good evening My


Yours Truly

Stephanie (Arbogast) Spann


Sun, Is That You?

I'm feeling better than I have been feeling for a little while, both physically and mentally.  The physical part is no doubt related to just eating better and more regular exercise (and my whopping 40lb shrugs I did yesterday in Fitness class, hoorah).  The mental part is probably related in a good part to that as well but I'm also allowing sunshine to claim a role.  It's nice to peek outside of the fog (I say that both figuratively and literally).

I haven't let myself listen to sad music, or the music that makes me feel sad (because sometimes they are not one in the same) and I am always surprised at the role that music can play in one's mood.  The kiddo and I were talking this morning about music and we thought it would be fun if everyone danced and sang as just a regular part of life...as if we were all in a musical...you may guess that our morning routine has become a scene from our very own musical.  If it's not entertaining, it's at least motivating, and some how keeps us both perked up for the morning and that certainly has a small part in my good mood as well.

Anyway, I keep chugging along and emotionally I know that I'm on a roller coaster and the lows will come with the highs but I'll deal with them when the cart gets there.  I continue to miss my brother, continue to panic at the overwhelming aftermath of his death, continue to worry about my mom and other family members, and I continue to keep myself busy with family, work, teaching, sewing, etc. and it helps.  I'm enjoying this semester's students.  They are good people, ask great questions, and make me laugh.

Why am I even writing this post?  What you can't see is that for this one post I am publishing, is about 10 posts I chose not to publish because they are angry and sad posts written over the course of the past 6 weeks.  And while each one represents, pretty accurately, how I've been feeling about myself and people in general, it's not the message I want to send out in the world.  My last published posts here were all either sad, or me complaining about this or that.  My past few years have been peppered with deaths, chaos, and messy things...but for the bulk of the time, they've been decent and I never write posts that say, "life is decent" and I thought I should.  ESPECIALLY after looking at my 10 unpublished posts...

So, life is decent, even with the peppering of bad stuff that's usually followed up by lots of grief and stress, life is still decent.  So go out and lift some weights, or run/bike a few laps, listen to delightful music, take care of your shit, and do good things.  Sometimes it's foggy, and sometimes it's not.


1 Month Out

It's been one month since my brother passed away.

Since then so many things have happened, either because they had to, or because time goes on and we have no choice.  And because so much has happened it feels like it's been more than a month.  Yet....yet somehow....as I wake in the morning and go through the motions of living life, it occurs to me that my brother is gone and it hurts in indescribable ways.  I see the little things that remind me of him, or someone says something in way that reminds me of him, or I have a question that I have no doubts he would have had an answer for....there are just all these things that make me think of him and all those things....it all that makes me feel like the day is still December 11th.  Mentally, I've been on that day this whole time.

In some ways, I've been through this before.  I have lost loved ones before.  I only within the last year and a half lost both of my beloved dogs.  I know how this goes.  You can damage your ankle with a really bad sprain and it hurts immensely but slowly heals.  It may look fine on the outside, and might function as well as can be, but now there's arthritis and it hurts all the time; you just learn to cope with a regularly sore ankle.  In this case I have a really sore heart.

I don't know if it feels so much worse because he was my brother, at times my savior, and the person that, even when we didn't speak regularly, I knew he was there.  I could count on him to help out with whatever might come up; I looked up to him because he was amazing.  He was the guy I put on a pedestal.  Sure, we didn't talk often and he was private so knowing him as an adult was difficult.  But deep down, he was who he always was to me...and in my mind, we're still just kids doing the things that I have the best memories of...I can't seem to move on from that.

Maybe this is harder for me now because in the past, I was too young or maybe too removed from a loved one to have to deal with the aftermath.  This time, I'm calling people almost everyday to sort out my brother's estate.  It's a lot of repeating the word "deceased".  It's overwhelming in task alone, but more so because I have to face the reality of it.  I'm not even alone in this.  My younger brother, my mom, and I have tag teamed this venture and it's so confusing and so voluminous with tasks that it's hard to break down.

Of course I can't let this beat me, or define me.  I know this.  I know I am not alone.  I try to be thankful everyday for the people I have, for the help I have, the kindness of friends and family, and for the fact that I am at least able to live in a way that I think would make my brother proud (the one real person I've always tried to impress).  So yea, I get up everyday, and I go to work, and I go teach class, and I do the house and parenting stuff, and I try to fit in all the other stuff...and in general I do these things as well as I can and I try not to dwell on my brother's death.  And I try not to be that person that's whiny or airs dirty laundry or dwells on a subject.  But, on the inside, mentally I'm not where I should be; physically I am trying; and yes I am angry because he's gone, and angry because, for everyone else, time goes on and I so desperately want to go back in time; and the guilt...well, I will always wish I did more.  So forgive me my few rants and ignore my red eyes should catch me after I've been crying.  This will get better, but one month out is definitely not my time.



The sadness hits like a ton of bricks, each and every night.  I think of all the things I should have said and never did. A terrible lesson learned in a devastating way.



