Monday, January 28, 2008

Turning the Page

Back now from Atlanta. Although I am completely worn out, it was a truly fantastic weekend. The memorial was everything I could have wanted and more. Mom would have absolutely loved it (I'm sure in some way she was there partying with us.) I plan to post a complete synopsis of the event as soon as I get copies of pictures and eulogies.

We arrived Thursday evening after 10+ hours on the road. It was a very nice, but long drive. Our host Pete had a scrumptious dinner on the table as we walked in the door; salmon, homemade mashed potatoes and green beans.
Yummy! Deb was en route from work in Seattle. Throughout the weekend we were able to spend some quality time with our goddaughter Caroline (apparently, I read a great bedtime story.)

The next day, after wrapping up loose ends for the memorial (or as I've come to call it, "Mom's Show") I met up with Foxy (one of the Loser Diva's ~ reference posting from October 6, 2007) and Musician Extraordinaire, Don Luigi Longworth Roksov (read on; please...) to head to Bebe Barbosa's palatial estate for rehearsals. Along with the aforementioned Losers and Trouble Popinolpolous, we learned, and occasionally butchered, a piece of music for Mom's Show. Later, the rest of the entourage arrived for a sumptuous feast cooked by Bebe and her most wonderful husband. The revelry continued into the night and the Diva's elected to allow Musician Extraordinaire in to the Loser's fold as an honorary member (no voting rights mind you!)

The next day was long and exhausting for me, but completely fabulous. The 'show' was everything it needed to be and more; music, memories, laughs, tears... Perfect. I promise to post when I receive everything from people.

We arrived home last night to some very happy puppies! It is good to be home now. Time to turn the page; start a new chapter.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Every Day; A New Day

The nice thing about a routine is the further along you get into it, the less you notice it. Things are returning more to "normal," if that's what you could call my life. This week was much easier. When I first returned to work I thought it would be a month before I could work a full day. By Thursday I noticed that I wasn't as tired or shaky by the end of the work day. Deb, my friend of nearly 30 years (yikes!) has frequently reminded me throughout our friendship how resilient I am in mind, body and spirit. I suppose she may be right... I am surprising even myself at how quickly I am getting stronger. Yesterday, I even managed to take Gary and the Girls on a walk when I got home from work. :)

While I still have moments of sadness over Mom's absence, as I will for the rest of my life, I feel my grief over her loss waning. This is aided by planning her memorial. At first it was hard to imagine anything but a somber occasion. I've only been to a few in my life, but they were all quite serious and dignified. Nothing wrong with that. But Mom lived life out-loud. (For those of you who never were able to meet her, this statement is her essence.) She was loud and fun and always laughing. I would dishonor her not to have a memorial for her that didn't live up to how she lived her life. So if you are coming to the memorial, expect something a little different. Tissues and hankies are welcome, but be prepared to shed tears of joy. And lot's of laughs!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Returning to the "Routine"

Two months is an eternity when you don't have a routine. Try as I might, I just couldn't manage getting into any sort of routine while recovering from major surgery. You just never know what one day from the next is going to be like. Throw on top of that the emotional upheaval of losing a parent and the temporal distortion is really drastic. But a few weeks before returning to work, I started to realize I was really going to be in for it if I didn't start trying to get back into a routine.

Physically, I feel fine. The range of motion in my arms has returned and even though I still feel a stretch in my abdomen at times when I stand up after sitting for a while, I am able to walk upright. In anticipation of returning to work, I started scheduling my days so my re-entry into the "real world" wouldn't be as hard. Ha! You know what they say about 'good intentions.' I would wake up (after a mere 11 hours of sleep) energized and ready for my daily routine. I would actually dress in something other than pajamas (to make it more realistic!) And start to do my little list. Mostly things around the house, but I managed to get out to do a few errands too. I tried to walk to the post office every day to build up my stamina. But every afternoon, I would hit a wall and need to take a nap. "No problem," I thought. "I'm working up to it and once I get back to work, I'll be right as rain."

I started back to work on Wednesday. I developed a plan to ease myself back into work. I know I can't push too hard, so I decided to be very mindful about how I'm feeling. I woke up early to give myself plenty of time to get ready. It had been quite some time since I donned make-up and work clothes. It was like the first day of school after summer break. It was beyond wonderful to see all of my co-workers again! And although I didn't have new clothes, I did have a whole new 'look' as it were. "Did you lose weight?" "Oh, you look great." I heard over and over. "No," I replied. "No weight loss. It's just been re-arranged."

I spent the day catching up on what I'd missed, saying hello to everyone, but at 2:30 I hit the wall. All I could imaging doing from that point was crawling under my desk and taking a nap. I left early and after the hour commute home, passed out on the couch for a couple of hours. I'm pretty sure I'd pushed too hard because I had a wretched night. In fact, I slept through my alarm (that blared for an entire hour) and woke up 90 minutes late. The next day, I was determined to pay even closer attention to my energy level. But low and behold, around 2:30 I hit the wall again. The problem is that I go along just fine and then my energy is gone. The feeling doesn't creep up so it's hard for me to tell if I'm pushing too hard or not. So I talked to my boss about working shorter hours to build my stamina. I have to push a little because that's the only way I'm going to get back to normal.

What was that mantra I had a while ago? Wasn't it patience, patience? ...Patience damn it!