Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas the night before Christmas...

A long day is over and I'm finally at home. Tired but happy. Happier than I've been in days. Its amazing how God can put things in perspective. Since my melt down at the grocery store I have been able to calm down and deal with stuff. Finally. 
It definitely helped to have my "day off" with my husband, but I knew I wouldn't be away from the house for long. Can't help it right now. The thought of my sisters being without mom days before Christmas was too heavy on my heart. My husband, being the amazing support that he is, was right by my side while I picked up frosting and candy that would be used on our gingerbread houses. I was trying to think of "normal" things that kids do as Christmas arrives. This seemed fun? They loved it. Catie even made a trip up into the kitchen to help. Kyle, Tony and I then took kerri and Amy to their recital. They completely blew me away and calmed me down. They blew the other kids songs out of the water too. lol. I listened to their songs and was not only amazed by their talent and hard work but also reminded of why its worth it to be so tired. I love them like mad. I know that they are scared for uncle and they miss mom and all of a sudden I didn't care how tired, frustrated or worried I was. It became all about them and made today wonderful. I made it over to the house around 10ish after running to the store. I made amys Jonas Brothers bday cake and got a few things ready for lunch. Annie was getting pretty upset over waiting for gifts. You could tell she was trying to be patient. If Christmas was in june this year everything would have been ripped open by her and then broken by her. Thankfully she is doing well right now and all we saw or heard was a fuss. I brought her home with me for a few hours, we had cocoa, sang and watched a movie. I love when she is at my house, she is so relaxed. I also love knowing everyone at home is getting a few hours of quiet. We returned back to the house and welcomed some of Dad's siblings. Always nice to see them, always lame when not everyone can make it. I got alot of "thank You's" and tight hugs from my aunts and uncles for "saving christmas." haha not quite. you know that sparkling clean toilet you sat on? Kerri and Amy did that haha along with alot of other things to help. After the family left Kyle and I headed over to his family's house and just arrived home. I am so happy that my sisters enjoyed the day. I know I can't fix the pain and disappointment that they have right now, but at least they can eat xmas cookies and our traditional 3 coarse meal while they are going through this. 

When Kyle and I got home we of coarse had to dig into a bag of Dove chocolates that we were given. My absolute fave. I love the quotes on each wrapper too. Kyle smiled and handed me his foil and said, "here, this ones for you babe." The quote read, "Remind yourself that it's okay not to be perfect." Does he know me or what? I gotta stop trying to be a freaking hero.  It is pretty rewarding though when its all said and done and your sisters hug you and say they love you. 

If this year hasn't tought that Jesus is the reason for the season, I don't know what will. Thank goodness that I am forgiven for my selfish attitude over the last few days and my therapy session in Luckys. Thank goodness I don't have to worry about frankie, he is living out his life just how God planned and allowed. 

Night, & Merry Christmas. 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays

