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Monday, March 6th, 2006

Subject:Wow life can get crazy
Time:5:16 pm.
Ok so I have become a book junky for sure. Today the postman had to park right outside my door to deliver the packages arriving here!!! Ah so much to read and so little time. I keep thinking I will have nice long stretches of uninterrupted time to read and keep finding life has a way of interfering. Last Wednesday I had to drop everything and head to the Happy Valley (oh yes the lovely CT. River Valley for those not sure of what I am talking about) and visit Mt. Holyoke for the flu sick younger child and than scoot over the hill to UMASS-Amherst to visit Migraine-girl. Then it was back south again to take care of new laptop for Elder child than back to UMASS to drop her back at school and then back to Mt. Holyoke to feed youngest dinner and than at last back to the Berkshires for RR. I just can not find a day even when I am supposedly not working to put in a full day of reading.

Now yesterday, Sunday case in point I should have had loads of time to read. Hubby was out working at the apartments, Elder child who had come home for weekend had returned to UMASS, right? Bonbon and book time for sure since men think that is all we do in our spare time. Nope spent half the day trying to untangle computer issues and then got a call that younger child wanted to come home and sleep in her own bed since she now has bronchitis. And since she is too sick to driver, older sister will bring her home. Okay so I take the day off from work today to be with sick and cranky semi-adults as a good mom should.

Computer issues persisted into the wee hours and Mcafee has no clue why their program suddenly will not load in my system tray, five technicians later and well past 1:00 AM they promised to have someone call me instead of doing anymore on-line chat stuff. Has anyone called? Nope and today elder child melted down and younger one felt well enough to demand lots of attention before both went sourly back to college. Ok so now can I read for a little bit? Egad spring break is in 11 days!!!!! Better read fast ;)
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Subject:Life in General
Time:5:43 pm.
Ok so I am neglecting my regular journal for community posts. Let me remedy that right here and now. The girls' winter breaks are almost over. Older one has returned to school and younger one leaves tomorrow. Ah peace and quiet will soon reign supreme. The bug I picked up traveling to Las Vegas in the early part of the month is fading slowly into history. I wish it would go away completely but at least I have avoided the doctors and those evil antibiotics that can kill me. Hubby is still working a screwed up schedule and making me cranky but hey it is a paycheck and we certainly need that. The last week the girls have been home they actually got along for the most part nad it was a bit smoother towards the end. They are so different from each other and both are primadonnas. The one truly sad event is fading from the top of eveyone's thoughts. Kyo-Cat is gone and that is that I guess we will never know what happened to him. We will always miss his silly meow and his irritated looks and of course all 16 pounds of our mountain lion like kitty. He was almost as tall as the dog and she is 14 1/2 inches at the shoulders. I keep thinking that he will waltz back in the door like nothing special has happened but it is winter and reality must be faced. Oh well we will see him on the other side of the rainbow bridge.
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Subject:onward and upward
Time:5:41 pm.
Books 4-6
So Flu season has slowed me way down but I think I am back on target.
Book # 4 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides 529 pages
Book #5 The Mermaid Chair by Susan Monk Kidd 335 pages
Book # 6 Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier 304 pages
This is an additional 1168 pages and brings my total to 2293/15000 or about 15%. Reading faster now so maybe I will catch up since I want to read 100 books this year. Cross posted to 15000pages
Comments: Add Your Own.

Sunday, December 4th, 2005

Subject:Dieitng, reading and life in General
Time:11:09 am.
This LJ community stuff is pretty good so far. I find that I am neglecting my main journal to post in my interests. So for the few and far between who read my main journal. Here is a brief synopsis of the year to date. Youngest graduated High school and went off to college about an hour and 20 minutes away. She has her own car and does come home from time to time. Oldest bought her first car this year (used Scion XB) and she too is about an hour and 20 minutes away. She came home to plant fall bulbs, and several other time. Thanksgiving was quiet: just the four of us. Two main courses cooked Turkey for the meat eaters and Quorn roast for the veggies. Everything else was shared and just made veggie friendly. Eldest set the table and decorated the room. She brought home all her stuff from greenhouse plant production so she had lots of plant to chose from. I started WW in January (not on the 1st but the 8th so it was not a bullshit New Year's resolution) Now I am down about 31 pounds with about the same to go to goal. I can wear jeans again. Before my waist was so big and my butt so small that well you get the picture just darn silly. Been reading a lot with kids gone and joined the 50bookchallenge thing. I had most of September, October and part of November with minimal work because the kitchen was out of use during construction where we rent. I did clean a lot of stuff out of the house and did pretty well with e-bay but now I am taking a break from ebay to focus on the holidays, dieting and reading and housework, and of course (gasp) real work.
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Sunday, November 6th, 2005

