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Isn’t This Crap Supposed To Get Easier?

Guys, I really need to get back on top of this blogging thing. I’ve been such a slacker over the summer. All that outdoor drinking, and frying myself like a giant slab of poolside bacon. I guess I also haven’t really had much to say lately that I feel I can express effectively. So many deep thoughts about life, and love, and waffles and stuff. My mind is all over the place lately. It’s a problem. Most of all, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my brother. I sort of thought that after two months had passed since he died, I’d think about him a little less every day, but that’s ending up not being the case. I think about him all the time. I mean, when I’m not thinking about food, and the upcoming fabulous Autumn boot season. And puppies. I like puppies.

Anyway, you know what sucks about losing a brother? Besides pretty much everything? Before Jon died, I never burst into tears randomly in public. It’s a little inconvenient, since I don’t normally carry Kleenex, and it isn’t long sleeve season. Not even a sweater sleeve to wipe away surprise snot. Unacceptable, Sometimes, I really think I’m ok. I’m in a great mood. Life is good. Then out of nowhere- In the middle of the work day; At Spin class; Shopping for red meat-  It just hits me. I will never, ever see my brother again. Never hear his laugh again. Never hear him call me a giant pain in the ass again. I think back to the afternoon I went to see him in the hospital and we talked and walked and ate Frosties. I think back to his last few weeks here, taking him for a Taco Bell Mountain Dew slushie. (Don’t judge me. It’s what he wanted.) (Also, Mexican pizzas are delicious. Don’t pretend they aren’t.) I remember our last family barbecue, sitting next to him with my two other brothers, watching him scarf down a steak, and looking at him that night and thinking maybe there’d be a miracle. That maybe the doctors were wrong. I guess that’s just who I am. Even when all hope is lost, I still always keep just a little. I’m still trying to decide if that’s a good quality or a bad quality. And then, I remember his last days in the nursing home, sitting next to him as he stared off blankly, just being with him, with my hand on his arm. Then, finally, I think about how I’d give anything in the world to experience any of those moments just one more time. It’s sad the tiny moments with our loved ones that we take for granted. I’d give up everything just for one more day of having my brother tell me I’m a giant pain in the ass.

People always say this gets easier with time, but I don’t see it. I don’t feel it. Not yet. Not even a little bit. Fuckin’ cancer. You’re a dick.

Not you guys. You aren’t dicks. I was talking to cancer. You know what I meant.

I’ll write way less depressing blogs one of these days, I promise.

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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Cancer, Humor, Life

 

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My Brotha From The Same Motha

Last night, the world lost an amazing human being, and I lost my older brother, Jon.

A few things have occurred to me here:

1.) I don’t think I’ve ever really felt pain before. I mean sure, I’ve lost people, I’ve been dumped, I’ve eaten the last of the microwave popcorn and forgotten to get more… But this. This is something completely different. There is an actual physical pain in my heart that I’ve never experienced before. It’s like Jon died and left behind a tiny little man kicking the shit out of my heart, Bruce Lee-style. When they coined the term ‘brokenhearted’, I guess I know now what they really meant.

2.) The mind is an amazing thing. Memories I thought had long faded are suddenly back. Listening to 8-track tapes in my parents’ room and pretending to be The Chipmunks (He was Alvin. I was Theodore. There was no third chipmunk. We were enough.); The time he slashed his leg open pretending to be Freddy Krueger. Our family road trip out west when he ordered the Short Stack of pancakes at every single restaurant we stopped at along the way. Listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 together, and waiting for Van Halen’s ‘Jump!’ to be number one again for the 12th week in a row. Listening to Pointer Sisters records in the basement. Jon introducing me to the scary German music that is Rammstein. Jon’s karaoke version of ‘Big Balls’, and subsequent drunken fall off the stage at my other brother’s wedding. Watching ‘The Breakfast Club’ so much we could recite every single word. It’s either a cruel joke or an incredible blessing the things you remember when someone’s gone. I haven’t yet decided which.

3.) I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to NOT have three older brothers. I don’t know how NOT to have holidays that include Jon piling enough food on his plate to feed a small country. I don’t know how NOT to call him to fix my laptop because I’m horrible with computers. I don’t know how to NOT to say “Awwwww Jon!” in unison with my two other brothers when Jon rips one at family gatherings. (We’re a gassy bunch.) Nothing will be the same. Ever. I know people say change is good, but frankly, this change, for lack of a better term, sucks.