Saturday afternoon I came over to the house to say hi to mom for a little while to see how everyone was doing. Amy skipped down stairs and started talking. "hey i was thinking, after Christmas when things calm down..." and being the rude sister that I am I cut her off by saying "psh! yeah right. when do things ever calm down for the Allio's!" Too bad my joke was the truth. 10 minutes later Nonni called in hysterics. Uncle crashed his bike. He's at UCDavis Med Center in a coma. Doctors say to prepare for the worst. They are still waiting on the MRI results. Mom is there of coarse. She can barely leave his side. Talking to the doctors and caring for Shelia, making sure everyone has eaten and doesn't need a thing. I wonder when mom will be the one that everyone is caring for.
I keep thinking of Tony. What if it was my big brother? I really don't know how she is dealing with this other than she is just in survivor mode and won't stop to think or care for herself until everything changes. I'd like to say that she has the support of her own mom there but God knows thats impossible. Nonni would have to actually be willing to sit in a waiting room and care for people rather than worry about herself. It would mean skipping church in the morning and the christmas function at church that night. she really needed to pray though. and eat. and get presents from friends. and talk about all that she has gone through in her life. People are hurting for her as this may be her second child that she watches pass away but I wish they could realize she will be just fine. She lives for these kinds of things. I feel bad for her, i do. But maybe no more than I would any other person waiting in that hospital even with her as my nonni. brutal, i know. oh well. But that is a whole different story, or should I say rant and rave session. My biggest concern is my momma. People are amazed at her strength and her faith. I have to admit, I can't understand it. I do not know how she does what she does. I do know however that we as a family have been worried about her BEFORE this happened. What will she do if Frankie doesn't make it? She'll be strong all throughout the process like she is now, but what about after? I'm terrified to know. I'm not the only one either... Its strange. All of us kids are just worried about her more than we even are Uncle. Some people don't understand that, trust me I have the texts to prove it. yikes. but too bad. The truth is Uncle is closer to being in Heaven with God and his little brother than any of us! Why we beg to be able to keep him here longer is only our selfish nature. Knowing where he could be and how peaceful he could be just allows us to know that however much we are in pain over his condition, he really could be better off. I mean, he can't breathe on his own, he barely has a face and his brain is disconnected from his skull. com'on. Whatever happens I know is God's will. Its the waiting game that I hate. The thought of all mom has gone through and all that she has ahead is so overwhelming.
Of coarse with mom in Sacramento since Saturday at 2 o'clock, I'm at the house as much as possible. Back into "mom mode" once again. Being so busy and having to make sure I cover all the bases, it hadn't hit me how serious everything was. I even made it to the hospital yesterday to drive mom home and saw Uncles face, or whats left of it. You can't tell its him. That didn't even catch up with me in that moment because I still had to get mom fed and home safely. Got home, went straight to bed only to wake up and make shopping lists for today. Kerri and I got Amy's birthday shopping done for mom, Christmas eve and christmas day groceries bought. So busy in my mind i wasn't thinking about anything other than "don't forget the duraflames." It was in the freezer section that I lost it. I was trying to find raviolis and they didn't have 2 of the same flavors! I finally found a second bag of the same flavor and it was open so ravs spilt into the cart. I pulled a classic me move. "SHIT! ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!" I took the open bag of ravs, opened the freezer door and chucked the bag into the freezer as hard as I could. slammed the door, looked at Kerri standing with her mouth open, started crying and moved on to the duraflames. Like really? I can't get a damn bag of pasta to feed my family on Christmas? its always the little things. I know very well its not the little things, its all the big things and not allowing myself to be upset. Always having to be strong and keep everything together. So I continued home, put the groceries away, decorated Christmas cookies with my sisters, made the antipasto treys for xmas day and roasted hazlenuts for mom. She has to have them on Christmas since she used to eat them with her Nonnu. I also got baggies of candy wrapped up for the neighbors. I tried to convince mom that the neighbors will understand, its just candy but she said that she would just put it together when she gets home tonight from the hospital. SEE?! aaaalways taking care of others. Not this time mom lol, i got it covered.
Maybe I'm not extremely worried about Uncle Frank and the fact that his brain is ruined because I haven't stopped to think about it! I'm too busy trying to take care of everyone and make sure my mom is ok. Oh well, thats how it goes right?
I can't even think straight, don't know what I've written. Good thing i just use blog rather than a shrink, they prolly would have kicked me out by now.
Annie is at denise's house, Catie is sitting quietly. She's having a bad day. Kerri & Amy are watchin tv and Dad and tony are with mom in sac. Kyles At work. So I'm guessing thats why i just spilt my guts... I have time to think about it all.
I'm going to continue picking up around the house and getting any gifts wrapped that are needed before kyle gets off at 7. We are going to oakland to his cousins for a xmas party. THE LAST thing I want to do, but I know kyle has been looking forward to it so I've got my sweater on and we're going. Tomorrow Kyle is off so I will spend the day with him until 7 when we take Kerri and Amy to their piano recital. They were so sweet, offering to miss it but heck, they have worked so hard on these songs!! They've gotta show off their hard work. by tonight everything at the house should be in order until wednesday. I'll come back over in the morning to get the house ready for the family to come over. People keep making the comment, "I can't believe this is happening to your family, especially this time of year." um, thanks but i'm pretty sure this could happen in dead of summer and it would still be miserable. Christmas, aside from the fact that Jesus was born, is just another day. At least thats what I'm telling myself this year. I can't think about the fact that it is mine and Kyles first Christmas and that rather than cuddling in front of our tree all day I will be cooking dinner at my moms and trying to stay positive, happy and in the christmas spirit for the sake of my little sisters. Selfish, I know. But I am bummed.
uuuuuuuuh. I need to get off this computer and back to staying busy. Amy needs a haircut anyway.

