Tag Archive | my mother

Silent Killers

I read a blog post the other day that made me realize just how lucky I am that my mother is still here, and it caused a calm-before-the-storm shuddering-standstill reaction from me. I broke.

In 2007, Umi had a Pulmonary Embolism. I knew it was serious then, and I drive her to her INR appointments every two to three weeks to have her blood checked now, to make sure it’s between that 2-3 range; not too thin, not too thick. She calls it her bloodletting. I have to watch her diet, too, because certain foods can thin or thicken her blood if she has too much of it. But what I didn’t know, what I learned the other day, was how very fucking beyond serious her situation was, and by that I mean how insanely close I came to losing my mother ten years ago when she threw that blood clot. I mean, blood clots kill about 100,000 Americans each year out of the roughly 900,000 affected. One in nine; that’s too close a call in my opinion. Blood clots are silent killers. It’s not like a heart attack; instead, they’re non-violent. You can’t pop an aspirin and stop it, or perform CPR to save a person’s life. You can, however, watch for signs because there are early warnings your body shouts at you.

I wanted to comment on the post, but I couldn’t seem to find the words, knowing that this person’s sibling was gone yet my mother was still here. It didn’t feel right, I guess, commenting. It’s difficult to explain the feeling, but I suppose the closest I can get to it is that by not commenting, I’m not adding to the possible survivor’s guilt the person might be feeling since it’s such a sudden death. Make sense? I don’t know. *shrugs* I liked the post to let her know I’d read it, even if I couldn’t offer words.

Umi’s 71st birthday is less than a month away. Last year, I took her to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando. She had a blast. I’m not sure if I can top that this year. Maybe I’ll just cook a steak and lobster dinner for her again. And buy her a new book she’s wanted for a while now.

But there’s one thing I know for certain, something I realized the day I read that blog…

Side note: Right now, my aunt is in long term care, and it’s killing me that I can’t help her get better. All I can do is work with my family to make sure her bills are paid and she’s getting the care she needs, and find a way to take care of the house before the home my grandparents built is gone, lost to the bank and medical liens. I want this house because it is the last piece of my childhood, my grandparents, but if the sum of loans and liens is too high, I can’t buy it, and that’s killing me. Seeing my aunt cry at the thought of not going home again and losing her precious dog because none of us can take him is beyond heartbreaking, too.

I am at a loss.

I Forget…

…how difficult and distorted and cruel life can be at times, and how some of that is my fault.

Human Dementia ProblemsMost know that Umi (my mother–yes, I have to remind you now and then) has the beginning stages of dementia, or as we like to call it, demential (thanks for the typo, Zia). It helps to joke about it because if you’re familiar at all with dementia, you know how frustrating and heartbreaking it can be when things start fading from your mind or the mind of someone you love.

Umi's noteUmi forgets things…a lot. Not as often as my grandmother did…yet, but I’ve learned to not argue about memories that differ from my own. There’s really no point. It’s not going to change her memory to the correct one. So you’d think I’d be more understanding when she locks herself out of the house and has to call me at work because she’s locked herself out of the house. There’s a Post-It note on the door specifically for this reason and it is at her eye level. She even admits that she sees it every time she opens the door. And yet, she walked right out the door without her keys and locked the door behind her. She’s locked herself out probably about six times in the past year.

Did I mention frustration?

I was a horrible daughter last Thursday. I made my mother cry. I knew that before I even walked out of the building to head home to let her back in and I felt like complete shit the whole way home. And the whole way back to work. Why I was frustrated doesn’t even matter, and it really had little to do with this particular incident. I’m afraid that she’s going to forget where she lives one of these days and it’ll be a story on the news. It scares the ever-living hell out of me to think that that could be the future. So while my frustration stems from a place of fear for my mother’s well-being, it gives me no right to snap at her for forgetting to grab her keys.

bigstock-Losing-memory-like-dementia-or-8040209People won’t remember 90% of what you say, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.

I apologized before I went back to work, told her I loved her, and on the way home from Princess the Chihuahua’s vet appointment later that afternoon, I bought her ice cream and Arby’s. It’s nowhere near enough. Losing thirty minutes of my time at work is nothing compared to losing my mom. Nothing.

