Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Good, The Bad and the Me

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written and I really have no excuse for most of it; some of it was spent in the ER but we’ll get back to that later.
Where do I begin? Besides posting about specific occurrences and events, the end of April was my last post and for that length of time, I apologize. I’ll be writing this out non-chronologically and scatter brained, because that’s how my brain works after everything you’ll hear about coming up. In-fact, if you seem to get confused as to why something happened a month after an event, then rewind back two weeks. Most days are “normal” days for me, well up until lately where I’ve had the energy to run errands and do housework, with many breaks though; most days I can barely muster up the energy to get out of bed, get downstairs, eat breakfast (which is normally already prepared by my wholly altruistic wife), and watch TV while babysitting my 18 month son. As I mentioned earlier, and probably due to the motivation stemming from all my wife’s hard work and pure drudgery both at work and especially at home dealing with a toddler and a grown adult that might as well be a toddler on most days. Nevertheless, my recent energy boost has helped a lot around this house we call home.
To give a few examples of what good things have come lately, I’ll list them now. I built a screen door from scratch(not one of those kits), completed four years of backed up filing, finally received unemployment(after the ping-pong simulated battle with Doctors and the Government), went on a 5 day trip to Colorado to watch my brother race karts, installed my first ceiling fan(including crawling through the attic a few times), cleaned the house head to toe(including dusting, washing pillows and curtains, scrubbing walls, polishing furniture, reorganizing under 5 sinks, reorganizing every drawer and cabinet, windows, vacuuming, and hanging a lot of things on the walls; it was a TON of work!!), cleaned the garage(a few times), began building an Adirondack chair, helped put front steps on the front hill(mostly did a lot of supervising), planted bougainvillea, roses and jasmine, installed sprinklers, fountain and lights in front of our house, scrubbed/sprayed/swept/vacuumed/raked/stared at the back yard, lots of pinching and pruning of the backyard bougainvillea, probably a metric ton of laundry, helped clean out a friends garage(for a birthday present), held a
bowling benefit with many, many auctions along with it, visited University Medical Center Arizona(UMCAZ), drove myself to a kart race in Tucson(the drive alone was murderous), had a consultation at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla(San Diego), received official approval for transplant at UMCAZ, found a new church that we both really like; most of this stuff, luckily, we already owned prior to my sickness, or id be a very bored boy. ßYou see that punctuation? That’s a period, but it’s probably the most tentative period I’ve ever written; I almost certainly forgot a lot of instances and will positively remember them after I post the blog.
Now onto some of the bad stuff; although the list can probably match that of the list of good/improvements, I’ll try to tone it down a bit because just being alive and able to wake up in the morning next to my amazingly exquisite wife and the rambunctious, always smiling, son; let’s not forget the reason I’m here to begin with, our Holiness, King of Kings, the Great Almighty, all powerful, Yahweh, The Creator of all creators, GOD. Half of you, maybe more, are 

