Sunday, April 19, 2009

you should see my tan!!

I am not sure if my glow is from my fake tan or from my spray tan. At any rate, it is quite impressive considering how pasty I was a week ago. Can you tell that I figured out how to capitalize letters now.... okay, was getting all proud of myself but just realized i cannot find a question mark to end my sentence. Damn Mexico!!
So I stayed out drinking late on Sunday night with my new friends, Steven and Patti. They are 32 and married with no kids. They actually got married here at this resort three years ago. They are fun and we had a good time. Let me just say that there are no single guys here. There are plenty of married guys with wandering eyes, but that is about it. I think word is out that i am here by myself. Love me some attention!
So as far as the trip to Playa went bad. It was going to be great though because i had met this british couple at the pool yesterday morning and talked them into going with us. So we met at 3 and got a cab that followed Lore, my worker friend. While we were waiting for the cab, I felt this huge wave a nauseau come over me. Out of freaking nowhere. I blew it off and got in the cab anyways. Well we werent gone five minutes and it was hitting me with quicker frequency, like contractions when you are pregnant. So i am thinking, SHIT...I am in a cab with two English people in the back, Jesus driving and Lore ahead of us. I have to tell him to stop. I cannot go to Playa and puke...or even worse, what if i have Montezumas revenge and i am going to get the poopies too!!!! So we pull over on the side of the road and the two brits get out and jump in the car with Lore. Jesus does a uturn and starts heading back to the hotel. He kept trying to make small talk and i am like JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL AND GET ME BACK TO THE HOTEL before I puke or poopie!!! We pull up and he says Forty dollars...seriously!! So for 40 bucks i got to ride out the property, down the road a bit and back around. What a bargain!
So i went to my room and got in bed. I slept for 3 hours and woke up feeling fine. I had medicine just in case of emergency like that. It was my moms that i brought with me, she totally would have insisted i take it with me... Ativan, for nerves, Oxycodone in case i hurt myself and had pain and Zofran for extreme vomitting, oh and some Lomotil which is last case scenario if immodium doesnt work. So i was covered from all angles...literally. But i didnt need it.
I ran into the brits today and they kept talking about how lovely of a time they had and how great the pictures they took were and how many cute little shops there were. DAMN...not fair. I was jealous so i told them i didnt have time to see the photos then, that i would just catch them later.
Anyways, i had my second 100 minute was another one of the freebies they gave me when i arrived. Kind of nice being alone...i dont have to share my massages with someone!
Anyways, all is well with me. Totally relaxed...i have already read 3 books cover to cover and will start another tomorrow. Oh and I still need to canel that credit card. I am too cheap to call them. I just keep checking my statement to make sure there is not fraudulent charges on it. So good!

Friday, April 17, 2009

in the riviera maya!

let me start by saying that i cannot figure out how to make a capital letter on this mexican keyboard. the place i am staying, el dorado royale, is absolutely amazing! it is even better than the internet pictures. i have three places to bathe in my casita = a big tub with shower, a huge whirlpool tub that overlooks the ocean and i even have my own outdoor shower! i have a huge king bed inside and a big bed outside that is right on my own private little section of the pool that connects with a bigger pool that has a swim up bar. i have my pick of a bunch of outdoor roof thatched huts with huge comfy outdoor beds in them right on the ocean. it is pure paradise. my fridge in the room is stocked with coke, sprite, dos equis, tecate...all kinds of stuff and it is all included.
i arrived yesterday after a hectic and long line through customs. it seemed that about 10 planes arrived at the same exact time yesterday. i was driven to my hotel in a Cadillac Escalade! When i arrived they gave me two coupons for couples massages. well, i am a single so they said i could just have a 100 minute massage, which i did last night. Total paradise!!! I still have another coupon to use when i want as well.
after the massage, i was really greased up and just wanted to take a hot shower and go to bed well, my hot water wasnt working. i called my consierre and they were out immediately. after about an hour, he just shook his head like there was no way he was getting it on. so i called the front desk and they moved me to another room. normally i would have been irritated, but i didnt mind, i just had to repack my stuff and i didnt bring too much. so i got a new room and the hot water was fine. since then, they have been bending over backwards for me. it is pretty nice actually!
i am pretty much keeping to myself so far. except my concierre ... she is awesome and she has offered to drive me to playa tomorrow after her shift. i know what jenn is immediately thinking: what are you thinking michelle!!! but i feel like it is totally cool. i will see how it goes. but it would be fun to get out and buy a few goodies for taylor. she said we could eat dinner together too. wait!!! maybe she thinks i am cute... ahahahah....
so it seems i lost my check card today. when i get off the computer here i am going to call my back and have it canceled. i got online and there are no charges on it so that is a good thing. i am normally so freaking responsible so not sure what happened to it.
anyways, as soon as i get a boyfriend, i am coming back here!!! this place is amazing!!! but you have to stay in the casitas, not the regular part of it. it is more pricey, but oh so nice!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Heading South

Taylor and Bingo are both gone and I am feeling a little sad. She just went over to her dad's since I have to leave at 6 in the morning. We dropped Bingo off at the doggie hotel at 7 tonight and it was sad to leave him too! They both drive me nuts sometimes, but being here at my house without them sure is quiet and a little lonely.

