Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Last Good Day

Mama and I on the Caribbean cruise May 2013

“There's no way of knowing that your last good day is Your Last Good Day. At the time, it is just another good day.” ― John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)

What I would consider Mama's "last good day" was two years ago today: July 4, 2013. Most of the family was gathered in Austin for festivities and we had a great time as a family, as usual. One of the last conversations I remember having with my mom before her final trip to the hospital was about going to karaoke for my birthday. We talked about renting some karaoke equipment for a party. After she died, I was using her computer and saw that her last internet search was for karaoke equipment.

The weekend following July 4th was the beginning of the very end; Mama was weak and exhausted. When we took her to the hospital, after running tests it became clear that this was progression of disease and not just reactions to chemo or pain meds. As a family, we made the decision to transition into hospice care on my birthday, July 10th. She left the hospital on the 12th and died less than a week later on the 18th.

The summer of 2014 I carefully planned out to be in Europe on the Don't Postpone Joy European tour. I find I am wishing that had been an option this summer as well. It was a way to honor and celebrate life, my mother's and my own. I'm not doing anything quite that exciting this July, so it's easier to sit here remembering those incredibly difficult last days.

But her last good day, two years ago, I remember having conversations with her about the summer camp I was working for at the time. I remember her joy, as always, of being with family. I remember her conversation with my "cousin" (not by blood but basically) Timothy about being strong in his faith and continuing his journey to greatness beginning college that fall. I remember her smile.

So despite the fact that the memories of July 2013 are largely painful, today I am trying to focus on Mama's last good day. A day when the cancer was still growing and giving her pain, but she was still able to celebrate being alive and her motto: don't postpone joy. The last good day before the very end and one that I am grateful I could share with her.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Birthday Blog

Despite my best efforts to pretend otherwise, another year since the day of my birth will come to pass next week. I've been feeling a little Peter Pan-like about this upcoming birthday, so this will be the first anniversary of my 25th birthday, because I've decided I'll just stay 25 from now on. Last year's birthday was one of the most fun because I went to Leavesden Studios for the Harry Potter Studio tour. (Yeah, last summer I spent five weeks in Europe. This summer I work at a summer camp with children who don't understand the meaning of an "inside voice.") However, I'm hoping I'll never have a worse birthday than my 24th one, which was the day we realized my gorgeous, amazing, brilliant mother was going to have to transition to hospice care after her fifteen month battle with metastatic cancer. That day I also wore my dress backwards most of the day on accident, which in no way compares, but was a bit embarrassing.

Year 26 culminates a week from tomorrow, and I'll be in Harrisonburg, Virginia for Peace Camp again. My first one in four years and my first without anyone else in my family there. My first since my mom died. It will be the first time seeing many people who absolutely adored my mother and will want to talk to me about her. I don't mind talking about my mother, and I often enjoy it as a way to remember her, but it also wears on me quite a bit being her living memorial. You see, I look so much like her, people who knew her well that I never have known well recognize me immediately as her daughter. And though I cherish that connection to her, it is also a little stab of pain in my heart every time someone says it.

But anyway, I've lived for 26 years and despite all the struggles, I know I am blessed.

If you feel so led to give me a gift, here are some ideas:
"You still look 25!"
Handmade cards
A yoga mat
Gift cards/certificates to: Amazon, Mod Cloth, Jamberry, Target
Sandals (size 8)
A beach trip
Things with Hello Kitty on them 
Funny birthday videos
More hugs and kisses
Obligatory Facebook post

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How Addicted to Taking Online Personality Quizzes Are You? (Very.)

As a ridiculously silly way to end 2014, here are the results of all (most) of the quizzes I took this year, because I KNOW YOU CARE!

And again, as always, I aspire to write more in here in 2015. There's a million saved drafts of things I never finished/posted. Will try to do better.

Happy New Year all!!

TV related:

Movie related:











Pop Stars: