Friday, September 16, 2016


Lord have mercy yall.. I apologize for not blogging for such a long time but that's how my ADD works.. I have moments where all I do is blog and then I dont for literally a year.. Today is the 5 year anniversary of Mama's last day on earth.. When I woke up the next morning, she was gone.. She waited until my sister and I were at home with our families, resting, when she took her final breaths that early morning on September 17, 2011..

So much has changed since then!! All three of her grandsons, my boys, are graduates from high school AND are all in the same band together.. They  have been working REALLY HARD to record a cd, one song at a time with Rick Beato in Atlanta.. Mama would be VERY PROUD of her grandsons bc the music bug has been in our blood since mama was a teen.. she gave it to me and I passed it on.. I am hoping that soon, I will be able to blog about the boys music! Please keep us all in your prayers!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Life Lately- WHAT?! Its ALREADY 2015?! ALMOST 2016?!

My life lately has become one of constant change. Whit and Tyler are now really working hard, sacrificing everything to become a successful band. Todd is starting his first year of college and adjusting to that.. I am working at Helena High School, loving what I do and Steve is still working for Schwans. Not much has changed, except that I am about 20 pounds heavier and my health is having some issues.. Will be seeing a rheumatologist on Oct 8 to see whats going on.. All I know is I an too young to feel this old!

I have really been into Big Brother and want Johnny Mac to win.. He will probably be sent to jury today.. Booo .. I LOVE The Walking Dead too, along with Fear The Walking Dead.. I may start a running commentary on the shows.. Its been a while since I blogged and Im thinking its time to start again! Stay tuned!

Monday, September 3, 2012

So MUCH Goings On!!!

When I looked at that post title, I realized it didnt make much sense.. HAHA  Well, honestly, in this world we live in, does much of anything make sense? I was basically saying there is SO MUCH going on in my world that I MUST finally blog an update..So much goings on in my life here theys are.. : D

First off, the new school year has started.. Yes, Tyler graduated in May and he has now begun his freshman year at Central Alabama Community College, playing baseball when he isnt going to class there as well.. Very proud of him!! Todd has started his sophomore year in HIGH SCHOOL.. You realize when I first started this blog, he was halfway through his FIFTH GRADE year.. Where did the time go?? He is going to turn 16 in 3 days.. YIKES.. Whit is currently looking for a job but in his spare time, he has become a ROCK STAR.. Well, he is a ROCK STAR IN TRAINING.. lol He and Tyler have formed a band with 2 guys that they went to high school with and are starting to make quite a name for themselves locally.. The band is called VERTIGO.. They play mostly rock from the 90s and early 2000s with a few newer tunes and a few classics along with 3 of their own original songs..

This whole rock band thing is so fun!!! It has been an awesome diversion for my dad too! He goes to as many of the boy's shows as he can.. Pretty cool to see a 69 year old man LOVING the music.. He does have a vested interest and he is a little partial since 1/2 the band are his grandsons.. LOL But, he wouldnt go if he didnt like the music, so that proves they are good for music lovers of ALL AGES!!

This is the perfect time for this to be going on because we are nearing the 1 year anniversary of Mama's death.. It still seems surreal.. I still have moments when I think " Oh- I have to call Mama and tell her about so-and-so.." and then I realize I cant.. So sometimes, I will call Daddy and tell him that I called him because I would normally call Mama.. I love my Daddy but its not the same.. lol  The closer I get to the day of the date she died on, I am finding myself more anxious.. Not sure what that means.. Maybe it is acceptance? I know I have made myself pretty much ignore most of the emotions that go with the whole issue of her death.. And it is starting to show in my body and demeanor.. I atleast got my hormones pretty much in check after my surgery last summer.. But, I am battling depression from the obvious emotional torture inside my heart over my mama no longer being on earth.. All the while, acting like nothing is bothering me.. Hopefully, the passing of this dreaded date will help release me from this torture inside.. Until that happens, I will be just trudging forward..

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Time for a change.. AGAIN lol

Anyone that has been through a really tough emotional loss will probably attest to the way it ends up dictating their lives.. It takes a toll on you.. I have gained probably 20-25 pounds since my surgery last June.. It has been typical of my body to do this after a major surgery or emotional stress so when I had BOTH happen within a 3 month period, I KNEW I was headed to GAINSVILLE.. and I dont mean Gainsville, Florida.. lol

I cannot say that I was a perfect dieter during this post surgery/stress time.. I am NOT saying that.. But my body does go into a form of survival and I gain weight EASILY.. I have found the ONLY way to end this madness is to RADICALLY change my habits.. I have found in the past that I cant do ANYTHING but the HCG diet.. No shakes, no low carb, nothing works except for the HCG diet.. I do believe that the HCG diet does renew my hypothalamus and it also cleanses my system and gets my habits realigned.. So, I ordered some drops Friday and I will start as soon as they come in.. So, here's to a NEW ME in 7 weeks.. Wish me luck!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

On a lighter

Now to change the mood, I have to brag a bit.. My middle son, who will be graduating in May, made a huge decision about his future Thursday night.. He signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Central Alabama Community College in the fall!! His tuition and book are covered completely!! All we have to do is pay for room and board!! We had a signing party Thursday and Tyler even gave a speech!! He is so NOT a conversationalist.. lol  He thanked all his coaches and teachers, including his kindergarten teacher, Mrs Simpson, who was there!! Everyone said " AWWWWWWW".. lol  It was very sweet!!  She was such an amazing teacher..Now she is a principal at Edgewood Elementary in Homewood.. He has always said she was his favorite teacher..A little side note: Mrs. Simpson's BROTHER is the late Eddie Kendrick from The Temptations.. For real.. lol  Here is a photo I took of them before the signing..

