Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I'm 'back'.
Though, I never really left. I've just not been sleeping much at all for the past almost week and I often cannot write after staying awake for four days.

I read a book series for myself. It was nice to have something I wanted to read, wanted to finish. I don't think I've had a "fun" read since Wash died. I have some books and novels to catch up on.

So, aside from the reading.

Things have been good and things have been tough.

The hard stuff first.

I have lost about a stone (14lbs) in the last two weeks. Not for really trying, or stress, but mostly due to lack of food. This is hard to be honest about, which is likely why I have not said anything, but I don't really have money to get food anymore. SNAP (either due to Arizona State frak-ups, or Federal [Congress] Frakery) has been reduced for me, and with no income, I'm trying to eat on about ~$20.00 for 7 days.
I have no grocery stores I can get to by myself or walking, and I have no funds for a bus pass, since they increased the rates back in March. I have the CVS and the Farmer's Market. Both have a small selection of foods, and both are pretty expensive compared to national brand grocery chains. I do have friends who take me to one of the stores a few miles South of where I live, maybe once or twice a month, but I'm still on a stretched budget. So, I've been averaging about one "meal" a day.
This I am sure is contributing to my tiredness.

I have a lovely friend who is also an animal lover who has been helping me to buy cat-food so the kitties are taken care of. I have a lovely reader here who sent litter as well, which we are all-ALL- very happy for. (Thank you, K.)

But, I have about $36 to my name, and $4 in SNAP food benefits to last me until well into next month. Which is hard. It is hard to be 26 years old and having to ask my mother for help to buy toilet paper, and peanut butter. I have not had much of any luck with finding a short term, or part-time job. Most business close or get smaller for the summer when all the students and SnowBirds leave, and the few who remain, or who move here in the summer before school starts have seemed to taken all the open jobs around here.
I am worried. I have no idea honestly how I am going to pay rent, electricity (it's in the 100sF now. Would you like to live in the sun with no A/C?) or my internet; which is mandatory for me now, as I'm doing some things to get ready for college this summer.

Wash had no life insurance. Neither of us had even health insurance when he was sick!
Side note: our appeal date for AHCCCS was originally on Oct 28th, 2009. I had applied in August when Wash was ill and I knew he needed a real doctor, not a undergrad student at the college health center, and we were denied. I often try not to think how many more weeks or months I might have had with him if the tumor was removed 3 months sooner than it was.
No funds, no insurance, no savings. The bit we had went to our wedding in March of that year; and the whole thing was done for under $1000. Once Wash was not working, not able to work, from the tumor none of us knew was there, my savings were gone to pay rent and food. His parents, before they blamed me for his illness -and death- did help us that summer. I remember Wash crying so much. I remember being told by his father that "this was the true Wash, you're seeing his real personality coming out. He is lazy and unmotivated." Which, really, was entirely untrue- however it was correct in that those were the symptoms of his tumor manifesting.
I try not to be angry about that summer. None of us knew what was really going on inside his brain. The tumor growing, killing healthy cells, pushing his brain- swelling inside his skull. He was not able to be honest with me, or his family, or his friends, or the few campus doctors he did see. None of us put it together until he was in the hospital on Oct 26th.
I try not to think about how it could have been different.
I often fail, but I try.

This May marks 3 years of me being "unemployed"- as my State and the Federal government do not recognize being a fulltime caregiver for your spouse as "employed". Though it should be. Caregivers at home help keep the patient's Quality of Life high, and help keep Medical care costs down by not needing a bed in a care-giving facility. Those of us doing it for the people we love though, we are not paid or compensated. Even though most often in a situation where one partner/spouse is needing the care and the other doing it; neither of them often has income, or enough, coming in. Try living as a terminally ill person with special dietary needs, medication costs, rent, and electricity on ~$800/month. Or less. Often less.
It's hard. It is hard to say to someone who is dying, "No you can't, we cannot afford it."

I've been doing a lot of processing of my feelings, obviously. Which lately has included a lot of tears. I'm not fighting it, and it hurts, but the pain seems to dull more quickly when I don't fight it.

Moving more to the good, now.

I got some sleep last night/this morning. [5am-2pm]
As I was lying down last night, I smelled him. On our-my- pillow, and his bear Hoban. That was a great comfort to me. Maybe that helped. Or, maybe I just hit my wall of not sleeping more than 3 hours since last Thursday.

