I am not a meat eater either. I have decided that if I crave bacon, I am going to eat it. I don’t have a taste for any other meat. Turkey, chicken, beef or other selections of pork. I don’t really think of bacon as my gateway drug. But I also don’t feel like I can consider myself a vegetarian. So I’ve decided not to place a “title” on my eating.
My dearest friend has a lump. It’s been confirmed by a sonogram and mammogram. She suspects it is an inflammed lymph node. Based on her medical history, she’s probably right. But tomorrow she has an appointment with a surgeon. The doctor who did mom’s mastectomy.
I went to a funeral today. One of two I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for. Always somewhere in my mind were my mom’s and his mom’s. Today was his.
They’ve been around so long that I don’t remember my life without them in it. We were the only ones in our private school class that didn’t have dads. Both our moms were older (his was actually six years older than mine).
Forever I thought we would be the only other one who might understand what it it would be like when this day came. As he said today, “Where there was one, there was the other.” And if they were there, so were we. Whether we were liking each other at the time or not.
Her son was my first love. Starting about fourth grade, I always adored him. Except for that horrible high school phase. In college we became friends again. We hung out, became each other’s date when our friends started getting married and messed around a little on the side.
Our mothers were never very subtle about how they felt about the notion of “us.” He and I always used to joke that they were just counting the days till our wedding. Even today a very close family member told mom, “Oh, she loved your daughter. She prayed that some day she would be her daughter.”
We reminded me of David and Maddie from Moonlighting. I swear, in that episode where David went to finally declare his love and Mark Harmon opened her door, I was crushed. I don’t think I ever forgave the show for that.
OK, back over here in reality world. Thing is, we were never serious about it. I think a part of each of us just assumed we’d come back around to each other when the time was right.
And then one day he broke my heart. There’d been a girl. She’d been special. The first one I ever felt threatened by. He told me that while she was out of town one weekend, he cheated on her. And I knew then. He would never be faithful. If not to her. Not to me. And that was unacceptable.
I cut him off and he never knew why.
Oh, because of the mother’s, we were always there in the peripheral of each other’s lives. But it was never the same for me. I was so angry at him for so long.
We went to his wedding. It was one of those moments in life when I felt like everyone was watching me. I guess there was a whole church who watched us grow up together who were baffled by this turn of events.
His friend Susan was his best man. I remember thinking at the time that was really about me. When I spoke with him for a moment alone during the reception, I told him, “I’m mad at you, ” and he cut me off. “Why because I chose the wrong Susan?” I laughed it off and said, “No, because now I can’t get away with ‘Well, John’s not married.’ ” We left after that because I knew then there was much more about me in that wedding than I wanted to watch.
His mom developed Alzheimer’s and he moved her to a facility in Kerrville and none of us ever saw much of each other anymore.
Last Monday, mom and I went out to breakfast and our conversation came around to them. Wondering how she was. How he was. We discussed if we’d know when the time came. I told her I knew he would find us.
There was a message from him on Mom’s answering machine Wednesday night.
I taught at work Thursday morning and didn’t look for the obit till after. When I saw her picture, it hit me hard. It sat like a rock on me for the rest of the day.
This morning I cried from my house, to mom’s house to the cemetery. I kept telling myself that it was OK. That at one time in my life everyone knew her as my second mom.
I told mom I didn’t want to be that way in front of him. But she reminded me that he knew I’d loved her too. Thankfully, from somewhere within (or maybe it was that quarter Xanax I took), I pulled myself together and when I saw him, we just walked together and hugged. A long time.
Lots of things can be said in a hug, without ever saying a word.
The service was short but lovely. We chatted with folks we’d not seen in years. I cried as we left and told my mom something I never said before. “A piece of my heart will always love John.” She said, “I know. And a piece of his will always love yours.”
We went with the extended family to eat lunch. We sat far apart but sometimes he busted me just staring at him. Thinking about what he must be feeling. How alone in the crowd he looked.
As we left, I gave him my card with my info. We hugged and I told him, “I miss you.” He hugged me a little bit snugger and said, “I miss you too.”
I must eat foods that support my goals …
I must start to be active …
I must not react to my emotions …
I must start taking better care of myself …
For the last six weeks or so I’ve been adjusting my meds to see if I could find a good place mentally where I could more easily lose weight.
So I’m re-regulating my meds back to where I was. Because the last week and a half? I was Ca-Raz-EE. Till I had a “what the hell is wrong with me??” moment and the light bulb went on. Oh. My anti-crazy meds weren’t working.
So, now I know. I was at the med level I needed to be at and I need to figure out another way to lose weight if that’s where I’m going with this.
