Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Day My Earth Stood Still.

There I was laying in bed feeling like one hell of a cold was ravaging my whole body.  Laying in bed, sniffling, snorting, coughing, aching and burning up.  My phone rang, party rock anthem played and I heard a chime for a voicemail.  I was feeling so bad I couldn't even reach the phone.  I fell back to sleep.  A little while later the phone rang again.  Even in my delirious state I knew the phone ringing twice before 9am on a Sunday was bizarre.  I looked and my father had called twice and sent a text message.  Yes, my 68 year old Dad has learned to text!  I read the text, "Your mother is very sick, please call her immediately."  I jumped up and listened to the voice mails.

They are divorced, mom and dad, and mom lives by herself.  For years she has smoked cigarettes and drank excessive quanties of alcohol.  Other people would flat out say she is an alcoholic.  Dad called her this morning and asked how she was doing and she said "I am going to lay down in this bed and die."  He asked if she needed to go to the emergency room, and she said "I think so."  She would NEVER say she wanted to go to the doctor unless something was VERY wrong.  Dad was in Baton Rouge, 3 hours away, so he called me.  I am still one hour away, but I can make it in 40 minutes flat.  ;-)

I roll my nasty self out of bed and go straight to the hot shower to open up my passages a little, and breathe.  I call dad back while getting dressed.  We talk, I tell him I think I am going to have to go to the E.R. too.  I get off the phone with him and call her.  "Mom, are you OK?" I ask.  "Jimmy, I am going to lay in this bed and die" she tells me.  "No, no you are not, I am on my way to your house" I tell her.  She tries to tell me not to come, but she knows she is not going to make it if I don't.

I talk to Kelly, my wonderful wife.  I kiss my adorable kids Gabe, 12 and Max 2, goodbye.  I know in my heart I will not be back for a while.  I give Gabe the "you are now the oldest man in the house and you better help your mother out because she can't do it all by herself" speech.  I bet every man on this planet has heard that speech at least once in their lives.  I packed up a few clothes and necessities in my duffel bag and hit the road.  I was so worried about what I would find all the way there.  I normally went to see her every other Sunday.  I would do anything she needed around the house and take her grocery shopping, then to Dollar General and usually to the package store.  I was going to miss this Sunday because I was so sick, but I had to go anyway.

I got to the house and sat outside in the driveway for several minutes trying to get up my courage.  The front door was locked, but I had a key.  I went into the living room and immediately started choking.  My mom has always raised birds, all the way from parakeets to green wing macaws.  Birds constantly shed dust or dander.  My mom has always been good about having about 10 air filters in the house and she cleaned the filters almost daily.  It had obviously been a while.  There was a layer of white powder on everything in the house.  I had to go pee, so I went straight to the bathroom on what was once "my" side of the house.  I walked through several spider webs. When I looked in the toilet I saw mosquito larvae filling the toilet bowl.  I knew she was bad off then.

I went to her room and she was sitting on the edge of the bed with her purse in her hands.  She was dressed and ready to go.  I asked her if she could walk and she said she didn't know.  I went back out and moved the SUV to the edge of the front door.  I went back in and only by sheer stubbornness did she walk to the SUV, with my help.  We set out for the closest emergency room.  We chose North shore in Slidell, Louisiana because she had been seen there several times before.  Little did we know the horrors we would find.

We went to the emergency room.  During the initial check-in the nurse said she had an irregular heartbeat and brought her straight to a room in the back.  She had several tests and was admitted to the hospital that afternoon.  The next day they did a multitude of tests, EKG, chest x-ray, cat scan, all kinds of blood work.  Tuesday came and the main hospitalist doctor came in.  He said, "I did not want to have to tell you this, I have been trying for hours to find an easier way of saying it, but there isn't one, we are 90% sure you have Lung Cancer Mrs. Day."  He said they were scheduling a bronchoscopy for the following morning.  They would do a biopsy and send it off for results.

So there it was, the thing that no one wants to hear, Lung Cancer.  Yet she smoked for 30 something years.  She used to tell me she hoped I would come down one day and find her dead on the floor of her house.  I guess she just never realized it was not that easy.  This will apparently drag on for months, if not years.  She has a urinary tract infection, phenomia, very low sodium count, dehydrated, malnourished, arterial fibrillation of her heart, and lung cancer.  It has not been pretty so far, and they tell me the worst is yet to come.

