Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Life & It's Unexpected Not So Great Start to a New Year

Well, I was SO hoping for a New Year Good start, yet we had not great news yesterday evening. My Mom's brother suddenly and unexpectedly passed away yesterday. OF course it was a huge shock to Mom, and with everything else over the past couple of weeks, I know this hit her pretty hard. Then being the 1st day of a brand New Year, I know she is feeling like me, we prayed for "good" things. Anyway, she is also one sister, the "baby", her brother was the oldest of the three. Her sister, my Aunt is not in good health at all. She has a rare type of stomach cancer, that is not operable, and has just about responded as much as it will to chemo etc. So of course, that makes this even worse. Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. Between the stress of it all, Mom's scare thinking she had heart problems two weeks ago, in which honestly she is still kind of worrying off and on, even though things appear to be fine, and then we are totally blanketed with the flu in our town. Even all three of our doctors and PA's were all ill and the entire office all out last week with the flu. Some of them still are not over it all, thus as I said it is just not a great time to have to be out in the very cold weather and then exposed to the flu. None of us, and me with the compromised autoimmune issues, really don't need to take the chance either. But, I have to be with Mom and help her through this, plus my cousins and I were very, very close our entire childhood. So, this hits me hard also. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next days to come as we deal with yet another one of life's unexpected trauma's. thank so much my dear friends and family, Rhia

UPDATE 1/4/2013

It does not sound well with my Mom's "baby" sister either. I spoke to another cousin last night who is very good friends with my Aunt. The cancer is not good at all from what she told me. My Aunt and her had talked at Christmas time, and basically my aunt told her she was "ready to go". Undoubtedly, the "stomach" cancer has metastasized and must be spreading over her body from the information I got. She must not be very well, because she did not come for the Rosary last night. They are going to try and come for the Funeral this morning at 10 am. Last night was certainly not easy. This is the first time I have seen any of my 1st cousins in well over 10 years at least. I know I had not seen them since I returned from Seattle to TX 7 years ago. In fact, My other Aunt, which would be this Uncle's Wife, passed away almost to the date of my coming back. She also died of a long battle with colon cancer. This would be my Mom's Brother's Wife who just passed away, so Mom's Sister in Law. She passed away about 10 days before I could get back, which was the 10th of December 2005. So, that was difficult to talk about also with my cousins. As I said it was bittersweet. I was so happy to get to see them. My oldest cousin and I were "running buddies" until high school. We did everything together! We were always at each others homes, or going somewhere together. Then we kind of just went through a phase in High School, and drifted apart. She was an athlete, and went to the Catholic school, and of course I was just in the regular High School here. Between my getting engaged and married so young, and then she also got married a couple of years after I did, etc, and she has 5 children! Twin boys and 3 girls! OF course they are all grown like mine now, which seems so impossible. Then other 2 brothers were just about 3 to 5 or 6 years or so younger than us, so we used to bug the heck out of the both of them! LOL! We would get them to play dress up, and then they had us playing some "war" game outside etc. I can remember very well those times as all of us as kids. Then they have the "youngest" sister that was born after we were up almost in high school. As I said, it was a bittersweet meet, and was certainly not the way family should have to see one another after that many years. We vowed we would not wait again until some tragic happens. But, all of us understand that lives our so busy, too busy, as my cousins Aunt on her Mom's side said as we were leaving. When we were