judecorp: (downcast)
Well, crap.

Jim Carroll died. Why didn't anyone tell me?

So sad. So so so so so freaking sad.
judecorp: (today sucked)
This has been a hell of a week. My emotions are just... I don't even know. There are just too many emotions.

Yesterday a friend of mine went in for her scheduled induction and learned that her baby had died sometime in the last 24 or so hours. She had gone in the day before for a non-stress test and everything was fine. Perfect, even. How the hell does this happen? I am still super shaken about it, the unfairness of it all but also that awful niggling feeling that you can NEVER be sure that everything is going to be okay. Two years ago, in this same circle of (online) friends, a friend died after child birth from an amniotic embolism. It just brings back so many memories - so many of the same people saying, "Oh my god!" or trying to mobilize.

On Monday my beloved child care provider had a biopsy in her breast after a routine mammogram. Yesterday she was very upbeat and positive, saying that the person who did the biopsy was saying that there was a major increase in biopsies since they switched to a new digital machine. Today she left me a message that child care is closing tomorrow by 2:45 because she has to go in to talk to a doctor right away. To say that I am freaking out is an understatement.

It just seems like I have been stuck in Low Tide since my grandfather told us he had pancreatic cancer in February. Everything is just low, low, low. I feel all washed out and swept out to sea. My sandy shore is full of rocks and abandoned shellfish.
judecorp: (downcast)
I'm super duper sad about Senator Kennedy.
judecorp: (goodbye for now)
Headed to RI to write out thank-you cards for all of the flowers/gifts in honor of my grandfather. I feel like I just did this a couple of years ago. Oh wait, it's because I did.

I'm going to try to see Muddy while I'm down there. I always say I'm going to, but this time I need to make it so.

Peace.

Thoughts

Apr. 20th, 2009 08:11 am
judecorp: (remember it)
It was really powerful and lovely to see everyone turn out for my grandfather's services over the weekend. He was a truly amazing man and touched so many lives. I am so proud of him, and proud to be a member of his family. It's funny, I don't have a particularly large family but I guess it packs a big punch nonetheless, especially when you consider my grandparents.

I feel good knowing that my grandfather never had any doubts about how much I loved him and what I thought of him. I have always been very free with the compliments over the years and have tried to show him how special he was at every holiday (and the days in between). What really touched me is hearing from others how proud he was of my daughter, his great-granddaughter. It seemed like everyone had heard about her or had seen a photo at one time or another. It reaffirms our choice to name her after him, because he truly was a great and significant person.

I have been shaped so much by my grandparents; I have learned so much about love, commitment, faith, and family from growing up in their home. I can only hope that I have done them justice over the years and am not a disappointment. I hope to pass their values down to my own children as well.

It was strange to attend a Catholic funeral after being in a Protestant church for so long. I can't say that I miss the pomp and the rigamarole. There was so much praying intended to help my grandfather get to Heaven, but honestly, if I may be so bold, Heaven was made for people like him. There is no doubt in my mind that he is now seated at the right hand of his God; he spent his life in service to God and his faith was so strong. He and my grandmother have always been such pillars of the church community in which I grew up, and it was for that reason I sought a church community for my own little family. Involvement and service were such a part of our existence as a family, and it had a tremendous effect on me. We are becoming quite active in our own church and it is a true throwback to my life as a child.

I will miss his smiles, I will miss his jokes. I will miss most of all the delight he showed in playing with my daughter. I know that she won't remember these times forever, but I take comfort in the fact that they were able to touch each other's lives, if only for mere moments. In 91 years, he was able to experience a great many things, and I am honored that a great-grandchild was one of them.

I am thankful that he died with little pain and truly little suffering. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
judecorp: (ow)
It's been crazy around here.

I have been in High Tonsil Drama since Saturday, and Sunday I almost didn't go to my grandparents' house for Easter dinner because I felt crappy and didn't want to risk possibly passing on any germs. I ended up going (since my grandfather really wanted everyone there) but never even made it to the dinner table and instead napped on the guest bed until it was time to go home. I feel bad about that, as I wasn't able to sit for dinner with my grandfather, but I had a wicked fever and couldn't eat anyway. Then we all came home.

Monday night, I couldn't sleep because my stupid tonsil hurt so much and was so swollen, and had caused my soft palate and the rest of my mouth/neck to be swollen, and advil and tylenol weren't cutting it, and it was miserable, so Jen told me to go to the ER. While I was at the ER (got there at midnight), I read a book and had to get a CT scan, which was crazy because I had to take out all of my piercings. With no mirror. Score! And then the CT scan showed that it appeared that I had multiple abcesses, so the ER doctor (who was actually quite cool) said that he was going to stick a needle into my peritonsillar area to drain it. (Don't read anymore if you are squeamish).

