Mother’s Day 2018

I was more than sure I was going to spend this Mother’s Day weekend alone–well, just Mom and me. It was bringing back memories of almost exactly 8 years ago, when Mario and I were separated before the divorce and it was his weekend with the kids. It was thee worst Mother’s Day I’d ever had. I just felt so disconnected and lonely at the time, and it felt like history was repeating itself now, but under completely different circumstances, of course.

Jorge started a new project away from home a week ago. Since it was a brand-new project, and I knew he had time constraints, and the kids would be with the other parents this year I had already conceded to the fact that I was going to have a rather lonely holiday.

The girls were leaving on Thursday with their dad, but he had some things to do so the girls got to hang out with me a bit longer :). We snuggled on the couch to watch Grey’s Anatomy, where they both used me as a pillow 😀 .

I was a wreck and the girls cried, too. JAPRIL, man. Never gonna get over it!!

We got some last-minute burgers and made it back right on time for Mary to pick up the girls. I was still bawling from Grey’s, and from the girls leaving. AND from realizing that it was the start of a lonely weekend. BUT I put on my big-girl panties and went for a run. And talked to Jorge on the phone and whined about how shitty I felt. I regretted watching Grey’s, as I pinpointed that episode as the root cause of my sudden depression. 🙄 Everything else was just bonus sadness, I guess.

Friday was a quiet day at work, but co-workers from another department were visiting so we chatted for a bit. The group that was visiting was making plans to go to lunch so I was going to tag along. At the last minute it ended up being just 2 of us. We ended up at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries where I had a Little Bacon Cheeseburger with extra bacon and cheese (Keto Tip: they don’t charge for extra bacon and cheese when you order a bacon cheeseburger!) It made the afternoon go by faster, getting out of the office for a bit.

Mom and I started off the weekend by seeing Frankie Valli in concert Friday night! It was John’s Mother’s Day gift to us, which was really awesome of him.

We ate at Taco Rico (Mom’s choice), and I kept it Keto.

(Well, except for the beans, heh.)

Then we left to the Performing Arts Center. Of course, Ticketmaster never ceases to fuck my night up–once again, my tickets didn’t “work”. Apparently they weren’t saving the text with the barcode so it wouldn’t scan 🙄 . So I had to leave Mom in the lobby, go back outside to the box office, and get the 3rd degree from the lady at the window. After 10 long and sweaty minutes, I finally got a little notepaper with permission to enter the premises. Geez.

I needed a drink after that, so I found our seats and escorted Mom and got myself some whiskey and Diet Coke (low carb!).

And finally, the concert started and it was magical–it really was. It was so nice to hear Mom singing along and I knew most of the songs too. It was pretty awesome when “Can’t Keep My Eyes Off You” came on and the entire theater was singing their heart out. And Grease!

It was a really good concert!

And we made it to my car before the throngs of people started spilling out, so that was a bonus!

The even better cherry on top was that Jorge said he was coming home after all! And I made arrangements with Mario to pick the girls up on Saturday to spend time together! So that was a huge relief!

I started the next morning off with a run. I remembered why I prefer running in the evening…it was only 9am and the sun was already starting to beat down on my face and it was quickly becoming a humid, sweltering day. I got home and made myself some breakfast.

Then I showered and got ready to pick up the kiddos. Jaylen was doing community service and Eenan decided to tag along at the last minute so it would only be us 4.

I asked if they wanted food, ice cream or Starbucks and of course they chose Starbucks. I only had an iced coffee as I planned to “fast” during lunch.

Then we went to buy flowers for the moms and Gramma’s grave at HEB. And some Halo Top for me and other little groceries. Oh yes. And a new wine-based Margarita mix. They were having tastings and they had me at ‘Hello’! It would be perfect for when we met up with Dinah later.

