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Busy busy busy busy. I have one more trip to make tonight to a friends to drop off her xmas present, then I will be in hibernation house mode. Speaking of the house it desperately needs to be cleaned. In that annoying way that men of my dad's generation are it generally falls on me to do the brunt of the housework. I don't really mind, true enough its not on my scale of fun things to do but there is a certain sense of satisfaction that surveying all the clean space around me brings. However this cleaning lark dropped off since I started studying for my exams a few weeks ago and having social engagements every night since they ended (yes been out every night for two weeks, yes am exhausted, yes have reached end of sociable tether)means that I am rather horrified as I survey the piles of rubble and rubbish where there used to be clean floor. In fairness to him he cleaned the kitchen and his tv room and it looks great but he's been off work since last friday, it would have been nice if the cleaning extended into the hall or indeed the landing.

On top of this I couldn't find nice flowers for my Mam's grave so instead bought bunches of holly, leaf twiggy things with red berries and pussy willow in a moment of madness thinking "I can make a wreath/arrangement". Clearly I must have been on crack while thinking this, my fingers are so black they have almost fallen off and I have never done a flower arrangement in my life not to mention the whole lack of time thing. I bought some florists wire and this other gold wire stuff so hopefully I should be able to cobble something together that dosen't look like a deranged three year old did it. Hey does tinsel go funky outside? I was thinking of winding some tinsel around the dodgey bits (you know there will be dodgey bits) but am wondering if it will look ok when it rains?

Read )

Ok off to friends, pick up some redbull on the way home then attempt to build a wreath. You have no idea how tempting my bed is right now....
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These past few days have been pretty tough. I called around to his folks house on thursday to pay my respects and there were so many people there. His poor fiancee was still in shock and sat curled into the couch not really aware of her surroundings. Then the removal on Friday, it was standing room only, at least 450 people turned up. The service was short as it always is and Bridezillas husbands uncle who is a priest said the decade of the rosary. It was bittersweet. Last month he was marrying bridezilla and her husband in greece. This month its her brothers funeral. Then back to her folks house where we traded stories of B and how gross he could sometimes be lol (like the time he hooked a beer keg up to the feding tube in his stomach, sober to drunk in less then 2 mins!)it was a good night although several people myself included we nearly expected B to come into the room and give his side of the gross story. Its still so hard to believe he's gone.

Saturday, well saturday was the hardest of all. Again there was a huge turnout, standing roon only again. G his Dad started the funeral with a speech about his son. Everyone listened as he told us when B was diagnosed with CF at 10 weeks old the Doctors told them he would be lucky if he made it another six weeks. Twenty five years is pretty good going he said. Well I guess when you are given a diagnosis like that every day is a gift. He told us about B and how he always helped to raise awareness about CF and had no problem telling his own story especially to those who were of a slightly squeamish nature lol. He met the minister for health a little while ago with some other CF patients and managed to secure a special CF unit in our local hosptial which is a huge step. He also put forward his arguement for the opt-out system of donors (bascially its a system where every one is automatically a donor, no need for donor cards and if you wish to opt out you can) which makes so much sense. So many people say they are willing to be a donor but when it comes down to it they never have the conversation with their family or have much knowledge about donor cards. It was B's wish the donor cards would be available at his funeral and they were. Both days. 300 cards each day. All were taken. So potentially there are 600 new donors as a result of B. If anything good was to come out of his death this is it.

The saddest and most poigient thing of all was a letter from B. When he was taken to ICU the last time he realised he may not bounce back again. So he composed a letter on his phone. K his finacee found it after he passed and read it out. In it he thanked his parents for raising him, recounted a few funny stories, told Bridezilla her and her husband would make fantastic parents and Ken that he was the best brother (Ken's gf has CF and is on the transplant list too. It was pretty harrowing for him knowing what might lie ahead again) B thanked everyone who looked after him and said he was so tired of fighting and he knew it would all be over soon and he would be watching down. His coffin was carried out to Guns n' Roses knocking on heavens door which was a favourite song of B's. Then to the graveyard where again a huge turnout. A dove was released and 65 roses (a symbol of cystic fibrosis) where dropped onto his coffin. The priest said a few words then the cover was placed over the earth and it was all over. We all stood there for a few minutes paying respects to his folks not quite sure what to do when the decision was made for us. Monsoon rain fell from the sky and everyone scattered. A sign from B to get the show on the road perhaps?

