2021/07/19

2021 – Day 200 – There She is Gone

Da Goddess @ 02:50

I will love you always, as I know you always have loved me. I will remember you forever, as you always remembered me. I will go forward with love in my heart and courage to face the unknown. Life continues, but it’s lost a little magic since you left this corporeal existence. I know your magic will find its way to another soul; that’s what you once told me happens when someone you love dies — everything good and kind and wonderful about them finds a new soul and returns to this realm. I believed you then and I believe it still. Your lessons stay learned. Well, most of them.

I was blessed to have you as my mother. You taught me how to find not and how to bring it to others. You taught me the beauty of wonder and how it’s so important to hold on to it, to share it, to encourage it, to keep it alive in your heart. You taught me to laugh, even when you most feel like weeping or when you’re scared. You were my home, both literally and figuratively. You were my True North and my home port, my first love. You were and always will remain my mom.

Love doesn’t end just because someone dies. Your love is in every sunset chased, flower noticed, in the laughter of a child, in the very air I breathe. You were made of stardust and to stardust you shall return until you find the next new spirit is borne into this world.

Thank you for your love and for all the light you shined upon us all. I will love you always, as I know you always have loved me. I will remember you forever, as you always remembered me. I will go forward with love in my heart and courage to face the unknown.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says;
“There, she is gone!”

“Gone where?”

Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, “There, she is gone!”

There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout; “Here she comes!”

And that is dying.

~ Luther F. Beecher

Thank you for your love, my dear.

At around 0130 this early morning, she left us.

Vale, Mom.

2021/06/23

2021 – Day 174

Da Goddess @ 20:58

It’s been quite the day.

It all started last week. Mom was admitted to hospital with CHF/COPD problems. She’s still there. She’s had every kind of test one can imagine. But what she went in for isn’t necessarily why she remains there. You see, there’s a lot going on. Granted, you don’t reach almost-86 without a few problems, right?

Mom has cancer. She likely only has about six months left. She wants nothing more than palliative care and we’ve all agreed this is the right path for her.

Our family is pretty practical about this stuff. That’s how we were raised and those are the rules.

While I’m not ready to be without a mom, I certainly don’t want her suffering. So, I’ve made my peace with her decision and am going to do whatever I can to make sure she’s having as much fun as she’s hoping for, is as comfortable as possible, and gets to do what she wants as often as we can make happen.

Here’s a question for you: what ideas do you have for a dying 86yr old who’d like to be silly, laugh a lot, enjoy our first big family gathering since covid became a thing? Fancy dress (costume)? A movie “premier”? A M*A*S*H* party? Glasses with funny noses? A petting zoo? Gimme some ideas I can run past her, please.

Oh, and if you have an extra prayer or kind thought, could you send it my mom’s way? Thank you.

2021/06/10

2021 – Day 161

Da Goddess @ 00:08

My friend’s dog meows.

Yep.

Her dog meows like a cat. I heard it with my own two ears. Upon hearing it yesterday, I immediately enquired about the meow. I asked because I know for a fact that her wife is allergic to cats, so I knew it was likely just some loud neighbor kitty visiting at the door or something. “No cat. That was Molly. She’s really weird now.” I’ll say! When I dog sat for them years ago, Mol did NOT meow. She barked. Like your normal, average, everyday, common, garden variety dog.

That is no longer the case. This previously regular doglike dog is now a badass who sounds like a motherfucking cat.

And that’s pretty cool. I’ve demanded video so we can make her go viral and let her become a big doglebrity. I’m only asking 10% of her earnings. I’m not greedy. There’ll be plenty of cheddar to go around.

Anyone else have an animal capable of subverting societal expectations? I’m thinking we could have ourselves a pretty major double, triple bill for events.

Tell me what your animal does so I can work it into act.

2021/05/16

2021 – Day 136: 19 Years

Da Goddess @ 09:53

Are we who we think we are? Or are we who others think we are? Can both these perceptions exist simultaneously and both be equally true? If you know how others see you — and it gives you pause to reflect — does that invalidate what you thought of yourself? Or, if it changes how you see yourself, does THAT invalidate your previous view of who you thought you were? Should it? Should we then reconsider everything we thought we knew?

Is it possible for our actions to be purely received as we intended them, or is everything we do — regardless of our intent — completely at the mercy of how others perceive them?

These are the things running around my head at the moment.

I’ve been blogging for 19 years as of today. I guess I somehow thought I’d have a better idea of who I am and who I was at this point, but I feel I may never have any answers and I’m not sure if I want them any more.

