Unstuck

Ladies and Gentlemen I am proud to announce that at least for today I am UNSTUCK. Thank god.

Those of you who read my blog on the regular know that I’ve had a rough six months or so… maybe even longer. But today, I feel different. Today, I feel happy. Today, I feel like I can breathe, and run, and skip, and play. Ok thats a little much but I do feel pretty good.

How did I get here? Hell if I know….. kidding. I just put one foot in front of the other and did something everyday that scared me and that I didn’t want to do. Oh and I cried….alot… like excessive amounts. But all that crying was cathardic for me. Healing. Messy, but necessary.

Our lives (my daughters and mine) have changed so much in the past six months. We got thrown into a this huge whirlwind of change and sadness. We kept running into each other and then losing each other, until now we finally got out on the otherside TOGETHER.

Somethings remain the same, I still miss my Mom everyday. Somedays I forget and start to call or text her and then remember that she is not going to answer the phone. But I still talk to her and laugh at things we did. The pain is slowly dulling and is replaced with a sence of hope and exitement about my future. About my daughters future, and our future together. We are slowly turning our home into OUR home and have conversations about what will happen when we leave this space. We have both FINALLY accepted that my mom is not coming back so we better figure a way to co-exist without our favorite referee here to smooth things over.

Somedays I am mad, and others I just make it through the day, breath by breath, moment by moment. I do know one thing for certain. I am going to be ok, my daugther is going to be ok and we are on our way to living our best lives ever.

I pray this blog is just the segway to me being me again. I’ve missed me to be honest with you, and have new fun and silly stories to share. But for today, I think I’ll leave it here……

“I, I keep a record of the wreckage of my life. I gotta recognize the weapon is my mind, they talk shit and I love it everytime and I realize.”

” I’ve tasted blood and it is sweet, I’ve had the rug pulled beneath my feet. I’ve trusted lies and I’ve trusted men. Broke down and put myself back together again.”

Come on little lady give us a smile, No, I aint got nothin’ to smile about, I got no one to smile for, I waiting a while for a moment to say I DON’T OWE YOU A GOD-DAMN THING. I keep a record of the wreckage in my life….”

“I’m no sweet dream but I’m a hell of a night …

Someone like me can be a real nightmare, completely aware. But I’d rather be a real nightmare than die unaware. But I am glad to be a real nightmare, so save me a prayer. “Halsey”

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Let me love you

“Don’t you give up nah nah nah. I won’t give up nah nah nah. Let me love you….

My life has become a series of stories. Some so outrageous you will be sure that I am embellishing. I’m not. Just in the past few weeks everyday brings a new story for me to share with my students, to laugh about and to learn from. While we have lost someone so dear to us in our small family we gained something so much bigger…. each other.

My brother and I were very close as children, only 2 1/2 years apart, we were playmates, best friends and loved each other even when we didn’t.

My mother used to tell me a story about this little girl on the beach (me) she was only 2 years old but had already made her personality known to family and friends. One day a bunch of mean boys were bullying her older brother. That little girl got up from the masterpiece sandcastle she was making and stomped over to those boys, shook her fists in their faces and screamed “leave my brother alone”. And they did.

As we grew older my brother protected me more than I did him, but every so often I would step in for battle. Each time my mom would say “ooh there she is, the little girl at the beach”.

Losing our father was awful for my brother and I. My dad was like no other, a man’s man. That guy. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to grieve his somewhat sudden death because our maternal grandmother who raised, us passed away only two months after. Yes it did suck. Very badly. Losing the two people that defined my youth almost at the same time changed me. Not for the better either. I pulled away from my family, abandoning my mother to go through the process of losing her husband and mother alone. One of my biggest regrets, by the way. No one should have to do that. I was angry and selfish and a bitch. If I would I could but I can’t so I WILL…. move forward.

Forward was less than a year later back in the hospital now with my Mom being diagnosed with the first of many cancers she survived. This time I was minus a husband (death does interesting things to a marriage), and determined not to fuck up again. It was year 2000 and that is when my relationship with my mother really started. But this blog isnt about her. Lord knows shes gotten enough attention lately……… (oh I am kidding).

