Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's Complicated

Since my dad died, I don't like the question, "How are you doing?" Because it's a very, very complicated question to answer -- especially to answer basically in passing as you bump into a friend in the store or on a walk or when you arrive at church. What's the 2 minute version of How I'm Doing?  I'm doing fine. I'm doing, I'm busy, I'm laughing, I'm going, I'm organizing, I'm packing, I'm loving... The doing is going fine.

But what's not fine are my thoughts. They're jumbled and confused. The whole answer is: I'm doing fine -- I'm doing everything I need to be doing and should be doing. And that feels normal and good and fine. But my brain and thoughts are not fine. Trying to process how this all happened and work through it is not fine. It's hard. And there's not a lot of time to process. So it comes in bits and pieces mostly when I don't feel ready. Often when a song comes on the radio or random moments a feeling washes over me that I just want to cry. But most of the time I'm in the process of doing, so it's not convenient to be feeling and so I have to repress it.

I find myself talking through the meetings with the doctors and nurses again. Thinking through the timeline of the first time we took him to the hospital and each subsequent visit. (How was it only 3 weeks from "brain bleed" to "doing great in rehab" to "not doing great" to "he's going to die? How was it only 5 weeks from "brain bleed" to death?" How did we go in just two month's time from the shock of "I think a brain tumor means we only have a year!" to "they said we may only have 6 months" to "days or weeks." Also, thinking through the days and what we thought was progress and more time to the moment when we discovered there was no more time. But then there was 10 more days.

I find myself giving people the information that makes them feel better about him dying. "He had cancer. He was 75. It was a blessing he didn't suffer for long. We're grateful to have had time to say goodbye. Everyone's doing fine." But what I'm thinking is: "Remember last year when you heard he had prostate cancer and you said, 'prostate cancer is no big deal?' Well, turns out it was a big deal."
And, "he was FINE until just a few weeks prior. I'm still very unsettled at how fast it went."
"It was the most traumatic 5 weeks of my life."
"His actual dying was intense and unsettling and scary."
"No, I never felt anything spiritual about his actual passing or dressing him in his temple clothes."
"The viewing and funeral and everyone here talking and remembering and laughing was actually kind of fun."
"What's wrong with me?"

The thing is, there's so much to say that one sentence doesn't cover it. And the experience is too important and too personal to tell it half-way. When the telling gets interrupted it leaves me feeling raw. So it's easier to not get into it. Because I need to say all that I need to say or else I can only say nothing at all. So, saying nothing by saying "I'm Fine" is much, much easier.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Grant's Pass is Beautiful

After Courtney's graduation, we flew to Grant's Pass to visit Bekah, Matt and the kids. What a beautiful place! Every minute was an adventure and lots of laughs (because Bekah and Matt are so fun to be with and always keep everyone laughing)!

The Jet boats were a highlight -- also seeing a bald eagle and heron (birds) along the river.
Lucy and Livy reminding me a lot of Angela and Michelle!
River boats were a blast. It was unseasonably cold -- FREEZING -- but a blast!

When not out and about, we were spike balling, jumping on the tramp, visiting Jax and Lucy's school, 
going to Jax' piano recital and playing sardines after the recital.

Cousins bonding...

When you get to be a super hero with Uncle Matt...
Chris spent a morning in surgery with Uncle Matt. Felt queasy only at the beginning of the first one but felt great
for 2 more shoulder replacements. RESPECT!
We headed down to the redwoods and considered going to the coast. But instead stopped at a rock shop on the side of the road. (I have ALWAYS wished we could stop at the rock shops along the side of the road! Bucket List, check!)

After the redwoods, went to Oregon Caves which was super cool. 
I'm a sucker for all things geology-related!
And to top off the fun day, we saw two bears as we headed down the mountain (in the car). 
They walked right on the side of the road and up the mountain. 

On our way out of town, got a view of their volcano.
...and lunch at Luigis "famous Italian sandwiches." 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Our Mechanical Engineer

"Our Mechanical Engineer!" There's something exciting about saying that! Courtney's graduation was   inspiring. We loved having Grandma to celebrate with us as well. It was so hard to imagine that just four years prior we were dropping her off in Seattle. I've said it a lot lately, but... Where has the time gone?!

We always have to eat at the Crab Pot in Seattle.

Mariners game. Played the Toronto BlueJays who acted like they owned the place.
Courtney got pretty feisty when the Blue Jays didn't respect the home crowd ;-)

The Mechanical Engineering graduates

Proud Parents! Class of 2017
We also enjoyed a rooftop BBQ with Courtney's friends; brunch at The Space Needle; late night ice cream; visiting Ballard Locks; lunch after graduation at Portage Bay; and Courtney took the boys to the Ferris Wheel late one night. Such fun!

Before brunch at the space needle!