Archive for the ‘grief’ Category

Passing peacefully

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Grandma's 100th Birthday
Grandma’s 100th Birthday on Aug. 13, 2011

On Saturday, September 17th, a little over a month after my grandma turned 100, she passed away peacefully in the company of family. I was supposed to go over to her house that night and see her one last time, but I just couldn’t do it. I knew I should, but I just couldn’t get myself to go. I went to work instead. And while I was there, I got a text message at 8:44pm telling me she’d just passed away. I went right back to work.

I wasn’t close to my grandma. We didn’t speak the same language so we couldn’t communicate, but her sons and daughters, my aunts and uncles and my mother while she lived, loved her like mad. They all took care of her as she got older. She was the family matriarch and ruled over all of them. She was fierce and unpretentious, and expressed her unabashedly uncensored opinions freely. She was a kind of hellion and smoked and drank beers all day until she was in her 70s. She still drank beer even at her 99th birthday.

She had an arranged marriage to my gangster grandfather whom I’ve never met. He died when the kids were still young. My mom was nine, but she was the 2nd to youngest. The older ones took care of her and the family. She was of a generation of women that were completely uneducated. She didn’t even know how to count money. But her kids all grew up to be successful, and they all took care of the matriarch.

At her 100th birthday, I noticed one of her socks had fallen off. She sat in a wheelchair, and used an oxygen tank. She slept a lot. Her mind had been sharp for a long time, and she’d been physically fit into her 90s, but by 100, she was less sharp, more quiet. I wasn’t sure she recognized me at all.

I put the sock back on her foot. I told her I was going to do it then bent under the wheelchair and she lifted her leg up. Her foot was so small but swollen. I put it on and she left her foot up until I set it back down for her. And I wondered if it was because she was so used to having people physically manipulate her body for her, or if she couldn’t tell I had finished putting the sock on, or if she hadn’t understood at all what I was doing. I wondered if the simple act of replacing a sock and the physical motions involved and the physical sensations it produced was now out of the range of comprehension.

And that’s what I think about now. Her swollen foot. How small and fragile it looked without that sock on. How cold it already was from missing that sock for just a little while. And that’s what breaks my heart. That and the fact that my aunt called me today to make sure I knew the funeral was tomorrow and then broke down crying. I can deal with the passing of my grandmother. She lived a long life, surrounded and loved by family. But I can’t deal with the pain my aunts and uncles feel. I can’t do anything for them. And it makes me feel useless.

Another year…

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

1947-2006. We’ve made it through another year. That makes 5 now. Still miss her.

Mom at the beach in California 1970
Mom at a Southern California beach in 1970

The smell of her hair

Friday, August 13th, 2010

I found this box of shampoo today. A small UHaul box full of shampoo bottles. I think my sister must have gathered all the shampoo in the house and put it in a box to donate to somewhere and then left it in the garage. And every time I walk by it, the smell reminds me of my mom.

It’s sort of funny to think about how cheap the shampoo is. I’m sure there are only that many bottles in the house because she got them dirt cheap on sale somewhere. Dirt cheap shampoo on sale for even cheaper. It’s funny because she liked to dress in Chanel and St. John, carried Louis Vuitton and Gucci purses (the genuine article, not the knock offs). And she took care of her skin with any number of department store brands, but her hair — eh, her hair could stand the cheap stuff.

And now that I think about it — it makes sense. Because our hair is pretty sturdy stuff. Thick and heavy and silky. I guess if you had to skimp on any particular beautifying product, the hair would be the most reasonable choice when it’s as luxurious as ours. Every little penny counts. My mother is quintessential proof of that.

Reminds me…

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I love the animation in this video. The music is catchy, the lyrics…not so crazy about them, but they remind me of my mommy.

