Tuesday, October 11, 2011

All done.

So I found out one of my techs from National City passed away on October 3rd.  It was quite a shock and it really hit me hard.  He was only 41 years old and left his wife & 2 children.  I haven't worked with him for nearly five years, and I only worked with him for 2 years.  He was a very hard working person and you could just tell he loved his family so, just by the way he spoke.  I suppose he is one of two people very close to my age I've personally known that has died.

It's funny because my Gram passed away on the same day exactly nine years ago.  That was a very difficult day in my life, you see I spent the entire day with her.  We had lunch with my Mom, went grocery shopping, and took a drive looking for a government building in Pacific Beach.  We spent the last day of her life together, she was even talking about making me a lemon pie for my birthday, which was the very next day.  I actually found her dead in her chair when I came back upstairs.  That was a wonderful day and one of the hardest days of my life.  I still miss her, but she was my Gram, and grandparents die, it's never easy, but that's just how life is.

When my Mom died, that was a different story, I suppose all deaths are different stories; just like each life is a different story.  I suppose that's what makes it so interesting, I digress, though not as well or insightful as Mister Javier Marias.  As I was saying, my Mom's death was very difficult for much different reasons.  I was there with my brother when she passed away.  The last days of her life were spent in a hospital room, I am so grateful she got to see her granddaughter one last time, especially when she was still somewhat lucid.  It seems after that she was not verbally communicative at all.  It was only her eyes that would tell me things.  I think that was so much harder, I watched her die, and there was nothing I could do.  My mind and brain knew she was not in pain, not suffering, but my heart was sick.  I watched her all night has her body shut down.  She had such a high fever, I soaked wash clothes in ice water and placed them on her forehead just to make me feel better I'm sure.  That was the night I spent with her by myself.  The next night my brother & I both stayed and that was the night she decided to go.  I'm glad we were both there, I'm sure that's what she wanted.  You know I say that, but who really knows.  People say that those who are close to death know and pepare, or they wait for the most opportune time.  I don't know,  all I know is that my Gram had a full day & died alone and my Mom died in a hospital room with the two people she loved the most.  I still miss my Mom, she had cancer & died.  It is still difficult on birthdays and holidays, but each day comes & each night closes and life continues.

I think it was at Gram's viewing that my brother said to me quietly sitting in a pew in a chapel with my Gram in her infamous pink dress & silver slippers in her coffin, he said "why do we do this?" Why do people sit around and look at the dead?  When you think about it, it's very odd.  I'm sure there is some religious, historical, or ethnic explanation, but when you step back & look at the whole picture it's odd.  For me though it clicked, in my experiences the day of the funeral / burial the family goes to the chapel one last time to say goodbye in private and follow them to the church and then to the cemetery.  It was at that moment I understood why.  The last time she & I would share a room together, the last time I would be in her physical presence; though the coffin lid had been closed it was closure for me.  It was the finality and it was done.

take care

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rite of passage, not really

So the Church is changing some of the participant responses at mass.  These changes take place in November, first Sunday of Advent.  It got me thinking about my Mom and the changes she saw in the Church.  If I'm not mistaken she would of remembered Vatican II.  Now obviously the changes I've seen so far are nothing like Vatican II.  These are just minor changes to responses and words in prayers we recite at Mass, well so far as I know.  It just got me thinking, my little girl will not know the responses I've always known and will be hard to break the automatic response; just like I've always known the mass as the Vatican II version.  For my Mom Vatican II happened during her high school years, and for me these changes are happening much later in my life.  I'm thinking about my little girl where my Mom had quite a different list of priorities at that stage in her life.

I suppose I've had some struggles of late, when it comes to faith any way.  At one time I was so devout and strong in my faith.  Now things are so different.  I hear questions and answers and reasons.  There are jokes and discussions and politics and media and of course there is always money.  Of all things an episode of Little House on the Prairie got me thinking.  Why do people do bad things? God gives free will and for people to choose good or evil & all degrees there of.  If people choose evil that is not God's fault. Thank you Little House.   If an accident occurs and one survives and one dies, the survivor might say thank God for saving me, and this statement makes one ponder why did the other person die.  I don't know, things happen and we do not always have answers, at least answers are not always available to us when we first ponder the question.  I don't think God creates car accidents I think those things just happen.  I wonder with the media and politics and jokes and discussions if religion has become the focus and not God.  People can be what ever religion that want to proclaim, but when it comes right down to it, religion is just a label.  It's all about how we treat each other on this planet.  Not what label we wear.  I use the term God, other people use different names and some don't use any name at all.  It's not about what term we use or what term we don't use, what we believe or don't believe, or if you think there is no such thing as God, again it's respect for life and for human beings.  Please don't hide behind a label and say and do horrid things, for politics, for power, for money.  Please just be kind to one another.  And for those who do not have any label at all, don't equate religion with individuals.  Please don't stereotype.  Kindness, compassion, care and respect; these are qualities to build from, qualities to teach our children & qualities adults should continue to cultivate.

take care

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One of the guys.