He also thanked all his family and told everyone he thanked his grandparents, who have always come to his games up until 2 years ago, when his grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and couldnt go because she was going through chemotherapy.. He told everyone that she died in September but knew she would be watching him play from the best seats in the stands this year!! I looked up and my sister was in tears, I had tears flowing down my cheeks and Daddy was red eyed, as well..Steve said he couldnt look at us because he was choked up too.. It was very sad and sweet at the same time.. I am very proud of Tyler..  It was a great night.. As soon as I get pictures that appear in the Helena City News, I'll post them!! Here is a photo I took of Tyler and his team mate, Tanner Jackson, who is also signing with CACC, before the event..

Monday, January 16, 2012

Autism and death..

There is something most people dont even think about in the same sentence.. Autism and death.. My brother is autistic.. He lives in a house with 2 other autistic males.. It is a sort of assisted living type place and my parents usually get my brother for a weekend every month for a home visit.. These were all great until my mother started having issues with her health.. My brother was VERY aware of the changes and would act out while he was at my parents house.. It got so bad the month before my mother died that my sister and I had to have a "talk" with him.. I remember telling him that this may be the last time he saw Mama alive and that he needed to be sweet.. Turns out, I was right.. I am so glad we had that talk with him because we didnt want Mama's last day with my brother to be awful.. He ended up straitening up for the rest of his visit, thank God..

I couldnt help but feel MORE guilt while Mama was dying because our brother wasnt there.. But, I also knew that he would probably NOT cooperate with the whole situation..and THAT would have been awful for everyone.. But, in my heart, I felt terrible for him.. This was his mother.. Boys have that special bond with their mothers.. Even autistic boys.. lol  Apparently he cared because he was acting out.. After Mama died, Daddy called his house where he lived and informed the people that worked there about Mama's death.. They opted to not tell my brother and to wait until Daddy got him on Friday for him to tell him.. The funeral was the next day.. We were all unsure of how he would react to the news..

Daddy decided to do everything that he normally does when he picks him up which was getting him McDonald's hamburgers and fries and letting him eat them when he first got home.. He asked my sister and I if we could be there for when he told him, so we could all be together.. It was a great idea and so we were all there, including Steve.. Daddy brought Jimbo in and we hugged him.. He knew something was up but he went and ate his hamburgers and fries.. Daddy called him upstairs when he was finished.. Once he was upstairs, Daddy told him that Mama had died and that she was living with Jesus.. He told him the next day they were going to get up and go to church and go to Mama's funeral and that we were all going to be ok.. Jimbo's eyes teared up and he said "ok" and then ran downstairs.. I followed him and he started gagging.. It was such an emotional moment.. My autistic brother even reacted to Mama's death.. We were all crying.. It was extremely powerful.. So, I know for a fact, that even if he cannot verbalize that he is upset, he DOES feel it and if it is something as horrific as a parent dying he WILL react in some way..

Daddy said that later that night, Jimbo went to bed like he normally does, but Mama wasnt there for him to give her a kiss to.. Daddy said on the way up the stairs that Jimbo paused and looked for her, then went upstairs.. Thats kind of like how I would think " I need to call Mama" after she died.. It was a part of my life that I almost did daily.. It took a long time for me to get to where I didnt automatically think about that.. I guess thats why I feel so empty at times.. Death is FINAL.. But, it cant take away memories..

Crazy Stuff.. lol

Ok.. So in the midst of the most heart wrenching of times we had a few funny/interesting moments.. One happened while we were sitting around her, discussing the beach.. We would check Mama's level of consciousness occasionally and she could focus her eyes on us or would squeeze our hand.. Eventually, she stopped focusing and her eyes became distant and sort of gray looking.. She also stopped responding.. This was all a part of her body shutting down, but her poor little heart just beat the hell out of her chest.. It was so mechanical to watch.. Her breathing was almost becoming more mechanical sounding, as well.. But, we sat there, discussing the beach and how we were planning on going for Tyler's graduation in June..

One thing Mama loved was going to the beach as a family.. She didnt like to get in the water, but she would sit under an umbrella and just take it all in.. And at night, we would all sit outside, drink come fruity drinks and listen to the boys play their guitars and watch then flirt with girls.. We also enjoyed watching my sister's kids play too.. Alot of family fun.. Sometimes, Mama would make sure we had reservations for the next year even.. She told us the month before she died that she wanted us to go to the beach for Tyler's graduation and that she would wave to us from the water.. lol 

So to lighten the mood, Daddy started talking about the beach.. My sister and I had both discussed that we werent sure if we could go to the same place and the same beach and stay there and not be emotional wrecks so we were going to see if we could change the venue but we hadnt discussed it with Daddy yet and we were NOT going to pick now to do it either.. lol.. While we were talking about the beach, Mama started stirring again, and she was reacting a bit to what we were talking about.. That was when I decided we were going to stay where we had in the past because it meant THAT MUCH to Mama that she stirred from death's door because it made her so happy.. But, soon after, she went back to the mechanical breathing and gray eyes..

