Friday, April 30, 2010

Can't take credit for this idea

I'm starting to realize that I don't update this as much as I'd like to.  Sometimes, I just have nothing interesting to say.  I decided to steal an idea from Chrissy Martin.  It's such a great idea and it makes me so mad that I didn't think of it first.  If you haven't checked out her blog (The Chronicles of Chrissy), you should.

I've decided to add a fun schedule to my blogging.  I'll use this if I have nothing good to say, or in addition to whatever else I decide to post.  Hopefully it will help me to post every day.

Here's what I have so far (schedule subject to change):
Monday: Inspirational/Non-Profit
Tuesday: Texts from Last Night
Wednesday: Spotlight on Music
Thursday: FML or MLIA
Friday: Quotes
Saturday: Favorites
Sunday: Random Fact

Let's start this out right with some Friday Quotes!!

** "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." -Henry Ford

** "Never look down on somebody unless you're helping him up." -Jesse Jackson

** "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 26, 2010

I miss you, miss you so bad

This school year I've lost three family members to cancer, and its taken a huge toll on me.  Cancer is such a horrible disease, and I wish that families never had to deal with it.  It's times like these where I remind myself why I do what I do with the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life.  It got so stressful at times, but in the end it was worth it.  And to know that my family was proud of me made it even better.  Even though my grandma never got to go because she was so sick, I know how proud she was of me.  She really wished she could have been there, and she was so happy when we gave her all of her Survivor gear. I knew she didn't have much time left, but seeing the word "survivor" on all of that stuff gave her hope and made her so happy.  All we ever wanted was for her to be happy, and I'm glad I could give her a reason to be happy even towards the end.

I thought about my grandma a lot today.  I've really been missing her lately.  I think its all starting to hit me.  I'm beginning to realize that I can't just go to Punta Gorda to visit her.  The quiet house and empty room make it all even more real.  I miss the laughs and the memories we created.  I miss all of the pictures she made my sister and me take.  I miss the vacations her and my grandfather would take us on.  I miss everything about her.  Sometimes I think I took the time I had with her for granted.  In August, when she was first hospitalized, I had some hope that she still had more time.  But in December, when she was hospitalized again, I knew that she wouldn't make it to the end of 2010.  And that was a really hard reality for me to swallow.  It kills me to know that I took these last few months for granted, and there's so many things I wish I would have done with her while I still had the chance.  I don't like to regret things, but there are so many things I regret.  I'm grateful to have had so many amazing memories with her, and I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life.  I know she'd want me to smile rather than cry right now, but I can't help all of the tears.  I miss her and love her so much, and I just wish I could go to her house one more time and listen to her ramble on and on about absolutely nothing. 

My mom has been so strong though all of this, but I know that she is hurting.  Seeing all of her facebook statuses about how she misses her mom make me so sad.  It hurts me to know that she's hurting like this. I know my grandma wasn't around much when my mom was younger, but I know she loved my mom (and I didn't have to read my grandma's letter to my mom to know that).  I think about what my mom is going through now and I know that one day, I'll be going through the same thing.  And that really, really scares me.  I've never been a family person but all of this has made me really value my family and make me appreciate them more.  

Cancer may have taken you away from me, but it cannot steal the love I have for you 

In Loving Memory
Aunt Mary [[10.30.2009]]
Aunt Mazal [[02.28.2010]]
Grandma Kiki [[04.15.2010]]

"I didn't get around to kiss you goodbye on the hand.  I wish that I could see you again.  I know that I can't.  I hope you can hear me 'cause I remember it clearly.  The day you slipped away was the day I found it won't be the same.  I had my wake up, won't you wake up.  I keep asking why.  And I can't take it.  It wasn't fake.  It happened you passed by.  Now you're gone..." -- Slipped Away by Avril Lavigne

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Can money buy a good time?

Most people know this but for those that don't, my family is in a real financial situation right now.  My dad lost his job back in January, and we have just enough money for necessities.  My parents never spoiled me with money, but they were able to help me out when I needed it.  For awhile, my parents didn't want me to have a job so I could focus on school.  They don't really feel that way now, but I've been so stressed out with school and my sorority that I didn't think I'd have enough time for a job.  Now that my dad is out of a job and I can't get financial support from my parents, I'm forced to look for a job.

My bank account is about to be wiped clean thanks to the mandatory checks I had to write for sorority recruitment.  When I tell friends and sisters that I don't have any money in my account, they just assume that I don't want to spend my money.  But what they don't realize is that I really don't have any money there.

Today my Big asked me to go to dinner.  Then it was ice skating and McDonald's.  When I let her know that I didn't have any money so I wouldn't be able to go, she said to come to her place at 7pm and bring $4 for pizza.  What about "I don't have any money" didn't make sense?!

This is only a recent example.  I can't leave out all of the times my friends want me to go to Ale House or Applebee's with them after Senate.  I used to go and just get water, but then I constantly got questioned and bugged about it.  At first I'd lie and say I wasn't hungry, but when my stomach began to growl the truth came out.  I told my friends I didn't have any money and even though they offered to pay, I had to decline.  I know they offered, but I always felt bad.  So then I just stopped going with them.  I feel like I'm missing out on a lot, and it really sucks.  But what can I do?

