fiction #2.

Jillian

I head over to Anya’s shortly after work.  What a frickin’ day.  I pop a Valium on the drive over to take the edge off after being talked to by my boss, so the world was starting to look peachy-keen pleasant again.  Apparently, my attitude needed an adjustment, according to the boss-man.  So I sweetly asked him, “When are you going to adjust your attitude?”  He just raised an eyebrow at me, and replied, “Well, yes then, I see, that’s how it’s going to be, is it?”  Ugh, I love my job.  not.  The only reason I’m still there and not nursing it… is the benefits.  I guess I am nursing my benefits.  I snort, at my own sick humor.

“Where is she,” I mutter to myself.

I didn’t see her car parked out front, so I take it that she’s not home yet and let myself in.  It’s already dark outside, and I feel around for the light switch.  We never know what sh*tbomb is awaiting from her 19 year old cat.  I can’t believe she hasn’t sent that cat on to better things.  All clear.  My legs have been buzzing nonstop all day – even before the martinis. Stupid MS, I mutter, as I walk with some swagger (my new normal) to her kitchen and start searching for an already open bottle of wine.  nothing.  darn her, drinking solo.  I make my way to her make-shift bar and grab a bottle of whiskey.  Anya dated a guy who loved whiskey back in 2005.  So she loved whiskey as a result.  and now I do as well.  I acquire a shot glass and pour myself a hefty shot.  I peer down at the golden brown liquid, and take a deep breath to stop the tears.  after breathing out, I throw my head back and suck down the liquid heaven.  I drain it in one swoop, unlike Annie, who sips her shots.  the woodsy, sharp sting starts to make its way into the rest of my body, and life begins to feel okay again.   I pour another shot and replace the bottle on her bar, and start wandering around her condo.  it’s her treehouse.  there are trees that surround the entire building, and her picture windows provide the reason why she bought the place…sweet access to all the nature outside.  she loves it.  we both love it.  it took her some time to pull the trigger to buy something – as that would mean she would have to be at Yogo for years to come.  thank goodness.  I don’t know what I would do if she weren’t there.  she has made my MS sh*t all the more bearable; she has been through the worst of times with me.  Thank GOD.  if there is even a God.  I wander over to her dream board to see what crazy sh*t she has on there now.

Huh.  she’s writing again, I can see.  and also wants the Tate, as I’m looking at photo of a random guy buried in the background with dark hair and jade green eyes.  I can see right through her, as in denial as she is.  She really likes this guy.

~

second entry.

as is.  xo

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brain mri #3.

so I met with my neuro today to review my latest brain MRI results.

Tim and I were both eager to hear the doc say, “Oh my goodness, I have never seen this happen in my entire experience – your brain is back to normal!! it’s a miracle!!”

not quite.

but, he had to read the results two times over to make sure he was correct in his interpretation (which if you read the report yourself, it is a bit clubby.)

“compared to the previous study from 2011 demonstrates that overall these lesions are definitely smaller. conspicuity is reduced as well the overall size.” (grammar and conspicuous errors intentional. 😉

we then scanned through the images on his desktop, and he commented that some of the lesions have disappeared!! like magic.

even my dawson’s fingers are shrinking which I saw immediately when they flashed by. there is a lot more space between them and they are much shorter(!)…when last year they were fingering the top of my skull!

all I can say is, brilliant. this is fan-flippin-tastic news… still MS. (kinda sh*tty, but things could be worse!)

though when we left, I couldn’t help but extravert my feeling function (i.e., I dropped a few tears) saying goodbye to my hub in the parking lot. followed by a long hug and lots of kisses.

we have had a period of un-fantastic news over the last year…so this is such good news, given the unfortunate diagnosis last year heading up the list of things that have gone wrong…

what a ray of light after a very bleak year.

so my vigor is renewed to continue keeping up my dietary changes. and add in the following: eat fewer foods out of a box. which means I have to start cooking again. or at least eat more fruit and vegetables. huh? note to self – those things make me feel good.

first thing I made at home tonight: a green smoothie. after dropping off the green smoothies since being back at work. this was my first GS in…six months?! unbelievable!

and, I rode the bike for 20 minutes tonight – which is 20 minutes more than I have cycled over the last three weeks. oh wait, we did ride off-road a couple weeks ago. nerve-y.

in a nutshell, taking my daily meds, laughing a lot, writing my morning pages, expressing tons of gratitude, getting enough sleep most nights, taking daily vitamins, and keeping the stress at bay…all helping!! one more note to self: need to figure out how to get back to yoga!

plus my need to learn and write. just like I need oxygen. but that was already a need before MS even showed up. just seems to have intensified since MS joined the party.

