Much of the content may be a bit dark, but it is not necessarily in chronological order. There are no dates, because I don't think it matters if I wrote it 3 years ago or yesterday. I decided to write for me and I know most of the time I feel like writing is when I have something I need to process or work through; this is really my only place to come to and release.

I am not miserable, I am just healing.


On Feb 10th, my one and only grandpa passed away. On Feb 11th, my water broke and on Feb 13th, I brought my newest son into the world.

Sometimes, the universe doesn't care if we get a chance to catch our breath.

Today, my grandpa... the man that was there for me and my 
siblings (which were not his by blood), treated us as all equally his, and always loved each of us the same... the man that spoke to me about my dad when no one else would, and when my dad wasn't there to speak for himself... Today, he is being put to rest. And I will not be there.

Because the universe never gives me a chance to catch my breath.

I haven't said anything to most people about losing him, and even moreso I have failed to even talk about it within my own head and heart. I wanted my son to be born into as much good as I could muster up for him, so I tucked away the hurt and tears and loss. I stopped crying long before my crying was done, and I trucked on like I always do. Every  once in a while, I forget to forget, and the knowledge that I am losing both of my most important, and only surviving, grandparents at nearly the same time surges up like a tidal wave.

And I swallow it, and all of the life choking sea water that comes with it. No time for catching breaths.

My son is beautiful. And a little sick. I am the only one that can make him better right now, so every single doctor's appointment feels like a mixture of wanting him to get better and hoping I am not failing. And then I come home and feel like if I want to do this right, I have to fail at something else. Because I am mortal, and making my baby better means not getting sleep, being sore, and being stuck in one spot most of the time. I am human, and those things just don't coexist with also getting the house cleaned up, keeping up with the laundry, making sure my partner feels special, and taking care of myself. I don't even know what that last one looks like anymore.


I am sad... not because sometimes women get sad after they have babies, but because people get sad when they lose people, and when they are preparing to lose more people... I am sad because I cannot do all that I need to, when I need to, for everyone that I need to. I am sad that those close to me say they understand... but then act as if they understand nothing at all because they didn't realize it would be what they need/want from me that was going to suffer. They understood the words I was saying, but were not prepared to act as one does when they put themselves aside for someone else currently suffering.

Sometimes, holding your breath is easier than trying to catch it. So, you hold it and wait for the wave to pass.

On Feb 19th, my friend's son passed away from pediatric cancer. My heart is shattered for them. And somewhere, living in another box, is knowing that I could have been them. In that box lives relief and gratitude. And I feel guilty for having those feelings while they are going through hell. You can't really describe to someone else how much of a battle it is in your heart when you feel guilty for the times you did get to breathe. How suffocating it is to not even deserve the breaths you fought to take, let alone the ones you can't get a grasp on.

There is a laundry list, right now, of things weighing so heavily on me... from the fact that my oldest dog seems to be in  pain and I can't afford to do anything about it, to the uncertainty of my education/career, and everything in between.

But I am missing my grandpa's funeral.

And I can't seem to breathe.

The Good Ones

My grandmother has always been unapologetically intelligent, the kind of funny that only comes from smarts, and the perfect amount of sarcastic bite behind her smile. She embodied all of the things that you will never find in someone that has become watered down and molded to fit.  I am sure, somewhere along her life, she managed to annoy or piss someone off, probably because they found themselves feeling inferior or insecure in some way but blaming it on her personality. And I imagine that she would have taken that as one takes a tiny bug bite on an otherwise beautiful day, because it would have been their problem if being around a strong and smart woman made them feel little. Don't get me wrong, my grandma was never belittling or obnoxious... never pretentious. But she has lived a lot of life with a lot of family and stories and lessons crammed into it, and coming out of that with wisdom and a wealth of knowledge, the kind that only comes from experiences, is nothing to be ashamed of or stifled. It is a badge. More than that, it is a quality and a treasure. Having both a life that is full and the ability to understand it all so well that you have a proverbial vault of knowledge, advice, and insight is what being rich is to me. So, if a few fell away along the way, it only means that the ones that were still around as she trucked on were the right ones. Those were the people that were worthy and deserving of her presence, and in turn, had equal bits of awesome they could share back to her.

My grandmother has always been strong, independent, and the rock that I compared myself to when I felt like something might be insurmountable. She raised 9 kids and none of them came out of it missing limbs, despite their own best efforts. She worked, she traveled, and she soaks up the world through an insatiable appetite for reading, trying new things, and talking to people about anything you can come up with. She is the woman that warned us never to put her in a home, and made damn sure it would never even be a consideration, because she just refused to get old. I am pretty sure she could still walk, kayak, hike, and read circles around me until very recently in our lifetime.

Her presence when I was a child changed the way that I perceived everything that would come at me through the rest of my life. She is the reason I read books instead of watching TV, or sleeping, even when kids my age were enamored with going to the beach and Ren and Stimpy cartoons. She is why I questioned things that those around me seemed to think I should be accepting as status quo. She is why I saw things for what they were, and why the experiences in my life are more than just tickers on a tape... why they are events that I took in, broke down, and took control over.  Grandma is why I always try to look beyond my own bubble, see how my actions are rippling, and try to understand the motives behind why someone else sent the ripples my way that they did.

It hadn't occurred to me until yesterday why I get so defensive when someone might suggest that I tone it down for the sake of those around me; those that might find my natural state a bit hard to stand up next to... or at times maybe even in the same room with. I thought that it came purely from the knowledge that I have gained throughout my life, via experience, that the only person that gets anything good out of me watering myself down is the other person, and that I actually come out of things feeling terrible and small and cramped... like I was somehow trying to fit myself into a box that was the wrong shape and 40 times too small. But as I looked at the pillar of a woman that I have known my whole life as someone that would live forever, and she was frail (well, as frail as that woman can appear to me anyway) but loved by the good kind of people... that is when once again, my grandma made me think beyond what I thought I knew. This time, she wasn't even trying!

I see so much of her in me, and they are the parts of me that I have always and will always be the utmost proud of. When you ask me for my qualities, the ones I name with a smile are all of the ones I gave above for all that my grandmother is. I do not want to be less of those things. I want to be strong versions of them. I want to know that whatever comes my way is ok, that I will take it in and learn from it, and that I will give it right back out onto the world. Unapologetically.

And if that leaves me with a few less warm bodies taking up the space around me as friends, then I will know that I only have the good ones left. I will cuss and tease and talk about things I know, and they will love me for it. I love people and I will always welcome connections with those open to the same. I will try things and go places; I will meet people.  And when I am still running circles around people half my age at 85 and 90 years old, and only the good ones are still there, I will know that I have been true to myself always. She taught me to value that, and I don't think she even knew she was doing it. My grandma is my Dagny Taggart in real life (though a good bit more cuddly than the character I relate her to), and I know that when she goes it will be the hardest thing I have had to deal with... not being able to reread that story and have her there again.

But I will truck on and be strong. It will suck but life will keep moving, and I will keep living undiluted.

My grandma taught me that.