Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Death is a gift to something better."

First off, sorry for not being extremely talkitive lately. Sorry to those whom I kept giving hints to what's going on in my life but ever truly said what's going on. I know when people does that to me, it frustrates the hell out of me. So really, sorry. And sorry for sounding rude, irritated, pissed, bitchy, and so forth and so forth to anyone over IM, phone, online, or on Twitter. There's just a lot of stress going on right now and well, guess subconsciously that's how I deal with stress. By sounding rude, irritated, pissed, bitchy, and so on. A lot of things have happened for the last couple months and to the request (or maybe demand) of both of my parents, I restrained myself from posting any blog or tweet about what's been going on. But now...I need to write, maybe it'll make me feel bits better, maybe...

We buried Mom last week. My Grandparents, Sarah, and I were with Mom and Dad was on his way home. I could tell that Mom was waiting for Dad but she just couldn't. She had an appointment with God and just couldn't be late. I tried to reach Dad as soon as I could. I really did. Maybe I should have tried earlier. Dad and Mom wouldn't be hurting so bad. Dad was on his way home when Mom left for Heaven. I think because of that, Dad is hurting more than we all are.

Mom was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (GBM) mid-February. Because the stage we discovered this cancer, my parents decided not to operate ("one of the most difficult decisions we ever had to make, honey, but we should be thankful for the time we have together.") GBM is the most common and deadly brain tumor and like other forms of cancer, there is no cure. Mom never stopped fighting, though. Even when she was told there was nothing anyone can do, she asked about the possibility of doing both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. She even asked about current clinical trials for GBM because "it may cure cancer one day, honey." She truly believed that through her pain, she can help find a cure.

When Mom first started treatment, Dad wanted her to quit her job and stay with my Grandparents. My Grandparents live fairly close to Scott&White Hospital so Dad thought it'd be good for Mom to get treatment there. Mom refused and said she ain't quitting her job nor is she going to leave us alone by ourselves.

"Two grown men with a baby in the house and no one to take care of you two, you two will go nuts!" she told us.

She continued working till weeks before she passed away, she never missed a beat at work or at home. She kept telling us, "Nothing, NOTHING will ever stop me from being with my family, not even cancer."

She went to the Anniversary trip with Dad then met up with Nicole and me at Ohio State. And despite her pain and me telling her I'd like to stay and take care of her, Mom insisted that I go to the George Strait/Reba concert. She told me to enjoy the concert and just enjoy the time with Nicole. She would keep telling me, "it's your birthday gift, honey, don't ruin it." And while in North Carolina, I asked Mom if I can go home early so I can take care of her. She refused, "if you come home, I'll disown you."

Stubborn, ain't she.

One long weekend, Mom and I flew to Florida to enjoy the weather and visit University of Florida. If you're wondering why I didn't visit Miami, I got a rejection letter from Miami. Mom was more excited than I was, "Hey I'm in Miami! Just like Michael Westen and Fiona!" She went to the Spa like I had planned and caught my evil plan. "I knew there was a reason why you're sending me to the Spa, so you can go to the [shooting] range! Evil!" Guess Mama knew all along. After lunch that day, Mom was really sick and even that, she insisted we leave Miami as we planned, at 1500.

We left Miami at 1459. Precision, Mama, and I love you for that.

We got to Gainesville 3 hours later than we planned because of the pit stops we had to take. But trust me, she didn't go down without a fight. Even with the pain, she kept telling me NOT to make pit stops because we need to get to Gainsville on time like we planned. "If you keep stopping, I swear."

You're so stubborn, Mama.

The night we got to Gainesville, she was so sick she passed out as soon as we got to our room. I held her hand and told her to rest because we got loads to do in Gainesville in the morning. She scared me that night, she looked so peaceful, I thought I lost her. But she opened one of her eyes and told me, "I love you baby, go buy you something to eat."

How she knew, I don't know. Must be a Mom thing.

We got a call from Dad next morning. He told us he's got work soon and he most likely won't be home by the time we get home. And without a word, Mom grabbed the phone from me and talked to Dad for hours. They talked as if they were two teenagers in love. Mom reminded me, "I'm not that old! Still young!" We had a worry-free day that day. We laughed and laughed, it was as if she wasn't sick. She took me out to TGI Friday's after we toured University of Florida. I told her during dinner, "I have a good feeling about this place, Mama." She told me, "Me too." and smiled at me like she never did before.

What I would give right now just to see her smile again.