…fyi…contemplated my crazy call of the mild kids this morning…they discussed Jillie’s first MRI before MS showed up with a bullish brigade…

huh. if I could just create, read, and career counsel/coach all day long…hmmm…what would that life look like? pretty cool in my opinion.

on that note, what does your ideal day look like?? I would so love to hear!!

(just occurred to me that I should set up a MeditationS email address! you know…for privacy purposes!)

xo

ps. reading The Four-Day Win by Martha Beck – brilliant. mostly aimed at weight loss…but can be applied to so many ventures…!!

raw.

what a day.

my cousin passed away a week today.

canNOT believe it.  he would have been 40 next month.

but what a day of celebration.  of who he was in life.

and what he meant to everyone.  so cool!

my hub and I read at his funeral today.

what an honor it was to be invited to read…

whoa.

I could not mask the pre-nerves.

I had all ready lost it three times (maybe more?) before it was our turn.  while watching the photos cycle through the slide show of his life.  and seeing his body brought into the church.

how was I going to get the words out without convulsing into tears?

I had all ready tripped going up the steps for our instructions.  the horror of falling in front of everyone settled in.

so I sat in the pew with my heart pumping.  blood pressure off the charts.

and at some point, I somehow remembered what to do.

I breathed. and breathed again.  and again.  and focused on my cousin.  I swear, he was there.

moments before it was our turn.  my tears ceased.

and my mind turned to my best friend.

who always manages to keep it together when called upon by others.  she gave me the courage to walk calmly up to the pulpit.

and so I did.  and kept it together.  looking directly at his parents…my aunt and uncle. his brother. and then his wife.  and two boys.  and read clearly and loudly.

today was a raw day.

God bless, you.

my Doctor-Doctor cousin.

you did everything you were supposed to do.  and what a lesson that is for the rest of us!

you did it.

xoxo

little did I know…

I wish I had known when I posted my last resistant ‘goodbye’ post, that a real goodbye would manifest shortly after.  (I don’t know why I think this way – I guess I figure things are easier when you know they are coming?)

maybe not.  I don’t know anything anymore.

***caution–should any of my family members come across this post, please stop reading now.  quite frankly, this is how I am coping with the tragic loss we have all experienced:  I write.***

oooffff.  this goodbye really hurts.

and has shaken my concept of  faith and what the point of this life is.  this one rocked me to my core.  I have concluded that no matter how ‘good’ or how ‘bad’ one is – death cannot be avoided.

maybe we are all on a pre-determined pathway, and no matter what we do to postpone death – it finds us.

backing up a couple of days…

I woke up on Monday happy and excited for the day ahead, coupled with nerves and anxiety for the upcoming MBTI assessment session I had scheduled for Tuesday night.  excited for the good things up ahead.  and in the present.  Monday was a great day, full of gratitude for all the blessings in my life.

but then something shifted after that Tuesday night assessment session was over.

I felt something come over me.

something did not feel right in the world.  beyond all the chaos that currently is out there.  closer to home this time.

could it be fear for the upcoming flight to Seoul?  I sat with that concept for a few moments.

and it checked out fine.

it was something else.

something bad was going to happen.  I just knew it.  but it was undetermined.  nor could I pinpoint when it might happen. or for whom.

so I shrugged it off as much as possible Tuesday night.  redirecting my focus to jotting down my notes for the MBTI Interpretation Summary.

