Friday, December 19, 2008

Save Me!

I think my dad was exceptionally proud of knowing that at one point in my life, I was a card carrying First Aid/CPR certified individual. He made a point of showing me his own card. It was a bonding moment for the both of us. Mind you, my card stated that I was certified to bandage or save a life . . . whether I could remember how to bandage or save a life was another question. But it felt exhilarating to know that I had accomplished such a huge task, and having the card in my wallet was pretty cool. Dad had a much cooler card, but I won't quibble.

My First Aid/CPR certification has long since expired and I never got around to renewing it. I've always thought that if the occasion ever arose I could probably still swing the whole First Aid/CPR . . . no sweat. I've watched enough ER shows to be able to pull it off. How hard could it be? 

I was put to the test. It shook me to my core -- and even now, I'm sure I did it all wrong. The thought that someone's life was in my hands and in my ability to count and breath life back into their body, was frightening. Even though I appeared to be calm and collected, inside my heart was pounding out of control and my mind was racing trying to remember, "Was it 3 quick breaths and 2 compressions or is it 2 breaths and 3 compressions? Or is more than 3 or less than 2?" My cousin was able to get a hold of the paramedics and fire department and they came quick. I pushed every conceivable thought out of my mind for fear that I might start screaming words! thoughts! phrases! gibberish!

The sound of sirens in the distance never sounded so beautiful to my ears. They were coming, I told myself. Help was coming. They would help. They can help. They were calm and reassuring. I never doubted that they would know what to do. It was like watching a well oiled machinery up close and personal. My father was a fire fighter for over 30 years, and watching these men (men of his own calibre) working in such close quarters and still appearing cool, calm and collected; I was so proud of them...of their effort, their care and their compassion. It's an image that I will carry with me always. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This Much I Know....

1. Most people generally put their best foot forward when they meet you for the first's usually what they do with their other foot that can be surprising.

2. How a person treats their significant other when he/she thinks no one is looking will either lift your heart or crush it.

3. People who generate unsolicited kindness toward others absolutely gain my heart. I aspire to be more like them and am always in awe of them.

4. People who are confident in expressing their thoughts and ideas always gain a smile from me. I draw inspiration from their ability to be articulate. I admire that gift.

5. In solitude, we often show our truer self. I wonder why we don't trust ourselves enough to show it to others?

6. Sometimes a person can be hurtful without intent; sometimes a person can be intentionally hurtful.

That's all I got so far...glean what you will.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Stream of M&M Consciousness

I've got the M&M's out and Frank Sinatra crooning in the background. For some reason I'm just really in a Frank Sinatra mood. Ahhh...old blue eyes, he really does the trick.

**eyeing an M&M suspiciously...could be icky***

I went to visit my aunt in the hospital this evening after I got off of work. Something has been gnawing at me for the past few days; something my cousin said to me. She stopped by the house to drop off something...or pick up something. Anyway, it was just a casual comment, but after she left I found myself sitting there on the couch in a stupor of thought.

**ohh, that was a bad one...yuck!**

It was one of those moments when you have a thought or an idea perched just on the tip of your brain, but for some reason you can't really get it to take a solid form. It took a few days for me to sort it through. When I went to work today, it was the same routine except for the fact that I purposely left the radio off in the car. I just didn't feel like having excess noise in my head. Without the radio, and my usual don't-talk-to-me-in-the-morning mood, the silence allowed me ample opportunity to slide my thoughts left, right, up, down, pick it up and move it in the corner to make room for other thoughts.

Now, that I think about it, I'm sure my cousin must have been a bit confused as to why I hadn't turned the radio on. I think he's somewhat use to the one sided conversation he has on our drive out, but without the radio to fill the silence it probably made it a bit more weird.

When my aunt first went into the hospital, she was diagnosed with pneumonia and she needed to be treated for her asthma and a nagging cough she couldn't get rid of. I took her to the emergency room and stayed with her all day when they finally admitted her. I stopped by to visit with her several times after work each day. They moved her from one floor to another and she had a host of doctors all trying to diagnose her condition. The pneumonia they covered, the asthma was treatable, but the cough just had them stumped. Then the doctors were saying that they suspected she may have a tumor in her lung. But, at that point, it was all just speculation and also the worst case scenario. No one was saying anything definitively, it was just something on a list of things to rule out.

**orange, red, yellow, brown, blue, green, hmm...I thought there were more colors**

The worst case scenario turned out to be cancer on her lung, but they caught it early and chemotherapy should put things right again. Okay. Then, I missed a visit and went home right after work...too much paper work, gotta prepare for the next day's work load. Everyone's busy, rush, rush, rush...another day ends, another missed was a long day, even more paper work and the next day's work load is going to be crazy. The weekend comes and goes. No visit, no reason.

**I'm running low on M&M's**

When my cousin stopped by the house I told her, as she was leaving, to say hello to our aunt. As she was walking out the door, she said "Why don't you call her? I'm sure she'd love to hear from you." I paused. Even as I paused, I couldn't believe that I had paused. I mean, really? What was that all about?

**eww...that one was really bad. Yucky, yuck, yuck**

My aunt's husband told me that they were still running more tests on her. They were going to send a scope down her throat to determine if the cancer started in her lung and if it had spread, or if it had started somewhere in her stomach or pancreas and spread to her lung. Everyone is being very positive and very optimistic. Did I mention that? That everyone is being very positive and optimistic? Positive and optimistic. Positive. Optimistic.

