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In my circles it is easier to acknowledge Privilege than it ever has been before.  We are, on whole, people who have a safety net of one sort or another.  Our pride may push back, and it may feel like hell but in the end we are not alone, and we know it.  We may be afraid, or broken, or scared, but through friends and family we have people who want (and who can) help keep us whole.

So I’m going to try out another of those power words.  Entitlement.

Right now I feel entitled beyond measure and beyond good sense.  It toys with my self-soothing mechanism of Buying Things, and it promises me a calm space.

When my dad was waiting for PET scan results to see the extent of his current cancer I left work early because I couldn’t stop crying. A friend of mine asked how I would spend the afternoon and said, “I’m going to go buy an iPad I’ve been waiting on.”  She laughed and commented that she had forgotten that is what I did.  I did.  I do.

My skin is doing that bullshit thing it does when the seasons change.  If  I wait, it will settle down but if I get a ($70) facial it will settle down faster.  I have a job now, I want a facial — and frankly a massage ($80)  and my nails ($30) done.  I have a job now and I have less silence so of course I still want to tend to myself.

I also have a car that sounds like I’ve never heard of a mechanic and I’m $2,000 into a $5,000 dental bill.  I have life that needs some handling right now.  Especially for me to make my car goal.

I went to a Cancer Summit hosted by Free to Breathe last weekend, and it was amazing.  It was crippling in the amount of NEED the lung cancer community has right now – the research for such a deadly disease is so amazingly underfunded.  The stigma and the shame that comes with lung cancer makes me ACHE.  In what other cancer is it assumed that you somehow brought it on yourself?  In what scenario would you choose to identify with another cancer instead just because you wanted compassion instead of contempt?

I bought an outfit that looks amazing at a five-story Macy’s in Pittsburgh.  It was a good sale and the cost wasn’t exorbitant but I got it the night after I got myself a surprise Cabaret ticket.  I was exhausted and so very sad.

I will support my friend in her annual drive to raise money for LLS.  John Green wants to buy wells in Ethiopia and Bill Gates promised money to match dollar to dollar if they raise $100,000 in 10 days (GO NERDFIGHTARIA GO!!!).  In the end I bought an album from a man I met a couple of time 15 years ago because he knows Brian and Brian knew John and John is dead.

On a scale of 1 to 10 I need a new phone at about 4.5.  My current phone is 2.5 years old and the home button is starting to get fussy. It will last until I’ve remedied the teeth cost but.  BUT.  I want it now.  It proves I’m ok.  It proves everything is going to be ok.  There is a new model of my phone out and I’ve never gotten one when they were just released – it would be fun.

Like the clothing.

Like the cabaret.

Like the iPad.

Like the massage.

Like the facial.

Feeling sad is a lot of work, so instead I will buy something sparkly and hope that it helps.  I don’t enjoy sitting with sadness so I’ll distract myself with thoughts of what I should get myself or the people that I love.

Or.  As I grow older, and approach growing wiser, I will see myself for all the things that I am and I will feel lost and rudderless.  I will go to sleep early and try again tomorrow.



A continuation from yesterday.

(a) – I talk about how my dad is preparing for cancer treatment, and he is old, and sick, and what I wish for him no clinician, or healer, or mystic, or madman can give him.

My dad was 42 when I was born, and I have spent my entire life afraid of the fact that (in that time) (in comparison to my mom) he was old. I remember clearly the first time at McDs when someone asked me if I was having a day out with grandpa. I never trusted that he would be alive when I got married.

All of that was balanced out over time with the fact that he was older but made of awesome, strong, kickass-ness. He smoked (clearly bad), but he wielded a chainsaw at 75, he drove my belongings all over hell and gone when I needed him to, he has incredibly comforting shoulders.

A decade ago he had a bout of lung cancer. He had surgery and rebounded wonderfully. About 3 years ago a series of medical stumblings began and they just have never really consistently let up. His age has caught him, and it sucks. He has a new cancer now, docs are going to see if they can make him glow in the dark.

What I wish for him. I’d like for him to have one safe corner where he can talk about whatever he is thinking about these days. He tells people things, but the great protector in him isn’t interested in standing down – so he keeps other parts hidden away. It is his prerogative, clearly, but the idea of a confessional, or postsecret or something that was 100% safe just seems nice.

I’d wish for him a clarity that modern medicine just doesn’t offer. He’s going into treatment soon, and it shouldn’t be “too bad” – because he is doing it I would like it to work as advertised, so that he can get back to … whatever comes next.

I’d wish for him a content heart, and I think it mainly is.

(b) I talk about how a lot of my widowhood is non-standard, and still I wonder if I get to write on my own blog about my dead husband because (damn girl) it has been 12 years. If my widowhood was a baby it would have gotten a damn phone of it’s own for Christmas.

My widowhood is non-standard. I was 28 & we didn’t have kids. It is non-standard in the most noticeable way because I have a great relationship with his family who love me and my husband and son the way they do. I’m grateful for that it a way that defies measure.

Still, I am a young widow who has continued to have a good life, is loved and loves back, and is generally an in-the-moment kind of person (ish. Most of the time. At least I try). So when these days roll around, I can’t help but think of the things & people I have lost since then. The things that he missed (iPhones, Call of Duty, etc…), and the strange ways the world plays out. Over 12 years you end up with a lot of Alternate Universe scenarios.

Most of the people I see routinely only know John through stories, because I moved after he died and created a new life. I’m fortunate to know people who have been through similar stories, and that is infinitely comforting (as much as it is heartbreaking because we really LOVED these people who are dead now). Still, after 12 years, it seems like it is something to be witnessed privately, because we leave so little room for the memorializing of those who are dead. We don’t have a Day of the Dead, and that is a real loss. There isn’t a person I know that couldn’t use one.

(c) I look at the sparkling number of 150 posts, and feel proud of that, and move on to tomorrow to see what it has in store.

Heh. 150 posts, for the number of times I’ve staked out a corner of the internet, I think that is the longest I’ve kept one blog going. Hee hee.

I’m about 35% sick right now, so the early parts of today have been pretty low key, and I’ve started reading a book. A physical, FICTION book!!! Harry Potter, because I’ve never read it. Maybe if I get through all of these I’ll take on Tolkien who I have also never read. Or not. Shouldn’t get too ahead of myself.

Happy Sunday all. For those of you who commented or reached out to me personally. Thank you, I felt comforted and surrounded by good company.