Wednesday morning after having early morning dreams of my cousins’ boys, I eye-balled a sliver of my new, unworn, and untagged Target dress while getting ready for work.  super cute.  black with tiny green and blue strokes.  flowy.  conservative enough to wear to work.  so I carefully extracted it from my stuffed closet, and held it in front of me.  huh.  weirdness number two strikes as the thought washed in, I can wear this to the next funeral we have to go to…and then I felt the same strangeness I had felt the night before come over me…I shook it off.  didn’t know what to do with that thought.  so I boxed it up and put it away.

but the strange, wary feeling did not leave completely.

on the way into work that morning, as I pulled into my parking spot at 7:30, a voice said to me, you are not going to Korea this weekend.

that one stuck and rippled goosebumps all up and down my body.

what is it?  is something going to happen with my hub? I mentally pleaded for answers.

silence.

so I berated myself all morning for all my regular fearful thoughts that may now be manifesting.  and tried to ignore them.  but you know how when you try to ignore something, it grows?  it started to grow.  but I managed to keep it in the background.

after an interesting afternoon meeting, I returned to my desk, and noticed that I had a missed called from a blocked number and my voicemail light was illuminated.  hmmm.  I’ll grab it later.  and I checked my iPhone and I had two missed calls from a blocked number. so  I opted to pick up my vm on my office line.

it’s my mother.  I am to call her immediately, were her instructions.  I instantly thought of my Grandma – something had happened to her.  but that just didn’t fit, so I shrugged it off while one of my staff members appeared in my office asking questions.

my phone rings.  and I look over.

‘excuse me, I have to grab this call,’ I say as the employee quietly retreats.

I pick up the phone, and without saying hello, ask my husband, ‘have you talked to her?’

‘yes,’ comes the reply, ‘have you?’

‘no, I just got back to my desk.  what’s happened?’

I hear an exhale of breath on the other end from my hub.

‘I don’t know how to tell you this, but your cousin…’ he pauses.  seeking composure where there is none to be found.

I can tell he is crying at this time.

‘what happened?’ I pleaded again.

‘he was…he was riding his bike this morning.  and was hit by a truck.’

‘is he okay?’ I choke out the question as I see visions of my cousin being hooked up to every machine possible while lying in a hospital bed.

‘no, no, he’s not.  I just don’t know how to say this, Erin….he died this morning.’

all the air is evacuates out of my body, and I can’t breathe.  the world slants all around me.  I gasp hard and cover my mouth with my hand, as I try not to scream.  silence on both ends of the phone line.  I’m choking at this point without any oxygen feeling my stomach lurch, trying hard not to throw up.

I gulp in some air and find my trembly voice, ‘oh my God. oh my God. why??  how could this happen to him??  this should have been me, not him.  he doesn’t deserve this.  what is [his wife] going to do, what is she going to do?’  I manage to get out in a crazy stream.

I feel tears on my chin that I didn’t know where there.  after I hang up the phone.

the waves of tears don’t stop for 24 hours.  on and off, on and off.  slowly, as I lean into my grief the gaps between the waves of tears lengthen.

still in shock today.  four days later.  we bury him on Wednesday.  in the cemetery where my grandfather is laid to rest.

did not see this one coming.  period.

why?

how?

how can any of us make sense of this?

he was a constant.  a staple.  for many.

I don’t know how any of us are going to get through this.

life will never be the same.

thank God, my hub will be by my side.  there is a reason that my hub and I never had kids; there are soo many kids around us that need our love and support.

God bless, you, cuz.  may you find peace wherever you are now.  your presence, mad skills, brilliance, and humor will be missed by many.

remember when you and your brother met me @ Claim Jumper for some beers and grub while I was going through my divorce?  and when you opened your arms wide to my Tim? and before that…when we used to chat while you were @ UCLA and I was at UCI?  and all the crazy family holiday get-togethers when we were kids?  the time we watched Twilight Zone for HOURS on Thanksgiving?  and the time when I was 8 when I made you and your brother dance to my Barbie Party vinyl record with me?  and then when Granddad died.  you started wearing his wedding ring.  and then Xmas last year when you wanted to know everything about my MS, and it felt like I had just seen you the day before??

I remember all of that.  like it was yesterday.

you were the one who always saw me, and never judged or criticized me.  you were so interested in what was going on.  with me.  as I was with you.