Subject:Wher to start
Time:7:37 pm.
Ok so my father is finally mending and his new kidney is functioning pretty well. My sister-in law had her surgery without any problems found and my niece is healing and all is well with the world. My husband is still gone a lot of the time and I am temporarily working very minimal hours due to construction on the roof where I work. So with both girls gone there isn't much to keep me busy. I dieted right up to graduation and then quit cold turkey. I felt horrible at the time. I think I just lost too much weight too fast. I put some of it back on and about three weeks ago I started weight watchers on line all for myself. The kids can share my access if they want but it is time for me to do things for me. So far I have taken off about 8 of the 12 pounds I put back on. I am wearing jeans again. My 21 year laughed to see me in jeans cause it has never happened before.

Graduation was a bit sad but my sister came from Utah!!!! It was so sweet of her. My baby girl looked lovely and so did her big sister.So I have also become a big ebay seller. It is great way to clean out the house of stuff without having a tag sale and for most of September and October I was very busy. Now I am unmotivated. Day light savings time does that to me. I am thinking of joining some groups or something to fill my time so here's to keeping busy and having coherent things to say that are pleasant in the near future.
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Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

Subject:wow where do I start?
Time:8:38 pm.
Dad got the telephone call at 4:30 last Friday. He now has a new to him kidney. This is a mixed blessing. I am here in Massachusetts and still have a bit of a winter cold so no visit for me or from me. His creatinin levels are dropping slowly and he a pretty good day yesterday but alas today he is starting to feel the effects of the surgery, the anti-rejection drugs and all the commotion. he has to stay in Florida probably until late June!! A repeat of last year. No early gardening and he probably will miss baby girl's big day. Her graduation is on June 5. I wish I knew cause I have no clue what to do for a party and a party is a must when one graduates from private school. Do I go to plan "b" and take everyone out to dinner instead of a catered event at my parent's home? I feel so selfish but so much goes into these graduations (see photos from graduation #1, in my journal 2003)

Also I am taking time to go to a wedding in Orlando in late April, hubby is using his one weeks vacation to join me. Now my parents will not be able to do that too! It is my best friend's,from childhood, event. Her daughter won an expensive wedding package. Her parents are both dead, they were like a set of second parents to me and she will not have any one of that generation there. I know she will be so disappointed even though we all know that the kidney had to come first.

I was sure that this would not interfere with graduation: he was not supposed to do a transplant for about another 3-6 months but alas these things work in mysterious ways. His health was getting so precarious I could not have planned much for graduation any way.

Add to this that hubby's remaining sibling may have ovarian cancer, and you get the idea. it is getting very depressing around here. Her daughter-in-law just received the news that she has ductal carcinoma at age 35! I thought I was going to hold it together and handle all of this without a problem. After all I am dieting and have lost 25 pounds, dyed my hair and generally spruced up in an effort to remind myself that I am here and fine. I woke up crying this morning even before my mom told me that they will not make it here for graduation. I still miss my best friends so much.

I did reach the one who does not talk to me and she still will not talk to me. I wrote her a letter and explained myself one last time and that will be that. But death still lays claim to the other and that is not reversing itself no matter what I dream.

Baby girl is heading off to Mount Holyoke in the Fall and is so excited. I will not tell her this news until it gets a bit closer and I have figured out what to do about her special day.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, January 3rd, 2005

Subject:the way of the world and laundry too!
Time:8:49 pm.
So let's start off the New Year with a Major laundry back up and smoke billowing out of the laundry closet. It must be the dryer??? Hell no its the washer. So now it is supposedly repaired but I am afraid to leave the general area when either piece is running... wow this is fun. I guess I will have to learn to read somewhere other than my cozy bed.

Hubby thinks he is going to get an apartment in Newburgh NY area. I hope that he will be easier to live with if he is not packing and unpacking his car every week. It still will not be pleasant working 80 or so miles from home but if he has some place he can make a pot a coffee, sleep, shower, and play guitar he should be a bit happier. Also the apartment will be shared with someone else so potentially this out of state work might be a bit less expensive. He chauffeured today for the first time and that extra bit of money may also help our tight pocket books.

