Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rain, rain and more rain

It has rained all day. I expect Noah to show up any minute. Today has been a bad day. There is no other way to say it. i need to vent or otherwise I might hurt someone so I vent. I started my new beat on Monday. Education is important but I hate it. There is nothing to balance it out plus I hate it.
I took this at the circus last week. On days like this, I want to run away and join the circus. This little girl was amazing.

In life, we should have one major life change every other year. I have had major life changes three years back to back. I am still dealing with my mother's death as best I can. My job is my sanctuary. I expected to return to it and get back to a routine. Instead I am having to adjust to life without my mother and learned about three additional school systems. Some days, I want to take to the bed and cry. For the first time since I was hired, I hate my job. Hate it. I have told myself I will give this new arrangement six months. If I still don't feel like it is working, then I will make a change. I am not a quitter. My mother didn't raise a quitter. But I hate being an education reporter. I am very lucky in this economy to have a job especially at a daily newspaper. But deep down inside, I hate my job. I miss county government. I wonder if I should have took my friend's advice and applied for the job in Pickle Land.

This past weekend, I went to Pickle Land and had a blast. I got to see my friends, talk and for 48 hours I felt okay. But I'm not okay. I'm depressed and hanging on. The hospice in Charlotte is working on finding me a grief counselor here. Right now, I can't really afford therapy. And I don't want to talk to my friends too much.

 I am glad to get this off of my chest. I actually feel better. I think I will get me a bowl of Captain Crunch and watch Criminal Minds. Venting rocks!

I love this photo. I took it while waiting to interview some people.
Daily Dose

1. The remake of Hawaii Five-O is pretty good.
2. I found my dream pen at Rose's for $2. The pen is AWESOME!
3. Things are going to get better. I just have to have faith and patience.

Friday, September 24, 2010

One day at a time

I am back in the swing of things. With my job, all the beats have changed some. Mine completely. I am now the education reporter with four school districts and a college. I will admit I'm not thrilled about it. But I am lucky to have a job and it's will be a new challenge. So here I am. I start seeing a counselor next week. I would be lying if I said I am completely okay. But I am doing pretty decent.

Grey's Anatomy returned last night and it was awesome. Tomorrow, I am headed to Pickle Land to visit my friends and just relax. My new beat starts Monday so I am trying to chill and rest. I found my chocolate peanut butter bugles at Wally World. I got the last bag so now I am watching The Soup and munching down.

Daily Dose

1. Grey's Anatomy is back!
2. So is Criminal Minds even though it scared me.
3. My birthday is coming up soon.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BBQ, trains and things

 It was my weekend off but I volunteered to help cover a barbecue cook off. I'm glad I went because otherwise I would have probably stayed in bed all day. It was nice being out in an open field with barbecue being cooked, a train for the kids, plenty of people and decent music. I had a good time. I was doing what I love while not wallowing in bed.

I am glad I went back to work this week because I needed to it. My beat is being changed from the county I love to cover to education. I don't like change but I don't want to be unemployed either. As Tim Gunn on Project Runway says "make it work." I'll have to this.

Annamarie from * f a k e . f a d i n g . m e m o r i e s * asked a question about if my son knows that his grandmother has died. He knows a little too well. His Memaw died and his other grandma is dying of lung cancer. My husband and I explained it to him. He took it well for a 4-year-old. At the funeral, JJ and I were seated beside my crazy aunt. Here is the conversation:

Crazy Aunt--JJ, you know your grandmother is sleeping?
JJ--No, my Memaw is not sleeping. She is dead and is in heaven. You don't tell a kid that because it will give them nightmares. Mommy, can I go sit with daddy?

My son understand in the best way a 4-year-old can. But I think it will be worst when my mother-in-law dies.

Everyone has been great here. They worried about me not eating. My appetite is shot but I am doing so-so with eating. Tonight, a friend from SC is in RR with her boyfriend visiting his kids. They want to go out to dinner. I still have issues eating with people I am not used to being around plus the funds are kind of low. I don't want to ask them to pay but what little money I have was for groceries. So I can tell them the truth or live off of ramen noodles and soup until payday. I will swallow my pride and tell her.

Overall, I am getting back into the swing of things. On Monday, I am making an appointment to talk with a grief counselor so things don't get bad. Being proactive is the best.

