Monday, February 7, 2011

Choices

Sometimes life presents you with challenges; or rather life presents you with situations that may be challenging, depending upon how you perceive them and then handle them.

I had some very sad news yesterday that brought back memories of another time, equally sad and equally disturbing.  As happens, if the information I receive is heartbreaking, I cry, although I know I have to be careful because crying can really screw up my breathing.

Yesterday, I had to cry not only for the nephew I lost, but for the brother I had lost seven years ago.  In seven years, there is time to dull the sharp pain of grief; you do not forget, nor does the grief disappear, but it lingers in the background until a sight, sound or even a scent brings a memory to the forefront of your perceptions and you grieve anew.

As the day progressed, memories of my brother were definitely front and center; I couldn’t even turn them off very well to get to sleep, but I could replace the sad memories with those of happier times, and that is how I handle moments of grief that could figuratively bring me to my knees.

For weeks after my aunt died, all I could see when I closed my eyes was her in Intensive Care, hooked up to machines, with no way to communicate except with her beautiful, bright blue eyes.  It was a painful memory and would have driven me nuts if I hadn’t decided one day to just move it along.  I replaced it with the memory of her in Hawaii, in the elevator of the Hilton Rainbow Tower, singing ‘Stormy Weather’ despite not being alone in the car.  Well, yes, she HAD had one ChiChi too many, but that’s beside the point.  My sisters and I joined in and eventually, even the other couple started singing along.  We always had fun in our travels with my aunt.  Then as I traded the memory of her in Intensive Care for the memory of her in Hawaii, I could smile again... even laugh at our shenanigans.  We had amazing times that enriched our lives, and those were the ones I would remember.

So this morning, after a fitful sleep, I again had to make that conscious decision to move aside painful memories with ones that better reflected the wonderful man that was my brother.  And I’m good again.  There are many times life presents you with challenges, and it’s up to you to decide how you will handle them.  I will grieve for my nephew, and I will get through that and then remember his childhood antics with a smile, and try to work on creating happy memories for the future so that my family can have something to smile at when I am gone.

Love to all.

5 comments:

  1. Hey Girl
    Yeah, days like that are tough, they come out of nowhere and bam, it hits you right between the eyes.

    In Scotland when someone dear passes, we all go out together and just get plastered. My sis and my dad both said, please do not cry, just have a bloody good drink on us. You cry anyway, not because of what happened to them, although sometimes the passing is so hard it is something you never get out of your head. Rather because you miss them so much.

    Memories are wonderful things. Thank God we can go back into our memory bank and retrieve all the good ones, makes your tears turn to smiles most of the time.
    Have a good one girlfriend and sorry about your nephew.
    Fay in the family room

    ReplyDelete
  2. Speaking of memories, Fay, my sister just found mom's autograph book from McClintock High School in Oakland, California. It was from 1939, although there were other, more recent entries, like 1944. :D

    One entry was from my father, and it was SO sweet. I love to look at the letters he wrote to my mom when he was courting her. Yep, more amazing memories.

    I guess we have to also thank the gods that the happier times are more easily recalled.

    Hugs!
    Teq

    ReplyDelete
  3. Chris and I will have been married 40 years on 8th May. We still have all the letters, cards etc from all those years. I am sure my grandkids will have a laugh going thru them some day. Things like this are wonderful to have. I have 4 or 5 big photo albums from when my son was little, I came across them the other day and they really made me smile. Hard to think he will be 40 this year, geeze, time passes so quickly.
    You take care girl, and do not work too hard, you gotta play some too
    Fay in the family room

    ReplyDelete
  4. *big hugs* to you dear.

    B

    ReplyDelete
  5. T, I am so sorry for the loss of your nephew. It is so true that loss builds upon loss, reminding us of previous losses...sad and difficult to bear. I am glad that your positive memories are sustaining you! We love you so much, and think of you and all the family often.

