Day 4: My favorite shoes

Let’s start this story off by me telling you how much I hate to wear shoes. I really hate them so whenever I can wear flip flops of any kind I am happy. When I teach cycle or yoga or pilates I don’t have to wear workout shoes to the gym so you better believe I take advantage of that and wear the cutest non-workout shoes I can find.

That year at Christmas, my mom bought me a pair of wedge (3inch high) flip flops from BeBe. I loved those shoes. Not only were they so cute, black with BEBE in rhinestones across the straps (very fancy), but also comfortable and gave me a few inches of height which of course made me look taller and more intimidating (ok, I just made that up).

At the time I was teaching my evening classes out West… Glendora, West Covina, Walnut. My commute was a nightmare. We lived in Redlands but I drove out to those clubs every day, sometimes twice a day because that’s is where we lived prior, and classes are hard to come by.

Tuesday I taught a total of Seven (7) yes SEVEN classes. 830, 930, 1030, 12. Then I’d come home for a few hours and drive back out there for 6:30, 730, 830. I was finished with my day at 930PM and had an hour commute home. It wasn’t the best of times. My line up for that particular night was Pilates, cycle, yoga. None of which required regular shoes so of course, I was wearing my fancy BEBE’s.

I was at a club where the group exercise room was upstairs but the bathroom and everything else downstairs. It was a long walk to the bathroom so we all tried to plan our bathroom breaks with class breaks. We were 10 minutes into my first class and the lady next to me  (who I had met a few times and seemed VERY nice), started getting up and getting her shoes on. She, unlike me had worn workout shoes so we are talking, socks, shoelaces, the whole thing.  I look over and say to her “here take my shoes, it will be much faster”. Without hesitation, she stepped into my shoes and left the room.

A reasonable time later she returned, replaced my shoes and continued class. She took the next class too, once it was over, we say our goodbyes and I teach the rest of my night.

At the end of my Seventh class, I am finally ready to go home and see my daughter, who I really missed on days like this. I grabbed my shoes, put them on only to discover that my right shoe was broken. Not kinda broken, but broken broken… The middle part of the strap had been ripped right out of the shoe. I just sat there. Dumbfounded. The lady broke my shoe?

NOT only did the lady break my FAVORITE shoe but she failed to mention ANYTHING to me when she came back from the bathroom… OH, AND she took my cycle class, never said a word.

So now not only am I hurt, but I don’t have a fucking shoe…. again 3-inch wedges, hard to do with just one.

I am all the way upstairs and I have to go all the way downstairs to the parking structure to get my car.

The type of cycle shoes I wore at the time couldn’t be walked in. Well fuck, I guess I have to wear my socks.

It was a very long walk… through the gym down the stairs outside into the parking structure which I am sure my car was parked at the top level. Those socks didn’t stand a chance, I tossed them in the trash as soon as I got into my car.

As I was driving home, I couldn’t stop thinking of the lady and what stopped her from having the common courtesy of telling me she broke my shoe? She knew she broke it….. Dumbfounding.

Moral of the story, don’t let anyone EVER borrow your favorite shoes!!!

 

 

Day 3: making amends

 

Last week I was at work, minding my business as usual (lol), and I was approached by another Fitness instructor whom I’ve known for years but am not really friends with.

She is an interesting character, years of hard life and wayyyyy too many hours in a tanning bed has cast an orangish tone to her skin. I am not sure of her actual age, but I am sure it’s much younger than she looks because of the sagging skin and outdated workout attire. (Not passing judgement, just stating facts). Her makeup is always all over her face and hair unruly. You know the type. Anyway, this woman has taken my class off and on for years. Being that I don’t know her, I didn’t really have any opinions or given her much thought other than to warn her to stay out of the sun, but its way too late for that.