4.) I’m pissed. Royally. Pissed that there are people who are allowed to live long, healthy, full lives, who are far less deserving than Jon. He was genuine, he had an amazing soul, and one of the greatest hearts of anyone I know. The fact that he never had the chance to fall in love, get married, have kids, and grow old just pisses me off. There’s supposed to be a reason for everything, but for the life of me, I can’t understand why my incredible, smart, and big-hearted brother was taken at just 40 years old.

But in the end, as angry, as confused, and as overwhelmed with sadness as I am, nothing will change the fact that he’s gone. I have no choice but to go on thinking the world and this life are simultaneously incredible and tragic, to be thankful for every single moment, and to pay far more attention to things I overlook most days- The greenness of the grass; The taste of Friday night margaritas; Sitting on the couch after a long day at work; Riding my bike down a deserted trail; How good it feels to drive down a country road with the window down and the music blasting. Because these are all everyday miracles. I don’t think a single day will go by for the rest of my life that I won’t think about and miss my big brother. And I hope I don’t. Because he deserves to be remembered.

Love you always, J.A.

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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in Cancer, Life

 

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Santa, You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Bag

Earlier today, someone asked me what I want for Christmas. Most people could probably answer this question without too much thought, right? But tonight, for some reason, I’m still struggling with this. I mean, not that I don’t want stuff. I like stuff just as much as the next girl. Especially boots. It may be a borderline boot fetish. But I guess when it comes right down to it, the stuff I REALLY want isn’t as easy to obtain as heading to the nearest Kohl’s. Nope. I’m a little more high maintenance than that, I’m afraid.

First off, I’d like to never have to shave my legs again. Sure, it’s not so bad having a nice set of fur-covered legs to keep me warm in these frigid Chicago temperatures, but unfortunately it makes it difficult to pick up men at the local gym while wearing capris or shorts. I suppose I could possibly attract a Wookiee or a Sasquatch or something, but they don’t seem like they’d be very good dinner companions. I’d like my body hair in general taken care of, really. It’d be a hell of a time saver. I’ll even take care of my own increasingly abundant nose hair. I feel this is a decent compromise.

Secondly, I’d like a person. Not just any person. A go-to person, A best friend. One person I feel like I can completely be myself with. Someone I can tell anything to, with whom I can completely let down my guard, who will tolerate my vodka and snack habit, who will take my insecure and overemotional moments and love me for them just as much as my moments of joy, love, and hilarity. Someone who’ll hug me and tell me everything will be ok, and make me believe it. If he’ll spoon me and kiss me goodnight on the forehead, that’d be pretty cool, too. Also, rub my feet. And take out the garbage. Not at the same time, though. I don’t want any various garbage juices to somehow end up on my feet. That’d be gross.

Third, (and this is a biggie, Santa, so listen up) I’d like my brother to not have to fight cancer any more. Because it’s stupid. In addition, although I’d probably never say this to their faces, because I’m the bratty little sister, and it’s hard to talk to them when they’re giving me wedgies and swirlies and such, I want to bonk ALL of my big brothers on the head and make them realize how badly I wish they’d all take better care of themselves, and recognize that I don’t want to ever have to be here without them. Sure, sometimes they’re a huge pain in the ass, especially when they get into stupid fights over The Walking Dead and Rock Of Ages, but they are mine, and without them, I’m not quite sure what I’d do. Idiots. I’m probably going to get beat up for this at the next family gathering.

I’d like to be able to talk to my dad again. In a few days he’ll have been gone four years. Man, I can’t believe it’s been that long. You know, sometimes I talk to him at night, but he never says anything back, which is ok because I’m used to rambling with no response, kinda like I’m doing right now, but it’d be cool if he’d give me a, “Good Lord, shut it already and go to sleep.” or something. That’d probably totally scare the shit out of me in the middle of the night, though. It’s weird, after all this time, I still remember exactly what his voice sounded like. I miss that. I guess you never really realize how much you miss someone’s voice like that until they’re gone.

I’d like the Monchichi I had as a child, and also my Strawberry Shortcake doll that blew strawberry-scented kisses. because I loved them; And even though I’m supposed to be mature and shit, I like toys.

I want time to slow the hell down. Although 38 is pretty kickass, what with how much more confident and happy I am than I was 10 years ago, I’m totally not digging the random inch-long hairs I find growing out of my forehead, nor how I get up and walk into the other room and completely forget why I’m there.

And last, but definitely not least, I want to be able to eat cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and never gain any weight. In fact, the more cupcakes I eat, the skinnier I get. Whoa. Whoa. Wait… Whoa.

I totally just blew my own mind. I have to stop now.

But seriously, Santa… I hope you wrote this shit down, fat man.

Sorry I called you fat. I didn’t mean it. You’re very svelte for an older man. Yup. I’m just gonna go now.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2013 in Humor, Life

 

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