If only i could be as strong as my mom and take peace in the fact that God planned out my day today and already knows what tomorrow holds.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God Grant Me the Serenity... except the things I cannot change.

Note to self.
Next time tattoo the prayer on your forehead stupid, not the back of your leg.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Baby Shower & A Funeral

This weekend was long. Extremely long. Looking forward to a Baby Shower in honor of my new little cousin on the way, I worked busily on making a little pink baby blanket. It was the next morning that I was asked to attend a funeral with my dad in Ohio. Strange that I could fly to Columbus, try to comfort a lonely widower and then fly home in time for the celebration of a new baby. All in the same weekend.

Elaine Johnson passed away December 8th. She came home sick from work November 12th, was diagnosed with stomach cancer that had rapidly spread throughout her body and took her life in less than a month after symptoms had set in. She was the wife of Lance j, the director of The Batten Disease Support & Research Assoc. Obviously extremely important people to the Allio home along with hundreds of others accross the nation. Scary when half of the foundation of the organization passes away. Lance & Elaine were parents to two children. Lee and Lorena. Lorena suffered from Juvenile Batten Disease, just like Catie & Annie. In 1991 Lee, their healthy child, graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Wildlife. A huge fan of birds. Later that year he was killed in a car accident. Two years later in 1993 Lorena passed away from sickness with battens. I can't even imagine the pain of losing both of your children. all of your children. You could imagine how the loss of Elaine would seem to send Lance over the top. I was heartbroken just at the thought. Of coarse there was no way I wouldn't go support Lance at the Funeral with my dad. Just a little rescheduling this and that and My bags were packed. Perfect. A funeral. A reaccuring nightmare that wakes me up at night on a regular basis. Now a nightmare that i can't wash away with cold water. Dont forget about the cemetary and burial. I'm not sure that I've ever stood on cemetary grounds without crying. another huge fear. don't ask me why. I guess I should say anxiety rather than fear. The kind that tightens your chest until you feel like you can't take a breathe.
We got on the road at 3:45am Thursday and flew out of sac. Landed in Columbus at 5something that night and drove straight to the viewing. Lance was so happy to see us. He gave both of us tight hugs, so thankful that we flew out for him. The service was the following morning followed by the burial. Its amazing how a cloudy day, 22 degree winds and snow falling from the sky can make it an even more gloomy experience than it already is. After the service everyone met for lunch. It was there that Lance filled us in on Elaine's situation and how quickly everything happend. He looked like normal Lance. Maybe it hadn't hit him yet, maybe he IS just a remarkable person. Still too busy carrying for other people even after the loss of his children and wife to let it drag him down.
After Lunch it was off to Lance's home. There I found multiple christmas trees in his family room, all completely covered in ornaments. One was ALL birds. Lee LOVED birds. That was his tree. One was ALL teddy bears, in honor of Lorena and the other ALL angels. Elaine LOVED angels, especially after her children had passed away. I sat surrounded by trees quite overwhelmed as he shared stories about his children like they were just there yesterday. He also shared stories that give you goose bumps and like he said, prove that God really cares. As I sat listening I couldn't help but notice all of the old toys, school certificates, trophies and even Christmas stockings that had once belonged to his children. I also noticed Elaines shoes tucked under the table. Her nail files and magazines sitting next to her chair and her jar of her favorite candies, hershy kisses, sitting on the table, not quite empty yet. What do you do after your soulmate passes away?? Knowing lance all of her things will be donated to help someone in need.
I often took a break from sitting in that room as it was very overwhelming. I was drawn to the front room. There was something about it, it was quiet and more peaceful. A large family portrait sat on the wall. Pretty cool to finally see what his two kids looked like. The picture faced the open window and window seat. I love windows and LOVE window seats. I was so drawn to this window that I took the picture that I have posted. There was heavy snow falling outside, I could see Lee's bird feeder and plants that Lance was obviously very fond of. (he has plants all over their house.) Later after starring out that window multiple times, dad called me in to that same room. Lance then explained that the two plants in the window seat, the ones I had taken pictures of a few hours before were from Lee's funeral in '91 (large plant on right)and Lorena's in '93.(smaller plant in center.) He has kept them alive this whole time. Theres just something about that picture even more so now, that I absolutely love.
Lance was so greatful to have us there. We left saturday morning at 130am CA time and got home just in time for saturday night events. I'm still pretty emotional at the thought of all Lance has gone through. I've been thinking and praying for him constantly, wondering how he'll be after everyone has gone home. I'm sure after time he will be busy again. Elaine, knowing how determined her husband is, made Lance promise to find a cure before he himself dies.