This blog is about love. It’s about seeing the people in your life for who THEY are and loving them in a way that serves them NOT YOU. It’s about doing something for someone because you CAN and WANT to make thier lives a little lighter. It’s about putting what you want aside to truly be selfless and supportive.

It’s not easy, loving unconditionally, there is no room for judgment or opinions. IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU or what YOU think, it’s about loving and supporting someone else’s plan, path, ideas, etc. So where does that leave us? Love is an emotion but it is also a decision. A decision to love no matter what. A committment to someone that no matter how bad their behavior may be you will ALWAYS love them. Now I do realize that gets tricky in romantic love relationships but it doesn’t have to. I had this thought the other day “Life is scary and life is beautiful”. At the time I was wanting the beauty but living in the fear. Then something changed. I started to push through the fear….. you what I found? Life is beautiful. Don’t miss it. Not one moment. Always choose love.

“I used to believe we were burning on the edge of something beautiful. Selling a dream. Smoke and mirrors keep us waiting on a miracle. Say go through the darkest of days, heaven is a heartbreak away, never let you go, never let me down. Oh its been a hell of a ride, driving the edge of the knife. Never let you go, never let me down”

“Don’t you give up nah nah nah I won’t give up nah nah nah Let me love you.”

Dedicated to my hero, my big brother, I love you………….the little girl at the beach

Be my friend, hold me. Wrap me up, unfold me

Damn. That is what my grandmother would say when she was mad. DAMN. I want to say much worse but for the sake of this blog DAMN will do.

The stages of grief are different for everyone. No one person experiences a trauma or loss the same, yet we all feel. Don’t we?

Sometimes I wonder. Without making this another blog about my dead mommy there are a few things I’d like to say.

  1. SAY SOMETHING- If you know someone who has suffered a loss or is in pain and you are not sure what to say, say this “I am sorry for your loss”. Simple to the point. I care for you but am not sure what to say and am scared if I say too much you might cry and my head will explode.
  2. DO NOT AVOID- I have friends who I spoke to on a regular basis until my mom got sick and passed. At the time I needed them the most, they fanished into thin air. I still consider them friends but wonder how they can disconnect from a person or situation so easily.
  3. BE NORMAL- The friend that just lost their parent, friend, child, etc is sad but they are still them. The best way to heal for me is to be me. I still go to work everyday I still have a sick sense of humor. I still put one foot in front of the other. I am still alive. Some days suck more than others but I am trying. Doing the best I can.
  4. HAVE COMPASSION- def. sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
  5. BE KIND- That should be the easiest one of all.

That concludes my post-mortum lecture….. Kind of. But to be honest, it sucks to lose someone that held such a huge place in your life. Having people around helps. Maybe to just not feel alone, or talk a little shit. It helps. No one wants to be sad, so if someone you love is sad try to connect to them. Reach out, it doesnt have to be a grand gesture, but don’t avoid them because you don’t have the perfect thing to say (there isn’t one anyway). Or to think you are bothering them. Believe me the worst part is when the phone calls and texts stop. And they do stop. Everyone goes on with their lives as they should and ever too quickly the person that passed fades from peoples minds and hearts.

Unless that person was your mother.

“Be my friend, hold me. Wrap me up, unfold me. I am small, I’m needy. Warm me up and breathe me” SIA

Just in case you were wondering, An angel appeared at my daughters cheer tryouts last week and told me she read my blog. This angel also happens to work at LLMC. The very same angel took my story to the Big boss at LLMC and forced them to look at the horrific way my mothers body was treated post-mortum. The Boss called me and explained to me HOW they are changing their donation system so that what happened to my Mother will NOT happen to anyones else’s loved one.

Oh yea, and they are cutting me a check to reimburse me for cremation costs. Big win. Thank you to my angel and the staff at LLMC for hearing my story and making a change. THAT means everything.

Peace will win and Fear will lose

I feel like my life is like a drama series. At the beginning of the season you see the final scene and the rest of the episodes are dedicated to explaining the course of events that lead to the final moments. Only this isn’t not fiction, this is the truth.