10signs

Conversations with Umi – Part II

Last May, I posted Conversations with Umi, right before Umi’s birthday, which is May 6th (remember that, folks). One of the conversations involved Palm Sunday (look below post), which just passed last week. Since I had a complete JinxieFail on posting about Palm Sunday being on April Fool’s Day *snorts* (and I totally wouldn’t have forgotten had it been Easter to fall on that day), I’ve decided to do another Umi post. I mean, hey, her birthday is coming up anyway, right?

By the way, if you haven’t discovered it yet, Umi has her very own Facebook Fanpage. You should go “like” it, if you haven’t yet. She’s quite fucking hysterical.

Let us begin, shall we? I’ve pulled these from her fanpage.

* * * * *

UMI: Do you need someone to go with you for the EEG?

JINX: No.

UMI: You can’t drive if you’re drugged.

JINX: I won’t be drugged. They’re studying my brainwaves.

UMI: That won’t take long…

* * * * *

JINX: Oh noes! You missed #NCIS!

UMI: Fuck a dick!

JINX: *snorts and falls over*

* * * * *

UMI: I was going to go to bed, but I don’t think I’ve seen this #NCIS….ooh, I’ve got chocolate!

* * * * *

UMI: I’m gonna go lay down for a bit.

JINX: OK, love you, mom.

UMI: I’m not going to bed!

JINX: I know.

UMI: You love me anyway?

JINX: Of course I do.

* * * * *

UMI: I’ve got Hogwarts down on my Bucket List!

* * * * *

UMI: *to firefighter on TV* You must not have seen that spot on the application that says “ugly guys need not apply.”

* * * * *

UMI: *glares at Jinxie_G* You’re disturbing my “me” time again with your damn #insomnia!

* * * * *

JINX: I love you, mom.

UMI: I know you do. I’m your favorite mom!

* * * * *

UMI: *walks out, looks down at Moon* Hi butthead!

* * * * *

UMI: That’s probably for Sunday (Pony Express riders)

JINX: What’s on Sunday?

UMI: *sighs* A hundred years of statehood. Sheesh.

JINX: How do you remember this shit and forget to take your pills?

* * * * *

JINX: *bangs on computer*

UMI: Know what I think?

JINX: What?

UMI: You need a new laptop.

JINX: I would agree.

UMI: Know what else I think?

JINX: What’s that?

UMI: I need one too.

* * * * *

JINX: I wish I had a photographic memory.

UMI: I wish I had ANY kind of memory.

* * * * *

UMI: Are you gonna tweet that?

JINX: You betcha!

* * * * *

UMI: *watching Fiat commercial* Is that that Sofia gal?

JINX: That is not Sofia Vergara.

UMI: Are you sure? It looks like her.

JINX: It’s not her.

UMI: It sure does look like her.

JINX: It’s not her, mom.

UMI: It looks like her.

JINX: I’m ignoring you now…

* * * * *

UMI: I am almost ready for bed.

JINX: Good, I can watch my fight porn.

UMI: What fight porn?

JINX: Spartacus.

UMI: *raises hand* I am Spartacus!

* * * * *

UMI: *watching Subway commercial* Sorry, but Ben Franklin was never a president! *rolls eyes*

* * * * *

UMI: SPIDER!

JINX: Is it a black widow?

UMI: I don’t think so. Well, I can’t tell bc it’s smooshed now.

JINX: You didn’t know the last one was a black widow.

UMI: You said it wasn’t!

JINX: *rolls eyes* No, I told you it was and you didn’t believe me, but it was black and had a fucking hourglass on it’s little black body.

UMI: Whatever. This one’s dead.

* * * * *

JINX: You got some new fans!

UMI: That’s because I’m funny.

* * * * *

UMI: I think we need to move to another planet because this one’s going to Hell in a handbasket.

* * * * *

UMI: *watching new Crayon commercial* I wish we had a kid so we could get some of those.

JINX: *blinks* You want us to have a kid so you can get the new Crayons?

UMI: Sure!

JINX: How about I just buy you the fucking Crayons, Mom?

UMI: Eliminate the middle man. That’s good. I like it!