ew. I feel so bla just thinking about it all.

RIP Elaine.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

... Came to Mind

if you read this and feel bad, guilty or think you know what its about don't. At least ask me what it is all about before assuming anything. I'm just letting my crazy self think outloud. thats all.

they constantly mourn the loss of her life. its so unfair that she is missing out. yet they fail to see the other sitting in the corner. what was the others life like? 

it was spent as eyes seeing as much as possible, with the pressure of never missing a color or shape? life spent as feet walking confidently over gravel and mudd trying hardest to perfect each step so as not to disappoint. life spent as words speaking for the unspoken as a mind thinking for the thoughtless. always staying one step ahead of the game only to be held back.

how was her voice heard through you but your own was never loud enough to be heard? Her feelings, fears and worries always screaming over yours, causing yours to only grow larger. such a large burden for such a small person.

never speak up, complain or be angry. that is selfish, self centered and wrong. you are the strong one. the healthy one. the unaffected. suck it up. truth is you are the weak one. all the strength and support goes to the other. you are the sick one. you ache from the guilt and pressure. you are the affected one. never living a day without the thought of why not me. it is my fault, it has to be. I have to do better, be better, do more, be more. 

tell me, who is affected when she is gone? she has no pain, no fear, no worry, sickness. You are left behind with the pain, the fear, the worry and the sickness. you are left to remember it every day.

tell me, who do you talk for, walk for and think for when she is gone? If you live your life being a person for someone else, how do you find yourself? will you be heard if you speak for yourself? or will you continue to stay in the corner, over shadowed by the loss of her?

Who had a better life? her or you? it seems as if you both missed out. lives swallowed up by two different evils, taken away. The only difference, hers will come to a peaceful end and you will be left behind to continue living with the pain.

blablabla kilah and I are turning it into a song... whoo.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Religion breaks people apart. Faith brings them together.

Me here, just a little frustrated. okay, ALOT frustrated. How does a church get to the place that they have students patroling the sanctuary telling teenage guests attending youth group that they must stand up to worship, sitting is not allowed or they must leave. "20 minutes of time on your feet wouldn't hurt you dear, stand up and I mean now." Too bad that student had no idea who she was talking to and that she broke the last straw. This teenage girl is officially done with church and christians... add her to the list of hurt and offended. So disappointing. This is only one church, there are so many  more examples of other churches and christians with the same attitude. 
Sometimes I think that the best thing for this world of christians would  be church consisting only of a letter from an apostle in prison read allowed to a crowd of people thirsty for the Truth, all crammed in a small room. 
I made a decision long ago not to allow other people keep me from going to church. Sure some christians make the most judgmental statements but I don't go to church to look up to them or worship them, I go to "sunday school" for a reason. To learn and worship God. But not all people are the same. Someone forcing you to stand up to worship because God cares wether you are standing or sitting is the kind of thing that causes some people to think church, christians and God are a joke.  .:I feel awful for the people that live their lives in wheelchairs. I bet God doesn't even listen to them, I mean com'on, they can't stand to worship!:. for crying out loud. 
I do not blame people for not going to church because they have been hurt by the people in it. I do pray for them though, that they might find faith. Faith is so much stronger of a foundation than religion. 

uuuuuuuuuuuugh. I think I'm done letting off steam now. wait???? uuuuuuuuugh!!! ok. now I'm done. 

Its unfortunate to see religion take precedence over faith.