There’s always a good side

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Family gathering

The upside to a funeral (at least for us) is that you get to spend time with your family and see people you haven’t seen in a while. I wish I’d gotten one good photo of my aunt because the only one I posted doesn’t do her justice. She sat with us night after night to hang out and enjoy each other’s company. We only gave her the tiniest sip of bourbon or scotch, but she drank it with us and we ate and talked and spent time together like we never do otherwise.

I don’t get to see my cousins that often. A lot of them are married now, some of them have families. We’re all adults with our own lives. In the last few years, we only get to see each other at weddings and funerals. I guess that’s probably normal for many families.

Whenever I get together with my cousins and their kids, it makes me want a bigger family. My cousins’ girls are so incredibly sweet and wonderful. I got to do homework with my 7 year old 2nd cousin on Sunday night — something I never got to do with Josh — and I loved it.

I’m lucky I have such a large family. I’m glad we get together when we do. It’s not always the happiest of circumstances, but the fact that they’re there for us and for each other is beautiful.

In a year and a half, my grandmother will turn 100. Now, that’ll be a party to be remembered :)

Dead people don’t look right

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

I’ve only been here for less than two whole days and it feels like an eternity. This intense grief I feel isn’t for my uncle — it’s for my mom. And my cousin and aunt. I know exactly what my cousin is feeling and it reminds me of losing my mom. And my aunt reminds me so much of my mom.

My cousin’s eulogy was so touching. I was sobbing by the end of it thinking about three years ago. We, my sister and I, weren’t even able to give a eulogy. I don’t even know what I could’ve said because I knew so little about her. And at the time, I don’t think either of us was clear headed enough to write one.

Wednesday night I pictured my mom in my head — alive and moving and breathing. And I realized why it is I don’t think about her much because when I do, it makes me sob for missing her.

My favorite aunt tonight was telling me how she thinks my mom died of loneliness. And I can believe that. My mom liked to swim and jacuzzi with my aunt and uncle. They’d drive up from their place to my mom’s to go to the pool with her. And my aunt told me how my mom said she was afraid to go home because there was no one there. So they’d take her home. She missed my dad so much. She was so heartbroken. So heartbroken. And I didn’t understand. I wasn’t understanding.

You can’t regret the past, right? Because there isn’t anything you can do to change it. But it can haunt you.

Feeling useless

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

I’m feeling sort of useless over at my aunt’s house, but at the same time I feel guilty if I try to work or read or do anything else and it’s only because she’s resting in her bedroom now that I feel comfortable blogging. She has her ups and downs. Today’s the wake so I know she’s not feeling either emotionally or physically well. When I first saw her yesterday she immediately reminded me of my mom and I started bawling.

I wish I could be a little more comforting to her, but it’s hard to do that with anything other than my presence and what little help I can offer around the house (and that’s not much since the daughter-in-law takes care of that). I don’t speak Korean fluently and she doesn’t speak English fluently. I’m starting to feel like time is starting to chip away at my family and I’ll lose them for good and lose their stories and I’ll never know them. I should really learn Korean.

I missed the night where they told stories about my uncle, but I heard one of them yesterday. He came from a well to do, established family in North Korea and just before the demarcation and closing of the DMZ between the South and North, he left home and went to South Korea all on his own. He was completely penniless, but he studied and worked and established himself as a reputable pharmacist. I didn’t know he had such strength! He always just seemed sweet and quiet and gentle to me. And he was that, too. My cousin says his dad was the steady one, that he married his father — his wife is gentle and steadfast in the same way.

Not being able to do much and sitting around I feel a weird boredom combined with guilt. I’m watching a lot of Korean TV though. And eating enough pickled vegetables to last me the next six months. I need some industrial mouth wash to get the kimchi off my breath, but at least it’s yummy!

Compounding loss

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Another year has passed since my mom passed away. This year, my uncle passed away on the day before my mom’s anniversary (on my sister’s birthday, poor sweetie). I didn’t know him that well, but his son is probably the cousin I’m closest with out of all my cousins. I feel immensely for my aunt and my cousin. Especially for my aunt because she’s been with her husband for I don’t know how many years — at least 40+ years and I can’t imagine losing someone after spending most of my life with that person, and just before the anniversary of the day I lost my youngest sister, too.