He would have been so happy and excited for me.
I got in to my college programme. I'm doing fundraising to cover the costs; like the down-payment for classes, and uniforms, and airfare. I am also applying like mad to every scholarship that I can. I am working hard on this, because this is for me. I have not done anything for myself since Wash was ill, even before.
I took a holiday in late spring of 2008. I married Wash in early 2009. That is really the only things that come to mind over the last 5 years that were in any way "for myself".
I want this. I want to go back to school, at least, in this small way. It is a summer term, so just under 2 months long, and not as much pressure as re-enrolling for a whole school year, or even a normal term. That might still be too much for me right now.
But this? This is perfect.
It is an all women's college. Dorm life. A town about the size of where I live, in Tempe. Lots of gardens. Outside classes. Peaceful parks. More so, it is in Israel and is history I can study and touch. This is a chance for me. This is a chance for me to find something inside myself. Some passion.
When I was about 8 years old, I read a novel (the third in a long, and still continuing series) that moved me and impressed on me so much I still re-read it yearly. A strong young heroine, adventures, dangers, and in this book- a trip to Israel. Archaeological sites and digs, and reading in original Hebrew and Aramaic words written by human hand thousands of years ago.
To me, that was the epitome of excitement. A small fire inside me started when I read that book, and I knew in my lifetime I wanted to travel there. I wanted to have a chance to walk in the Old City. I wanted to read those words written so so so long ago. I wanted to smell the air; so different I imagine from anywhere else I've been.
I have that chance now. More. I have a chance to learn for myself. To seek out the direction to continue on.

There is no "moving forward" or "moving on" from my husband's death. It will always be with me, and a part of me. But, I have been able over the last few months to heal enough to begin to see the world with me in it instead of mourning the loss of the we. 
This is a large and important step, and I am recognizing that.
My therapy team is also quite encouraging in this, as are my family and all my friends.
I like to think they are happy to see my desire to do something-anything- again. In a way, I am too.
There is still a part of me that wants to just sit in my closet, hold his TARDIS urn, and cry. Forever.

I'm growing to see that not only is that closer to impossible, it gives me no quality of life. That, he would mind.
School, though? Things being different, him being alive, both of us working, he would take me out to celebrate and encourage me every step of the way on this. He is the cheerleader inside my head. Much cuter than Teri/Ferrell though.

Things going well and I can raise the funds, get scholarships, and take care of all the other details? I'll be in Safed by the end of June and back home sometime in August.

I am also working on a few projects to hopefully get some of the novellas/short stories Wash wrote and illustrated published. The cancer could not take his creative imagination from him, and perhaps knowing that his works, his passions, were "alive" in a way, being read, being appreciated, will help me. Knowing that he is not forgotten.

That is where I am at.

My belly might be hungry, but my self has Hope to feed on again.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's been a bit since I last ended up collapsing in my kitchen sobbing. Crying enough to set off my asthma. The pain comes out keening.

Monday, May 27, 2013

I have not really slept much at all in the past 4 days.

I have things to say, but my tired brain can't articulate right now.

Still alive.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

More To Come

Well, there are a few logistical issues to take care of, and a few scholarships to apply for, but it looks like with some help and luck, I'll be in Israel this summer for a college programme.
I am aiming for 6-8 credit hours to earn, and as my school is in the North part of the country, I also hope to be able to visit Jerusalem while I am there.

There is a lot I need to get done, and a lot of support I will need to get through this, but I am excited to be back in a learning environment. Learning and knowledge make me happy.

Thank you Friends, for all your support, prayers, wishes.
I'll have more information in a few days to share.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Here it goes...

Tomorrow I have a video interview (my first!) at 10am.

With a college admissions coordinator in Israel.
I hopefully will find out if I have been accepted into a summer college programme.

Before I go off on premature plans, or more information, I will say this.

I am scared.
Filled with trepidation.

I am also hopeful.
Hopeful I have friends near and far who can help me with logistics.
Hopeful I might get in.
Hopeful I might begin to find the "me" that was given to "we" when I married.
Hopeful this might be a good change for who I am and have been.
Hopeful this might let me start walking again. Looking forward.
Hopeful I may again remember passions, and desire for learning.
Hopeful I could survive (short term) without my cats, my only Companions left.

Hopeful I can adapt to the potential change, the new-ness, the shuffle of my routine.

Hopeful I might make new friends.
Hopeful I may even meet another (young) widow.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow morning, if you would.

I am hopeful if everything can come together, this might be what I truly need to find life, and begin to see where my own will go.

