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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

great expectations

last night's moment of perfection on "family guy"...

FACEBOOK STATUS: "after a long battle with cancer, my aunt has finally succumbed to cancer"...

joyce likes this!

[this is the world we live in]

be forewarned. i am in a hell of a bitchy mood. 
end stage renal failure is kicking me to the curb, and there's not much here except cigarette butts; crispy, dead leaves, and dried up vomit.

yesterday, i fell asleep 3 times. in the morning around 10:30 am for 3 hours, that afternoon while watching a movie, and then after dinner...

[i'm sad.]

this christmas, i hung two strands of holidays cards across our ceiling beams. with conservatively over 50+ cards, i have decided to keep them up for a while. they make me happy.

but, in my darkest moments, i turn some of these cards over and over in my hand; looking for some heartfelt effort. most mass-produced, sent "with love" to 500 of their closest friends! sure, i'm wary of organized religion, but a christmas card blank of any personalization, is sacrilegious.

what's the point?

even the hand written comments, clearly churned out on auto pilot, feel insulting.

"hope you are well! hope 2010 was terrific!"

[ugh. do you even know who you are writing to?]

i've a heart soaked in sadness. marinating in a disconnect that the "technological age" continues to enhance.

[voice mail, texting, e-mail, facebook, twitter...]

i fear the more technologically advanced our minds become; the more rapidly our souls devolve.

look. my nit-picking may just be the rearing of an ugly medusa head of snakes, but let me play the sick card. just for a moment.

the truth is, these cards are more for the sender to chalk up another proverbial pat on the back. another successful holiday tradition fulfilled to round out their norman rockwell holiday experience.

akin to the "racking up" of friends on facebook.

[it's all i can do to delete more people.]

look, your super-ego has gone haywire if you think 458 people give a shit about you.

one of the wisest words i ever heard my father claim was, "you can count your true friends on ONE hand".

i truly have a love/hate relationship with facebook. as i attempt to whittle down my "friend" list from my previous 340 to the current 199, i'm still using a certain litmus test. would i be able to sit down with this person for one hour, comfortably, and have a conversation?

the main reason i use facebook, is to link my blog to it. back in feb '08, when diagnosed with chronic kidney rejection, i was overwhelmed by the amount of support i initially received. so uberhubby ventured forth, and created for his wife, the greatest gift since my mother's kidney: my very own blog.

[henny's got a cyber diary...watch out!]

providing me with the opportunity to share...but, would anyone care?

and i realized, even if it was only me that cared, it didn't matter. it was necessary for me to survive.

"high aspirations, low expectations". an actor i starred with, in an MOW, back in toronto, gave me the greatest advice before i embarked unto la-la land...

this guy, d, got it. to expect, is to be disappointed. to aspire, is to flourish and dream...

and so this is partly why i have always been such an intense advocate of honesty. i grew up in a home drenched in pretense. after my father's death at age 10; i recall an evening 2 years later, having barely entered those volatile, teen years. my emotions surely an unfettered, pinball game. as fresh as the day he died, my heart suddenly cramped and imploded with deep sadness. as i mentioned a few blogs back, grief is no linear process, and every little girl is entitled to mourn her father...whenever.

[even today.]

but, in my house, i was told to shush, pull myself together, and threatened with therapy if i couldn't get myself under control. a 12 year old girl. who had just lost her soul mate.

[sniff, sniff, snot, snot...silence.]

but, thank god, this 12 year old never subscribed to the idea that talking weather would ever be more satisfying than exploring the natural grieving process of a preteen. one bad day, and i was suddenly off-balance, lying fetal on the floor. but, i thrilled to the emotions that flowed thickly through my veins, as deeply now as the toxins soaking this 42 year-old rag doll.

so, i learned to expect superficiality and a projected veneer of what life never is.

but, i aspired to something greater for myself.

with my therapist, i have found glimmers of this state of mind. he occasionally drips gems of wisdom i clutch within the palm of my hand and hold up to the light for reflection.

and the greatest of these is the 
peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

sure. argue semantics with me. there's 
peanut butter and jampeanut butter and honey. even peanut butter and nutella. and then the infamous choice of drug-addicted, rock stars; fried peanut butter and banana.

like expectation and disappointment, you can't have one without the other.

here's the truth. i feel like an orphan.

despite the numerous times i have asked my mother to read my blog; participate in the hell that has been our life over the last 3 years, we have barely heard from her. so, when your own parent vaporizes from your existence, where lies your right to expect anything else from anyone?

this is not a crucifixion...don't brand me.

[trust me, she will never read this.]

but, it's my life. my pain. and my blog.

[don't like it? don't read it.. or write your own f-ing blog.]

every time i embrace great expectations; i am disappointed. i still haven't learned.

but, still i aspire.

unrealistic or not. i aspire.

a few years ago, i became addicted to 
yoga and attempted to embrace the philosophy of "zero attachment". challenging to say the least. the basic principle being, "honor your body". zero tolerance of attachment. but when it came to applying that same philosophy to relationships, i could never see the forest for the trees.

how. how can you love wholly, deeply, without attachment?

what's the point?

why go through life a poking stick distance away from love, affection and devotion?

i'm not speaking of your house, your clothes, your car...please. who cares? it's a sad person who cries over the scratch on his BMW...

but life is meaningless without the magical moments of connection.

and health. well, sorry. you suck big balls if you don't get the gift that so many of us take for granted.

and i don't feel sorry for you, not one, little bit. i just don't.

so when i hear my mother's eyes glaze over on the phone, and the tap, tap, tap of her fingers on the phone....sure, my heart sinks.

but, tonight. tonight everything changed.

creatinine: 4.2 (0.5-1.2)
BUN: 58 (7-20)
hemoglobin: 9 1/2 (11-20)
CO2:18 (35-45)

"we may have to think about earlier dialysis. i hope not. but let me see you sometime this week..."...

and a part of me just died.

yes, the "d" word. [not, divorce, folks]

i know. i know i am shutting down.

but, somehow, someway i believed it might last just a little bit longer...

but now, i no longer expect much. i'm not cynical. just realistic.

she's done.

my precious, magical organ. who was never really mine to begin with. only borrowed with love from the woman who gave birth to me...

and so now, i pray. i am on my knees. begging for this kidney to be a match.

i fairly lost my mind when dr. dauer suggested dialysis.

[no, no, no, no, no...]

nope. nada. not on the agenda. can't do it.

so despite it all, my expectations are great.

can pip, estella, miss havisham...any of them help me through?

great expectations.

they live in my heart; but can they live in a soul?

in respect of MLK, jr. day: '
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”


  1. "Would anyone care"? (about your blog)... well... I do... a friend from long ago who stumbled across your writing a few months back and has faithfully checked your page everyday... a little disappointed when days have passed and nothing new has been posted... hoping you are okay and still fighting the fight. Your strength, courage, humor, insight, and hope are staggering my friend... I am thinking about you and your recovery everyday. Keep strong. M

  2. I just had a conversation today about grief not being linear. My friend talked about living with grief - the intensity can wax and wane but it's not really something you get over.
    I hurt for you, reading this - my heart goes out to your pain and your anger (and amen to "get your own fucking blog").
    And, for what it's worth, you are a hell of a writer.