rolling your eyes and getting ready to click out right about now; go ahead, you’ll be missing out. I have the most awesome and incredible friends and family support system that anybody could ever ask for in times like this and I know that in the depths and breadths of my heart; I’m actually tearing up just thinking and writing about you all and the gargantuan amount of generosity you have forwarded to my famn damily and I. I have been so blessed to have you all in my life, I can’t even name all of you, there are even perfect strangers sending assistance and/or prayers that go further than anybody could ever imagine; he’s placed you all in my life for a
reason, and some haven’t been used yet, but I know, in my bones, that He has done a lot of work already, and He’s barely broken the surface in my life. However, there are many times when I have to face struggles and trials in my life of all sorts, may it be sleeplessness, pain, aches, confusion, sadness, and even depression where there wasn’t one of my miraculous, phenomenal friends or relatives there by my side to push me through, I’ve always had Him by my side; ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.’ – Joshua 1:9.
There are two things that are constantly running through my mind on a regular basis; one of these is a song. All of you have had one of those songs that get stuck in your head for a day or so, and you can’t get it out, no matter what, you hum it, whistle it, sing it and sometimes scream it. Well I’ve got one of my own, that has been in my head for about 6+ weeks now; not because it has one of those dumb-but-catchy tunes to it, or really that it’s my favorite, it just sticks because it applies to me right now and it reminds me of who I am. You’re probably screaming at the computer because I just reminded you of that song that you finally got rid of, my bad, not my intention, but funny nonetheless; that or the fact that you don’t know the song yet, well here it is: ‘Give Me Faith’ – Elevation Worship. I find myself, as I am sure many Christians and other religious do, needing a reminder of who we are/were/should be, or simply just and uplifting and hearing this song helps to push me through some of my trials and tribulations that I mentioned above. The part of the song that really hits me and brings tears to my eyes goes a little like this:
Although I feel, at this moment in my life, that I’ve come so far in my relationship with God and becoming the man that He has planned for me to be, I’ve got a long ways to go, and despite life being as tough as it is, with or without sickness, you can’t give up. After reading this long injection of religion, that most of you have never experienced from me, some of you may be thinking either that the meds they have David on are really messing with his mind,
or David is skipping some of his crazy pills; well believe it or not, I’ve never felt clearer, more motivated, and encouraged to become a better person from the inside out(another song,‘From the Inside Out’ – Hillsong United) and become somebody that my son can look up to, figuratively not literally, despite all of the nay-sayers and anti-religious that may come to argue their points against mine.
Okay, so you’ve probably forgotten, from the lack of interest of course, it couldn’t have been my near novel about the song that I had mentioned two points that help me to press on through everything. Albeit I trust and believe in everything that God has done and IS doing, as well as what being a Christian is all about, there are times where I simply feel alone and apart from the little verse I mentioned earlier, it feels like He has just left me to struggle through it on my own. Although there is a verse that helps remind me:
 ‘I can do all things through Christ whom strengthens me.’ – Philippians 4:13 and yet another song, ‘Strong Enough’ – Matthew West, while these are great examples, they aren’t the last one stuck in my head that help pull me up off my proverbial hands and knees. I’ll start by describing the first place I remember ever seeing it why it’s stuck in my head for so long. It all began in a galaxy long, long ago, we really 20something years ago in a different galaxy known as Amargosa Valley; every summer my family would visit my Aunt Mary and two cousins, Kuree and Kayla, that lived out there, for Vacation Bible School (VBS) at their church; at the point in my life, religion wasn’t a part of my family’s life, outside of this yearly event. The poem, well there’s a hint, didn’t actually come from VBS or out of the bible itself, it actually came from a picture fixed on the living room wall at my aunt’s house. I described this place earlier as another galaxy, and it might as well have been, it was nearly in the middle of no-where, some people call it God’s country, but I’m almost positive that it is closely related to hell, maybe even the entrance, it is consistently in triple digit temperatures and very accurately in a valley named Death Valley
. Due to this, playing outside was a tough request, with the 120˚ weather, wind, dust, and occasional(almost daily) rattler visit; although tough, it was a requirement since I’m sure a bunch of kids running around inside got rather annoying(it does these days and I’m not the kid). After baking for a couple of hours, not that kind of baking Mr. Marley, though I am sure a lot of that went on in other households, we would all invade the house, grab an otter-pop or two, and plop down on the sectional in front of the TV; if I remember correctly she had not type of TV service so it normally ended up being a Disney movie of some sort. The picture that I’ve been leading up to, was mounted on the wall at the end of the sectional, and was clearly visible from any seat on the couch. To describe it, it was a simple beach scene, half beach, half tide and had one set of foot prints in the sand walking down the beach and was overlaid with a poem, the very poem that gives me that last bit of oomph to push through when I don’t have somebody else to lend a hand: 
One night I had a dream… 
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of foot prints in the sand; one belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand; I noticed that many times along the path of my life, there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life. This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it, “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way; but I have noticed during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why in times when I needed you the most, you should leave me.
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child. I love you, and I would never leave you during you times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.
-          Anonymous
This poem above, although not taken directly from the bible, was clearly inspired by His love and Support through the tough times that the author had been through. The reason this poem has stuck in my head, regardless of the fact that I don’t know it word for word, and should, is that we went nearly every summer and thanksgiving throughout my grade-school years and years further; I will never forget how He can carry you through your trials and plights.

He may not be literally and physically carrying you himself, but He works in miraculous ways; He has placed my wife, her entire family, their friends, their church, my family, their friends, and every extension and connection that comes from all of the aforementioned in my life to do something great, and I love them all for each bit of it.
My goodness that was a long prelude to getting along to the bad things that have recently happened; although seemingly out of place, I wanted to put that in between both the good and the bad since He is in the middle of every part of my life. I think getting up to this point probably rivals the original Les Miserables in length(5 Hr and 59Min), or all of the Harry Potter films watched in succession(19Hr 59Min); it all depends on how fast you read and how many times I put you to sleep.