    Love, Michelle

    ReplyDelete

Labels

"The Big C" (1) 120 degrees (1) accommodation (2) Adrenal Gland (2) Adult Day Care (1) Aetna (3) Ague (1) Ahi Tuna (1) air quality (2) albuterol (6) Aloxi (1) amazon parrot (1) Americans with Disabiliites Act (1) Andy Whitfield (1) Anger (1) Ankles (1) anti-seizure meds (1) antibiotics (3) anticoagulant (3) Anxiety (6) appetite (4) Aranesp (3) Arixtra (3) Arizona (1) artichokes (1) Asparagus (3) asthma (13) Ativan (1) Atropine (2) Auntie (2) B6 (3) Banner Baywood (6) Bard Power Port (2) Barium (3) Barley (1) Barry White (1) bats (2) Benadryl (6) beneficiaries (1) Bewitched (1) Biohazard (1) Blizzard (2) BlizzCon (2) Blogger (1) blood clots (5) blood pressure (1) blood transfusion (1) bone cancer (2) Bone Pain (5) Bookworm (1) bougainvillea (2) brain tumors (3) Bras (1) bread (1) breast cancer (1) Breathe Healthy Mask (1) breathing (2) breathing treatment (3) broccoli (1) bronchitis (5) bruising (1) brussels sprouts (1) Cabin Fever (1) Camptosar (18) Cancer (9) Carboplatin (5) care-givers (1) Casserole (1) Cat (1) Cataclysm (1) Catholic School (1) Cellulitis (2) Change (1) chemo brain (1) Chemo Side Effects (6) Chemotherapy (34) chicken breasts (1) chicken broth (1) Chihuahuas (8) children (1) chili (1) chili peppers (1) Chinese food (1) Chocolate (2) chocolate cake (1) choose hope (1) Christmas (3) Christopher Hitchens (1) Cinemagic (3) Cinnamon (1) Cisco (1) claustrophobia (1) clinical trials (3) cockatoo (1) Coffee (5) Cold (5) collard greens (1) Color (1) comments (1) communication (1) Compazine (3) compliance (1) Compression Stockings (1) Congenstive Heart Failure (1) constipation (1) conversation (1) cooking (2) Coolaroo (1) COPD (1) COPD International (1) cornbread (2) coughing (7) coumadin (9) Courtesy (1) CPAP (1) cravings (5) creativity (1) Crock Pot (1) CT Scan (16) Cumin (1) cupcakes (2) Curiosity (1) Daniel Sepulveda (1) death (1) Decadron (13) Deep Vein Thrombosis (2) Denial of Coverage (1) dental procedures (5) Depression (2) Desert (1) Diablo III (2) Diabo II (1) disabilities (1) Dizziness (1) Dorothy (1) Doubts (1) Doxycycline (5) Dr. Fastenberg (12) Dr. Ramaswamy (9) Dr.Ono (1) Dragon Age II (2) Dreams (1) Druid (2) dry mouth (2) Duchess of Dim-Wittedness (1) dungeon runs (1) Dust Storm (1) DVT (1) dying at home (1) Echocardiogram (3) edema (1) elderly neighbor (1) Elizabeth Edwards (1) emotional baggage (1) end of life discussion (1) Ensure (1) Equinox (1) ER (2) esophageal cancer (16) Evelyn Lyles (2) Evil Tumor (1) Excessive Heat Warning (1) Exhaustion (4) eyebrows (1) fajitas (1) Fall (2) family (6) Famotidine (1) Fatigue (6) FDA (1) fear (10) feeding tube (1) fire drill (1) FitFlops (1) fluids (1) flying cars (1) Fondaparinux Sodium (2) food (1) Food Network (1) fountain (1) Fried Esophagus (1) friends (2) Game of Thrones (1) Garam Masala (1) gardening (1) Genentech (1) General Motors (1) George Foreman Grill (1) glass of wine (1) glucerna (4) glucose numbers (5) Goblin (1) goopiness (4) Grace (1) grains (1) Gratitude (1) Great Horned Owl (3) grief (1) groggy (1) Hair changes (4) Hair loss (5) Halloween (3) Hand-Foot Syndrome (6) handicapped placard (1) happiness (4) Hawaii (1) Hazardous Materials (1) HBO (1) healer classes (2) Health Insurance (5) heart rate (1) heat (4) heating pad (1) Help Desk (1) Henna (1) heparin (2) Her2 (1) Herceptin (29) hibiscus (4) home (2) hominy (2) Horde (1) hospice care (3) Hospital (6) hot tea (1) Howard Shore (1) humidity (1) hummus (2) Hunter (1) Hydrangeas (1) Ice Cream (1) IKEA (1) incurable (1) India (1) Infection (1) Infusion (2) Infusion port (3) inoperable cancer (2) insomnia (4) Iodine (5) Ironwood Cancer and Research Center (12) Jake (1) Jane Sepulveda (2) Januvia (1) Jerry Sepulveda (1) Jetsons (1) joy (1) Julie (1) Jury Duty (1) Kashi (1) King Crab (1) kitchen (1) knitted hats (2) krill oil (1) Lasix (3) Laughter (1) leave of absence (1) leaves (1) leg swelling (1) Levaquin (6) LIFE (1) Lifespan (1) lightning (2) Living (1) Living Will (1) Lord of the Rings (1) Los Angeles (1) loss of appetite (1) love (3) Lumbar Support (1) Lunar Eclipse (2) lymph nodes (1) Maalox (1) Machaca Chicken (1) magnesium (1) Malm (1) mastectomy (1) Master Chef (1) Medco (1) Medical Oncologist (3) memories (1) mental health (2) menudo (1) Military Macaw (1) Millet (1) Minions (2) Miracle Mouthwash (1) MMORPG (1) monsoons (4) Moonstone (1) Mormon (1) Mornings (1) mortality (2) mouth sores (1) Movies (1) Muesli (4) Mufuletta (1) Naprosyn (4) nausea (5) nebulizer (4) Necklace (1) negativity (1) neighbors (1) nervous cough (1) nervous tic (1) Netbook (1) Neulasta (6) neuroses (2) neutropenia (1) New Orleans (1) Nintendo DS (1) normalcy (1) nose sores (1) NSAID (1) Nuns (2) nurses (4) Nursing Uniform (1) NuStep (6) nutrition (3) Nuts (1) ocular migraine (3) oncologist (1) Oncologists (4) Oncology Nurse (6) optimism (1) Orcs (2) Outback Steakhouse (1) oxygen saturation (2) Pac Man (1) pagan (1) Pain (22) painting (2) palliative care (1) pancakes (1) Panic attack (1) Parsnips (1) pearls (1) Percocet (2) Peridot (1) Pesto (1) PET Scan (15) Petunias (2) Phenergan (2) Phlebotomist (9) physiology (1) Pico Sepulveda (1) pills (2) pink fedora (1) Platelets (1) playing (1) Poang Chair (1) Point Loma (1) Polly (1) posole (1) Post-chemo insomnia (3) Power Outage (1) Prednisone (15) prescriptions (1) Procrit (1) prognostications (1) Project Runway (1) protein (1) PT/INR (9) Pulmonary embolism (4) pulmonologist (4) pulse oxymeter (1) Pumpkin (2) Purple Fedora (2) Queen of Neuroses (11) quilts (1) Quinoa (2) Quito (1) Radiation Oncologist (10) radiation pneumonitis (2) Radiation Therapy (20) Rain (3) ravioli (1) reading (1) red cabbage (1) red meat (1) red wine (2) remission (1) rest (1) Rib Eye Roast (2) Rice (2) Rice Pudding (2) risks (1) Roomba (1) Rozerem (1) Ruth Sepulveda (1) saguaro (1) salmon (1) Samhain (2) Sarcastic Bitch (1) scarlet macaw (1) scooter (5) shots (1) side effects (3) Sinus Infection (1) sisters (3) Skin changes (1) Skyrim (1) sleep (8) slug (1) slumgullion (1) snow (1) snow crab (1) Snowbirds (1) soil (1) soup (1) Southern Baptist Church (1) spinach (1) Spirituality (2) Spring (1) Sprouts (3) Squash (12) Stage IV (1) Stencil (1) Steroids (2) stew (1) stomach (1) Strep Throat (1) stroke (1) Stuffed Mushrooms (1) subconscious (1) summer (1) sundial (1) Sunlight (1) Support Group (1) support socks (1) Surgeon (1) surgery (1) Survival Rate (3) swallowing (2) syringes (1) Tassimo (1) Tauren (2) Taxol (7) Taxotere (1) tea (1) Teeth (1) telecommuting (3) Templates (1) Temporal Thermometer (1) TGIF (1) Thanksgiving (2) The Apothecary Shop (3) Therapist (1) thigh tumor (1) Thrift Stores (1) throat changes (2) thunder (1) Tibetan Monk (1) Tiller Joe (1) tiramisu (1) tomatoes (3) Torchwood (1) Tortellinis (1) Tortilla soup (2) Toxic (2) Trick or Treat (1) Tripe (1) Troll Druid (2) tumor pictures (1) tumor shrinkage (2) tumors (1) Turmeric (2) TV (2) Undead Rogue (1) US Navy (1) USS Nereus (1) vancomycin (1) vegetables (6) Veggie burrito (1) veggies (3) Veterans' Day (1) vicodin (9) vinnie the vampire (1) visitors (2) Walgreen's (1) Walker (5) water color crayons (1) Water Color Pencils (4) weakness (4) weather (1) Weekends (1) weight (1) Wendy (1) Wheat Berries (1) Whimpering (1) white blood cell counts (2) Winter Solstice (4) wit (1) wooziness (1) work (21) World of Warcraft (27) writing (1) Xanax (10) Xeloda (35) Xoom (3) Xopenex (1) Xylitol (3) Yogurt (1) YouTube (1) zofran (3) Zombie Tequila (1) zucchini (1)