Of course, I didn’t have any idea when I started this blog back in 2002 that I’d still be at it almost 20 years later. Hell, I didn’t have any idea I’d still be at it even two or three years ago. It makes me wonder if I should continue on; if I should make it a full 20 years of blogging; if I should take it up to May 16, 2023, which would be the end of my 20th year and call it quits then; or do I just keep on plugging away until my fingers seize up or fall off? I won’t make any decisions for now. I’m not in what anyone would call a prime decision making frame of mind at the moment. Have I ever truly been in that frame of mind?

Sometimes I don’t know if the me who started this blog is the same person who is currently writing this entry. I know both of us have inhabited the same body, but is that really all it takes to be the same person? I have no clue.

As I say almost every year, the only thing I know for sure is how much I value the people I’ve met through blogging. Each of you have left an imprint on my heart. Some have taken a bite of said organ, some have helped it grow, some have tried to rip it out and stomp it in to oblivion, and some have returned time and time again to help patch up what’s been bitten, beaten, torn, and bruised. You who have helped me grow, who have nursed me back from the brink of disaster, you are the ones I like best. Obviously. Feel free to tell the others. I won’t deny it. (If you were my children, this would be an entirely different conversation.)

Speaking of nursing, can you believe I was still a nurse when I started blogging? That seems a lifetime ago! It definitely seems like it’s, at least, been half a lifetime ago.

Little Dude was just four or five, and Mojo was eight or nine. Now? They’re grown and off on their own journeys of self-discovery, exploration, adventure, mundanity, heartache, heartbreak, recovery, triumph, and, hopefully, fulfillment and contentment. Instead of the precious, fragile little beings I once held close and fussed over every breath or cry or sigh or laugh, I have to remind myself they’re now capable of wiping their own bums, fixing their own meals (and mistakes, for that matter – steaks and mistakes, anyone?), determining their own lives. In the time since starting this blog, they’ve become fully formed people who no longer need me for, well, anything. It’s both sad and wonderful.

It’s the way the world works. Time passes; living things grow; living things die; we change; we do our best to get from one day to the next.

Using that particular lens, I can see I’m still me, just the older version of me; the me who has seen fire and seen rain (literally, at times); the me who has loved and lost and cried and laughed and LIVED. I don’t think I’d want to be the same exact person I was when I started blogging. Sure, there are some parts of this strange trip I might wish had gone differently, but I can’t say I’d want to have come through all of it and to not have changed in some way or another. I’d be crazy to not want to learn and grow along the way.

And so, with that in mind, I think I’m going to be okay with not knowing if I’m the me I think I am or if I’m the me you think I am or if I’m some mashup of the two. We can revisit this a year from now and see if I’ve miraculously found the answer. See you then?

2021/05/07

2021 – Day 127: Three Years & a New Loss

Da Goddess @ 15:55

Dad’s been gone three years now. I’m 100% aware of this, yet I still have moments when I almost forget. Almost. Just before I reach for the phone or think “he’d love this!”, I remember. Or the memory becomes less foggy. Either way, I have that incredible split second moment of him being alive again.

I know I’ll never stop grieving the loss. I know the edges of it will dull and the corners round off with time. I know this. I’ve done this before. Just never lost a parent before. Grandparents, sure. But they were old and th…oh yes. That’s right. I remember now. Dad was old, too. It just doesn’t feel like he was old in my heart and my heart calls a lot of the shots on such things.

I miss you, Dad! I love you and miss you and wish I had even five minutes more with you. Even if those five minutes were you yelling. I’d take it.

Dad

* * *

I’d meant to post this other news sooner, but I somehow managed to forget each time.

Jan from the Cascade Exposures blog, who also occasionally posted here, passed away in March. At the beginning of April, I texted her a link to a place I knew she’d want to explore. I didn’t hear back right away as I normally would. Odd. And then I woke up Easter morning to “This is Jan’s mom…” and I knew. I said a quick prayer that maybe she was just in hospital or something, but I knew. I just did.

I didn’t ask for details. I don’t know the exact day she died or the cause. I’ve just felt blessed to have known her and for her mom taking the time out of her grief to let me know her daughter was gone.

Jan had just retired after 30yrs at the same job. She’d loved it. But she finally had the chance to retire and she took it. With the pandemic, work was becoming a hassle with rotating team shifts and such. So, she was excited to retire, hang out with her sweet Lily cat, and she and her mom were planning some trips for the moment they had the okay to safely travel. Jan was going to show her mom Death Valley, which I guess she hadn’t stopped talking about since she and I had gone. I completely get that. It’s a special place for so many reasons.

