Thursday, September 24, 2009


I'm sitting out on the balcony of my new apartment. Just finished dinner, and I'm enjoying the street-symphony below. Normally, people would associate honking horns, revving engines, and sirens as something obnoxious... an annoyance of life. But, tonight, I'm feeling differently about it. Even though my head is spinning with thoughts, my heart is heavy with emotions, and my body feels like quitting, the sounds of the night are a comforting reminder that the city keeps on going. Nothing stops New York. Life keeps on going, the world keeps turning. Good or bad, it goes on.

I am having to remind myself every single day (sometimes multiple times a day) that time will heal all wounds. That the pain and sadness of my grandfather's passing will lessen; that the stresses of my job will cease; that my father's cancer will remiss; that I will eventually fall asleep at night without worrying how I will afford to eat the following week...

But, I know that as life goes on, stresses fade, and new stresses arrive. It's a never-ending cycle. Just a thing we all have to accept, I guess.

I don't think I have fully accepted the fact that my grandfather is gone. Even now, I have a problem, a question, or even something exciting to tell, I want to call him. Tonight, I actually called his cell phone, it wasn't until I heard the voicemail that I remembered. The phone dropped from my hand, and I had to eventually had to pick myself up off the floor after I collapsed into a sobbing mess.

He was my rock, my mentor, and one of my best friends. Not having him here anymore is one of the most painful feelings I have ever had. My body literally hurts when I think about how I will never see him again.

Though time will eventually lessen the pain, there will never be a time in which I will not miss him.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

In this life...

I know I barely updated in August - I apologize for that. But once things start spinning out of control, it's hard enough for me to grasp what is going on in my own life. Having to organize my thoughts into a succinct blog post was near impossible. But, I'm trying now.

I am home. I came into NC for the Labor Day weekend. Though I might have come in to town anyway (because of the extended weekend), I had special reason to be here. Yesterday, my grandfather celebrated his 80th birthday. When I booked my flight in July, the mood for the weekend was of a celebratory nature. A monumental party was being planned and everyone was to attend. However, this weekend has ended up being an overwhelming mix of emotions; happiness, sadness, heart-wrenching longing, empathy, sympathy, and so much more.

My grandfather is dying.

Though I really feel that I would rather him pass on than to suffer, I am selfish. I do not want to lose him. I do not want live in a world where he does not exist. I guess for some it's better to know it is coming instead of being shocked and bewildered by a sudden death, but to know it is inevitable is just as hard as I imagine losing him will be.

Does knowing something is coming make it any easier to handle?

I've spent a lot of time in the hospital this holiday weekend. My father was diagnosed with MRSA and had to be quarantined in the infectious disease unit. Essentially, his body has no ability to fight any sort of infection because of the Leukemia. So, visiting my father in isolation, and seeing my grandfather (lucky they were just down the hall from each other, right?) has essentially been my weekend.

I feel that I am a relatively strong person (most of the time) but I am having a very difficult time dealing with this upcoming loss. Though there is obviously a grandfather/granddaughter relationship there, I also consider him to be one of my closest friends. When he goes, a piece of myself will be gone forever.

As I have looked upon my grandfather with teary eyes, I have noticed that the interactions with my grandparents (when they think no one is looking) is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time. Throughout 58 years of marriage, they are still very much in love. And even though my grandfather has hardly any fight left in him, my grandmother is fighting every step of the way. She is his caretaker, the meal-giver, the one who talks to the nurses, the one who ensures that he is feeling okay. There was a moment, right as she finished feeding him his lunch, where she took the napkin, wiped his mouth, and held his face in her hand. They looked at each other as if they were 25 years old again. No one else existed but the two of them.

It has certainly made me think - does love like that even exist anymore? And will I ever find someone to love long enough and cling to the final stages of life with? I mean, isn't that the point of all this? To find an other half - one that will be there until the very end, holding your face and gazing into your eyes; one who has a heart breaking in two but still lets you know that it's okay to let go, to stop suffering.

Though I may be a little cynical and skeptical about love and what it has in store for me. I know, in utter certainty, that I have witnessed love this weekend. And I have learned.. love is about loving someone not for who they ought to be, or could be, but as they are, until the very end.

So, though this weekend has been extremely difficult emotionally, it has also been very beneficial to my overall emotional health. I think I have been harboring all of this emotion in solitude in NYC, and I have been able to talk, cry, hug my family members, and really experience this time with them - instead of alone.

After all, alone is the last place I wanted to be.