Friday, August 10, 2018
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Thursday, July 19, 2018
June 19th Mom became ....Infinite.
Me, my kids, my brother, his wife & kids & the oneandonly great-grandchild surrounded her. Her eyes sunken, her mouth agape, her loyal chihuahua between her calves, the continuous care nurse checking for heartbeat until her gentle blessing, “she’s gone”.
We all told her we love her.
I rubbed her shin, noticing the curl of her big toe, telling her we are all here, no need to wait anymore. We promised to take care of her dog, who is quite old.
Before getting to her bedside, I reassured My Girls that seeing their grandmother in this state is totally their choice. I tried to give them information so as to set a relatively realistic expectation. They both chose to go in but shortly after, My Little One asked to be excused. I am proud of their honest, vulnerable courage to make the choices they did. It's a difficult task - teaching that death is part of life.
I'd like to thank my brother & his family for accepting the challenge, embracing the tasks of caring for our mom through her end-of-life. It can be difficult to have a parent living with you, let alone a dying one. They allowed medical staff & clergy to come & go. There were trying times, but in the end, what won was mom's comfort.
We are left with Her Infinity, Her Legacy. A woman who taught all of us how to LIVE, how to FIGHT, how to LAUGH. We are imprinted with the woman she was before she was our mother.
For Us Left Behind, all of us in our own way witnessed what smoking can do to one's body: the addiction, the COPD, the hospital visits, the rehabs. We were riding that emotional rollercoaster with her. My brother nor I smoke. Our kiddos all seem pretty disgusted by it (hopefully enough to not do it in their adult years!).
She would say how lucky she is to have lived as long and as fully as she did. I think she figured she wasn't going to have the longevity she had. She was raised in an abusive home & some abusive relationships, living all her life completing school to only the ninth grade. She survived four different kinds of cancers and wore that fact like a badge of honor. (She smoked until the final month of her life, unapologetically!)
My brother and I will drive to west Texas to spread her ashes among those of our father's. I am looking forward to that event. Writing about it now, I'm tearing up because I can't imagine the feels I'll experience when that moment is real. I'm sure I will feel some serenity, though.
Friday, July 13, 2018
Sunday, July 08, 2018
There’s been a viral post on the Book of Faces. Figured I put it on my blog.
- Duran Duran (duh) x5
- Bon Jovi
- One Direction x2
- Kacey Musgraves
- George Strait x2
- Rolling Stones
- Bryan Adams
- Huey Lewis & The News
- Keith Sweat (lol)
- Josh Groban
- Boyce Avenue (why are they not more famous??)
- Kenny Rogers
- Oak Ridge Boys
- Righteous Brothers
- The Eagles (Hell Freezes Over tour)
- U2 x3
- Hootie & The Blowfish
- Darius Rucker
- Lady Antebellum
- Tanya Tucker
- The Lumineers
- Muse x2
- Pat Green
- Rod Stewart
- Vicente Fernandez
- Linda Ronstadt
- Neon Trees
- Gin Blossoms
- Van Halen (Sammy)
- Kid Rock
- Harry Styles
- LillithFair 1997
Friday, June 08, 2018
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Mom was feeling strong enough to go out today, so I drove up and we went to get pampered!
My niece accompanied us. I’m so glad the three of us created this memory!
Dean (pedi) and John (mani) doted on my mother so sweetly! They were so conversational, light-hearted and complimentary!
Dean serves my mom white wine then sits at the tub to prep her feet.
John, sitting on a stool next to her, prepping her fingers: You look well! You look so healthy!
Me: *sphincter tightens*
Mom: I’m not.
John: You can’t tell.
Dean: How old are you?
Dean: You don’t look it! You look, maybe, 63!
John: 79?!? Respect! Respect!
Lots of laughter ensued.
Mom originally picked out a taupe color then deck she wanted her manicure to be gel. She had to pick a new color.
Mom to me: Should I try black? I’ve never done black.
Me: Woman! It’s summer! Pick something bright!
Mom picked out a turquoise shade color. John and Dean were so excited!
John: You happy woman! You need Happy color! You! So full of life!
Yes, mom. Yes. You are.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
I declared loud and proud about a month ago that I'm deactivating my Facebook account on May 1st. Didn't say why, just said when.
