family

loup
11 August 2003

If I ever write a book about my family I am going to call it “Two Tanks
of Gas and a Handful of Xanax” – because that is what you need to get
through a weekend with them. It isn’t that I despise the whole family
thing – just a few of them. They seem to make the visits stressful and
annoying. There are few groovy people in our gene pool that I dig
hanging about with. I wish those groovy ones would come and see us more
often but I understand their schedules are pretty stretched to the
limit. It should would be nice to have time with them without hearing
about, dealing with or seeing the shitheads of the family. Ah well– we
are home now and I have added the missing days of the pic-of-the-day
page.

memories

loup
31 July 2003

A friend of mine called today. Her grandfather was told he has lung
cancer, they have basically sent him home to die. She is heading out in
a few days to see him. It is going to be hard on her I am sure. Just
talking to her brings back a rush of memories. Some of them good, some
of them bad. One memory that sticks out in my brain like a splinter in
my ass is of a lady who thought she was doing me a favor by telling me
that I was going to hell because I wasn’t a christian. I thought I was
doing her a favor by offering to volunteer some of my very precious
time to her and her animals. Granted I was being a bit selfish because
I am at my best when I’m outside with animals. When one of the nurses
aides offered to come sit with dad when he was dying of cancer a few
hours a week so I could go and help out a friend of hers I jumped on
it. Set up the meeting and everything was going well until she asked me
the question that every christian asks. “Is jesus your lord and
savior?” FUCK ME!!
“No.” I replied. Here it comes. blah blah HELL blah blah eternal
damnation blah blah I am unresponsive with a slight grin. So here comes
the whammy. She drones on. “Imagine having to live through your very
worst nightmare — unless you accept jesus as your savior — that is
what you will go through. Hell.”
GAME ON!!
“I am 2500 miles away from my husband. I gave up my home, friends and
job to come take care of my father who is dying. Less than two months
ago I held my mother’s dead hand and said goodbye to her forever, but
not until I had to tell the doctors and nurses to let her go. I see my
dad suffer and there is nothing I can do for him but be there and tell
him I love him. I am a 29 year old orphan. My worst nightmare was
losing my parents and here I am living it. Anything that your god can
throw at me now wouldn’t even make a dent. I am here to offer you help
a few hours a week. Clean out stalls, feed, care for the animals you
name it I can do it. But I won’t have this conversation with you again.
If you can deal with the fact that a non-christian is willing to come
by and help out then great … if you can’t then that is your loss. You
think it over and give me a call.”
I got home fighting back tears. I told dad the whole tale; he took my
hand and said “Her loss. You are a wonderful person – you and I both
know it. You don’t have to be a christian to be a good person. In fact
most christians aren’t.”
I never heard from that lady. I miss my dad.

i’m too old to feel like this

loup
25 June 2003

This year has been pure hell on me and my husband. It all started last Autumn. In November my parents moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico. For them it was a dream come true. For me it was filled with worry and heart-ache. I missed my mother so much. I cried every night for nearly a month after she moved out there.

In January my husband and I had made plans to take time off and go out for a visit. Unfortunately before that visit we got a phone call from my father. My mother had a severe stroke on the 2nd of February. After driving 26 hours across country we made it. Then 3 hours later, my mother died. Everyone said she was waiting for me to get there.

After a few weeks we returned back to Virginia. We were starting to plan a move – after LK’s discharge from the Navy we were going to be moving closer to my dad than we had planned so we could look in on him. In March, my father had several tumors removed from his bladder. He was sick and getting worse. My aunt and uncle were still in Carlsbad with my dad and waiting on me to get things tied up in Virginia so I could come help. In the middle of April I returned to New Mexico to care for my father. He was officially diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Bladder Cancer on the 18th of April. We had suspected it was Cancer for a while. He turned down chemo-therapy. A week later he was put under the care of a wonderful hospice. Vista Care’s nurses and staff were nothing short of amazing. They helped us out and were it not for them we never would have made it as far as we did. My dad died on 21 June, 2002 – Four months, Two weeks, and three days after my mother.

I am in Virginia with my husband. I am glad to be home with him and thankful that my dad is no longer in pain. I wouldn’t trade those last memories I have of my dad for anything. I can sleep at night knowing I did all that I could to be there for him. I never turned my back on him because he was in so much pain or because it was too hard to watch. I may not have been his biological daughter but no one on this earth can say that they loved him more than I did. Step-daughter or not.

My friends who were always there for me: THANK YOU … I just can’t say it enough.
VistaCare of Carlsbad, NM: You all will be in my heart – always.
Carlsbad Animal Clinic: Many thanks to Dr. Payne, Dr. Heinrich and their staff for helping Maynard and Paddington cross to Rainbow Bridge with dignity and in love.

