Friday, October 30

Lots to do, lots to say, with a very somber ending.

I have loads of things to put into this post today, so I'm going to color code them.

For the Blogging Party hosted by the amazing, intellectual Alexes from One Cluttered Brain: Purple!

For the give-aways and other awesome things about Mrs. B, the Pagan Soccer Mom:

For just the regular old Helen stuff, we'll go with....:
This color! LOL.

For the Blogging Party, I need to answer these questions. Alexes will then read them and match me up with another blogger... and I have no clue what happens from there, lol, that's all I understood. But I'm one of those learn as you go kinds of people, so I'll figure it out.

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you're blogging? I'm not much of a snacker... heck, as much as I truly love food, I'm not really much of an eater! Andrew and I are drinkers, lol, we could pretty much live off liquids. I drink chocolate milk while I blog :)

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without? You know, I would have to say, I wouldn't want to live without running water. Not really for any particular reason, except that unless there's an actual, well-built outhouse, I can't get my squat down pat. Some article of clothing always gets wet... so I couldn't live without that wonderful toilet, which would be impossible without running water!

3. Beach, Mountains or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice? Mountains. Put me in a cabin in the mountains...but that's out of those three. If I had a choice truly? I want a sprawling ranch house in the middle of the desert, with horses and dogs, cats, chickens, and a BIG aviary full of cockatiels!

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty? Laundry. I hate laundry. 'Nuff said.

5. Prefer parties and socializing or staying at home with the fam? I love going to family get-togethers, either all of our family or my family with other people's families. I love it!

6.Favorite movie? The Long, Long Trailer, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

7. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night? I don't wear enough make-up to worry about, so I usually sleep in it. I mean, cover-up and mascara? The worst that can happen is a dirty pillow and some clogged pores.

8. Where is your favorite place to shop? I like Kohls a lot... and Borders or Barnes and Noble!

9. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time? Write. I would write if I had more time and more inspiration to do so.

10. Are you a big spender or frugal? I spend too much, too often. It's always little stuff, but little stuff adds up FAST.

So now, let me tell you a little about the give away going on at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom. First off, I don't know how she does it. She managed to do a give away EVERY day of October, but I couldn't even get my butt here to BLOG once a day this month for NaBloWriMo. Seriously. Mrs. B gets my utter admiration.

Today, she's got several give aways and I'll link all of them here. There's the book from Quirk Classics, called Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. There's a subscription to Circle Magazine. Last but not least, she's giving away a spooky keyring from Carioca Witch.

I'm crossing my fingers for that book. I read a little of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and it was both awesome and hilarious!

The wind is blowing like crazy outside and freaking me out more than a little. I watched some leaves going left, and then others were going right and I was thinking, "OMG, the wind is going in two directions... or maybe it's going in the same direction, but in a circle??" and then I freaked out even more because the words "wind circle" translate into "tornado" to me. Andrew's not home, he's in the field, so it's just me and the feathered menace.

Because I don't know if I'll be able to do it tomorrow, or the day after, I want to tell you about what happened one year ago on Halloween night.

Last year at this time, Andrew had been gone for only a few weeks to basic training. I was still in that guest-nice-do-it-all period with David and Rachel at the apartment, I was working 5 days a week in a brand new job, and not getting much sleep because Harmony cried if you looked at her funny...oh wait, she still does O.o.

Gramma took a bad turn just after the wedding, as though getting out of the house and to the ceremony took everything she had left. They put her in a place called Pepe's House, on the back side of TMC (Tucson Medical Center, where I was born), and every day that I had off, I went to see her. I saw her as often as I could...most days, she just slept. Some days she knew who I was and why I was there, but not often. Mom and I visted together a few times, but usually, it was just me. If she woke up, I would talk to her about Andrew, or I'd show her pictures of the wedding. She told me a few stories of younger days, but she ran out of wind fast.

Pepe's House was good to her. They had a harpist come every day and play in the halls, and it was beautiful. Gramma loved it, and so did I. They brought her what she wanted to eat, not what was good for her, and made sure she was as comfortable as she could be. She was dying of lung cancer, with COPD, and only about 10% of her respiratory system was functioning. When they examined her earlier that month, before she got so bad, the doctors were shocked and amazed that she was still relatively mobile. We knew better. If she'd have had enough reasons, the old woman would have held on another 100 years for spite.

On Halloween day, before work, I went to see her. It was a Friday last year...I held her hand, and I told her I loved her. I told her I would be back to see her on my next day off, and that she wasn't allowed to run off with any cute nurses or anything while I was gone. She was lucid, in good spirits, and she told me she would be there. When I left, I drove past an elementary school on recess. There were little witches and a mermaid on the swings. The mermaid was being pushed by Batman, and I smiled and wished I was that little again for a hundred reasons, but mostly so I could dress up and play on the playground, lol. It was exactly 20 days after our wedding.

I spent the night on 4th Ave in Tucson with a friend, having a wild time, enjoying myself until way too late. The next morning, I got the phone call from my Aunt Shelly...Gramma had died sometime that night, probably a little after midnight. I was the last person she saw other than a nurse, but they said that the harpist had been there that evening. Aunt Shelly, my mom, and my aunt and uncles all agreed that she had been holding on to see my wedding day, and now that she had, she decided it was time to let go...

I tried to get ahold of Andrew, but there was no way other than a letter. He didn't know until almost two weeks later. And I cried. I cried for a long time, I cried often, and I'm not done crying yet. I'm crying now, and I was crying in bed this morning and last night.

When I think about it, I see the playground. I see them happy and playing, all dressed up, and I hope that was how Gramma left: happy. I like to think she left us still hearing the harp in her sleep, with my wedding pictures on her nightstand, and her beautiful, hard-working hands finally at rest. I don't know for sure, but that's what I like to think. I miss her.

Halloween has always been quite the night for me. It's the night Andrew told me he loved me for the first time, the night when my friends and I could be ourselves and not be called weird, and the night I lost one of the most important people in my life.

Happy Halloween, Gramma.


  1. (((HUGS))) Seems like the hard things always happen when the guys are in the field.

  2. halloween has been a big day for you! sorry for your loss... maybe you and andrew can find a fun way to celebrate this year and make some more memories together!

  3. I'm sorry!

    I love your new look. Sorry I havent been by...since DH was out of town I didnt have much free time. but he's home now and I should be able to visit more often.


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