And Just Like That, She’s Gone.

Greetings, squadlings.

If you recall, I posted a few weeks back about a family friend of mine who was suffering from cancer and was given just weeks to live.

She lost her fight at around 1:00 this morning.

I did not know her personally. She was a childhood friend of my mother, who ended up living in Virginia and Kentucky. Because of that, I never met her.

When I woke up this morning, I went to turn off the alarm on my phone and saw a text from my mother: “She* died.” 

I stared at my phone for a while, trying to figure out how to process the news I’d just been given. My mind instantly went to her two children–fourteen year old twins. They have to go through the rest of their lives without their mother. I went to check her CaringBridge website, and sure enough, a post from her husband appeared explaining that, yes, she had died with her husband, parents, and children by her side.

Still trying to figure out how to process what had happened, I got up, got ready for class, and went to my 9:30AM lecture. I couldn’t focus in class. My mind was racing between thinking of her children, her husband, her parents, her family, and my mother. My mother is home, three hours away, sick with the flu. My brother isn’t exactly the emotional type, and since my stepdad is also sick, my mom is pretty much processing the news of the death of her childhood friend with just my dog. If I could find a way home, I would. Unfortunately, there’s one way in and out of this town for me to get home: a bus that leaves from my campus at 5:25pm on Friday night and returns at 4:00pm on Sunday. It comes once, it leaves once. That’s it. Today is Tuesday. I’m stuck here.

Eventually, somewhere in my bout of not paying any attention in class, I started crying. I made my way out to the hall and sat on a bench for a few minutes, before making my way into the bathroom, where, for some reason, I started crying harder.

I pulled it together eventually and made my way back to class, where I continued to pay no attention. I opened my laptop and started searching flights to Washington D.C., where a memorial service will take place next weekend. Her funeral is this Thursday, and my mom is way too sick to go. She may attend the memorial, and if she does, I want to be there.

That sounds strange, coming from someone who never met her, but I want to be there. For her, for her children, for her husband–for the family I feel I’ve come to know through CaringBridge updates. I want to be there for my mom, too.

After class, I headed back to my empty dorm where I continued to cry. I cried for at least an hour.  Eventually, I wandered around my dorm building, talking to some friends in the oh-so-famous lobby of our building, a hotspot for me and my friends, before I got up and just started walking.

I didn’t have a destination, I just needed to get out of my building. I HAD to. I walked across the infamous footbridge on my campus, over the river and over to a popular street in my college town. The street is filled with little shops, quite a few bars, restaurants, tattoo parlors…It’s all there.

I wandered and wandered, going into a few shops before eventually purchasing a teeshirt with my father’s high school logo on it for $5 from a small shop. Why? I don’t know. Why not? Truthfully, I also bought a small stuffed animal giraffe off Amazon today, a giraffe I plan on naming after her. I guess I drown my sorrows by spending money I don’t have.

I ate a quick lunch at Subway by myself, made my way back to campus, and now here I sit: alone in my dorm, skipping my afternoon class, writing a blog post while Ed Sheeran music plays quietly out of my Beats Pill in the background. It’s…calm. Something her family will not have for a while.

It’s strange, to have a reaction like this to the death of a woman I’ve never even met. I guess I feel the most sad for her children.

Why I’m telling you this, I don’t know. I’m not sure what the point of this post is, to be completely honest.

That being said, I hope you have a better week than I will, squadlings. Godspeed.

*The name of the deceased has been hidden out of privacy and respect for the family. 

Yup.

Greetings, squadlings.

I don’t even know if I’m going to post this, but I felt the need to write it anyway.

People collect a lot of things. Some people collect dead bugs, leaves, stamps, postcards, video games…I collect stuffed animals. Being almost 20 years old, I get an endless amount of shit for that. One quote I hear all too often is “You need to spend your money on important things.” 

