Thursday, October 28, 2010

Death Isn't the End, but Only the Beginning.

On Monday I found out that my great grandmother passed away.

This particular grandmother was my mother's grandmother, and although I didn't know her all that well, I still knew her.

Knew her enough to feel The Sad.

The Sad is the same kind of sorrow that I feel whenever someone I love passes, no matter the relationship. Sometimes it's stronger than others, but the general feeling is always the same.

It's that gripping feeling in your stomach, and that instantaneous drop of the heart when your mind finally processes what you've just been told, and time seems to freeze for a beat or two.

This person is no longer on this Earth, and you'll never see them again as long as you live.

It can best be described as a feeling of disbelief.

A concept that takes days, months, sometimes even years to grasp.


Her death brought about memories of when my great grandmother on my father's side passed away about a year ago, a memory that is still so fresh. A woman that I had been close to most of my life, who I even counted as my best friend in my younger years. She was my favorite playmate and had imagination as vivid as a child's. Luckily for me, she lived around the corner from our house, and mom took me there nearly every day to play.

Grandma walked with a waddle, spoke with a thick Hawaiian accent, and had a God given gift to make people laugh no matter the situation. However, she also had the feistiest temper I've ever seen.
She was one of those people that you hoped with all of your heart to be like when you were in your elder ages.

Every night, even as a little girl, I asked God to keep her alive long enough to at least see me graduate high school and make it into College. I wanted to make Grandma proud.
Although uneducated, in her time, it was an accomplishment to make it into middle school. Which she did, and often bragged that she made it "all the way to the sixth grade." But her dream for me was to go to college, and graduate with a Bachelor's degree like my great aunt did.

Into my high school years Grandma started getting sick, and then began having slight heart attacks. Then it turned into mild strokes, and later, signs of Alzheimer's Disease.
It got to the point where an ambulance came to get her at least once a week.

This was a scary time.

Eventually, we had to no choice but to move her to an elderly home where she could be monitored daily.

A place she could be safe.

Years passed, and her memory of us faded more and more.
She faded more and more.
When we would visit, she wouldn't remember my parents, but whenever she saw myself or my brother, her eyes lit up and a cascading smile spread across her face. Although she could no longer talk because of the damage done by one of her strokes, she would still express herself with that bright smile and the squeezing of our hands and cheeks.

Then one particular day, one that I don't think I'll ever forget, my dad and I visited one last time.

When we entered into her room, there was grandma, lieing on her bed.
No recognition ignited her eyes, no bright smile across her face.
Just, emptiness.
Her once bright blue eyes were now cold and deep, almost like you could see into her very soul.

A soul that was tired.

But these eyes never left mine. They looked at me with such a compassionate desire to remember, but not enough energy to try.
I remember not being able to look away, yet a fear gripped me, a peril that took my breath away.
This wasn't my grandmother, I didn't know who this was.

Her straight, gray hair was scattered around her head on the pillow beneath her, and the lively face that I always remembered was now sunken in; almost skeleton like.
I felt like I was staring back into the eyes of the deceased.

This is when I knew. I knew it would be soon.

On April 12, 2009, Easter morning, I had a dream that I went into my great aunt's backyard and saw my great uncle, who actually had passed away six months earlier, smiling and cleaning the figure-eight-shaped pool. On the other side of the pool was a big screen TV that was playing supposed memories from my past, involving that particular uncle and my great grandmother. On the other side of the pool, sitting in a lawn chair and watching the TV was my great grandmother, and she was laughing at the various memories that were playing on the screen. I walked over to grandma and sat down next to her.
She looked at me and told me that she had go.
I remember feeling upset, and begging her to stay and watch more memories with me.
But she didn't. She needed to leave.

I was awaken by my mom getting into bed next to me. When I opened my eyes, She looked at me, eyes hesitant. Eventually she spoke, "Grandma passed away this morning."


The Sad crept in.

"She did?"
"Yes, the nurses went in to check on her and she just wasn't breathing anymore."

I remembered my last visit with grandma, and also of the dream that I had had that night.
I told her about it, and she was stunned.
To this day we both think that God had used the dream to prepare me for the news that I would be receiving that morning.

I'd like to think so. That seems like such a sweet, gentle gesture.

My grandma Eva... Born on July 4th, 1915, and going home on April 12, 2009, Easter morning.
I think that just goes to show how special she was.

As for mom's grandma, reality still hasn't fully hit me yet.
At the moment, I don't feel anything regaurding her death.
I'm still living amongst those numbing frozen moments in time.