Mom never missed a beat. She would remind me to brush my teeth and nag at me when I was "slower than the worms". She made me dinner, fed Sarah, took us out to dinner, and still have time to make sure she gets treatment done.

A month or so before she passed away, it was no doubt that she can no longer go to work. She was simply in too much pain. I can still remember Mom crying when she quit her job. She cried and said, "Oh my goodness I'm so happy I'm unemployed! I've always wanted to do this!"

Silly Mama.

During all the days without Dad, there was no doubt in my mind Mom was in more pain than she was letting out. She didn't have to tell me she was hurting, I could see the pain on her face, the fear in her eyes, and the numerous tears that ran down her face. But, "Your Mama's fighting." she would say to me. "Mama's fighting so I can be with you babies just a bit longer."

I know, Mama. Thank you.

On Friday before Spring Break, out of the blues Mom said let's go to Grandparents. She said we can visit University of Oklahoma before going to Grandparents'. Then we can all visit College Station together. I didn't question why or how come on a such short notice, I just rushed home after school. I packed up my stuff, helped Mom packed up Sarah's stuff, and just drove. On the road, Mom and I sang to the songs on the radio, told funny stories, and took turns changing Sarah's diapers. Time seemed to slow down, Mom was back to her normal self again and this cancer thing never happened. She told me stories from when she was younger, from when she and Dad was dating (arg...) and stories of her college life I have never heard of. It was like knowing Mom for the very first time.

I love staying at my Grandparents'. Just being around horses and at the Ranch makes me smile. And it makes Mom smile too. In ways, I think it was making her feel better more than any of the medications ever will. She would gather the strength to go out and watch me ride. She would gather up the strength to get up early in the morning to feed the cattle and horses. We would talk for hours just sitting by the barn. Just me and Mama.

On Monday, my Grandparents, Mom, Sarah, and I drove to College Station. Mom showed me the entire school all on her own and being the proud alumni, she told me I must attend this school simply because "this place rules."

That night, she slept with Sarah and said we were her most precious gift, "next to your Dad of course." She smiled and told me stories from when I was young. She told me the things I used to do as a kid and laughed at my innocence. "You were so cute." she would say to me. We laughed. We smiled. And the night seem to last forever.

Mom took a turn for the worse next morning. Laying in bed she had the strength to tell me the many chores I must take care of. She told me to never forget to brush my teeth and made sure Sarah will be taken care of. She made sure I will take care of myself. She told me she's proud of me for graduating high school and that she's sorry she can't make it to graduation like she would like. But she ensured me, "I will be there. I'm not missing my baby's graduation." She told me how much she misses Dad but knows he's coming home.

We said our temporary goodbyes to the most awesome woman I know. Dad got there couple hours later. He ran into the room and started bawling. I have never seen Dad cry before, let alone straight out bawling over Mom's peaceful body. He was bawling, truly bawling because he just lost the love of his life, his best friend, and he didn't even have a chance to say goodbye.

I'm sorry Dad. I'm sorry I didn't try to reach you sooner. I am really sorry.

We buried her in her favorite part of the Ranch, left her some notes, and said our prayers. We thanked God for bringing her to our lives and asked Him to take care of her in Heaven. We drove home that afternoon and got home around noon the following day. The drive home was one of the longest drive, ever. A strange silence filled the car. Driving down was full of laughter with Mom and on the way home, dead silence.

Several miles from home, we got a message from Mom. Funny how even when she's not here, she wants us to know what she's okay and (hopefully) we will be too.

There was no particular reason why we drove home so early. There was no particular reason why I went back to school yesterday. There was no particular reason why Dad decided to take two weeks of emergency leave instead of a month like everyone suggested. In ways we just want to "get away" and "stay busy". In ways, we just want something to do so we don't sit around the house thinking about what happened. So we don't have to think about losing Mom. Dad and I both know that to start this long journey without Mom, we'll need to take our first step, some how. Even if it means crying in your own bed for hours hoping no one in the world could hear you. I cried every night since we got home. I miss Mom terribly.

And as I read the words, "I know sweetie" I cried harder than I did before. I miss Mama and I am sick of crying.

There's a lot to think about right now, for both Dad and myself. We're not all sure what's going to happen. I don't know what my future holds nor does Dad. We don't because we lost a structure in our lives. We lost Mom. But I trust Dad and his decisions/plans, he always knows what to do to make things better.

I have never thought I would lose Mom so early. They said parents aren't supposed to bury their children. But children aren't supposed to bury their parents either, not at this age. Not at my age. Not at Sarah's age.

