Monday, April 28, 2014

The gift of life

I am very excited to announce that I have landed a job with Lifeline of Ohio as their new media and public relations coordinator! I could not be more thrilled with becoming part of their team. I received the phone call the day after my other job officially was quite serendipitous.

Lifeline is an organization that promotes the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation. I was amazed when I learned how many lives could be saved or enhanced through donation.

My personal journey with this topic is through my dad. When I got the call last January that he had passed away, my world was cracked into pieces. I called my best friend, my dad's friends, my family...I was on the phone for hours. Crying in anguish. At about 11 pm, I turned my phone off. When I awoke around 4:30 am, I turned my phone on again to find that I had two voicemails.

One of the voicemails was from the hospital and the other was from an organ donation center in TN wanting to know if I would give consent to have my dad's eyes harvested. By the time I called them around 5:00, the eyes had already "expired." Honestly, I felt conflicted. I never knew I would have to answer that question on behalf of my dad. And then I was thinking about his lovely blue eyes in someone else. It was a gut-wrencher. But I knew that my dad would want to help someone...he would have done it in a heart beat. I would have given consent, of course....I just missed the deadline. Part of me still feels sad about that. My dad could have lived on.

Dad and Sadie - this was his favorite picture...and mine too.

During the interview process, I was asked this question:

Jessica, we deal with life and death. Are you comfortable with the topic of death?

How unfortunate is it that I am "comfortable" with that topic? In my phone interview, I told them about my dad's story. In the in-person interview, I had to watch as three people took in the news that I had lost both my mother and father in the span of nine months. I felt bad for having to inflict that upon them. . 

During the interview, I also talked to them about empathy and sympathy. I feel like I know how to talk with someone who has lost a loved one. I've had it all in the past year. People you want to slap because they tell you how you have it "better off" than they do, those who think they can explain it away, and those who just sit with you. This video is perfect in my mind. I often share it with people who ask me how they should be comforting a friend in their time of need.

For now, I am going to tuck into bed and think of my great new job. I am really looking forward to next week and beginning a new journey in my new hometown.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I miss my mom.

Simple as that. I miss her. 

This past week we moved our family of five three hours from mine and my husband's hometown. After the hellacious year of 2013, my husband and I decided we required, a new start in a new town. With losing my job, a move became much "easier."

Moving a family of five is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure. It's been a little over a week and I think we are all finally settling down a little. The house is packed with boxes, but we are doing okay.

Now, mentally for me, things have been a little different. It is a mind cruncher to leave your "home" of 35 years, your mom's grave, your siblings and to move without a job (although I should be getting an offer later this week from an excellent non-profit down here...more on that later). My dreams have been disturbing. I think of my mom and dad constantly and ask them for strength. I feel kind of unglued, but then very glued together all at the same time. 

The dream that was the most disturbing was one where my mom looked whole and healthy, but was crying about how she didn't want to leave us. She didn't want to leave us. But she had to because of fucking breast cancer. She was so sad that she wasn't with us. It was just a super heavy dream. My mom wasn't really a sad person, so this dream was very upsetting. It was almost as if she was saying that she had a choice and she chose the wrong path. Now, we all know that she wasn't in charge and that she would never choose breast cancer, but that is how I felt after waking up. It was awful.

So, in talking to my husband, he said that the dream couldn't have been real, that this couldn't have been a visit from mom because she is HAPPY in heaven. That everyone is HAPPY in heaven and there is no sadness. Another mind cruncher. And then I was chatting with my gal pal and she sent me this:

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

I am trying to listen to these two bright people, it's just the image of my sad, sad mom that I can't escape. I am trying though. I just miss her so much. But, it's a pain I have to get used to. As much as I fucking hate it.