I had this big huge epiphany last night. I burst into the house after my walk all amped up. So, let me see if I can put it in some format that you can read.
I listen to a lot of music while I
run jog walk wog, some secular, some worship.
Last night, I was listening to “Made to Love,” by TobyMac.
I’m running, and praising God for the strength to run and thanking him for helping Tom put the Ikea couch back together earlier in the afternoon, because that crap was cray… then another song comes on.
It gets off to a slow start. It’s not exactly worship music, not great for running, but I freakin’ LOVE it. I love Eminem. I love everything he does. (Okay, that one album wasn’t fantastic.) He’s so awesome. Everything he does… oh my God…
Then, it hit me like a freight train. Seriously. I felt it rush over my body furiously.
God loves me like I love Eminem.
I’m not famous. I’m not cool. I’m not influential. I don’t do a whole heck of a lot. But to God, I’m the shiz. I’m one bad mofo. I’m awesome! Everything I do… I’m his favorite. (And so are you.)
And then I felt a nice breeze, looked up, and saw the sky full of stars above me, my sky full of lighters.
This is me and Tom today.
This is my new favorite thing: https://nourishcharlotte.com/blog/menu-may-20th-to-may-26th
We ordered take-out for an entire week. “Take-out,” premade, heat n’ serve meals, that are vegan. Vegan. Yeah, I said it. We cray. We love to eat. I love to eat out. We don’t like doing dishes. We don’t know how to make vegetarian stuff that’s not salad. Tom only has a few precious hours to spend with me in the evening and we don’t want those to be spent in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove. (We’d rather be in the bedroom slaving over a hot… each other.) Enter nourishcharlotte.com. On Monday, we got a delivery of almost enough dinners for the week. Last night I had Mexi-Risotto. Risotto is one of my favorite foods. Anyway, I’ve been eating what I get from Nourish and trusting them, without really calculating ingredients or calories. I feel obligated to eat it even though I may want McDonald’s because we paid a lot for it. It’s good, which helps. Tom and I both think it tastes really good. And, I forget the specifics, but I think it’s 80%+ organic or something.
I don’t want to lean to far into the hippie stuff, but this Vegan lifestyle is workin’ for me. I’ve lost like 3 or 4 lbs. Down to 229.8 today. Yesterday, I woke up at 231.6. After dinner, a 4 mile walk and drinking water, so full belly right before bed, 230.6. It meant so much to be 230. I’ve been so close for so long, bouncing between 231 and 234 for weeks. This morning I woke up at 229.8. So, hit the 230 milestone AGAIN and hopefully for the final time. I know 229.8 is basically 230, but that’s a very important .2 lbs, because it’s .2 under 230. I didn’t really log my weight at the beginning of the week, because I just kind of don’t want to believe that I’m over 230. The same thing happened when I was up around 260. I have no concrete date for that weight, because I’d just see it on the scale and step off. Dejected.
Anyway, the weight loss for me, today, is a side effect. I feel good! Small changes are taking place around the house. Laundry is getting done. I vacuumed downstairs. I even painstakingly removed grease that Tom tracked in from the garage about two weeks ago and told me not to worry about, because he’d take care of it. I’m ready to work today. Ready to paint. Ready to draw. Ready. This, I guess, is what it feels like to put the right fuel in the tank. I feel like I feel when I’m taking Niacin, except I’m not taking it. So, oh my God, maybe I should take it… I would be like a freight train!
Just wanted to share where we are and what’s happening. Mom is sick. So sick. She’s in the middle of her fight with breast cancer. Her stomach is a disaster. I worry for her, and I’m scared, and it makes me want to do some preventative maintenance.
I love what Charlotte Gerson says in this interview about prevention: http://youtu.be/U7Ck9D45OT4?t=31m
It’s so stupidly easy. It’s like your grandma told you, you are what you eat.
It’s funny. It started so simple. “Let’s just cut down on soda while I train for this 10K at Disney World…” Now, it’s morphed into trying to eat mostly vegan. Vegan! WHO AM I?!
I should mention some stuff that Brucey is doing, too. We are forever playing Marco Polo, but using each others’ names. “MA!”
He also says a lot of, “deet,” which roughly translated to “that,” or “this.” He’ll point to something and shake his head, “no,” when we try to give him the wrong thing and finally nod, “yes,” when we give him whatever it is that he wants. He loves any “ball,” and will identify it as such. Yesterday, I kept trying to get him to say, “Mickey,” pointing to The Mouse on a pillow that we have in the family room. He pointed to Minnie and called her by name instead! We buy a lot of bananas; he eats about 3 bananas a day. Dude loves cashews. I worry that he’s not getting enough to eat, but I always sit there with him until he just won’t eat anymore. I worry that I need to give him a more standard Western diet so that he fattens up a little bit, but saying that makes me feel crazy.
