Life: I am happy to be alive. I am happy that I have not yet had to bury my parents or my siblings. I am desperately happy that my husband is by my side and not waiting for me in the afterlife – whatever that may be. I watched some of the strongest people I know break down this past weekend – and I in turn, became a sobbing mess.
Death: My uncle passed away several days ago. Family from all over the place flew, drove and made their way here to celebrate his life and to mourn his passing.
“I have never seen so many Mexicans in one place before.” Was a common joke running amongst the family. My uncle was a great man, loved by so many people that there was just an incredible number of them who showed up and gave love and support.
I think I handled it well. Death has always been an issue with me. I don’t take it well. My youngest sister was able to go sit by his side as he was dying, surrounded by family and some friends. I wasn’t able to be there until later that evening after he had died, but I was able – through the help of my very amazing little sister – to say a few things to him via speakerphone on her cell phone.
He wasn’t able to talk back, but my sister said he moved his foot in response. I hope that means he heard me.
I told him I loved him. That out of all the brothers (my dad included), he was the most handsome. I also asked him not to tell my dad that…it might hurt his feelers.
I ended the call with, “Don’t forget, Uncle, I am the coolest birthday present you ever got!” That was something I would tell him every year on our shared birthday. He always agreed.
The hardest part of having someone you love and care about pass away is knowing that you are left behind. He left behind his soul mate, two grown daughters, and his son who is just 16 years old.
I watched my teenage cousin become a man the day that his father died. I cried when he cried. I held him and hugged him as often as I could. And I was fiercely proud of the man he has become as he stood in the driveway, back straight, eyes forward, and arms wrapped around his crying sisters and mother as the funeral home people drove away with his father’s body.
He is an incredibly strong young man and I am proud to be his cousin.
The funeral was beautiful. My dad was asked to speak…and it was equal parts beautiful and sad. I have seen my dad cry very few times in my life. Every time I saw it, it broke my heart. It was even more heartbreaking to see my mother cry. All four of my parents were at the viewing and the funeral. I was glad for their support. I just wish some of the extending family members didn’t try to make it awkward. I felt it rude and beneath them.
But what can you do when alcohol is involved, right?
And what’s a funeral without a little family drama. I won’t go into that, but just suffice it to say that I was appalled at the treatment of some of my family members. My uncle would have kicked their asses if he were alive.
My desperate need for a hug: I got plenty of hugs, but it was like it was never enough. I was stressed out because of the adoption stuff. I was wrecked because of my uncle’s passing. I was happy to see family members I hadn’t seen in awhile, and then sad when I realized that it takes a heartbreaking moment such as death in order to bring everyone together.
Curious George was solid for me though. My man was the rock that held me up and kept me together. I remember sitting next to him and telling him that we share something in common now.
We both lost people we loved who shared a birthday with us. He lost his little brother, and I lost my uncle. Not a birthday will go by that we won’t think of them and lift a glass in honor of their memory.
I also told Curious George that I get to die first. I called it – so he has to honor it. I don’t even know how I would make it if I lost him. I don’t know how my aunt is doing it now. Even with all the time they had to prepare – they knew he was dying of cancer for years – it doesn’t take away the pain, or the sudden wrenching in your heart where your happiness used to be.
Adoption Update: We finished all of the required parenting and adoption classes. Our first home-study visit went very well and we were complimented on our home. We just have one visit left.
Unfortunately, Curious George and I were only able to attend my uncle’s funeral, not the burial portion of it. Our home-study was scheduled right in the middle of the two. I was really torn on what to do, but my parents made it clear that we were to take care of our family first and go to our home-study visit. Having that support was definitely what we needed.
The not so good stuff of the Adoption Update: Because I have Bipolar II disorder, because I have been in therapy for years (my choice to maintain optimum mental health), and because I have medication that I take – there is a chance they will not approve us.
And it’s not just my mental disorder, its also because my husband’s family is severely dysfunctional in a way that harmed him when he was growing up. These are red flags to them until they investigate more and make sure that we are solid.
I understand. Really, I do. But at the same time I just want to scream and throw things. I have spent my whole life making sure that I am not a statistic. I am not just stable, I have a huge support system that I surround myself with just in case I falter and have a bad cycle. I am educated, I am hardworking, I am more than capable of being a good parent, as is Curious George.
The social worker understands and knows us very well now and has said that she thinks we will make great parents regardless of what happened in our pasts. She also thinks that we will be better able to handle some of the children we have been matched with as these are all kids that have been taken from their homes due to abuse, neglect, etc.
She said she was going to fight hard for us and bring every bit of information to her supervisor – who will make the final YAY or NAY decision.
We should know what that decision is in about two weeks or so. The waiting is going to drive me nuts.
Please. A million times, please.