We headed home and Jaylen was dropped off shortly. Eenan introduced us to a cartoon on Netflix called Aggretsuko, because he said he assumed it was how it was for me at work. Well, my previous work lol. Sure enough, we were able to compare real co-workers with characters 😆

We got hungry eventually so we ordered a botana from Taco Ole…and I was NOT able to stay strict Keto. Those darn tortilla chips are my FAVORITE.

We hung out and lazied-around a bit more before I had to drop them off. They were going to a party later that evening and I’d go back for them the next morning.

Jorge arrived before I got home from dropping the kids off. He ate and then we ran some errands before meeting Dinah and Javi at their hotel. We exchanged Mother’s Day gifts–Dinah and I both got each other succulents!

Jorge prepared us some drinks and they were pretty darn good! And strong!

Apparently, too strong. I couldn’t remember certain parts of the night and I just had this strange feeling when I woke up the next morning. I thought about it as I did my morning routine and once Jorge woke up I asked him what in the world happened because I couldn’t remember the car ride home.

He said, “Um. You don’t remember? You, um, cried on the way home…”

I was mortified. “Whaaat??? What was I crying about??” I finally got a spark of memory; I remembered feeling sad…and babbling 🙄 . Oh geez.

He said, “Everything, Baby. Life in general.”

I apparently cried about feeling inadequate, like I don’t do enough or make enough money. About how I haven’t gone back to school. About feeling lonely–ugh, just thinking about it now makes me cringe!

How dare that stupid alcohol unearth such deep-rooted issues I didn’t even know I had!

It was a slow realization, but I’d recently noticed that ever since leaving the Chamber and starting at my new job, I’ve sort of cut myself off from everyone. I really only hang out with Sally when she has time. And even then, most of the time I feel like I’m bothering her. I know it’s not true–because she told me so–but I can’t help but feel that way because of that annoying little nagging voice in the back of my head. That voice is the reason I don’t reach out to most people. And then I feel lonely and the cycle continues.

It doesn’t help that Jorge isn’t around sometimes due to work. That’s been the hardest of all 🙁 .

I also feel like I should do more. But I felt that way ever since the Chamber days: like I should be going to school, making more money. My job now is SO EASY and laid back that I have tons of time to think and dwell and beat myself up over stupid shit. Ugh.

ANYWAY. Back to my original story: we showered and got ready and took Mom to breakfast at Taco Ole.

We chilled out a bit at home before I picked the kiddos up for lunch.

Took this pic of my Emmos, looking adorable, as always!

She gave me this awesome card:

She’s so sweet to her mama!

And I also received a Yeti mug and wine glass from hubs!

I also got shopping and nail money, which is ALWAYS appreciated!

Jorge said he was going to stay behind since he was tired, so only Mom the kiddos and I went to lunch at Wing Stop. (I swear, my whole life is EATING!)

We chit-chatted and had some laughs and then I dropped them off. Mom and I made our way to the cemetery to drop off Gramma’s flowers and tidy up her grave a little. It’s our first Mother’s Day without Gramma 🙁 .

I saw later that both girls had Snapped and Instagrammed Mother’s Day posts to me! As bad as it may be on some occasions, I love that I can “see” them express themselves through social media.

I’m only sad that she didn’t have another photo 😆 😆 !!

All-in-all, couldn’t ask for a better Mother’s Day! My heart and soul were thrilled and fulfilled!

12:16 – When Gramma Left Us

You never know when your life is going to change forever. I never thought, when I woke up on November 17, 2017 that it would be the day I said goodbye to my lovely Gramma. My Grimmy. My Grimmy-Grim.

My poor Gramma had a hard life, but she was a trooper. I think that’s what saddened me the most: that she never had it easy. She was always in a good mood and was the sweetest little old lady. I don’t remember the facts perfectly, but she got Polio when she was 26-years-old, when Mom was only 6. She had surgery, and she literally died and was brought back to life. That’s where the large scar on her back came from and the reason she lost some mobility in her hands, the reason her speech changed forever and the reason she would be bed-ridden for the rest of her life. Mom became responsible for Gramma when she was 18 or so, making it hard for Mom to have any type of career, but that was their life and Mom and Gramma would be together till 2004 when Gramma would become sick and move into a nursing home. We thought back then that she wouldn’t make it because she was so sick, but she overcame that obstacle, like all the others in her life.

