Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Life lessons

Last Thursday after we got back from her post-cataract surgery exam, my grandma cut a bunch of lilacs from her bushes and gave them to me. Then she shoved a ten dollar bill in my bra. I fished it out and double checked that it was only a ten though, because the day I drove her to her cataract surgery, she had slipped me a hundred. And since there's no arguing with my grandma (because even though I left that hundred at her house, I STILL wound up with it), I accepted the ten and lilacs and kissed her papery soft cheek in thanks.

She apologized that she had nothing cooked or baked, and instead she whipped out fresh strawberries, grapes, pineapple, bananas, crackers and peanut butter to snack on. I let her fuss and fix me a Diet Coke. I sat with her for a while and chatted while she buzzed and offered and never sat still. Even with a blurry bum eye, she insisted I eat something, drink something, have anything I wanted.

And when it was time for me to go, her face visibly fell in disappointment. She asked if I had to leave, and as much as I wanted to stay, I had three babies at home who needed dinner and anatomy homework that needed finished. She profusely thanked me for just driving her to her appointment, and I told her I'd see her soon.

I don't see my grandma as much as I should. And I can brush it off and say I'm busy, and I am, but that's really no excuse. Grandma turned 76 in March. She just had cataract surgery on her left eye, and they want to do her right eye this summer. She battles high blood pressure and high cholesterol. She's getting spacier and more forgetful. She's relatively healthy, but still. 76.


The husband's mom passed away last month. We got the call in February that she had liver cancer. Over the next month, she went from sounding completely like herself to being admitted to the hospital to being not awake to not being alive. In one month. She was 58.

The husband and I got to see her before she died. He drove down on a Monday, and after the husband's sometimes hourly reports, I flew down to be with him that Friday. She died on Saturday. She was pretty doped up and was on a ventilator, but she reacted to voices and touch. I held her hand, which is an exact replica of the husband's even down to the fingernails, and whispered into her ear. I told her that she was a good mother-in-law. I told her she was an excellent mom who had raised three awesome kids, but that she shouldn't worry because I'd take care of her son and grandbabies. It was hands-down the hardest thing I've ever done.

My mother-in-law and I weren't the bestest of friends. We didn't fight or argue or not get along, I just held onto some rather large grudges that prevented me from opening up to her and really talking to her and being a friend. But let me offer a word of advice, don't do this. Don't be an ass over things that have happened years ago. Let shit go. Really. It does no one any good.
I realized as she lay in her hospital bed in the ICU that I'd never gotten to ask her when she everything I wanted to know about the husband. Things only moms know. Like when did she potty train him? Was it an arduous process? Did she cut the crusts off his sandwiches? We had talked a little about when the husband and his siblings were little, but I know we didn't cover everything. And now I'll never get to ask.

We're still dealing with her passing. We're still reeling from the fact that it all happened so fast. And while I'm not the-glass-is-half-full kinda girl, I'm trying to find the silver lining in all of it. If anything, she's taught us not to take people for granted. Don't assume the people you care about will be around forever. Patch up past arguments now. Visit them, tell them that you love them and appreciate them. Pick up the phone and ask your grandma how her lilacs are blooming. You'll make her whole damn day, and maybe you can ensure that when she dies, your heart will break from the loss and sadness instead of being consumed whole by regret and guilt.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Say what?

There are some people (LESLIE HALL) who should not wear gold spandex one-piece outfits with fringe.

I'm just saying.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Like a gangrenous arm

Last Thursday I walked into work to start an eight hour shift and then promptly turned away and left after being told my store manager had to let go of two part-time employees. Since there aren't very many part-timers left, I was one of the lucky ones.

At first I didn't feel very fucking lucky. I was pissed. I have worked for Starbucks (Yeah, I said it. What? Are they going to dooce me?) for nearly three years. I've made some of the best friends any girl could want. I enjoyed recognizing regulars and their drinks and handing them out before the customers could even finish their order. It supplied a (small) income and health insurance for the family. There have been recent talks of transferring to another store, and when that didn't turn out, there was some major overhaul of my hours of availability so that I could even keep my job. So then, all surprise and sneaky-like (Because Starbucks is sneaky and shady, fyi. "'Just say yes!' to the customers. But those employees? Fuck 'em.") I was let go. The rug was completely pulled out from under my toes.

I let myself freak out for a good thirty minutes.

And then I got the fuck over it.

I hated that place. Or, I guess I should say, for the past six months or so, I've hated that place. The store manager is a controlling, lying lazy-ass. His one or two toadies are quicker to fill him in on gossip than a couple of fourteen-year-old girls. And then he liked to take that gossip, whether true or not, and base reviews and his whole idea of who a person is on it.

So that's that. May Howard and my manager and toadies all live happily ever after. Onward!

Because I plan to. After my short freakout, I went home, applied for unemployment, and then got to work applying for new jobs. I already have an interview scheduled at a local hospital next Friday.

What's more is that I feel...relieved. I don't have to dread going into work. And with unemployment coming steadily, I can be assured we won't lose a car or our house. The whole mood of the household has changed. It really has been like lopping of a gangrenous body part. That job threatened to take me down, to drown me in gallons of pus and other really gross bodily fluids.


But really, I feel absolutely 100% healthier.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A word of warning

Do not walk up to people and say, "Smile, sweetheart!"

1. I am not your sweetheart.

2. I do not WANT to smile, asshole. For a plethora of reasons. Mostly because I'm at work, but there are plenty of others you aren't privy to. Suffice it to say, I'm not always extremely happy. Glasses are half-full and chipper people who think otherwise annoy me. I will be cordial, even pleasant, with you, but forgive me if I don't have a shit-eating grin on my face.

3. You are so getting decaf.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A birth story of sorts

K had her baby girl.  Which she named S because she's so hip and trendy that she can totally pull off naming her daughter a single letter.  

Kidding, of course.  She's not really that hip or trendy.


After a really disappointing afternoon appointment on Tuesday, where K thought for sure she'd be sent over to be induced but wasn't, K called me at 1:00 am on Wednesday morning where surprise! her water had broken.  I had just gotten to sleep when she called, so I jumped up, redressed, and booked it to the hospital.  

And then I cursed the store I work at and all of its other locations for being closed.  Some people DO want espresso at 2 am.  Asshats.

It was all fun and games at the hospital.  K was epiduraled and pain-free, and we all joked and giggled into the wee hours of the morning until the baby's heart rate kept dipping and taking too long to recover.  It started to be a little less fun.  And while I watched her nurse and doctor studying the monitors with worried looks and K cried out of fear and worry, all fun completely ceased.  In the end, they wheeled her out for a c-section.  

Then it was rushed and scary.  But it was so quick and went well, and really all that matters is that K is fine and now has one of the prettiest, healthiest baby girls ever.

And after the whole experience was over, I've come to some conclusions.

I want to be an L&D nurse so bad.  Still.  Like yesterday.

I want to work at that hospital.  I delivered my last two there and then got to watch them in action with K, and I love them.

After 24+ hours of not sleeping, I become deliriously goofy and then deranged and scary.  Who knew?

I really don't want to be pregnant again.  Ever.  

But I wouldn't mind another baby.  OMGWTF??!!!1!!

But really, cutest baby ever.  After my three.  And she has that soft, velvety baby skin and teeny tiny fingernails.  And teeny tiny eyelashes and makes teeny tiny squeaks.  I'm lucky I've been fixed, because it still crosses my mind occasionally that Smella could use a baby sister.  

The husband will read this, scowl and inform me I'm not allowed to visit K until S is two.  

That might not be such a bad idea.

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