Sunday, March 20, 2011

Two Weeks After Papa Has Passed

It has been two weeks since Papa passed. It isn't any easier. I think about my next trip back to Boston, in May, and I get a little anxious and queasy. I worry that when I go home the reality of him being gone will set in. I fear of having a break down in front of Nana. I fear that I will forget that he has passed and will walk in and say "Nana and Papa I am home." That will in turn upset Nana. The queasiness is from thinking about going home and seeing all of his things but not him and remembering the last time that I saw him. ARRGGG it is just unfair!

I wasn't able to make it home to go to the funeral. There were so many things to try to figure out and Nathan was gone that week, it was just difficult. In order to not feel guilty and still go through that closure of losing someone, I thought that it would be a good idea to have a conference call with the siblings and have a separate service.

I put together an agenda on the the 10th and e-mailed it to everyone. On the evening/afternoon of the 11th (depending on what time zone everyone was in) we had the service. A one minute tissue break was needed but it went pretty well.

I am back into running. It is really walking/jogging as running is just not something that I can handle. I have an injury to my right elbow that I am trying to let heal for as long as possible. When I was doing the weights or body weight I was aggravating it which would make it worse. Not working out wasn't helping my stress level either so I starting jogging with Nathan and Angel.

Natural disasters have not been a major issue. There was the 8.9 earthquake in Japan which caused a tsunami. California saw high surf but didn't suffer a tsunami in magnitude like Japan.

It has been off and on gloomy weather the last two weeks. We have seen less of the sun and more cloudy weather and in the last week more rain.

I went crazy one day and tore the house apart looking for a DVD I was sure I had. It was a DVD of Papa's surprise 50th birthday. I swore I had it because I transferred the VHS Tape to DVD for Nana and Papa. That was when we lived in VA. I don't know how I misplaced or lost that but when I go home in May I will make it a point to copy that DVD (if I can find it).

I also head to my parents in May. I will go through mom's photos and see what I can find and save of Papa. When grandma Tyner passed I realized I didn't have any pictures. Papa has passed and all I have are my wedding photos. It is sad and I did talk to Nathan about it but we have never really traveled or gone someplace worth taking pictures with Nana and Papa.

Some days are okay and other days are worse even after going for a walk/jog. I am able to do some volunteer work again which has helped keep my mind occupied. I am also trying to prepare for a move at the end of the year if the budget for 2011 ever gets figured out.

I guess all we can do it just take it one day at a time.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Papa's Spirit With Me

On Saturday the morning of the 5th, it was a clear and sunny day. Nathan and I had an open house for the NPS Running Club. I spent some time this morning preparing for the breakfast party. I was receiving updates from Aunt Maria & Christina this morning before our guests arrived.

At 8:05 AM I took Angel for an hour long walk while the NPS Running Club went for their run. Halfway through the walk, Angel and I reached the top of the hill and stopped to look out at the welcoming arms of the warm, blue sky. An airplane took off from the airport to our left. We watched as it disappeared behind the mountains. As we looked down in front of us we couldn't see our house but we know that it is in there somewhere.

We started to descend down the hill. We reach the Seaside, Fire Department. As Angel and I walk past, I chuckle. For a moment it reminds me of Papa telling his story of how he taught Mister Ed, the talking horse, how to talk. I was young so I never questioned him. I think I did ask once, if he could set up an appointment for us to meet Mister Ed. But Papa stated that Mister Ed was too busy. I chuckled because for that moment I was having a slight disagreement with him in my head. I think that the postal workers or firemen probably taught Mister Ed how to talk. They rode horses and spent a lot of time with them. I am not sure if Papa ever rode a horse.

As Angel and I continue down the hill we reach the park. I know he would love the view here. You can see Downtown Monterey and Pacific Grove across the ocean.

We make it home and I almost start to cry. All of my conversations with Papa the last year and half have mostly revolved around the house. What Nathan and I are working on and/or what we plan to do next. He always asked me for pictures but I hadn't sent him any because I thought that it would be a better "WOW" factor to show him all the before and after photos together.

Once inside there are bagels, orange juice, fruit, milk, chocolate soymilk, homemade ice-cream and any condiment you could think of to put on a bagel. I think he would have loved a banana shake made with homemade ice-cream. I served a few of those for brunch. Although he would have been wanting coffee and all I have in the house is decaffeinated and it hasn't been opened since I bought it a year and a half ago or in other words when we moved here.

A tour was given of the house. He would love it. I am sure he would be asking more questions but that is okay. There is always plenty to talk about and share with others when it comes to house renovations.

After a tour of the house everyone took their brunch to the back yard. Soaking up the warm sun and showing off the pizza oven. He would have loved the pizza oven. The pizzas from the oven are wonderful. The next time Nathan and I make pizzas we will make one cheese and one pepperoni and have extra pizza for him.

As everyone is eating I think about Papa's gravy. For those of you that aren't Italian gravy is the same as spaghetti sauce only with a lot more meat. He would always want to have gravy ready when we were coming home. Or if we were coming home during the winter season he and Nana would make chicken noodle soup. YUM!! Actually slight side track thought but Papa's gravy would probably be good to use for Pizza sauce.

At 12:49pm I get the text message followed by a call that Papa has passed. The rest of the afternoon is spent in a whirl of emotions. Which include everything from laughing to crying to being just angry.

