Current Proof of Life:
Current Auditory Stimulation:
The world outside my window is a swirl of greens dancing on the wind, people mowing their lawns and walking their dogs, the birds taking wing to the sky and the squirrels skittering across branches. A world in motion, as I sit behind this keyboard and think about life.
It’s been almost two months since my father passed and it feels as though it just happened yesterday. They tell you it gets easier, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t found it slightly easier to cope, but what they don’t tell you is that the pain never leaves. It doesn’t get easier in a way you want it to. The ache doesn’t dull, the memory doesn’t fade, the tears don’t sting any less. It gets easier to pry your focus from it, it gets easier to push it into the back of your mind. But the shadow of it, the sheer weight of it, doesn’t leave you.
I still can’t find the strength to refer to him in the past tense. It feels wrong, it feels like I’m pushing him away if I do.
I haven’t truly slept since it happened, certainly not well. I’ve gotten sleep, but it’s been fractured and not restful. When my sleep is deep enough to dream, the dreams shock me awake. In the last week alone, I’ve woken up crying and unable to breathe on two separate nights. Melatonin has been unsuccessful, as have been over the counter sleep aids.
Saturdays have not been the same. I don’t think they ever will be. I’ve found the trick is to have something to look forward to on Saturdays. Yesterday, it was Chinese food for dinner. Last week, I had ice cream after work. The Saturday before that I saw a movie. It doesn’t change anything, but it takes the edge off.
“How are you?” a concerned friend asked recently. My honest answer was “I alternate between tired and sad these days and the two intersect more than I’d like.” It’s the best way to describe where I am right now.
I will live. I will survive. This very same thing has happened to countless other people, many whom I know personally and care deeply for, I am not a special case. It’s a long journey and it is cold and dark, but I will make it to the other side eventually.
Well, here it is. The obligatory first blog entry of the new year. 2015 came crashing down around me in spectacular fashion and now 2016 lay, all shiny and new, at my feet. Full of fresh starts and brimming with potential. Will this year be better than the last? Will I be happier and healthier and more at peace with the world?
Right now, I can’t be certain.
So much happened in 2015, but the problem is too much of it felt as though it all happened to me. 2015 attacked me, tore at my heart in ways I’ve never experienced before, and even as I type this I feel a sense of waning numbness.
The biggest attack, the one that has cut me the deepest and wet its claws in almost every aspect of my life, is that my father is not getting better. I might write a post about it, go into it at greater length, when I am able to tackle the situation without it crippling me. Maybe I won’t. Maybe this will be my only mention of it on this blog from here on out. I have a feeling I won’t have any choice but to write about it, in one form or another, for any of it to make something resembling sense.
I don’t want to continue to bring this up, as I don’t want to burden those reading this with the heaviness of the situation, the heaviness I feel inside every time I think of it.
I am here for my mother, as she is understandably closest to ground zero of the slowly burning disaster that is currently at the forefront of the collective mind of my family. I am here for my sister, who is handling all of this as well as one might expect; bravely, compassionately, and with healthy fear and frustration. I love them both and am happy to be their sounding board, their crying shoulder, their helping hand, in all of this going forward.
But one thing must be understood: I am not okay. I’m sure that, with time, I will be. But for now, though I am here, though I am smiling and laughing and putting on my best face for the crowd… I am not okay.
There it is, the line has been reached. Quite enough of such sadness in this post, one that started with such hope and promise. Let us hope the new year in question is not a reflection of how this post has gone so far.
Star Wars. That’s a good thing that happened in 2015, a new Star Wars movie happened and most people agree it was pretty good.
I’m very tired. I think I’ll go get some sleep. A longer, perhaps happier, post will come soon.
Current Proof of Life:
Post office, bills to pay. Bought lunch. Sun was shining, but the humidity had finally broke. All was well.
Mostly sleep. Started watching Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. I’m four episodes into the eight episode season and loving every minute. Entire cast firing on all comedic cylinders. Now watching anime with Danielle. Shielding self from heat outside by remaining inside air conditioned house.
Plans include grocery shopping, more anime, more Wet Hot American Summer, more sleep.
Current Proof of Life:
Another thing that happened is my mother was admitted to the hospital.
This all started back in September. Feeling nauseated/vomiting, diarrhea, close to fainting. Into the hospital she went and after observation, the doctors were stumped. Her white blood cell count was through the roof, but even after a battery of tests they had no idea why. They put her on some antibiotics and sent her home.
The end of December, it all happened again. Another trip to the emergency room, another round of tests, another string of doctors scratching their heads. All things seemed well enough until last week, when my sister (who was visiting) noticed my mother seemed pale. Complaints about nausea and sweatiness followed, then she went into the bathroom, where after getting sick, she essentially collapsed. My sister was there to help her to the floor, as per the instructions of 911, where she was told she may need to start chest compressions. During all of this, my mother was barely responsive. The ambulance picked her up and rushed her to the hospital.
All of that happened in the span of roughly thirty minutes. She went from feeling completely normal, to barely being there at all.