I wish I could say it gets easier to say goodbye to people as I get older. The simple truth is it gets harder for me. Of the bloggers I’ve lost (Rob, Mikey, Scott, and now Jan), it just seems to me that the world keeps losing bright lights and big hearts. There will always be a place in my heart for these special souls, but especially for Jan. I consider myself fortunate to call her my friend and deeply honored that she called me one, too.

Jan

Okay. That’s it. I’m going to spend the rest of my day tending to my body and soul with some TLC and a warm shower to wash away the sadness.

Please promise me you’ll be here when I get back.

2021/02/08

2021 – Day 39b

Da Goddess @ 05:44

There’s a post from yesterday (which I couldn’t publish due to connectivity issues) on another device I can’t access at the moment. In that post, I mention I’m working on something about the coronavirus and basic health concerns. It ties in with the discussion happening in the comments from this post.

As someone who spent a lot of money and time on education to become a registered nurse, and who spent a great deal of time continuing my education in the pursuit of practicing the best care possible (I still do this even though I’m no longer licensed because I want to stay informed and I like to learn), I value the wisdom that comes from those who are on the forefront of medical care — through research and clinical practice — and I have to take care to approach new information with an open mind free of personal or political bias. To be frank, disease doesn’t give a flying fuck what party you belong to or who you vote for. Disease just happens. And we fight disease with science, with fact, and with the knowledge that addresses the disease. Politics may decide funding and dissemination of information to the public, but the actual fight against the disease isn’t political for medical professionals on the frontline. It can’t afford to be.

Anyhow, I have thoughts. So many thoughts. About Covid and healthcare in general. About how information is spread. About how people want to believe in practices other than that based on scientific and medical facts. I’m all for complementary medicine — homeopathy and holistic approaches — when they’re used in conjunction with that of conventional medicine. Together, that’s where the best stuff happens. I have a few too many friends who rely on homeopathic remedies and/or supplements as their own personal shields against disease and who then are surprised when they discover they’re ill.

Basically, my thoughts cover all of this and more and it’s coming. I just want to say it right.

So, please feel free to join the conversation in this other post and I can address topics of concern directly.

My goal isn’t to make anyone feel bad, but to open minds and hope that logic and common sense win out over what feels to be self-interest (even when it’s not intended as such).

I love you all and value our conversations, whether here on the blog or via email or text or phone calls. So, don’t be afraid to join in. I won’t bite. I promise. It’s not hygienic and it’s difficult to do while masked.

2021/01/29

2021 – Day 29

Da Goddess @ 02:03

I’m still (mentally) on Day 28, but it’s officially the 29th, so blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Health update: first, my sister seems to think she’ll be “better” on Sunday, as if Covid is predictable. I’ve told her to not worry about the timeline as it’s arbitrary and the most important thing is for her to just get healthy again. My friend who had it over the summer is still struggling with respiratory symptoms (diminished lung capacity is the biggest problem) and everyone seems to recover differently from this virus. What tends to be true for the majority of people who’ve been infected is that it takes a while to feel like yourself again.

More than anything, I really just want my sister to feel better. I want her to be as fully recovered as possible so that she can get back to doing the things she wants to do. I know it’s difficult for her to accept such a passive role at the moment, but it’s the best course for her.

I have found I really really really miss our Saturday outings to the grocery store. I miss her giving me the rundown on Mom and her various health problems. I miss just being able to hear her voice and spending those few minutes in the car with her. Our relationship has had its share of speedbumps over the years, but since Dad’s death and then Covid, well, it’s meant we’ve found a new rhythm for interacting that’s been quite lovely. Go figure — it only took a parent’s death and a pandemic for us to hit the right notes of sisterhood!

But again, as much as I miss her and our time together, I just want her healthy. She’s had enough bullshit in terms of health problems the past few years. She really doesn’t deserve this. Nobody does. And I mean NOBODY.

Secondly, Mom’s finally been given some meds to relieve her intractable pain. It’s been emotional torture to hear her physical pain over the phone. I mean, it killed me to not be able to do anything to help her and to know her fucking doctor wasn’t going to give her anything more than Extra Strength Tylenol for the pain that was making her weep all day and all night for over a month. Well, enter Lil Sis and yet another trip to urgent care for help. Mom was finally put on steroids and a low, temporary dose of Percocet. Halle-fucking-lujah! I’ve now had several calls with Mom where she was able to actively participate in the conversation. There are no tears. There’s no distress in her voice. She has actual relief from the pain!