It has been almost three weeks since my mom passed. The most painful time that I can remember and can’t wait to forget. Along with the normal grieving and informing people that she has passed. I’ve had the sole job of cleaning out our house and trying to make it a place where my daughter and I can feel peace and call home.

I had no idea my mother was a hoarder. Now you’d think since we’ve lived together for thirteen years I would’ve noticied, but I guess I was convienantly oblivious.

I’ve spend most of the past few weeks throwing stuff out, trying to sell stuff and making a huge pile for 1800-got-junk to haul off. Its cathardic actually, the purging of the past allowing space for the future.

Along with the cleaning, is the business end of death, name changes, bank accounts, bills, you know the fun stuff. The stuff that takes time and requires a death certificate in order to complete. The death certificate. Just typing it makes my stomach hurt. As I have been cleaning out my mothers documents, I have come across the death certificiates of both my grandmothers and my father. Ouch. Now the proper time has passed and I began the process of obtaining my mothers paperwork so that we can move forward legally and yada yada.

The plan was to have my application for the certificate filled out. Check. How many copies I needed. Check. The exact amount of cash need per certificate. Check. I was going to hand in my packet of info to the clerk at the public health department and she’d hand me documents which I planned to never look at but have in an envelope ready for when I needed them. Yea well that plan, didn’t exactly go as planned.

I got the office as planned, but when I requested such documents I was told they didn’t exist. Hmmmm that’s strange… Ok, So I called Loma Linda Medical school to find out what the hold up was (now if you are just tuning in, prior to my mothers passing her DOCTOR asked my brother and I if we would be willing to donate her body to science).

So, the school doesn’t have her, try the medical center morgue they tell me. Um, ok but wasn’t this supposed have happened weeks ago? Nevertheless, I contact the morgue. The woman on who ran the program confirmed that yes my mother was there waiting to be claimed by her next of kin (me) and then given directions on what mortuary to be sent to.

What the actual fuck???? What happened to the donation? I cried (literally). I never received that paperwork she responded (who fucked that up, I wonder??) “WHY DIDN’T YOU CALL ME??????? I screamed into the phone. “I was waiting for you to contact me, family members usually do within 72 hours” stated the mortican. Hold up, 72 hours after death would have been the 26th of March. This was the 10th of April. Breathe. I hung up the phone now unable to talk. My right mind knows that the body that lay in the morgue was not my mother, but see it still IS my mother to ME. At this point I have to call on one of my angels (a friend) that works for the county to investigate.

Protocol at LLMC morgue is after 72 hours if a body isn’t claimed by the next of kin, a letter is sent out to the family stating that the body will be turned over to the county 10 days after death if arrangements have not been made. Did I receive a letter? No. Once the body is turned over to the county they will creamate and then search the deceased estate to cover funds and fees and etc. Ok so, I can’t access my mothers trust that states that all real property belongs to me until I get a death certificate. But I can’t get a death certificate until the county gets reimbursed all the fees and costs they’ve incurred. So in theory, my house could have a lien put against it, my mothers trust would be frozen, and I am finanically screwed. Oh, did I mention I never received any type of communication from the morgue or ANYONE at LLMC???? Had I not gone to picked up the death certificates on that very day, I STILL wouldn’t know. (until the county came after me).

Only through the grace of god was I able to stop the transfer of my mothers body to the county. The paperwork had been started and the pick up was scheduled for the afternoon of the 11th (that was yesterday). I went into beast mode, I found a creamatorium, arranged for pick up, spend money that I don’t have, and at 10:43am today, April 12th my mothers body was finally laid to rest. Unbelievable right? Well believe it.

So what would be the beginning/end of this season or episode? Me standing alone crying, completely broken by the course of events that took place over the past few weeks? Unable to function or concentrate or participate in my normal life? Yes! Well, no………

This morning, I woke up and went into my mothers garden. Her 20 plus rose bushes that she spent so much time and love on. Planting and grooming are now blooming. I sat there looking at the different size roses with colors ranging from red, orange, yellow and pink and I cried. This was proof that no matter how hard the past few weeks has been and how much I’ve missed my mom and wanted her back. I didn’t have to go far, she’s been here all the time.