So without further ado, the smash, bam, crunch, and crashes of late. I’ve previously wrote about falling and twitching and nonchalantly calling it similar to “time travel”,
well since that post, it had gotten somewhat more serious with falling on flat ground five times, down the hill in front of our house once, on top of some constructions supplies in the shed once, and here’s the kicker, down the stairs twice; one of the stair events I supermaned it down eight stairs, face first into the wall at the bottom; nearly each fall occurrence included a sprain of some sort including nearly breaking my ankle and neck, more pills. I was in the ER twice, more pills, I had, and still get severe shoulder pains nearly every morning, that I assume come from dialysis, more pills, excruciating leg/arm/jaw/neck/ankle/knee/back/hand/every muscle cramps nightly, more pills, and even occasionally during the day, more pills, consistent migraines, more pills, I’ve had a nose infection for five months and had been given three antibiotics and a crème to get rid of it, no dice, more pills. Had the worst Dr. visit I’ve ever had, more pills, learned that after my transplant I can NEVER have sushi(my favorite) again…ever, more pills, missed my nephews first football game, more pills, learned of the death of a greatly loved racing Friend, Art Gutierrez, more pills, missed the graduation of both my brother Travis and my soon to be Sister-In-Law, Elise, more pills, I can’t play with my son, nieces and nephews the way a 28 year old uncle and father should be able to, I can’t swim in a lake, public pool, water park, rivers, more pills, I’ve missed family camping trips and kart races, more pills, I have a 3rd grade bedtime(8:30), more pills, exercise that should be an everyday occurrence without any strain just kills me(one time up our stairs make me fall over in exhaustion), more pills. Probably the worst part of all this, is that I am forced to rely on somebody to do nearly anything and everything I do. There was another episode that happened that was pretty hefty, I awoke suddenly one morning covered in sweat and bawling my eyes out,

not because I had one of those unlimited falling dreams or anything, it was a really nice dream, my mom showed up in it; you’ll get the details on that later.

Most of you have probably fallen asleep by now as it seems I am trying to compete, in length not quality of course, with books like War and Peace; although quality doesn’t come close, the amount of naps needed to finish probably come close. For those of you that are still hanging on by a thread and haven’t dozed off or given up like the rest, you’re in luck, this episode is almost over. Don’t go pulling you hair out like it’s the last episode of Breaking Bad, I will be writing more; I actually thought this one out. Due to the fact that I had a lot of information to catch you all up on, and you’ve notice I simply listed each happening; I did this so that in future posts I have something to elaborate on, all whilst attempting to include something completely current as well to avoid one of these monstrous writings necessitating themselves again.

Friday, July 12, 2013

My 28th Birthday

So this is a few days late, but better late then never right?

On July 9th 2013 I had my 28th birthday, no big milestones to celebrate like 16, 18, and 21 or 40/50 but this was a big one for me; I can't quite remember the last time I cherished any one birthday this much. With the prevent events in my life I have taken a whole new look on my life and what there really is to enjoy. We didn't do anything big or extravagant or even out of the ordinary. It was just special due to the fact that was am blessed enough to have another one in the books; I have always enjoyed birthdays, but never looked at the day, or even the passing of the last year or so, as a big milestone. It was just another day. I actually did a lot of projects around the house on my birthday but never even phased me. In addition the looking back, I was supremely shocked to get 90+ people to comment some sort of happy birthday message on my special day; nothing too big compared to Kim and kanyes kids birthday, but if I changed my name to Down Lowe...ah never mind, that wouldn't make me famous.

Just remember that there are out there that need every moment in their life to be cherished and happy; don't take each day for granted and make the most of it, i find this easiest by making the most out of somebody else's day. I have my struggles, but I am leaps and bounds ahead of many other people in this life; some already have a foot in the next life. I probably wouldn't change any of this if I could; the people that have supported and made my life so much better would have never been recognized as pure friends without this debacle I'm in. Happy David Lowe's birthday to all of you!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Not So Daily Updates - Time Travel, Not as Pleasant as it Seems

Sometime ago, I postured the question of whether or not my friends on FB were curious about what time travel was like; I'm not curious anymore, well really I haven't been since probably January, I've done it and it's not pleasant. 