So, she comes up to me with her eyes looking down as if she was ashamed, now I am really confused. Then the word vomit “I am so sorry for all the things I’ve done to you in the past, I am trying to work my program but sometimes fall short in my effort to stay sober”. HUH? She continues “You are an excellent instructor (yes I know), and I never gave you a fair shot or gave you enough credit”. Still confused. “And I just want to apologize for all the terrible things I’ve said about you and done to you over the past few years”. Wait, what? I finally look at her and say ” I don’t have a problem with you, I never have”. She responses “Oh but I hated you, and now that I look back I realized I just hated myself” duh. I said its all good, no harm no foul. She continues on and on and on…. “I am sorry for telling people you suck” thanks, “I am sorry that I started rumors about you that weren’t true” oh that was YOU. “I am sorry for complaining about you and your class to the manager when you did nothing wrong…I am just sorry for everything”. Now there are tears and she is trying to hug me. Oh boy.

In reality, this person NEVER took up space in my head. I couldn’t be mad at her now if I didn’t even know she had done such things in the past, right? Right, says the voice of compassion that dominates my astrological sign.

So I gave her a hug, assured her everything was fine between us and walked away.

Then I started to think about what she had said… I wish I could tell you it didn’t bother me. But that would be a lie. I understood her need to apologize so that SHE felt better but she basically handed me the baton and said here you go, now you process this.

People are funny, they act without thinking, hurt without caring, and then when their lives turn to shit they reflect on their own actions and try to fix them by admitting them.

Only it doesn’t fix them, does it? She might feel better, but now I can’t stop wondering how many time I was “talked to” or watched by management because of her false claims?

It is crazy that I work in an industry that someone else’s issues can result in disciplinary measures when the person has literally done NOTHING wrong.

And it’s not just my industry, its all areas of service. The Customer is NOT always right, in fact sometimes they are crazy. We are conditioned over and over again to appease them and sacrifice our own selves. It’s not okay.

It didn’t take much time to get over it but it did make me think. I do try my best not to complain about other people and just live my life. I do slip however, we all do. Just do me a favor, next time you want to complain about how awful someone else is, look at yourself first.

Happy Hump day everyone….. we made through day 3.

 

 

 

​Day 2: Adulting

Day 2! This morning I woke up about 5:30, got up, let the dogs out…… just kidding, not blogging about my daily life unless of course there is a good story to be told. And today has been kinda slow so here’s a good one.

In the days, weeks, months after my Mom’s death, I was suddenly responsible for a slew of new things. House things, bank things, you know the grown-up stuff. Having been spoiled up to this point by my mother I was a little lost, and definitely on my own, but such things had to be handled.  I refer to this time in my life as adulting.

One of the most important grown-up errands was to take care of the bank situation. Making sure all of our paperwork was complete and titles transferred from mom to me. Once I had all the proper documentation (death certs, will, living trust, a vile of my daughters’ blood), I was able to make an appointment with the bank to handle such business. My appointment was at 1:30 which gave me enough time to come home, eat, gather my stuff and go meet my bank liaison.

I walk out of my house at 1:15 and looked down my driveway to see a car that was parallel parked right in front of it… I couldn’t get my car out! Okay, lets back this up a little. I live nearly across the street from a senior center. More often than not the street is full of cars that belong to members of such center.  Almost always the space in front of my house is taken along with most of my neighbors. We don’t like it, but its just part of living in this crazy town.

MAD, I grab my phone and run over to the senior center “Who parked in front of my driveway” I screamed…. Whose car is that??? A large group of seniors were in the game room playing some type of card game. I asked again “WHOSE CAR IS THAT”! I pointed across the street and realized that not everyone in the room could see the car to which I was referring to. I then stomped over to the window, pulled up the blind and said “THAT CAR!, WHO DRIVES THAT CAR?”

At this point, not one person had taken their eyes off the hand of cards they held. “I am going to call 911 and have the car towed, I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT” I yell. Still nothing. So, being a woman of my word I dialed 911…. “what’s your emergency” the operator asked. “Someone is blocking my driveway with their car and I can’t get my car out, I have a very important appointment”. “Is there anyone in the car?” the dry 911 operator asked me. “I don’t know”. I said. “Please go over to the vehicle and see if there is a body in the car,” the 911 operator said. “FINE,” I said as I stomp back across the street. “No one in the car”, I respond to the operator, who then hung up on me! RUDE. So I called back… The next operator was even drier than the first and then explained to me that 911 was for EMERGENCIES only, and I had a parking situation on my hand, not a life-threatening emergency, oh ya I said…. “sorry.”