I am flying to Cancun in the morning and then riding a bus to the Riviera Maya. I am staying at a 5 star resort and have my own swim-up casita with a 24 hour conciere! I am not sure what I need that for, but whatever, it sure does sound nice! I am going alone and this will be the first time doing that. I was super excited the last few days but now I am really hoping that I don't get too lonely or sad while I am away. I am sure once I get there I will be able to finally relax. I haven't relaxed AT ALL in over a year. I have been so high strung and constantly caring for my mom so I know that I totally derserve this. And I am sure if she were here that she would have paid for me to go. That is why I have put this trip on her credit card. It still works so I will keep swiping till someone tells me otherwise :)

The past couple of days have been filled with a billion errands. In between those, I have managed to get my nails done, my hair cut and highlighted and a spray tan. I was so white I was almost glowing and decided to try the spray thing. I went today and man did it feel nasty. I had to peel my jeans on when it was over and it felt gross. The lady told me to wash it off 4-6 hours after so I had to wear it around through my hair cut. It actually smells yucky. But guess what? I am freaking tan! I keep getting tanner as the hours go by...I am just hoping I don't wake up orange in the morning. That would suck.

I started dealing with my mom's stuff a little bit this week and quickly realized that it is going to be so much work and take so much patience. I don't have what it takes to do it right now. I will worry about when I get back next Tuesday. We had to file an extension for my mom's taxes because it has to include a death certificate. I have been calling the funeral home every day and it still hasn't shown up. Everything is SUCH a hassle! The electric company, the gas company...all of them require a death certificate to change her bills into my name and start mailing them to me. I guess it makes sense, but it is going to be such a hassle tooling all around town dropping off death notices. It really sucks. I mean, can't they see the notice in the newspaper? There should be some kind of service that does stuff like that for people. Now that's a good idea...!

I am finishing up my packing and heading off to bed early tonight for my flight in the morning. If I have internet access there, I will post something. If not, hopefully I will have lots of juicy details of my Mexican RunAway when I come home. I am calling it a RunAway rather than a GetAway because I am truly running away from my current issues. But who cares, right???!!!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

Generally on Easter, my mom, Taylor and I spend the weekend in Dew and attend the Swinburn family reunion on Saturday. There is tons of food and the kids have a huge "egg" hunt on the grounds outside the church. I did this as a kid every year and Taylor has been there almost every year as well. This weekend we didn't make it because Taylor had two baseball games on Saturday. I am not sure we could have gone being only a week since my mom died. I cannot imagine being up there without her.

So yesterday Taylor and I spent part of the day at an Easter celebration at a neighbor's house. There were probably 25 people there and about that many kids as well. The kids had an egg hunt in the backyard and Taylor had a great time. I was supposed to bring an "Easter dish" but just didn't have the energy to cook anything. So yesterday morning we went to Wal-Mart to buy a fruit tray and a veggie tray. Taylor needed a basket to hunt eggs and I couldn't find one at the house. I figured we would just buy one at Wal-Mart but they were completely out of them. I was already feeling sad being that it was Easter and my mom wasn't here. When we couldn't find a basket, I just felt the tears about to roll. Needless to say, I had a slight breakdown in the Wal-Mart. We ended up going across the street to Walgreens and luckily, we found a nice basket and Taylor was happy.
After the party we went over to some friends down the street so Taylor could play with the kids. When we left, they sent us home with two big plates of food. Taylor and I gobbled it up when we got home. I haven't cooked or done anything in the past week so it was awesome to get a home cooked meal.
In the evening, I went next door to the neighbors who have 4 kids and Taylor had so much fun playing with them. I let her play until 9pm which is way late for her. So all in all, the day was okay. I just felt sad in the back of my mind the whole day though. I guess that is to be expected.
Today we are going to Target to find Taylor some "high heels." She is such a girlie-girl. I also need to get a couple of things for my trip. I leave on Thursday for the Riviera Maya for 5 days. I am going alone to try to get a grip on things and to just relax. I am just spinning in circles right now and it will be so awesome to have some down time for myself. I cannot wait to get out of here!
We are going to stop by Jennifer's house so Taylor can play with the girls. And then I just remembered that Taylor has a baseball game tonight. No wonder I am exhausted. We are constantly on the move and running from one thing to another. Thursday cannot get here soon enough...!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Blog for Michelle

For the past year I have chronicled my life during my mom's battle with terminal breast cancer. I found it to be a great way to share our daily trials and also to keep friends and family updated on her illness. It was so wonderful to post a journal entry and let everyone know how we were doing at the same time without having to make lots of phone calls.

During the past year, I found this to be therapeutic for me in many ways. My last journal entry was a few days ago where I shared the details of my mom's memorial service. My mom died on April 3, 2009 and I was with her for her final breaths. My life changed drastically that day. I no longer have a mom. I am an only child and my dad died on June 7, 2003 of cancer. I have no grandparents and I am a single mom. So my entire family dynamic has changed drastically. My immediate family consists of me and my daughter, Taylor. Thank goodness I have a large awesome extended family and many wonderful and amazing friends to help me through the past year.

