Thursday, November 29, 2007

Joshua Alan Martin

In the wee hours of that Wednesday morning, a year ago on November 29th, my dad & my brother Charles called me. "We just wanted to let you know that the hospital called & told us that the family should hurry & go up there," says my dad. I asked if I should get on the next plane out & he said not yet, Josh could be fine, so try to go back to sleep. He just wanted to let me know.

Of course, I couldn't sleep.

Soon, another call from my dad, "They don't think he's going to make it through the next 24 hours. You should come now."


Josh was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer, Ewing Sarcoma, about a year & a half earlier. At the time, the prognosis was good & we all thought he'd get through this & move on to live a normal, healthy life. Even Josh himself was very optimistic about the future; so much so that he proposed to his girlfriend, Michelle, on the Christmas Eve after he was diagnosed. We couldn't have been more mistaken. The following spring, we learned it had spread to his lungs & his health steadily declined over the next six months. You would think that the news would somehow be less devastating since the day approaches expectantly. This, however, is not the case.

I went into a frenzy & started packing a suitcase for Solomon & me to take the next flight out of the OC. Jason tried to calm me & said, "Just calm down, we don't know that he's going to die. We should just wait & see." I was very adamant about leaving immediately though. I needed to be there with my brother & my family.

Only a matter of minutes after I finished packing, about 4:20am, I heard the phone upstairs ring. My heart sank. I knew that sound was leading me into a conversation I didn't want to have. I answered & Jeremy's sobbing voice on the other end said, "He's gone." I dropped to my knees & began crying too.

I called Maria immediately & shared the news with her first. She did live with my family for 2 1/2 years, so Josh was much like a brother to her as well. I waited until 5 or so to call my boss. I still had to leave a message, it was so early.

We finally arrived at my parents house well after 9pm that night. It was so weird to be in the basement, in Josh's room, knowing that he'll never walk down those stairs again. The only thought that kept ringing in my head was that now I have to tell people I only have two brothers. God, I have a serious problem with that. How could You do this to me?

We had two funerals for Josh, one in MD & the second in IN, where his ashes remained. So many people loved him (even though he could be the biggest brat sometimes). There were so many people at the funeral in MD that there weren't enough chairs!

We decided to stick to our original vacation plans & still went to FL for a week, as that is what Josh would've wanted. Actually, even when he was admitted into the hospital a couple of days before he died, he was determined to go to FL for our vacation. It felt so weird being on vacation without him.

It was sort of a mixed blessing for me that we lived in Cali through the whole ordeal. It displaced me from the reality of my brother's illness so I didn't have to face it day in & day out as my family did. On the other hand, I was miserable that I couldn't be there with & for Josh & my family, to share in the pain.

I have a great Hope though, & am confident that Josh has only begun to really live. I look forward to our next meeting in forever.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Frustrated with God's Timing

I learned today that my hcg is now negative - yay! No more blood drawings!! I told the girl from my doctor's office that it's been a month since I lost the baby & I haven't had a menstrual cycle yet. She said it varies from person to person (of course); some women start menstruating regularly right away while for others it can take several months. "Well," I said, "we were told that we should wait 2-3 cycles before trying again. So this might take a while, huh?" Yes, she replied, "but don't worry. It'll happen when it happens:)" (I added the smile because I am certain she was doing so on the other end of the phone. More so out of sympathy than optimism, though.) Not only am I extremely frustrated that I should be entering my second trimester at this time, but now it could quite possibly be another entire year before I get pregnant again! God, I gotta tell ya', I'm not too crazy about Your schedule.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We put up our Christmas tree & decorations today. It was in the 70's. Does anyone else see something wrong with that picture?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Up until today, I've never been dumped by a friend. A couple of weeks ago, our communications came to an abrupt halt with no explanation. I've called numerous times during those weeks & she never called me back. Then I sent her an email last week, asking if I had done something to upset her. I went on to apologize for anything I may have done & told her that I value our friendship so if we needed to reconcile, then lets do it. Still, no reply. Finally I sent her text yesterday & that seemed to have done the trick. She replied back to my email which I got this morning. Reading it was very painful as she was such a good friend. There were a couple of statements she made that really hurt & offended me.

"As I have entered into new friendships, I have to take a look at how they are affecting my well-being."

How has our friendship been detrimental to her well-being?

"I have recently realized that I have tried to take on everyone's burdens as well as my own. I am learning that I am not able to do that anymore."

I never once forced my burdens on her. Not that we're perfect, but Jason & I are a couple of very stable people. If anything, our relationship would've required the least maintenance.

"I really need to have a group of friends that understands exactly what I'm going through and I feel like we are in different places at this time. I need space right now and it would be best for me emotionally if we didn't continue talk."

That's totally a break-up line. Based on this last comment, you would think that I was taking her to clubs & popping pills with her. Like I'm some sort of bad influence! I have many friends who are in different places in life & that does not affect my relationship with them. Why is it impossible to be there for someone who is going through a trial which you yourself have never been through? The truth is, it isn't! And again I ask, how has our friendship been detrimental to her well-being? I have been nothing but supportive & loving & I feel that it's been thrown back in my face.

I do not need this friendship, or any friendship as for that matter, to validate me. That isn't the point here, but doesn't make it less painful, that's for sure. I just feel sort of betrayed as I've poured so much into this friendship only to be rejected. (Oddly enough, that is one of the things this person struggles with - rejection. Kind of ironic that she rejected me, huh?)

Maybe I'm being completely selfish & insensitive. Maybe those are the reasons we can't be friends. Who knows? Anyway, I hope she finds whatever it is she's in such desperate need of.
Mike Huckabee should really re-think his celebrity support...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Solomon's teacher told me that he now loves Ring-Around-The-Rosie & he kept going up to other children & grabbing their hands in an effort to get them to join his dance but they all ran from him. When we got home we watched Elmo, which has become our daily ritual. As I sat there watching him dance alone, my heart broke a little, picturing him trying to play with other kids while they rejected him. I know it sounds ridiculous since they're only 1. I mean, they have no idea what rejection is yet, & I'm sure it didn't hurt Solomon's feelings. However, the thought brought to my attention the fact that I can't protect him from pain. I can't keep his feelings from being hurt or his heart from being broken. That makes me sad.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Party Affiliation?




Sunday, November 11, 2007

My company laid off 40 people last week. Fortunately, I wasn't one of them; unfortunately, a few of them are close co-workers of mine. I'm not that concerned about my job at the moment as the CEO stated he doesn't anticipate another staff reduction. But that's what he said last year when they laid off an even larger number of people. If they do lay off more people, I don't think it'll happen before we move, so I think I'll be okay.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

This is totally me.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

So I'm little P.O'd about this weekend. We paid about $30 per ticket to see mewithoutYou but we missed their set! We arrived in between their set & Thrice. I can't believe we paid $60 to go see bands we don't even really care about! I mean, Thrice & Brand New were good & all, but they just aren't mewithoutYou. Now I'm going to have to wait six months or more for another opportunity to see them. I wish I could get my money & my Sunday night back.