I love and miss you.

every day matters.  doesn’t it?

xoxo

goodbye.

***note:  this blog was started last Tuesday, the day my sister went home***

this morning, I said goodbye to my sister.

now feeling blue.

sometimes, I wonder if it’s harder to have people in my life, than not to have people in my life.

but then I quickly reset.  life is all about letting fulfilling relationships in.  and letting un-fulfilling relationships go.

my sister and I talked a lot about the past.

as often occurs when any of us get together.

infrequent visits, are muddled together with what was, and what could have been.  and what next?  with lots of laughs and a few tears throughout.  and a new focus on what is.

so many thoughts jumble up in my head whenever I’m faced with my family from afar.  how I miss them!   the candor. the positivity. the laughs. the support!  and the authenticity.

my Dad.  my oldest younger sister.  my stepMum.  and then the youngest, who just left today.

but for the last year and a half, I find that I don’t sink into the despair of how lucky my sisters are as easily as I used to.

wow.

what  a difference a couple of years can make.  even pre-MS the new-ness started to sink in.

****

I didn’t finish this post, as I was getting sucked into a slightly negative vortex…so I stopped typing.  love that – that is an option!  but I revisited this post today while my hub and I were enjoying a long lunch.  and it called me to be posted.  so here, I am posting a partial post.

back to work tomorrow.  garage is officially organized and cleaned out.  myers-briggs certification almost achieved (still have one more thing to do!).  brain MRI complete (I’ll find out the results on 9/24).  ten hours of sleep a night.  every night.  can’t wait to get back to the routine of work.  ha!  😉

xo

failure.

despite passing my first two MBTI exams, I received the first real, honest feedback yesterday.  right, because the exams weren’t feedback?  uh huh.  😉

at first, I was stung.  and stunned.  ego wounded.  no, crushed.

in typical INFJ style.

I was so mad at myself.

how can I fail so soon?

I know this stuff.  

I have my degree in Psychology for frick’s sake!

after nursing my tears back inside (courtesy of a monthly deluge of hormones), I asked myself what any other good life coach would ask herself:

what is perfect about this?

huh? initial reaction.

really.  how can any good come of criticism?  anyway, I’m used to criticism.  I let it slide off me like teflon or whatever.  uh huh.  right.

but then I readjusted my frame.

was it really criticism or might it have been constructive criticism?

hmmm.

ummm.  maybe?  not sure.

thought harder next go round.  could the instructor maybe have been gently trying to help me?

whaaaat??  hold the horses.  is that true?

after sitting on that thought for an hour.  and one more hour.  I came to the conclusion, that…yes.  she was.

so I returned to my email full of feedback.  and re-read each sentence.  carefully looking for clues that she might not actually be out to disable me.

and I read it over again.  and again.

until I found a Eureka!

and there it was – shining like a newly buffed jewel.

yes!  she was trying to help me!  and help me – yes, she did!

I got it.

all the teeth fell easily into place.  and, of course, I immediately felt so silly for belaboring the concept.

really, it took me two hours to figure that out?  what’s wrong with me?  😉

so.  simple solution:  I resubmitted my assignment.  (insert hub laughing at me here.)

and received some immediate positive feedback.

wow.  really?  me?  please tell me I did a good job, I wanted to plead.  but I refrained.  thankfully avoiding some pathetic-ness.

crazy how it takes a few tries before something sticks.  and is not taken personally.

(turns out – this behavior is exceptionally characteristic of my personality type – see prior posts where I expressed extreme dissatisfaction with my type – ha!)

turns out.  there really is good in failing.  it is the best way to learn.  and I have learned my lesson.  finally!  and after laughing at myself.  (that is also characteristic of the INFJ – we laugh at ourselves and our ridiculous-ness once we let something go!  we’re not crazy.  just a bit crazed sometimes.  😉

life lesson #33, most of the time…the only time we move forward is when we fail.

when was the last time you failed?  and adjusted?  and then failed again, but not as quite as hard as the first time?

and when did you reach the point of – wow, if x and y hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be in Z??  how different my life would be if neither had happened…and it was only x and z that made all the difference… 

xo

ps.  holy cow – I have another assignment to submit tomorrow…