With What Lumber We Have

If it wasn’t for my beautiful, smart, kind and sensitive daughter, I’m sincerely not sure how I’d find my strength to continue shuffling down this painful path right now. I love her with every fiber of my being and we’re actually closer now since my mom died (first time I’ve typed that word.)

I don’t mean to say that she’s my only reason for living. That puts way too much pressure on her, of course. But she is my main purpose at the moment. She needs her own mother to help her through losing her beloved grandmother. That’s my job. They were extremely close and my dear B is heartbroken and grieving, too.

My own emotions are all over the map. The dull ache and relief I initially felt is starting to subside, replaced with a hollowness and intense pain that seems to be crushing my heart into a bloody pulp.

I have other family, but besides my one cousin who reached out to me, I am flying solo on this journey. My younger brother just doesn’t discuss his feelings and I’m used to that. The two of us are so different, like night and day.

Some families are close and stick together, but mine mostly keep their distance. I’ve somewhat accepted this, but I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t make me very sad.

I guess we rebuild with what lumber we have and shit.

My boyfriend has been fucking amazing through all of this. I call him my sunshine because he brightens my days with his positivity and love. He also has little family to lean on during times of sadness, so he’s able to empathize with me. I’m so grateful that he’s in my life. He makes all of the bullshit that I’ve dealt with over the years worth it.

She read my blog sometimes. That’s why I never wrote in detail that my mom was so ill. I didn’t want her to be upset with me, although she had stopped reading the last few months as her health declined.

But, there have been some happy moments on and off since May 20th. I’ll share some of them with you guys.

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Steven and I recreating our first date on June 3rd.

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My dog Maya coming back from her bath at PetValue. (That’s my daughter driving.)

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Me after trying on some new make-up my daughter gave me. (Photo taken by my boyfriend.)

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Steven at Edgewater Beach last Saturday, right before it started pouring.

I know that my mom would want me to live my life to the fullest, so these photos would make her smile.

But I’m so lost without her.

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Fibromyalgia & Suicide

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Add 10% higher risk of suicide.


I read a post on The Mighty¬†yesterday that really disturbed me. The topic was about how fibromyalgia and mental illness coincide, which I’ve already been aware of due to my own personal experiences.

But the part of the article that bothered me the most was the statement that “Fibro sufferers commit suicide at a rate of 10 times that of the general population, according to a report in Psychology Today.”

Just fucking wonderful.

It upset me so much, I got the shivers after I read it and then shared the link on Facebook, which only a handful of people reacted to, since it’s a taboo topic that is mostly avoided.

I told my boyfriend (he’s fully aware of my mental health history) and I asked him to read the post himself. As usual, the scary “S” word makes people uncomfortable. It happens every single time.

Even my beautiful mother, who always fought for and fully supported me while she was still alive, hated to say the word itself.

It’s not a pleasant topic, is it? No, it most certainty is not. Yet every 40 seconds, someone on this planet decides to end their pain and leave this brutal, yet wonderful world behind. It’s the truth and it’s happening. There’s an excellent chance that each one of us will be touched by it in one way or another.

Steven hadn’t really said much after he read it, so on the way to our Thursday evening couples bowling league, I asked him what his thoughts were.

“I don’t really know what to say,” he replied quietly.

Ah yes, ding ding.

“Yeah well, most people don’t,” I said knowingly, with a twist of snark in my comeback martini, on the defense.

Then I sighed, feeling quite defeated.

“It scares the fucking shit out of me,” I revealed, trying to honestly explain my feelings further. “It’s scary. Actually, it’s fucking terrifying. And I’m so afraid that it’ll happen again. I’ll live with that fear for the rest of my life.”

I noticed him squeezing the steering wheel a bit more tightly than normal.

“I might not understand it, but I’ll never run away with my tale between my legs.”

I made the noise I make when someone mentions asshat, a sort of disgusted snort.

“It didn’t help that you had someone constantly putting you down and abusing you, treating you like a worthless cripple and saying that maybe you should’ve just done it, after all! The fucking dirt bag.”

Another snort from me.

“I won’t let anything like that happen to you, not on my watch. I’ll do everything in my power, honey.”