These Dreams

loup
1 March 2003

Dum dum dee do wah oh yeah yeah yeah – I had a dream about my dad recently. It was very comforting to be able to dream about my parents and not just feel anxious about it all because they are dead and I know it. I was able to enjoy the dream (yes I knew I was dreaming and I knew they were dead) without spending the time questioning why they were there because they are dead. So I have been thinking about daddy for the last few days and he used to walk up to me and just speak the first line in Only the Lonely — (Roy Orbison). So that is why I started off today with that line. Great guy, a fantastic warped sense of humor. I sure do miss him.

dreaming of daddy

loup
1 March 2003

Dum dum dee do wah oh yeah yeah yeah – I had a dream about my dad recently. It was very comforting to be able to dream about my parents and not just feel anxious about it all because they are dead and I know it. I was able to enjoy the dream (yes I knew I was dreaming and I knew they were dead) without spending the time questioning why they were there because they are dead. So I have been thinking about daddy for the last few days and he used to walk up to me and just speak the first line in Only the Lonely — (Roy Orbison). So that is why I started off today with that line. Great guy, a fantastic warped sense of humor. I sure do miss him.

Year

loup
2 February 2003

One year ago – seems like yesterday. I sat like a little girl lost holding her hand. I am 30 now and I am an adult with my own life to live and yet I feel like an orphan. It is so strange.

Famn Damily

loup
29 June 2002

let me tell you about my “REAL” family. My biological father’s (sperm donor) family … a bunch of welfare / system scamming low-rent shit for brain losers. No I am not bitter, just truthful. Now don’t get me wrong – this doesn’t mean that “STEP” family is better. My step-dad (daddy) was awesome but his family?? Make your own family I say. You don’t need DNA to be family and you damn sure don’t have to put up with a bunch of negative bullshit in your life just because they are “family”. Just ask my daddy’s brothers, who haven’t contacted me since my dad died. I guess since there wasn’t any insurance or goodies when dad died to get I no longer matter. Or you could ask my one of my biological cousins who doesn’t speak to me because apparently I don’t appreciate getting jeezus freak e-mail. Who cares … all I know is that life is too damn short to deal with assholes when you just don’t have to!

Thomas F Gibbs Jr

loup
25 June 2002

Carlsbad N.M. – 1SG Thomas Franklin Gibbs, Jr. (Retired), 58, died June 21, 2002 at Carlsbad Medical Center.

Tom was born July 3, 1943 to the late Thomas F. Gibbs, Sr. and Wilmoth Whitlow Gibbs. He was preceded in death by his wife of over 20 years, Melody Ann Gibbs. Her passing in February 2002 had a profound affect on his health. He is survived by his three brothers and their families. He is also survived by his daughter L Gibbs Kidd and her husband Michael. He showed a great love and affection for the family of his late wife, always believing that blood wasn’t as strong of a bond as love. Melody’s sister and brother-in-law Pat and John Thompson has a special place in his heart. He will be greatly missed.

Tom was raised in Floyd County, Virginia and a graduate of Floyd County High School. After graduation he joined the US Marine Corps and served in Viet Nam. After his enlistment with the Marines was up he returned home to Virginia only to find himself back in the US Armed Forces, this time with the US ARMY. He served his country for over 20 years. After retiring from the Army in 1991 he settled in Floyd County with his wife and lived and worked for over 10 years. In November 2001 he and his wife moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico. Shortly after her death he was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Bladder Cancer.

A simple private service at the residence was held for family and friends. We scattered his ashes in the same desert where his wife’s spirit soars so that they may be reunited. Tom was a spiritual man who believed that Church was a building and he didn’t need to be there to talk to God.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in the name of Thomas Gibbs to the Vista Care Family Hospice, 611 N. Canal St., Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220, would be greatly appreciated. Their compassion and care for Tom was the only thing that brought him peace in his final days. Without their help and support his quality of life would not have been as good as it was and his final moments would have been spent in agony and despair. We are especially grateful for their compassion and kindness. Without the staff at Vista Care she would not have been able to care for Tom all of those weeks alone at home. There are no words that can convey the family’s appreciation for all that Vista Care nurses, doctors and staff did for him. We would like to honor his memory by helping other families in need through Vista Care Family Hospice.

Coming Home

loup
21 June 2002

Daddy died this afternoon. I called LK and told him I wanted to come home. I don’t want to be here anymore. Carlsbad was never where I wanted to be and with mom and dad both dead now .. I don’t think I could stand to live in this town. There are NO good memories for me here. I am going to sell the house and move back to Virginia. Life is too short and I want to spend all of the time I can with LK.

I know it sounds crazy, this house is paid for and we could stay here and get safe jobs and eek out a life but Mamma and Daddy taught me that life should not be spend wondering IF ONLY.

Guilt

loup
20 June 2002

There is a special place for people who fight cancer. I can’t think of another disease that kills the body and the spirit. Not just of the patient but their loved ones. It eats away at us all. I am feeling so guilty that Daddy had to go back into the hospital. I am afraid I won’t be able to give him the end at home that he wanted. I am exhausted and sleeping through the every hour dosing and that puts him in more pain. I am alone out here in the desert. Hospice has been amazing but so much of it is on me. I don’t want to let him down but I can’t let him suffer either.