**the M&M's aren't working...and I have eight left**

"So, they said it's cancer." She said it so matter-of-fact as if the diagnosis was harmless as the common cold. She started her first chemotherapy this evening...I was there. I'm glad I was there. I smiled at the nurse as she happily came in to explain the process. She was positive and optimistic. I smiled at my aunt, and laughed, and talked about work and all the mundane things that will show I am also positive and optimistic. Her doctor said the cancer started from her pancreas and spread to her lung. My aunt is positive and optimistic. She told her doctor she refuses to accept anything less than a full recovery. They will keep her in the hospital for three treatments of chemo to monitor her response and then she will be able to come home as an outpatient.

**I have two M&M's left...I'll name one Positive and the other Optimistic and I'll eat them**

Just so you don't think I was totally off point, I figured out why I paused...and why I stopped going to the hospital. You don't need to know why, just that I figured it out. Funny how things work out like that, huh?

**It's a good thing I'm done cause I'm out of M&M's...thanks for the smooth vocals Frank!**

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blogging on a Blog

Last month I blogged about the need, nay the desire for quiet...shush, is basically what I wrote. It is often my mantra when the decibels start to increase beyond my liking. In my effort to drive my point home, I used my cousin as an example. That probably wasn't very nice now that I've had time to reflect. I've also toyed with the idea of removing the blog in question, you know...just in case. LOL. I shared my blog with another cousin (who happens to be the brother of the cousin I blogged) who found the humor in what I wrote, but's a bit mean of me to say those things about him, right? It's all true, mind you, but still...

I don't know why I don't like a lot of noise. I much prefer quiet and solitude to the noisy, rambunctiousness (is that a word?) of the world around me. Sheesh, it makes me sound like an old person. LOL. Hmm...well, I guess I am, sort of...getting there anyway. I'm fairly certain I was a loud, noisy, obnoxious child growing up. Weird. Oh well.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Christmas carols are playing on the t.v. in the background, and the neighbors Chihuahua's are barking up a storm next door. It's 1:12 a.m. I've been thinking how weird it will be to not have snow this Christmas. Granted, I've complained for the majority of those years regarding the snow, but when you don't have it anymore...well, you know how it is.

**ooh..I just found a stash of M&M's**

My aunt went into the hospital just before Thanksgiving. She had a bout with pneumonia and hadn't been able to shake it. Long story short...she got a second case of pneumonia and finally decided to go to the hospital. It's going on 3 weeks now...they found a shadow on her x-rays and have been trying to determine what it is. The results are finally in..she has cancer. It's in my head and I'm able to completely understand and process the meaning, but...not really.

She's an extraordinary woman, my aunt. There are a handful of people that I credit for laying the foundation of my childhood: my grandmothers (Sasa & Luisa), my father, and my aunty Nu'u. As a child I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents,

**eww...I got a yucky M&M**

we all did. At any given time, there were at least 8 grandchildren all under the age of 12; on a good day we were at full force with 11 grandchildren all under the same roof for a whole weekend. My aunt was the designated babysitter. At the tender age of 6 or 7, I had no idea my aunt was still in high school. I didn't even know what being in high school meant. I always thought of her as one of the big people, a grown up. She took us (all of us) to the store to get candy, she drove us around to do errands, she fed us, made sure we took our naps (can you believe we took naps...all of us), and took a shower before bedtime, and made sure we went to bed on time: 8pm.

As I got older, I began to realize she was totally cool. She drove a cool car that she actually knew how to fix if it broke down, she had an insane music collection that she let us play whenever we came over to the house, she never yelled or screamed at us, and she taught us a lot of cool and interesting stuff (that we would or could never do at home). But what I love the most about her is that she always seemed fearless. She spoke her mind, stood her ground, and she would not hesitate to kick your ass if you messed with her.

I'm not sure how I deviated from the Christmas theme to aunty Nu'u. Funny how things happen that way.

**yuck, yuck..another icky M&M**

I'll tell you more about her another day...I can barely stay seated. Mornin' all!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I don't want to move again...ever

Next to having to get up early in the morning, I absolutely despise the act of moving! I have moved (on my own) a total of five times. Five! And this last move is only temporary, but necessary. But still, it doesn't make the moving process any less horrid. I am absolutely thankful for my family that have helped me out every time that I did move (and pawned my stuff off on them that I didn't want to lug around with me).

I tried to do a change of address online...simple, easy, and it alleviates having to mail in a card which could take however long it takes to process, or from having to go into the post office. But to complete the online process it is going to cost me $1.00. Granted it's a small price to pay to do an address change online, but really? A dollar? They say it's to prevent fraudulent, they're going to charge me a dollar?! See, that just adds to my frustration of moving! So, now I will have to go to the post office and make the change in person. Great!

On a much lighter note...with the help of my family, it took me two days to complete the moving process. Day 1 was the back-breaking move from the apartment to the storage unit, and day 2 was the cleaning of all the assorted items that I forgot to shove into the moving truck. The miscellaneous items were finagled into the storage unit where they will remain until another move is attempted to a more permanent place of residence. Again, my family was instrumental in the final clean and move, which I am most grateful. If it weren't for them, I would have sat down in the middle of all those boxes and had a massive breakdown. My aunty Nu'u always says, "that's what family is for." Man, am I glad I got family!

Hope Aboundeth

"Sad soul, take comfort, nor forget
That sunrise never failed us yet."
~ Celia Thaxter