Another interesting moment happened a little while later, while my sister and I were discussing what Mama would be doing in heaven.. She told us she was going to be a greeter in heaven a few weeks back and so my sister said that again.. All of a sudden, out of the blue, the power went out.. COMPLETELY.. There were no storms, no wind.. The power just went OUT.. I RAN out of the room, freaking out, screaming " THIS IS NOT FUNNY!!!! STOP MESSING WITH ME!!!! STOP IT!!!!!" then the power came back on.. I was bawling and my husband was in the next room looking at me like I was PSYCHO.. lol  Look, I was a little "on edge" from all the days activities so this reaction to a power failure was exactly what would be expected from me.. LOL  My sister STILL laughs about this.. On Christmas Eve, we were all gathered as a family at my sister's house and the power started flickering.. Immediately, my sister looked at me and laughed.. I told her if the power went out, I was LEAVING.. lol 

Last Goodbyes

This blog title is basically exactly what this is about.. Last goodbyes..They suck..Thinking back to these moments, I swear, they almost played like scenes from the movie "Terms of Endearment".. If anyone has ever seen that movie, you will understand.. If you havent, rent it.. It is a great movie.. Anyway, one very memorable moment was sweet and heart wrenching at the same time..This was when my mother was given the sacrament of Last Rites by her priest at her church.. Mama was VERY miserable before that.. When she wasnt out of it, she was asking for some water to be put on her tongue.. I could not help but recall the final hours of Jesus on his cross when he asked for someone to give him a bit of water on a cloth because his mouth was so dry.. As the day wore on, Mama could barely swallow any liquid, as her sucking reflex skills were getting worse and she would almost choke on anything.. This was VERY upsetting to me.. She couldnt drink, yet she was so thirsty and I couldnt help her.. When the priest showed up, I swear Mama was ALMOST giddy!!! She had the BIGGEST SMILE on her face when he walked in the room.. She was so thankful for the priest coming to give her her last rites.. It kind of pissed me off inside that she was so freakin happy, to be honest.. But, I ALSO understood why she was so happy.. She was about to be free of all her pain and would finally get to see Jesus, as she put it.. It would be extremely selfish of me to want her to stay.. So I squashed those feelings once again and just paid attention to what was going on in the present, which was my mother was dying and was about to receive the Sacrament of Last Rites..

As the priest went through the last rites, my sister and I stood at the foot of the bed, hugging each other and BAWLING.. Daddy was holding Mama's hand and she was actually PARTICIPATING in her last rites!! She even told the priest "Thank You", which made me wonder if she was really dying.. lol  I realize now that she was using most of her strength to do this.. I have read that before death, sometimes people get a rush of energy and can do things they normally couldnt do.. This must have been one of her times.. Soon after this, Mama complained of pain and my sister, who is a nurse, had to give her some morphine.. We also knew that once she administered this morphine that Mama would most likely slip into sleep and more than likely die.. Atleast she wasnt fighting it, is what I kept telling myself.. She will go to sleep and never wake up.. Better than dying wide awake, right?

This all took place while the kids and Steve and my sister's husband and their kids were in the den, which was in the next room.. I can only imagine what they could hear.. Todd said it was just really sad.. This is where I now think " wow.. we did all of this and they were all in the next room hearing it?" I was totally oblivious to that fact during the time.. This next moment was also on that list of "wow, I cant believe we were so oblivious and this actually happened".. Aside from the fact that we hadnt eaten all day, FOOD was the LAST THING on my mind.. But it was on everyone else's mind.. Daddy and Charlea decided that we needed to order pizza.. I couldnt made any decisions because I could barely speak English in complete sentences at this point, at times.. So, they decided to order pizza and used money my mother had saved in a stash she had in the living  Daddy told her that SHE bought dinner for everyone and we all said : "Thanks Mawmaw!" and she smiled and nodded her head.. "Daddy said " She is still in charge" and she answered with a small laugh "yep".. All the kids came in and kissed MawMaw and told her they loved her.. and she perked up enough to tell them she loved them too.. Thinking back, THIS was HORRIBLE.. Not horrible as in a horrible deed.. It was just emotionally horrible.. I cant believe that we lined up all the grandkids (except for Whit because he already said bye the day before) and one by one, they said bye.. Talk about emotionally draining.. I will NEVER forget my nephew and niece's faces.. They looked confused.. I was confused.. It was all a dream, it seemed..  We were only doing what we thought we should do.. We didnt want anyone to feel they didnt get to tell her bye..After this was when my sister administered her some morphine and everything became a movie to me..