My father’s health has been in decline since roughly the same time all of this started with my mother. In fact, that seems to be a popular theory as to what could be causing all of this, the stress and strain of caring for my father and watching what he’s going through. He stopped taking his required medication, stopped taking his insulin, refused going to the doctor for any sort of follow-up appointment. He’d given up. This has taken its toll on us all.
There may be a sliver of hope, however, as today my sister and mother convinced my father to attend a doctor’s appointment. At this appointment, he agreed to restart his medication routine, agreed to return for a follow-up appointment. He’s agreed to fight back, in a way, and that has us all feeling very good. Cautiously optimistic, but good. My mother has an appointment on Monday, to seek answers as to her mystery illness. A good friend of mine has brought up the possibility of Lupus, given a similar situation with his own mother a few years back. I’ve told my sister and now my mother, so that test may still be in the cards if no other answers are to be found.
I have not coped well with my father’s decline in health. This whole business with my mother has only added to what was already a heavy weight on my heart. I am focusing on the positive. I am keeping myself busy between friends, family, and work. But still it lingers, like a tiny flame in the back of my mind.
And so Monday is now the focus of my attention and worry. My plans for the weekend include getting caught up on comic books and listening to very loud rock music, all in an attempt to take my mind from it. This weekend is about unwinding, about having fun and focusing on enjoying myself.
Outside, the trees are bended by the force of 70mph winds and my windows are being pelted by hail. The clouds flicker with lightning and I can feel the roar of thunder rumbling in my chest. I’m reminded that storms come and storms pass. They hit you with everything they’ve got and leave you feeling drenched and beaten, but the sun will show itself again.
A fitting end to this post, I think.
Current Proof of Life:
I should not be awake. I should not be out of bed. I go back to work tonight, for another long stretch of shifts making pizzas for the denizens of the night. I should get my rest while I can. But aside from the need to run an errand or two before I return to bed, sleep has not been kind to me of late. I’ve received some pretty terrible news recently, a hiccup in my father’s road to recovery is all I’ll say about it, and so sleep eludes me. I’ll give in to exhaustion eventually, as my body will have no choice but to sleep.
March 2nd was my birthday, the 31st anniversary of my birth into this world. I worked the night before and the night after, so we called it a loss and decided to celebrate on the weekend. So, this weekend was spent trying to forget my troubles. There was chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes as a birthday dinner, there were brownies specially baked by a good friend’s mother, there was the purchase of the complete series of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. on DVD and the ordering of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D. This weekend was a gift, in many meanings.
Back to the grind tonight, back to pizza sauce, and truck drivers, and drunk people looking to get their greasy fix for the night.
Current Self Promotion:
I wrote a little something last night. It’s called Fuck You and, as you could probably guess by the title, there are some profanities involved. Find it here.
Current Proof Of Life:
Current Auditory Stimulation:
Current Empty Promise:
I need to blog more. I need to write more. I’m far too tired on far too regular a basis, but I can not allow that to stop me. It hurts if I go too long without exorcising the demons. The cloud looms above, ever growing, ever darkening.
I have time off this week, a few days in a stretch of time away from the restless job of a midnight pizza slinger. I’ve already decided this time will be spent getting lost in background music and the piles upon piles of unread comics currently staring me in the face. I’m caught up on CAPTAIN MARVEL (god bless you, Kelly Sue DeConnick), but all other series have fallen to the wayside. This must be rectified.
Writing will fit into that. Somewhere.
Plans are also in place to vlog on a regular basis. The rumblings of a YouTube channel to be made with the wife and a good friend are being bandied about. Someday.
Another, longer blog post will follow as soon as I can. A statement that has been made since the beginning of this blog, a statement that I feel will someday be the last words ever published to this blog.
Proof of life. Well, something resembling life. I’ve just woken up from a nap. Have you taken a nap today? You should. It’s glorious.
Yoshiki Classical: Miracle
— Went to see How To Train Your Dragon 2 last night. It was every bit as good as the first film, which was a relief to me, as I love the first one and was concerned the sequel may not give me the same sense of awe I felt while watching the first one. The animation is beautiful, the voicework is superb, the music is fantastic. All in all, well worth seeing on a big screen.
— I am eating a reheated frozen meatloaf dinner and wishing it was my mother’s meatloaf instead.
— The demo for Mario Golf: World Tour on the 3DS may have convinced me to purchase the full version once I have the money. This is surprising to me, as I rarely enjoy sports games.
— This weekend has not turned out the way I had originally planned for it to, but it’s still turned out rather well.
Current Self Promotion:
My unboxing video for the latest Loot Crate (theme: “TRANSFORM”). I am a big fan of this service and will spout my love of the Loot Crate people on a regular basis on social media.
If you care to join (next month’s theme is “VILLAINS” and will feature an exclusive shirt and an exclusive Loot Crate variant cover to a Marvel comic), I’d appreciate it if you’d use this link to do so, as it will end up saving me money in the long run. It really is a fantastic service, though I will say that it’s not for everyone. It’s definitely worth trying for at least a single month, to get a feel for it.