The holidays were so glum without gifts and people, so instead I read every Patricia Cornwall book I could get hold of. So 13(?) Scarpetta crime novels later and a couple other things she wrote I am happy to say I made it through without too many tears and just a few anger outburst. I now have a good idea about what life will be like with two kids in college since the younger kid traveled a bit before her sister came home for break.

2004 was like be broadsided by a Mack truck. We survived but still hurt every where. That reminds me I forgot to call the physical therapy place and schedule some appointments. Oh I do not think I mentioned my own little accident. On October 6, I fell down a set of concrete steps, had 3 stitches in my scalp line, a concussion, two black eyes, a chipped shin bone, multiple contusions, and the best news I tore my right rotator cuff!!!!! I am still hoping to avoid surgery. I have almost full use of my arm and shoulder it hurts some but the worst part is when it "catches" on the end of the bones!!! Ouch and more ouch.

So this post is scattered and all over the place, I think I will take my scattered self upstairs and watch some idiot box before I drift off to sleep. After all I am clean, my bed is clean, and everything is good when those simple things come together.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Subject:Bad Year
Time:7:37 pm.
Contrary to rumor, innuendo, and idle chatter, I have not completely disappeared. This year can not end soon enough for me as it has truly been an awful year full of trial and tribulation. Hubbie got a new job in July and then got "laid off" again in late October. This lay off came with the option of taking a job 75 miles from home and so he followed the job to keep us in Health Insurance and to keep him in his pension plan. Now he is here for about 2 1/2 days a week and of course since he works a third shift 2 hours from home he sleeps when he gets home on Friday morning and again naps on Sunday afternoon after he spends an hour or so repacking for the week. So much for intimacy and love. We are completely out of sync.

I contacted the friend that I wrote about last January after seven years of wondering if she had survived her husbands abuse. This time it really was her I found through google. I called and she basically said she did not care to talk to me. So much for her figuring out that I was trying to help. Anyway if nothing else losing my other friend to cancer made me realize that words in writing are always helpful. So I wrote a letter to this former friend telling her I still care and still love her and now at least I have some closure. It is not important to me to know that she even opened the letter or read it. This was about stating my feelings.

Labor Day weekend, my dear friend who died was joined in "heaven" by her 22 year old nephew and namesake. He left a 16 month old daughter and an unborn child behind. His youngest will be born in February.

My father has continued to deteriorate. He is now on two waiting lists for kidney transplant. This scares me and gives me some hope that he may gain some additional life and quality of life should he survive the procedure. My mother is losing it due to stress and depression. She can not seem to find things to keep her busy and somewhat content with their stay at home life style. Her memory is going and she is almost completely deaf. Conversation with her is just plain weird.

My eldest child went back to college with a new drivers license and a job and boy I was so happy for her. Growing up seemed to be back on track and everything seemed so hopeful. Her health got totally messed up when her anti-depressants spoiled and University Health Services got involved. First they told her that she was bi-polar and put her on Lamictal: a mood stabilizer. This medicine did nothing for her and made her very dizzy and nauseous. When her lab work came back after a 4 week delay it turned out she was hypo-thyroid and basically was so sick that she could not remember much of anything. She will finally get to see an endocrinologist in a few weeks. new more extensive lab work has already been done if we can trust the University to forward the results to the specialist. She totally bombed the semester and its not even her fault!!!

There was one high point this year. My youngest applied early decision to Mount Holyoke and was accepted. So at least one thing is settled.

This entry does not do justice to the lows of this past year but in the words of my youngest: Since her "Auntie" died our lives have gone from bad to worse.
Comments: Read 3 orAdd Your Own.

Thursday, September 9th, 2004

Subject:A long time between postings
Time:4:49 pm.
It seems that it is not a good time to know me. My former neighbor lost his battle with Fanconi's anemia and cancer, a former tenant who I really cared about died in a horrible car accident leaving her 11 year old son behind, my best friend's nephew also died in a horrible senseless car accident leaving his not quite 2 year old daughter behind, and my neighbor's cancer has metastasized to her brain. Finally I had to give up and put one of the cats down because she was in constant pain!!!

Work has been trying with summer vacations and staff changes there has been no continuity all summer and I am very tired. My husband lost his job back in May on our wedding anniversary and now has a new job but is working nights Sunday through Thursday. He is still a probationary employee and so he did not get paid for Labor Day!!! A teamster no less!! He had jury duty this week too so there goes another days pay.