Daily Dose

1. I am working hard not be a hermit.

2. I had a craving for a double cheeseburger from McDonald's. I had two of them and a sundae.

3. How Do I Look is new.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day by day

I am home where I belong. The last few days have been very tough. Death brings out the ugly in people. I feel so lost. I am so used to calling my mother during the day and when I get off from work. I can only imagine how my brother must feel. He was so upset at funeral. It made my heart ache to see him cry so hard.

With everything going on, I am exhausted. I would have taken a few days off but I am tapped out of vacation and sick time. So I am back at work doing what I do best. I have received so many cards and phone calls from people that I report about. It tells me I'm doing okay up here.


We had an open casket for my mother so the people she worked with could have a viewing. My brother  said he couldn't do the viewing with all the people. The family wasn't required to be there but I wanted to meet some of the people that knew her. My mother was well beloved. So many people told me stories about her and a how great she was. It was nice to know others knew how great she was.

My mom was my biggest fan and supporter. It seems so unreal that she is gone. I am a combination of numbness and sadness. I feel guilty for laughing or enjoying things. I know I shouldn't but I do. Time. It will just take time and plenty of chocolate peanut butter bugles. Today was the first day I felt like myself. I actually slept pretty decent last night.


A big thanks to everyone for your condolences. It means a whole lot to me.

Daily Dose

1. Being able to come home

2. Carrot cake from Ryan's

3. Watching Project Runaway while eating chili cheese fries

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

She is at peace

My mother died yesterday at 8:35 a.m. It feels so surreal. I can't believe she is gone. She is at peace with no pain. I miss her so much that it just hurts.

The hospice nurses were a little freaked that I was all alone when she died. I admit I had a good cry before getting the nurse. The last few months have been hectic and crazy. I don't regret any of it. I was there for her and did the best I could.

I held her hand and told her I loved her as she took her final breath. I was glad I was there for her. I miss her so much. Today, I planned my mother's funeral with my brother and two of her sisters. It was quite an experience that I hope never to do again. But I did learn some fascinating things. First, caskets are very expensive but comfortable. I have always wondered if they were comfortable. I tested the theory by climbing into one. My brother was mortified. We are paying $1,800 for it. I wanted to make sure my mother would be comfortable. Another thing I learned is that my mother was a buffer for me with my family. I have never actually had to really deal with them. It is quite overwhelming and exhausting.

After such craziness, I went to see the one person who would make me happy--my JJ. I forgot my camera so I didn't get a picture of him getting on the bus. Last night, I made us chicken wraps and watched the Incredible Hulk.

Then I read him a story and we got ready for bed. I love my son but he is a crazy sleeper. He kicks and moves a lot. But it was worth. I got him ready for school. He is not a morning person. It was nice spending time with him. Hopefully, I will be able to do this a lot more.

I am ready to go home. I need to get back to my space so I can grieve properly. For the next few days, I will be sleeping in my mom's room at my aunt's house. I still expect her to walk around the corner and say--"Jackie, you are taking too much space in the bed."


I am procrastinating because I have to write the obit for the newspaper and for the funeral. The joy of being the writer in the family.

Daily Dose

1. Spending time with JJ.

2. Eating chicken on a stick in a gas station Chinese restaurant with my family after planning my mom's funeral.

3. Learning after all these weeks of stress that I am still at a healthy weight.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Getting to know me ( a nice distraction)

The last few days have been pretty stressful.  So when Frugalista at becauseeverybodyhasastory.blogspot.com tagged me to answer eight questions and create eight questions of my own to pass on to  my eight favorite bloggers, I decided to do it.  I say a big thanks to her. It was just the thing I needed to cheer myself up a little.
Her questions were:


1. If you could have one wish granted what would it be? My mother and my mother-in-law would be healed from the cancer. And I could spend a little more time with them.

2.  Do people in your real life know about your blog or do you keep it to yourself? For the most part, I keep it to myself. I have very few things of my own and my blog means the world to me.

3.  If you could change one part of your body or appearance what would it be? I would like to get my teeth fixed so I can smile freely without being embarrassed.

4.  If you became a billionaire, would you quit your current job? I think it would keep it for a little while. I love being a reporter. Of course, I could start my own newspaper.

5.  What do you like best about your body or appearance? My hair has always been my best feature.

6.  What is something that people might be surprised to know about you? I love being a reporter but I am not a people person. I love to tell people stories but I am not good with socializing.

7.  If you were forced to give up one of your 5 senses, which one would it be?  This one was hard because I used my son as the basis for the answer. I would give up touch. I couldn't imagine not being able to see or hear my little guy.

