Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Harsh Realities of Being an Adult: Losing Grandparents

My Memaw passed away around 5:30 this morning. She's been living in Oklahoma City for a while now, and I was able to get over there and see her on Sunday - I thank God for that. We lost my Pepaw (her husband) in 2010, and I'm not sure that I expected her to last much longer beyond that. They were the sort of couple that lived and breathed for each other, the kind of union that you'd expect to hear about on the news that died within hours of each other. I truly believe that the only thing that kept her around was the increasing toll that the Alzheimer's was taking on her. You could tell she knew that something was different, that something was wrong, but she could never quite put her finger on it.

We had been slowly losing her for some time. It became progressively harder to have full conversations with her, though you could always be guaranteed a concert. Even at the worst of it, she could remember the words to Jesus Loves Me and Amazing Grace, and she'd clap and slowly sing to anyone that was in her eyesight. That speaks to the sort of woman she was, I suppose, that out of everything in the entire world, she could always remember the grace of God.

When I was with her on Sunday, she was, for the most part, sleeping, although somewhat restlessly. When she would open her eyes, though, she'd carry on conversations with someone that wasn't any of us in the room. She would reach out her hand to the corner of the ceiling and talk:

Is it time to go?

Can I come up and see you?

Are you taking me?

Where do I go?

Take me up in the air?

Honestly, it was like nothing I've ever experienced. It took us all by surprise until we got a grasp on what we thought was happening. I'd love to know what the entire conversation was like, but we were only getting her side of it. I almost think that calmed all of us a little, knowing that she had a friend waiting for her that she was talking to. She seemed to chat a lot when my cousin Justin was squatting next to her, and we thought it was because Justin bears such a strong resemblance to our grandfather when he was young. She'd reach for him in a different way than she would reach otherwise. And she'd continue talking, just as she had before.

It makes me so happy that I got to witness that. I've had a little struggle with God for some time now (I think that, in my job, it's not too uncommon), and I think I was placed in that room to see what was, undoubtedly, the presence of God. I'm still not sure exactly where I stand, but I know that it's real, and I know that it's more than what things like Heaven Is For Real has reduced it to (different post, different day).

She was the last grandparent I had. I have no living grandparents any longer. And that just seems so strange. It's still weird to me, this feeling of being a full-blown adult. To me, I don't seem old enough to be rightly considered a grandparent orphan. In my mind, I'm still "too young" for that. Truthfully (and put into perspective), I really am, but not the sort of young I still believe myself to be. I guess not having any grandparents isn't really that uncommon at thirty, but it doesn't make it suck any less.

Thank you, Memaw Shelma. For teaching me how to play Clue. For keeping a huge bronze tub full of old coloring books and nubby crayons (that, ten years later, still smells of wax). For playing whatever we wanted on the piano. For coming to birthdays and graduations. For letting the grandkids claim the dungeon. For not killing Dad when he climbed the water tower. For not being offended when baby Ty thought you and your short white hair looked like Orville Redenbacher. For always having donuts in the mornings. For taking us in when we got tired on road trips (and leaving sandwiches out on the counter for us). For teaching me how you're supposed to rock pink lipstick. For being an all-around amazing Memaw and friend.

We love you so much, and we miss you more than you could understand.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Another Manic Monday (but really)

You know you've turned into a crappy blogger when your uncle calls you out on it. What can I say, I've got the same excuse as everyone else: sometimes life gets in the way. And sometimes you don't do a whole lot worthy of talking about. And sometimes, you just don't want to talk. To anyone. It's not from a lack of ideas for posts: I've got a zillion drafts, in varying degrees of completion, and they just aren't quite to my liking yet, so I refuse to post them. And then it gets exhausting thinking about taking the time to make them fit my liking, so I just sit and do nothing but Instagram pictures of my dog and inspirational quotes.

Then, without ever knowing it, I became the crazy cat lady. THAT'S how that happens!

Thank goodness that Erin is around to help me out. I got to take a break from the dramatic hellscape of my office to play with pretty fonts and answer some questions about myself (and if there's anything that I'm good at, it's talking about myself).

I also get Blond John for a while this week. His hearings are all around me, so he gets here around 6:30 tonight and I don't have to send him away until Thursday morning. And then rejoin him for the weekend. So really, I'm winning pretty big this week, even though I'm convincing myself more and more each day that I've hit the climax of my descent into madness (and I'm only halfway kidding). I'll probably talk more about that later this week, but for now, I'll just tell y'all that my anxiety has been absolutely out of control for a multitude of different reasons (but for the sake of brevity, I'll just say it's work and leave it at that). 

I'd really like to go home and DIY something, but I equally want to eat ice cream and watch When Harry Met Sally, so I'll let you guys guess which one will probably prevail.

It's hard being a sloth sometimes. 