I smiled and patted his leg, then left it there. He took his hand and started stroking my hair. We didn’t talk for a few minutes. I just closed my eyes and enjoyed the sensation of his strong fingers comforting me and listened to the windshield wipers whisking away the chilly rain.

“I want you to be able to talk to me about it, to tell me when you start feeling like that,” he said. “That way, we can get you some help.”

I nodded and kissed his cheek. “Thanks for rubbing my head, that felt nice.”

“Anytime, my love.”


As most of you already know, my soon to be ex-husband (hooray!) decided to stick his dick in the mashed potatoes instead of coming to the ER to be with me on that shitty July day in 2015 when I tried to overdose on my pain pills.

My mother was the only one there and she was already beginning to show symptoms of her “mystery” illness. Now we know what it was that took her from us, an extremely rare medical condition. (A little too late, but that’s for another post.)

My boyfriend hates to discuss asshat and I don’t blame him, but I felt from the beginning that he needed to know my prior background in order to help him understand me better. We’ve been together for over a year now and the last thing I want is for him to someday exclaim “I didn’t sign up for this bullshit!”

And now that my precious mother has passed on, I hope that if I ever lose my battle with my suicidal thoughts again, I’ll have Steven to love and support me.

If I really have a 10% higher risk of suicide because I have fibromyalgia, then I better start praying hard and hope that I have a few compassionate people in my life, beginning with the man who plays with my hair.

The Touch of Your Hand

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I was afraid to go up to my father’s casket and say goodbye. I was a kid, having just turned 12 years old the day before he passed away from a sudden heart attack on a family trip to an amusement park.

From afar, it looked to me like he was just taking a nap on the couch, but the problem was, his chest was no longer rising and falling.

My mother put her arm comfortingly around me. “Come on,” she’d said, “I’ll go with you. It’s okay, honey.”

I was so scared, but I trusted her without a doubt.

We knelt there together, the two of us. I stared down at his handsome face, a slight smile playing on his lips, like he was planting green peppers and tomatoes in the most amazing garden up in heaven.

“You can touch his hand.”

I hesitated for a moment, but then I went ahead and tentatively touched him lightly with my fingertips. His skin felt like cold marble, icy and extremely disturbing to such a young girl who loved her daddy as much as I did. I quickly took my hand back before I started crying.

“He’s so cold,” I’d admonished to my mother, a bit queasy.

“Yes,” she’d replied softly. She didn’t need to explain further.

I’ve never forgotten that significant moment in my life, going on close to 33 years ago.


Now at the adult age of 44, although her hand was indeed bitterly cold, I hadn’t wanted to let go of it. I was the last one to leave my mom before we journeyed to the cemetery for her interment next to my dad.

Someone called my name, I don’t recall who, but I hesitated before I finally placed her hand back where it belonged and somberly walked away.

The emotionally distraught part of me wanted to jump inside the casket with her, but the logical part instinctively knew that I had to continue to live my life.

My job here isn’t done.

I’d promised her before they took her back to surgery, which I think we all knew wasn’t going to end well, that I’d fight my fucking hardest to stick around this place, even when my mind lies, telling me that everyone would be better off without me. She truly understood that it wasn’t my fault, but an unfortunate symptom of my mental illnesses.

If she could suffer as she did for so many years and could continue to keep breathing for over 12 hours without machinery, how could I not see that as a clear indication (sign) that life is precious and worth fighting for?


I asked my daughter if she wanted me to go up with her to say goodbye and to hold the gentle hand of her gramma one last time. She shook her head.

“I held her hand while you went to go rest in the family lounge,” she’d replied, tears welling up in her doleful blue eyes. “I even fell asleep for a bit. I’ll never forget how she felt, like I just couldn’t get her to warm up.”

Lukewarm is better than glacial, isn’t it?


Life is often filled with full circle moments.

A mother comforting her daughter decades later, offering to go up with her to say a final farewell to her beloved gramma. To protect her by offering solace and unconditional love during such a grief-stricken time, even when her own heart was pulverized.

I’ve never realized until now how much we must have given our mother a renewed purpose in life after my father passed away, leaving her with two young children to raise by herself. I’m sure that she must’ve had a desperate moment or two of wanting to give up, but she stuck around because it wasn’t her time to go yet.

I’ll strive to carry on her legacy of grace and courage.