to the Love Story.

It’s only been a short time.  A very short time. But something’s different here.  And I mean different in the absolute best possible way imaginable.  And I also mean different in the absolute worst possible way imaginable.

Today he is in his hospital room at what we call the “Hotel” Mass General in Boston.  He and round three of chemo in one corner, Leukemia in the other.  He is fighting one hell of a fight.  The big “C” doesn’t stand a chance.

The beginning of our Love Story isn’t perfect, but that’s perfectly fine.  I am not sure if this is just going to be a summer romance that fizzles out, a love story turns horror story…or if it will be our Happily Ever After.  We both have broken roads that led us to where we are today…because of that we cherish every minute and don’t sweat the small stuff.  Pretty good combination if you ask me.

The following is a glimpse into the very Beginning of a Love Story.  Ours.