We spent the restr of the day in a hotel the Bridezilla and her husband had reserved for their wedding party which would have been last saturday. We ate, laughed, cried and remembered B.
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I wish I could post a happy ending but unless a miracle happens between now and tommorow I know all too well how this will end.

B was brought off the vent on Sunday. He wasn't well enough to stay off it, very breathless and his heart was racing. He was put back on it this morning. He's not responding well. Before he deteriorated to this point he and his doctors had a "what if" discussion. As per his and his familys wishes he will be taken off the vent for good tommorow. Bridezilla just texted me to confirm it. Its just not fucking fair.
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A light has gone out in the blogging world today.

Goodbye Andrea x
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There are so many little needles and stings in my life at the moment, so many little ones and two large ones. The first being boy who is probably friend, no update on that, am going over to his tommorow to play GTA and hang out. The other being my friend who I mentioned a few months back. Long story short he has cystic fibrosis. After suffering this for his whole life his lungs are shot. He's on the waiting list for a double lung transplant. On wednesday they got the call. There were a pair of lungs with his name on them. The whole family convened in the hospital waiting for the preliminary tests to come back. All good so far. B is being prepped and saying his see you on the other sides to various family members when the transplant co-ordinator comes in. She breaks it to him that unfortunately one of the lungs is not of sufficent quality for the transplant. Back on the waiting list he goes. My heart is breaking for him. He's not doing great and I hope the next time comes soon and is the right result. Which sounds horrible I know, it's not like you can go to the local store and buy a pair of lungs. Someone's life has to end for his to continue. Sigh, its a tough situation all around. What adds to the stress is that he is bridezillas brother. Bridezilla is getting married abroad in about 20 days. All the family will be there bar B who is obviously too sick to travel. What if the call happens while everyone is away? This is what everyone is silently afraid of. How will the family get back in time? What if god forbid something goes wrong? There are no easy answers and a lot of friends myself included are wondering why they chose to get married abroad when he is so sick. She explains it that with B always being sick the attention was always on him and this one day will be hers. Which I can of course understand (on the day which bride dosen't want to be the centre of attention) and she said herself they want to start trying for a baby which they want to have in wedlock and they aren't getting any younger. Sigh sigh sigh. Its tricky.

My Mam's birthday was/is today. Cue the overall sadness. Siiiiigh
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Snickollet posted a rather interesting blog the other day. While I miss my mother simply because she was my Mam and has always been in my life I also miss the little things she used to do. She was a fabulous seamstress, worked as one professionally before she met my dad. She could alter clothes, hem, take in, let out like nobodies business. Bless her heart she tried so hard to teach me to sew and use a sewing machine. However sewing is most definitely not my forte. I would listen and practise and still end up with wobbly hems, the thread getting stuck in the fabric and lets not even go there with the sewing machine, suffice to say you can sew fabric to your fingers. She eventually admitted defeat and presented me with knitting needles. I can just about knit a scarf. Can't do purle (pearl puarl, sp?) as the wool has a tendancy to snap. I am not a crafty person and admire those people who are naturally, like Mam.

She used to do my laundery. For 20 bucks all my washing for that week would be done plus folded and placed neatly in the basket. Doing laundary is one of my most hated tasks. I have been known to buy new clothes rather the wash the ones I have. She would cook yummy dinners, nothing fancy but what I like to term mammy food, soups and stews, roasts and jelly and ice cream. She was a homebody so I could order stuff off the internet knowing she would be there when it was delivered.

I miss her for the richness she brought to my life but I also miss her for the things she did to help make my life easier.


Apr. 10th, 2008 12:25 am
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Our kitchen is quite... to put it kindly, dated. If this was 1988 and the world had a longing in its groin for brown and cream formica we would be hip cats but 20 years later not so much. Our main worktop has come away from the wall slightly and things have an annoying habit of falling down the crack. Every so often Dad is tasked with lugging the (surprisingly heavy) thing away from the wall to see what treasure we will find among the cobwebs and various dead bugs. I say treasure ironically because usually its bills, which are of course pass their due date for being paid. Off topic: Dad and I reaaaaaally aren't very good at this housekeeping lark. Anyways today I found real treasure down there. A letter from my college. It informed me that the original marks of the first exams were incorrect. They apologised and on another sheet of paper gave the acutal results. 53% and 79%. 53 FUCKING PER CENT BABY!!! This means instead of failing by 2% I have in fact passed by a lot more then I thought I would. It's such a huge weight off my mind with exams coming up again.


