How I Got Here: Part VI

Screen Shot 2018-09-09 at 5.27.46 PM

The day after I made my decision to say goodbye to my Grandmother, she passed peacefully while holding my cousin’s hand.  I was grateful to have that moment alone with her the day before to tell her how much I loved her and how appreciative I was for her loving me.  My Grandparents were a big part of my life and I will never forget the wonderful memories I have.

It was a difficult time between her passing and Brian’s health.  I was still afraid to leave him home alone but wanted to be by my family’s side through the coming days.

Brian was still healing but he was so supportive throughout my Grandmother’s hospital stay and the services.  He was by my side every moment for which I am thankful for.

The day of my Grandmother’s funeral was a freezing cold but sunny December day.  The funeral was beautiful.  She was close to the priest who spoke personally about his experiences with her.  My cousin’s and I participated in some readings.  I was tasked with the “Lord Hear Our Prayer” piece and I decided to wing it the day of without reading it ahead of time.

As I began to speak, I could see the words ahead, “Let us pray for those who have already passed, especially Irving Moore (my Grandfather) and Sean Lutz (My Brother)”.  I crumbled inside.  My eyes filled up with tears and I had to stop because if I didn’t I was going to be beyond repair.  I was standing up on the alter, at the microphone speaking to a church full of people and I focused in on Brian’s face.  Just seeing him helped me keep it together.

Brian and I really leaned on each other that day.  It showed me what great partners we are and can lift each other up when the other is down.  Over the next couple of months, our relationship got stronger but I started to question our future.

I had so many ideals in mind: white picket fence, a beautiful house, kids!  We started to discuss what we wanted in life and kids was not one of them for him.  I cried because I felt like I found my person but we weren’t in line with how we saw our future.

I was surprised because the way he is with kids is amazing.  He’s even amazing with my dog!  I was heartbroken because what I imagined my life to be with him was falling apart.  I felt physical pain when I ended our relationship.

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

How I Got Here: Part V

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 1.35.40 PM

I ran into the men’s room at Ichiban to find a small puddle of blood and Brian on the floor.  The paramedics were called by the staff as I tried to comfort him and cover the gash on his forehead.  He was understandably embarrassed, confused and scared.

The police and medics were great and he was taken to the hospital.  Thankfully, he went to Jersey Shore this time.  We sat in the hallway for hours.  My Dad and Brian’s family all ran over as quickly as possible.  When there are others there to support you it can almost seem enjoyable.

After getting tested and stitched up, he was set to go.  At this point we weren’t sure what happened but likely just a pass out.  Brian slept a lot on and off which his brain needed to heal itself from the initial seizure.  However, he continued to experience vertigo.

Two days later my Grandmother was taken to Jersey Shore because her body was failing.  At this point I think we had all known it wouldn’t be much longer.  I will never forget my parents praying with her one evening and feeling so envious of their courage and strength as I was crumbling inside.

Brian’s vertigo wasn’t getting any better and I was scared to leave him alone.  Would he have another seizure?  What if he fell?  What would I do?  I was torn between spending as much time as I could with my Grandmother but also making sure Brian was safe.  I would leave him along for two hours while I went to visit her.

Since Brian wasn’t feeling much better and he needed his stitches removed, his Mom took him to the urgent care at Jersey Shore while I was visiting my Grandmother.  I was in between two patients trying to be the best support for all the people I loved.

After seeing a third doctor, it was determined that Brian likely had a concussion from the initial seizure which caused him to pass out the next day.  It was somewhat of a relief but it still felt like never knowing what could happen next.  The anxiety and fear was building.

A week after Brian’s second incident, my Grandmother was going into hospice.  I visited with her Tuesday after work.  Although she did not appear to be awake, she was constantly moving her arms and legs as if she was uncomfortable.  I felt an incredible pain inside of me because I felt she was in pain.  I left the room and crumbled; sobbing uncontrollably.

In that moment I decided to say goodbye to her because I didn’t want to remember her in this state.  That was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.

To be continued…

 

How I Got Here: Part IV

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 9.40.10 AM

I looked beyond the co-worker as Brian was on a stretcher being put into the ambulance.  “He is going to be taken to Jersey Shore,” he said.

In that moment I went into action mode.  I had to run home with the dog to drop him off and then run back up to Neptune.  On my way, I called Brian to find out what happened.  He put me on the phone with the paramedic who explained he had a seizure and since Jersey Shore was full, he had to be taken to Monmouth Medical.  My fear was coming to life.

When Brian and I started dating he had explained to me that he has epilepsy.  We’ve all heard of epilepsy before but never in my life did I think it would be a part of my life.  While he was in the Army, he experienced his first seizure.  He can have a seizure at anytime in anyplace.  There is no warning but he instructed me on what to do if I was there when it happens.

In what seemed like forever, I finally made it up to Monmouth Medical.  I was alone and I didn’t know what I would be walking into.  I haven’t been to this hospital since I was born!  I walked in to the ER where a police officer was keeping watch.  I went to the receptionist and asked where I could find Brian and was directed beyond the doors into a very scary place.

There were people lined up and down the halls.  The only privacy between the “rooms” were curtains.  People who were not of sound mind were yelling.  Nurses were scurrying a team of newbies to a complicated birth.  I have been to the ER plenty of times but this was no Jersey Shore!

I finally found Brian in a curtain blocked “room” alone wearing scratched up glasses.  He was upset and nauseous.  He explained that he was taking a break outside at work and the last thing he remembered was texting me.  I had to grab a doctor to give him a puke pan and anti-nausea meds before I would be down for the count.