kids, and back in the 70's and even the 80's, life seemed so much less"complicated". We seemed to have time to have a holiday dinner or a family get together, and not have it be years between or a funeral that brought us together. Our worlds are "TOO full"!!! We have too much to do when it is so much that it keeps us away from our closest family members. These are my Mom's siblings, and their children, so they are very close. Plus this is the last of my Mom's family. Her and my Aunt who is so ill with the cancer, and me are really all of the family Mom has that are close. So, if something happens to my Mom's sister, Lord knows how she is going to take it. She did "okay" last night, but as people came and gave their condolences, Mom kept saying "my family is almost all gone". So, today at the funeral also is going to possibly be a very difficult time if my Aunt is going to look like she is not doing very well. She had also made the comment that she was really not eating at all but just drinking Ensure, and I gather they are possibly now giving her strong pain medications, but I just kind of gathered that from the conversation. I will know more if she is even able and well enough to make the funeral today. Yesterday, was just a nightmare in a hundred ways for me. It was enough that I had the funeral and Mom, but I also had lots of my "own" stuff I needed to do that was important, such as it was "bill day" for me. Plus of course I had some other paperwork that needed to be taken care of, and even trying to get things ready to pay my own taxes on the house etc, and I have to take care of getting Mom's paid for where they need to be done. Then Mom left it up to me, so rather than send flowers, we donated in my Uncle's Memory to the Arthritis Foundation. He had "gout" along with probably osteoarthritis, but it was so bad he was almost not able to walk and needed knee replacements I think. He just was not going to go through that. As my Cousin said, and she was talking about her Mom, that My Aunt "called him home". Which is probably true. Him, my Dad, My Grandfather, Dad's brothers, and many friends are now "fishing, talking about deer hunting" and having a party in heaven about now. They are all together. Honestly, the was this world is and where it is headed I almost "envy" them. They are "out" of this world of hatred, disdain, hard hearts, greed, and all of the terrible ways that things are happening here now. They are in a peaceful place, that none of this worldly mess matters. For that I do envy them. So, I made the donation and done the paperwork for that. Also, I am not that well, but I am keeping my mouth shut. Every one of my fingers from deep in the nail beds down the middle of now at least 6 of the are split open and bleeding, along with the cuticles also. Plus I am of course emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. We do not even have our tree down yet and the rest of our Xmas decor put away, so I have that hanging over my head. I have so much to play "catch up" on, from doing all of the "deep" house cleaning I had planned to other paperwork, and their are upcoming doctor visits, and you name it, it is on my shoulders right now. Don't get me wrong, I am so glad III CAN help my Mom get through all of this, but in all of that, what I have really gotten a very good look at is my own Mom and her frailness. Which really took a toll on me also. I have just seen it mentally,because of how much she is not remembering, and then some things she says I am really not sure is true. Then, just the way she is walking, more "feeble" each day, etc. So I just see that she is also even though in good health right now, is aging what seems like faster now. I guess because I am with her all the time, I see it but it really does not hit me until, I kind of get an more objective look from something like this happening. Then I can comprehend the ways thing are. Anyway, today is the funeral, and there is a family meal at my cousins church afterwards. So this will be another "early" starting day, and a long one by the time everything is over, and I get Mom home and myself home. Please continue your thoughts and prayers. I realized more than ever last night all of us truly are in need of it. I am so appreciative of all here....  

