Sunday, November 1, 2009


It has been so long since I even really considered writing in this blog. I feel like no one will think to read it anymore but that's ok, this is kind of a test run anyway--I'm not sure it will stick, I'm going to try to slither back into it. Life has been too crazy to indulge in writing 'for fun'. It seems like we, as a family, have kind of hunkered down and hidden out for a lot of this year hoping to wait out the worst of the storm(s). There were some moments of emergence and some of victory--we haven't been lazy; on the contrary I think we've worked harder as an aggregate than we ever have. But it seemed more a matter of necessity than anything else, and the accomplishments have been hard-earned and not without bittersweet reminders of what was lost.

Lately, though, I've been thinking a lot about what we might have gained from all of this. Unexpected change brings inevitable turmoil, but the human response to turmoil is full of surprises, little miracles cloaked in necessity's clothing--the truth of the matter is, we don't have to do all, or any, of the things we do. Every action is the result of a decision; we are lucky enough, or cursed enough, to have that capability. I look back on this year and I realize how many people decided to do little amazing and wonderful things--unselfish, utterly helpful and supportive things. I often allow myself to feel like we live in a world of cold and unrelenting competition, that people are primarily self-interested and thrive off of others' failures. But when I think back on the past months, what comes to mind now is how many close friends and family have put in a lot of time and effort--hard work, really--simply to help each other succeed. People stepped up and came together in a truly amazing way. We are such a hodge podge, a real melting pot of step-, half-, in-law, sweetheart, 2nd/3rd, twice removed, old friend/new friend, and so on and so forth...many people defy category or title, really, but are nonetheless now part of the fabric of our survival and our success. I wish, so strongly sometimes, that some of the events leading to the creation of this fabric could be reversed; that the unexpected change leading to the turmoil leading to the decisions leading to the miracles could have been a little (or a lot) less terrifying, less life-altering...but even so, I would never want to un-weave what has so artfully been created because I have a sense that it will protect and sustain all of us in a very meaningful way for the rest of our lives.

So we continue to emerge, I think a little more confidently knowing that the fabric is there. Thanksgiving, to me, will be the true marker of how far we've come--together. To think that nearly a year ago we were all together and we had no idea what could be, what was possible--there was so much love but we were still kind of separate, timid, distant. There's no need for that now. We've been thrown in, woven together, and even though we still sometimes kind of want to kill each other I think we realize how truly lucky we are. I can't wait to be with everyone, to experience the culinary masterpieces of the more kitchen-oriented among us (ie, not me--another reason I dearly love and appreciate my family!), and to indulge in the warmth of togetherness and survival. We have a long way to go but I truly believe the foundation is there. We deserve a celebration.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I'm sorry for the indulgence of my last entry. Having a blog, it is so easy to want to spread the wealth of one's emotions among all friends and acquaintances--how convenient; one half-hour and a click and the unhappiness is effectively an epidemic!

It's not fair, I know. It is, however, what inevitably happens at 2 am in a hospital when you can't sleep and you (unfortunately) have access to a computer.

At any rate, things improve. I know this, we all know this, but in the heat of the moment it doesn't stop us from being alarmist, histrionic. At first I told myself it was the 'unexpected' that really killed me, but I think I know better now. To see a parent incapacitated, for any reason, at any time in life, is devastating. What's kind of funny is that I am only now realizing that I've known many people who have been in a similar situation. I just never really understood.

Anyway, for more detailed information you can go to:
And read about Right-Hemisphere stroke. Most of the information is right on, as it relates to my mom.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

To write this is torture, but I can only hope it may bring some small amount of relief. Not that I could sleep, anyway. The ‘sleeping’ chairs, they’re about as comfortable as a mattress made of cardboard.

The force of the past weeks is enough to fell me. Everything, nothing. Everything, then nothing. The anticipation. The exhilaration. There was never anxiety or regret when it came to him, to us. We had only everything and we held it tightly, knowing how it would fly. And it did. The finest, most utterly defining and indefinite moments; the ones that sustain you, that lift and fulfill you. They flew, and then, with so little time for absorption or introspection, this inexplicably harsh transition, a sudden tumble, the fall. The lump in the throat, the loss of control. Disbelief, panic, shock. What ended, what began?

Life is happening at a rate and rhythm I can’t keep up with or comprehend. I have so little sense of place, of belonging. I am here, but I was here before for some entirely different reason that now seems bizarrely distant; and then I was there, and now I’m back; and he is there (which is just shitty, because I need him), and they are here. And she is here. And none of us are home.

How the entirety of one’s life concept disintegrates at the foot of one miniscule organic malfunction.

How the role of caregiver is passed and received, adopted and relinquished, because it must be, because there is no other way. Because the one who always filled that role so rightly and competently and completely is suddenly the one who needs care, and we all begin to struggle, out of necessity, in our little inadequate ways, to fill those shoes, to assume that part, to begin to attempt to repay what we suddenly realize is a lifetime of debt. It came so naturally to her. She is so good at it; she relished it and perhaps at times despised it; but it’s who she is.

Swallow, think. Stop thinking. Breathe. This sterile room full of light, sound, and doubt. And to think, two weeks following a house overflowing with light, sound, and joy. How to comprehend such contrasts? How could this possibly have happened? What do we do now? Who will take care of us?