Category Archives: Family

Resiliency of the Human Spirit

2009 has not started in the most positive way possible for me, to say the least. In the span of a month and a half, I was affected by three deaths – those of an immediate family member, a college mentor and a hometown friend – as well as the end of a romantic relationship with someone I was seeing.

This post is a hard one to write, since no one likes admitting that they have been going through a difficult time, but I figure if I aim to chronicle my life through this blog, I should show the challenges in addition to the triumphs…

I think that the aforementioned events really forced me to take a step back and reexamine my life, my relationships, my self of sense – even more thoroughly than usual…

When death comes to rip apart the daily normalcy we take for granted, we are reminded of our own mortality and ask ourselves: What is our calling? How will we leave our mark? How will we be remembered? And we are reminded of the mortality of those within our support systems – our friends and family – who could slip away at any moment and we seize the moment to let them know how important they are to us.

We struggle to find meaning in death… but the best we can do is let go a little and learn to go on, carrying with us the legacy of those who have helped shape our life story. And we somehow find peace in the fact that these people who we’ve permanently lost from our lives will remain with us in the form of nostalgic memories and sleepy dreams…

In terms of the end of the romantic relationship I referenced – I realize that I’m no worse off than before. I was in a good place in my life and ready to share my happiness and success with another. I found someone with whom I felt I had truly connected (which is a rare thing for me), but, as it happens, he didn’t feel the same way… and that’s always (really) hard to take.

But I am who I am — which isn’t so bad 🙂 — and feel like I can continue to walk with my head held high. So I guess I come out of the whole thing a bit older and wiser (and a bit hurt but hopefully not any more jaded)…

I have to qualify the folllowing sentence, because sometimes it really is hard to stay optimistic — especially when you just were told that you weren’t a match by someone who you thought could make you happy and vice versa — but, at this very moment, I’m looking forward to meeting someone in the future who I’ll be crazy about, who’ll reciprocate those feelings all the while accepting me for who I’ve been, who I am and who I’m trying to become…

I’ll bare my soul even more (if that’s even possible) and say that with with everything that’s happened in 2009, there were days I couldn’t believe I had gotten myself out of bed, dressed, to work, and even out socializing. There were moments when I forgot about how everything had changed but then it would all come flooding back and I felt like I had been hit by a truck as I remembered the shifted reality of my life…

I think the hardest part about feeling “down” for someone like me who is usually an overall positive person is that you aren’t sure you’ll ever feel like your upbeat self again. It was finally this weekend that I started feeling like I’m on my way to being whole… and it’s nice to once again walk with some pep in my step and tranquility in my heart.

Fulfilling the Role of an Older Sister

Lana's Ice Show [05.18.2003]

Helping my sister get ready for one of her first ice shows – May 18, 2003

I received a phone call from my twelve-year-old sister yesterday, which is a big deal these days. (Since phone calls are so five years ago.) She called to tell me that she had been awarded an ice skating scholarship. That, in itself, is a huge deal and I’m so proud of her.

But she didn’t just call me to tell me the news; she called to thank me for my help… When I was home in January, she was struggling to effectively express why she was worthy of the honor and I worked with her to brainstorm her ideas and to present them in a cohesive manner.

(And trust me, she was pretty miserable while we were working on the essay because I would ask her “What is your thesis? What are the three points you are trying to make? Why are they a big deal? Stick to your argument and get rid of the unnecessary tangents.”)

Regular readers of this blog are aware that I often struggle with the guilt I feel living 440 miles away from my two younger sisters so I very much cherish those moments when I truly am able to fulfill the role of the guiding and supportive older sister.

Dealing with Death in a Digital Age

My grandmother passed away on Tuesday. And while I’m trying to find a way to cope with this on a personal level, it’s also been a challenge to navigate this road digitally.

Before the Internet days, how did the news spread? Word of mouth, maybe phone calls, an obituary… But now we live in a world where we broadcast our most private thoughts to the world and it’s been a challenge to find an appropriate medium.

On one hand, I don’t want to tell anyone about my family’s tragedy because it does seem like such a private thing. My closest friends have most likely all already heard, and there’s no need for anyone else to be involved. On the other hand, I want to shout from the rooftops the story of my grandmother’s life, how much I’ll miss her, and how devasting her death has been to my family.  Is it a private struggle or one made public in the same way that we have no hesitation about sharing other private aspects of our lives on the Internet?

My blog is where I think things through, my FaceBook profile is where I let people know what I’m thinking or feeling at a given time, and my Twitter status lets my followers know where I am. So is it still acceptable to clue everyone in to what I’m facing, or is this event too exclusive, too shattering to be lumped in with the usual mundane activity? It’s a fine line between honoring someone’s life and being sacrilegious. The words I’m using seem cheap to me and don’t do the occasion justice.

Or is this just the obituary – updated for our digital times?