But alas not all is lost. My eldest worked with me over the summer and she now knows how hard routine kitchen work is. (Mayhaps she will truly finish college without looking back cause she knows she hates the kitchen ) She also got her driver's license so I have lost my chauffeur and shuttle license: Boo-hoo-hoo ... I am so broken up about my new found freedom ;)

So if you have any more bad news or good news pile it on now while I can still see straight.
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, May 30th, 2004

Subject:Florida Again
Time:8:53 am.
It has taken the better part of the past twenty four hours for me to figure out just why I am so angry with my being here again. I was completely convinced that I needed to be here for Dad's open heart surgery, and from the one sister who did not come down I know what my emotions would have been had I not dropped everything and come straight to their home.

So I certainly know I needed to be here, but I figured out that it my mother who unlike last time, has remained " well". That means constant ungrateful sounding thank-yous and then the criticism right afterwords. I have an unerring sense of directions and yet she still tells me, now almost a half mile ahead of time, when to turn and when to switch lanes!!!! Grr. She also wants this trip to be as close to expense free for me as possible and yet yesterday my sister bought the groceries and when I tried to buy the ice cream last night they both jumped down my throat. My eldest sister reinforced my mother by saying that she intended to have my mother reimburse her for the groceries so even though it spoiled the ice cream for me, and almost reduced me to tears, I thought maybe she was right.My response was just not to have any of the ice cream. My mood was just to volatile and crying in my ice cream in Florida would be a horrible mess. After all David's employer closed their doors on Monday just as the shit hit the fan with my parents. Money may indeed be an issue. But when I came home there was her grocery receipt in the trash.

I guess I am hormonal, lonely, resentful, and all those negative emotions. I wanted to write a longer post, but I am afraid that they will be back from th hospital before I can vent it all. So TTFN
Comments: Read 3 orAdd Your Own.

Friday, May 14th, 2004

Subject:SAT's are inherently evil
Time:5:42 pm.
My youngest has always worked her butt off. She is competitive and ambitious. She is finishing a junior year that would stagger most people. AP Bio, AP US, Honors precalculus, Honors English, and Latin III. She has a fabulous gpa and has worked at the same more than full time job for two summers and now the third. She does take on leadership positions, plays varsity and jv sports, has done both fall and spring plays and generally has an impressive record. So why can she not take the SAT's and get a score that reflects her grades and abilities?

All her hard work is about to go up in smoke because of these frigging tests. Even the scholarship info we have for several different colleges will penalize her for these scores, if they accept her at all. What the hell is going on out there when some one so obviously talented is so discouraged? I know there are some great schools that do not look at these dam tests, but she wants to be in the Boston area and the "Fair" Schools in Boston are not interesting her.

Well maybe we can convince her to take a prep course and she can boost her scores at the last possible moment. I can feel her disappointment and want to cry. I know we will find the right school for this child too.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Saturday, May 8th, 2004

Time:6:34 pm.
Yup , I am angry and frankly no one gets it. My husband is too busy working this messed up weird third and 1/2 shift. My youngest is busy being all angsty about her AP exams, SAT's, college list, and boy friend break up. She tells me she is too busy to deal with mother's day. Yet I have taken her to the store twice this week hint hint and still no thought of getting a card for me. She has looked at the cute card her sister sent from college ( and it was early to boot) and yet she draws a blank. If I bring up college in any sense she gets all defensive and hostile and cuts me off. I can not talk about the former boy friend cause she thinks I am judging her when I analyze him. When will she realize my way of dealing with things is to talk them through and I am hurt for her that it did not work out. ( She does this too and should know we are just bouncing ideas around, not passing judgment.) I know she is a great kid under tremendous pressure and my tentative permission for a tattoo, ( something I really do not approve of) should clue her in that I am trying to give her some fun, and some diversion. I try to give her breaks from over studying and she thinks that this is about me and me needing her. Sure I usually enjoy her company, but it is not about me at all. It is to try and keep her sense of self and humor but I guess she is terminally self absorbed and self centered and thinks I need her to help me get through the loss of my friend.

I surely miss my friend and I recognize that I am blue more often than not but that is also weather related and whoa let's not discount the hormonal rage of my body. Hot flashes after spring cold or virus are not fun.

I am still confused about last weekend and I am not to be able to say anything nice or right to any one. I feel like running away and taking all the assets with me. There is just too much weight on my shoulders right now.