Thank you Jennifer for such a lovely and thoughtful card. It came on my Mam's anniversary and it helped. A lot.

Thank you all for your comments on the past post. I wasn't sure whether to post as it seemed quite bitter even for me but it helps to know others hear me and know what it is like.

Feeling quite blessed at the moment.
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Today marks the 364th day of my mothers death. According to the old wives tales you need a year and a day to grieve. That way you get all the "first" anniversaries out of the way. Yeaaah.

Truthfully I cannot believe almost a year has past since she left. The time between her getting sick, getting diagnosed and ultimately passing away was four months. A whirlwind of sickness and death. The days after felt so long as my mind caught up with what had happened. There is so so much care involved in someone so sick making sure they are comfortable,clean, that the pill scheduale is adhered to (of utmost importance when its pain relief we are talking about)not to mention entertaining them, knowing when they need company, knowing when to shoo the ever present visitors away, the many many many questions to ask of social workers, hospice nurses, community nurses. We did this for less then a week but it was one of the most exhausting stressful miserable periods in my life. With that comes the guilt. It was my mother not some stranger I should feel blessed that we had the time with her, to look after her. Instead all I feel is a bitterness, that life is so unfair, that hideous cancers still have no cure. Most of all I am incredibly angry at god. Furious. Not because she got sick but because of all the cancers out there she got this one. This one that is hard to diagnose until its too late, this one where the only treatments involved are a huge surgery if it is diagnosed in time or palliative care to preserve quality of life in the remaining time they have left. Which more often then not is less then a year.

Read )


Apr. 2nd, 2008 11:05 pm
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Today was tougher then I thought it would be. Too tired to talk about it now.

I took photos on the way there though to distract me and test my iphones cam. Not bad, although dublin traffic does not an easy photo make.

More tommorow, must sleep.
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Thank you for your comments in the last post. The funeral is tommorow and work have given me compassionate leave. That alone makes me love my job, the fact I don't have to go asking for these things. Auntie Ev is being cremated. It's a decision she made which is causing some consternation among the family. We have the ultra catholics who believe cremation is wrong and the right thing to do is to bury your loved ones. They will not be attending the cremation just the mass. Personally I find the idea of cremation rather comforting. Not the act itself but the fact you can take something of them home. Going to the cemetary usually upsets me. So much death in one place, lives that have been cut short, live's that hadn't even begun. It's not that I am in denial about death far from it, as I get older I am more aware that our time here is finite. But sometimes memories of my mother are not enough. Photos help, but the things that bring me comfort are the things that initally made me quite upset. Her scent, her handwriting, her unfinished knitting even the bin which we have not cleaned out since the last time she used it (nothing gross a few tissues). It gives the feeling that her presence still lingers. Auntie Ev's daughters have not decided what to do with her ashes. Apparently Auntie Ev said they could either share her out between them or scatter them in the place they used to holiday in beside the sea. How wonderful it would have been to take my Mam's ashes home. Well, I feel that, however my father while not in the ultra catholic camp is still against cremation. He won't be attending it.

Keeping with the death theme, while doing my daily stalking on dooce ,I noticed she had linked to this. It's a portrait of people in life and in death. I find it quite fascinating and at times heartbreaking (especially the lady who said she felt she had been rejected by life). I think it's worth a look though.
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The last time I wrote a journal entry with the above title I shared a little about my Auntie Evelyn. Her health has deteriorated over the past few weeks and yesterday she had a heart attack. She passed away in the early hours of this morning. I just feel so sad. Her funeral is on Wednesday. It's the first one I've been to since my Mam's.

I was going to bitch some more about the hen's party but really this has stopped me short. Life's just too short to moan all the time. In spite of the crazyness it was fun to catch up with my girls.
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Happy Birthday to me, Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to meeeeeeee-eeeeee, Happy birthday to meeeee.

Thats the noise of my inner voice today. Surprisingly it was a fairly good birthday. It was helped I think from the build up of it.

Thursday a bank brought me and boss lady out for lunch. It was nice but awkward as we didn't have much in common with the dealers so there was awkward pauses. Boss lady and I scarpered then decided instead of going back to work why don't we just go to the pub instead. In fairness we would have only been back in work for half an hour before we could go home but still, yay for having a boss the same age as me. We got to know each other a bit better, she told me about her diasturous love life and I told her about mine. We got to meet some people from the job that we only ever talked to on the phone. It was a good night. Friday some of the work crowd went for dinner for my birthday. This is huge in my book. The biggest difference I've noticed between new job and old job is that in new job nobody likes to hang out after office hours. Fair enough I guess and in old job we probably hung out too much after work but I think you get to your co workers better with a little outside office socialising. That was cool and we all got on really well.

