When I started writing this, it was still March 10th. Ugh how is it past midnight. I'm going to have to go to bed and finish this tomorrow.
I'm having a moment, because my FB memories came up today and showed that it was this day in 2009 that Haku had his first surgery. And of course it was, because he had that first seizure around March 8th, the day my Gran started to go downhill really fast. I remember that day—that minute—so clearly because, looking back, it seems like my entire life split into two sections the moment Haku jumped up and had that first seizure. Then he went into the hospital. Then Gran went into the hospital and then she died in April. And then my Dad died in August.
And I've been reading all of my old LJ entries from that Spring and Summer, trying to see if there were any signs, or if I had any intuitions that would have told me just how drastically things were going to change. And the disturbing thing is, I feel like I did.
Because a few times I wrote “I wonder what will be different this time next year” and “I wonder who will be new to me and who will be gone (no one, I hope!)” or variations on those themes.
And that day started the entire Trauma Conga Line, where everyone in the family was like, “Okay, enough – that really has got to be the end of the bad stuff, right?” And it wasn't, and then my Dad died.
So, now Lao Shir has died, and Haku had surgery on the same exact day that he did in '09, and I am sitting here losing my mind thinking, “This is how it starts.” I can't stop imagining that, a few years down the road I'll be reading this
entry, tsk'ing over my clueless past self who had no idea how bad it was going to get.
Doesn't that sound neurotic? It does, but here's something I wrote
shortly after my Dad died: It's real hard going back and reading journal entries from even just a few weeks ago, harder to read the ones from a month ago. I can hardly fathom that I was happy back then; that I had no clue whatsoever what was right around the corner. Still sad for losing Gran, I was also getting on with it, doing my schoolwork, excited about writing, getting ready to go to China, doing Hula shows with my friends and having a spectacular summer.
I always knew—and feared—that life turns on a dime. But knowing something is entirely different from living it. When you live it, you come to see the world differently; someplace that is not safe, where the worst possible scenario is indeed around every corner and behind every door. You start to expect nothing less. I sort of knew it ten years ago when Grampa died suddenly and with no warning, and I always dreaded it ever happening again, but this illogical part of me thought, “Well, that already happened once. What are the chances?” I thought that the fears I always had that every phone call, every noise, every slamming door was the worst thing I could imagine were irrational fears and I was neurotic. But I wasn't neurotic; I was correct.
“I wasn't neurotic, I was correct.” That's how I feel now, like I'm right, and it just has to keep getting worse, until something unthinkable happens. There's that part of me that's like, “Well, now that I've put it out there, it can't, right?” And the other part that says, “OMG, now I've put it out there, that's like inviting it.” There's the rational part that says, “Don't be a twit, you literally have no control over anything,” but the rest of my brain tells that zen bitch to take every seat in the house, because that's exactly the problem.
(Of note: I realized while peeing today that my novel is pretty much about this fear. Main Character is so much of a fearful f'ing control freak that he can't accept that some things are out of his hands. He takes it to the extreme and changes things on a like, 4th dimension level because he has lost the ability to can when it comes to reality and death. Oh my god. he is my fantasy of my most fearful and most powerful self. Jeez.)
And yes, I know that I should probably be talking to someone about this, you know, someone who is not LJ and who is a professional, but the one therapist I contacted, though she seemed nice, worked out of a clinic that got into huge trouble because the main doctor was dealing drugs out of there, so. And like, what is a therapist going to tell me that I don't already know? It's not in my control. The intrusive thoughts aren't rational. Blah dicker blah. But are they really irrational? Because past experience says “No, you're on the right track here, and terrible things are about to happen.”
What also sucks is that I feel like I'm short-changing Lao Shir out of the mourning she deserves, because I'm too busy being afraid of how much worse
things are going to get, that it's overshadowing how much I actually miss her. Right before she died, we were FB messaging about how we were going to get together for lunch once she was out of the hospital. I asked if I could send her anything: books, music, a gift card for some movies she could watch on her phone. But she said that, with all the tests she was having, she hardly had time to read or watch anything. But that she would love some flowers. So I sent her flowers, the kind you can take home and plant. (They got lost in the mix and she never got them.) A few days before she died, I sent her a link to the “Girl On Fire” video because, I said, it made me think of her. She never answered and I started to worry.