So I move into this dental-type chair and first he shoots me up with lidocaine and then proceeds to try three times to suck out pus. No pus. He says he has a rule that after three times, he stops. But then he wanted to do one more time. Still nothing. And then he called me the most awesome patient ever for not even flinching and being a rock star. And I got some IV antibiotics and got sent home with instructions to call my ENT doctor in the morning.

I got home at 4:30, fell asleep around 5, and Punk woke me up at 6. GOOD TIMES. I was even more swollen than before, probably from all of the poking around, and could no longer swallow and it was very difficult to talk. I called the ENT doc with a lot of effort and they told me to come in right away. He saw my CT pictures and tried AGAIN to do the needle-pus thing, twice. He also got nothing, and oh my god, by that time, I was so DONE with needles. But he said that since I couldn't swallow, couldn't take my antibiotics, and hadn't eaten since Saturday, that I needed to be admitted into the hospital. Yikes!

I drove myself over there (Tuesday morning), got admitted, and had Jen call my new job to tell them I wouldn't be in the next day for my medical screening. It took forEVer for them to get me into a bed and then they tried SIX times to get an IV (it's not that hard, people) with three different people. And then I watched a marathon of Top Chef and waited for Jen to come by with all of our tax stuff, because we still had to do our state taxes. (Whoops.) I was pretty much the laughing stock of the hospital, sitting in my bed doing taxes. Good times.

Anyway, I got a bunch of antibiotics, an anti-inflammatory, a steroid, and a bunch of other stuff. But while I was in IV hell, I got a call from my uncle that my grandfather had died that morning. And there I was stuck in the hospital and not able to go see my grandmother or anything. I pretty much told all of the staff that I was leaving the next day no matter what (although I needed to get the doctor to agree). But I started feeling a bit better and by the end of Tuesday was eating solid food, so it was all good.

The ENT doc visited me twice in the hospital on Tuesday, once at about 8pm! And then he came again around 8am on Wednesday. On Tuesday he showed up with this weird camera that goes up your nose and down your throat. I seriously hope I don't have to repeat any of these procedures ever again. Freaky. But yeah, when he came on Wednesday morning, he said things were looking much better but that my palate was (very bruised) - probably from all of that needle action, dude! - and that I could leave. WAHOO!

I got home, took a shower (thank you, Jesus), made a couple of calls to reschedule my medical screening to next week, and went to see my grandmother. Then stopped at the flower shop to order funeral flowers, came home, and got to hang out with my kid for a while.

Tomorrow's the visiting hours, with the funeral and burial on Saturday morning. I've never had to navigate a wake/funeral/burial with a toddler. Should be interesting.

I am thankful for the ability to be out of the hospital and that my grandfather had a long and prosperous life, and died peacefully during a nap in his own bed after having a nice big breakfast. God bless you, Grandpa. I love you very much.
judecorp: (downcast)
Yesterday my dad would have turned 61 years old. Happy birthday, Dad.

The thought of him never getting to be a grandfather never gets easier.

Three years

Jun. 2nd, 2008 07:29 pm
judecorp: (downcast)
Yesterday was the third anniversary of my father's death. I can't believe it's been three years already. So much has changed in those three years, it's amazing.

It's so surreal to think that three years ago, my brother and I were looking through a catalog of coffins to find one to bury my father in. A catalog. More like a binder, really. The funeral home director is a family friend and she was extra nice about everything, but it was still the most bizarre and surreal experience ever, trying to find a casket that would suit my father's taste and personality, even though he was dead.

Sometimes I still get the urge to call him. He hasn't been listed in my cell phone for a really long time, but the idea just comes to me out of nowhere sometimes, which makes sense because I tended to call him at random about this or that.

I still can't believe he will never ever ever get to spend time with my daughter.

Two years

Jun. 1st, 2007 09:18 am
judecorp: (downcast)
Two years ago last night I did one of the most difficult things I've ever done - I signed my father's DNR. I spent that night completely unable to sleep, so sure the phone was going to ring with "the news" before my brother could get into town. I think at one point, while I was signing, I actually told the witness on the DL that my brother was scheduled to come the next afternoon, so, you know, they could, you know.

But we didn't get the call, and Dad held on until Rick got to spend a couple of minutes in the room, which was and still is a great source of comfort to me. They didn't always have the greatest of relationships and I just didn't want things to go down that way. Dad and I were always closer, I suppose, than Dad and Rick, and in fact, I couldn't really stay in the room at all when he was in the ICU because every time I was around, he got incredibly agitated. I was worried that somehow I would do him in, so I took a backseat to all of the other visitors and goodbye-sayers.