My mother was surrounded by me, my sister and my dad after she was given her medicine and she started to relax a bit.. She looked at me and my sister and said something that was barely audible.. But I made it out.. She said " Thank you" to us.. I still dont know what she was thanking us for.. I guess for being there for her? But it was a beautiful and powerful moment.. The next thing she did was look over to Daddy, who had been her fearless caretaker, an angel with skin, as my sister called him.. She looked at him with the sweetest look and once again said something barely audible.. My Dad and sister teared up, because they heard what she said, because they were closer.. My sister leaned over to me and said " She just said : GOODBYE MY LOVE".. This was one of the most precious moments I have ever witnessed.. Saddest too.. I was so glad that I didnt chicken out and stay away, like I wanted to.. But, I am now left with picking up the pieces of my emotions that were left in that room that day.. Mama didnt die until the next morning, and interesting enough, she waited until my sister and I had gone home.. I think she did that to spare me what I went through with my grandmother.. She knew how much it upset me when I was younger.. I thank her for that.. My next entry will be a few interesting and funny moments plus my autistic brothers reaction to our mother's death..

Happiest Saddest Day ever...

Does that even make sense? I dont know.. All I can say is I am thankful I got to experience the last day my mother was alive, at the same time, I am full of anger and anxiety at the same time.. My anger is mostly from the fact that I was too young to be going through this but felt alot of guilt for ALOT of reasons.. First, there are MANY other people out there that didnt get almost 42 years with their mother's and I felt guilty for being angry.. I was also angry at cancer.. Cancer sucks.. It LITERALLY sucks life out of people.. Its horrible.. On her deathbed, my mother STILL didnt have the typical wrinkles most women her age do.. She always looked way younger than she was.. Her skin was GORGEOUS..

That day started out exactly like I figured it would.. I was worried that Mama was going to be worse that day than she was the day before.. I was right.. Daddy comfirmed it.. This is when I shared with Steve that I didnt think she would live past the weekend for sure.. I wanted the younger 2 kids to not go to school and come with us to her house but we were not SURE if she was going to die.. This is when I started feeling guilty.. I felt that everything was based upon IF Mama was dying.. I sent the boys to school but I took off and when Steve came home from work, we headed over to my parents house..

I remember feeling alot of anxiety before we got there and was VERY worried about what awaited us, once we got there.. I remember having to take a deep breath before going into the house.. I entered the house and IMMEDIATELY was hit with an odor.. I couldnt place it.. I realize later it was the smell of imminent death.. Once my mother died, the smell was gone.. Very strange.. But it is what happened..

Once I walked in and got past the smell, I found out the hospice nurse was upstairs with Mama and was changing her clothes and checking her vitals.. She met with me and Daddy afterwards and broke down while telling us that she felt that Mama was probably not going to make it through the weekend.. Her body was showing signs that it was shutting down.. I dont even remember crying.. I guess I teared up and was in shock and then went into survival mode.. It was then that Steve said " Call Pelham High School and tell them to let Tyler and Todd leave".. That, in itself, was a chore, as I was not there to check them out and they wouldnt allow them to leave unless someone checked them out.. THIS WAS NO TIME FOR RULES!!! Thats how I felt, atleast.. I finally found Whit and had him check them out.. He told me he had already told MawMaw bye and didnt want to come.. I totally understood.. I didnt want him scarred, like I had been, when my grandmother died.. Tyler and Todd both wanted to come see mawmaw one more time and once they were allowed to leave, they rushed over to the house..

I also had to call my sister, who was at work.. She was SO SCARED she would be at work and miss saying goodbye to Mama.. I let her know what the nurse said and she was off of work by 3 and was also at their house.. Her husband brought their children as well.. So there we all were.. Not really realizing that we were all there, about to say goodbye to Mawmaw and waiting for her to die.. But at the same time, we knew.. This is where I become very aware now that SURVIVAL MODE had taken over because we went through so many emotional moments that night.. When I look back now, I cant even fathom how awful and sad it all was.. But we DID it.. We all managed to make a few happy moments out of the most horrific day in our lives so far.. ALL of us..I will blog about those happy moments in my next entry..

The Day Before..

I am calling this post "The Day Before" because this is just that.. A distinct memory I have of the day before by mother died.. It was a Thursday.. I had talked to Daddy that afternoon on the phone, after school let out, while on the way to picking Tyler up from school.. I asked Daddy how Mama was doing and he told me she wasnt doing well, that she was going to be in the bed until she dies and that she wasnt eating or drinking much.. Up until that morning, she was still taking her pills and drinking her coffee when she woke up.. Daddy said she didnt want them that morning.. I remember feeling sick at my stomach after hanging up and after picking Tyler up, I went to CVS and bought make up to make me feel better.. It didnt.. I went home and told Steve that I didnt have a good feeling and that I felt Mama was within a day or two of dying and told him that I NEEDED to go see her that night.. My sister called me and told me I should probably come over since she was talking and all but that if I needed to talk to her, this might be the last time I could, while she was still "with it".. I told my kids and my two youngest sons opted not to go.. My oldest son, Whit, 21, and his best friend, Drew decided to go see "MawMaw".. Drew was close to my mother as well.. I will share my favorite sweet moment with Whit and Drew in a moment..