This does not excuse the negligence of the staff over at LLMC. This thing went sideways so many times. Multiple people didn’t do their jobs and I was left handling something that I shouldn’t have. Paying for things that were not my responsibility. So not only was my Mothers body left in the morgue for 17 days (she wasnt a jane doe, they had her file). But I was NEVER contacted by them for any of it. My sad, just turned mad….. I have every intention of allowing LLMC to make this right before I begin the process of informing the public just how people and their families are treated post mortum. Oh, I guess now you already know.

“I ponder of something terrifying ’cause this time there is no sound to hide behind. I find over the course of our human existence one thing consists of consistence…. and that’s we are all battling fear. Oh dear, I dont know why we’re here. Oh my, too deep, please stop thinking.. I liked it better when there was too much sound.”

‘There are things we can do, but from the things that work there are only TWO and from the two that we choose to do… Peace will win and fear will lose.

It is faith and there’s sleep. We need to pick one thing because Faith is to be awake and to be awake is for us to think, and for us to think is to be alive, and I will try with every rhyme to come across like I am dying, to let you know you need to try to think.

I ponder of something great my lungs will fill and then deflate. They fill with fire, exhale desire I know it’s dire my time today”-Car Radio TOP

I choose peace…. but when it comes to my Mommy, that peace is going to have a little punch behind it. She deserved that. Everyone does.

Just a picture perfect day


I know, I kinda I left you hanging last week. I needed to get the information out but couldn’t bring myself to tell you how we got there. My mothers story is long, and parts are unattractive so how about I just cut to the chase, Friday, March 22nd.

Friday morning I woke up with the plan. I would go to work, meet up with my Ex and his mother at my house. My daughter was planning to spend the week with him, and his family as she does on most school breaks. We’d go by the hospital, visit with my mom, then they’d continue on their travels. I would continue my day fighting with hospital administrators and doctors to try to get my mom transferred out of the hospital to a facility where she could be outside, and we could visit anytime and even bring our dogs.

That was the plan. Or at least my plan, see at this point we had exhausted all other avenues. We knew she wasn’t getting better. We knew I couldn’t bring her home, and I was still chasing time, thinking that I actually had some.

So, Friday morning goes off without a hitch, it was such a beautiful day. I taught my first class of the day which is my favorite class of the week (shhhh don’t tell even though every one already knows). Funny how I teach 6 mornings a week at the same club to the same people, same format, yet fridays always feel different. This week was no exception, my students worked harder and inspired me more than they ever have. Off to the next club which is again a favorite, but bitter sweet because my Mom used to take this class. My heart belongs to my seniors, (despite my cool exterior) and I did love having my mom participate and become friends with some of my favorite people. I gave my weekly “Mom” report to my students, her friends, taught, even threw in a little senior yoga and made it back home to meet with the family. Perfect.

We arrive to the hospital before 1pm which left me exactly 4 hours to do my magic before I had to leave to teach my evening class. We walked in all smiles and laughter only to be stared down by my mother, who was not laughing. See, what I failed to mention is that she was supposed to be transfered the day before and this little family reunion was supposed to be taking place outside with the dogs and other friends…. but I digress…

Her transfer was cancelled and she wasn’t happy about it. I know the look so I excused myself to find her case worker and see if I could make mountains move.

Apparently, I can’t. No bed, no moving, no nothing. For how long I ask? Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday they answer. Shit. Ok. So I put my big girl face on and went to tell Mom the news. Needless to say it didn’t go over well. Now let’s remember that my mom had brain cancer and the tumors were right on her behavioral sites. That was rough because one minute she was her and the next she wasn’t. Her reaction was one that I had seen before and scared the shit out of me. First the kicking, then the screaming, then the silence. It was the silence that was the hardest. She then turned to me and said “I can’t do this anymore, I am so tired….please” The look in her eye told me exactly what she meant. I said “Ok mommy, when?” and she said “tomorrow”. Fuck. My daughter immediately started crying and said “NO! I want to be here, and my mother turned to her and said “GO, Go with your father”…. Ok pause. If you knew my mom and her relationship with my daughter, and my relationship with her father, you would KNOW that she’d never say that unless she was serious.

