Monday, November 29, 2010

She lives with me now.

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The day I went back to work after my mom died, I had a lot of emails to go through.  There were so many things to catch up on, I did not get to my voicemail until the end of the day.  The very last voicemail was from 2 days before my mom had gone in the hospital.  And there she was on my phone telling me she didn't feel very well and didn't know if she would feel well when I came to see her that night.  Gave me a start for a second.  Had to wonder if it was like that joke you see carved on a tombstone - "I told you I was sick!!"


Here at home - a couple days before Thanksgiving my daughter asked me for a recipe so I got down my old recipe box and pulled a note out of it that basically advised me to get recipes from friends and my new MIL, keep them all and one day they would be memories as well as recipes.  And many of those cards - were written in my Mom's hand.
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Got a pension check for her today, put away the backpack I had brought to the hospital with me - only yesterday.  And today I signed up for a teleconference offered at work on grief and bereavement over the holidays.  I mean, I'm doing okay but - little things keep popping up I'm not expecting so it certainly can't hurt, right?


And .. I'm trying to keep Mom in the spirit of the Christmas season.  I'm sure that as Christmas gets closer there may be more things keeping her company than a kiss and a dark chocolate candy bar in a stocking, but who knows.  I wonder if my brothers would think posting this picture is in poor taste. But hey, they left Mom with me and I know - she always did like attention.  :)


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Maxine Monday

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Not another one!!

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Yes, I have started another blog.  Don't ask me why cause I just don't know.  It's called "I Know, Right?" because I say that a lot.  I wanted a place to write a paragraph at a time, just random thoughts or things I've seen ... whatever.  It is in no way good reading yet.  2 posts and an about page.  That's it.  But I have linked to it above and I hope you'll check it out sometime. I didn't want it to be something someone would have to make a commitment to - to read.  It's Wordpress and boy is that a different animal from Blogger.  But to me, that means I have to figure it out.  Even if it takes me hours upon hours ...



And I wanted to make it pretty, even if the pretty has nothing to do with the content.  Which goes against all rules of blogging but I've never been good with authority anyway.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Might fall under the category of TMI.


So yeah.  I did it again.  Took pictures with my little USB microscope.  But since it is attached to my laptop when it is plugged in, I tend to point it towards well, me.


This is my multi-colored hair.  That light stuff?  Blonde.  Really, really blonde.  Ahem.



 My cross



Yes really, my teeth.



My bracelet, the practice bracelet I made with aluminum rings that my mom put on when she saw it, and I removed from her arm when she died.



Fingernail.  Kind of gross.



 Laptop keyboard



Paper napkin



Now you want to clean your remote, don't you?



Kitty paw!



 The end of my glasses over my ear



Cuticles



Telephone



Do you think somebody can steal my identity with this shot of my thumb?



And this weird elephant looking thing?  Guess!



**Edited to add - IT'S MY NOSE!  The piece right between my nostrils.  Not quite gross, I spared you.



Monday, November 22, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Here's a thought

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When new cars are rolling off the assembly lines, those pesky turn signals might as well be left off.  I mean really, HOW MANY PEOPLE USE THEM ANYWAY???  Ahem.  I know I do road frustration posts periodically,  but this is something I think every single day I drive.  "Oh, slip in that little space in front of me at high speed without so much as a tiny blink to give me a heads up?  THANKS!"  "I guess I didn't need to know you were going to turn and I sat and waited when I probably could have gone.  But I thought you were GOING TO GO STRAIGHT because well .. NO SIGNAL!!"  


So if you are one of those people who thinks their decisions on the road are nobody else's business so choose not to signal, I am the one SWEARING AT YOU from my car.  Just sayin'.


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Monday, November 15, 2010

What browser do you use?


.I've been using Firefox for a long time.  I like the tabs, I like the add-ons available, I like, I like, I like.  Except I don't.  I kept thinking it was my computer (and it may be, partly) but Firefox kept crashing.  Keeps crashing.  One day it will be fine and the next it will stop responding, crash, freeze, or some new flavor of annoyance.  Makes me sad.



I also use Internet Explorer, but only for specific things usually, mostly for an alter ego I have out there. Google gets confused when you sign in as one person and then turn around and sign in as another, so different browsers are helpful that way.  But I'm not fond of IE for a lot of things.


Downloaded Opera, it's a bit weird.  I mean I would have to put a lot of effort into getting used to it, and everything I try is judged against what I am used to, which is Firefox.  I need familiar toolbars and tabbed browsing and doggone it I liked my color tabs!  Opera is just weird.