And then I try to tell my husband what I am upset about and he is sitting there just shaking his head. He is so clueless. And even when I try to tell him precisely why I am angry with this kid and why I have given her opportunity upon opportunity to correct her mistake, he thinks I am saying that he should bail her out. I started the conversation with him stating she is old enough to make her own judgments in this and that what I say is not to discussed with her. It will only get me angrier if he mother hens her and this situation. And his response is I will make sure she goes out and gets you a card. I do not want the card if she has to be nagged to do it!!!!! This stupid holiday is just that stupid. And I am not his mother and I want nothing to do with either of them at this moment in time.

A cool off period is definitely in order. Too bad I have been too distracted to even start a new book, cause it sure would soothe me to just disappear inside the covers of a good book.
Comments: Read 6 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, May 2nd, 2004

Time:6:14 pm.
This weekend I attended a dear friend's life cycle event. Her son was the star of the show, and he did his part well and admirably. It was all lovely well planned and everyone had a good time. So why do I feel so hostile, angry, and confused?

Ah I know I am jealous. No, No! Not a very nice feeling and a deadly sin to boot. I am pleased for her and her family and yes, I will admit I am a little miffy about place settings, but hey that is part of going to these things. We all think we are more important than someone else and that we should get preferential seating. We sat at table 11 and my boss who is not a friend of my dear friend but a member of the congregation was at table one with all the other families that have shared the educational experience that goes along with this event. Last time we were seated with my friends other good friends. This time we were relegated to a table full of distant cousins who did not attend the last event. This time they chose to sit with their dearer friends from out of town. I know where I stand and I am supposed to chalk this one off to a misunderstanding with the table layout and that we would all be nearby.

After getting over wanting to go straight home, I managed to behave and enjoy myself. One of the cousins has children the same age as we do and so there was common ground and interest. So the jealousy wore off with the evening but returned with a vengeance this morning.( I am slow just realized that jealousy has the word lousy in it!! Ha ha)

The last event was so much smaller and so much more intimate, we felt so much more important. Where the hell did all these people come from there were close to 200 people there. My kid ranked higher in importance and was seated accordingly. Hey it was just a seat. I guess it was the number of so called friends within the community that really miffed me. It is true that many of the tables were filled with relatives and their kids. And yes there were people at tables with higher numbers. But I could only see this as Oh My goodness, if I had a life cycle event like this (we are past this point in our lives) I could not fill this many tables if I brought people in off the street.

I realized that if heaven forbid I died sometime soon I would not even get a turn out like this!!! Sure many of my lunch program clients might make the effort to be there but not the community at large. I am a nobody that was a somebody for 5 minutes, and now no one even remembers or cares. I am just some cook who can be bossed around by any one who comes along. I had been feeling taken for granted prior to this event so I guess it just got reinforced. My husband is just some lowly truck driver not worth rubbing elbows with the professional folk of this community, and I am turning into a shrew!!!!!

I have been having a pity party all day and am completely stuck in a rut. I still miss my dearest friend so very much and this party was given by my remaining friend and finding out that she is way more important to you than you are to her when you are feeling so vulnerable is not a lot of fun. But hey life goes on and perhaps there are other people to meet and be friends with even at the ripe old age of 47. I suppose tomorrow someone could walk into my life and become an important part. I am so lonely. David is working the most screwed up shift, we are drifting apart and I am angry at him and the kids are leaving and well I am feeling ugly and unloved( peri-menopause will do that hey?).

Tomorrow will surely be better?
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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

Subject:The passage of time
Time:2:25 pm.
Well I am back from Florida for almost a month now and I am still feeling like I am playing catch up. I flew on on day later than expected because of weather and my parents' health issues. So I did not even get home until February 7. I missed Abbi's Bat Mitzvah but I think she understood. Anyway, Mom had sciatica while I was there so not only was she her usual almost deaf self but she was in tons of pain and aged rapidly before my eyes. She could not let go of control over this difficult time frame and paid for it dearly by being totatlly incapacitated.

I had to call for back up so Kathy came from Salt Lake City to take care of Mom and Dad when I left. I felt it absolutely necessary for another sibling to come and take over. Dad is healing from his surgery and has started peritoneal dialysis. It is a lot of work but I think he sounds better and if this works well he will be able to go to a night cycling machine and have his life back in some semblance of order.

On my way home all of us stopped and had dinner in Amherst with Kendra. It made for a hectic Saturday with the travel and the dinner visit but hey it was worth it. Kendra's room mate moved out and Kendra was getting headaches from the echo in her now partially empty room,so on Sunday I turned around and drove back to Amherst to buy her a rug and a blanket so she could make up the other bed and remove the echo from her room.

