Monday, May 12, 2008

On hiatus.....

I put my blog on private last night. I don't know why.

It wasn't to keep anybody out.

I'm not doing so well, right now.

I'll be back..............

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sometimes, we just talk...


Thing 1: "I don't think anyone should be mad at Uncle, just because he doesn't spend a lot of time at the hospital."

Me: "Well, your dad is pissed at him, and of course, Thing 2 feels however her daddy feels."

Thing 1: "Everyone deals with stress differently, you know?"

Me: "Yeah, that's true. Thing 2 deals with it by screaming and hitting people."

Thing 1: "I deal with stress by having sex."

Me: "Ha... Haha... Shut the fuck up."


Husband: "Are you on the phone with Thing 1?"

Me: "Yup."

Husband: "Ask her what she's trying to accomplish with all the philosophy classes. Is she trying to become the next Dolly Llama?" (huge grin)

Me: *blink*

Me (to Thing 1): "I think he's dumb on purpose."


Me: "And so I told daddy that you and Thing 1 would take turns spending the night with your mamaw."

Thing 2 (angrily): "Why don't you just admit you're not going to do anything for mamaw during this?"

Me: click.

Me (texting): "I am about tired of the way you are treating me."

Me: "You need to understand that I have been through this once before."

Me: "And just maybe, I am hurting far more than you realize."

Me: "So lay off, Thing 2, and take your shit out on someone else."

Thing 2(texting): "I'm sorry."


Brother 2: "So, when we go up to move Thing 1, is she gonna have all her stuff packed and ready to go?"

Me: "Have you met Thing 1?"

Brother 2: *sigh*


Office Manager: "Wasn't that sweet of my husband to bring me the Dogwood?"

Me: "... yeah... what exactly do you do with tree branches? You put 'em in water to grow roots or what?"

Office Manager: "No. I just put them in water! They are PRETTY! It's Dogwood!"

Me: "Dude. He brought you tree branches."

Office Manager: "He brought me DOGWOOD!!!"

Me: "He brought you wood, alright... in the form of TREE branches..."

Office Manager: "You just don't get it!"

Me: "I guess not..."


*Imaginary conversation with Miss Kate*

Me: "Kate? Did you email Amazon yet?"

Kate: "I forgot AGAIN!!"

Me: "You look very beautiful today. And the new Odd Thomas book is out. I'm DYING over here!!"

Kate: "I'll do it TODAY!"

Me: "I love you. Marry me."


*Conversation with myself*

Me: "Don't text him again. He's not gonna answer."

Myself: "But! But, it's not FAIR!"

Me: "Nothing is fair, Stoo-pid."

Myself: "But what did we do wrong? We TRUSTED him!"

Me: "Apparently, THAT'S what we did wrong..."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

de ja... BEEN there....

"... so we're gonna take her to UVA today..."

I was sick. Oh God, I don't think I had ever been so sick as I was that day. The night before, after we had spoken to Mom's doctor, I had started feeling really bad. I'd told everyone I had to go home and lie down. I needed to rest, needed to try to turn my brain off and just rest.

There wasn't to be any rest for me that night, however. A couple of hours after I went home from the hospital, I was BACK there, in the ER, an IV in my arm, and some sort of anti-vomit drug shoved up my ass. The doctor assured me it was just a temporary thing, I would be up and about in a few days. In the meantime, I was to eat Jell-O and drink Sprite.

Oh yeah, I was SOOOO surely gonna eat Jell-O. I tried to explain to the doctor the absolute TERRORS that could be waiting in a bowl of Jell-O, but he assumed I'd had too big a dose of the meds. Fucking nazi.

At any rate, Brother 2, had stepped up and taken care of everything with my mom. He'd spoken at length to her doctor, made the arrangements to have her taken to UVA, made reservations for everyone at a hotel across the street, and called all the family to apprise them of the situation. I was the last thing he had to take care of before they left.

"I can't go, Brother!" I cried. "I'm not even supposed to get out of bed!" It was all so unfair. I couldn't even have the comfort of my daughter with me. Husband had taken her to his mom the night before, and everyone had made the decision for me that it was best for me not to be with her. I couldn't even complain, because I didn't want her sick either. But I wanted her with me, I wanted my mother, I wanted everything to be RIGHT.

"Sister, if you want to go with me, today, I'll go rent a van, you can lay down the whole way. You don't have to stay here if you don't want to."

This is the way it was with both my brothers. We'd fought our whole lives, punched and kicked, cursed and yelled, played the most God-awful jokes on each other. But when push came to shove, they'd do whatever was needed to take care of me. And I would do it for them, as well.

I chose to remain home another day, rather than take a chance on anyone getting sick because of me. Her immune system would be compromised because of the steroids they'd given her to reduce the swelling in her brain, and I would not be allowed near her anyway. Husband had promised to take me to Virginia the next day.

The atmosphere was different when we arrived at the hospital. We were at a REAL hospital... with GOOD doctors, and SKILLED surgeons. They'd be able to fix her. We would take her home whole again. The air seemed charged with our hope. We expected God to rain showers of blessings down upon us. We didn't just THINK we would be victorious over the enemy, we KNEW it. We were soldiers, strong and self-assured, marching into battle against an unseen foe.

And it all came crashing down on Friday morning, when Brother came back to the hotel, to the room where we'd all been waiting, our voices hushed and our excitement high...

Brother's face was flushed, his eyes red-rimmed and swollen. He stood in the doorway, and just shook his head. no..... No..... NO.....

No one spoke. No one breathed. No one moved. Except my dad. He'd been lying in the floor, his eyes never leaving the doorway, waiting for Brother's return, waiting for news from the battlefront. He rolled slowly to his side, and hid his face in his hands.