So, there you have it.... The day my earth stood still.  The day quite a few peoples lives changed because my mother wanted to kill herself.  She refused to get any sort of help.  She refused to enjoy any type of life with her grandchildren.  She refused to to stop drinking or smoking.  I have now taken a FM LA leave from my job to become a full time caregiver.  She needs someone around 24 hours a day.  My family has to suffer now, for her irrational behavior.  They say she has to eat and drink all the nutrients and vitamins she can, because the radiation therapy will more than likely kill her.  She has a tumor in her windpipe, and multiples inside her lungs.

Even after years of preparing, I was still floored by the news.  I have seen this coming for almost 10 years.  Yet, I still cried for an hour and an half straight on my drive back to Petal, Ms.  I am starting to feel selfish, and at the same time ashamed of myself.  I realize I have given up almost all of my life to care for her.  It has put a very real hurt on my family.  I have been fighting to keep my wife and oldest son happy.  We are at times, drifting apart.  I moved my mother into my house, which was already too small.  We had to take away the youngest ones room, while we wait on an addition to the house.  The stress is showing, even on the 2 year old who has cried himself to sleep for the last 3 nights.

There it is, the day my earth stood still, Sunday January 15th, 2012.  Something people never seen to  think about is, how much does your way of life affect your loved ones?  I would imagine it is a lot more than you know, more than you will ever know, more than they will ever tell you.  It is amazing how my mom always wanted to die, right up until they said she was dying.  That is when she told the doctor "I want to live and spend more time with my grandchildren."  Tonight she has called me into her room 4 times.  She needed to pee she said.  She can't even stand up without some help.  I will help.  She is my mom and I love her so much.  I will be there for her, til the end, no matter how bad it is.

Friday, January 13, 2012

People Equal Shit

It is a jazz cover, absolutely amazing.

People do equal shit in the broad scheme of things, manure to fertilize the ground.  Food for the maggots and worms.  No matter how poor or rich, lowly or important, weak or strong, we will all be reduced to compost.

Why does it matter?  There is a beginning and an end to life.  We have no idea how long it will last, do we?  You can talk about living to the ripe old age of ___ (insert desired number here).  Some may take a different approach, saying things like "I want to go out with a bang" or "I want to die before my body deteriorates into a pile of mush."  My favorite saying is "I want to go out while I am having sex, right as I reach an orgasm."  Do you know how fucked up that is going to be to your partner?  Scarred for the rest of their lives!!!  "Yeah, but I will die one happy son of a bitch!"  You could be reading this on your smart phone right now, not see the open manhole cover in front of you and fall, screaming to your death.  We just don't know when Azrael will come to take us away from this mortal plane.

My point is this;  We have no idea how long we are going to live, so it is what you do in between that counts.  Why act like a piece of shit while you are alive, when you will be one when you die?  We all have to make choices every day.  Why not choose to be nice and helpful to your fellow mankind?  No one makes anybody be mean or hurtful, it is just a choice.  Life is so much more enjoyable when we treat each other with compassion and respect.  I choose to like everybody, until they give me a reason not to.  Even then I may still give them another chance.

To me it seems like hard work being mean and nasty to people. My mother has worked so hard to make herself miserable.  She works even harder to try and make the rest of us miserable.  With so many blessings in her life, she will not open her eyes to see them.  I know I don't have to do much to be nice, a smile here or a few words of appreciation there.  Not hard at all.  Smiles are contagious, you know?

Thursday, January 12, 2012


It is a song title.  I am relating everything these days to music.  It is not really about this topic, but still a great song if you like dark, mind bending Hip Hop from a man that claims to be a crip and a real life cannibal.  His point is that somebody is always watching you.  When you least expect it they are going to take vengeance for all the horrible things you have done.  (If that bothers you, your conscience is talking and you may need to reevaluate your actions, just saying.)