I can’t for the life of me remember exactly when they found tumors on Gramma’s thyroid and then her lungs, but it couldn’t be over a year. Gramma’s never been one for surgeries–in fact, she hated to have to go to the hospital for anything at all–so it wasn’t a surprise to anyone when, at 86-years-old, she refused a biopsy. So we would never know how serious the potential cancer was. The doctors also told Aunt Nora that starting chemo on her, or any other type of cancer medication, would probably kill her before the disease would, so nobody pressed the issue. We would just let her be, and that’s how she wanted it.

The last few months were hard on her. She went from having hallucinations due to UTI’s, to a Bell’s Palsy episode (that was grossly ignored by the nursing home until I went in and had a fit), to just being uncomfortable all the time.

Aunt Nora, Linda and I had a meeting with hospice a few months ago–which I NEEDED to have, because Aunt Nora had already brought it up to me and I just felt like the nursing home was trying to “free up a bed”. I’m incredibly cynical, especially when it came to my grandmother’s health. I felt a little better when the social worker told us that this was just to make her comfortable, and it could be 2 weeks or 2 years or more, but it was just extra help for her. So they stepped in.

She recently stopped listening to her music, I noticed, and she always loved her music. The last few months I tried visiting her as often as possible after work, because I knew I needed to spend that extra time with her. The last few weeks I saw her less, because of work, or because the kids had something going on. I had the Mexican Artisan Expo going on last weekend, so I missed seeing her from Thursday to Monday, and Monday only because I had to pay bills and do everything I didn’t get to do over the weekend. When I went in to see her on Tuesday after work, she seemed confused and uncomfortable. She kept saying she was hot and I tried pointing her fan at her from all angles and it just wasn’t helping. She was confused about eating, telling me that she hadn’t eaten dinner and kept bringing up her postre (dessert) telling me that they hadn’t given her one at all. So naturally, I started fuming that they would ignore my Gramma, and called the CNA in. She swore up and down she’d fed her and that Gramma said she wasn’t hungry, and didn’t like her dessert. I said that was odd, because she ALWAYS eats her food and most definitely her dessert. I tried making her as comfortable as possible: fluffing her pillows, fixing her fan, moving her oxygen wires and call button wires around and finally lowering her bed more and turning her light off like she asked. I left feeling uneasy. I wanted to text Aunt Nora, but I had seen photos of her at Disney and didn’t want to bother her yet.

Mom told me that night that when she and Linda had visited Gramma during lunch that she also didn’t want to eat and kept nodding off. I was about to text Aunt Nora when she texted me about hospice wanting to start Gramma on a morphine drip because she was uncomfortable. I hated the thought of it, but I didn’t want her to feel terrible.

I visited Gramma Wednesday evening after work. Again she was uncomfortable and confused about eating. I asked the CNA if she’d eaten and she said, “Very little.” Very, very unlike Gramma. I was having trouble understanding her more-so that day, but tried my hardest to answer her questions. She kept grabbing onto the bed rails to shift herself and when she would, she would cringe or moan from pain. I think the cancer in her lungs was bothering her 🙁 . She even grabbed her side once. I panicked and texted Aunt Nora and she told me to go to the nurse’s station before I left to ask them to give her something for the pain. One of the dad’s of one of Emily’s little classmates, Mark, was the nurse on duty and told me he would take care of it. I believe this is the night they started her on anxiety medication. Linda spent the night with Gramma.