I know exactly what my cousin is going through — the guilt about not spending enough time with your parent, the wondering and worrying about what his/her life was like at the end. No matter how much time you have, it’s never enough. And when you start having your own life, everyone else’s diminishes a little. It doesn’t mean you don’t love them; you just have other, more immediate family members and concerns to think about.

Parents are so complicated. Just like love is complicated and life is complicated with a richness and variability in flavor and warmth combined with the rawness and vulnerability of new skin getting sunburnt. Real, genuine love will always break your heart. It can fill you to the rafters, but is the only thing that can also disappoint and hurt with the same intensity with which you love.

I think about my mother sometimes. Not all the time. Not even that much on the anniversary of her death. Ineke sent me and my sister this poem and it was probably the most heart wrenching part of my day. That, and thinking about my aunt. Because love for your parent isn’t the same as the love you have for a partner. Your life partner. I look at my SO and have no idea if he’ll be my life partner or just my partner for the time being. I don’t know what loss like that must feel like, but I can imagine. And even just in my imagination it’s heartbreaking.

Dia de los Muertos

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I’ve always been fascinated by this holiday, but this is the first year that it’s meant anything to me because we did the Dia de los Muertos procession in the Mission. It was more lovely and more lively than I had expected. There were lots of people dressed up and made up, some of them incredibly and beautifully lavishly. I didn’t take any photos, but there are plenty on flickr.

The procession is slow and short, starting at 24th and Bryant and ending at 26th and Harrison. There was a giant stagecoach pulled by a team of bicyclists on one giant bike (reminds me of a conference bike at work) with about 6 bicyclists pedaling (it looked like six bikes in two rows all attached or welded together — I didn’t get a very close look).

And the altars at Garfield Park are amazing and beautiful. I thought about my mom all day because I was thinking about going on the procession and what I was going to take. In the end, I only took a little candle to light for her because I had no idea what to expect. Next year, I think I might take something a little bit bigger.

I like this holiday. It seems weird to call it a holiday, maybe tradition would be more appropriate, but it suits me because it’s such a sweet way to think of the loved ones you’ve lost. It’s not morbid, it’s not sad, it’s a celebration of all the things that person enjoyed in life, and the memories you have of her. She’s often in my thoughts, but on this day, I get to share her with other people who miss their loved ones as much as I miss mine.

Dreaming about mom

Monday, September 10th, 2007

I dreamt about my mother last night. I haven’t done that since she died. I don’t know if I’ve ever done that — I can’t recall ever dreaming about her, but it’s hard to remember dreams anyway.

I remembered it vividly while I slept, but now all I remember is that I dreamt that she came back from the dead and was sitting at a table with us talking about dying. In the dream, I so heartbroken. I was crying in my sleep and I woke up in the middle of the night crying.

I think it affected my entire day. I wanted to stay isolated, dwelling on my own thoughts. And now, for the first time in many weeks, I feel lonely, like I’m missing something.

The other day I saw a hummingbird on my patio for the first time since I’ve lived here. My plants are doing awesome on the patio and are blooming like crazy right now. Some of the plants I took from my mother’s garden are blooming for the first time since I’ve had them. This weekend, I looked out on the patio and saw a hummingbird in the geraniums. My sister thinks that when a hummingbird visits her, it’s mom. I don’t believe that but because she does, whenever I see one, I think of both her and my mom.

For me, there are multiple types of “writing”. There’s my hardcopy journal, my blog, my fiction, and then long personal emails. And each pulls at me at different times. I think I write in my journal and send personal emails least often, my fiction second, and my blog first. But fiction’s moving on up. I want it to win out over all the others. I dragged myself out of almost sleep last night and this morning to start a new story. Answering the call to write is natural now in a way that hasn’t been for a long time. And it keeps me sane and content and hopeful in a way I haven’t felt in a long time either.