I can’t stress enough how important pain management is. Even if it’s just temporary relief, breaking the pain cycle for any length of time is HUGE when you’re dealing with chronic pain or even an extremely acute flare-up. Mom has relief for now. The pain isn’t completely gone, but it’s been reduced to something livable. Mom’s physical distress is no longer psychic distress as well. Especially in older patients, especially when they’re isolated (as we’ve all been for waaaay too long [but necessarily]). There’s a level of emotional pain that comes with unaddressed physical pain (as I’ve said in my previous post and many others before it) that only becomes more debilitating with loneliness and age and loss of autonomy. To have a doctor refuse to address the problem is a slap in the face and is cruel beyond reason. People don’t let animals suffer like that! At least now Mom is feeling better and, hopefully, this flare-up can just become a distant memory for a good long while.

Thirdly, I had my three months follow up to my diabetes diagnosis. And cholesterol problem. And…blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. My labs were fantastic and my doctor declared me his most improved patient for the quarter. I went from extreme danger zone heart disease-wise to “this is what I call healthy and normal” range. My blood glucose levels are more in line with what they should be (there’s still room for improvement) and the doc was impressed with my reduction of my A1C. I went from “so far out of range to somewhere close to acceptable” according to him and that’s good enough for me for the moment. No changes in meds. No changes in anything else, although I asked again for an appointment with a nutritionist. I know that’ll do me a world of good.

I also got referrals to physical therapy for my neck and back (work comp won’t approve/cover it, but MediCal will) and to dermatology for multiple skin concerns. First and foremost, the two areas on my nose that are suspiciously awful from time to time. One lesion has finally stopped scabbing over (never did anything to it to make it get scabby in the first place) and the other has become the current problem. I know 100% that this is the result of unfettered access to copious amounts of warm California sun exposure in my youth. The endless sunburns. The endless exposure without sunscreen (remember when you bought Coppertone because it was a suntan lotion and not a sunscreen?). The years and years of carefree days spent browning like a holiday turkey or ham. Yep. It’s finally caught up with me. I knew it would. And the time is now. I’ll let you know how this plays out.

So, despite the need for referrals, my health has taken a turn for the better. In three months, I managed to undo however many years of unchecked nasty cholesterol and diabetes and am hanging out in a much better health neighborhood. I’m proud of myself. I wish I could say my glucose numbers were better, but that’s a necessary gradual change. Still, I’m regularly under 200 and that’s a major accomplishment for someone who started out over 400! I’m no longer drinking two gallons (+) a day. I’m not feeling the need to sleep all the time (or at least now it’s because I’m tired for other reasons). I don’t feel like I would rather curl up and die. I have real, actual days of not wanting to nap! This is a big deal for me. The last several years were awful and I didn’t know why. Then, BAM! The truth of the matter was made painfully evident via lab work. Now, I’m like a real person again. I’m thrilled!

I don’t know how I managed to ramble on for so long. I guess there’s just that moment between semi-awake and total sleep where the brain can somehow form complete thoughts and demand to let them out. Lucky you! And now you know more about me than you did yesterday, probably more than you ever wanted to know (and I didn’t even get into the embarrassing stuff). But there it is.

Now it’s time to crawl into bed. The Dick Van Dyke Show will wait. I’m going to take full advantage of the sound of rain on the roof to get in some quality zzzzzzzzzs. Fingers crossed!

Here’s a quick phone snap of the late afternoon sky before the storm came in. Sheesh! SoCal has such awful, ugly skies, right? XOXO

Before the storm

2021/01/17

2021 – Day 17 Bad News + TJH: Inspire

Da Goddess @ 00:01

My sis has the covid. I wish I could have it for her. I’m the one who has fuck-all to do. She’s the who holds it all together. She handles everything with Mom. She’s the one who gets shit done. And now she’s sidelined by this fucking virus.

My fingers are crossed in hopes that she recovers quickly. Honestly, she’s the last person in the world I’d have expected to get it because she’s so vigilant about handwashing and sanitizing. However, she’s also the one who is out and about, trying to keep the water from sinking the ship.

If you have a spare moment, please say a prayer for her. Thanks.

P.S.

Single line contour drawing of my big sister

This was my attempt to draw a quick sketch of my big sister — though I’m not sure why I gave her short hair. Her hair is currently long and gorgeous these days. No color or highlights, just natural. It’s my favorite hairstyle she’s ever sported. I don’t know why I’m going on about the hair; it just feels like it’s important to acknowledge the beauty of her locks for some reason, even though I bollocksed it up in the sketch.

Carry on.