Here is the point.  We have been working out at the YMCA for months trying to get into better shape.  That quitting smoking thing really killed me.  I gained like 40 pounds in about a year.  Healthier in one way, not in another.  "Oral fixation" they call it.  I constantly search for something to suck or chew on.  I actually think I am a lot better on that front now.  Knowing is half the battle.

So, about a week ago we went to the Y and could not find anywhere to park.  Then we got inside and all of the machines we like to use were full.  We tried several times of the day and they were still full.  I asked some of the people working there about it and they say it happens every year.  New Year's resolutions!  Then after a month or so people just start disappearing.  It has been about 2 weeks and there are still way too many people.  It is really starting to get aggravating.  It costs up $60 a month to be members.  Is that "acceptable" or "satisfying" when we can not even get to do what we want?  ;-)  No.

Here is what I have found and the reason I am so pissed off about this.  I was listening to this song when it hit me and I thought.....  "Nigga, I see you"  Standing there in your very expensive running shoes, very expensive workout outfit, expensive cutie workout jacket, expensive Nike or Addidas hat, wearing your little workout gloves (that match your outfit), with full makeup on, your hair did and full jewelry on.  You have been here every time I have 4 days a week for 2 weeks.  I have not seen you were the same outfit or shoes yet.  That is quite an investment in apparel and time.  Let me just say I am not only talking about the women either.  Guys do it too, just maybe not the makeup.

I can see your faces while you are reading this.  "What is your problem Jam, they just want to look good at the gym?"  Yep, that is it.  They just want to look good at the gym, because they are definitely not fucking working out.  They stand around and talk and gossip, "So how is your mama and 'em?"  They are standing there blocking the machines, or worse, pretending to be using the machine when they are actually just sitting on it.  I have watched people get on an elliptical machine or bicycle for a grand total of 3 minutes.  You can get more exercise getting off the couch, walking to the kitchen, grabbing a beer and walking back to the couch.

When I first noticed it I thought maybe it was just the single people looking for love.  Nope, most are married.  The women really seem to take pride in blinding people with their wedding rings at every chance.  Then I thought that it is possible that 3 minutes is all you can do since you are so out of shape.  Nope, one lady was talking about how she ran 3 miles every morning, then came to the gym every evening. 

In closing, what does it all mean?  I was always told you had to have a closing paragraph in English class and here it is.  I really don't know what it means, but I really wish you people would go the FUCK outside or at least to the hallway with all the chitter~chatter and bull shit.  Some of us really do want to use that $10,000 dollar piece of exercise equipment you are sitting at, leaving butt juice all over while you ask about somebodies pet hamster.  Dammit!!!!  I am not the only one either.  I was talking to a guy tonight and he said "I C U 2!"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


What?  You actually beLIEved it was made from just tomatoes?

I am going to write a blog today and post it!  That is my new short term goal.  Nothing else matters until it is complete.  It is not that I have not been writing, I have.  I just never can come to an acceptable "The End" in my mind.  Therefore, I have 20 unfinished blog posts saved.  Gurrrrrrr......

Gurrrrrr is right.  I am somewhat sad, a little bit worried, and a whole hell of a lot curious.  Two bloggers that I have been following for some time now, just up and quit.  No warning, no explanation.... just *pOoF* and they are gone.  I never thought blogging would become a hobby, let alone an obsession at times.  In fact, I used to just plain think blogging was stupid and the people that did it were losers with no lives.  I have since changed my entire perspective on the subject.

It is wonderful to be able to share common experiences, feelings, art, music, etc with other people.  It is even more enjoyable for me to learn new things.  I have to admit I have learned a lot about myself, other people and cultures on this here site.  Words, they are just words.  They are, but they are not "just words."  Words can be the most powerful thing in the world.  They can make you so happy you feel like you grew wings and are flying with the angels.  They can make you so sad that you want to slit your wrists, and hope everyone forgets you ever existed.  Yeah..... "just words."  Whatever you do just remember this, use your words wisely.  Words cut to the bone like a razor, yet can mend wounds like a mothers loving embrace.

To those that left, your words will be missed.  To those new ones that join, we have been waiting to hear from you.  To everybody, thanks for sharing your lives with me.  I want to give all of you a gold star for your effort!  just a little jamboi.............