He’s got 2 big flat molars on the bottom, I haven’t caught a glimpse of what’s on top yet, but I’m excited because this means we can eat more of the green stuff that you chew in the back of your mouth!
Today, Bruce hid a ball under his shirt, showed me his empty palms and said, “where is?”
He points to his nose and says, “bow.” He might be confused because nose in Chinese sounds like “bay.” Today he was really close to pointing at my eyes and saying eye.
Not a lot of folks read this, but since YOU do, here’s a sneak peak of Bruce’s portrait session tonight. I know he’s probably THE most photographed baby on facebook and you’re sick of him, but every 6 months or so I like to see a professional.
Lindsay taught Bruce to say, “Mama” on our way to Charlottesville on 3/20. He said it before we even made it to I-485. It was awesome.
I just didn’t want to forget that.
Prior to that, he was saying, “wow,” and, when Tom walked into the room after work, “DAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” But not full-blown Da-Da yet. He also says some variation of “Yo-Ho-Ho!” from “Jake and the Neverland Pirates.” It comes out like “ohw-oh.”
Now we’re working on “jiāyóu” and “Nai Nai” which are “add gas” and “grandmother” (Tom’s mom, because in Chinese there are different words for your father’s mother and your mother’s mother) respectively in Chinese.
Bruce mimics almost everything that we do.
Tom made the mistake of playing with his swords and weapons in front of my precious baby. So now when we come home from grocery stopping, are unloading the car, and I’m all, “you’re a big boy now, you can walk into the house by yourself,” Bruce does not pass Go, does not collect $200, he just goes directly to SWORDS.
This past weekend I realized that he can take my phone, turn on music and start dancing before I know it’s not on me. He also likes to walk around the house and pretend he’s talking on it.
He still loves the Wake Up with Donald app. And when he’s getting cranky in the car, playing the 2012 “Les Miserables” soundtrack heals the world. It has for pretty much his entire life. Nowadays “Let It Go” is his jam (had nothing to do with that, I promise), and he loves a Little Caesar’s commercial with a bunch of Hispanic (?) guys singing, “Bite, bite. Sip, sip. That’s what makes a combo!” It came on the tv in a restaurant this afternoon with no sound and he was STILL dancing and giggling.
He roars like a monster, and gives kisses on demand with a “MUAH!”
The funniest new trick is, “Bruce, show me your mean face.”
This kid is outstanding.
Wow. Two years. Where was I 2 years ago? I think I was on the verge of, “omgomgomgomg” and “is this really happening?!” Could it be possible? Three years of disappointment. One more missed period. I peed on the thing and then, “omgomgomgomgomgomg.” This time it was real.
I had no idea how awesome Bruce would be, or even that he would be Bruce. Crazy. Amazing.
Today, Bruce went downstairs around 1 for lunch. I gave him a slice of bread. Not interested. I opened a banana. He ate about half. (I finished it, although I hate bananas.) I baked him a frozen pizza. No dice. I made myself a microwave Evol All-Natural Vegetarian Truffle Parmesan Mac n’ Cheese and a spinach/pineapple/berry smoothie. THAT’S what he wanted. It makes me swell with pride to see him make those choices. He’s not averse to chicken nuggets, but he’d rather eat the fruit cup in his Chickfila kids’ meal. Tom and I are leaning away from animal products. (We’re not vegan, or even vegetarian, but I can’t unlearn the things I’ve learned about how bad all that stuff is for you in the long run.) It’s neat to see our sweet, healthy boy get excited about a spinach Nutriblast.
Bruce is getting so big! And he’s so funny! I wish he was talking, but I feel like he does understand most of what I say. He has a huge bruise on his forehead. When I went in his room to wake him up (about a week ago), I pointed to my own forehead and said, “what’s this? What happened to my baby?” He put his hands on the railing of his crib and smashed his head into the bar. Funny fella’. Today, I put the sleep sack on him (because he cannot be trusted to stay in his crib at naptime) and put him in the crib and he fussed. Then, I put a pillow (I know, Mother of the Year Award) in the crib and laid his head on the pillow. He put his middle and ring fingers in his mouth, grabbed his blankie and DID NOT BLINK. But shortly after I left the room (No crying! Woo hoo!) I imagine he did close his eyes.