* * * * *

UMI: *watching Edible Arrangements commercial* I’m gonna send myself one of those!

JINX: Really? People are supposed to send stuff like that to you, Mom.

UMI: Well I don’t have anybody to send me one!

* * * * *

JINX: *squints* It’s too bright in your room.

UMI: That’s bc you like the dark, vampire person.

JINX: *continues talking about something else* Wait, did you just call me a vampire person?

UMI: Yes.

JINX: You gave birth to me, you know. What’s that say about you?

UMI: It’s one of my mistakes.

JINX: Thanks, Mom. I feel so loved.

UMI: I love you, Jinxie! *hugs tight*

JINX: Riiiiight.

* * * * *

UMI: *opens front door*

JINXIE: ACK! Bright light! BRIGHT LIGHT!

UMI: Oh stop it. You’re not a gremlin!

* * * * *

On Palm Sunday 2010:

Jinxie: Jesus fucking Christ!

Umi: It’s Palm Sunday.

Jinxie: I know. *pause while surfing web* Jesus fucking Christ.

Umi: It’s Palm Sunday.

Jinxie: And your point is?

Umi: *glares*

Jinxie: What?

Umi: *glares some more*

Jinxie: WHAT? Do you not want me to say that? LOL

Umi: It’s Palm Sunday.

Jinxie: Okay. So I shouldn’t say that what, 3 days a year?

Umi: Yeah, that’d be good.

Jinxie: What about Ash Wednesday, you want me to add that?

Umi: *shakes head and walks away*

* * * * *

Are you scared yet? You should be!

Welcome to my insane world.

Fresh Start

In lieu of my cooking escapades this week, I’ve decided to share with you something I’ve found recently – one of Umi’s poems. That’s right, my mother is a poet and has several of them…somewhere around here. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

At a time when your world’s

Full of hurt and pain

When you think it’s all over

With nothing to gain

 

Step back, take a look

And I can but guess

You’re a person I feel

Who’s truly been blessed

 

The pain, it will go

All fond memories will stay

Your faith will grow stronger

Just live day to day

 

So keep your head high

Keep love in your heart

With each brand new day

Just make a fresh start

 

MKG

7 April 1988

What I Need

Most of you know, especially if you follow me on Twitter or are a Facebook friend, the kind of week and a half I’ve had. My paternal grandmother passed away on June 11th, two days before my birthday, and I spent my birthday at the mortuary and cemetery planning g-ma’s services with my uncle, as well as taking Umi, my mother, to the ER. During the course of this, I was awake for 35 hours–from 3pm June 12th to 2am June 14th. On the bright side, I can officially say that I was awake for my ENTIRE day of birth. How many of you can claim that? I thought not.

Anyway, Umi stayed in the hospital until Thursday when I brought her home. Friday morning, we held the services for g-ma and I was gone for most of the day because after the service, we had a luncheon. What? We’re Italian. We eat after any event. Friday night, while I was over at g-ma’s for a BBQ (yes, more food), Umi called and I had to take her to the ER again. She’s still at the hospital, though they’ve moved her out of ICU. Congestive heart failure or something like that. Although, her texts the other night were hilarious. My mother has a strange sense of humor, even when she’s sick and in pain. It’s no wonder where I get it from. The whole of my family, meaning both sides, has a very macabre sense of humor anyway, and I’ll explain that in another post.

In the midst of all these family emergencies, I did the final edit on my new book Nemesis. We finally got it out the door Monday and it should be available now on the Running Ink Press website.

And as I hop all over the damn place, from mortuary to cemetery to hospital to chapel to hospital to *breathe* home, a cavalcade of text messages, DMs, Facebook messages, emails, etc. have come through over the past several days, all asking the same question–What do you need?

It’s a good question, and I wish I could answer it, but the truth is, I don’t know what I need aside from my mother getting better. I’ve commanded that she’s not allowed to die for at least a year. She’d better listen to me. But she’s scared. She said so Sunday night when I visited. And considering that my maternal grandfather shot me a message Saturday night during a palm reading, I understand because I’m scared too. He said to me, through my aunt the psychic, “You’re strong enough for this, for what’s coming.”