Here is the last journal entry where I detailed my mom's funeral which was held on Monday April 6, 2009:

"I made it through the memorial service and was pleased at how wonderful and special everything was. I know my mom would have liked it. Everyone ate lots of Brookshire’s fried chicken, which was her absolute favorite!
I want to thank everyone that came to the funeral to support me and to remember my mom and her life. I was also so excited to see all the donations for the Christopher House on display in the front of the church. I brought it all home and have sorted it out and there is so much of it! I had to sort it pretty quick because Taylor was very interested in it. I explained what it was for and she understood. I then let her pick out three things to keep. She chose a sketch pad, colored pencils and a little jar of Vaseline. Not sure why the Vaseline, but she is really enjoying putting it on her chapped lips.
I cannot wait to take the donations up there to express my gratitude to everyone that made my mom's last 2 weeks peaceful. Some people gave me cash and I am trying to figure out the best way to use it. I called the Christopher House yesterday to see what else was needed, but the girl that handles it was already gone for the day. I will call her today and go from there. I can't wait to go shopping to get the final things for them. I cannot thank everyone enough for making these donations instead of buying flowers. I promise, it is money well spent! I will most likely take the items up there next week or the week after. It will be hard going back and I need a few more days away to prepare myself.

I had a couple people ask me to send them the songs and the poems that I read at the service. I will go ahead and post it here for those of you that didn't get to attend.

For the songs, I chose the most beautiful version of Amazing Grace (in my opinion) by Il Divo, from their album The Promise. In the middle of it, the bagpipes start up and it is one of those songs that moved me.

I also played Let It Be which was originally by the Beatles. I used a version sung by Carol Woods. It is a beautiful song and the words bring comfort to me.

The third song I played was Goodbye's (The Saddest Word) by Celine Dion. It was as if she wrote it for me and my mom. For those of you that know me well, you know I have never called my mom "mom.” I have always called her “Mama.” Here are a few of the words: "Mama, you gave life to me. Turned a baby into a lady. And Mama, All you had to offer was the promise of a lifetime of love. Now I know, there is no other love like a mother's love for her child. And I know, a love so complete, someday must leave...must say goodbye. Goodbye's the saddest word I'll ever hear. Goodbye's the last time I will hold you near. Someday you'll say that word and I will cry. It'll break my heart to hear you say goodbye." The very last verse of the song says "Till we meet again...Until then...Goodbye." I felt it was fitting to play it last as a song for closure. It is definitely a very emotional song and it was all I could do to keep myself together at the service.

I read two poems at the service. A few people asked me how I was able to do that without breaking down in tears, and I just said "I sucked it up, just like my mom told me to do!" I really wanted to read them because they meant a lot to me. I would have been upset later if I hadn't done it, so I got on up there and made it happen.
The first poem I read was from me to my mom. This one could not have summed up the last 13 days of her life any better. I think it was a blessing that we got to the Christopher House and I had many days of prayer and tears to come to terms with the fact that she was dying. By the time she did pass away, I was horribly sad but once my crying was over, I was able to feel comfort that she was in a better place and healthy again.

God Saw You Getting Tired
God saw you getting tired,
When a cure was not to be.
So He wrapped his arms around you,
and whispered, "come to me."
You didn't deserve what you went through,
So He gave you rest.
God's garden must be beautiful,
He only takes the best
And when I saw you sleeping,
So peaceful and free from pain
I could not wish you back
To suffer that again.

The second poem I read seemed to me the perfect one from my mom to me and Taylor and to all her friends and family that loved her. One part that really stands out to me is the fact that you must exit life alone. Even though I was there every day for her, I could tell that she was doing a lot of the work internally by herself. This poem gives me comfort that she is okay and in a better place and that she wouldn’t want me to let her death consume the rest of my life (if that makes sense). Another part that I find perfectly fitting is the last part where it tells you to go to friends for comfort and to do good deeds. It is just a perfect poem.

Miss Me - But Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room,
Why cry for a soul set free!
Miss me a little - but not for long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go.
For this journey that we all must take
And each must go alone;
It's all a part of the Master's plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss me, but let me go.

I had someone ask me yesterday what I am going to do now. The truth is…I don’t know. I am sure things will fall in place and work out eventually. I am not going to pressure myself with timelines right now. I am going to focus on being a good mom to Taylor. Last night we ate dinner together at our house for the first time in a year. It felt so strange to not eat at my mom’s house. So there are definitely things that we will have to learn to do again, on our own. Taylor will be able to come home from school and play on her swing-set in our backyard. One thing that I know, we will manage. She was so incredibly sweet last night. We had to clean out the pantry and throw away all the expired food. She totally took care of it while I did dishes. She said she was helping me because she knows that I have had “a lot of hard and sad days lately.” I almost burst into tears it was so sweet.

Last night, right before Taylor fell asleep, she said, “I miss Nanny.” All I could say was, “I know sweetie. I do too.”