Before going to bed that night I let Angel out to do her business. It is raining. It is so interesting how the weather changes so quickly here on the Central Coast of California. Anyway, I think that all the tears that everyone has shed over the last couple of days are finally falling back onto us.

7am on Sunday and there is a bird outside my window chirping. I wanted to tell it to be quiet but then thought that it was strange that the bird just happened to be so close to our bedroom window. The birds don't usually do that especially since the grape vines have not grown down that far on the fence. After the bird stopped chirping it had me thinking that was a sign from Papa. Papa always stated he could tell when we had been bad or good because the little birdy told him so.

It was a warm, cloudy day. I think mother nature is sad today. It didn't rain though. I totally can relate. This is how I feel.

At 11am Nathan and I head out to go shopping. Oh Papa doesn't like shopping. He would either sit in the car and wait or he would sit outside the store in the mall.

The sun has started peeking through the small patches of blue sky this afternoon. I think Mother Nature is not as sad.

Monday morning it is very gloomy outside and very windy. I think Mother Nature is mad today. Upset at the loss of a caring and fun loving man. Upset with cancer. Upset with how quickly his life here has gone by. I understand her here. I am glad that if she is going to be mad she is taking the anger out in this form and not in the form of a typhoon, that is what hurricanes are called on the Pacific Ocean. While I am at it I would like to Thank, Natural Disasters for being calm and silent. I don't think I could handle an earthquake right now.

The dark clouds make way to a partly cloudy sky in the afternoon.

I have been doing a lot of reminiscing today. Lots of great memories with Papa. My wedding day and being able to dance with him. His stories - another one he loves telling is that he taught Wayne Gretzky how to skate. His questions or thirst for knowledge - working on his family tree or watching WWI and WWII movies. His laughs - when I tell him about Angel or his love for watching MASH, The Simpsons, Two and a Half Men, etc. His love & kindness - he never said to Nathan and I, we couldn't stay at his and Nana's house and he would always get a little teary eyed when Nathan and I would leave after a visit. His love of the Christmas Holiday - specifically the food or Seven Fishes of The Sea. His lack of fear when it comes to technology - he loved doing research for his family tree and he was great at using e-mail. His unique form of quality one-on-one time - he loved to have his back or feet rubbed; especially in between the toes. Exercise - walking with us to the bakery in Roslindale Square or taking us to Bustoff's for chocolate. And so much more.

We are all hurting including mother nature. We know that these wounds will take time to heal. We know that he is no longer suffering and is enjoying all of his favorite foods. We all have our own special memories and none of those can be taken away from us even though he was. Rest now Papa! We Love You!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

My Beautiful Papa

Monday, February 28th, Papa went in for surgery. He was going to finally be able to have a stent put in so that he could eat. He was originally scheduled to have the surgery on Wednesday, February 23rd but he had a mini stroke or TIA on Tuesday, February 22nd. So instead of the surgery on Wednesday he had an MRI. The MRI didn't show anything that would be cause for an alarm. Papa will be awakened and monitored every 2 hours throughout the evening.

I didn't mention that the results of the biopsy came back and Papa has cancer of the esophagus, lung & liver. 3 months was Papa's prognosis.

The surgery went well and took about two hours. Papa will no longer need to be on a liquid diet. He can start off with softer foods and a soda. Yes, the carbonation in the soda will help break down the food and prevent any blockage on the mesh of the stent itself. He will no longer be able to lay flat, either for eating or sleeping.

On Wednesday, March 2nd, Nana asked that Papa be sent to Rehab in West Roxbury upon his release from the hospital which should be within the day or two.

On Thursday, March 3rd, Papa's kidneys were failing. His kidneys were functioning or operating at 10%. (Chaoticness commences.)

On Friday I called and talked to Papa. I had a very short conversation with him. I asked him how he was doing and he told me not so good. I asked him why and he responded but it was difficult to understand him. Not sure if it was because I was overwhelmed or because he was weak. I asked him if there was anything that I could do for him and he told me no. I then told him that I loved him. He told me that he loved me. I asked him again if he was sure there wasn't something that I could get him and he again told me no. I said I love you again and he said he loved me.

Christina (my younger cousin) took the phone and talked to me. She let me know that he had stated that his kidneys were failing. That was the part that I couldn't understand.

I feel so silly because any other time I call and talk to him, I can chat for a while. That moment, it was difficult for me.

Papa is septic or sepsis not too long after I talked to him. Because the liver isn't functioning the kidneys were working harder to make up for what the liver couldn't do. But now the kidneys can't keep up.

They weren't expecting Papa to make it through the night so my aunt and a close friend of the family stayed with him through the night. He had plenty of people visit him through the day and some people stayed as late as they could.

Saturday early in the morning Papa struggled for a little while. He was uncomfortable and was in some pain. On Friday night the drs. reinserted the IV for the morphine shot but it took the drs. three attempts because Papa's veins were collapsing. Between 4am and 6am EST Papa didn't talk anymore and closed his eyes. He was able to turn his head when people talked to him.

Around 12:50pm Pacific time I get the call that Papa took his last breath.

The rest of the day was difficult. A lot of off and on crying. It is hard thinking and knowing that when I go home now he won't be there. I will miss his laugh. All his coffee cups. The tons of questions about the house. His goofy stories and watching him take a nap in his chair.

I want him to know that the door to the house is always open for him to come and check it out. My heart is open to all the great memories. And I am happy that he is at peace. We will miss you but we know that you are still watching over us and that the little birdies are still going to tell you when we are bad. Love you!