I took Kendra's friend Erin with me and it was a good thing that I did because Zamboni got loose while David was watching her and got hit by a car. David called all frantic not knowing what to do. Our vet is no longer 24/7 and so Erin called her mom, who used to be a vet tech and she made sure that we found the open vet and got her to the right place fast enough.

Zami is almost all better.We think she borrowed a life from one of the cats because she had no broken bones and no internal injuries. Lots of torn muscles, road rash, scrapes and bruising. The stress brought on her period, but she is recovering nicely.

Maressa is starting to think ahead to college applications and summer job. She is creating lots of stress with cantankerous outbursts and strong opinions but hey that is part of her being an independent teenager. We make our first college trip on March 26 and I wish I could bring a mediator along because I know she will find something to fight with me about. She expects to spend a good part of the day with her boyfriend and I am not sure that this is a good idea. I clearly said he was welcome to visit on Friday evening as long as it was not late and he did not try to stay over in our hotel room. I guess I can manage to eat dinner by myself in Cambridge.... Kind of odd at my age but not impossible.

Any way most of the girls' spring breaks will be taken up with assorted and sundry doctors appointments as we play catch up from all the accumulating health issues of two teenagers on differing tight schedules who only have spring break to take care of these things.

Time for me.... hmm novel concept. (LOL) Time for hubby and me even funnier still.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

Subject:Florida in Winter
Time:8:24 pm.
So I leave for Florida in the morning, to take care of my parents while my father has surgery. Traveling in Winter is scary. We are currently in a snow pocket and have an extra 4 inches and it is still coming. Taxes and credit card statements are due while I am gone so I had to invade savings to get everything paid before I leave. I hope this trip is not a disaster. Dad is having his gall bladder removed and having peritoneal access put in at the same time. In a few weeks he will start dialysis. Hopefully he will start to feel better. The big trick with this surgery is getting it done without disturbing his hernia repair. Or should I say it in writing anesthesia is a big trick too. Well here's hoping it goes smoothly.
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

Subject:A new year and a new start?
Time:10:57 pm.
Here we are on the 25th of the month of January, and I am still not all together here. I still weep so easily and this weekend I had one of those see my best friend on every street corner days followed by my own youngest complaining about friendships and their lack of longevity.

When she asked me if she would still be friends with anyone she knows right now in just a few short years, I lost it completely. She has been so involved in first soccer, then the school play and then the boyfriend ( flavor of the year?) that she has not put any energy into her friends. Like all relationships even girlfriends take time and do poorly when put aside for other things. Everyone needs to feel important and listened to and respected in what ever relationship/friendships they have or they move on to "greener pastures". I know today is a tough one for me on more than one level. I still miss my best friend and of course I also miss my college friend and her children.

Today if my college buddy is still alive she is 47!!!! Her boys would be 11 and 7!! or so memory serves me. Gah! I wonder if she ever stopped blaming me for the abuse in her life and started doing something to save herself and her boys? I still miss them all so much but I would never take back my testimony. Alas she was not ready to be saved and the abuse cycle will continue through her boys. Self Esteem is such a precious commodity and once damaged it is hard to regain.

On that same note Miss Kendra is slowly gaining ground it that area. She cut her hair in November and now is working on her weight a little bit at a time. She is asking herself some tough questions about her current plans for her future. I know she is assessing things and starting to prioritize. She returned to college today with a very sore and probably infected wisdom tooth and was still trooper about it all. She is thinking about double majoring and maybe even doing a minor!!! Good for her she will have some skills that will be usable in the work force and may have nice future in front of her if she sticks to her plans. At least she is putting some effort into thinking about the future.

As I already said Miss Ressa is tied up with school and and thinking about friendships and boyfriend and college and finals and she is a mess, but hey that is what 17 is all about.

So I am off for now. There is too much else not pleasant going on that I do not want to dwell on.
Comments: Read 6 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003

Subject:Funerals or memorials
Time:3:46 pm.
I guess I really have lead a sheltered life. The calling hours for my beloved friend were long and hard. Practically the whole town came out to say goodbye. Her dental hygienist and the dentist, all the boys scouts that meet at the Church she belonged to, her whole family pretty much, even parents of in-laws. It was a huge turnout. I certainly know I have not touched that many lives.