Yesterday mom and I were talking about a volunteer friend who recently had a stroke and is in a coma. Thankfully she has a living will, so they are just keeping her comfortable and not performing any “life-sustaining” procedures. She is 84, almost two years younger than mom.
I don’t know why, but I felt compelled to ask mom if she’s worried about leaving me. And she said yes.
I told her that I know a lot of people are worried about how I will do. That I know it will be hard and take a long time. But that I would be ok. That I wouldn’t be like Penny. That I wanted her to know that in her subconscious. That when the time came, it would be ok to go.
But she expressed doubt. And that hurt.
I’m forever reading health-related articles, so I thought I’d share some of the more interesting ones using my Twitter account over there under “Healthy Tweets.”
Now that my meds are re-regulated, I am putting some effort back into losing weight. Really, I am just trying to eat healthier and have been measuring everything for portion control. I’m using Calorie King to track everything (luckily I was one of the first members, so my membership is only $20/year). I’ll keep you posted.
The biggest change in my life going on the anti-depressants (besides the anti depression part) was my relationship with my mom. Pretty much up until 2002, she drove me nuts. NUTS. People would always talk about how lucky I was and how close we must be. Ha.
Mom got the wrath of the missing syntax’s of my brain. Usually in the form of anger. The weird thing is no one else ever saw it. Maybe glimpses, but not the every day of it. At any given time, we never knew what my mood might be or when it might swing.
So the best benefit of the drugs is living on a whole different plane with my mom. Like I’m guessing normal people do. I am so grateful for the relationship we have now.
I was pleased Saturday when she seemed to handle my doing something without her pretty well. Then yesterday afternoon she called and asked what I’d been doing. I told her “nothing” because that was the truth.
She pulled out her accusatory tone and said that she’d stopped by earlier and I hadn’t been home. “Well, I’ve been here all day.” I asked if she pulled in the driveway, she said no that she’d just driven by and my car wasn’t there. “My car isn’t here? Hold on.” After a quick check I told her that no, my car was there, maybe further back in the driveway than normal, but I’d been home all day.
And today, an hour plus visit on her way home from work. Plus she must stop by again tomorrow to give me a library book to return. I can literally hear the happy in her voice when she know when she’ll see me next.
And today, I was aggravated. You know, it’s Monday? Sometimes you just want some silence. At least, I do. So I need to be watching my mood. Is this the start of something I need to pay attention to? Tomorrow Celexa goes done to 10mg. The bare minimum. I hope I can get by.
I left the house yesterday! Yes, I say that like it’s a good thing, because it is. I’ve been very reclusive lately. Doing the bare minimum of what needs to get done and nothing more. When I post on Facebook that I wasted another day. I mean it.
I read yesterday morning and then came home. I had an idea of things I wanted to do. But I napped instead. Eventually I literally forced myself to leave the house.
I spent a while wrestling with inviting my mom. See, I like to do things alone, and that’s not something she understands. So I can tell it hurts her feelings if I tell her that I did something without her. Even something simple like a trip to Target.
I thought about a conversation I had with a friend during dinner this week (another force myself to leave the house). I told him that I don’t think I will ever feel like an adult while my mom is alive.
Harsh, right? But I am still her child. I have no other title to differentiate myself with. Like wife. Or mother. I am just her daughter. And because of that I stop myself from doing things because, well, that’s a struggle to explain.
I literally sat in the drive way for minutes telling myself it was ok to go without her. It was OK.
I did nothing exciting. I drove by my Godson’s new school. Just to get an idea of where it is. Figure out the simplest route (it’s totally not in my neighborhood). Then I wandered around a bookstore. And JCPenney. Then I stopped at a grocery store in the area to see if they had these new drinks we discovered at the Pet Expo that mom really liked but aren’t in our ‘hood.
I bought her what they had (three!). Then I took it by her house with a DVD and special newspaper section. I chatted for a while and she seemed in good spirits. Thank heavens for that antidepressant.
I felt good when I came home. That I’d done something. Anything. I know it sounds crazy. And like maybe this isn’t the best time to be juggling my meds. But I don’t feel down. I feel like I’m in a place where I don’t need to be pushing myself. Even if there’s lots of be done. That this is a phase that will pass with the heat.
I’m having dinner with another friend from out-of-town tonight. And I’m looking forward to it. I’m not saying there won’t be some wrestling with it on my part this afternoon, but I will go and I know I will have fun.
One of my FB friends posted this today:
M’s menu selection at McDonald’s today, Happy Meal with double cheeseburger & fries. E’s menu selection, “sawad” (salad) & a smoothie. Sadly even a 3 year old girl knows she can’t eat too many cheeseburgers!
What’s sad is that this is something her daughter learned outright or subconsciously through mom’s words/actions.