When I got to my parents house, my sister was there.. Daddy had gone to the store to pick up some supplies.. Mama was very happy to see me and Steve and really lit up when Whit and Drew came to see her.. She immediately started talking about how they needed to work on the song she had written.. Her voice was getting more and more hoarse and weak at this point.. We all knew she wouldnt be working on any song, but the boys were so sweet.. They both just stood there and said " yes ma'am".. And even discussed what they wanted to do with the song, just to appease her.. It made her feel good.. After a while, we left the boys alone with Mawmaw so they could visit.. I realized later that Whit and Drew were basically saying their "goodbyes"..

Ok.. here are my favorite memories of Whit and Drew.. First memory: We had been in the living room, talking and left Drew alone with Mama.. Steve went in to check on them and he found Drew sitting next to the bed, holding Mama's hand, just chatting.. It brought her alot of peace.. Drew was so sweet to do that.. He called her MawMaw, and had for like 4 years.. He was one of MawMaw's "adopted" grandsons..  He was even invited to the beach with the family, 2 years in a row, until Mama was diagnosed with cancer.. I found this moment very moving..

Another moment was when Whit went into her room, all by himself.. Whit is ALOT like me, when it comes to dealing with things.. He was in a denial of sorts, like me.. And he didnt like to discuss the whole "death" thing.. It took ALOT for him to go in there and basically say goodbye to his MawMaw.. Whit was her oldest grandchild.. They had been through alot.. Mama would fondly recall the time we were all snowed in during the "Blizzard of 1993" when Whit was almost 3.. He was driving her nuts because we were snowed in and he wanted to basically JUMP off her stairs that led up to the den.. LOL  She fussed at Whit and he went up to "G"(daddy) and said  in his cute little 3 yr old voice " I dont yike MawMaw" to which MawMaw exclaimed " Well I dont like you very much right now either!!!"  HAHAHA  This was ALSO the time Whit would stand on the steps and say " Doo doo MawMaw doo-doo MawMaw".. LOL  He loved to irritate.. We even laughed about it during her last few weeks.. I have no idea what was said between Whit and Mawmaw when he sat beside her but I do remember him saying "Whats up Mawmaw?" in a very nervous sounding voice.. He did very good with his emotions and I KNOW it made Mama feel good knowing he came over to see her.. Moments like this made me very proud of my son and THANKFUL he got to do this..

One memory that will last me a lifetime..

I remember the night before my mother died thinking that her deterioration was taking place faster and faster.. Everytime I saw her, she was getting worse.. On Sunday, we visited her and she was being her typical funny self.. Tuesday, we visited her and she looked tired.. Daddy had to carry her to bed the night before because she could no longer walk, as her legs gave out on the way, up the stairs, to their bedroom.. Monday night was the last night that they had slept together as a married couple.. Tuesday night was the first night Mama slept in her hospital bed.. We had an AMAZING visit that day.. We knew she was dying, she knew she was dying.. Daddy said that later on, she told him she was basically resigning herself over to the cancer that was killing her.. I guess even the strongest have to do this eventually.. It was a valiant fight..

The main reason for my visit that day was because my Dad had to go to the doctor for a check up because he had a cough and was battling a cold.. Stress induced, im sure.. He couldnt leave Mama alone this time.. Especially since she couldnt get up and walk.. If she tried, she could really hurt herself.. So, I told him Id come over and we would entertain her.. I was really nervous about it because I didnt know what would be said or what would happen.. Steve and Tyler both came too.. Mama was sitting on the couch when we got there.. She looked so tired but perked up when she saw us.. We sat there and just chatted.. It was when Steve asked Mama this question, that the whole attitude shifted from WEIRD to WONDERFUL.. I am so thankful for Steve asking her this question.. He asked " Cathy, when you get to where you are going, what is the one person you are most excited to see?"  I, of course, would have NEVER asked my mother that, because I was in DENIAL.. lol  I expected Mama to say " my mother" or "my parents".. But that wasnt her answer.. She smiled so sweetly and brightly and said " Jesus".. It was SO TOUCHING to hear this.. She was sad she was going to leave us but was SO HAPPY she was going to get to see Jesus.. AMAZING..

We spent the rest of the afternoon going through hers and Daddy's record collection and introduced Tyler to what records sounded like.. lol  He had no idea what the turntable was.. LOL We played a Jose Feliciano record and there was a song on it and it was SO MOVING that my mother wept while it was playing.. I went to turn it off, because I thought it was upsetting her and she said " NO!!!! Its beautiful!!!" So we let it play through.. EVERYONE was in tears.. It was very moving.. I think this is where Mama realized she would miss moments like these once she was gone.. or maybe it was ME that realized this? Either way, this is ONE memory I wont forget..

WHY I had such anxiety..GUILT

In my attempt to deal with this, I feel retelling the story of my interpretation of mother's last day here on earth will help.. As I said in earlier posts, the survival mode was thick and I wasnt even aware of it.. Thinking back, i cant help but feel sorry for my whole family, especially Mama.. Active dying is hard work.. Especially when your heart is pretty strong but your body is "ate up" with cancer.. My mother's heart pumped extremely hard, keeping her breathing long after it seemed her mind was gone.. Watching this take place, in itself, was traumatic.. Add the feelings of guilt and sadness and I had the perfect storm for emotional torture.. Probably why I chose to ignore my feelings after her death, because I like to torture myself, when I feel guilty.. 