Why do other people care what spend MY MONEY on? I earned it, I can do what I want with it. And, come on, “important things?” Yep, I’m sure those $150 Adidas shoes you’re wearing are SOOOO important. That being said…

Has it passed through your tiny brain that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, stuffed animals are important to me? I’m not going to drop money on something if I don’t want it. Why would I spend money on something I don’t care about? Are you so dense that you really think I don’t realize I’m spending money on these things?

I don’t know how many stuffed animals I have. At home, A LOT. At school, maybe six or seven. I’ve had my friends at school tease me about my animals, and fine, whatever, I can take a joke. But when it becomes a constant thing where people are giving me shit for collecting stuffed animals, it gets real old, real fast. giphy

I’m almost 20. I like stuffed animals. Why do so many people who AREN’T ME care about that? I could be smoking crack or getting drunk every weekend, if you would prefer that. adorable-terrifying-stuffed-animals-plush-feisty-pets-9

I tried to limit how many animals I brought to college with me, but it wasn’t easy, honestly. I had reason for bringing all of them, believe it or not.

I have stuffed animals that look like my dogs. It’s comforting to see something that looks like them that I can sleep with, like I sleep with my dogs. I’m not going to pull their pictures off the wall and try to cuddle it.

I have stuffed animals that my mom and dad gave me; a giraffe from my mom, named Walter, and an armadillo from my dad, named Carl. My siblings know about Walter and Carl. My sisters think Carl is hilarious. Those came with because they make me think of my parents when I see them.

I have my old teddy bear, Squeezer, a giraffe Pillow Pet named Gary, and a monkey Build-A-Bear named Bruno that I made with my cousin…

There’s more than that, but you get the point. I brought all animals home for spring break because I plan on switching some out and bringing new ones for the remainder of the year, I just haven’t decided which ones yet. Next year, in my apartment, I’ll have my own full bed. You bet your ass I’ll be bringing more animals, BECAUSE I CAN.

So, talk shit all you want about me having so many stuffed animals. But believe it or not, if they didn’t mean something to me, I wouldn’t have them.

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Why I Cried When I Left My Dogs (and not my siblings, lol sorry guys)

Greetings squadlings!

Considering I missed my 9:30 class yesterday morning because I was dealing with the nightmare that is college housing, I figured “Why not blog?” So here I am. (Yes, I started this post yesterday. Don’t hate me, I’m lazy)

This post, however, will not be about the nightmare that is college housing. That, I assure you, will come later. This post is about my favorite thing; doggos.

I have two doggos. Both Cockapoos (cocker spaniel and poodle mix). They are from different breeders, so they are not related to each other, but they are my sons. One of said doggos lives at my dad’s house, and one of said doggos lives at my mom’s house. Huzzah divorced parents. 

So, yes, my dogs are my sons, and I cried when I moved away and left them to go to college. I didn’t cry when I left my six brothers and sisters. No, not even the two-year-old one. I cried when I left my dogs. Yes, I am heartless.

For real though, I didn’t feel the need to cry when I left my brothers and sisters. Yes, I’m very close to all of them, but I didn’t really feel the need to cry when I left them. Why, you ask?

Because they can freakin’ talk.

I can still interact with my siblings; FaceTime, texting, calling, whatever. They know how to use a phone (yes, even the two year old). My dogs, however, don’t.

I can’t give all the pets to my doggos over FaceTime. I can’t lay in bed with my doggo and bitch to him about how hard life is over FaceTime. I can’t take my dogs for a walk over FaceTime. They stare at the phone, sure, but they have no idea what I’m saying to them. Louie is terrified of FaceTime, frankly. He has no idea how it works. Montee is just constantly confused about everything, so he doesn’t really pay attention. Montee is essentially me in dog form.

I’ve always loved dogs, since I was little and beyond. My mom has tons of pictures of me sprawled out on my floor, surrounded by my plethora of stuffed dogs. I always wanted a doggo, but it never seemed to work out when I was little.

Then, my parents got divorced. Rest in peace parents marriage August 28th, 1993-March 11th, 2007.