It's so hard to know, sometimes, that my Jennifer and I are only really able to be where we are today - with a house of our own in a new town and a baby on the way - because we lost my Dad. It's hard because out of everyone in my family, I think he would have been the most tickled on both counts, house and baby. Dad always wanted me to have a baby, and while he was cool with the fact that I told him it would never happen, I think he held out a secret hope. And I think he gets some pleasure out of being right, but I bet he wishes he had the opportunity to be a grandfather.

Now that having a baby is right around the proverbial corner and I can't imagine going back, I guess I have to understand that things happen for a reason and all we can do is go forward and make the best of everything. But that sure doesn't mean I don't wish I could have both, and I know we would have found a way to make it work. You sure didn't have to die to con me into having a baby, you stubborn, irreverent man. ;)

fathers day at fenway


I suppose in a lot of ways it's fitting that Jen and I are going to a baseball game this evening. It was somewhat of a coincidence, I suppose, but one of which I won't miss the significance.
judecorp: (in color)
Oh no! Charles Nelson Reilly is dead! That is so sad. I just adored him. :(



We're all getting so old.
judecorp: (keep going)
It wasn't until [livejournal.com profile] meglett e-mailed me that I realized that I had left LJ hanging with a real downer of a post. Whoops. Don't worry, I haven't been sitting here listening to emo music or anything.

I've been sick. I never wake up early early in the morning (like Friday's 4:30am) unless I'm getting sick. So I went to my haircut on Friday afternoon and almost fell asleep in the chair, then went to bed for real around 9pm. I woke up in the morning with that head-pounding feeling of your temperature being too high and your head being too stuffed. I took a pregnancy test (negative) and then pounded some tylenol. Went back to bed.

I ran two important errands yesterday with Jen: the bank to open a new account for my Dead Dad money, and Trader Joe's because we were out of food. That wiped me out. I spent the rest of the day making progress with my new Sims (my baby turned into a kid!) and watching a bunch of television, including Taxi starring Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon which was pretty awful. I also read quite a bit of Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, which is good because Book Club meets on it tomorrow.

I had some weird spotting yesterday morning and thought for sure I was going to get my period (early), but I didn't, so we had to trek up to Waltham this morning for my beta (blood pregnancy test) in the craptacular weather. I'm pretty sure I will start bleeding some time today, though, making the trek futile. Oh well, it got us out of bed bright and early on this /beautiful/ day.

The other thing I haven't been able to give words to is much sadder. A woman I used to know, someone I spent a lot of time playing on the internets with back in the day, a woman with an infectious smile and a hot, hot temper, died completely unexpectedly the other day. She was found dead on the bathroom floor by her father, and as of now I don't know how or why. Cyn and I hadn't spoken in quite a few years, but there is and will always be a soft spot in my heart for the kind woman who took in several of my friends as their lives were in transition, who allowed me into her home as a guest and showed me the utmost hospitality, and who extended to me the same offer when I confessed uncertainties about my impending marriage to A. On one of my last days of my big visit, all of the girls, Cyn included, hit up Chuck E. Cheese and oh god, we had a blast. Maybe I will find some pictures and scan one so you can all see how lovely she was. I wish I'd stayed in touch better, and my heart grieves for her and also for her close friends that she left behind, lovely people who used to be my close friends before I slipped out of that scene: Diana, Sara, Bob & Renee, Julie & Matt, Amy, Jennie et al. Sigh.

~//~

Yesterday was my Labortine [livejournal.com profile] laurajones's birthday and I hope it was fabu! I <3 my Labortine!

~//~

Big thanks to [livejournal.com profile] meglett for e-mailing me. I miss the McGs bunches and bunches and bunches. Poo.

Palmer

Mar. 27th, 2006 07:25 pm
judecorp: (downcast)
Sometimes you become acquainted with someone and you just know, somehow, that there is something so very special about that person, something that's going to stick with you. Even after a minute or ten, even after several years.

I met Mark Palmer at Vic's in Columbus, in the couch corner near the window where I was going to enjoy some gossip with Lara. They were friends; I clung to their pleasant conversation of serious topics and realized immediately that this man was Enlightened, in some way, on some level, in my presence.

We had a few more run-ins in the next year or so, all revolving around Lara, wherein I met his beautiful wife, Jennifer, and their darling infant son, Micah, who once gave me a hickey in the crook of my elbow. Through chit-chat at Lara's when the four of us (Lara, me, Mark and Jennifer) helped pack up a friend and place her into a large truck for a new adventure across the universe, I learned about his ministry, his worship community, and more importantly, his passion. He was quite imposing then, much taller than me and so sturdy on his faith.

