Thursday, October 6, 2011

Can 2011 Just End Already?

So, 2011 has to be one of the absolutely shittiest years ever. The universe decided that it would take my mom and one of my best friends from us. Why? I don’t know, but I would give anything to bring both of them back.

I typically pride myself on the control I keep over my emotions and my ability to keep things in check and rational. However, there has been absolutely nothing rational about this year, and it’s been a crazy roller coaster of emotions all year. I find myself bursting into tears at the mere thought of my mother or Lori. Luckily, I’m able to control it when I’m around others so that I don’t become a blubbering mess of snot and tears and look like a complete emotionally loose cannon. But that is how I feel this year – like I have absolutely no control over anything anymore, least of all my emotions.

I had already decided that this year was going to be my last one in Korea – I just felt it was soon time to move back to the U.S. and start living my life again around those that I love and care about. This year is just persistent in its “do it now” mentality and shoving it in my face that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I’m probably one of the worst procrastinators that I know. Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll start that blog next week. I’ll call so-and-so this weekend. I’ll start that new training or degree program next year. Why can’t I do it now? I know everything can’t be done immediately and if I go at every day full tilt, I’ll just run myself into the ground. But I can try. Most of all, I can make sure that I don’t put things off, especially when it comes to my loved ones. My friends and family mean the world to me and I hope they know that even if I don’t stay in touch as often as I should.

Losing two people that I loved very dearly is just more of a wake-up call than anything else I can imagine. My mom being diagnosed with leukemia so suddenly and losing a battle that she fought so hard to win was tough to take. Mom took it better than any of us and found herself in the role of comforter to those around her. She made peace with the fact that she was going to die very soon and began to plan her funeral so we wouldn’t have to. She even picked out her own casket. It was her last hurrah, so she might as well be able to go out like she wanted. She rejected my song idea from Linkin Park, though – can’t imagine why (Leave Out All the Rest – I’ll have it played at my funeral). People wonder where I get my weirdness from – well, if they knew my mom, they’d know. She had a good sense of humor and would let it out once in a while. She could joke around and kick your butt in Rummy (I let her win most of the time *cough*). She adopted my brother’s, sister’s, and my friends as her own and they would end up just calling her “mom” or the occasional “Miss Patty” – she hated being called ma’am though. I know she made the cancer ward at St. John’s a brighter place even if only in her own room. She refused to let people be sad or cry when they visited. The nursing staff came to love her like the rest of us and some of them cried with the rest of us when mom was discharged after there was nothing else that could be done. One of my biggest regrets is that I was in S. Korea when she passed and I couldn’t be here for her in the very end or for my brother, sister, and aunts. I only hope she knew how much I love her even though I wasn’t the best daughter and didn’t visit or call as often as I should have.

Lori was one of my best friends over the past 12 years. Sure we had our issues like most friends, but at the core we were friends. One of the things that Lori always said was, “Friends are the family you choose.” And it’s totally true. That’s the great thing about close friends – you don’t have to love them or feel obligated to – you do it because you want to and because you love them for who they are. Lori had many demons to fight in her life, from being gay to alcoholism. She was finally at a place in her life where I believe she was truly happy – she was in a stable and healthy relationship, she was working, and she was going back to school. She was doing volunteer work that she loved and was living near her parents and nieces and nephew again. She had the brightest blue eyes and mischievous smile that just told you she had had an inappropriate thought or was up to something. She had a horrible sense of humor and found things funny that shouldn’t be found funny, which is probably why we got along so well. We had many late nights at Denny’s having coffee with Brennan or Wade doing homework or just bs’ing. I’ll remember and miss those days immensely. I’ll also miss her greeting of “hey homo,” and her exasperated sigh and “dammit, Libby” any time I’d say anything remotely negative about myself (even jokingly). She was a caring soul and wonderful person that can’t be summed up in a short paragraph, but most importantly to me, she was one of my closest friends and I miss her more than I can possibly express here or in any words.

So 2011 can basically kiss my big ol’ fat ass and end already because I’m totally over it. I just have to keep reminding myself that life is too short to let things slip by. Hug your wife/husband/bf/gf and tell them you love them; go back to school; rescue a puppy or kitty from the animal shelter; joke and laugh with your friends one night a week at least; make sure people know you care. There is a quote from Kung Fu Panda that pretty much sums it up (yes, Kung Fu Panda – shut up). Master Oogway tells Po, “…Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present."
Nothing is guaranteed, especially not tomorrow, so live for today and make the most of what you have, which is the moment.


Leave Out All the Rest

I dreamed I was missing
You were so scared
But no one would listen
‘Cause no one else cared
After my dreaming
I woke with this fear
What am I leaving when I’m done here?
So if you’re asking me I want you to know

When my time comes forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
Don’t resent me and when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Don’t be afraid, I’ve taken my beating
I’ve shed what I’ve made
I’m strong on the surface, not all the way through
I’ve never been perfect, but neither have you
So if you’re asking me I want you to know

When my time comes, forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
Don’t resent me and when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Forgetting all the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well
Pretending someone else can come and save me from myself
I can’t be who you are

When my time comes, forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
Don’t resent me and when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Forgetting all the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well
Pretending someone else can come and save me from myself
I can’t be who you are
I can’t be who you are

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