Mom told me once, "never, ever, give into Death and always see Death as a gift to something better." I'm not sure how losing Mom was a gift but you know what they say. "Mama's always right."

Life is a journey and this is only a temporary goodbye.
It's not goodbye, Mama, it's see you later.
I love you, Mama.
I love you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Week of March 28th, 2010

Why did she have to go
So young I just don't know why
Things happen half the time
Without reason without rhyme...
Makes no sense to me
I just have to believe

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

Loved ones she left behind
Just trying to survive
And understand the why
Feeling so lost inside...

It's hard to say goodbye
Her picture in my mind...

Don't worry 'bout me
Don't worry 'bout me

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me..."
-Psalm 23:4

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Connection and Show

For weeks, I didn't know what I was going to do for Spring Break. For weeks, I didn't know if Mom was going to feel ok enough for us to drive to University of Oklahoma, to my Grandparents' in Texas and even to College Station. But on Friday afternoon, when I was still at school, Mom emailed me and asked me if we can go to my Grandparents'. And she said we can also stop by Norman, Oklahoma to visit University of Oklahoma on our way to my Grandparents'.

So here I am, sitting in my Grandparents over Spring Break. The drive was pretty crazy and never thought I'd make it to Ft. Sill then to my Grandparents in less than 2 days but well, I'm here. And after several hours of catching up on much needed sleep, we had a great dinner made by my Grandmother. (Man, can she cook or what? )

Guess since I took the nap, I couldn't sleep last night. So what did I do, I decided to catch up on TV shows that I missed through Hulu. And after watching last week's House, I think this episode made me think more than all other episodes of House ever had.

This week, House and the rest of his team try to help a blogger. And since you're reading this, you know I'm a blogger. One of the character in this episode said this:

"When you were first telling about why you love the internet, you said that 'no one has to be alone again. Whoever you are, whatever you love, you can connect with someone...this thing that you do, it's not about connection anymore, it's about an audience, it's a performance and you got eye on the number of hits. You've turn our lives into their entertainment."

Made me think about several things. First, I completely agree with this character's idea of why she loves the internet. Personally, though the internet I was able to keep in touch with my friends all over the world, meet new friends, and of course, meet/connect with other Military families on Twitter and Blogger. It is truly because of the internet, a person won't ever feel alone. And in this chaotic world, it's a good thing that we don't live alone.

But the second part of that quote made me wonder.

"this thing that you do, it's not about connection anymore, it's about an audience, it's a performance and you got eye on the number of hits. You've turn our lives into their entertainment."

Sort of makes me wonder when a person cross the line between connection with someone and looking for an audience. I wonder if anyone consciously turn this connection of interest(s) into a show. Then I wonder if I've turn this connection into number of hits, into a show and so much more. If I am, I'd like someone to tell it to me, right now. Because, that is just something I don't want to do and someone I don't want to turn into.

I've embedded this episode of House on here, or if you prefer, you can always go here and watch the episode on Hulu.

Week of March 21st, 2010

Currently, I'm at my Granpdarents'. On Friday, Mom told me she'd like to be at my Grandparents over my Spring Break and that we can visit University of Oklahoma and Texas A&M while we're down at my Grandparents'

And for some strangest reason, this song has been stuck in my head for awhile now. Guess after that baby scare during my Junior year in high school, once awhile I do think about the future as far as having a family and what not. Maybe it's too early to think about it but guess I can day-dream.

So many this song has been stuck in my head for a long time.

This week, get this song stuck in your head.
Listen to Kenny Chesney's Wife and Kids

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week of March 14th, 2010

While putting up new music onto my iTunes, I decided to go ahead and download Brad Paisley's American Saturday Night album. If you don't know I'm a huge Brad Paisley fan not only for his music but his amazing guitar skills.

And of course, even before I got the album I've heard of Brad Paisley's hit Welcome to the Future and somehow, truly speaks to me. It reminds me of the times when my Grandparents would tell me stories of when they were younger and years ago. And just how fortunate we are to be living in the age of iPods, iPhones, internet and so much more!

So this week, check out Brad Paisley's Welcome to the Future!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Becoming Someone I Don't Want to Be

Awhile ago, I was talking Army with my good friend Edmin. I learned that he is off to to OSUT soon (or he's probably already there by now) and I told him that Nicole is going to OSUT too, just not on the same post nor the same MOS. He didn't know about Nicole and after I told him about the relationship Nicole and I have, he asked me:

"Aren't you worry about you and Nicole? Aren't you guys just starting your relationship?"

