Children's Journals

This is my journal, with posts mainly about myself. If you want to see posts specifically about Maia or Liam, check out the links to their journals under the "My Interests" section on the right side of my blog page.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010


Gladys Ogbin and Liam, May 2007
Early this morning, my paternal grandmother, Gladys Ogbin, passed away unexpectedly. I had only just found out 12 hours earlier that she was suffering kidney failure and would be put on dialysis. I was just squaring myself up to the fact that her time could be over soon and that I really needed to try to visit her more. As mentioned in my previous post, I was already suffering guilt at how little time I had spent with my maternal grandfather, Oscar. I hadn't seen my grandmother/Gladys since May, and hadn't seen my paternal grandfather, Robert Ogbin (same as my dad), in...well...I can't even remember. Shamefully it may have been a year or more. He's been in a nursing home for a few years, suffering from Parkinson's and dementia. I hadn't visited partly because it's not all that close, and partly because I know he really doesn't know I am there. But what kind of excuse is that? I should still have visited, and I could have at least gone for the benefit of my grandmother/Gladys, who was there on a daily basis watching over him.
Both my paternal grandparents had been admitted to the hospital over the weekend. My grandfather/Robert supposedly had pneumonia, and my grandmother/Gladys was jaundiced and feeling poorly, and blood tests showed some issues that needed to be addressed. I was working on figuring out when I could start visiting more often, and the things I wanted to talk about, to ask.
And then I got the call this morning. Grandmom had passed away early in the morning. They hadn't even gotten a chance to try the dialysis. She was gone. I had most definitely missed out on my chance here. The last one of the three we expected to go was the first to go. Without even a chance to say goodbye really. And I experienced my first real sense of loss. Those first stabbing pains of realization that I will never, EVER have the chance of seeing this person alive again. It almost seems surreal, even having seen her lying there in the if maybe it wasn't really her.

And I know that in the next few weeks, I will be losing both my grandfathers for sure...and I will have to endure that, too. I knew I would eventually lose my grandparents...people don't live forever. And I was prepared (as one can be) for the loss of either of my grandfathers, at some point. But to have all three go in such close proximity...

Oh god, I can't even figure out what I want to say anymore. I keep typing and deleting my thoughts. I feel like this moment deserves something deep and profound, but I can't seem to write that way. I don't know what to say. I can just be...I have lost my grandmother, and I am sad.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I, like all people, have lots of regrets about lots of stuff. Some is stupid stuff. Some are a bit more substantial. Some have me crying over and over again, causing me to stare through blurry eyes at my laptop screen while trying not to be overheard by my coworkers around me.
I am losing my grandfather. He was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, and over that past year it's slowly been stealing him away. He is nearing the end of his time with us, and I find myself hurting with regret. I think of all those family get-togethers where I said my hellos, asked a few questions, and then drifted over to my cousins or sisters, where I felt I had more in common and the conversations were easier. I know that's what happens, that I am not the only one that does that. But now I am angry at myself about it. I should have spent more time talking to my grandfather. Telling him about the happenings in my life. Find out what is going on with him. Find out more about him, what he liked to do, etc. What DID he like to do? I know he loved cooking. We used to go to his house for Thanksgiving dinners, and the food was always awesome. I remember as a child going to his house and helping him make pasta. I don't mean taking a package of hard pasta and throwing it into a pot. I mean Grandpop making his own pasta dough and rolling it out (or extruding it, whatever that process is), and hanging the spaghetti strands up on line to dry in the kitchen. My sisters and I would help by eating some of the raw pastas.
What else did he like to do? I don't really know. I know he traveled, at least some. I remember my mom mentioning things he would bring back from some trips. But I don't really know if it was a lot of traveling, or just the basic traveling we all do. I think he was in something military-related, but I couldn't really tell you what.

I feel like I wasted my time with him. I selfishly told him about some of the things going on with me during those family get-togethers, and didn't even take the time to find out much about him. And soon he will be gone. He is a shadow of who he used to be, confined to a bed and looking like he weighs less than I do now. He still had his humor when I talked to him this weekend, but that almost makes it harder, knowing that he is fully aware of what is going on. Maybe it would be easier if he was lying in a stupor, clueless. But then I wouldn't even have a chance to find out at least something more about him. Darn it, even now I am berating myself for not asking him more things when I visited him this weekend. Not finding out a little bit more about this wonderful man who helped give birth to and raise my mother. This man who I have a little bit of in me. What part of him do I have? What traits are like his traits? I am SO not ready to lose him. I want more time. I need more time.