You may be asking yourself, what does time travel and kidney failure have to do with each other, and if you're not, then start paying attention. Apparently, time travel and kidney failure, in my case, go wonderfully hand in hand; but it seems to be quite the curiosity when I mention it to any nurses and/or doctors, each perplexed look that I get is vaguely different from person to person, yet obviously quite the same. I have yet to be able to tell somebody about my experiences with time travel and not get a look of astonishment, what's better, is the looks on their faces when they see it!!

So you may have guessed by now that I'm probably not a physics genius that figured out how to time travel while dealing with the many woes of kidney failure, you've probably guessed by now, what I'm referring to is my "twitching". If any of you have experienced seizures, you probably have done some time traveling as well; I don't have too much to compare it to, because it's like nothing I have ever felt before. I am sure that you're reading this going, "how does time travel, if it were real, relate to twitching?” well it does. Let me elaborate on how I came about calling it time travel, everybody has done it, driving home from work you will drive most, if not all the way home without being able to recall one bit of it, creepy huh? That's what happened while driving home from my Pine Valley fishing trip this week, I had gone a mile or so coming south on the I-15 and couldn't recall how I passed the three trucks and cars and it made me think about my twitching and how it is eerily similar, but worse. This is how my twitching feels, but in the case of my twitching, it's much more violent, unpredictable and very distressing. 

Let's get descriptive!! Imagine yourself sitting in your living room, watching your favorite movie, eating popcorn and drinking a giant soda; my choice would be Dr. Pepper, before my kidney issues at least, but a lot of fluid and the phosphorus used in dark sodas are a big no no when you've got ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease). Now picture this, during a very nondescript scene, that soda had somehow exploded all over your lap and the gallon of popcorn has ended up, without notice, EVERYWHERE! You would probably ask yourself, as I still currently do, how did this happen, why did this happen, and how can I fix it; what's worse, is your medical practitioners are very confuzzled by the idea and truly have no answers as to why it occurs, just theories with no solutions. 

Not so bad huh? Let's step it up a notch, you wake up in the morning, and it's a normal morning like every other morning; 
You shower, get dressed, do your teeth, hair, etc. and feel ready to tackle the day. Additionally, in my case, breakfast is ready downstairs, 
so you head on downstairs, following the aromas of freshly pan fried eggs, pancakes and warm maple syrup. Well envision that about half way down the stairs, you end up the rest of the way down on your back with your leg folded under you and all of your toes and fingers seemingly jammed at precisely the same time; you, well in reality, I, got lucky this time and only slid down on my back and didn't procure any long term injuries. These are only a couple examples, not dramatized I might add, of what my daily life is like, concurrently. The scariest part, is not knowing; not knowing when it may happen, or not knowing what actually happened during that split second when it did happen. 

That is why I call it time travel, one second you here, the next second you're either a few steps ahead of where you were, or you're slumped on the floor imitating the Toy Story toys when "Andy is coming!!". It is definitely not a pleasant occurrence, even during the slightest twitch it's very disturbing; I would never wish anything like this on anybody, as it is absolutely a loathsome and rotten feeling to go through, even just once and had brought me to tears on more then one occasion. Go ahead, revoke my man card for that last sentence.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Not So Daily Updates - Made Of Money...

As you've probably guessed, I have another excuse to blame on my tardiness with posting; this one should be fairly acceptable though, actually, I wouldn't tarnish this one by making it out as an excuse. Outside of being an ESRD kidney failure patient, I felt it relevant, on this occasion, to do a write up about my Mother.

Mom's life, as I can remember, or have been told.

I honestly have the WORST memory, so go easy on me if I miss some important details. From what I've heard, she was always the nicest of the bunch, always caring for each of her siblings and even inherited a couple along the way that she still called her own; if you've never met Nana or Poppy, I am sure this is where she got it from. If you've been touched by her at any point in your life, I can almost, no actually, I CAN guarantee that it was out of pure love. Sometimes it seemed like she was angry or disappointed in your actions, and rightfully so, we're sinful people, but she was as close to heavenly and angelic as they come. I have never, ever come across somebody that disliked my Mom, in-fact, many adopted her as their second mother; you couldn't have met somebody with a bigger heart and everybody felt it. Now, I have heard stories from her and my aunts, that in high school, she was always picked on for being too nice, or back in those days (which was a Wednesday by the way;)), she went to a school that was predominantly African-American, during the 70’s, and Mom was about as white as they come, well minus the blonde hair; I never heard a story finishing with her hurting anybody, that's what her sisters were for ;)! She had the most lusciously chocolate brown hair with a hint of red wine swirling through it, her curls were always natural and it was always so shimmery and bright that it created her veritable halo over her head. 

