Monday, November 29, 2010


I gave in.

I've tried everything to get myself out of this dark place. I want to be out of this dark place. I don't want to be sad about her anymore. I went to work the day after Thanksgiving. I'm out of vacation days and because the post delivers on that day, the lab is open. I had to use my vacation along side FMLA leave. Now, I can't shop on black Friday. There is something wrong with this system. I have to work Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve too. What the hell?

I arrived at work on time. Early, actually, but I couldn't get my head straight. I left my bench multiple times to cry. I'm so mad she's not here. I'm so mad I had to cook by myself Wednesday night.

After about three hours of this, I gave in. To quote my cousin Jesse, "Give up on being a good daughter, sister, girlfriend, etc.  Just be however you are.  That is enough.  It's always enough."  

So I left work. I drove to Whole Foods, while Justin calmed me (he was shopping with Natalie so he had time to spare). I bought a Tofurkey. I spent the rest of the weekend eating Thanksgiving leftovers and watching three seasons of All Creatures Great & Small. Thank you Bob and Ana for having all the seasons available in your collection. I barely left the sofa and slept like a teenager.

I don't feel totally cured but I feel better. I haven't done any running but I'm happier. I haven't eaten 5 vegetables today but I had carrots and cauliflower at lunch and celery at dinner. One day at a time, right?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Before today, I failed miserably at life. I developed a fever last Monday which has developed into a nasty cough. Over the last 10 days, I picked numerous fights with my partner, Chris. I cried, rather sobbed, at least once almost everyday. I neglected my plans for eating vegan and healthfully, and I can't remember the last time I went running. Finally, I hadn't spoken with any family members for any length of time nor returned phone calls (including you, Aunt Polly!).

Today I my doctor told me I have bronchitis and loaded me up with antibiotics and codeine-laced cough syrup. Today (or last night) Chris and I fleshed out the root causes of our arguments and pin pointed themes. Today I spoke to my psychiatrist about the options available to me. Today, I called my stepdad to settle plans for Thanksgiving and spoke with my sister for almost 45 minutes. Today I am blogging to reach out to my extended family and friends.

I know other people grieve too but I find it virtually impossible to pick up the phone when I most need it. Frankly, I'm embarrassed. I know, it's hokey, but this is my attempt to reach out. Please continue to call, email or text me (whichever is comfortable for you). I miss my mom terribly and she wanted us to continue to love each other. Even if I'm not contacting you, I may need to hear from you. In fact, if I don't pick up, try calling another family member or friend. They may need to hear from you too.

Last, please don't feel guilty if you haven't been available. I'm just letting you know that I want to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010



Today was a hard day. I woke up early and did a short run—not much but something. At work I kept my ear buds in and listened to science and short story podcasts. They are my saving grace at this point, as they keep my conscious mind occupied while I spend 8 hours pretending to care about labeling tubes.

When I came home I finally felt ready to package up your needlework and a few other things to send to the family. I had taken some of your stationary. I know you wouldn’t mind if I used it. The first pack of cards was olive green, 100% recycled and acid free. What does that mean anyway? Acid free? Turning the package in my hand, I notice that it was manufactured in Santa Fe, Minnesota. When were you there? What did you do there? The price sticker has been rubbed off the far right corner. Did your hands do that? Did your fingers nimbly pick at the white sticker until it was gone? I imagine you sitting in a Minnesota airport with a Starbucks coffee at your feet (a venti with two shots). Your legs would be tucked under the seat and your head cocked to the left holding your cell phone between your ear and shoulder. Which sister were you talking to as you peeled away the sticker?

When you were in the hospice, you scared me. Before the marinol and oxycodone had worn away and before you had an adequate amount of rest, you moved your fingers nimbly. You looked at the corner of the room while your lips appeared to move as if speaking in tongues. Did you imagine you were peeling a sticker then as well? When I saw you like this, my heart broke.

Your fingers are no longer moving nimbly. Today I have many pieces of your artwork—all products of your hands. They are beautiful and I will send them to people who will cherish them. I only wish you were here to do this with me.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Hangover

Today, after over indulging in Halloween candy, I feel a bit hung over. Doug bought large candy bars to give out and this year was the first year I have handed out candy to children, what was I supposed to do?

Actually, I think the crummy feeling that I have in the pit of my stomach is simply grief. At times it is impossible for me to differentiate emotions. Am I upset that Chris hasn’t messaged me back? Am I really frustrated with my co-worker for saying that? Did I eat too much candy? I’m sure the answer is yes to all three but it gets complicated when everything I do is underscored with the sadness I feel because my mom is gone.

I know it doesn't look like much, but 6-year-old
Abe Lincoln got pretty excited.
I had a nightmare a few nights ago. It wasn’t the kind that forces you out of sleep, where you suddenly find yourself conscious and panting in front of the bathroom mirror. This nightmare haunted me in the passing days. I dreamed I was with the entire family and mom had made massive amounts of chocolate chip cookies. It was my job to ensure it didn’t get destroyed and every part of the cookie dough was to be rolled into balls and stored in the freezer. Because this is such a large task, I kept approaching my mother for advice, and every time I did she would be folding herself into a box at her funeral. Her body morphed, deflated and creased to fit into a medium-sized, square box.

My mom was never a woman to put emphasis on messages delivered in dreams but I can’t help but notice that my subconscious was shouting this message me. I don’t want my mom to be put into a box along with her memories and lessons taught. I was fixated on this thought as I ran errands and decided to tell mom about my fear. It was then I envisioned her fully dressed, colorful, garbed in jewels saying to me, “Maggie, no one is going to put me in a box and forget me. I’m too fabulous!” But instead of fabulous, a hundred superlatives buzzed around my brain.