babbles

Dealing with death, getting myself together

For those of you who’ve been reading my posts, you know that my grandfather (whom I’d been living with) died in September. Well, last week, my aunt (my grandmother’s daughter) died of cancer. (Rather, the intensive therapy they bombarded her with – but that’s another rant on its own.)
I saw her in hospice before she died – unlike Chacha. I was sick when he was in the hospital, and I didn’t want to risk getting him sick too. I held my Aunt Lizzie’s hand while she struggled to breathe and complimented my eyebrows. We always talked about makeup and skincare and how much we hated working in healthcare. Everyone said I was just like her; empathetic to the point of it being a downfall. When my brother and I were little, we called her “Crazy Lady.” She would dress up and do comedy skits with us in an absurd “crazy lady” voice. We loved it. We loved being with her. She bought me my first ice skates and took me to lessons. She helped me find a psychiatrist in high school. She broke her back for the people she loved.

I’ve come to accept this fact: the people who raised me are dying and there is nothing I can do about it. Continue reading “Dealing with death, getting myself together”

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babbles

Past-selves & getting to know you.

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I think a lot of us look back on our past-selves and think, “who was that person?”
We go through transitions constantly. We change our minds, we change ourselves, and we change our surroundings. Sometimes, as we change, we get to know ourselves more – and sometimes, we get to know ourselves less. Unfamiliar territories can open up a big can of “who the hell am I,” and “why am I doing this?”

Questioning yourself is the most important part of getting to know you. Lately, I’ve been feeling unfamiliar to myself. I spend so much time cooing patients at work and focusing on other people, by the time I sit down and look in the mirror, I’m thinking –

“who dat.”
Continue reading “Past-selves & getting to know you.”

pomes

bath;

And when I’m in a tub of my own
Vanilla-scented filth, hugging
My thighs & scraping my knees
With my teeth – I am happy.
When I am biting at my flesh,
Feeling my spine stretch
Like a mountain – when I am
Bone and war, when gravity
Pulls my nose towards the water,
And I am a threshold between
Microclimate – hot & cold bumps of real-life skin –
When nothing matters,
When the rolls of flesh don’t matter,
The prickle-hairs don’t matter,
The goosebumps, the blotches of red and white –
I am a mountain wrapped round my thighs,
And I love my body.
And I want no one
To share this moment with me.

-s.f. (2014)

babbles

Babbles: being afraid to die.

There is one thing for certain in our world: we all will die one day. There is no guarantee on how many days we have. It doesn’t matter if we’re young or old, religious or atheist, healthy or frail – we all are going to die and none of us have any idea when.
My grandfather passed away on Wednesday morning at 4:30am. He had a bone marrow problem – myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS. It’s a condition similar to aplastic anemia, in which the bone marrow does not produce cells properly. This can result in a critically low red and white blood cell count. No red cells? No blood. No white cells? No immune system. The condition can progress into leukemia and often has no known cause. Treatment involves frequent transfusions and even chemotherapy drugs. To be honest, the side-effects seemed worse than the condition itself.

The Friday before, he fell at home and fractured his hip. He didn’t survive the surgery and passed with my grandmother by his side. My brother and I arrived only minutes after his death; his hand was still warm when I touched him.

Continue reading “Babbles: being afraid to die.”

pomes

degrade

Sadness to the point of incoherency.
Sadness to the point of physiological degrade,
The point of “Where am I, why am I,
I don’t want to be.”
I don’t want to be.
To the point of stopping and starting,
Stopping and
Starting,
In the middle of thoughts and words
And Continue reading “degrade”

pomes

to my past self;

To the sixteen-year-old on the couch:

Allow me to introduce you to yourself;
You’re twenty-two and finished college,
Months away from moving out, and
Everybody’s proud of you, and
You have gotten help.
The boy who yelled & threw your phone
Is sad and ugly and alone,
And you are everything you never knew
You wanted.
You will meet boys
Who will take buses and trains, cross seas in planes
To see you;
And you will hate them all.
Though you are much stronger now,
You’re still learning how to crawl;

And that is the most important thing.

Nothing really matters now
From when you were sixteen;
You’ll wake up on Sunday mornings
From vivid, lucid dreams;
Those thoughts might still scare you,
But you are tough.
You are smart.
And yes, you have a heart –
It’s in there, I swear,
Though the fire has flickered out,

Just know that things are looking up.

s.f. (2016)

pomes

compartments

A collection of small compartments,
Missed appointments,
Messages, voicemails,
Disappointed humans
With sharp fingers and tongues;
Say goodbye to feeling young.
Once the train leaves, it’s gone,
A minute late and it’s gone,
At least until the next one
In the next compartment
With more missed calls
And missed appointments,
Concerned therapists, worried parents,
No more excuses.
No more sorry’s.
All goodbyes, pale-white lies –
Smile like you’re having fun.
In a crowd of bodies, having fun,

(Keep breathing,)

Missing appointments
Because you’re “better”
In a new compartment,
Having fun, until it’s gone.
Just smile like you’re alive –

Keep trying,

Pounding your fists against the walls
Of each prison square.
Break them down
Until life is real and flows,
Ripples and dominoes,
And you are whole –
Not a collection
Of missed appointments
In small compartments,
A mosaic of pale-white.

Transition

From gray to gold,
Lackluster to bold,
Compartmentalized
To whole.

s.f. (8/26/17)