He was right, Nicole and I just started our relationship and when Edmin and I talked, Nicole and I were together for about a couple weeks. I thought about the question he asked me then told him that I'm not worried, that I trust Nicole and hopefully, she trusts me. I know in OSUT Nicole won't have a lot of time to goof off if even if she she wants to so truly, I'm not worried. As for me, I can tell you that I am not a person to mess around when I'm in a relationship with someone. Yes, people make mistakes, but this is a mistake I WON'T make.

Edmin and I then went on to talk about the Army life. And then, out of nowhere, I realized, that though Nicole is going to OSUT, it feels as if I'M going to OSUT. Whenever we talk, I'm telling her about OSUT, I'm telling her about the Army (even though she was practically born with combat boots on her feet) and so much more. And like the perfect girl, Nicole never disagrees nor have she ever tell me to stop talking about it.

I can remember years ago, looking at some of my friends' parents (not going to point fingers but I'm sure we all know those kind of parents) I made myself a promise that whenever I'm a parent, I won't EVER make my kids do what I wanted to do as a kid. I won't ever MAKE 'em play football, or MAKE 'em take piano lessons, but instead, to encourage 'em of what's out there and encourage 'em to spread their wings and explore the world. I promised myself that I will never force 'em to enlist just because I couldn't.

But subconsciously, I'm doing it right now. Subconsciously, I'm pushing and edging things onto Nicole and just finally realized what I was doing. And again, like the perfect girl she is, Nicole didn't disagree or argue about this fact but just listened to me talk. Like I'm pressing my dreams onto her. I'm becoming someone I don't want to be.

I'm sorry Sweetheart for doing that, I just realized what I'm doing. And I'm sorry.

Why, I'm not sure. How, subconsciously. What for, because I miss that life. I miss aiming for something I know I can achieve. And looking at my friends all leaving for basic or OSUT is making me wish I can tag along with 'em. I wish I got my orders to ship out and going away for how many weeks it takes to make me part of something greater than I am.

Guess we all can wish.

Let's just hope I can break this "habit" before I become a Dad. Because truly, I'd hate to turn into a Dad that I hate and don't want to be.

Forgive me Sweetheart, I'll try not to be pushy and edgy anymore. And cherish the time we have before you leave for OSUT.

People have been asking me how I'm doing and how we, as a family, are doing. Me, I'm doing alright between the stress of school, of awaiting college acceptance letters, and finishing up Senior year with something better than an "C". We, as a family, are doing alright also I guess. Still got a lot of things going on right now but still loads of laugh in the family. We're doing the best we can and just cherishing the time and so forth. Thank you everyone for checking in and see how we're doing. Again, we're all doing as alright as we can be.

Now back to working on the research papers (yes I know, I'm a Senior and got more research paper than a freaking Sophomore, lame) Procrastination is catching up to me!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week of March 7th, 2010

I had a great 3-day weekend with Mom. We went out to Florida, hung out around Miami then drove to Grainesville and visited University of Florida. I might blog about the trip later on but for this week's Weekly Tunes, I'll just share a song that was just on the radio.

Sometimes, don't you wish you know who your true friends are? Well, listen and "Find Out Who Your Friends Are!"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We Regret to Inform...

For some reason, I'm not taking those words too hard. Guess I'm at a point where I am just sick of waiting for the colleges and even the letter of rejection makes me happy that I FINALLY heard from 'em.

You read me right, I got my first college rejection letter today. From University of Miami. It's a typical rejection letter. They tell you how "great" you are but since there's so many "great" applicants out there, they're "sorry" that you've been denied.

Miami isn't on my top 3, nor is is on my top 5. So I guess in some ways getting rejected from Miami ain't the end of the world. I just find it funny how well they put together a rejection letter and let you know you can still try to appeal this rejection. But most likely you'll probably end up getting rejected again, but hey it's worth a try.

So now that I got denied to Miami, I wonder if I should still visit...maybe I should just to go show 'em my ass and say a big SCREW YOU to 'em. Or I guess Mom and I can just enjoy Florida without trying to rush to the tours and so on.

Rejection. What a life.

P.S. Want to thank my readers for the comments you guys submitted. Just letting you all know that I answer those comments with another comment. Now, I'm not sure if my followers get all the comments that's been entered, but if you don't and would like to be added onto the email list, let me know through either Twitter or Contact me.