They moved Gramma to a new room the next afternoon where there was a chair-bed to accommodate Aunt Nora and Linda when they’d stay the night. When I picked the boys up Thursday evening I told them we’d stop by to visit Gramma. Linda was just about to leave when we’d arrived into the room because Aunt Nora was going to relieve her. She told me that Gramma had been knocked out for hours after they gave her the morphine and anxiety meds, because she’d been hysterical the night before. Linda said, “If you’d seen her, you’d ask them to give it to her, she was bad.” It was heartbreaking to see her in the state she was in: pale, labored breathing, so frail 🙁 . Linda said the nurse told her that she was doing a “death gurgle” when she would breathe. I couldn’t believe they had a name for it. I knew I was being selfish, but I was hoping this was temporary; that–like all the other times–she would defy the odds and make a complete recovery. Poor Eenan was distraught and Jaylen was holding it in. So was I; I had to be strong for Eenan. We stayed with her for a little over an hour and left at 8pm, only because the other kids were at home and needed to eat dinner.

The next morning we woke up super early since Jaylen needed to be dropped off at Mario’s, like usual on Fridays, and I needed to get cash for the girls’ “Snack Shack” at school. Mario gave Alaethia some cash since we wouldn’t make it on time to the school if I’d stopped at Walgreens, and Emily already had hers. Alaethia had been having pains in her tummy all week, and when she got them again that morning I told her she needed to see the doctor, as it had already been 4 days of the stomach pains. I really wanted to text Aunt Nora, but I was afraid I’d wake her, so I texted Linda instead. She said there wasn’t much change, but that the nurse told Aunt Nora it was “the beginning of the end” and that she was showing more signs of it. I hated to hear that, but I needed to stop being selfish, and I knew it. After running around with Alaethia all morning and trying to find the prescription they gave her, we gave up and went to HEB to get her some broth and yogurts with probiotics, per the doctor’s recommendation. I dropped her off at home, since it was past 10am and she’d be counted absent anyway.

I got to work and answered a few e-mails. I had just gone into my boss’s office to ask him if I could skip out on working Unplugged that night since I needed to spent time with my grandmother and explained what was going on. He said, yes, of course I could have the night off. I went to my desk to finish up some bills and help my co-worker, Lee, translate a letter when I got two texts: one from Aunt Nora saying, “Linda said Mom just stopped breathing” and one from Linda that said “Call me”. So I did. Linda was crying that she and Mom had arrived and not 10 minutes later Gramma stopped breathing and she hadn’t breathed since. I couldn’t believe it. It was too fast. I grabbed all my things with tears stinging at my eyes and just started bawling when Lee asked what was wrong. I told him, and then told my boss that I had to leave, then I ran into Gerry and Michelle and then Rosie. Rosie told me to calm down and breath since I had to drive, so I did. I called John and Jorge on the way to the nursing home. John felt awful because he was planning to visit her on Saturday, but he never got the chance to. I immediately stopped crying to be strong for him and told him she knew he loved her. I arrived at the same time Aunt Nora and Tio Arturo did. I couldn’t believe how much Gramma changed from the night before. I couldn’t believe she wasn’t with us anymore. We all hugged and cried and collected her things. They called the official time of death at 12:16pm. They let us stay with her about an hour before the funeral home came for her.

I had the task of telling the kids when I picked them up from Mario’s at 5pm. Emily and Alaethia broke down. Eenan, who had already broken down the night before, took it well, but weeped a little. Mario told Jaylen not to hold it in and he broke down, too. Even Mario got teary when he gave his condolences to Mom. It took a bit to compose ourselves, but we told the kids the important thing was she knew they loved her and she was in a much better place now.

Mom was devastated, but she did so much better than I thought. Linda was taking it really hard; I know how much Gramma meant to her. She meant the world to all of us. She isn’t suffering anymore, and that’s the thought I’ve had that has helped me cope. I really do hope she knows how much I loved her, how much we all did. She’s finally free of any pain; walking, talking and together again with my great-grandparents and her siblings. I love you Grandma.