Revisiting the accident

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

To attend Grandma’s birthday, we were driving on the freeway my mom died on today and it’s a regular drive for my sister, but it’s only the 2nd time I’ve driven it since my mom’s accident over a year and a half ago. As we were driving home, I was watching the side of the road wondering how the hell she drifted off into the dirt shoulder when the asphalt shoulder is so wide, but then it narrows and I imagine that must be where.

In my obsessive post death search for anything related to my mom, I found a callous post on some usenet group about her accident and it made me so upset. Just a couple of days ago, I happened across it again unintentionally and it incited some old anger in me. But it quelled pretty quickly. Death is so commonplace — it’s meaningless unless it’s personal. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, over 39,000 people die a year in fatal car accidents in the U.S. (at least back in 2005 and trending upward every year). And according to the CDC, motor vehicle fatalities were only about 0.02% of all fatalities per year in the U.S between 1988-1992 (source: Atlas of United States Mortality), though motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury death in the U.S. (between 1979-2004).

At over 2 million deaths a year, that averages out to close to 6000 deaths per day (rounding liberally).

It’s been long enough that I can start weaving the story of her death into my stories. Bits and pieces of that whole experience (most of which I’ve blogged here) will color both the fiction and nonfiction I write for probably the rest of my life. One random death on one day like any other, but this one was my personal death.

Still grieving…and I thought I was done

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

It’s been a year and a half now and I realized well after Mother’s Day that I’m not done grieving. And long after I thought I was o.k., I realize I’m not. I still miss her. I finally went to go talk to someone — I told myself I would much earlier, but never got around to it. The weeks before and the weeks after Mother’s Day this year were so bleak and dark that I finally felt myself snap. And I still wasn’t sure it was grief. Just everything else in my life gone wrong.

I’ve never been to a psychologist before and I’m fairly suspect of their efficacy. But I can’t argue the benefit of having someone to talk to that won’t tell anyone else what you’ve told them and that isn’t a part of your normal life. Someone you can share things with that you’ve stopped sharing with your friends and family. Because you’re worried you’ll wear them out, worried of going over the same ground over and over again, and because you don’t even realize that you need to keep covering that ground.

When I called to make my appointment I asked, what do you specialize in?. I figure they must all have something they specialize in. She said she didn’t have a speciality, but dealt mostly with work issues, grief, and life changes. I told her she was perfect and went to see her. I spent half the session talking about my mom and I hadn’t anticipated that. I haven’t told the story of the accident in so long, it was cathartic to retell it and to recall that memory, slightly faded as it was. She told me I should start reading one of the many books I’d bought on grief that I never got around to reading so I started On Grief and Grieving tonight. And the intro is already full of God so I’m skeptical, but it’s also full of dying and that’s cathartic, too.

I got a phone message this week about a car accident my mom was in before her death. And it made me sad and angry. Why do I have to deal with this? Shouldn’t this be over? But I guess life and all its responsibilities go on after death for the rest of us still living.

Death’s been busy in my life lately. I just finished Harry Potter: The Half Blood Prince. It made me sob. I recently joined a new writers group and one of our first stories is about the loss of a son. Haven’t had the heart to read it yet. My sister’s fiance’s stepfather just passed away yesterday. I only met him once, but my heart breaks for his wife.

And me — I don’t want to say goodbye. But I know I have to.

Another Mother’s Day without her

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Our second mother’s day since her accident. We were at the grave on Saturday and I sat there wondering how much money people spend on flowers for their dead loved ones, how much money have we spent in the last 478 days on flowers for my mother’s grave? And how long are we supposed to keep it up? For the rest of our lives? I don’t begrudge the money (I only rarely am there purchasing the flowers myself), but wonder anyway.