Why guilt? I felt like such a wimp the weeks that proceeded my mother's death.. It goes back to 1987, when my grandmother died.. This was my father's mother, who had died on October 29th that year from recurring cancer.. She had also had a stroke 3 years before and was in a nursing home.. I watched her demise as well, but not nearly as close as I watched my own mother's.. I was only 17 and it was all about ME anyway, back then.. I did get the feeling the night that she died that THIS was the night.. I HAD to stay at the nursing home.. I was the only grandchild that was there.. I even had an argument with Mama that evening.. She accused me of wanting to stay there because I didnt want to go to school the next day.. lol I cant fault her for that because I am a mom too and I understand why.. haha  But I told her it was a FEELING I had and felt the need to stay.. I stayed and while I was there I ALMOST witnessed my grandmother's LAST BREATH.. I was in the room with her, my dad and my 2 aunts.. She stopped breathing for a couple of seconds and the nurse even said "She's gone", but then she gasped for air and was back.. It was then that I freaked out and told my dad "I can't handle this..".. Daddy understood and I left the room.. She died a few minutes later, while I was on the phone with my mother..

These memories stayed with me ever since.. I had a good bit of anxiety over it afterwards.. This is what I thought of the last few weeks Mama was alive.. I remember crying on the phone with my sister.. She said "Well Michelle, maybe you shouldn't be there when Mama dies.." I totally agreed with her but told her I would gauge the situation as it happened.. At one point, I do believe I felt that I shouldn't be there because of this anxiety..

But there I was, in survival mode, right beside my mother's bed.. Which, by the way, was a hospital bed, that was set up in my OLD ROOM.. MY old bedroom.. The one that had posters of Rick Springfield, Duran Duran and Billy Idol all over the walls when I was a kid.. It now had a hospital bed in it, with my dying mom lying in it, while my dad, my sister, and I were holding vigil by her side.. It felt kind of sick to me.. We were basically sitting around, waiting for Mama to die.. I felt HORRIBLE for that.. But, I also didnt want my mother to die ALONE.. I felt a ton of guilt.. I didnt want my mother to die.. EVER.. But here I was, WAITING for her to.. I truly believe this is where most of my guilt comes from.. I know my mother would NEVER have faulted me for this.. But, I feel bad and I have to let this guilt go..

Also, I remember feeling guilty because, once I was there, I was filled with SO MUCH ANXIETY and really didnt want to be there.. I would cry and cry, while holding my mother's hand.. She was in and out of consciousness at this point but I couldnt help but wonder if she KNEW how upset I was and if that upset her too? My mother tried to protect us from her dying as much as she could.. 11 days before she died, she APOLOGIZED for dying and making my sister and I cry, when we discussed her funeral and "after party" as she called it.. It didnt feel right, planning this "party" for Mama, even though she wasnt going to be there.. It was MESSED UP..

Guilt, guilt and more guilt.. I still feel guilt because I can no longer visit the house that my Dad is living in, because Mama died there.. I know I will have to face this eventually.. Probably sooner than later.. I think my next blog entry is going to be about memories that stick in my head about the day my mother died.. They have stayed with me because they were extremely moving..

Survival Mode at its best (or worst)

Once again, as I try to deal with my mother's death, as quickly as I realize she's gone, I get that weird empty feeling that she never existed.. One reason I am blogging about this is to HELP me FEEL.. If I go about my daily businesses and the such, I don't think about it.. NOT thinking about it is NOT helping me, either..So, I decided I needed to get in touch with my emotions.. I have a feeling this is going to be a VERY "ADD" rant, so I apologize in advance.. Thats how I roll, though.. I flow constantly from one thought to the next, most times not even finishing the first thought.. lol  So here is my attempt to flow..

The feeling that I was referring to earlier really puzzled me and upset me when I first started having it.. I know for a fact my mother existed, DUH, because I wouldnt be here if she didnt.. So I am not saying she actually never existed.. This is just my verbal interpretation of  the epitome of emptiness and finality..It started the week after mama died.. I remember going to her house and it just enveloped me.. It hit me then- the last time I was in this house it was full of sadness and drama and now it was just empty..Quiet..No drama.. Like nothing had ever happened.. This is where I got the feeling that Mama never existed.. Like I said before, I knew she existed.. But this emotion overwhelmed me so much.. I havent been back to my parents house since and still dont want to visit..I know one day I will but right now I cannot even think about it.. It makes my stomach hurt and gives me a headache..

The drama I am referring to during the last week is all I could remember, particularly the last 48 hours of Mama's life here on earth..When I look back on those last few days, I cant believe I actually lived through it.. It is extremely emotionally draining and traumatic watching someone's body slowly shutting down, especially when you are close to them.. Mama used to call this "survival mode" and we were thick in it.. I am still in it.. I want to get out of it but I dont think I will get out of it until I am fully aware of my emotions and my feelings and are at peace.. It is obvious I am not at peace because my body is so out of whack.. I am more out of whack right now than I was after giving birth.. I am up 20 pounds and I feel like I am dealing with PTSD.. Sometimes I think I think too much, other times I think I dont think at all.. I am either all in or not in at all.. Survival Mode..