I put my head down and cried, because thats what I do. Then I got up and said “ok”…… What happens next is truly from God because there is no way I could’ve have orchestrated the rest of this day.

I called my brother and he and my niece jumped in the car and drove in like they did at least 100 times before from palm springs. I called in the pallative team to make sure all the right questions were answered and asked and text the people that I knew she would want to see. She was told she could eat anything she wanted.. so off went my Ex and daughter to get her a cheeseburger and shake. In the interim, she had popsicles and doughnuts and anything, and everything she hadn’t eaten in the past nine weeks.

Somehow in the midst of the madness I expressed how disappointed I was that she never got to go outside… Her nurse, who was an angel I am sure of it, said hang on and left her room with a smile…. She returned to tell us that she had made special arrangements to have my mom taken out onto the helipad of the hospital! Mom was going outside…..

At 4:31pm March 22nd, my mother was the first patient ever to on to the helipad of LLMC. Along with many of her doctors, nurses, a TV crew (kidding, but it was filmed). Both her children and two of her grandchildren she made history…….Of course she did.

It was the perfect moment. The view of the valley was beyond anything she had seen from any of her hospital rooms that’s for sure. Once we got up and got her settled she just closed her eyes, soaked in the sun and cried. Then we all cried. Tears of joy and sadness mixed together. She looked at me and said “I am really ready now, I am going to just fly away”……

And thats that. The rest of the story goes as you’d expect. We eventually went back to her room, and everyone eventually left.

Prior to that we laughed, watched her eat that cheeseburger and of course, cried. Friends came in and prayed with her. I had the opportunity to connect to my niece in a way that touched my soul, and I will never forget. She had family, friends, and food and it was just perfect.

In the midst of the “party” I realized that we still had important business to take care of and left her room to speak to her doctor about organ donation. When I asked about donating her organs her doctor asked me if I would be interested in donating her body to science. I didn’t even hesitate “yes of course” I said. Her doctor looked at me funny so I asked “why are you giving me the big eyes?”. She said “No big eyes” (ok, if anyone knows the big eyes its me, sister), so I called my brother over thinking I had made a mistake. He was right with me in the decision to donate. The doctor explained that not too many people are willing to let go of their loved ones bodies after death. Being that my brother is an educator, and my job is to increase the fitness level of people both young and old it made perfect sense to us. In fact, in all of this, that decision has given me the most peace. Knowing that she can be a part of something bigger than her inspires me. Having lost both my parents to cancer wants me to find out why… but that’s another blog.

The next day my brother, nephew and I met early at the hospital. Wearing our Rams gear to honor her favorite team we had a some sweet conversation, and then well you know the rest. (if not, read the next blog)

Every morning I wake up and forget that she is gone. Everyday I cry. Everyday I miss her and EVERYDAY I think about our perfect day.

Thank you Mom for giving me so much in life and after… because of you I am not alone. I can call my brother without hesitiation, love my “kids” without boundries and sleep knowing that you are still here all around me making sure that I am just fine…..

“So we live life like a video, when the sun is always out, and you never grow old and the champange’s always cold and the music’s always good, and the pretty girls just happened to stop by in the hood. Without a wrinkle in today ’cause there’s no tomorrow, Just a picture perfect day to last a whole lifetime and it never ends cause all we have to do is hit rewind. So lets stay in the moment, reminisce, talk some shit, forever young is in your mind. Leave a mark that can’t erase neither space nor time. So when the director yells cut we’ll be fine, we’re forever young.”- Jay-Z

We will be honoring my mothers life on her birthday June 8th. Deets to follow.

Later for now…..

