This Right To Die

On the first of November, the internet was aflutter with the news that Brittany Maynard ended her life. And sure, I read the articles with as much voyeuristic interest as the next guy, but the timing of it just kind of gutted me, I guess.

After all, it was also the third anniversary of my mother's death.

Mom, I Made You A Pie

Dear Mom,

I missed you today. You know, more than normal. Ian took the day off work so he could chase Iliana while I went to a doctor's appointment. You know that pain I keep getting in my hip / leg / whatever? It' been coming back more and more, and a couple of weeks ago I found a lump. I know. I was pretty scared, especially when I got an electric jolt of nerve pain when I pressed on it. I know that if I had Neurofibromatosis they'd already have found it, but lumps and nerve pain still freak me out.

I know you'd totally understand.

It's #WorldLungCancerDay And I Miss My Mom

I'm working on some exciting projects, the kids are doing well, and pretty much life is effing great. I just saw my cousin Val, who also just so happens to be my godmother and one of my favorite Maunupau relations. (Though truth be told, I have dozens of favorite Maunupau relations.) I'm looking forward to an extraordinarily rare date night with Ian, and our pain-in-the-ass eighteen month remodel project is finally coming to a close.

Like I said, life is pretty great.

Stink Eye

Irritably, we passed through their cloud of cigarette smoke. I looked at the hood of their car, sun bonnet of the infant carrier pulled down to protect against the brightness of a beautiful day. I glared at them despite the deep breaths I pulled; despite knowing full well that they have every right to their bad decisions.

Goodbye, Mom

Mom died tonight.

We still haven't called the family, etc 'cause we're all just too worn out. I got to her apartment just at noon and was prepared by the staff as soon as I walked in that she was unresponsive. I let everyone know to come up to Everett and waited. I thought she'd pass before anyone got there, but she took her time as usual, and held out until after seven.

It was wonderful and awful and you know what? I really really love my family. I have a good one.

Lots to process. But first. sleep.

Calling the Shots on Dying

And there are times when therapy is just not helpful. Because therapy, with all of its exploration of emotions and safe place to be totally honest and blah blah blah, requires too much active processing. Sometimes, all I can do is sit down and stare at nothing and think "but I don't want my mom to die" and have that be period, end of sentence, no further discussion required. And while my therapist would certainly let me sit around in silence for the entirety of our fifty minute session, Iliana is not as accommodating.

Care Sandwich, pt. 1

The baby doesn't care that you have to use the bathroom. The baby doesn't notice that you haven't used the bathroom all day long; she's been too busy fussing and wanting your fingers curled around the back of her head for comfort. The baby doesn't notice that you're out of underwear and her dad's out of work shirts and the towels need to be thrown in the dryer right this minute or they'll go musty again. She doesn't care that you are starting down that familiar road of depression or that your mother is wasting away from the poisons they inject into her to slow (not beat) her cancer.

I am waiting for a call back from the social worker at the skilled nursing facility that will be my mother's home for the forseeable future. I am also fighting a losing battle against a migrane, and the baby finally went down for her first morning nap. I was researching Medicaid applications and durable powers of attorney earlier when I heard the rolling thunder of my daugther's rear end as she batted and kicked at the dangling toys of her baby gym.

The Path Unwinding

Every night we have the same routine. Jonas gets ready for bed, heads upstairs and moments later Ian goes up to tuck him in. Sometimes, I hear them laughing, carrying on far too much far too close to lights out for my liking. Sometimes voices carry through the ceiling with their earnest conversation. Sometimes Ian comes back downstairs straight away. But every night, Ian kisses Jonas on the head, says "Good night, monkey, I love you," and then heads back downstairs to let me know that it's my turn.

I've been singing to Jonas every night for as long as we both can remember. I sang to him when he was still in my womb, and I sang to him through the round windows of his incubator. I soothed him to sleep through his first two special needs years by singing to him a rotation of songs that seemed to work like magic if I sang them in a particular (although changing) order that I don't remember anymore. And now, though my days of singing to him might be drawing to an end, I still go upstairs to my son's bedroom every single night, wrap him in my arms and sing to him the exact same song I've been singing to him since our rotation of songs got whittled down to just the one. I try to change it up sometimes, or even add a song, but Jonas won't have it. He gets a cuddle, maybe a giggle, and then Goodnight, Sweetheart, which comes with three kisses at the very end. Then comes lights out and closing the door, when we call "I love you" to one another. And then, officially, another day is conquered.

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