Friday, May 29, 2009


I've been having trouble getting to sleep at a reasonable hour. Usually when that happens, I write my best blog posts. However, I've been going through kind of a dry spell when it comes to my blog. Tonight I decided to just write, though. I usually think I have to have something clever or artistic to say when I post. I guess that's not true, so I think I'll just update you on my life.

I'm almost done with my career as an undergraduate at Cal Poly. That's exciting. I feel like I've said that so often though that it's lost a bit of its actual excitement. I have a lot (that's no exaggeration) of work to do these next two weeks until I'm done. Then I will don my cap and gown and sit with thousands of other graduates on a lawn in the heat of the morning and listen to speeches of praise for our success as students, and about our responsibility as educated adults. Then I will eat some cake, go out to dinner with my family, and breathe a sigh of relief that it's over. In addition to my immediate family, my aunt and uncle are coming from Weed, Randy is coming from LA and Heidi is coming from Sacramento... I think Riley might come too, I hope she does! I wanted to go camping after graduation, but I think it might be too much to move out of my apartment and pack to go camping all in one short weekend.

I'm really going to miss 1731 Santa Rosa St. Apt. C. I'm going to miss walking to Farmer's Market, or to Baja Fresh or Firestone when I'm too tired to cook, or to Uptown to study... or riding the 5 to school every day. I think I will miss Cal Poly, eventually, but I'm really ready to be done being a student.

I'm really looking forward to Bosnia, and doing a good job right now of pushing aside any nerves that accompany my thoughts toward that trip. I'm excited to drink their coffee, get to know the locals, and spend time with Jo. I'm excited to see the Adriatic sea, and plant potatoes.

After Bosnia, who knows where I'll be? I thought possibly Portland, but I'm not so sure about that, now. I'm not ruling it out, though. Sometimes I think I want to just break what seems to be the trend and go somewhere outside of the Pacific Northwest, like Chicago or New York or Colorado or...

I'm glad I have plans for the next 5 or 6 months after I graduate, but I am really looking forward to seeing where I'm at at the close of those months. I saw Tim and Autie in San Francisco last weekend, and after spending time (not long enough, though) with them I was thinking: It's crazy where all of us who were in that tight-knit group of friends are now, years later, and it's fun to see.

Here's to the upcoming years, it's an exciting time of life with a lot of changes... bring it on.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Blogger Goggles

Google Labs in gmail is genius - except I need this specific feature for my blog. That's not to say I haven't sent emails I regret the next morning, though more lately my trouble is with blogs. I always say, "don't wear your heart on your facebook page (or blog in my case)." Simple math could potentially help with that.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Football, The Hospital and My Mother

I felt the sharp rush of air cut into my lungs with each inhale and watched the cloudy puff hover in the clear night sky with each exhale. The feel of the ice-like bleacher was creeping through the Mexican blanket that was spread across the cold metal. The stars sparkled above the bright lights that lit the field. I watched my dad pace the sidelines in his khaki shorts and kelly green windbreaker that was puffed out from his quick movements up and down the soggy lawn torn from football cleats. Besides my surroundings, my memories of that night are somewhat dim. I remember feeling sick. I remember feeling cold. I remember complaining to my mom about feeling sick and cold. My mom was very comforting, but also being a good wife supporting her husband as he coached the Weed Cougars. She gave me a some cash and told me to go to the concession stand and buy some hot chocolate. Naturally, the exercise would warm me up, as well as the hot beverage. She told me I could also buy some 7Up if I felt nauseated, which I did, so I ended up buying a cup of hot chocolate, a can of 7Up and a Snickers bar. Why the Snickers? Because I had left over money, and I was six... and I was hungry. I felt stiff, and I had to go to the bathroom. I was so cold... and thirsty. I reached the bleachers and made my way back to my spot on the blanket, where I consumed everything I had just purchased. It's hard for me to think about that now, knowing what I was causing my blood sugar to do! Yikes. Suddenly, I tugged at my mom's jacket and quietly informed her I was going to throw up. I don't remember her panicking, but I do remember us quickly excusing ourselves through bundled up spectators to the bottom of the bleachers, out across the gravel as it crunched under our feet, to the stationwagon. We drove to Nonno and Nonni's house where I made a beeline for the bathroom.

One of my most comforting memories of my mom is her holding back my hair when I would throw up. I know that sounds strange, but it's true. I haven't thrown up for a long time, so the last time I tossed my cookies, my mom was holding my hair for me. Last year I was the sickest I think I've ever been. I was sick with a high fever for almost two weeks, but I never threw up. Every time I felt like I was going to, though, I would instantly think, "I can't! Mom's not here to hold my hair for me!" Maybe subconsciously that's why I wouldn't let myself throw up.

When I was done throwing up in Nonno and Nonni's bathroom, mom left me to compose myself, and I remember hearing concerned voices muffled through the door. "I'm taking her to the doctor tomorrow," mom said.