I love you, Grandpop. And I am sorry.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blood, blood, everywhere

Okay, well maybe not EVERYWHERE. Although it looked like it at first. All over the sheets. On the bed frame. On Emily…

Oh…what I am talking about? Hehheh. Sorry. No, it’s not a slasher flick. I am talking about Liam’s night-time nosebleed. I had just put him down for bed, and was downstairs for less than 3 minutes (getting ready to finally start some Pennsic sewing) when I heard him call to me in some distress. Sighing, I went back into his room, asking him what was wrong. “Boogers, Mommy. Lots of boogers”, he informed me in a teary voice. I sighed again at how dramatic my son could be over a runny nose and fetched a tissue. Upon handing it to him, though, I noticed dark spots on the sheets in the light of the nightlight. Crap. Sure enough, turning on the light revealed that he had a nosebleed. There were splotches all over the sheets and he had managed to smear it all over his face and both arms, and had rubbed it all over Emily’s face (she is his stuffed ermine…a white weasel for those unfamiliar). He had even managed to get some of the bars of his modified crib. I spent the next half hour cleaning up, as it took a while for the bleeding to stop, and I had to comfort him and give him an ice-pop to help apply ice to the area (or as close as possible) and to give him something to keep his mind occupied, while I changed the sheets on his bed. Then it was back to bed, and I then had to scrub the blood stains out of the sheets and Emily (note: cold water and rubbing salt into the stain works great apparently). And now I am finally done.

So much for getting some sewing done tonight.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Why the rush?

On Saturday I was driving home, coming back from yoga in Medford. I came up to the light at Route 38, and as I approached it, I was faced with the dilemma of what lane to get in (as I always am). Both the left lane and the middle lane went straight, but the left lane also allowed left turns onto 38. There was one car in the left lane already (no signal though), and two in the middle lane, one of which I had been behind most of the way and was rather slow. If I got into the left lane, I might be able to pass that car since it would probably start off really slow. But if the car in the left lane was turning left, then I would probably get stuck there waiting for oncoming traffic to pass before the car in front of me could turn. I picked the left lane, and when the light turned green, the car in front of me sped across the intersection, and the two cars in the middle lane slowly churned into action. I was across the intersection before both of them, no problem.

Fast forward to me coming home from work today. I again came up to a light, with three lanes, all of which go straight through the light, but first the right and then the middle lane go away, coming down to one lane. I usually get in either the left or middle lane, as I hate trying to pass in the right lane, when it's main purpose is to allow people to turn right into the medical facility immediately after the light. And I have to end up in the left lane anyway. Yet, every time I come up to this light, I have to decide which lane is the better one to be in...which has the potential of moving the fastest. And if I choose the wrong one, I get annoyed. And even if I choose the faster one, sometimes there is someone that comes shooting along in that far right lane, past everyone. And I find myself thinking "hey, they were behind me....they aren't supposed to cut in line!"
And then I I much better? I also try to push it a little...perhaps not as rudely...but I do what I do in the name of speed. So that I can get to my destination just a few seconds faster than I would have if I had chosen the wrong lane. Or, god forbid, I might actually arrive a minute or two later, if I had the misfortune to not get around someone slow.

A minute or two. 120 seconds. 120 SECONDS. What is that really, in the long span of our lives? Why is it so important that we gain those few seconds/minutes? Is that time really that precious? Is there really anything to gain by getting someplace that much faster? Really? 10 seconds? 20 seconds? Heck, 5 whole minutes? And most of the time we are driving a little bit less than safely (dare I say recklessly) to accomplish this. So, gaining 30 seconds is worth the risk we took in trying to slide our way in front a line of cars in the slow lane right before getting off at our exit. Why? Why is it so important? Why does it matter? Everything seems like this. Got to hurry hurry hurry. No time to stop, no time to think, no time to enjoy or care about those around us. When did rushing become so darn important? So much so that even 5 seconds seems worthwhile? Why the rush? WHY?

Here's hoping that I can continue to ask myself this every time I get antsy about what lane to be in, and how quickly I can get around that slow person I see several cars ahead. That I will come to the conclusion that a few seconds really doesn't matter...and that that is all I really am saving.