Saturday rolls around and off I go hideously early for an eye test. While there I decide seeing as its my birthday weekend I should really treat myself to those prada glasses I've been lusting over for months (I'm the Imelda Marcos of the glasses world shhh). While I'm waiting on glasses to be done I decide seeing as I'm in town why not do a little shopping. This is a new experiance for me. As I work in town I seldom go in at the weekends as if I need to pick anything up I can do it on my lunch hour. As a result I rush and it's only enough time for essential items. The luxury of having time to wander around did not do anything good for my bank balance. I came out with a pair of gorgeous knee length black leather boots, two pairs of jeans, three dresses, underwear, two tops, some fishnet stockings and a new book. Then I lugged all that back to pick up my beautiful new glasses. Off home to realx for a few hours then time to get ready for a night out. Myself Shiv and Nat headed to TGI's for food and lotsa cocktails. Actually Nat was the dessie driver so she was on the dry. Anyways dessert rolls round and imagine my surprise when the staff come over with a birthday cake for me. Yay! After that we headed to a club where we chatted and boogied around. I got chatted up by a group of guys and although nothing came of it, it was still a nice ego boost (at least I don't look old!). Oh I got a gorgeous ipod nano off Shiv and Nat says she has something for me too. Yay for great friends.

The best thing of all though was a card I got from Dad. A bit of back story, my mam always got me a card for my birthday, I have them all saved up. She was always great at remembering peoples birthdays and anniverseries and all that sort of stuff. I was pretty upset this year because there would be no more cards from her. I just accepted it. Dad and I are crap at cards and gift giving so neither of us expects much from the other. However Dad took the time to buy a card and sign it. It really touched me. I have it on my bedside table. Its nothing fancy but the inscription inside makes me happy. "From the one and only, your Da". So although there were sad tears at missing her terribley, there were also happy smiles of feeling loved by my family and friends.
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I just realised this Sunday is the last Sunday I will be 26. I've come to the conclusion that it's not so much my birthday I dislike but endings. Its rather like a great movie. Although you enjoy the ending you can't help wishing it would go on forever because your just enjoying being in the present so much watching it. I'm not a fan of change, never have been and I don't want to be 27. When I was 26 my Mam was still alive. When I turn 27 she won't be there to give me my birthday card. Or for that matter to remind my Dad it's my birthday. Both of us are so crap at remembering dates it was Mam who always gave us the nudge that it was so and so's birthday and did we want to get a present. Sigh. Popular belief says it take a year and a day to grieve for someone. That way all the first anniverseries are over with. It dosen't mention just how sucky it is having to go through the anniverseries though.

In Dad news he went to the Doctor after I made the appointment for him (he wasn't happy about that) and the Doctor told him he must cut out alcohol, that the pain in his stomach and chest he's getting is from that. He also put him on daily medication which when I google the name of says it's for treatment of "reflux oesophagitis, duodenal and benign gastric ulcers, including those complicating NSAID therapy. Healing and prophylaxis of NSAID-associated benign gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. H. pylori eradication in peptic ulcer disease. Prophylaxis of acid aspiration. Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome."* Lovely. He also told Dad he wanted him to go for some blood tests. Dad refused point blank to go to the hospital so the Doc said he would do the blood draw in the surgery. It was the same Doctor that treated Mam. He drew bloods from her too. I'd be lying if I said the paralells didn't make me extremely uneasy. I think Dad feels the same. He came home in a rage saying no Doctor was going to tell him what to do especially one whos only half his age (yes he has problems taking advice from young'ns). I calmed him down saying we'd see how the ground lies when he gets the results of the blood test back. I also pointed out it was nearly ten years since he had gone for a checkup and it might not be such a bad idea for the Doc to be a little more thourogh then he would be for a usual annual checkup. I managed to calm him down enough that he rang the surgery and confirmed he would be in for the blood test on Tuesday. So thats the first hurdle out of the way. I am probably overreacting but I am slooowly starting to freak the fuck out on the inside.

*yes Dr. Google is not my friend, I don't take stuff from the interweb as gospel.


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