Brian seemed to go through the motions since he was used to this. I, on the other hand, was in panic mode but trying to stay calm to keep him at ease.  After a couple hours, he was released and he stayed with me so I could keep watch.

I barely slept, worried it might happen again.  I had no idea what to expect and all I could do was to remain calm for his sake despite the fear inside.

Luckily, I was working from home at the time so I was able to stay with him throughout the next day.  He mostly slept which seemed good for recovery.  After I was done with work for the day and Brian seemed more like himself, we were both ready for dinner.  I suggested my favorite sushi place, Ichiban.

We sat down at dinner, placed our orders and talked more about the night before.  Since he had little memory, I explained how things played out.  Soon after our dinners were brought out and Brian said he wasn’t feeling well and excused himself to the bathroom.

As I started to eat my sushi, the manager rushed over and said, “Your friend fell in the bathroom.”

To be continued…

How I Got Here: Part III

Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 7.41.47 PM

Last October my Grandmother fell at home and broke her hip.  I got the phone call and flew to the ER.  I sat with her, held her hand and all I felt was dread.  A week short of turning 97, she had to have hip surgery.  Going under anesthesia is not good for an elder person; there was a chance she wouldn’t come out of it.

But, my strong Grandmother came out of a successful surgery. I often visited her and Brian would come with me.  Soon after she was released from the hospital into a rehab facility.  My most memorable moment with her was giving her a manicure so she was ready for Thanksgiving.

We were so happy to have her for Thanksgiving even if for a couple hours.  She hadn’t been doing well.  She ate very little.  I had a feeling in my gut that this would be her last holiday with us.

Brian and I were getting more serious.  I was working and spending time with him in between and we had just spent Thanksgiving between both of our families.  The Monday after Thanksgiving I went to pick him up at work and brought Reilly with me as a surprise.

As I got closer to his work, I was smiling because I knew he would be happy to see Reilly. We came up over the hill and saw ambulance lights flashing where he worked.  I drove slowly closer to the parking lot and I squinted to see who was being taken away.  I stopped next to the ambulance and a co-worker came up to my car and asked, “are you Brian’s girlfriend?”

To be continued…

How I Got Here: Part II

Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 11.28.27 AM

Brian and I were practically inseparable from the start.  Having known each other before and understanding each other made it easy to be friends.  I showed him all the new things at the Jersey Shore since he moved away in ’97 and he told me about his time in the military in Alaska and eventually moving to the San Diego area.

Last September, he attended the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Walk for the first time with my family and friends.  It was a huge turnout but to have him there made it so much more special.  I was told the next day that he was chatting up my parents and saying how proud he was of me for keeping Sean’s memory alive by trying to help others.  Which followed up with, “I think he likes you”.

I like to think I’m a smart girl but I was clueless!  For years I had said, “I wish I could meet someone who isn’t a stranger”.  Somehow I was given this gift after years of feeling lonely and having given up on finding my person.

We were happy.  Our families were happy.  It was easy.  I will never forget the feeling of pride when I called my Grandmother one Friday night to tell her all about Brian and that we were together.  She remembered him very well and her happiness thrilled me to no end.  The next morning, she fell and broke her hip.

To be continued…

 

How I Got Here: Part I

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 4.41.08 PM

It has been a looooong time since I have written because I’ve been saving some things for when the time was right.  If you’re reading this you are likely a friend on Facebook and know I moved to Cali.  But how did I get here and why?

Back in January 2017, I vowed to put myself out there more (See Blog Here) and share my experiences with you and if I didn’t share anything, it meant I met someone.  Well, I did go out with someone extra special almost one year ago and we are happily still together.

Last summer I gave up on love.  I was settling for being alone because I hadn’t met the right guy who gets me and balances me.  One day I got a message from an old friend who I was back in Jersey and wanted to catch up.

This just wasn’t any old friend.  I had a crush on him in high school, he was my older brother’s best friend and grew up down the street!  He was also the one who held me back from punching my brother’s ex gf in the face the night of his funeral; but I digress…

We caught up and talked a lot about my brother.  Tears were shed (mine of course) because he shared things with me that I never knew.  And to talk to someone who understands is very powerful.  We continued to hang out often and one day I realized he liked me more than friends and vice versa.

To be continued….

 

Adjusting My Sails

storm

This past September I was nearly laid off again.  This was five months into a new job after being laid off for 18 months!  I was in a state of panic and disappointment.  I just wanted a job that I enjoy doing with people I like and decent pay.  My company was going through a reorganization and my position was no longer necessary because they were moving into a more automated process. Luckily for me, they saw my good work ethic and I was well liked so I talked myself into another position to keep working.  Unfortunately, I talked myself into an IT help desk role.

I say unfortunately because I did not have a strong IT background or even answered phones as my job! How can I solve user’s problems if I don’t even know what to do!?  A few weeks into this new role I had major anxiety every morning and even walked out of the office one day to cry in my car.  Crying = literally blubbering on the phone with my friend Stacey.  I wanted out of this job immediately.

Quitting without backup wasn’t an option and I really do like who I work with so I kept with it.  I started giving myself pep talks in the morning, learned how to curb my anxiety and embrace the qualities I do have to offer instead of focusing on what I don’t have.  I have made every effort to treat every frustrated user with patience and kindness while attempting to be confident in what I was doing.

I am four months in and I feel really good with how far I have come.  I still love who I work with and have built a rapport with many of the user that call in.  I feel confident in my ability to do my job which is a 180 from where I started.

I share these details because I want people to know that even though change sucks and times do get difficult; to push through because coming out the other side and learning things about yourself is priceless. Happy Friday xo