Shit, what the fuck am I going to do? Then I see a lady walking leisurely towards me. “Is this your car?” I ask. “Oh yes, I am so sorry”. Sorry???? WHY would you park in front of my DRIVEWAY?? (she literally had to parallel park into it because there were cars on both sides of the driveway.) “Nevermind, just move because I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT”.

The crazies had clearly taken over as I scream out my window as I drive off “I called the tow truck…. they are coming”!! I didn’t call the tow truck, but I was about to!!

Luckily the bank is only blocks away and I made to my big girl appointment on time. Three hours of sign here, initial here. scan this, get this notarized, and we were almost finished. It was time to set up my individual accounts and get the hell out of there.

My bank representative was amazing, we’d been through several meetings prior to this and she was patient and compassionate while I cried many times during the process. She even listened as I told my story about the car and 911 mishap. It was now time for my security questions: 1. Which celebrity do you think you most resemble? “Ciara” I answered without hesitation. She just sat there and looked at me. (In case you don’t know me, I look NOTHING like Ciara but she asked a question, and that was my answer). “Let’s try another one,” she said… “why? I asked, “I’ll remember that”. She said “because you don’t look like Ciara. Well, I feel like Ciara sometimes isn’t that enough? They are your stupid questions, I thought to myself rolling my eyes. Whatever, fine ask another.

We made it through the process of me setting up my accounts and I was on my way. I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment as I could now check off one more thing that was on my Mommy list. Adulting at its finest.

Seven blogs in seven days…..

As I was driving to work this morning, daydreaming about my life ( I am a Pisces we live half our lives in thought) “why don’t you blog for seven days straight” popped into my head…. hmmm I thought, why DON’T I? Then I laughed to myself remembering all the things people say to me about what a great writer I am but a shitshow in person and thought…7 days is ALOT of me. Here’s the thing…. you don’t HAVE to read all of them or any of them. Clearly, I am doing this for me and not your approval so I am gonna do it. Blog for seven days straight.

No, yesterday doesn’t count.

I am interested, however, in what might come up in my life over the course of the next seven days now that I’ve opened my big mouth and committed to this. See, the thing with me is if I say it is going to happen, it will. I don’t always commit, but when I do it’s a done deal. I feel very strongly in the power of my word, so I don’t take commitments lightly. If I say I am going to do something, I am going to do it. Just ask my daughter, she will tell you.

I think consistency is one of the most important elements in a child’s life.  It builds security and stability. Trust is formed when a person tells a child something is going to happen, and then makes it happen. My daughter never doubted that if I told her I was going to punish her, I would. For every bad decision or action, there is a consequence. She also always knew that if I promised her something, she’d get it. I was very rationale in my raising of my pre-teen daughter. She’s a smart girl, so we didn’t have any problems until recently, and even now… she knows I mean business and I am willing to have her hate me in order to raise her right.

I might be ALOT (rolling my eyes) but I do come from a place of love, always. My intentions are pure and I do want what’s best for all the people in my life.

Unless I hate you. Just kidding, I don’t hate anyone. What a waste of emotion. It takes all the power away from you and gives it to someone who probably doesn’t deserve it and will wreak havoc and create drama whenever they go. Ya no thanks, bye.

I am enjoying this woman, 2.0 who is less stressed (most days) and finds pleasure in the success of others. I have been a fitness instructor for 28 years, it CAN’T still be about me. (yes I was 12 when I started teaching… wink wink). I am thankful for the people who get up and take my class, some every day, some whenever they can…. I often tell my students that I need them WAY more than they need me… I’ve heard ALL of my stories and sometimes the sound of my voice is just annoying….. lol. But it’s true.