I had called Gold Dragon to tell him she was in the hospital (he's not on FB) and he kept saying, “It's terrible she's in the hospital, but remember, she's the strongest person we know. She's beaten everything else, and she'll beat this, too.” When I called him to tell him she had passed, he was honestly thunderstruck. And angry. He really thought she was coming home. We all did.
One time, Gold Dragon and I were talking about Lao Shir, one of those times when the cancer had returned, and he had just seen her for lunch a few weeks before. He said he knew she was going to beat it again, because, “it's the light in her eyes, or something about how they shine. Her eyes are really bright.” That really stuck with me. I told her, next time I saw her, of his comment, and she was so pleased. After that, we called her Alohilani: Heavenly Light. She thought that was delightful.
And now we're talking about what to wear to her memorial, since we're going together, and maybe Empress too – should we wear our Kung Fu clothes to honor her? Should we be formal? Do we bring food, who else will be there, who else will show up in Kung Fu clothes, do we bow like in class? Or what? And it boggles my mind—and my heart—that we have to consider these things now. She was supposed to come home. She was going to go back to teaching T'ai Chi.
This was maybe coming for a long time. She had multiple myeloma, diagnosed ten years ago. Usually with that, you get about a year, maybe two. She got ten. But in those ten years, I think we all thought, “Obviously she keeps winning the battle.” It was heart failure, though, this time. At 60, so, you know: very young.
* * *
Okay so I wrote that last night, and I'm trying to see if, by the light of day, this looks any different. Kind of, maybe. Like, rationally, I realize that Haku has actually had 8 surgeries, and only one of them (the one on March 10th) was followed by that entire “life falling apart / death and mourning” year. All the other ones were just bank-breaking. Thinking of it that way really doesn't make the anxiety up and quit, but it takes the edge off, I guess. I'm always, always worried about losing my Mom. And since having Callum, thinking of that kind of thing is a place I really bar myself from going. My brain kind of can't – but it always lurks there like background radiation. For any parent, I guess.
I know that Haku doesn't have a long time after something like this. I visited him today and talked to one of the vets. While all the others were like, “Well, let's wait to see the biopsy,” she said, “Yeah, we're pretty sure it's cancer.” It remains to be seen if it's the really aggressive kind that only gives you a few more months, or if it's the slower kind. It's so obvious to me that it started last July. I kept bringing him to the vets every month, but his blood tests were consistently awesome and no one could feel anything in there. Except me; I felt it all the time, every time I pet him. No one else did, though.
And Sano is 15 ½. So like, I get it; I know my dogs won't be around forever or even for a few more years. That time of not having to think about it is over.
So I don't know, this whole thing has me so anxious and depressed. I'm reading back through all of my 2009 entries, when Haku and Sano got sick, and Gran died, and my Dad died, and my one brother got sick and my uncle died and then my other brother got cancer (but he's better now.) (Although, sadly we don't really talk anymore.) And I just kept saying, “I wish something good would happen!”
And like, so many good things did happen, and it's not like I didn't notice them. I mean, HUGE things happened, like Callum, and getting an agent that I like; things I've wanted since forever have happened in the last 3 years. So I'm not ungrateful, I just wish I could kill this anxiety that the worst possible thing is around every corner.
Another thing I keep noticing in those entries is how much Kung Fu helped me. Like, so much.
Kept me sane on some days. I miss it unbearably, and nothing has come along to take its place. (And I can't afford to join any program either, anyway, so.) I mean, I miss my KF family and I really wish it could be like that again, all of those people I loved and still love (and still see, semi-regularly, too. But we're not together 2 times a week, like we were.) It's not like i'm the only one who left the kwoon, and I can just go back, even if I could afford it. Everyone left. There's no one left there out of our group. I keep telling Gold Dragon, “Please decide to teach Kung Fu, please open a school!” only half joking. But, you know, real life.
Whew, what an entry. I hate that I just dumped all of this out. This is not what I wanted for my LJ, so much angst.
And as usual, I really should wrap this up because it's about time for Callum to get up. Well, 3:30 or 3:45 or so, but I still have a few things to do while he's sleeping.
So yeah, sorry for popping on randomly and spilling nothing but neuroses!