Thursday, January 23, 2014


January 17th marked 11 months since Jason's death. The 19th was my birthday and despite a fun filled weekend,  I spent a good portion of the day sobbing. My mom won tickets to see Justin Timberlake and we didn't go. We both felt lousy. Greg came over, we bbq'd steaks, drank a few beers and I went to bed early.

You see, despite trying to distract myself (which worked somewhat... we had a lovely time, honestly) all of a sudden I heard a song that was playing in the car the day they did Jason's "exploratory" surgery and that was that. I couldn't stop thinking about that day. After a failed colonoscopy,  he was directly admitted to the hospital across the street but he refused to take an ambulance when he could very easily get in the car and have me drive 45 seconds to the hospital. We got in the car, him still woozy, and he made me pull over. "Lets take a minute" He said. We listened to the song and then he told me that while he was under, whatever they found, he trusted me to make the right decision, but he didn't want surgery twice. "If there is something in there, just tell them to get it out. I have too much going on, I can't be layed up for weeks." He was still in charge, still so vital... despite being in exhaustive pain all the time. We held each other, foreheads pressed together, whispering things that neither of us wanted to hear. He was scared. I was terrified, but I went into caregiver mode immediately, building him up, joking about sneaking him in a homemade cheeseburger once he was out of surgery.  He would never eat one of my meals again. We would never make love again. He slipped from me like he was drowning in quicksand... slowly and much too swiftly,  all at the same time, while I watched helpless from the shore.

I'm a mess right now.  My kids are a mess. My house is a mess. My Grandma Margie's dementia has progressed to the point that she can no longer be cared for in her home and she is moving to Idaho to be cared for in a (hopefully) expert facility that will give her the qaulity of life we can no longer give her. I know it is the best thing for her, but it's breaking my heart.

She is and has always been a huge part of my life. Every dance recital, every game my brothers played... she was there. Her home has always been my second home... watching Golden Girls and Grand Ol Opry at her house was a mainstay of my childhood.  She would tell us stories about growing up in Missouri,  make up bedtime adventure stories starring us that topped any book we were reading. She let me decorate her checks during church and her jewelry collection was my toy chest, dressing up in her snazzy dresses from the 60's. I lived with her for two years after high school and she was the best roomate I ever had. We would drink our coffee in the morning and she would pretend not to notice that I had been out till 3am the night before.  She is a sweet and fiery old bird, a fiercely independent woman who raised 5 incredible children all on her own in a time when that was just not done. She does not deserve what her brain is doing to her and it is horrifying to watch. I am terrified that the next time I see her, she will not know me anymore.

So this  is another of those ride it out times. Forgive me if I cancel plans and don't answer texts. I'm over here, gritting my teeth and just getting through the day. But I've been here before, and if I've learned anything from this last year it's that I will make it through.  Maybe not with grace, and not without some fresh scars, but I'll be there on the other side.


  1. Once again, brings me to tears. The loss of Jason is still fresh and raw. I was given a book recently about grief called "Grief Therapy" and it is an easy read with really great inspirational thoughts to ponder. The one I share with you today I think you already understand but need the reminder. It says, "Respect the power of grief. Know that it can affect you psychologically, physically, and spiritually in intense and sometimes surprising ways. Stay gentle with yourself" (Karen Katafiasz). Love you my friend and I know the worry you have with your grandma, my grandpa went through this and we lost him 2 Christmas's ago. Hardest thing to watch because there's nothing you can do to help except keep them comfortable. I miss him terribly, he was the family rock. I keep him close with conversations and remembering how he influenced my life.

  2. Thank you for that nicole. I am continually surprised by how physically this all affects me. I'm exhausted and listless all of the time. I can't sleep when I should and yet once I do get to sleep I can't wake up. My head & chest ache almost constantly and I have vety little energy. Despite a myriad of projects and chores to keep me busy I can't find the motivation to actually DO much. I keep waiting to get "back to normal" when really I need to figure out the new me. It's happening, slowly, but for an already impatient person it is really hard to be gentle with myself.