Ok, day one of seven, I promise not to get so desperate for content that I start talking about rearranging my closet. (I had NO idea that people actually wrote about such things but they do). I will try to give you a little break from your day and have you experience life through my eyes. I do see some interesting stuff on the daily. It used to bother me but now I just laugh thinking I should put THAT in the blog….

For example, this very morning I was teaching a yoga class. One section of the class I encourage the students to express themselves through their vinyasas. One gentleman interpreted that as his time to practice his ballet positions…… So while the class was doing our YOGA warm-ups he was all over the place in his ballet interpretation. Did I say anything? Nah, I just thought… well there is my first story for the blog day 1.

Talk at you tomorrow my friends, be happy. Love freely, and let that shit go that is weighing you down. You don’t need it….. you never did.

Your biggest fan, A.K.,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where do I even begin?

It seems like forever since I’ve blogged… Probably because it kinda has.  I started this blog a year ago to somehow get the word out that I was trying to break into the world of writing. I dream I’ve had my entire life. But after a few short months of funny stories and life lessons, my life took an unexpected turn and my blogs became less frequent and were mostly about my Mother, her failing health, and ultimately her passing.

I need to get back on track…. although the blog was a great tool for me to get information out about my mom and was cathartic at times, it was not created to be a forum for me to reveal all my sad sad thoughts. I created it to make you laugh and think. So let’s get back to business.

Over the course of a year, I have had many reactions to this blog, mostly positive, but it also opened the door for unwanted opinions of me from people whose thoughts of me I could give a shit. Interesting how you open up a little part of yourself to the world and some people take that as an invitation to tell you all the things they think about you. Ya, I didn’t ask but thanks….not.

For example “you are a nightmare in person, but you are SUCH a good writer”…. um thanks? “In real life, you are ALOT but when I read your blog it is so perfectly articulated” wow you must’ve really thought about that one. The backhanded compliments go on and on. Funny, I’ve never asked anyone what they thought of my blog, probably for that very reason. Words are heavy, they hurt and can stay with you forever if you let them, so why are people so irresponsible in what they say? Just because it might not hurt YOUR feelings what makes you think it won’t hurt mine? Or do you care? and who asked you anyway?? (Not me, that’s for sure).

As I emerge from the destruction that has been the past 7 months or so in my life I look at things differently. I truly learned so much about people, the world and myself that I have renamed myself 2.0. I often speak of myself in the third person just to remind others and me that I have evolved and am now a better version of the old me, thus the 2.0 status. Does that mean anything? Not really. Have I really changed? Maybe a little. I have definitely grown up, something I didn’t realize I was avoiding until I was thrown into actually being a single mom. I thought I was a single mom before because I didn’t have a male co-parent. But I had something so much better, my mom, as my co-parent. Now I have neither. It is scary and sad and satisfying all at the same time. I fuck up more than I ever have in my life. But when I have a good day and do everything right, the win is all mine.

I have learned to look inward for my answers, and stop blaming others for my failures. To do something every day that scares me or that I don’t want to do, because life isn’t all about what I want. I remind myself that NOTHING is forever and this feeling won’t always be here. Every day I wake up a little lighter, with more feelings of hope than sadness. And every day I still get up.

Funny how now that the long list of things to do is getting smaller, my life is filling with laughter and funny stories again. I was worried that I’d never laugh the same or that the crazy things that used to happen to me would never again. I was scared that my life took a permanent turn into boring and pitiful…. but I was wrong. My life will always be something that would be a great reality show, simply because I am in it.

As I push away the sadness and clear out the pain, I find myself again… only 2.0 is so much better…. Now if I could only figure out HOW to parent a teenager… I’d really be good… The Karma my father promised I’d have is in full swing and I am sure he and my mother are watching over me laughing their asses off…. as they should be. I deserve it.

Stay tuned, crazy stories and shit talking is on the horizon….

With love, laughter, and hope, 2.0

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”

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.