I was at the Korean market 2 weekends ago and I haven’t been in a Korean market in a long time. I sobbed the entire way home. I had foolishly thought that I was over grieving, but that car ride home make me realize how much I still miss having her in my life. And I’ve been thinking about her ever since.

My sister made Josh and I these beautiful picture frames with photos of us with her. Josh showed me his and I started sobbing. It was a picture of her smiling and him so much younger and smaller in front of Burger King. Time slips by too fast: we age, things change in big and small ways and often irreversibly. Josh will never be that small again. My mom will never smile like that again for the camera. Life is a series of heartbreaks and disappointments and sadness. Mixed in with some less morbid stuff that makes those things bearable.

I look at her photo almost every day. The same half smile on her lips, the same almost sad expression in her eyes. Sometimes I ring the hummingbird chimes, tell her photo good morning or good night, touch the things that remind me of her, wear her ring. Sometimes days or weeks go by and I don’t think of her. And other times I can’t stop thinking about her. Sometimes I sob for missing her. But most of the time I’m fine.

It’s mother’s day and I was thinking about my son today and wondering if he worries about me. We were talking about smoking and riding motorcycles this weekend. I don’t want him to do either (not yet with the motorcycle anyway; never with the cigarettes), but I can’t tell him not to. Not when I do both. I wonder if he realizes we want to protect him, and that when we don’t want him to do these things it’s because of our years of experience, not because we want to deny him pleasure. I was thinking tonight that worrying about your child and worrying about your partner are very different things — you can love both unconditionally, but you accept that your partner is an adult and you don’t try to change him. With your child, you want to influence, change, and shape him and wonder how best to do that without taking away his sense of free will. I don’t have a partner right now, and I’m not the most influential person in my son’s life, but I worry about both anyway.

The first year of grief

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

I was at the gravesite thinking, a whole year has passed without our mom and I made it just fine. Jess is a little behind, but she’ll make it just fine, too. Not that I don’t miss her, not that I’d rather she wasn’t with us, and certainly not that I don’t have moments where I feel like I only just lost her. But we’re all still living.

The weather was nice — sunny, clear, not too cold or windy at all. The cemetary was deserted and devoid of color. Last time I visited, it was around Christmas and the graves were full of flowers — bright red poinsettias, miniature Christmas trees. Gifts and flowers and cheerfullness.

I couldn’t help but think how weird it is to visit a patch of grass and think of my mom. Her body’s there, but what does that mean? We brought flowers, we shed some tears, brushed off the gravestone, touched each other for comfort. I had my hand on my father’s calf at one point and realized he was getting thinner. Then I was thinking, god, this is how it starts. You start to get smaller and smaller and pretty soon, you’re just a little wisp of the person you used to be and your breath just leaves you. Then you end up underneath some patch of grass. And yet, we keep living.

Almost a year since my mother’s death

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Friday is the one year anniversary of my mother’s death. And I think that coming up on it has been harder on me than I realized. I keep crying in the car. Which is somehow where I think of her most often. And I haven’t been talking about it with my friends. Tonight I told someone I’ve only recently met about the accident. Did I tell you how my mother died? Driving on the freeway, slipped into the shoulder, over corrected, went out of control, banged her head real hard on the frame. Died instantly. People said it was violent, the car rolling over and over and bouncing so high in the air. People said she was ejected out of the window. Only the violent part is true.

A friend of mine wrote me the most touching email. It made me cry — in a good way, knowing he’s keeping his fingers crossed for me and I didn’t even know about it. I went for a run at midnight tonight. I know it sounds obsessive, but in my semi fragile mental state, I couldn’t afford not to. Between the calming effects of the run, and the warm fuzzies from his email, I think I can safely fall asleep now.

