I: Inspired To Live Differently

This post is for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge | My theme: The Diary of my Dying Mother-in-Law

It’s rainy today — appropriate.  It’s also quiet, Beth is napping now.  Classical music is softly playing in the background.  She’s much weaker today.  Very different from last Monday, we are getting closer.  But we did wash her hair and get dressed today.  She even ate half of her cream of wheat.  Not too shabby for a gloomy Monday morning.  

In the midst of all this gloom and doom, I have to say I’ve been inspired to live differently.  I know we are in the thick of this so everything else seems rather trivial, but in the bigger picture, I think it’s safe to say most things are trivial.  Most things won’t matter in 6 or 9 or 12 months, or even 2 years down the road.  I’m learning so much about life from death, and I hope to stay just as aware of what’s important once this time in our life passes.

I grew up with big dreams.  I’ve been one of those lucky people who has always, always, always known what she’s wanted to do.  Did it mean I always followed my dreams?  No.  But in the back of my head (and heart) nothing has ever compared to a life pursuing the arts.  I’ve dreamed about being on Broadway, having a book tour, and singing in snazzy little jazz bars.  Obviously having kids changed things and moving to NYC or LA isn’t in my cards at the moment, but watching Beth — a vibrant, lively, happy, live in the moment kind of person — slowly die has made me reconsider what I’m doing with my life.

It’s time to write that book.  Learn those new songs.  Go to the ballet.  Take a creative writing class.  Buy a camera and learn how to really take a good picture.  Sing to whoever will listen.  Worry less about how I look.  Eat chocolate, if I want to.  Go for more hikes.  Enjoy the hustle and bustle of my kids.  Volunteer more.  Laugh more.  Worry less about things I have no control over.  Focus on being creative.  Cry when I need to (because, let’s be honest…I cry a lot!).

Leave behind that which brings me down.  Embrace the process of creating the life I actually, truly want.

sunset

I am inspired to live because I am watching death, the bittersweet circle of life I suppose.

Til tomorrow, XO

G & H: Given Two Weeks Left, Hurting

This post is for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge | My theme: The Diary of my Dying Mother-in-Law

Friday Darlene, one of Beth’s amazing hospice nurses, quietly said it won’t be too much longer — maybe two weeks.  I wasn’t surprised.  I know it’s coming and as prepared as I think I am, I have no idea how I will feel when it’s all said and done.  Thankfully I have two little kids who will keep my life moving forward, despite not wanting to.  On the flip side, I have two little kids who now will experience their real first death.

Christian, who is 6, doesn’t quite get it.  He does, but he doesn’t.  He understands as much as any 6-year-old can and even with him saying he doesn’t want Grandma to go to Heaven… he’s emotional pain will be minimal.  When I started to slowly introduce the idea that Grandma will probably be going to Heaven sometime soon, his response was, “What?!  I had no idea Grandma was going to Heaven!”  As if Heaven was this awesome vacation spot he couldn’t want to visit.  

 Hannah, on the other hand…. is already very sad.  

When I was putting her to bed Friday night she started crying because she knows Grandma is going to pass away soon.  Beth used to work at the same school Hannah goes to.  Last year, it was SUPER cool that her Grandma worked there!  This year… Grandma was annoying because she would always make a point to find her in the hall or her classroom and say hi.  In the midst of tears falling down her face and her lips quivering she said, “All those times she was annoying me, I should have been having fun with her because now she’s going to be gone.”

Sigh.  My heart breaks for so many people right now.

hannahgrandma

This is how we will remember Beth; fun, vibrant, and full of energy.  We will remember what cancer as taught us but we will remember Beth for the person she truly is. 

Less than two weeks now, or so they say.  

Til tomorrow, XO

F: Flowers and Funny Moments

This post is for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge | My theme: The Diary of my Dying Mother-in-Law

Today was an emotional day for me, and for a handful of people who love Beth.  Although today wasn’t necessarily a bad day, it was just another day that reminded us that cancer is winning the war.

She was confused a lot, which offered some comic relief but the somber realization of things.  We have to laugh at those silly moments where she thinks someone is hiding under her bar stool and tells us she has to call “The General” after watching that one commercial on TV, because if we don’t we’d die right along with her.

flowers

Laughter helps.  So does crying.  Today I did both.  Her mom and sister came to visit when I was with her.  Oddly enough Beth had woken up from a morning nap and called Sandy, her sister, to see if they were coming.  They were 5 minutes away — perfect timing.  The visit was nice.  They brought lunch and flowers!  And stayed for about an hour and a half.  Sadly, they left in tears, as they just watched someone they’ve known for 50 some years barely be able to hold a conversation.

After my shift was over I took my kids to my dad’s house.  He turned 77 today.  I don’t have the best relationship with him… He doesn’t really know much about me, but I can’t say he’s a bad person.  Actually, I think all my best qualities I inherited from him.  He’s a nice person, just not a great dad.  I drove home silently crying while Hannah and Christian actually got along the whole way home.  I hope they never feel the way I do — to be honest, I’m certain they won’t.

Anyway, short post tonight.  I’m beat and this zoo of mine won’t leave me alone tonight!  As I type this Little Bit, our tiny little black and white kitty, is purring on me and Romeo’s snoring next to us.

Til tomorrow XO

Menu Title