I spent the first few weeks after Mama's death trying to figure out WHY her body shut down the way it did.. She seemed to get worse with every passing week and then finally, the last week, she got worse on a daily basis.. We visited her on Sunday, she was walking with little assistance, Tuesday she was on the couch and was only walking with assistance, Thursday she was completely bedridden and Saturday at 6:30 AM she died.. Thursday before Mama died, I brought Whit and his friend Drew to visit her.. She was so happy to see them and kept talking to them about working on her song she wrote.. It was very sweet, almost like she wanted them to think she wasnt going anywhere.. They just agreed with her, even though they knew she was dying.. It was a very sweet thing they were doing for her.. We all did this for her.. I guess the greatest gift we could give Mama was letting her THINK we were ok with her dying, even though we werent.. It helped ease her mind.. Sadly, in doing this, I didnt realize that I was in denial.. I was trying to be strong for Mama.. I didnt even like talking about her dying.. I know I couldnt handle it then and STILL am having trouble.. It is wreaking havok on me, mentally, emotionally and physically now.. BUT, I wouldnt change it for the world.. This was one of the greatest gifts I could give my mom..

So, where do I go from here? I am unsure.. Maybe purging all of my memories and emotions will help me see it all, maybe even cry some.. I rarely cry about it.. I have had a few meltdowns but they go away almost as quickly as they come.. My poor husband thinks I am nuts.. I am, in a sense..I guess.. lol

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Now where was I?? LOL

Before I was so RUDELY interrupted by a STARVING 15 year old, I was starting to discuss my feelings about my mother being gone... Seems like I am always being interrupted by something.. I try to deal with things but I always end up stuffing the emotions back down... I suspect that THIS is probably the main reason I am back to having my weight issues... I knew it was going to happen.. I saw it coming...

It doesn't help that I had my ovaries removed back in June, 3 months before my mom died.. As a matter of fact, my mom was there, with her cute little short hair, HELPING ME, the day of my surgery... It was June 7th... She was beginning her radiation therapy... I had no clue that her radiation was for "palliative" reasons...This basically meant that she was doing radiation now because her cancer had spread all over her body and it was only a matter of time before it would kill her but that the radiation would prolong her life a little and make her FEEL better... All I was told was that the doctors told my mom that she could live for YEARS basically fighting each occurance as it came but that she would be ok... I was an idiot for thinking this..

One reason I was an idiot is because my mother was NOT a young woman anymore.. Even though she appeared healthy, minus her hair, she was frail from all the chemo and now the radiation... Looking back now, she really didn't look as robust and healthy as I thought she did during the time.. She looked tired... I am sure I grew accustomed to this look and it became her new norm..

Another reason I was an idiot was because I didn't pay attention to all the signs that she was getting worse.. It kind of hit a passing lane on the road to her untimely death.. Cancer decided to pull a fast one on her.. It had been following pretty closely, like an annoying tailgater on Hwy 261, when coming back from Pelham High School.. Then suddenly, it sped up and rode beside my mother, teasing us with the whole " am I going to pass you or am I going to fall back behind you?"game.. I guess we were at this point in June, when I had my surgery..

My mother was such a trooper.. She was there, BY MY SIDE after my surgery bringing me ice chips.. She was basically FORCING ice chips down my throat and then trying to make me go to the bathroom.. Haha. I had no idea this was the last time my mom would be taking "care" of me.. I look back and feel so thankful that I had this special time with my mother.. Sadly, this is about the time that cancer decided to FLOOR IT and started its attempt to pass my mother and cut her off as it took over the road in front of her..

My first week of the new year and thoughts on my mom

I guess this week went ok.. I don't understand why shortened week at school ALWAYS feels like an extended one instead.. Anyone know why?? LOL I would LOVE to know.. So by Friday, I was so ready to chill out.. I LOVE my job.. I really do.. BUT, if I could be independently wealthy and NEVER have to work again, Id be one happy camper.. lol I have a sinking suspicion that Id be ALOT thinner and wouldn't need Ambien to force sleep on me every night..

I have been still kind of in DENIAL mode when it comes to my own mother's death.. It started out about the week after she died.. I had this REALLY WEIRD feeling that she never existed.. I mean, I KNEW she existed.. DUH, I wouldn't be here if she hadn't.. But, when I thought about her, I would just feel an emptiness that I couldn't explain..I guess it took the form of feeling that she never existed.. All I could see was her poor sweet little body shutting down in front of me while I sat there, completely helpless.. I sort of felt at the time like I shouldn't even be there because it felt kind of sick to me.. Her body was shutting down and I was watching her.. I realize now that she wanted us all there.. No one wants to die ALONE.. But I sort of felt like I was invading her privacy a bit.. My mother was not like me.. She didn't broadcast her life on the internet.. LOL

In typical MICHELLE fashion, I am having to put this moment to the side and deal with LIFE for a minute.. I will hopefully be back in a few to keep going through my dealing process.. Right now I have to go pick my son up from a friends house because he said, and I quote, "Can you come get me? I'm hungry and I don't wanna eat their house down." And you wonder why I have YET to deal with my mom's death.. Every time I try, LIFE interferes.. LOL

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Blog Is 4 Years Old!!!