ANYWHO, when my dad moved out, I stopped in my quest to get a dog. My mom was at work all day, and my dad starts work at 3:00 in the morning and ends at noon, so I figured he’d be too tired to get a doggo.

So, my dad ended up getting married again in 2011, which landed me with a younger stepsister. Stepsister ALSO wanted a doggo. I was back in business.

Basically, Stepsister and I created the world’s cheesiest PowerPoint presentation on why we needed a doggo. Father and Wife were not convinced, but said they would “think about it.” Any child knows that when a parent says “think about it”, that means no.

But alas, Stepsister and I were not about to give up in our quest to get “Peter” (yes, Montee’s screen name was Peter…) I remember sitting in front of my laptop, constantly refreshing the page of puppies from Montee’s breeder. Then, one moment when I hit Refresh, a giant red SOLD appeared next to “Peter’s” name. I called my dad, hella upset, and he said we would “find another dog.”

Long story short, I was so upset that I made Stepdad call the breeder and ask who had adopted “Peter” and where he was going. Unfortunately, we ended up talking to the one person at the damn business who didn’t take care of records.

So, eventually, I gave up on my quest for “Peter.” However, I knew the breeder would post about puppies and where they were going on Facebook, and one day, my dad told me “check the Facebook, maybe she posted about him.” 

To make an incredibly long, probably boring story, short, “Peter” was my and Stepsister’s Christmas present.

 

Louie, on the other hand, was a different story. I wasn’t fighting to get Louie like I was with Montee. In fact, I didn’t want to get Louie. I was worried that I would love him more than Montee, and I made a point of constantly saying “he’s fine, but I like Montee better.” 

Louie was a birthday present from Stepdad to my mom. He’s two years younger than Montee.

ANYWHOOOO, if you’ve actually stuck with me throughout this obnoxiously long post, I thank you. My point is, I always wanted doggos. I was just kind of handed siblings.

 

That was a joke.

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Doggo sons. Louie (left) and Montee (right)

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Louie j chillin’.

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How Do You React To Something Like That?

Greetings, squadlings!

Yesterday, my family got some rough news. A childhood friend of my mother’s, let’s call her Anna, has had cancer for a while. Yesterday, we got word that they had stopped treatment of Anna’s cancer because it would “only delay the inevitable.” Long story short, Anna is going to die. Her doctor gave her “weeks to months.”

I have never met Anna. She was the granddaughter of my mother’s neighbors while they were growing up, and Anna would spend her summers at her grandparents house. Over the years, Anna and my mother became very close friends.

Anna was from Virginia-now she lives in Kentucky, because it’s closer to her doctors. As I said earlier, I’ve never met Anna. I follow her CaringBridge account, updated by her husband. That’s about the extent of my relationship with her and her family.

Anna has two children; twins, freshmen in high school. Fourteen years old, a boy and a girl, and last week, they found out their mother is officially dying.

How do you react to something like that? How do you react to a doctor telling you that the most important person in your life is going to die, and doesn’t have much time left?

I have a friend who lost her mother a few years back. I don’t talk to her about it much, I’m just assuming it’s not something she would like to discuss, and I’m not going to force her to tell me about it. I’m assuming that wound is still pretty raw.

I’ve always been very close to my mom. Even now that I live three hours from home, I still make a point to FaceTime my mom every day. Soon, Anna’s kids won’t be able to talk to their mom every day, and I can’t even imagine what must be going through their heads right now.

Over the years, I’ve been exposed to death a few times. My uncle, my grandfathers, family friends…But I can’t even imagine losing a parent. I don’t even know what I would do.

All we can do now is wait. We know Anna’s going to die, we know it’s coming, and now we just have to wait for it to come.

All I can say at this point is thank you to Anna’s doctors. Thank you to the teams of doctors, surgeons, anyone who made Anna’s journey easier. To her husband and her children, her parents, her family…I’m sending you all the love and positive energy I can from Wisconsin. You’re in our thoughts.

Talk to you soon, squadlings.