Oooohh child, things are gonna get easier, oooh child things will be brighter. Keep your head up. Oooh child things are gonna get easier, ooooh child things will be alright……

On March 23, 2019 at 3:42pm, My mother transitioned to a better place. A place where her body no longer failed her and her mind was as clear as a summer day. I know in my heart my father is there waiting for her and together they will continue thier journey together.

The stories that come from such a short time are both sad and funny. As a family, we all tried to find humor in any given sitaution. Most people think that’s weird or scary. I think it’s just how its always been.

A few hours ago we were laughing, right now I am not. I am, however, grateful to have this time with my mom, just us, as she starts to float away.

The process of withdrawing care isn’t exactly how I imagined it to be. I guess unless you’ve done this before, no one really knows what to expect. But I was definately not expecting this. Oooh child things are gonna get easier, oooh things will get brighter.

Death is scary. It is. No one wants to admit it, but its true. I am sitting here watching my Mom and I wonder what is happening? Is she dreaming? Is she at a party with my dad like Rose and Jack in the Titanic? Man, I sure hope so. Can she hear me talking to her? Did she hear me say goodbye?

It has all happened so fast, even though the hours we spent in this room seemed endless… The rollercoaster that was nine weeks in this hospital seemed like forever. Every day it was something new, yet now I can’t believe we are actually here.

The end.

At least for now….BUT YOU’VE GOT TO KEEP YOUR HEAD UP.

Dedicated to my Mom Diana Sue Davison Bibo 6-8-42 to 3-23-19

My brother and I, along with our 7 collective children will forever hold you, and cherish you, in our hearts, minds, and in our laughter.

Nothing is forever…..

March 10…. One day before my birthday, a big one, and I finally open my computer to try to articulate what my life/our lives look like since the last time I wrote…..

Currently, my Mother is living in the hospital. She has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Metasatic lung cancer. Breathe…… Okay, so its bad. It sucks. But this is now our new normal.

Within a very short time we went from regular ole dysfunction, to our worlds blowing up, to this…. Acceptance, and being present as much as possible. Its tough, we’ve had so many changes, one day is so different from the next. But in all of the ups, downs, ins, and outs, I keep looking for the beauty in it…. The good news, I am able to find it. Most days anyway.

My relationship with my brother has been given new life and the man I always felt like was my partner in crime I now talk to and see on almost a daily basis. With that comes my improved relationships with his three oldest children, who are now adults. They bring me joy, laughter, and support through the dark times. Then, there is my daughter, my perfect angel, who I really thought I may have lost to her teenage years…. We have come together stronger than ever. Navigating our way through the day by day, living our lives without my mom here to run interferance and reminding us not to forget….

But I am sad, so sad, and angry, livid really…and every other emotion you feel when there is a loss. Even though my mom is fighting her hardest to stay alive, to give us more time together, I miss her. God, I miss her so much. I miss her laugh and her sick sense of humor. I sit in the house we share and just look around for hours. She is everywhere, that gives me peace, but it also hurts like hell. She wants me to get my own things and make the house the way I want it. But I cant. I am not ready to let her go.

I haven’t really wanted to write about it and I still don’t because its still so raw. But it’s not over, every week brings a new challenge, a new set of tears and frustration. We will continue to fight, to be strong, for her and for each other. In this I have learned that I am stronger than I thought I was, that the petty bullshit that I was so angry about is gone. That I am capable of being just her daughter who loves and respects her so much. The woman that I thought taught me nothing really taught me everything…. That is what I draw from everytime I think I can’t do this or don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. If she can, I can. Besides its not forever, nothing is.

“Let’s stop. Let’s dance for a while. Heaven can wait we’re only watching the skies. Hoping for the best but expecting the worst are you gonna drop the bomb or not? Let us die young or let us live forever. We don’t have the power, but we never say never. Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip. The music’s for the sad man. Forever young I wanna be forever young.. do you really want to live forever? and ever and ever”-

Dedicated to my Mommy, no matter what happens or how long we have its been such an amazing trip with you….You bring me joy and laughter everytime I see you. You continue to inspire and motivate me to be better. I love you more than I thought I did and I forever will….