Changes

Friday, November 24th, 2006

Our first Thanksgiving without our mom. It was ok. I usually do the turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, plus occasional other holiday food stuffs. Normally I cook a pretty good turkey — not too dry and never undercooked. Well, never until this year anyway. And the gravy was off and I cooked the leftover stuffing with too much water so it was mushy. Oh well. We made it and Doug still said it was a lovely dinner :)

I magically lost 6 pounds this last month (and probably put back on a couple today). I don’t know from where cause I certainly don’t feel thinner, but aparently smoking and stress’ll help you do that.

So changes…I’m moving back to the city. Broke up with the fiance and gave back the ring that was worth more than everything I owned put together at the time that I got it (before I inherited half my mother’s estate — which isn’t that much, but worth more than an engagement ring :)

I got a letter from Wells Fargo saying I was the beneficiary of my mother’s retirement account and it made me bawl. Just thinking about her doing something while she was alive for me made me incredibly sad. And I’ve been thinking a lot about her. I suppose for many reasons — the changes in my life, the holidays, the stress and sadness of breaking up. I adored him, but in the end we just made each other miserable. He brought out the worst qualities in me. And over the last two years that I’ve been with him, I haven’t grown one bit in my life. If anything, I’ve degenerated into a more useless person than I’d normally be. But I think that demoralization can do that to you.

I always try to set a positive spin on things. And I’m excited about having my own space again — where no one will tell me to clean my crap up if I leave it laying over the floor. I’ll miss the pets, but not the responsibility. I can’t wait to move back into the city; I’ve missed it ever since I left. I won’t miss living in the remote woods where I couldn’t spend a night by myself without anxiety and where the roof rats sounded like they were as big as my cats. I’ll miss Frank, but I’m looking forward to a fresh start and a new life.

I’ll spend the New Year’s in Rhode Island again. Which seems appropriate because I spent it there last year while Frank and I were broken up for those couple of months. I’m looking forward to snow :)

Wandering in my underwear

Monday, July 24th, 2006

I was out with the dogs for their last pee before bed in a tank top, panties, and my motorcycle riding boots — no, don’t ask me why I was dressed that way. I was standing outside picking up dog poop in my panties thinking to myself, there are some advantages to living remotely. We have one direct neighbor — a family of 5, soon to be 6, and their front door is probably at least half a mile from our front door — going up our driveway, down the street briefly, and then down their driveway. And there are lots of trees giving each of us privacy in our respective yards.

It reminded of a night that we were having a dinner party at our old place and my girlfriend came over early to help, and told me I was wearing the strangest outfit ever. I’d thrown some stuff together to stay warm — I dress indiscriminately when I’m at home, and especially when I’m cold. And I remember feeling warm about that comment because it reminded me of my mom and how strangely she dressed around the house at times (and sometimes out). I remember thinking at the time how funny it was that I was turning into her. When my mom got into her accident, she was dressed in layers of clothing. I don’t know why — she must’ve been so cold to have so much clothing on. She was such a tiny little thing, too — I bet the extra clothes filled her out.

We kept those clothes for a long time. At the funeral home, I wanted everything. We got one shoe, and later one got the rest of her clothes. But not the other shoe — that ended up being in the car. There was something disturbing about the fact that her shoes were separated like that. It bothered me for a long time.

I don’t know what I thought I’d do with the clothes — I just wanted anything and everything that was hers, that was near her during the accident. The worst thing in the packet of personal items that the coroner’s office sent over was a bloody fabric eyeglass chain in a little tiny plastic baggy that said “soiled” on it. When I laid out the clothes finally, they were covered in mold from being tied up in a plastic bag wet and left to rot, and soiled with dried blood. Layers of clothes, and I imagined her wearing them, imagined her putting those clothes on her last morning. They smelled so awful and were horrifying to look at. We eventually ended up throwing them away. Some things shouldn’t be saved.