2021/01/07

2021 – Day 7

Da Goddess @ 02:07

Dad would’ve turned 90 today.

I miss him terribly at times. Other times, I’m grateful he’s out of pain and not witnessing the insanity of the past year. Hell, the past 24 hours have been crazy enough and likely would have caused him to have a stroke or a heart attack or something.

I think about my dad so often, it’s almost as if he’s still here. There are many things that bring him to mind, but mostly I feel as though he’s just down the road a few miles, sitting in his favorite chair, watching races or car auctions, or maybe picking tangerines from his tree.

There’s something comforting in feeling his presence. I know he’s gone, yet I feel him near, guiding me, reminding me to keep on keepin’ on.

Miss you, Dad! Happy birthday!

2020/05/07

Dad. Two Years On.

Da Goddess @ 13:49

Today is the second anniversary of Dad’s death. I miss him more today than ever. I miss his grumbling and his yelling and his laughter. But most of all, I just miss HIM.

He was one of a kind. He was belligerent and bombastic. He was loud and often angry. But he was also loving and kind in a hundred little ways. He was thoughtful and funny. He was creative and had a vision for junk that was incredible. He was upcycling long before upcycling was a thing. He bought junk, but he sold functional art.

Dad, I will miss you forever. I love you always.

2020/04/08

It’s a Different World

Da Goddess @ 10:34

Had the world been put back to right by now, I’d currently be on a plane to a place in the middle of a vast ocean. I’d be just a few hours away from seeing my daughter and her husband and their cats.

But it’s a different world at the moment and everything is upside down and topsy turvy.

I can’t wait to wake up one day soon to news reports of a week without any new cases of coronavirus and no deaths from it in a month. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

I want to ask you to remember the past several months when you cast your vote in November. I want you to remember the man and his administration who all hemmed and hawed and screamed about Covid-19 being a big Democratic hoax, the people who sat on lifesaving information while they divested themselves of stocks that would tank and bought up shares of stocks that would payoff big once they put the wheels of fighting the pandemic in motion.

I want you to remember the man who has no redeeming qualities — personally or professionally — and who has shown no true leadership skills, who diverted attention from a global health crisis to tell us he’s trending on Facebook or that he used pandemic pressers as campaign rallies.

I ask you to remember this when casting a ballot in November because it’s important he not be re-elected. If he’s re-elected, we will not survive the next crisis, be it health or otherwise.

I may not be a working nurse any longer, but knowing what I know and having access to emails from former employers, I wouldn’t want to ever face another shitshow like this knowing the government didn’t have the backs of those who fight to prevent as many deaths as we’ve seen.

I would willingly give up ever going to see my girl & her hubby any time to ensure my family, friends, and my global neighbors were able to avoid another insane event like this. I wouldn’t have to think even a second to vote this massive oozing chancre out of office. With any luck, his actions will land him in prison. You don’t get to play at being president and profit off the deaths of the citizens of your country. Not in this day and age. Not in a time when your acting Secretary of the Navy is forced to resign after he castigated and demeaned a true leader who was trying to protect his troops. If we can create such pressure in less than 24 hours after a leaked recording of Modly’s address to Captain Crozier’s sailors and get him to resign, surely we can create even greater pressure to have trump removed for every act (not just words, but direct actions) leading to the deaths of our countrymen and women and children. This goes beyond party. This goes to the very core of what it means to be human.

Yep. I will give up any future travel, entertainment, and merriment on my life to avoid another catastrophic event like this.

2020/03/12

Baggage

Da Goddess @ 14:32

Any recommendations on luggage? Nothing expensive, just durable and easy to maneuver for a gimpy old broad. It has to have good wheels and it would be a major bonus if it could fit in an overhead compartment.

Yes, for the first time in a decade, I’m getting on a plane. I’m going away. Not for long, but for long enough. And I’m going to see my daughter and son-in-law. And their cats. In a beautiful locale. Yay!

So, yeah. I need a decent, inexpensive but easily wheeled about suitcase. I mean, just because you have baggage doesn’t mean it can’t be functional and maybe even pleasant.

2020/01/07

89

Da Goddess @ 05:30

Dad would have been 89 today.

I miss him so very much. Every single day.

I’m so grateful I had a father who was so memorable and missable.

2019/12/25

Merry Christmas

Da Goddess @ 00:02

May you all have a day full of love, laughter, joy, and a feeling of belonging.

If you’re feeling alone and blue, please know there are many who also feel this way. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, please reach out for help. 1-800-273-8255

2019/11/28

Happy Turkey Day!

Da Goddess @ 00:07

Monica with the turkey

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