I got a phone call on my 40th birthday from my dad. I missed his call. I meant to call him back, but never got around to it. Every time I pick up the phone to call someone, the kids get into a fight, or one of them needs help with something, or suddenly there's poop on the floor, wall, and other surfaces of the house. Since we were on summer break, I couldn't call him from work, so I just didn't call. I kept telling myself that I needed to call him, but each day ended with no phone call.
On August 29th, 25 days after I missed my dad's phone call, I got one from my brother informing me that I would never get the chance. He died suddenly that morning, of an apparent heart attack. Motherfuck.
We all headed to California, dealt with the craziness of packing up his house, getting him buried, finding a caregiver for my grandmother, and moving forward with our lives. In less than a month, on September 27th, my mother's mother, the grandmother I grew up with and considered a second mother to me, passed away, just four days shy of her 96th birthday. Doublemotherfuck.
It took six weeks to get her funeral scheduled at Arlington to finally rest with my grandfather, her greatest love. It was bittersweet to say goodbye, but it was a beautiful ceremony, and so apropos to happen this close to Veteran's day, when grampa's picture is on my calendar to signify it. It was quite unfortunate that it also happened to be the exact day of my daughter's 5th birthday. Triplemotherfuck.
However, I've been trying to be zen about everything, stealing a line from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, "So it goes." Of course, whenever I think that line, it always ends with motherfuck.
Because of everything that has happened in such a short amount of time, I've become overly sensitive to mortality -- mine, people I don't know, my mother's, my siblings', my spouse's, and my children's. It is very hard to be zen about such things. so it goes, so it goes, so it goes. motherfuck.
I'm trying to slow my life down a bit, take time to smell the roses, and my babies' hair. I'm also checking their breathing on a regular basis, double checking their 5 point harnesses in their car seats, and cutting their food into the most impossibly small pieces so they don't choke.
Part of my slow down plan includes limiting my social media time. It has become such a time suck for me. I found myself in groups on Facebook that did nothing for me, and only made me angry, posting advice to people I don't know and shouldn't care about that they're not going to read or heed anyway. I don't have time to worry about other peoples' problems. I have two beautiful children and a husband to worry about. THEY need me, not names associated with profile pictures that may or may not portray the actual person. I have actual people to think of and care about.
So, I spent one evening removing myself from all but a handful of groups on Facebook. It was liberating.
My next step is to limit my time on said time-sucking social media website. I haven't quite figured out how to do that, whether it's to set a timer or have a specific time of day when I can access the site. I've already cut back on my time, and I think it's because I'm not reading all the posts on all the group pages that I'm no longer on.
I've also decided to start writing more, because I have a lot to say. I have so many ideas in my head that are dying to get out, and quite honestly, I can't handle any more death right now, so I need to let them out. I have a lot of half-started blog posts saved, as well as ideas jumping up and down in my brain shouting "Pick me! Pick me!" as I sit down in front of my computer to type away. My fingers don't work as quickly as my brain does, so they will have to wait a little while. But I will write. By God, I will write. I may not get it all down in one sitting, but that's because I have children, and a husband, a job, laundry, and a shit-ton of squash to turn into sweet bread tomorrow. But I will write. I promise you that. I will write.