I speculate that realization will strike once we attend her funeral, when it emotionally becomes final. Official. Truth.

Then? Then I will feel.

Sincerely, Yours Truly

P.S. As for my prayer? Grandma Eva passed away during my sophomore year of college. She got to see me graduate, and even make it through two years of higher education.

& She was exceedingly proud of her great granddaughter.

Thank you Lord for allowing me that special, special wish.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A fresh start, a new beginning.

I was browsing through some of my old Myspace blog posts that I had written long before I graduated into blogger land, and I found this simple paragraph that I had originally wrote for my "about me," but then saved it as a blog. I remember writing this when I was about 17, and in an all time high in my life.
Well anyway, here it is:

The truth is, I live in a fairytale land. A place full of imagination and wonder, where the world is perfect and everything is possible. It is as equally captivating as it is beautiful. The aspect of me that houses my inner child. This is the place where I draw my inspiration from, the place that keeps me sane in this dreadful world. It is the same place that we all knew of as children, but slowly forgot about as we grew older. Sort of the whole "Neverland" Concept. Only, I never forgot how to fly.

After reading this tonight, I've realized something.

In the last few years? I have forgotten how to fly.
It's like slowly over time this knowledge fades ever so gently to the back of your mind, so far back that you just can't seem to retrieve it. And it happens so slowly that you don't even notice until it's gone.
Since I've gotten older and gone into college, I suppose I've grown up and forgotten about the Neverland.
The Neverland that was so dreamy and possible. It's hard to even remember what it looked like.

Now? My world is composed of nothing more than work, school, church and balancing personal relationships.

And I can't help but notice that I've gotten so negative over the years. Others have noticed, too.

It's quite a contrast from someone who used to be so care free and lovely.

Now I'm not saying that I regret that my priorities have changed.
I'm thrilled that I finally have my head out of the clouds when it comes to certain matters.
I just miss the imagination that was in my life.

The constant inspiration and excitement of... Well? Thinking.
Thinking about the unthought of. The deeper part of life.
Getting excited about the little things.
This is what I used to thrive on.

I miss that.

I've become so flat and superficial lately. So boring. So... Old.

And I'm too young to be old.

My new personal project, starting tonight, is to revive that old part of me, and bring her back into existance.

No more negativity, no more impossibles.

More imagination, more inspiration, more dedication, more appreciation.

This is a fresh start, a new beginning.

Sincerely, Yours Truly

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All Sorts of Dead.

So it's Day 2 of P90X.

I don't think I've ever been so tired in my entire life.

I was going to update on the first day to let you all know how it went, but I didn't have enough time to sit down and do it. But anyway, the first day wasn't so bad. Well, it was, but not like I thought it would be.
We worked on our arms, chest and back, and did something called the "Ab Ripper" (Doesn't that sound enticing?)

My arms and abs were exhausted, but not like today.

Today, everything is exhausted.

Ever heard of Plyometrics? For some reason I continue to call it Pyrometrics, which is completely wrong, because Pyro means fire. But wouldn't that be something? "Exercise with Fire!" Now that would be one serious workout... One that I don't think even the P90x would attempt.
I'd like to tell them that to bring their ego down a few notches.

Anyway, I digress.

I've never heard Plyometrics until yesterday... & We've gotten to know each other very well. Plyomentrics? Not sympathetic. Not easy-going. Not fun.

& Just in case you're wondering exactly what this is, here's a good definition:

'Plyometrics (also known as "plyos") is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports. Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport-specific activities.' (Wikipedia)

So in other words, there is a whole lot of constant jumping, squatting, kicking, lunging, and various other uncomfortable movements.

At the end of our hour session we were so sweaty that all 6 of us looked like we had just run through the backyard sprinklers.

Although, I do have to say that I was having a very grumpy day yesterday and really didn't want to do the work out, but doing it actually made me feel better. Mostly because I always laugh when I work out with other people, which might sound strange, but some of the things we do just look so silly. & It doesn't help that the instructor on the DVD that we're following has a very cheesy sense of humor, and feels the need to constantly remind us that "this workout isn't any workout, it's the P90X! And X stands for Extreme!"


So anyway, today, I'm all sorts of dead.
Not dead, dead, but exhausted dead. The "don't want to move,"  kind of dead. Well more like, "can't move," kind of dead.
& Today, we get to do it all over again. Yay! (Tomorrow I might really be dead.)
Not fun, but necessary.

"Because this is the P90x!"

