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...



I caved a few weeks ago and went to see a doctor to get an antibiotic.  It goes against much of what I believe, which is, if you can avoid an antibiotic, do it.  One should reserve that stuff for when it might really be needed.

Long story short, I ended up with a sinus infection sometime in March; woke up Easter morning to an awful smell that I would later find out was only something *I* could smell.  (If you have ever had a dog with hot spots, imagine that smell (and taste), in your head, all the time).  I chose to fight the infection on my own with some good old, self-produced, antibodies.  I did okay for a couple of weeks and then had an allergy flare up; managed that a bit but it all ended up in my lungs too.  A few more weeks of that and I realized I needed to do something because I was desperate to not have this infection while traveling (no body wants to share this crap).  So...to a medical person I went...

If you ever hear me say, "I'll just pop into a Walgreen's clinic instead of hitting up my doctor", stop me.  I am in no way saying or indicating that the Walgreen's clinics are bad.  I an just not a particularly patient individual, that is all.  So anyway, after seeing a medical professional, and getting my prescription, and then taking it for the designated 10 days, I haven't had any signs that I have an infection anymore.  Thankfully.

Hopefully I can be spared the need to have anymore of those for a long time.  And to be honest, the whole point of my writing ANY of this down is that I might be able to one day be able to recall the last time I would have had an antibiotic.  I was asked during my appointment and thankfully couldn't actually recall!

Also, there was a terrifying report over at Reuters...  http://reut.rs/25ozTXH


Talking Pets

For years, I had voices for my pets.  They each had their "own voice" and they spoke quite differently...Bella cursed way more than my ever patient and disciplined Riley would ever think to do.

When at home, I just spoke out in "dog voice" whenever I felt like it, or rather, whenever my dogs felt like it.  Sometimes, around close friends and family, I would use "dog voice" as well.  But to anyone else, not so much.  In fact, one time I mentioned I used "dog voice" to a friend and he asked me what they sounded like and I couldn't do it.  I was embarrassed and my whole face was red and felt like it was on fire.  I just couldn't voice my animals.  But in the privacy of my home, there were conversations to be had!

I miss this, and sometimes still use "dog voice" to speak for Bella and Riley from beyond the grave.  Mostly Bella, mostly cursing.

However, this voice of my animals has always been around.  As a kid, my stuffed animals talked, and walked, and each had its own voice.  One might have guessed I would become a puppeteer one day.

My stuffed animals are mostly long gone save for the few special ones sitting on a shelf near my bed.  My animals are sadly gone as well.  But, there is a kid at home and that kid has a beloved stuffed dog named Boo and a beloved blanket named Mr. Snuggles.  And those two characters speak plentiful.  Especially Boo who loves donuts, sleeping, his own version of kung-fu that he calls kung-boo, and most important, his beloved kid.  Boo, a bulldog, talks a lot and sometimes when he isn't talking the kid will say, "mom, make Boo talk and move".  And so this dog comes alive with his own voice and his own character.  I puppeteer him around on a lot of adventures and daily tasks and to be honest, I can't imagine doing things without the silly thing.  I have even caught myself speaking in Boo's voice IN PUBLIC.  Alas, it's fun, and I enjoy it, and it'll probably stick around well past my kiddo's toys too.

......what was that?  What made me think of writing this down?  Oh, well, yes....a colleague said the word donut, and in Boo's voice, I said aloud (as if Boo where here), "Donut, did someone say donut??"

Ah well.