Archive for December, 2011

Wrapping Up

2011 was a bag of mixed nuts. In March a terrible earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and almost destroyed a quarter of my heritage. In the spring I got to play with puppies. In May I left a job I hated (which I didn’t realize I hated until I quit). In June I lived in Las Vegas for almost three weeks while working on a pageant. In the fall I realized that my efforts in dating someone that I’d met a year ago just weren’t worth the time. And the last two months brought on the loss of two people who touched my life more than I realized.

In between all of that, there were family and friends who managed to keep things together for me. There’s no way I could ever truly thank or repay them for what they’ve done for me, but I hope they’re aware of the tiny fraction of appreciation I have for them (even you crazy internet friends whom I’ve yet to meet in person).

Tonight I’m spending time with new-found friends, and tomorrow will be spent with friends and family. I’m still amazed that these people let me into their lives the way that they do (well, except for my family – they didn’t have a choice). Here’s to a more stable 2012.

I’ve dreaded coming back to this blog, mainly because my last post dealt with something that should have been a happier memory. Seven weeks have passed since my dinner with Lisa, which should be ample time to “recover” and get back into the swing of things, like life.

More than likely it’s just a coincidence, but after Lisa passed away I was called to attend two more memorial services. One was for my boss’ mother, the other for a former co-worker at Hilton. At this point I’m really, really hoping the rule of “bad things happen in threes” will apply here, but I’m not holding my breath. 2011, you’ve got less than a week left to throw whatever shit you were saving – I’m not dealing with anything negative come 2012.

My boss’ mother’s death was not that much of a surprise. She had been diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer, and in her final days my boss was doing all he could to make them as comfortable as possible. The atmosphere in the office was a little bit strange, but it might have just been me – I was going through my own stages of mourning. As if it wasn’t enough, I was asked to assist at the funeral. It wasn’t anything difficult – I was there to deal with the caterer and help set up the food. To make things a little bit easier, I told myself that this was a funeral rehearsal to help prep me for Lisa’s funeral.

A month passed, and I thought I was slowly getting back to “normal.” I wasn’t prepared when I discovered through Facebook that a director from my former workplace had passed. I frantically emailed and called old co-workers, trying to piece together what happened. This director had battled cancer twice (like Lisa), but the second round spread to another part of her body and just wore her down. The memorial service at work was incredibly bittersweet – so many people from my old team were there, and it was like no time at all had passed.

Things were so familiar, I half expected Anna (the late director) to burst into the room, apologizing for causing such a fuss and greeting me with her usual “Hello, Miss K!”

These past two months have been extremely trying, to say the least. I took time off from Pop Bunker with the intent of returning two weeks after Lisa’s funeral, but I haven’t found the energy to write. I’m not pleased with this post, but it’s the closest thing to therapy for me at this point.

Cupcakes & Wine

It’s been seven weeks since Lisa Kelly’s passing. It’s a Japanese custom to acknowlege each week for the first seven weeks, something that almost, I’m sorry to say, slipped my mind.

Because on my bad days, it feels like I just had dinner with her the night before.

On my good days, it feels like it’s only been a week at the most since she passed.

The only reason I started counting is because Lisa’s friend, Kim, mentioned that a month had elapsed in a blog post. No way, I thought. We just had the memorial. But pulling up the calendar proved me wrong, and I realized that I had three weeks left to make up for it.

My friend Nina had suggested holding a small birthday celebration last Saturday for Lisa at her “new place.” I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up some cupcakes for the occasion – I managed to convince Lisa to have dessert *that* night, and figured she wouldn’t object to another round of sweets. (When you’re in Heaven, calories don’t count. If they do, then it’s not Heaven.) The day was cloudy with patches of rain, but the sun did eventually pop its head out towards the end (just like at her funeral).

There was wine, chips, cheese sticks, a sausage and cheese platter, and those sugar cookies you see at the grocery store that are frosted and covered with sprinkles. We were just a main course short of having a full-fledged meal in the hills of Forest Lawn. Since our location was a cemetary, we couldn’t help talking about funerals and other loved ones who had passed. I couldn’t keep the tears back, but for once they weren’t from grief – I was crying because it felt like we were slowly getting rid of a heavy cloud that’s been hanging around since November 4th.

Our little group (Kim, Nina, Will, Lisa’s friend Jodi, Lisa, and myself) decided to sing “Happy Birthday” to her and “share” our wine (a fancier version of pouring one for the homies). It took almost everything I had left in me to make my voice sound cheery, but I’d like to think that Lisa got a kick out of us being a little tipsy and singing a little bit off-key just for her.

One of the last things I said to Lisa is that I wanted us to get together again for a drink before the year was over. And in a way, we did have that drink.

Going to visit a grave is typically a somber experience, but it wasn’t the case this time around. It’s still a sad occasion, to be sure, but when you’re with a group of friends who are gunning to make the best out of things, you can’t help but feel a little bit lighter.