Well, I better get off here and find something more productive to do.
Not sure what that will be just yet, but I'm a good finder.
I hope your day is filled with sweets and fun!

  Yours Truly

P.S. Mr/Ms. Not Help Him comes into the Center today at 3.
Too bad I get off at 12. :( So close!

Monday, October 11, 2010

*Note to self: Old and frumpy is bad.

I get so excited to update this thing sometimes.
I know, I'm a weirdo.

I haven't updated recently because I haven't been able to think of something grand enough to write a good, wholesome entry about.

& Just in case you're wondering, I still haven't.

But I still feel the need to update about something,
So I'm thinking that I'll fill up a big entry with little somethings, just to update you all with what's been going on.

If you care, that is.

Let's see, where to begin?
Nothing too new has been going on lately, except for the fact that today Sergey's family and I are starting this workout program called the P90X. Doesn't that sound intense?
First off, let me tell you this: I'm not an active person.
Like, at all.
I don't do anything (purposely) exercise-worthy. (Meaning, that if I get any exercise it's because I have to walk all around campus all day. I don't do it for the exercise, I do it because I have to.)
I know, I know, shame on me.
But in my defense, I just don't have the time -cough-cough-or the drive-cough- to work out.
I have to get up extremely early already, go to work, go to class, get out of class late, then go to bed early so I can get up early the next day. There's no slot open for excercise time. But I guess now I'm going to have to squeeze a few things aside for an hour of P90X time.

Anyway, so I come over to Sergey's house from work one day, to find him and his siblings discussing something called the P90X, and they asked me if I'm going to do it.
"Yes she is." Sergey says.
"Wait, what is it? What do you mean "yes she is", don't I have a say in this?"
He laughs, "No, you don't. You should do it with us, you need to start exercising before you get all frumpy and old."
"I exercise! I walk around campus all day. Especially on Mondays, because I have to go get the mail."
"Babe," he says as he looks at me with one eyebrow raised.
"It makes me tired... Doesn't that mean it's doing something?"
"Fine. But explain this to me, because it sounds really scary right now."
I look through the booklet that is supplied with the package, and on each of the pages are photos of sweaty, overly-muscular men in extreme poses, with a cast of ambient lighting intensifying each bulging muscle.
"I'm not going to look like this when we're done, am I?"
"No babe, you're just going to tone up."

Oh! I just found the promo video for the program. Don't be afraid to let out a chuckle or two. Those photos at the beginning kill me every time. (They're the same ones that are in the booklet that I was flipping through.)

So today is the first day of our P90X program. It comes along with a meal plan for each day, and for breakfast we were to have a mushroom omelet, a cup of strawberries, and however many ounces of cottage cheese. (Yuck.)

The omelet was delicious, I'll tell you. It had mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes, and we added in some radishes as well. (I just now realized though, that I forgot to eat the fruit and yogurt, but it was probably because cooking the omelet took so long that I was almost late to work.) But I think I'm going to really like this program just for it's meal plan. For dinner tonight we have scheduled Salmon, lemon dill sauce, rice, and some kind of vegetable. Delicious, right? I'm totally excited.

Best of all, I probably won't have to cook it! :)

After class today I'll be going with Sergey's mom and sister to the Woman's Prayer at our church, then once we come back, we'll start our first session for an hour. I'm a little nervous about it, but I'm hoping that since it's the first day, there isn't going to be anything too extreme or difficult...
I'll have to let you know how that goes.

As for what's new or interesting in this general time frame, there hasn't been anything to write home about... Except for the fact that I just registered a student with the last name, "Not Help Him."
Not even kidding.
Not Help Him?
Do what, I wonder?
I've heard a lot of strange names during my time, but nothing quite like this.
At first I thought this was a joke, so I looked up the student's ID number to find out for sure, and sure enough, this was a real person. This made my day.
I just had to tell Sergey so I shot him a text message. He thought it was pretty amusing too.
My goodness, that name boggles my mind.
I can't even really think of a possible origin. German? English? Scottish? Armenian? None of that seems to make sense. The only thing I can think of is some sort of an Asian descent, and that's just because that's how their accent sounds.

I don't think this is a very credible form of reasoning.

& you're not going to believe this.
Out of curiosity, I looked up to see if there are any more "Not Help Hims" in the school...
And there are four.

I guess it's more popular of a name than I thought!
I think that is so cool.
I really want to meet this person.

If I do, you'll surely hear about it.
As for P90X, you'll surely hear about that too.
But as for right now, I have to go water those pesky plants.
They're so needy.

Yours Truly