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Things That Happened While I Wasn't Writing

Okay, so pretty much, I suck. Here's what happened in the past two weeks when I was sucking and not writing.

+ I went to Pittsburgh.

A friend of mine that I bartended with for all of forever was getting married to a beautiful girl from Pennsylvania, so we all packed up and headed north. I'm not really sure how Powerhouse managed to stay open through the weekend with everyone gone, but I trust that they somehow managed. When we got there Thursday, we had an impromptu bachelorette party for the bride so that she could spend a night with all of her PA friends and AR friends in the same place.
Our hotel was literally connected to the airport by two people movers (which would come in handy when I had to catch a 5:55am flight back down South on Sunday morning), so we headed over to grab some transportation and get gone. Matty had the bright idea to ride the public bus to get where we were going because it was only $2.75 and eleventy billion times cheaper than a cab. Which would have been okay, if he could have kept the name of our location straight.
Obviously, this is when things went slightly awry. We get off at the wrong stop, which places us right in the middle of the Pittsburgh scary parts. When Matt looks at a map on his phone, he say something to the effect of it being only three miles away, so let's get going.
Girl no. Nope nope nope. I threw a hissy hit in my stompy heels, summoned Uber, and sat down under a tree to enjoy my emergency rations. Absolutely not sorry 'bout it.

(Laura was prepared. Small bottles of Rumple, in case of emergency)
Once we finally made it to Station Square, instead of Sheridan Square (details), we had a great time. The bride was showered with love and panties and plied with alcohol, and she seemed to have a great time. I only knew a few of these girls going in, but I've ended up loving all of them.

dress: forever 21 (exact here) // shoes: sam edelman (exact here, similar here)
The next day was the Fourth of July, and we were heading out to a Pirates game. What better way to celebrate the Fourth than by watching America's favorite pastime? I even managed to get myself a Pirates hat. If you weren't already privy to this information, I'm a huge hat girl. They work well for me when the 'fro is out of control (which is, admittedly, about 78% of the time, 94% in the summer). I'm making it a habit of accumulating a hat from every new sporting event I go to.

I wasn't really sure what to think of Pittsburgh before I got there. I'd never even been inside the state of Pennsylvania, so the only indicators of PA living I had was Big Ben, steel mills, and Silver Linings Playbook. I'll tell ya, though, if I were judging a city based entirely on its sporting arenas, Pittsburgh hit it out of the park (see what I did there?). PNC Park is BEAUTIFUL, and I loved getting to see a game in there!


And then there was the day we had all been waiting for: wedding day. I still can't believe that Justin is married! These are our OMG married! faces.
One of my favorite things about working at Powerhouse is that we've managed to stick together for the long haul. I imagine it's the soldier mentality, on a zillion-degree smaller scale: when you go through hell together, you bond together. I love these guys so much, and I'm so happy that our time as coworkers turned into lasting friendships. Naturally, Laura decided we needed to celebrate these friendships with a shots (also note: I'm entirely too old for a shot and no mas ever again). 

Excuse my awkward bathroom selfie, but I really wanted to get an uninterrupted picture of this supercute dress.

dress: c/o Riffraff (now sold out, but you can get on the reorder list!) // shoes: Gianni Bini (now on sale!) via Dillards
I'll be honest, I was a little hesistant with this dress at first because it fits a little snugly, and I'm generally all about things that don't hug my midsection because it sort of looks like I have a little donut around my belly button (also, note: time to start Insanity for the 459th time). I put it on, though, and it was surprisingly flattering, and I got so many compliments on it from the northerners. Over and over I hear, that's a Southern dress, and although I'm not entirely sure what that means other than maybe it fits in at a garden party, they followed it up with a comment about how they liked it, so I took it as being a compliment. Whatever, we'll run with it.
And that, in a nutshell, was Pittsburgh.
+ I went to the lake with Blond John.
The lake is my favorite place to be with this guy. Seems like all of our good stuff happens at the lake: when we very first got together (back in early 2011), he took me out there to go to the horse races. When we had a few issues in mid-2011, we resolved some of them there. When he was stupid in summer 2012, it got fixed at Lake Hamilton.

It holds a special little place in my heart, especially the patio at Fisherman's Wharf, which was the very first date spot we went to. I love sitting on that deck on the water, drinking wine and watching the ducks hang out. Maybe I'm just feeling sort of whimiscal. Whatever. I love the lake.

(top: c/o Riffraff, old // shorts: Target // necklace: c/o Riffraff, old // sandals: cole haan // koozie: c/o IWYP)

And really, I think that's been it, outside of working my face off. I really am determined to get back to writing. I just have to stop whining about being busy so much. With all that whining time, I could probably tap out a post I'd like to write.

Whatever. I'm trying to leap back on this train.

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