Friday, January 19, 2007

The Saga of my absence from Blogland (with pictures)

So I've been posting here and there, but not with any regularity. I have a long explanation. Here it is:

Things sort of drifted along through the holidays. Christmas was lovely, and I went to NYC for New Year's and it was fabu. Then the downward spiral happened:

January 2nd: My great auntie who was suspected to be at least 92 years old is taken to the hospital my ambulance. She had been sick with the "flu" which we took to mean the head flu, the fever and congestion flu. She meant the stomach flu - the one she caught from spending Christmas with Maine relatives. She had refused all visitors until her neighbor found her collapsed in her house after making her promise to go to the doctors and had to call the ambulance. The ER determines that a portion of her colon is dead. Bad news. She refuses all medical intervention besides pain management.

January 3rd: I go to the hospital with flowers for a visit. Things look bad.

January 4th: My great auntie Elinore dies. We did find out in the course of things that she was really 95. Now a lot of people brush you off when you tell them that your 95 year old auntie died; they say "oh she had a good life" or 'she was so old." You know what? that really doesn't help. I KNOW she was old, I KNOW she had a good life. But she was very fit and feisty and was living in her own house up until the end. This was unexpected. I know the woman wasn't immortal, but still, this is not what we expected at all. And it wasn't easy, we were all still sad, especially my father, as she was really his last close relative. She was a wonderful lady. Oh yeah, she could play favorites and drive you crazy, but she totally loved us, and she was amused by most everything we did, as you can see in this old snapshot (it's a smile on her face, I swear :) ):

January 5th-9th: Life goes by in a haze. We have to deal with nasty extended family throughout the funeral arrangements. We're not looking forward to the funeral.

January 10th: "The Funeral." My last remaining great aunt arranges to have a "family viewing" of the body before the wake begins. As far as I recall, Aunt Elinore never wanted anyone looking at her dead body. Creepy! My sister and I wait outside the room until the casket is shut, despite the glares of family (not immediate family, they were like "right on, do what you think is right.) The wake was a triumph for our family though, because it was clear that we, despite the black cloud that the extended family tries to send over our family, despite the fact that we don't carry as much weight as they do (in their opinion) and despite the fact that certain cousins call my father the "black sheep" of the family (HA!) were the ones who really KNEW our Aunt. The wake was held in two rooms where the dividing wall had been slid back. Half of the room was the extended Maine family, the other half was our entire family and many many friends who knew and loved Aunt Elinore. Not that it was a competition, but we were winning. On the was to Mass, we were escorted by four Massachusetts State Police motorcycles. Ooo-rah, as my dad would say. It was badass and I know A.E. was looking down from the heavens thinking the same thing, especially when we brought East Milton Square to a DEAD STOP. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. The mass was lovely, I was so pleased that it was after being to so many impersonal funerals, the priest really put a nice touch on it. There was still a lot of Catholic things that I feel weird about (no offense to anyone, seriously, it's just what you're used to) but all in all, a lovely mass. The burial was, you know, a burial. Straightforward and simple. We then returned to Aunt Elinore's house, which was kind of weird, but most practical. There was, to our surprise, plenty of food and well-organized. I caught up and met a lot of family members and had great conversations with them. THe executor of the estate (don't even get me STARTED) was fairly well behaved and informed my sister and I that we were inheriting jewelry. Uh, OK. It was a very long day, and much beer was consumed. When we got back home, these flowers were waiting for us, plus a box containing my new digital camera. I shamelessly snap pictures of Lily for half the night because he is so damn cute.

January 11th - just chillaxin'

January 12th. THE DAY OF INFAMY. I wake up at 5 with my stomach burning. Stoooopid freakin' heartburn, I think, and roll over. Amy wakes me at 7. "How do you feel?" she asks. "Why?" "Because Dad is throwing up in the bathroom." I sit up and hear my father vomiting. He's never ever sick and he has a stomach made of steel and dragons. As soon as I sit up I realize I don't feel so good. "How are you?" I ask Amy. "Ummm. Ok I think, queasy, but not real bad." "I'm going to call Mom" I tell her. I call my mom's work number from my cell. It rings forever, no one picks up. Amy realizes that this means she's probably at home. We go into our parent's bedroom and my mom is in the fetal position. "Up since two, vomiting, diarrhea" she says. "The soup?" I ask, referring to what we had for dinner last night. "No" she says, "this is Maine." In one horrible minute we realize that Aunt Elinore had been in Maine for Christmas, where the family was sick with"flu." Stomach flu. She came home and was sick - what if she was sick with a virus and THEN had a colon problem? What if her throwing up was really the stomach bug? And what if the cousins didn't CLEAN her house before having everyone over?? Phone calls confirmed it. Here's who got sick: all four of us, my grandparents, my aunt, my dad's best friend, his wife, his daughter, my dad's cousin from Connecticut, his wife, his daughter, my cousins from Florida, who actually stayed in Auntie's house. Here's who didn't get sick: Everyone from MAINE. Food poisoning? No. Norovirus? Yes.

14 hours later we emerge from the fog of vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. We're all dehydrated and weak. My dad brings us the elixir of life, ginger ale. I sleep like a rock for 12 hours.

January 12th. We're all on the mend. I still feel sick, but am improving, eating and drinking. I've broken all the blood vessels around both eyes, my sister has broken blood vessels in her cheeks - they're from the heaving, there was a lot of it. We take it slow, but we have to clean, we have to strip beds and bleach floors and do everything we can to eradicate the virus from our house.

January 13th-15th: Mad recovery time. We do nothing but laundry and watch football.

January 16th: HAIRCUT AT LIQUID. Love it. Love the guy who did it too, he made me tea and told me that 90's movies were full of bad hair. He rocks :)

January 18th: First day of second semester classes. I rise at 6am, get dressed and get out the door at 6:30. It's freezing cold, but there's hardly any traffic and I zip right to the subway station. Sunrise is beautiful, and there is nothing foreboding about this day. Somewhere between North Quincy and JFK, my train derails. Ha, no problem, it'll move in a few minutes right? Wrong. For an hour, I glance at my watch and wipe my sweaty palms on my pants. I don't make it to Tufts until 10 minutes after my class ends. Damn.

January 19th: I make it to Davis Square on time. I spend 10 minutes waiting for the Tufts shuttle. Nothing. I start to walk to school. Time starts running out. I start running. I get to class beet red, sweaty and winded. The class is full of catty girls, catty bio nerd girls, the worst kind of undergrad. I have the worst luck and I start to wonder what the heck I did to make karma take such a bite out of my ass.

The bonus? I have a digital camera to document almost all of it.

So things are back on track I think. I feel optimistic about next week. Maybe it's because January is nearly over! Maybe it's because I have faith in the team that's gonna win it big this week. Maybe it's because I'm just a hopeless optimist, I don't know! It's been a hectic three weeks though, and I just KNOW it's got to get better than this. That being said, I'm going to go home and run errands. It's pay day and I'm feeling rich. Maybe I'll even go to JoAnn's for fabric. Such a bad girl. Happy Weekend all!

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