My brother passed away on Sunday, December 11, 2016 and it's an all consuming event.  There's every stage of grief to deal with and there's no doubt that I'm stuck and dwelling in the depression stage.

I hate how life goes on...everyone joyfully posting on Facebook, everyone happily attending Christmas programs and parties, everyone defending their greatest causes and concerns...everyone just going on.  And here I am stuck wanting to go back in time, if even just a week.  But time does goes on, and I have to keep going or get railroaded so I do what I do best, I just work.  I work on taking care of my child, I work on work stuff, I work on sewing projects, I work taking care of my brother's funeral, I work on taking care of  all the stuff that happens to someone after they die.  And in this process I learn a little more about my brother each time.

I had a recent discovery this week after talking to my brother's employer.  Dusty (or John if you prefer) was an avid spreadsheetist.  It was yet another thing we had in common, and I never knew that.  It is at least a comfort.

One of the things his colleague said she would miss was that he was a wealth of knowledge, the go to guy for work questions, or computer questions, or just trivia.  She then said that she would also miss his spreadsheets (which made me smile).  He apparently had a spreadsheet for everything; and if he didn't have it, he'd make one, and for anyone that asked.  It broke me a bit to hear this because, as silly as it sounds, it was a common denominator.  I love spreadsheets and do as much as I can with them.  I also often find myself helping others with their spreadsheet needs.  He did this as well!  (How did I not know this?)

And so....there's a guy in my office who always comes to me with spreadsheet questions and today, when he stopped by with one, I felt this little flutter in my heart knowing that my brother and I shared this common bond of helping coworkers with spreadsheets.  I helped perform this little task, promptly walked back to my desk and quietly shed some tears.



My older brother Dusty died today and I'mean heartbroken and devastated.   I miss you bubby.


Bacteria, Again

It's been a while since I wrote anything and I wanted to get something down about my daughter's birthday so I did that this morning on my kiddo blog.  (For reference, the kiddo blog is just something I do so I don't forget all the things I want to remember but probably will because my memory is poor).  In reviewing, I see the last stuff I wrote here and am amused by the previous post on this blog, Bacteria.  If I'm really writing things down so that I can remember them, then it's important to write down that I went to the doctor and had even more antibiotics this year after that post.  And, if you come here because it's post-election and I titled this "Bacteria, Again"....well it has nothing to do with politics or the election which I am purposely ignoring for reasons I'm just not getting into today.  Let's just not hate each other, okay?  Now, onto real bacteria...

Sometime in August the kiddo came home with a cold and she recovered quickly (as they do).  I caught the same bug and thought I recovered quickly.  Chris caught the bug and did not recover quickly.  He ended up at the doctor receiving antibiotics and other meds to treat acute bronchitis.  This was all taking place around the 10th of September around my cousin Sarah's wedding.  I had a cough at this time, but nothing that seemed serious.  A few weeks later though, the cough was worse and the sinuses were terrible.  Eventually it ended up in my left ear and I tell ya, one day of ear ache and no hearing was all it took for me to call the doctor and get in for meds.  I did at least recall that going to Walgreens was inefficient for me so I went to the actual doctor.  As it turns out, I did have an ear and sinus infection and after some antibiotics, lots of pseudoephedrine and about a 2 week recovery, I was feeling much better.  So there's that.

Back up to August and I had a totally different medical issue.  I sprained my ankle.  Okay, I'll be honest, I think I broke some bones in my ankle, foot, and leg.  I never went to the doctor.  I know, I know, save your shaming for later when I can defend myself in person (but will probably just ignore you until you drop it).  I was standing in the doorway that leads from our dining room to the garage.  There is a step down into the garage space.  I was talking to the kid about meeting me in the front yard to play wiffle ball.  She was whining about something.  I turned to take a step and my ankle rolled which cause me to also fall down the step into the garage...so it was both an ankle roll and a fall, which compounded the damage I had done.  As I fell the I pulled the door handle I was holding causing the door to slam.  The poor kid thought I was mad and slammed the door in response to her whining; it took her some time to realize anything had happened.  Finally realizing I was calling for her and knocking on the door for help she came to my aid.  She was a pro at helping me.  I was able to crawl to the couch where she gathered pillows, ice packs, and medication for me.  She offered to call an ambulance too (which I declined).  She was AMAZING!  My ankle, not so much.  I was unable to put weight on it for about 12 hours but following that, I was able to stand.  The swelling and bruising was so incredible that I was unable to wear shoes for a week, and even after that, nothing more than a loose sneaker for about 2 more weeks.  It's still in bad shape although I am now able to walk, run, and jump...but it hurts and swells...and the areas where it hurts most are the locations where I suspect I probably actually broke some bones.  It's healing though, and that's all I'll say about it. Here are some photos...you know, just in case you were curious.
August 20 About 2-3 hours after fall and icing/meds

About August 20 About 6 Hours later

About a week later

About a week later, general swelling and bruising

About 2 weeks later, slight swelling of ankle and top of foot, bruising nearly gone...