Everyone I know always wants to hang out and go somewhere that requires me to spend money.  I just want to hang out and do something that doesn't require money - watching a movie at home, going to the park, going to the FGCU gym or waterfront.  I know these things sound so simple, but for me it's the little, simple things in life that matter the most.  I don't think you need to have money to have a good time.  All you need is good company.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rest in Paradise Grandma

These past few days have been tough.  Waking up in the morning has been difficult, and putting a smile on my face has been impossible.  But with the help of my amazing family, sisters, and friends, I've been getting through it.  The text messages, facebook posts and messages, and the replies on twitter have meant the world to me.

Today was my grandma's funeral, and today was the day that I realized she's gone.  It's still so hard to believe, but seeing her in the casket made it so real.  My grandma looked amazing today; she looked the way she did months ago.  They did an amazing job filling out her face and making her look like she did before her sickness went downhill.  Looking at her was hard because it made me realize that she physically won't be around anymore, but I know that her spirit lives on.  Cancer may have taken her life, but it cannot take away all of the amazing memories and the love I have for her.  My grandma fought until the end, and I admire her strength through it all.

Grandma would have been so happy with the service.  It was perfect.  She would have been even happier that all of the ladies in her Red Hats group showed up in their red and purple outfits to say goodbye to their Queen Mother.  She loved being part of the Red Hats and she loved being the Queen.  I was there the day she resigned due to her declining health, and it hurt her so much to have to do that.  That group was the one thing keeping her occupied here in Florida and keeping her happy when her family wasn't around.  She must love knowing that the Red Hats and her family all came together to celebrate and remember her life.

I've been working on a letter since she passed away, and I was hoping that it would have been done by the funeral so it could have gone in her casket.  But it wasn't perfect, and I didn't want to rush it.  When its done, I'll make a trip up to Englewood to read it to her...and then I'll post it on here.  There's so much I wish I had said when I had the chance.  And I regret not being able to see her more before she passed away.  But I know she loved having us there, and I know how happy she was when Alyssa & I surprised her by visiting.  Even though I never said it much, I love my grandma so much, and it kills me to know that she's no longer (physically) here.

I know she's not suffering and hurting anymore, and that's all I could ever want.  She's resting in paradise, and I know she's smiling right now 

[[ If the people we love are stolen from us, the way we have to live on is to never stop loving them.  Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever. ]]

Thursday, April 15, 2010

For some moments in life there are no words

Rest In Peace Grandma Kiki
[[08.14.1938 - 04.15.2010]]

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.  Love leaves a memory no one can steal."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Some of my recent posts have been a bit depressing, so I figured I'd change things up tonight.  I'm going to post some quotes that mean a lot to me.  Enjoy!

 People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.  If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.  If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.  If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.  What you spend years creating, others could destroy over night.  Create anyway.  If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.  The good you do today will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.  Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.  In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.  [[Mother Teresa]]

 Things will get better.  You just have to believe that they will.

 Don't be afraid that your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.

 All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.  [[Walt Disney]]

 If you run, make sure you're running towards something.  Never away.

 We are powerful because we have survived.  No pity.  No shame.  No silence.

♥ Stop waiting for things to happen.  Go out and make them happen.

 Beautiful things can come from the dark. 

 Write. Tell. Create. Sing. Imagine. Share. Own. Believe. Continue. YOUR STORY. [[To Write Love on Her Arms]]     

 Our letters say we're sisters.  Our hearts say we're friends.  [[ Happy (Belated) Founder's Day, Chi Omega!!  Keeping it classy for 115 years! ♥ XΩ  ]]

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Memories Make the Pain Okay

In the past, the condition of my grandmother was pretty uncertain.  She's been in and out of the hospital since August and even spent a month in a nursing home/rehab facility.  One day, the doctors said they were doing much better.  A few days later, they said things were going downhill and that she didn't have much longer.  In February, she was given 3 more months.  Not too long ago, nurses said she wasn't "far enough along" to go to hospice.  Yesterday, she was given a week left to live...if that.

I've always been uncertain about how long my grandmother had to live, and to be honest I thought that she was going to die months ago.  And though I never had hope that her condition would get better, but I never thought she'd get so bad so fast that she wouldn't make it until the end of April.  When I heard from my mom that she had about a week left, I realized that there was no escaping the reality of the situation.  My grandmother is dying, and it's going to happen sooner than I thought.  If I could spent every single day at her bed side, I would.  But I can't.  And that's one of the hardest things for me to deal with.  So tomorrow on Easter I will be going to visit her, just like I've done on every single holiday since August.

During the luminaria ceremony at Relay for Life, I took time to reflect on all of the amazing memories I had with my grandmother.  There were so many of them that they all flooded my mind at once, and it was hard to get a grip on them all.  Lake George, New Hampshire and black forest cake, Niagra Falls, amusement parks, adventures around Staten Island, spoiling me like crazy, holidays, letting me sleep in the spare bedroom with her on Christmas so that I didn't see Santa or get scared, playing with Pop Pop's trains even when he said not to, and countless others that I can't even think about right now.

When her time comes, I won't think about all the times we visited her at the hospital or surprised her at her house when she was sick.  I'll remember the times that I mentioned above; the irreplaceable memories that made me incredibly happy.  I'm beginning to see how important memories and pictures can be, especially when someone is no longer with you.  It's a hard reality to swallow, but if you remember the good times and not the bad, then the heartache and tears have value.  Memories make the pain okay.

It's hard to even imagine a world without her.  She's not even dead yet and it's all I can think about.  I may not have always shown it, but I love my grandmother.  It's hard to say what's killing her, the cancer or the complications, but regardless, I will continue to fight for a cure.

I love you Grandma Kiki <3