As I write this out, I am struggling to think about how Mom and Dad met, and unless I've completely forgotten the story, I don't believe we were ever told this story; an incredibly lucky story on my Dad's behalf I am sure. From what I recall, they were high school sweethearts and then, as far as I know, BOOM, married. I'm sure there is a much more imaginative story floating out there somewhere, but it seems to have floated out of one of my ears and into the heavens; probably my right ear, because my left ear popped back in 2001 and the scarring probably closed up any exits, but we'll get back to that story in another post. 

Let’s skip forward to what many claim as the biggest mistake in any marriage, children; our parents had three devilish boys from 1983-1987, each two years+ behind the previous. Not surprisingly, the first born was the favorite, he always has been and always will be. Following the natural order of things, the middle child (me), was neglected and treated as old news and although Mom and Dad would never admit it and it seems planned from the dates above, I was probably an accident. Just wait until the youngest came along, he was the baby and reached almost as favorable stature as the eldest, leaving the middle clamoring for third position. My brothers, will of course, write those previous sentences out in quite different orders, but I wrote it first and it's on the internet, and you can't put anything on the internet that isn't true, right State Farm? In reality, my parents never favored any one of us over the next, in-fact, there were many, many occasions when our parents were unable to differentiate their children from other children; everybody was family, whether they liked it or not and the favorites has always been a running joke in our family. 

Are you ready for one of the longest paragraphs ever written? Here's where many of you illustrious readers probably have me beat, and would probably consider me to be a terrible son as well; I will forget to describe probably 100x more items then what I will actually bring out on paper, err on blog. From the time I was born until the time Mom passed, whoops, cats out of the bottle now, some of you may already know, or postured from previous posts, that Mom had been struggling with Breast Cancer for 6 years and had finally and reluctantly, crossed the metaphorical finish line; I tried to use a racing metaphor because she loved racing just as much as the next guy/girl at the track. Although it seems she impacted many peoples lives and crafted her three boys piece by piece, the events experienced during my general life experiences while my Mom was alive have become a giant blur, hence why I would qualify for a terrible son; there are always flashes of memories that come flying through my head from time to time. Her life in these past six or so years, have obviously been the most memorable, due to her great struggle that was handled with such tenacity and heart has touched so many peoples lives by being such a strong powerhouse during her battle with breast cancer. In-fact, I remember times when she would drop us off at school, good ole Jefferson Elementary, where our teachers had nearly bludgeon us cold to get us pried from Mom's legs. I have countless memories of coming home, very late of course, and finding Mom sitting on the porch awaiting my arrival; I'm sure there are many children of all ages that have encountered this with their Mothers, but I don't recall seeing it from any of my friend’s parents. I recently encountered a joke that I probably should have known for quite some time, which fits perfectly into the next memory. 
Mom was always trying to make us boys happy, if we wanted to go out, she made it happen, she always found some money somewhere and often handed us her debit card to go out with; don't go reading too deeply into this, we were by no means wealthy. 
In-fact, she would give us money with the instruction to bring her change, but she never seemed to get any back; we either spent the whole lot or our wallets got fatter while hers blew out spider webs and dust. Additionally, whenever she would hand us her debit card, it seemed she wouldn't get it back for days at a time; this didn't necessarily meant we were on a spending spree, but why give up the goods unless your hand is forced. The joke I previously mentioned isn’t as much of a joke and it is a play on the word Mom; Mom seems to, at least in most occasions, to stand for Made of Money, get it? 
I think on of the funniest memories I have of Mom, at least at this moment, happens while Dad is asleep; I can almost bet that some of the greatest memories of all time, for anybody, happen because somebody else fell asleep before everybody else does. We were currently painting the living room inside of the house, so all of the furniture was scrunched in other rooms. I don’t remember exactly how we ended up in this situation, but Dad was sleeping on the living room floor while all four of us were still away, big mistake! 
We got our hands on a camera somehow and were taking pictures of the night, after dad fell asleep, completely innocent and sober by the way, we corralled all of the empty cans and bottles of beer we could scrounge up, as well as cigarette boxes and really anybody who would pass out at the bar would have and cluttered them around him; picture time!!! 
As you could imagine, we were all giggles the whole time and when dad woke up shortly after it all, he was NOT happy; we still laughed the entire time. It could have been worse, we could have painted his toenails, which we also did onetime he fell asleep on the couch; both Mom’s ideaJ. There are so many flashed of memories that I could be writing down here, like huddling in the camper at lake Havasu during a monsoon and Mom and Dad rescuing the boat out of the lake after it crashed on a rock; Dad drove the boat around with the boat nearly submerged while Mom backed the truck and trailer down the slip, for the first time I believe. There were times that many people would be very spiteful, if not hateful at a person for something they’ve done, accident or not; Mom had another way of doing things, she was a forgiver, some of our best friends came from unthinkable acts and it wouldn’t have happened that way if it wasn’t for Mom. Mom had a big triumph in racing as well; it was the fun race for So-Cal Sprinters at Adams Kart Track, and it was the Mother’s race, I believe that’s what it was called. I was racing the event prior to hers and we had only one go-kart, I ran it up the hill and flipped it but she still hoped in it, after we checked it and cleaned it of course; she went on to win the event, and further more, passed people in places that track veterans never even conceived, those were good times. Even the simplest things, like typing the way and speed that I do now, is because of here inspiration and training; imagine how long it would be between posts if I didn’t type at approximately 90 WPM. I could write for days, and well technically I have, but it won’t take you that long to read it so it doesn’t count as writing for days now does it; unless you want me to write the worlds longest post and turn it into a novel…I didn't think so; on to the next paragraph, or we’ll be here all day, which wouldn’t be so bad when talking about my Mom.