The only sound in the room was the sound of my father sobbing.... It was the most sorrowful sound I'd ever heard, and I felt utterly beaten down by it. In my mind, I pointed an angry, accusatory finger at God.


A cacophony of our grief echoed my fathers wails, and we poured it out in that little hotel room, as one phrase swirled around and between and through us, in a graceful, almost gleeful dance. there's no hope.... There's No Hope.... THERE'S NO HOPE....


"... and we'll be taking him to Duke, or UVA, for a biopsy..."

"Are you listening to me? Did you hear what I just said?" my husband asks. I give myself a mental shake, throwing off memories of the past, and trying to steel myself for the brand new horrors we all face. I don't even bother to pray this time...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Haven't we danced this dance before?

"You're looking at probably four to six months, at best."

We stood in the hallway outside my mother's hospital room. Her beloved doctor, for whom we all had the utmost respect, had tears in his eyes as he delivered the blow. I held my father's hand, wincing when he squeezed so tightly I thought my fingers might break. I looked at my brother, saw his head down, eyes closed tightly, as if he could somehow block the images those words produced. Tears streamed from the eyes of my sister-in-law.

I felt removed from all of it. He couldn't be talking to us, couldn't be saying that MY mother's days were numbered in such a way. Snippets of their conversations flitted in and out of my consciousness, words like "malignancy" and "brain stem" and "terminal" bumping into each other and exploding like fireworks inside my mind.

My one coherent thought was to pray. These people in front of me, with their tears and their sadness and their blind acceptance of doom could talk their talk with the doctor, but the REAL work, the work of communicating to the Father, the work of calling forth a miracle, that work would be begun by me.

"God," I began. "I cannot pretend to know your will. And I do not have the beautiful words to create a prayer that would be music to your ears. All I can do is bow humbly before you and beg your forgiveness for my sins, and beseech you to spare the life of this woman who means so much to so many. Please, don't take her away from us." I took a deep breath, and added, as earnestly as I was able, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine, be done." I wanted to mean those words, with all my heart, and if I was not quite truthful saying them, I figured God would understand.

"...and so the doctor says we have, at best, four to six months..."

I feel the warmth of the sun on my face, watch a lazy cloud float across the sky. A silent tear slips from my eye and I wipe it away, and turn to face my husband. "The doctor could be wrong," I whisper. But I don't believe the words of hope I'm trying to offer, and my husband recognizes this.

"No," he says with resignation, "I don't believe he is."

Later, my beautiful Thing 2 sits with me on the couch, trying not to cry. I want to tell her she doesn't have to be so strong. I want to tell her that in the coming months, tears will fall and disappear, and fall again. I want her to understand that things were going to get worse, so much worse, and she couldn't hide her pain away. But I remain silent, holding her hand. She is Papaw's girl, and they share so much together, hunting and fishing and church and trips to Wal-Mart for ice cream and mowing the yard together and so very, very much more. My heart aches inside my chest for what she is going to lose. As her sister, Thing 1, lost so many years ago, with the loss of her Granny, who loved her "all the way to the moon and back."

"Mom," says Thing 2 as she cries. "this is going to be hard."

Oh, my sweet baby girl, you have no idea yet, how hard it's going to be....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cancer... It does a body no good....

We found out last night that my father-in-law has cancer. Actually, what we found out was that he has several brain tumors that have metastasized from somewhere else. I am assuming the prognosis is not good. But, as I write this, he has not yet seen a cancer doctor, and as the family waits to hear something, anything, about his condition, I am reliving the past in a not so good way...

About this same time eighteen years ago, my family fought its own losing battle with cancer, in the form of a brain tumor. It even had its own trendy little name: GBM. Which, for those of you not in the know, stands for glioblastoma multiforme. A particularly nasty and swift form of brain tumor, considered to be the end-all-be-all of brain tumors, a GBM is, or at least WAS IN 1990, a death sentence. And it claimed my mother at the ripe old age of 51.

But this isn't about my mother, this is about my father-in-law, which is what I have to keep reminding myself. Because otherwise, I'm going to go screaming into the night...

To those of you who are of a praying sort, it would be appreciated by my husband's family, if you could remember them in your daily prayers. To those of you who are NOT of a praying sort, how about flinging a few wishes to the heavens in their honor?

Me, I'll probably try a little of both, as I try my best to see past the shadow of my mother lying in that hospital bed, and focus instead on a man that I do admire, respect, and in whatever way I am yet able to, love.

Miss Anne Derstood

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I will survive? I think not....

You wanna know how I feel today? Watch the video:

Friday, May 2, 2008

Obviously, I need a bigger fan base....

So, yesterday, I come up with a perfectly good post, a post in which YOU get to participate, and you people blow me off like a patch of dandruff...

Hilly, however, takes it and uses it on HER blog, and gets TWENTY-THREE comments! That's right, TWENTY-THREE people thought it was fun and TWENTY-THREE people played!!

I'm thoroughly disgusted....

This just proves what I've been saying all along, Janet...


I'm pouting. The end.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

(Blank) me! Oh (blank) me, please!!

Let's play a game. I don't think we've played one single one of my stupid comment games since I started this new blog. And that is sad.

Today's game is "fill-in-the-damn-blanks-whydoncha"

Here we go:

1. Miss Anne Derstood is ______________.

2. But I am _______________.

3. Just once, I'd like to ________________.

4. I wish I'd ______________ when I was younger.

5. I regret that I once ______________.

6. I love to _____________________.

7. ________________ makes me really fucking mad.

8. ______________ is Stoo-pid.

9. As a special treat, I often like to ______________.

10. You will never see a picture of me __________________.

Have fun! I'll post mine in the comments as well...