Still closed now, just checked.
Such a good boy.
I’ve got to do something. My size 16s won’t zip and my 18s are baggy like a potato sack. So… let’s weigh the options:
Looks like I have no choice.
I remember being out of toilet paper. I remember that. The rolls in my bathroom are still new, in the package. I remember last week when Styler was here thinking, “crap, we’re almost out of t.p.!” (Pun intended.) I remember Tom buying it and dispersing it throughout the house. And then, time stopped. Here it is almost a week to the day and I’m just now opening it. Life was different when we bought that toilet paper. We were trying to go up to Charlottesville every weekend because we weren’t sure how many weekends Paw Paw had with us. Mom was trying to balance care of the generation that came before her and time with the newest. I wasn’t sad. I guess that’s the main thing. I remember how not-sad I was when we bought that toilet paper. It’s funny how it takes an overwhelming sadness to understand and appreciate not being sad.
As I write this, it’s 7:46. I woke up today at 6:45ish which, before daylight savings time, was about the time Mom called to say Paw Paw’s not doing too good. I didn’t know what that means. But I jumped out of bed and started packing. Then I jumped in the car and started driving. That early morning was Paw Paw’s last morning with us. And he never woke to enjoy the warm sunlight on his face one last time.
Speaking of overwhelming emotions, just two weeks ago at this exact time, I woke in my All-Star Resort room at Walt Disney World. I was getting ready for my Limited Time Magic behind the scenes tour at Epcot. I was so overwhelmingly happy. I’d spent the wee hours of the night before at Magic Kingdom, so I was SO tired. It’s funny, by comparison to this past week, I didn’t know what tired was.
Bruce and I got to Charlottesville around 2 pm on Tuesday. Aaaand we arrived without Bruce’s suitcase, so that was going to be an adventure. Everyone was at Todd’s house, at Maw Maw’s house, at the house where Paw Paw grew up. (Interestingly, Paw Paw is Maw Maw’s son. You would think they were the grandparents, but no. Maw Maw and Gran are my great-grandparents. Gammy and Paw Paw are my grandparents.) We did a lot of nothing, a lot of sitting on the front porch. Some of us took Bruce to the park. Mom and I walked down the hill to the little corner store and bought soda and candy. Paw Paw lay in Maw Maw’s dining room, and we waited.
Tom bought a bus ticket. He was coming into Richmond at 3:30 am.
Three cardinals appeared at the windowsill that morning. A male and two little females. We decided that was Maw Maw, Gran and Gammy.
We had Chipotle and Raisin’ Cane’s for dinner. Haley and I left around 10:30? 10:45? We went to put Bruce to bed at my parents’ house. Haley and I were going to leave around 2:00 am to pick up Tom from the Megabus stop in Richmond, so Mom was going to come home before then. That would give me 3 hours to nap. Well, it would have if Bruce wasn’t too tired to sleep. He decided he’d rather scream in delirium for an hour.
Around midnight, Dad called. Paw Paw was gone.
It was about 2:00 before Mom made it home. I was walking downstairs to leave for Richmond alone. Haley was asleep. I figured I’d let her keep sleeping and stay with Bruce. Mom and I met on the steps. I hope I never forget her face. She had to have been exhausted, but she glowed.
I asked her how it happened.
She said, “Well, it was about 11:30, and Trudy said, ‘You have to go soon, you should sit by Daddy for a while.’ So, I got in over beside him and held his hand. I like to hold it right there,” she motioned to the beefy part of her own palm, by her thumb, “because that’s where I give him his pills everyday. We sat for a while, and I said, ‘What time is it?’ Trudy said, ’11:39.’ And I said, ‘well, I’ll stay five more minutes.’ He squeezed my hand! And then he started to pull away, I mean, his arms went up and I let go of his hand. His arms came to his chest, he turned his head and he was gone.”
I didn’t cry. I just stood there on the steps in awe. “I think he was telling me to let go,” she said. Paw Paw had gotten to the point where he’d go anywhere with Mom, and no where without her. Church is a good example. If Mom wasn’t going, if she was in Charlotte for instance, he’d skip that week. I’m glad that she told him 5 more minutes. I don’t think he felt like he needed to hang on if she was leaving. He left this world surrounded by his 5 children. I told her that it’s like they witnessed his soul exiting his body with such force that it physically drew his body upwards.
My first thought was of Gammy running to meet him.
It’s interesting. If feels like a week ago, and it feels like yesterday.