I don't remember really specific things about the days leading up to my stay in the hospital, or even really my time in the hospital, but I do remember mom was there all the time. My strongest recollections from that time aren't really detailed, but I remember never really being scared because mom was there. These are some notable things I do remember from at that time, though.

I remember Dr. Williams telling my mom to bring me to the hospital immediately, and to bring a toothbrush, because we would be there for a while.

I remember going by Grandma Ruth's house, and getting a hug from her. Thinking about it now, I realize how much strength my mom got from grandma during this time.

I remember mom helping me pack my things, specifically my pink print pajama pants and matching pink long-sleeved pajama shirt.

I remember being afraid I would have to spend the night at the hospital alone.

I remember my mom insisting they put a cot in my room (room #204, I remember that for some reason) so she could stay with me all the time.

I remember when the doctor explained to me I had diabetes, all I heard was DIEabetes. I remember mom holding my hand.

I remember them teaching me how to give shots with saline solution and oranges.

I remember squeezing my dad's hand while they inserted my IV, and insisting on keeping my eyes focused on the needle going in my arm. I was too scared to look away, I had to know exactly what was happening to me the entire time. My dad told me that's the hardest anyone has ever squeezed his hand, and I believed him for a long time.

I remember my mom asking my grandma many questions, and relying on her a lot through that time.

I remember both mom and grandma telling me to trust Jesus.

I remember mom and grandma crying.

Ever since I was diagnosed with diabetes, and now my sister Ellie is too, my mom has been very careful to make sure we're on top of our own care, and doing all that we can to be healthy. Sometimes I fight her on it, and want her to realize I'm busy and don't have time to write everything down all the time. She does realize that, but she brings it up anyway, and as much as it might get under my skin at the time, I appreciate it.

My mom loved her mom very much, and I think watching that had a big impact on me. Seeing my mom go through the death of her mother made me realize that I might have to do the same thing someday. Although it's hard to even voice that, the thought has occurred to me briefly. I want my mom to know how much I love her and appreciate her, and I am so very thankful we are close as mother and daughter. She is one of the best friends I've ever had, or ever will have.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tomorrow I'll Rise Where The Storms Never Darken The Skies

In Weed it storms sideways. The horizontal rain and the biting wind made it feel like a cold November morning at the Weed Cemetery where we buried my Grandma Ruth's ashes today. We stood, the entire (minus just a few that we missed dearly!) family, and remembered Grandma. We sang "Til The Storm Passes By," a song my grandma loved in the past few months, while she fought her last battle with cancer, that speaks of Jesus keeping his children safe in the hollow of his hand til the storm passes by. Uncle David explained how even after she couldn't sing the words, grandma would make a motion with her fingers in the palm of her hand, to symbolize being in the hollow of God's hand. As the storm hovered around us, I realized how strong grandma's testimony was, among other things, in this moment especially in this: this is just a storm in our lives, and just like He did with grandma, He will keep us safe until it's over!

Grandma died last Sunday night. When I found out I curled up on my bed and laid there for a long time, trying to process it without being home. I felt numb, like it had not really happened. I knew it was coming, but anticipating it did not make the news any easier to hear. As the realization of what life without grandma would mean sunk in, I began to let my emotions overflow into tears. That next week was hard. It was my busiest of the quarter so far with school and work, and my heart was in nothing. I took a midterm, but thought about grandma the whole time. I drove home on Thursday night. I should have known not to start listening to worship music, because it drove me to tears pretty quick. Somehow Death Cab and Matt Nathanson don't have that same effect - unless it's What Sarah Said, which I skipped over a few times in shuffle, I don't think I could have handled that one. The last line in What Sarah Said says, "love is watching someone die, so who's gonna watch you die?" Thinking about this, I realize how much grandma was loved, because she was surrounded by her children and grandchildren when she took her last breath. That comforts me quite a bit.

When I walked into grandma's house for the first time since she died, everything felt normal... but empty. When I rounded the corner and saw her green chair, where I was so accustomed to seeing her sit when I walked through the door, I bit my lip and my eyes welled up. Our family is missing the two people who started it all, and it seems to me our whole family's identity was wrapped up in grandpa and grandma... without them it seems abandoned. I know that isn't true, though. Grandpa and grandma taught us to stake our identity in Christ, and they were faithful in laying a strong foundation for us.

The memorial is over and grandma is buried now. Sometimes I think this is the hardest time, when you have to stare reality in the face. Real life floods back in, and can't be stopped. What would Grandma say, though? I can even hear her voice saying it, "well, we just have to trust God." And so, I am going to trust God.

Of course, I'm only sad for me, because grandma is in heaven with Jesus, and that must be so satisfying to her! When someone asked her if she was ready see grandpa and Uncle Ernie, she responded, "I'm ready to see my Savior!" She is experiencing what Christians on earth are working toward and longing for!

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
-1 Thessalonians 4:13-18