So now, I am trying Chrome.  And I am putting in a huge effort to use it and get acclimated to it because I'm thinking it's my best bet.  It's faster, it's totally more stable and it let me import my bookmarks from Firefox.  But a browser becomes a familiar place, a home on the Internet.  And when you thinking about changing, it's not comfortable.  It's like moving the furniture and then going to the bathroom at night with the lights off.  You're bound to bang into something.  At least I am.

So, what do you use and do you like it?  Could you adjust to a new browser with a different look, different ways of finding what you want to, a different way of doing things?


Or would you be like me and spend your time trying to make it work and look like your old browser?





Maxine Monday

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's not all angst.

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Back to work today, it went well.  I am very grateful for the people I work with, no one expected me to jump in with both feet immediately, and welcomed me back warmly.  

I sent an email to our team expressing my thanks for the flowers, kind words and prayers.  I told them it would take me a couple of days to get acclimated but I hoped by Monday I would be able to make a meaningful contribution to the team again.  An email from a co-worker said:
"Why start contributing in a meaningful way now?  I think what you've been doing for the last 2 years has been working for you!"
Ah .. home again.  It's nice to fit in.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wherein I reveal uncomfortably dirty laundry.

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Going back to work tomorrow, and I'm kinda scared.  Still feeling raw, and before my brother left to go back home he asked if I was on my meds.  Well yeah!  But taking antidepressants does not stop you from feeling what anyone else does when a loved one dies.  ???   Plus, I am a crier.  I am the emotional one.  Always been that way.  Yet I came to some disturbing realizations about our family, I cried, and I got that question.  For a person who has suffered from depression for a long time, it's the equivalent of asking a woman "are you getting your period?"

My family kind of sucks.  Not my kids of course, I'm speaking about my siblings.  Okay, and me.  We don't truly get along and we all have too much of my dad in us.  None of us are married, everyone has been married and divorced twice except me, and that's only because I don't want to do it again.  But after an argument with one brother I burst out to the other one - "I hate our family .. !!".. pause.."dynamic!"  And the realization that we don't really have a family unit, that my mom was what held us together at all, made me sad.  So, am I off my meds?  NO!! 

And .. I kind of went off on one brother (not the one I argued with) because he wants to give my sister money right off the top of what my mom has left us to make there be some equality between how much money my mom gave all of us over the years.  That's fine.  I couldn't care less.

But.

He's making it sound like a moral equivalency because my sister feels ostracised by the family, feels no one understands the things she did or why, in relation to my mom.  Like giving her money and making things equal will make her feel like we care.  Putting the whats and whys aside, what I do know is that for the 2 years my mom lived with my brother, my sister did not see my mom.  For the time my mom was here and in the nursing home by me, my sister did not come to see her.  Even after several hospitalizations during which the doctors were not sure she would make it, my sister did not come. 

So if my brother feels some need to make things equal for my sister, that's fine.  Money isn't the important thing and honestly - it's what my mom would have wanted.  But he can stop trying to couch it as a human response to my emotional sister who has his ear and is most likely only dealing with her own guilt.  I just don't feel the need to soothe her psyche or his.

.. climbing down now ..

Oh, and for the record - I have said before, my meds made such a huge difference for me in my life, someone will have to pry them out of my cold dead hands one day.   NOT off my meds.  Just grieving.  What a concept.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

It's a new day

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Thank you to all of you who expressed your sympathies on my mothers passing.  It's a wonderful place this blog land, isn't it?  I do appreciate all the kind words.  It makes a difference, truly.

Feeling a bit like I've been submerged under the sea for 15 days and am now coming up to the surface a little at a time, adjusting to each small distance as I slowly move through it.

The last time I was at work was on October 21st, and will not be going back until November 11th.  In 23 years that is the longest I have ever been away and I'm a bit nervous about going back.  Feeling a bit fragile I guess, worried about the stress.

While Mom was in the nursing home and even in the hospital I was thinking about her.  Making sure she had what she needed, visiting, keeping her company, and sitting on an ottoman next to her bed (in the hospital) holding her hand still felt like I was doing something.  Even after she was gone I felt a need to circle the wagons and close the circle around her so no one not intimately involved in her life would wander into our small group of family as we grieved. 

This morning my brothers went home.  One to New Jersey, one to Washington state.  There is no nursing home to go to now, no hospital to hurry to, Mom doesn't need me to care for her anymore.  No laundry to do other than my own, no copious amounts of chocolate to buy.

It's done.

And honestly?  I'm not sure how to start again, where to go from here.  If anyone knows where my reset button is, please let me know.  Because I'm a little freaked out.

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Maxine Monday


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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

There is no stillness like it.

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Mom passed at around 5:00 a.m. this morning.  The rest of the journey is hers alone.



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She is not struggling anymore and for that I am grateful, but I will miss her.

I love you Mom.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Maxine Monday

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Some things must remain constant ..
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