Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Class tonight

Today's my first day of class and for some reason, my anxiety level is really high. My previous classes have been fun, but this semester is where we go from the theoretical, intellectual side to the practical, hands-on, and it's sort of terrifying. Not just that "what if I screw up?" feeling, but also the "what if I hate this?" If I hate it...yeah. That'd be bad. But, I remind myself (plaintively), life is filled with choices and paths and changes, and if necessary, I'll just find a new path. Another new path.

Yeah, okay, that's not helping. Anxiety level climbing.

I'm at a new place in my ghost story, one where I have to make a lot of time pass really quickly, and I realize that I haven't done much of that in the stories I've written this year. Or in the book I wrote so long ago, which basically means that I've never done it. No wonder I'm uncertain how to proceed. I think there's going to be a lot of writer-ly experimentation going on in the next few days. In between those anxiety-provoking classes, anyway.

PS I procrastinated by checking my RSS feed, and whee, Patricia Wrede wrote about this very thing today. It's narrative summary that I'm going to be trying to write. Nice to stumble upon a name for it. I don't want it to be invisible, but not too detailed either.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Writing Wednesday

Except it's not -- Wednesday, that is. I woke up determined to make today a better writing day. The last couple have been dragging, as if every word is heavy. I'm ready for a rolling day instead, the kind where the words just pour out and flood the page, and even if later half of them are no good, the pouring out is fun. So while I walked the dog I gave myself a little pep talk, all of which revolved around the fact that it's Wednesday and Wednesday is a good day, the middle point of the week, the best day to be productive and get a lot done, la-di-da. And then when I sat down to write, it turned out to be Thursday. I need a new pep talk.

Last night everyone came over for dinner. We had hamburgers and fruit salad, nothing fancy, and we ate inside, at the dining room table, because the weather was ugly and thunderstorm-y. It would have been Mom and Dad's 48th anniversary. Rory said later that it had been a really nice dinner, and I think it was, but I can't remember a single thing we talked about.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A random Tuesday

It's strange that it's gotten harder, but I now have consensus -- at least from my dad and brother -- that yes, in fact, it has. Before, we were all worried about Mom. Now. . . now there's nothing to do but feel the loss. And wow, it just sucks. I've had more than one more moment when I've thought, I am so unhappy, I need to call Mom, and then realized, uh, yeah, not so much. Such a strange, strange sad feeling.

But Dad came over tonight and we ate salmon, potatoes, salad for dinner, and then watched Source Code. The two dogs were reasonably well-behaved and remarkably delightful and it was a nice interlude in a day that was filled with a lot of unexpected tears.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


When my grandfather died, back in 1990, Chris told me that we had to go to a movie, and I picked Pretty Woman. As I recall, he grumbled, but I still remember it fondly. That happy ending was just what I needed.

So this morning, I was on the phone, feeling helpless, not knowing what to do, and I said, Cowboys and Aliens. Harrison Ford, sci-fi, summer blockbuster type, what could go wrong? Only Daniel Craig spends half the movie searching for his lost love and it turns out she's DEAD. But that's okay, because he's met Olivia Wilde. Only she DIES. And then that's okay, because she comes back to life, woo-hoo. Until she DIES again. I'm not sure I could have picked a worse movie in which to try to hide our grief if I'd tried.

I think that I will always have a niggling regret that she was alone when she died. I don't know that having someone hold her hand would have made any sort of difference, but I wish I'd been there. Or that someone had been there.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday, August 4th

I know I've been a little slow with this update. That's because on Monday, Karen talked to the doctor and she was told that it would be any time now, but probably within the next couple of days. I've been waiting, therefore, thinking that there would be a change any minute. But it's now Thursday morning, those two days are come and gone, and Mom seems to be basically exactly as she was on Monday.

As for how that is, honestly, not bad, at least to the best of my ability to judge. She is no longer responsive at all -- there's been no conversation, no attempts to move, no facial expressions for a while. I'm not quite sure how long, but I've been at the hospice for the past twenty-four hours and during that time, she's been essentially unconscious. The nurse was a little late with her pain medication this morning (she's getting it every 12 hours) and Mom gave no indication of being in any discomfort. Her breathing is steady and clear, and her temperature is normal. I haven't spoken to the doctor yet, but I suspect she's gone from being "any minute" to "sometime pretty soon". But from my perspective, she's not in pain and she's not agitated like she was before, so this is not that bad. I'd say that from mom's perspective, she's probably ready to be done with it -- but since she's not letting go yet, maybe not. The nurse did say to me this morning that sometimes people, moms especially, won't leave while their kids are in the room, and Karen and I have basically been with her round-the-clock for the past several days, so we'll see.

As for how the rest of us are doing, I think pretty well. It's sort of settling into a routine -- a strange routine, but a routine nonetheless. Both teenage boys are excited (at least I think Tyler is, but I know Rory is) about getting a chance to spend a night home alone: Rory's first was last night and when I called him this morning, he told me that the dog guilted him into going to bed at a normal time. He was going to stay up really late, but she was staring at him disapprovingly and so he didn't. I feel really lucky to have such a responsible teenager that he lets the dog tell him what to do! And such a good dog, too.