Okay, I've been working what I like to call a "regular person's" schedule for about seven months.  This allows me to have two out of every three weekends off.  I'm really enjoying my time with my family and all of the activities that are available on the weekends.  We've visited Como Town and a few Farmer's Markets. 

This past weekend we attended an afternoon get together with some friends.  We knew the host couple and there were two other couples and several children.  It was a great time.  I found it a bit strange that the party was separated by men and women.  It was not a requirement, as a matter of fact a comment was made about the outside area was not a "boys club" yet the women were pretty much mingling together inside & the men were pretty much outside.  I have to admit I felt a little more comfortable outside talking about current events & politics out with the guys.  Not to mention I enjoy socializing with my husband.  It was just odd, please understand I was not offended, and I had a great time with everyone there.  It's just an observation. 

Now on the topic of friendship building, it's been tough in this fine city.  We've lived here for nearly four years.  Things are looking so much better of late.  I'm wondering if my previous work schedule made the building process even tougher.  It's hard to be social when your time off is when every one else is working.  Like I said, things are looking up.

I will close for now, though I'm hoping to possibly encourage a member of my family to move a little closer to his "short pants"

take care.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Okay, so I'm reading Charlotte's Web to my daughter.  We read about a chapter a night.  She seems to like it a great deal, we talk about the story and she asks questions, constantly, so much so half the time the answers are "let's keep reading and find out."  It is a very special time for us.  I'm really enjoying how her mind works.  She listens to the words, the questions she asks, it's fun to see the connections. 

My husband and I have also decided to home school our daughter.  Not for any religious reasons, that's a whole other topic I'm sure I'll write volumes on later.  We've talked about homeschooling for a while and decided to give it a go for lots of reasons.  I think the big one for me is that it would be most beneficial for her education.  It's one-on-one learning, you can't get better than that.  The few people we've told always have the same concern, the socialization.  We've enrolled her in gymnastic classes, she also attends a Sunday school program at my church.  She interacts with children her own age at these places on a weekly basis.  She also goes to play at our gym where she plays with children of all ages.  We've already started with some preschool learning and it seems to be going very well.  Goodness I don't even remember when we started, we transformed the basement play area into a one room school house, as one of our friends put it.  We did take a bit of a break from lessons, with my Mom passing away it was hard when we came home to get back into the home school routine.  Now with my change in work hours and increased responsibility at first it seemed impossible, but after sitting down with my husband it actually seems much more practical now.  He will be part of the planning process and the teaching process as well.  He's always been very involved with her education, it was just the hands on factor.  He's done tons of research, written out curriculum working backwards from high school info to middle school.  He's wonderful, I also said I would take on her curriculum now, but  I have to admit it's been so much better with him sitting at the table with me writing her preschool lesson plans. 

Things are always better when my husband is sitting right next to me.  As a matter of fact I know he's always on my side.  I'm starting to feel like I did before we got married and just after.  Don't get me wrong our relationship as always been terrific since day one.  It was at those early times that I was a little more carefree with him.  I didn't worry about things as much.  I've always been a worrier, but when I first met him in that wonderful little coffee shop on University some of that worry melted away.  As we became closer more and more of that worry went away, and when we got married it was just about all gone.  As I think back on those days now, it seems like it was only when we moved back to my home town that worry and constant concern of things I can't control came back.  I don't know if that's just what I grew up with & I had returned to it or if it was something else.  There was a lot of negativity in my house as I grew up.  Which I don't think anybody would guess based on my attitude on life as an adult.  I consider myself to be a very positive person and always trying to put myself in the other person's "shoes" something I learned from Kairos back in 1991 on my senior year retreat (thanks Becky Parker). 

This sounds absolutely terrible, but maybe with my Mom's death that part of my life died too, the constant negativity went away.  Now with that said, please understand that my Mom was not a complete negative person.  She was kind, funny, caring, generous, and a really good person.  I love my Mom very much.  She was a great deal of fun, we would drive an hour and a half north just to go to lunch or go to a Starbucks that was 60 miles away, just because we'd never been there before.  We would make each other laugh, and I mean egg laying cackling.  She really was a wonderful woman and the fact that my little girl will not know her really breaks my heart into thousands of pieces.  Okay, no tear fest.  Just know that my life is wonderful and I feel very blessed (yes I do believe in that sort of thing, well I'm coming back to it) I have a wonderful husband and terrific little girl and I truly appreciate what my life is right now. 

Thanks to the great cyberspace as my psychologist I will sign off for now.

take care.