Continued early Saturday Morning 1/5/2013

We survived the funeral. That was the 1st time I had been in the Catholic Church in many years. Honestly, since I went with my Grand parents and also my Uncle, Aunt and 4 cousins when we were all young, it brought back lots of memories of my Uncle who passed away, and his wife, My Aunt, who also passed away just after my Dad in 2005. The Mass was beautiful, and there were lots of family members there. The weather was very cold here and in fact, sleet fell a little yesterday morning early. But, it cleared and the sun came out a little bit in the early afternoon. One of the 4 cousins and his wife belong to one of the local Methodist Churches and that church had a wonderful lunch for the family after the interment at the cemetery. Mom was not really feeling like going to the cemetery. So, we came home for about an hour, and then went back for the lunch. Thank Goodness my other Aunt, that I have talked about, my Mom's youngest sister, that has the stomach cancer, her husband, and my cousin of that family, and her husband came along with them from the Mesquite area. I was so happy to get to see them. We were not for sure my Aunt would even physically be able to make it. So, when we saw them coming into church, all of us we very blessed to know she at least was able to come down for the funeral. She felt well enough to come also for lunch, although bless her heart, it is honestly not good. She is very, very frail. She was also very "shaky", and you could tell the medication they are giving her is really making her extremely weak. I also noticed she had something going on and it could also be medication related (she is taking a very high powered chemo pill that costs something like 600.00 A DAY!!) she frequently kind of either blinks or almost squints her eyes all the time. At first I wondered if she may have had a slight stroke, but after talking with her I feel it is just the extremely strong medications causing that side effect. After getting to see them, it was a very mixed blessing for me. As I sit here now, and tears stream down my face, I realize that we may not see her alive again. Even Mom said that as we took her home yesterday. That is Mom's only sibling left, and with that said, Mom, I can tell has got that weighing heavily on her heart and mind. Even the entire funeral and luncheon was such a mixed emotional ordeal. For the most of us, we have not seen one another in years, even though we all live in the same small town. We talked seriously about how that is just a shame, that it takes something so tragic to get us in the same room together, when we live a couple of miles from each other. We vowed to not allow this to happen again, and to keep in touch, and try to get together or at least those of us that can as often as possible. But, I know that if I, or one of us do not make a vow to make that happen, by initiating it, we won't. Words at that time in life are always said with good intention in mind. But, then we get "busy".... too damned busy in "life", and we make excuses about that mess of being busy, and the next thing you know, we will be at yet another funeral saying the same thing. I made a promise to myself, that I would initiate us trying to get together. Even if it is just a few of us that can, but every few months at least now I can call some of my cousins, and see if they want to try and have a lunch or just visit for a couple of hours and have coffee. Anything not to lose contact for so many years, due to the silly excuse of being too busy. Their kids are grown, mine are grown, and even though there are jobs etc... "stuff" is NOT as important as FAMILY! It hurts me to think we have allowed "crap" to keep us apart until my own Uncle passes away suddenly. I am to blame also. I realize my illness keeps me down, or at doctors, or in the hospital... yeah, yeah, but still I can MAKE TIME to at least make a phone call, or get an email address etc... We tend to do "lip service" at these times in life, saying we will, and we have very good intentions at those moments. But, when we leave from that moment, all too often, either it it forgotten, or once again, we get wound into the web of "life" and tangled into lots of "things" and stuff that is not nearly as important as we think it is. I am "preaching to the choir" here as the saying goes. I am just as guilty of this as anyone. But, this will be on my "updated" 2013, things I want to do differently in 2013 and beyond. I pray I will think it through, and make sure I at least make an attempt to check on my cousins, etc. from time to time, if nothing but at least a phone call. Maybe that phone call can assert all of us to do more.. see each other, or then call more often. We never realize just how very short life it, until we get to this point. We begin to lose family members, we see how much older we are, and how time has flown by and we have just missed out in one another's lives. It is a crying shame, that some of my cousins children I had never met. It just should not be that way at all. It is not like we were upset or mad at one another. We just have been wrapped up in the freaking madness of life's crap, and one day you wake up and realize just how much of what if REALLY IMPORTANT IN LIFE you have totally MISSED!!!! It is the same with my own kids and my Grand Kids. I miss out on so much of their lives. I realize for that situation we do have 7 plus hours different between us, but still I do not want that to be the excuse that keeps us apart until we have a tragedy hit. I cab sit here and say well, it is hard for us to travel down to the coast to see them. I can use the excuse they are so busy I don't want to interrupt their lives. I can use the excuse that my illnesses keep me close to home for the most part. I can use the excuse that my "ex" is down there, thus honestly I stay away because of him living down there.. yet I already have missed out on 3 years, 7 years, and about 12 years of my Grand Kids' lives. I see them a couple of times a year, and the two youngest ones do not really "know" who I am when they see me. Of course they know I am "Nana", BUT they are not close to me, they are not able to hug me and know daily or weekly, or hell even monthly that I am their Grand Mom. IT sucks. It truly sucks, and I am as much to blame as anyone. Lots of things that go into our lives, that we use for excuses, that we don't ponder enough over, that we lose sight of, and track of, lots of TOO MUCH WATER flowing underneath the bridges of our lives, all the while "time" is ticking, ticking, ticking away. With each "tick" another moment in life has passed us by. That is just one more minute, one more breath of life taken, one more thought gone, all leading down the hill, or up, however you want to call it... to that place that we shall be here no more but dwell with our Father in our true home. So, we then leave our "family" here behind to grieve, as we cross over into the land of perfect peace, with no pain, no suffering, and back into the arms of all the family we have "lost" before us. They are never lost, just briefly not in our humanly lives. As I close this for now, and I realize I have "said" a great deal this morning, for their is a very large amount that I am feeling, from the emotional, mental, physically, and feeling realms of my own humanness. If YOU take a message and walk away with it from this, I pray it is NOT to allow LIFE to get in the way, of LIVING what is the MOST IMPORTANT to you. With my honor, and as always love to you, Hugs, Rhia
 (after this post)
 I had also posted the words to a Crosby and Nash song they wrote and sang in the early 80's "Let the Waters Come and Carry Us Away"... "so much time to make up everywhere we turn, time we have wasted on the way, so much water moving, underneath the bridge, Let the waters come and carry us away.... I love the couple of stanza's ..."OH, when you were young, did you question all the answers, did you envy all the dancers, who had all the nerve, Look round you now, you must go for what you wanted, Look at all my friends who did and got what they deserved..."

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