May 1st has come and gone and it's still not deactivated.
I originally entitled this blog entry, "Why I'm Leaving Facebook", with the intention of posting the link in my status on my account page prior to May 1st. I'm obviously way off schedule (because that's Just Jackie!).
BUT, that said, I still have my reasons....
In July, 2015, I moved out of my house, out of my marriage. I was (and still am) fearful for my life, so I left. My ex-husband ("whilom" - lowercase dubya) will never, ever get over it. He will forever have anger toward me. I will be be blamed for all the bad things in life, forever. And if there isn't bad there, he will find a way to make it bad and blame me. This is NOT "victim mentality". It's reality. When I left, I was prepared to be the "bad guy", but I was not prepared for narcissistic wrath (it's a real psychological thing!).
whilom, although blocked by me, managed to infiltrate my Facebook account (and a locked Twitter account, in addition to downloading this entire blog) in order to denigrate, decimate, impugn, vilify, slander, besmirch and downright destroy me as a parent, a woman, a person.
I cannot, and will not, tell you what effect his infantile behavior has had on me, and it started with -- yep, you guessed it: Facebook.
Thennnn -- the U.S. Presidential election happened. I'm in shock at the vitriol and wickedness people post; literal mouth-dropped-open dismay. Yeah, yeah, yeah -- free speech, First Amendment and all that jazz, but goodness! I had no idea some people allow politics to define the parameters of their relationships! And guess what that means? It means that I don't want to see that malice!
Thennnnn the whole privacy stuff that Zuck sold. It's so complicated, so intricate. I know a few things about this issue, watched the congressional hearings, did some reading, and it just doesn't sit well with me.
The couple of weeks I've "taken off" from the Book of Faces has been interesting. I'm so flattered by the sentiments of acquaintances, friends, family, who've messaged, texted or posted on my page that they will miss me.
People have reminded or tried to teach me how I can block and hide content (which I knew but that's a huge time investment! Worth the time? Probably.......).
I see Zuck and his "hot-or-not" website that is now an out-of-control international recruitment and political machine is attempting to reign in the out-of-control; might be too little too late for me (and I'm well aware we're all selling our soul to the AI devil with all the permissions we exchange for convenience), but I'm keeping an eye on the changes.
Presidents will come and go. Issues will always have controversy. Digesting various perspectives is so healthy and necessary, but not at the expense of my mental and emotional health. If you've established a pattern of being a disrespectful ass about your opinions, I'm going to distance from you. I don't watch the news; I damn sure don't want to see people that I know go off on each other or spew hate at me.
If I stay, it's because of the choice to look at the good in folks.
If I stay, it's because I HAVE experienced that sense of "community" (*praising applause to Zuck*), which is very hard to replace (*shaking a fist at Zuck*). I've even started communities on that thing! So, being sentimental, that's kind of hard to just quit cold turkey.
What I *am* TRYING to live in is Hope. TRYING to live in Mercy. TRYING to separate the behavior from the person I know/knew. TRYING to live authentically to a set of values that are still forming, still being nurtured, still being reinforced.
I don't want to not like you because you and I disagree politically.
I don't want to not like you because we aren't on the same spiritual and religious planes.
I appreciate being passionate about a law, a faith, a political party, a style of parenting, a manner of dress, a lifestyle, a reaction to an experience, etc.
I do NOT appreciate being judged and categorized.
I do NOT appreciate being disrespected.
I will continue to learn.
I will continue to seek.
I will continue to contextualize.
I am determined to NOT let fear rule my heart anymore. I've missed so much life because of being afraid.
I am determined to speak up respectfully if I sense your fear is interfering with our relationship.
I will be honest, and with every bit of might I have, try to be compassionately so.
(It's a damn tricky tightrope walk of learning self-love, self-respect, self-awareness without falling into the pit of being a doormat again.)
People change. They SHOULD change.
I dunno, man. I dunno what I'm gonna do 'bout the ol' FB....and I guess if whilom decides he needs to legally pursue some b-s accusation based on what I've written, well, I'll keep in line with who I am, throw up that peace sign then come out shinier when the dust settles.
Live in love, not fear.