I got there and she had a rosary in her hand and there were flowers there in spite of the no flower request in her obituary. I would have sent flowers since she was my best friend. (I felt cheated.) I knew her mom put the rosary there. My friend no longer considered herself a Catholic and belonged to a United Church of Christ/ American Baptist parish. She felt that the abortion she had in college excommunicated her. Her mother to this day does not know about this incident. It is part and parcel of my memories of Boston and the Blizzard of 1978, since the procedure was just after the storm, and I drove. So that was the first weird thing for me. I know it gave her mom comfort and I said nothing. Then I kept thinking that she would just take a deep breath sit up and start laughing at us. HA HA its all a big joke. I know that as denial. Finally I worked my courage up to touch her and pat her arm and hand. It was still so soft and not all that cold. But I really lost it when her mom wanted to kiss her goodbye and was too short to reach her forehead. To bury a child is so awful!!!

I was about to leave when the final shock came. She is being cremated. In theory I have never had a problem with this. My husband wants to be cremated, and I have known others although no one close who have been cremated. I have heard the ashes to ashes dust to dust thing my whole life as has everyone, but alas I found this just appalling. It is hard enough to accept her death, to reach out and touch her one last time but somehow I envisioned her going back to the earth slowly and gently. I wanted to be able to visit her grave and envision her lying there peacefully like she was in the casket. How ignorant of me not to think about this ahead of time.

The memorial service the next day was good and bad. The minister really did say words that consoled my immediate family and me even if only until the sun set. The words still are clear in my head or at least the gist of them but they longer give much comfort. Without a casket in the church it once again seemed like a charade.

Afterward the church women put out a spread, and we stood around looking at photos of my friend in better days. I contributed about 15 pictures that spanned high school when we met right through to June when she attended Kendra's graduation. All those pictures you mean to share but always forget during the all to brief visits you get in either direction when distance is part of deep friendship.

Finally it was back to the house for more food and drink, but we were all in auto pilot by then. It will be months for me and her family. The Catholic side of her family felt very dissatisfied with the arrangements and will have a memorial mass said in January, so I will go through all of this again.

The bright moment of the day were the minister announcing a memorial scholarship fund in loving memory of my friend who was also a past deacon of her church. The other touching moment was when one of her sister-in-laws came over to me, she has been part of the family for a very long time but lives a few hours away. She gave me a big hug and told me how sorry she was that I lost my best friend.

I drove the two hours home with hubby and youngest snoozing. I tried to normalize by paying bills and feeding our dogs and generally keeping busy. The youngest had to return to school for play rehearsal and hubby had to nap so he could go to work for third shift. A knock came at the door. Flowers had been delivered to my neighbors house for me since I was not home. They were from Kendra's pal Morgan and her Mom. I do not want flowers, I want my friend back!!! To top it all off my neighbor has prostate cancer, hopefully in control, but his wife was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer the same week as my best friend was originally diagnosed with Breast Cancer in April of 2000.

We leave for Las Vegas on Saturday. I can not think about relaxing and having fun. My parents are meeting us out there but Dad's health is getting very tenuous and travel is taxing him. Dialysis seems to be lurking in the very near future. This is scary to me, and he is thinking about a transplant and is applying to the local program. He is getting frustrated with feeling poorly and does not want to be tied down for what ever life he has left. The transplant thing scares me even more, alas it is his decision that counts not mine. Much as the memorial service was not mine to plan.

Well I will try to take it one day at a time.
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Thursday, November 27th, 2003

Time:12:39 pm.
Trying to keep things calm here but I am so lost!!!! How ever will any of us get through the holidays, and the massive rounds of December Birthdays? She and I will not get to call each other and tease about who's kid is older. Our youngest children are five days apart. Nor will we call each other to wish each other Happy birthday and we are only two days apart?

The table is set, but I can not look at it without remembering Thanksgiving together here in this house when kids were younger and more eager to be with their family friends than their own. Her eldest making her way as a new vegetarian, my friend scolding and telling her kids that they must be polite and try a little of everything. The girls all giggling and making decorations for the table. The younger kids playing game boy side by side. The chatter, the pleasant noises of families joining together to celebrate life.

In comparison today's Thanksgiving was more obligation than pleasure to start with. It was my effort to control the unpleasantness that is my mother and sister and their need to control ever aspect of the day. They generally make things uncomfortable by competing to keep my father true to his diet. Then they whisk the food away before anyone could possibly have seconds or relax eating a first plate of food. The meal is about half an hour from start to finish and the whole event is under two hours in duration. And that is exactly what my family does... endure.

