So this blogpost title has been sitting around for a while. I started writing about how lucky I am- I had just been hired back by American Express, working virtual from my kitchen in Sarasota FL. I started working at Amex on my Dad’s birthday in 1986, and my last day there after my department was reorganized and moved to Phoenix was my Mom’s birthday in 2008. I’ve been a stay at home Mom with Carlitos from when he was 18 months old until 4 years old, and without having to worry financially due to severance, unemployment and a good real estate deal, or 3 to be exact.
Alot has happened in the last 2 months. Carlitos has started going to La Petite Academy 5 days a week. I feel very lucky that the staff there is like a second family to us. It’s true what they say about it taking a village to raise a child- I’m very thankful I have these ladies in our lives. They give great advice, encourage Carlitos to do well every day, and help me make sure he’s growing up to be a good citizen of the world.
In the meantime I have been working on getting my brain to remember all of the great stuff I used to do at work, and understand what’s gone on in the last 2 1/2 years since I left. Week one I was beginning to think I’d made a big mistake and took Carlitos out for an after dinner run to the bookstore to buy some Excel training books. Now I’ve been back 6 weeks, and not to worry, all is well. I remember! I even remember old passwords that have been replaced with new ones, I have to stop that!
My new team, boss, everything is awesome. I love doing what I am doing. While I was off from work I took a certification class to become a life and career coach. I figured even if I didn’t do it, I would help myself figure out what I want to do next. I did alot while I was out- with Charlie, making stuff, being creative, exploring alot of things I wanted to learn about. Having that time away has made me really appreciate my job again- I work with great people for a respected company, and I am pretty good at what I do. They pay me well, I have awesome benefits, lots of vacation and sick time, and I get to do it in my pajamas while dinner is in the oven- what else could I want?
My brother and his wife are the proud parents of twin baby boys. Welcome to the world Brandon and Dylan! It was a long road for them to get here, and everyone is so happy for them. My brother is a bigger goofball than ever, good lord, you think I spill the beans here on the blog, you should friend him on Facebook.
I hired a cleaning lady. WHAT? I know, can you believe it? She’s just come 3 times now, every other week, she comes and does the basics- sweep/mop/dust/vacuum (even the staircase!) the shower and tub and ceiling fans! It may not be forever, but I was a little overwhelmed going back to work- we ate out 3-4x a week in the beginning. I could get used to having that help, I almost want her to come 2x a week instead of 2x a month.
We got a fishtank. First paycheck, how to blow it. I’ll have to share some details and pictures on a future blog. This is just the catchup.
And then my nephew Eddie was diagnosed with cancer. WTF.
Pardon my french. How can so much be so great and then this?
I know this feeling. I have felt this before, not in a long time. This is something that hits you in the stomach and makes you get up and run around waving your arms in the air with tears screaming NOOOOO! At least that’s what it did for me. I have to say I’m making progress- dealing with these crazy feelings and not trying to pretend I’m ok. Getting older, experience I guess. I felt like someone smacked me in the face and the whole world was tilted for a couple of weeks there. News that makes your world tilt-my cousin Jennifer was riding her bike and got hit by a motorcycle, my friend TJ fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed, my cousin’s son Robert drowned, my grandparents, my husband Franco died in his sleep the day I cam home from the extended honeymoon, September 11th, where 8 people I hired were killed, including the person who replaced me.
You may not get good at it, but you certainly recognize those feelings. It’s devastation. Eddie Spaghetti, who was running around in the sprinkler park the weekend before. One day his legs were hurting him and he didn’t want to run, the next day xrays showed bone deterioration, then hairline fractures, anemia in his blood test, a mass near his kidney, spots on his lungs, my sister and her husband in St Pete’s All Children’s hospital for almost 2 weeks after going in for a test on a Saturday. Each day another blow, WTF.
So now we have his diagnosis- Neuroblastoma Stage 4. He’s already finished his first chemo round of 5. 5 more months to go, then surgery, possibly radiation, definitely medication. I don’t know about the odds, I just know that if 1 in 1000 are cured, we can consider that our future because we just don’t know, and worrying about it ain’t gonna help.
And what we’re working on is staying in the present. All of this inspirational reading and grief work and self help crap I’ve done over the years-it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.
Here’s a couple of good ones we’ve been using over the last few weeks:
“You can always cope with the now, but you can never cope with the future – nor do you have to. The answer, the strength, the right action, or the resource will be there when you need it, not before, not after.” Eckhart Tolle (thanks Oprah!)
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift- that is why we call it the present.
If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell. ~Lance Armstrong
So of course my sister calls me and tells me alot of what she is going through, thinking about, feeling. You cannot imagine how your mind can spin in a situation like this- one minute you read something positive and boost your hope, but then someone else sends you something they think will be helpful and it changes your entire feeling in a flash.
I remember thinking and even saying a couple of times after my husband died- I don’t know why it should be such a surprise? It’s going to happen to all of us, each and every one of us. You too. The miracle is that some of us make it as long as we do. And get so much done! We each have impact on so many other people every day.
We only have now, all of us. Not just the people who happen to be sick at the moment- all of us. I could cough and a vessel could burst in my brain tonight. Or you could get hit by the proverbial bus. Or have a team of Navy seals bust down your door and shoot you point blank. You don’t know, and you don’t have to know now.
So this weekend I had a wonderful time with my family. I saw the twins, had a great dinner and slept over at my parent’s house, Carlitos got up this morning and put on his bathing suit and went in the pool before breakfast. I bought those ridiculously expensive raspberries (and blackberries and blueberries and strawberries) and we ate them all up.
Then we went to my sister’s house today and had some wine and shaved my son’s head to match all of his cousins in solidarity with Eddie, and an hour later we watched one of our NY cousin’s do the same thing with her son via Facetime on the Iphone.
I came home and put out the garbage and read my son a book, and stayed up way too late catching up on my blog-
Who’s luckier than me?