I cant believe it but I have had this blog now for 4 years.. And to think, it all started out by reading Leigh Bratina's blog back in December of 2007 and I thought I needed one like hers to vent to.. lol I haven't posted much lately and really haven't felt like posting much since my mom died.. I guess it is time for me to start purging again.. LOL I have a lot of things I need to get out and it is hard to do it when I am living with males.. They don't understand the constant need for me to purge my feelings..

I realized this, once again, on Christmas Eve when I had been stuffing emotions and the such for a while.. We had a party at my sister's house and I stayed away from everyone and wasn't very social, which is VERY unlike me..Later that night, while I laid in bed, I felt so helpless and my heart was racing.. My husband started getting worried.. I told him this is the result of me not dealing with emotions..So, I guess it is time.. I am tired of the emotional roller coaster I am on and it is wreaking havok on my body as well.. I have gained about 15 pounds since my mom died.. It's time to take back my life.. And my body.. lol Sick of feeling LUMPY..So, a New Year and a NEW Michelle..

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Wow is basically all I can get out right now.. My mother passed away on September 17 at 6:30 am, with my dad holding her hand.. I am so at a loss for words I can barely type this.. I am hurting mentally and physically as well.. I have pain that starts in my neck and wont go away.. I feel it all the way down to my hip on my right side and my right arm as well.. Eventually, I will blog about all that we have been through since we were told on August 17th that mama's cancer had spread to her brain.. For now, I am praying I keep my sanity and not drive my family crazy..

Monday, July 25, 2011


Is it REALLY a revelation? I had to actually look up the definition of what a revelation is.. According to, revelation means: the act of revealing or disclosing; disclosure or
something revealed or disclosed, especially a striking disclosure, as of something not before realized. I was kind of perplexed as to if this is a true revelation.. I decided to go with it and say yes.. Even though this is something I have been dealing with for YEARS.. You know what the definition of insanity is? Basically repeating the same mistake over and over thinking you will eventually get it right and never will.. THAT, my friend, is what I have been doing now for years, when it comes to weight loss..

This is where I wondered if this was a revelation because I KNOW what to do.. I have done every damn diet there is.. I have done every workout you can do.. I have tried everything but surgery.. Don't think I haven't considered it.. It's a little pricey.. I have baseball and football spirit packs and baseball and football season tickets and seats to pay for.. Not to mention FEEDING and CLOTHING my family.. I can't afford surgery..

My revelation actually became a revelation when I REALIZED that even though I know what I am supposed to do and I am given all kinds of materials to accomplish my goals, I STILL fall short pretty much every time.. Either that or I succeed and then I shoot myself in the foot later because I lose sight of what I am trying to maintain and get comfortable..

AHHHHHHH... ANOTHER revelation.. COMFORT.. COMFORT ZONE.. Sounds like such a beautiful thing, doesn't it?? Well, it is good to FEEL comfortable with who you are.. That's for sure..Self acceptance is a wonderful idea.. But are we TRULY accepting ourselves or are we SETTLING?? Settling because we are SCARED to travel outside of our COMFORT ZONE? Hmmm... There's a little food for thought.. Pun was intended.. lol

This is where my revelation comes in.. I REALIZED that what is keeping me from attaining a lot of my goals in life, not just weight loss, was my need to fulfill my constant yearning for INSTANT GRATIFICATION.. More to come on this.. This is in its developmental stages still..Stay tuned for sure!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Today is Valentine's Day and I didn't eat one single stinkin piece of chocolate.. Or one brownie.. I DID have steak, but not a huge one and I had strawberries for dessert.. I think the strawberries will be much better once I can add a little whipped cream.. Haha

I am within a pound of what I weighed Sunday.. I am hoping to drop another 3 before I am ready to move on to the 3rd week of maintenance.. As of right now, I am looking forward to eating low carb, which will begin around 6 pm TOMORROW!!!!!!!! Yay!!!! I REALLY wanted a piece of chocolate today so its a good thing I am still on the diet.. Haha

Anyway, I hope my attitude and hunger now chill out.. I have been more miserable this round than before.. For sure the next round will only be 23 days..

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 30

Well here we are at Day 30.. I have lost a total of 18 pounds.. Steve has lost almost 37 pounds.. And we have decided to stop the drops as of last night.. We have to be off the drops for 72 hours and then we can start eating low carb!!!! This has been the most miserable month BUT, it went by pretty quickly.. I have definitely decided that from now on, I will only be doing 23 day rounds.. I tend to stall out and it just makes me miserable..

This last time I had a lot of issues with being sore all the time.. My body would just ache, especially after a day at work.. This past Friday evening I was so sore I was miserable.. All I wanted to do was sit in my chair and not move.. I have also been a lot hungrier this time.. I don't know why.. I am going to make more of an effort to stay away from the trigger foods that cause weight gain.. I am trying to redo my thinking, when it comes to eating.. Every one has different metabolisms and food affects them differently.. I know that potatoes and bread are NOT good for me and that I need to eat them SPARINGLY..

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