I hope my e-mails earlier in the week will help them get the message and so this day can last maybe 2 and 1/2 hours or oh my gosh 3 whole hours in my house. The ball is in my court. I hope my loss will not ruin my plans. I feel so vacant.
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Time:9:35 am.
Well, I did not get to say my good byes. I am realizing that there was no malicious intend in keeping me from doing so. The family was just not coping. I spoke with sister gate keeper on Saturday to once again be told she was sleeping. Then she said that the news at the oncologist the day before had been " not good, not good at all". Then she got very quiet and wanted to say more but stopped. I took it exactly as it was said.I replied you or your sister will tell me more when you are ready.

I quickly fired off a letter telling my best friend hat we could no longer take our friendship for granted. I needed to tell her that she was closer to me than even my own sisters. That we shared everything the good, the bad, the ugly, the funny, the trivial. It did not matter we shared it all. That she should call me day or night and that I would drop everything to be there. The letter got to her but never got read!!!

I also mailed a pretty new flannel nightie because in our last conversation she complained that her nightie was pilled. She asked about making the hospital bed more comfy too. I had hoped she would wear that pretty new nightie today for her Thanksgiving. I knew she would not be leaving her bed even if her family did not.

Tuesday I called her mom saying that I was deeply concerned that sister had said the news from the oncologist was not good, not good at all. She told me she had talked several times to her daughter and that relieved me since I had not. She had dinner company and did not stay on. About an hour later I heard from sister again. It was obvious that Mom had called her because she explained that the problem with the oncology appointment was the length of time and the level of exhaustion and the changes in medications. She tried to tell me the overall news was the same and that no new problems had occurred. A Cat scan of her head was completely negative... I guess they were thinking brain mets. Then she went on to say that Chris was in the hospital that the new medicines were causing problems that she seemed to be asleep all the time. She was supposed to resume Chemo intravenously on Wednesday and she died first thing this morning.

How does one go from having an 80% chance of survival to dieing within the month? Her husband just called. They did go ahead and give her the chemo yesterday. I guess they decided they had to do something because if they did not start her liver was going to shut down(?) It was a risk they felt they had to take. They knew that the cancer was getting ahead of them. So had it hit her liver? He wanted me to know she was there with her. He drifted off to sleep around 11:30 last night and when he woke at 1:00am for her vitals to be taken all hell broke lose. They almost got her back but could not hold her here. They called it a 1:30am.

I guess my waking up was just my winding down from the distraction I created in the past 48 horus to keep me busy. It took me that long to feel her missing! Her poor husband is so lost. I tried to tell him at least there is no planning of last holidays and when the initial pain has passed memories will flood back in and he will remember the details of other more joyous holidays where she was not sick and in pain.

She lived quietly and died the same way. They will meet with the funeral director tomorrow. Her pastor at least visited yesterday. Hubby told me that for the past three weeks she has barely been awake or coherent. He has been beside himself, not knowing what to do.

It has taken over an hour to write this. I need to return to the living and work on Thanksgiving for my family. I promised my mother a now stress kidney friendly day for my father. His health too is not good and I wanted today to be special for him and all of us.
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Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

Subject:Calmer Now
Time:6:44 pm.
Well my friend is home from the hospital. I even got to speak to her yesterday. She called me really early in the morning and we talked for almost a half an hour. The conversation did not give me much in the way of answers but obviously she is meeting with the oncologist on Friday so she probably does not any answers.

It appears that she may have sleep apnea and that this is why she was not oxygenating properly, and that is why she remains on oxygen at home. She was able to graduate back to a nasal cannula so she can make telephone calls etc. She sort of remembers talking to me last Saturday but she says she was giving off the wall answers to most everyone and that the drugs and lack of oxygen made her really messed up.

Her biggest complaint was about the hospital bed at home...it is not comfy. It turns out her hubby put an egg crate pad on it and then the sheets. Well egg crate is foam rubber so it smells odd and the sheets stick to it. Since Kendra has arthritis or lupus or whatever we know about making beds comfortable. I told her to a t least have someone buy a mattress pad and put it between her the egg crate. Personally the new memory foam is lots more comfortable and even that smells and is better placed under a mattress pad.

It turns out that this is what she focused on during our conversation, because her son called later to get clarification on how to do the bed up right.

Any way just hearing her voice, even in its current weakened form relieved a lot of tension. I know she will most likely die well before me but hey maybe there is hope yet. Without the gate keeper intervening to keep me in the dark, I feel more connected. I am still dealing with the unknown and possibly unknowable. My imagination is not running too wild right now and that is a good thing. After all they told her there was an opening in the sleep clinic in March, they will call if there is a cancellation.

So there is some time here, to adjust and learn to deal with this changing and evolving situation.
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