Death and the mall

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

We dropped off Jess at the airport on Saturday and then were driving to Valley Fair Mall — Frank wanted to go to a store in there. I started thinking about my mom in the car right after we dropped off the sis. I was at that mall when my dad called to tell me, about 6 hours after her accident. I remember asking him if he went to see her at the hospital and he was trying to tell me she didn’t make it to the hospital and all I could think was why didn’t she go to the hospital? I thought at first she was just hurt. And how sad that no one visited her. I couldn’t really understand my dad. What was wrong with my mom? Did they really do everything they could? How did they know she didn’t need to go to the hospital? And how come they didn’t call us? How could they not have our contact information? They said it took some time to find my father’s information so for a while my mom was just some body with no identifiable loved ones to claim her.

I remember being mad at Frank for not coming out to get me. I had to call my dad back because I couldn’t hear him when he first called me but knew enough to be scared. I ran outside to call him back. I was out there for so long, I thought for sure Frank would come get me. I didn’t want to go back in so wet and sad. But he didn’t come out and I was mad cause I needed him, but I knew he was just respecting my privacy.

I went home and tore through everything looking for photos of her. I listened to her New Year’s Eve message over and over again. I found these stamps she’d given me with her handwriting on the package. I missed her so much I didn’t know what it would do to me. And now, it seems so far away. But every now and again, I pull it close. Cause I don’t want to let her go.

My leave

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

i accomplished less than i wanted to over my leave, but it was good time off and away. i tried to not pressure myself to do anything and succeeded. i got started on two out of the three things i wanted to do over leave, but got much less cleaned up at my mom’s than i wanted to. actually, i felt like i pretty much left the house the way it was when i first got there.

i think the time with my sister was good. talking about my mom, seeing my dad, talking about my dad with my sister. all those things were good. i was starting to feel all shut up about my mom, not really talking about her and feeling like i needed to, but not sure with who or how, and feeling really sad and hurt and bottling it all up. my leave came just in time. i got to see my sister just in time for me not to get all crazy. and now i feel ok. i still miss my mom. i still think about her a lot, i still cry whenever i think about the accident, but i think about the accident less and less frequently.

my father’s really sort of come out of his shell lately. he called me the other day just to chat. my father has never done that in my entire life. i was touched. he talks more than he ever has. he’s very open. and seeing this side of him, i think about my sister and i and how much she’s like my mother and how much i’m like my father. i’m also my mother and jess is also very much my father, but there’s tighter coupling the other way around. and i think it’s interesting. i want my father to be happy. sometimes i think my mom’s death opened up new things for all of us. and closed some other things down.

Moving on

Friday, April 28th, 2006

going through more of my mom’s stuff a few days ago, i was reminded of how much she expected of us. of all of us. and how difficult it is to meet someone else’s expectations of you, especially when the two of you are so different and value different things.

i was reminded again about how i knew next to nothing about her. in the car last thursday on our way to visit the grave, i mentioned to my uncle that she never told us stories about her childhood. oh that’s because she was so busy. busy doing what, uncle? well our dad died when she was 10… and somehow the conservation ended after i asked how our grandpa died. it seemed like such an important conversation, how’d i get distracted?

jess and i made a trip to the dump today. jess loved it. we were the only two women out there — everyone else looked like a professional and was male. she loved it so much, she wants to go back tomorrow morning (i think she’s just eager to throw things away :). and what a relief to get rid of some trash. we have so many more dump trips to make. and goodwill trips. and craigslist postings. and god knows what else.

i’ve been watching so much tv. i have it on all the time as background noise, when i’m eating, while i knit, hanging out with jess. never really idling in front of the tv; always doing something. little fingers busy, busy. the other night on king of the hill some kid was wearing a “praying is not a crime” shirt, which at first i took to be a nod to the EFF. though doing a search on “is not a crime” seems to indicate that anything and everything can be tied to this phrase so who knows.

so i’ve almost completed my 2nd week of leave. i haven’t gotten as much done on the house as i thought i would. and i haven’t started studying my korean again, but i started writing again and going to the gym regularly again. two out of three isn’t bad, and i still have over 2 weeks to go…