birthday countdown: 2 days.
oh, dear. the birthday weekend did not get off to a good start.
i didn't make it in to work today. i felt just craptastic when i got up. crying yourself to sleep often does that. and i debated if i should drag my sorry ass in anyway, because it's bad to skip work. but i couldn't do it. couldn't do it. i didn't even want to face myself in the mirror.
and what set all this off, you ask? as well you might. *sigh* when i got home last night, there were birthday cards waiting for me. one from the 'rents, one from the 'rents' cat (don't ask), and one from my grandmother. this last served to reduce me to tears.
it wasn't a bad card - on the contrary, it was a sweet thoughtful gesture. and see, that's exactly why i started crying. it took her a great effort to get a card, and sign it. she's losing a little bit as she goes along, despite having come so far back from her stroke. talking, reading, writing - all these actions take all her strength. she wasn't even able to make out the birthday check herself, because she can't write out numbers and words very well. my mom wrote it out, and gram signed it.
i was an utter mess. weeping, sobbing, feeling like the Bad Granddaughter - i don't call or write much, and i visit less often than that. and she still makes such an effort! *flagellates self*
even now, even 6 or 7 years after the fact, i can't make peace with the fact that my grandmother isn't the same person. or, she is. she is, really. the same woman i've loved all my life is in there. her body refuses to cooperate these days. and i can't come to terms with that. rather than accept her limitations, i turn away. it feels so deeply and intrinsically wrong to do so, but i can't seem to find any other way to be. this makes me feel like mud.
so it's late, and i'm hysterical, and i need to get out of my head. so what do i do? you got it. called every single person i knew who wouldn't take my head off with a 2x4 for calling so late. god love them - The Boy talked to me for a half hour or so, offering a very sympathetic ear (kind soul), earl called repeatedly til he got thru and was able to make me laugh, and ChicaBean ... she is my Gibraltar. really and truly, i do not know what i would do without this woman in my life. thank you all, thank you in big huge bushelfuls to each and every one of you. thank you for telling me that i am not a bad granddaughter, that life *is* tough, that watching people we love disappear slowly is miserable, that we *all* go thru this at some point, and we all handle it in our own ways. thank you for saying that it is tough to write and call, that there is no such thing as a perfect or expected reaction. thank you for saying 'you need to learn to drive the damn car, so you *can* go visit more often!' thank you for reminding me that life is always a work in progress.
whoofdy. so i felt like crap on toast this morning, still carrying some of that guilt with me. i decided to go back to sleep for a few hours. this was a bad tactical error. i ended up in that horrible cycle of having a bad dream, waking up to realize it's a dream, finding that you didn't wake up but were still in the dream which was now worse, waking up... you get the idea. it was another variation on the 'apartment being robbed' dream. it came up, i'm sure, for any number of reasons. one: i was robbed a few years ago. on. my. birthday. the timing brings it up again. two: i was upset about family stuff, so my dreams made a fiasco out of my own home. three: i had left my front door unlocked last night. nothing bad happened, and the door was closed when i got up. but oddly, my intermittent sixth sense always gives me that dream when i've forgotten to close a window or lock a door.
the dream was so bad... i woke up to see a blank space where i normally see my microwave from the bed. things were broken, moved around, stolen... all the electronic stuff was gone. the digi cam was there in some versions, not in others. in one, they stole the top of my kitchen table, but left the legs. in another, they took the china cabinet (which was my grandmother's); other times they left the cabinet and just took everything in it. in most of them, my new couch was shredded. oddly, all the other times i've had this dream, it was daytime (in the dream). this time, it happened at night. i'm not sure why the change this time.
so that was the crappy start to my day. despite the fact that i still felt horrible, i decided to work the show tonight. this was a good choice. things started to improve.
i don't care that it rained buckets and lightening threatened to blow us out. i don't care that my butt was soaked. i don't care that it dripped on me the whole time i was working. i got to see Lyle Lovett. whee hee! he and his Large Band played a two and a half hour set. yup, set. no opening band, no intermission. straight thru, straight up, straight ahead. and it was wonderful. :)
i was working down front at the start, and was mere feet from the stage. he is cute, in an off kilter kind of way. and what a band! i never thought i'd say this - that was the best cello solo i've ever heard. after we were released, i bought a concert t shirt (which i never do, but i had to - 'That's Right, You're Not From Texas - But Texas Wants You Anyway') and bob found me a box seat about 25 rows from the stage. we're never supposed to be in the boxes. but i think it was a birthday present of sorts.
Lyle and the band played country, country swing, jazz, rock, and straight up gospel. the tenor was stunning. his voice must have been coming from somewhere down past his toes. and Francine, one of the backup singers, did a scat number that was amazing. i have been looking forward to this show all summer, and i was not disappointed. :)
and we did have a little party afterwards, but not on the deck (see above - rain, and lots of it). we went for Chinese food, and then went to see Eddie the Greek, who owns a bar down there. schmoozer that he is, he gave me several birthday kisses and bought us all a round, with which he toasted my health and eternal youth. schmoozer. :)
okay... so the weekend is improving.