The summer that Jen and I moved in together, still in Columbus, Mark lost his vibrant, beautiful, and gorgeous wife to an aggressive form of cancer. She was 26, and I was so shattered by the realism of death and its triumph over beauty that I could not get myself up for the funeral. I felt awful about my absence but I just couldn't do it. It was almost as if going to the services would be my admission that this could happen to me, or to My Jennifer. And to leave behind such a beautiful little baby...

Two years later, Mark Palmer was remarried to another lovely soul that I never got the privilege to meet and he had just been diagnosed with cancer himself. What are the cruel odds of such a thing, a man who is my age who lost his wife to cancer two years prior? I've been following his battle, physical and spiritual, through this time, feeling helpless and disconnected. Heck, we were nothing more than brief acquaintances!

This morning, Mark Palmer ended his battle so that he could be with his savior. I honestly believe the world lost something beautiful this morning, something that simply cannot be replaced. My heart aches for a man I hardly knew, the woman he's joining in heaven, a woman I've never met, and a 4-year-old boy who sucked on my arm in Patti's backyard before he could ever possibly remember such things.

Peace and praises be to [livejournal.com profile] palmerlp and all the people and things he touched and turned to gold.
judecorp: (don't laugh)
Oh no! Don Knotts died! How sad.

My friend Bucky was a HUGE Don Knotts fan.
judecorp: (shocked ashley)
Woah, Richard Pryor died. And Eugene McCarthy, too.

Wow.

This has been a bad year for, you know, living.

I said I wanted the black /man/.
judecorp: (getting harder)
One of my clients died on Friday night, rather unexpectedly, only a handful of hours after our last telephone conversation that ended with, "And remember, I'm still going to call you on Monday to check in about stuff." She was the mother of one of the many beautiful children I visit on a weekly basis - actually semi-weekly in her case, because Mom wanted two visits a week. She was chronically ill but not at all expected to die on Friday - or, heck, any time in the semi-near future. I still can't even adequately register my shock. I returned the call to her boyfriend this morning and didn't even know where to begin talking, except to tell him how sorry and shocked I was.

Instead of the HelpLine tomorrow night, I'll be going to her wake. I believe I'll forego the funeral/burial stuff, however. One day of being that young white girl that no one knows is enough for me, thanks.

I am so tired of going to wakes this year. So tired.

I have no idea where this journey will take me, having moved predominantly from parent support person to family grief counselor in a time when I'm still trying to work through the effects grief has had on my own family. I have so many questions: who will be the primary caregiver? where will the baby be living? will they still want services? is this going to be the most awkward case ever?

Mom had a whole laundry list of things she wanted us to accomplish together, like babyproofing the house, making a scrapbook of the baby's birth, planning her first birthday party, coming up with a nice Christmas on no money, finding more accessible housing, etc. Gah, so many things and it was so overwhelming - the first task was to try to prioritize and from there, we only got as far as babyproofing materials, holiday gift help, and numerous reminders to call her housing advocate. I just wish the scrapbook had been a higher priority for either of us. Damn, but I want that baby girl to have a baby scrapbook made by Mommy, for when she's old enough to have the words to ask where Mommy is.

We were supposed to have a home visit on Friday afternoon, but she called me to let me know she was in the hospital and she wanted her parents to bring the baby to see her. I waited around for her all day until finally she said that her parents were coming with the baby and I wouldn't be meeting with her or the baby that day, but that I would call on Monday to arrange two times - one to see her at the hospital and one to see the baby at the grandparents' house. I must have called the hospital a million times on Friday, returning her calls and later calming her down when she was so upset that her parents had only stayed for 20 minutes - far too short a visit with the baby. She apologized for having the receptionist ask me to call her back when I'd already left for the day. Such was the nature of our relationship, though - she nudged the boundaries of what I could/should be doing a little bit every time, always asking for a little extra, always wanting a little more time, always needing a little more help - all with the best intentions.

My head is swimming again (time for more decongestant), I've been mildly nauseous all day, it's freezing and snowy outside with the promise of more snow overnight, one of my clients is dead, and now I need to go babysit all night. Definitely a Monday. Chalk it up as one of the most challenging workdays ever.

I really just don't know how much more I can juggle and still remain somewhere close to on top of things.

OH NO!

Nov. 25th, 2005 10:34 am
judecorp: (shocked ashley)
Pat Morita is dead!

Oh my gosh, I am so sad!!

:( :( :(
judecorp: (downcast)
Rosa Parks died. :(

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