8.  If you could have any superhuman power what would it be? I would go with the ability to teleportation. It would save a lot of time and money on gas.



  It was hard trying to decide which eight bloggers to pick for this because I have a lot of favorites. But here are my eight:
Angela at Leaving ED
Big Giant Hat at Free Your Giggle
Danielle at Ed-Recovery
Lisa at Pratfalls
Vee at Vee's View 

Here are my questions and tagged you're it. I hope you'll answer but if you don't I won't be offended. This was a nice break from the realities of life.

1.  What is one thing you miss about being a kid?
2.  Are you a collector of anything?
3.  What is your favorite book?
4.  What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
5.  If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
6.  What is something that people might be surprised to know about you?
7.  What do you want to be when you grow up?
8.  What was your first job?


Well, I am headed for bed. My mother is still holding on. She is such a fighter. I am so proud to be her daughter.



Sunday, September 5, 2010

This is no time for Jerry Springer shenignans

Things are sad, tense and scary right now. My mom is trying to fight but the end is very near. Today, was a day Jerry Springer would be proud of. My crazy aunt L decided to show her ass.

I feel as though it is my fault. I wanted to allow family members a chance to say their goodbyes. My aunt L is in serious denial. And honestly, she is the mayor and police chief of Crazytown. She arrived and tried to mess with my mother's IV. She upset the nurses, my aunt Em and my mother's minister. It got so bad that my brother, who had went home to nap, had to return to the hospital and involve the police. It got bad. So I know the funeral is going to be awful. Death brings out the ugly. I get the saying of death be not pretty. My family is worried about me and trying to make sure I eat. ED isn't talking. I just don't have an appetite. But I am trying. The elevators at this hospital are mirrored so I see my reflection coming and going. It does not look good.

I ate some of my lunch outside so I could have a change of scenery.

She is still hanging on. It is so painful to listen to her struggle to catch her breath. My brother left a few hours ago and said he couldn't come back. He said he couldn't watch. I understand. I will see this till the end. 

Daily Dose

1. Ensure is a lifesaver.

2. I don't wish this on anyone.



3. We don't get to choose our family.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A nice distraction

The last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster. My mom is quite a fighter. I love her deeply. I have played hostess to several family members, friends and others who have come to visit her. It is quite tiring but I am doing pretty good for a social hermit.

 Today, my mom started out kind of alert. She is awake somewhat and can say a few words. But she is no longer eating or drinking anything. She got really anxious and had to be given something. My brother and I were told her time is slowly ending. We both took as well as two people could take it.

Right now, I am watching her sleep. She is having trouble breathing. I know things are not good. The hospice folks are starting to focus a lot of attention on me. I overheard my brother tell the nurse that he worries about me being here when the time comes. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't write about all of this and get it out.

I realize something today. I have never had to plan a funeral or worry about this stuff. The other "real" grown-ups like my mom did it. My brother and I said we will figure it all out one step at a time.

Daily Dose ( a special Mom edition)

1. For loving me even if I loved James Dean and bought tons of pens!

2. Giving the confidence to do whatever I set my mind to do

3. For being the best mother in the world!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How do you say good-bye?

I went home for a few days. But I got call to return to the hospital. My mother is dying and not expected to live. Her breathing has stopped twice this week with the nurses working hard to bring her back. My brother and I (who resolved our differences) had to make the decision to put her on a ventilator or sign a do not resituation. In the beginning, he wanted the ventilator until he saw firsthand what the nurses had to do to bring her back. He signed the paperwork yesterday.

We decided to let her go naturally. I arrived after a 4.5 hour drive. The best time I ever drove. I took a different route. Anyway, I was worried if she would recognize me and if I would get to say goodbye. But how do you say goodbye to person who helped make you who you are?

My mom wasn't the hugging type but I knew she loved me. She worked two jobs and went to a technical college to get a good paying job to support my brother and I. She is my hero. She didn't graduate from high school but she is the smartest woman I know. And even though, she has admitted that she doesn't get me, she loves me.

When I arrived last night, I woke her up to say hi. She looked at me, smiled and said "Hi, Jackie! You look tired." She has had a brave fight. She was diagnosed almost five years ago and given six months to live. I think she has earned the right to rest and see her loved ones again. But there is a part of me that is scared and sad because soon I won't have my mommy.

My home library is complete!!!!!

  I write a book column for Duplin Times in Kenansville, N.C. called the Book Nerd. This is my May column, which is about me finally comple...