There have been many occasions where I jokingly talk about things in my life and why I can’t do certain things because of them; this pertains mostly to chores and anything that requires getting out of bed, in most occasions. Now I know my Mom would give me a look that meant something about not using her passing as an excuse to not get on with life; we also joked from time to time about using the BC card to get what she wanted, she never did and we often got the same look for cracking the joke as well. Of course, with me being a good, traditional son, I would have to come back with a rebuttal that would probably have to explain to her how much of an influence she'd been on everything I have ever done; I've come to find that she had been one of the biggest influences on many more people outside, as well as inside the family. Some of you that knew her will pick-up on the fact that my writing has been heavily influenced by her, on top of the many other things that you will see come up through my writing. Now, lets not go writing off the multitude of people in my life that have influenced my life in some of the same ways; you all have helped to form me into the handsome, loving gentleman that I have become, this post isn’t about you guys now is it? However, considering all of the people that I have had the pleasure of meeting, and some of them I call my second mothers and fathers, I have never met a person so generous and caring as my mother; I have never seen her do anything out of spite and I have matured purely from the realization of how wonderful she really was. Now to explain the excuse that I mentioned waaaaaaay up the page; it’s about time right? 
Mom had passed on April 2nd 2013, not on April 1st, she was never a fan of April Fools, quite frankly I think she was too wise to be fooled during April fools, so we never caught her of guard; it was probably because she had three boys, she could never let her guard down. The couple of weeks leading up to this date were quite the emotional struggle, with all of the family coming in and out of the house to visit mom, as well as my continued struggle, had made it very hard to want to do anything but eat, sleep and repeat. For somebody like my Mom to be in the state of pain and quite completely out to lunch as she was, was heart wrenching for me, and I am sure for the rest of my family; you could hear a needle drop when it was quiet and those were probably the loudest times in the house, because that’s when you start to think about what you will be missing for many years to come. I am sure you can fathom, even if you had never gone through something like this, how it affected my motivations coming up to April 2nd, and even after her death; it’s taken me this long to write anything about it and the previous sentence was probably the hardest of this entire post. However, a very good friend of our family, Mark Talmo, put it into words very well at her wake; "she didn't leave us, she wouldn't do that to us"; Love you Mom and you will always be remembered by so many. I know you have probably heard it a million times, but she has not died, she has merely moved onto the next life and is healed, without stress, pain or illness.

I can't likely comment on how she affected the lives of the many people that filled the church during her wake, and explaining every detail of how she has affected my life would simply require an entirely new blog. However, I can explain how much she has influenced me to push through my recent struggles with kidney failure, she always had a smile on her face and was willing to push through all of her pains and weaknesses to make everybody in her life as happy as can be; I can only claim that I am living up to part of her legend, as they are obviously very big shoes to fill, but every time I feel even slightly down and out, I think of her through-out her struggle, which she made seem like nearly no struggle at all, and that gives me that extra oomph.

I was going to continue to write about my other struggles since my last post, but I don't think it would be rightly so to put them together with a post about my minuscule debacle. I don't plan on making you wait nearly as long for the next post, but then again, I never did to begin with.