Yeah, kinda creepy, right? Actually, I know exactly why he said that. Earlier in the day, as I sat on my computer doing some final quick touches on my book, I broke down in tears out of the blue, and said, “I can’t do this.” I know I can, that I’m strong enough to get through whatever comes my way. I mean, shit, I’ve been to hell and back several times over the years. But sometimes I have that moment of weakness, where it feels like everything’s going to fall apart. And since it wasn’t so long ago that my life actually did fall apart, it kind of ups the ante on the moments of weakness and when they hit. Truly, that moment really is a moment in time, it’s a few seconds and then I’m fine.

So, really, what I need right now is to just breathe, to make sure Moon gets attention because she doesn’t know where my mom is or why she’s gone right now, to continue doing the things I need to do over at my grandmother’s house for my aunt, and to tell you to go buy my fucking book, Nemesis. 😉

Fair enough? Thought so.

Conversations with Umi

If you follow me on Twitter and have for some time, you’ll know that I’ve tweeted things my mother says from time to time. I used the hashtag #umisaid for a long time before finally creating this Twitter account – @umi_g_. Shh, while Umi knows I tweet the shit she says (which hasn’t been much lately due to my lack of internet), she does NOT know about the actual account. I might get in trouble, especially for that picture (not the one posted here).

Anyway, since I’ve not been able to really tweet the crazy things she says to me lately, I thought I’d share them with you here on my blog.

Welcome to my insane world.

* * * * *

Last night:

Me: *looks at book Umi’s reading* Reading John Matthew now?

Umi: Yep, I’m preparing for the next book that I’ll get on my birthday.

Her birthday is May 6th and I’m broke.

Me: LOL Right. I’ll make note of what you want.

Umi: You’d better or you’ll no longer be my favoritest daughter.

Shit.

* * * * *

Text Messaging about Soylent Green:

Me: Are you gonna wanna watch this horrible movie?

Umi: Really bad huh?

Me: It’s a 70s movie. I can’t watch it again. If you don’t want to, I’ll just put it in the mailbox with the other one.

Umi: I told you it was crappy! Nah, I don’t want to see it.

Me: Lol I knew it would be, but I had to watch its horridity!

Umi: Is that really a word? I need my trusty dictionary for that one!

Me: No, it’s not. I made it up. Lol

Umi: It figures. I’m about to go to bed. So see ya tomorrow!

Me: Yep. Be home in a bit.

* * * * *

As I type this post:

Me: *reads texts from Umi and laughs* You are hysterical. Lol

Umi: Great, you’re making me the laughing stock of the Twittersphere.

Me: You are NOT a laughing stock. People laugh because you’re funny, you have a great sense of humor. People laugh at (censored) because she makes herself look like an idiot before all of Twitterville.

Umi: Don’t ever put me in the same boat as that stupid bimbo.

Me: ROFLMFAO! Not to worry, Umi, you never will be!

* * * * *

In the past:

Me: I have Zombie Survival Crew work to do.

Umi: I don’t understand that whole zombie thing.

Me: It’s okay, Umi, I’ll take care of you when the Zombiepocalypse happens.

Umi: I certainly hope so! Are you gonna shoot me in the head?

Me: Absolutely, if I must!

* * * * *

On Palm Sunday last year:

Me: Jesus fucking Christ!

Umi: It’s Palm Sunday.

Me: I know. *pause while surfing web* Jesus fucking Christ.

Umi: It’s Palm Sunday.

Me: And your point is?

Umi: *glares*

Me: What?

Umi: *glares some more*

Me: WHAT? Do you not want me to say that? LOL

Umi: It’s Palm Sunday.

Me: Okay. So I shouldn’t say that what, 3 days a year?

Umi: Yeah, that’d be good.

Me: What about Ash Wednesday, you want me to add that?

Umi: *shakes head and walks away*

* * * * *

On moving:

Umi: I don’t want to talk about moving. I hate moving. It’s why we stayed in one place when you two were kids.

Me: Um, we moved every 3 years.

Umi: That’s not the point!

Me: *falls over laughing*

* * * * *

Umi: It’s one of my umi-isms.

* * * * *

Are you scared yet? You should be!