I have not been able to think about my future for 4 years. It is daunting, but I am growing to see it can empower me.

Down the Rabbit Hole I Go!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

As dawn approaches/Tears fall Never to embrace/ my true love again

Monday, May 20, 2013


I had a quite interesting dream this weekend. I don't feel the need to get into deep details about it at the moment, but Wash was there with and for me. I've felt a bit better overall since then, and am getting a little more sleep.

Last week at my Hospice therapy I was asked to try something for a bit; "talking" to Wash. Out loud. Not like he was/is alive or dead, just as if he was next to or near by me.

It's odd.

I do it with GaiusWash, but that is just in my head, and I know it.

What I noticed pretty fast off; I don't speak anymore. Not really. Literally days can go by without me saying physically a word to another person. I sort of wish that disturbed me more than it does.

But, back to the dream. It was filled with old comforts, symbols of happier times. I feel like there is a point to it, a message. Likely coming from inside my own head, but still important.
I cannot really describe (and I've been trying all weekend) how it feels to be dreaming of one's dead beloved spouse, and being physically close with them in a dream one is aware is a dream... and to have said dead spouse miming that it's "ok" to be close to someone else.
I honestly really have. But, there at last my vocabulary fails me utterly. Because I cannot describe the feelings or sensations, though I do recall them. I can only say it felt like having a tiny, but heavy piece of guilt taken from my heart.

It is an odd sensation to having my internal monologue interrupted by my (dead) husband. He agrees. Which, as it is coming from my own head, of course.

I still think this is a weird "coping tool". But, I said I would give my therapy a real honest attempt, so I am.

I wish I had firm big news. But, trying to make contact with a country 9 hours ahead of my time zone is a bit hard logistics wise. So, it will be Tues before I have real word.
I am nervous. There is so much opportunity for me and yet so much to take care of here in AZ in the next 4 weeks if this is to happen. Everything becomes unknown and scary. But the entire future is unknown and also scary.

I spent some time on Saturday re-reading this blog. I read it in reverse timeline; it felt like a love story with a happier ending. I know exactly how much time he had. 2009 me did not. There was more Hope in the unknown then.

I am left to question. I am left to stand alone.

It feels a little like waking up from a long, long, long, long sleep with a terrible horrid and wonderful dream I remember, and as I wake realize the dream was reality. But the exhaustion is still there, the pain, the dust and cobwebs settled down on the bed on top.
But I am slowly waking, and moving, and breathing again. Still have days of tears and sobs, but also days where I have to start thinking of my own place in society. My own personal value. What I am worth, really? What do I give? What do I leave?
I am not Buffy, Kara or Faith. I reject the idea that my gift is Death, that I am the one to lead to the End.
I am real. My life is often a mirror to the sad and horrid scripted things we entertain ourselves with, but my life is only scripted by me.
I suppose I am now realizing that I don't want it written with a short end.

Saturday I was out after end of Sabbath and walking to get some milk and eggs to bake a cake. At the same cross-street where the bicyclist had been fatally hit back in May of 2010, I was witness on Sat to another car on bicycle accident. I literally watched the car plow right into the cyclist. Honestly, with the way she hit him and how he fell, if he had not been wearing a helmet, I have no doubt he would be dead- or on the way to it. I stayed and gave the Police a statement. Then once I knew the kid was going to be ok, I continued on to get my milk and eggs. [The cake turned out wonderfully.]
I was walking and about 50-60' from the intersection corner when it happened- on my side of the street.
I just remember running towards the kid lying in the street.

Seems I can't just "turn it off", that part of me. I see someone in trouble, in need, I am the person who runs TOWARDS.
Not often, but times like Saturday night do make me reflect and wonder if I am really "done" with the medical field. I was never wanting to work on living patients anyway, and it all became too much after Wash passed. But, I can't just turn it off. I don't think I have it in me to stop helping.
Maybe his death has not pushed me quite all the way to "Evil Genius" member of the Evil League of Evil.

I am working on me. Myself. No longer a "We". The single, lonesome "I".

He was worth it. Even in pain, in tears, I never waver or doubt that.
Wash was worth it. So much more than I could give.

I still say "I love you." out loud. That much I never stopped. Not "loved". Current tense. I still tell him that before I go to sleep each night. I may not speak much, but the last words each night after my Shema are "I love you."
Whenever in Time, Wherever in Space, I love you, Wash.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Only Imagine

I want to write more today, but it will likely wait a few hours until after I see my Hospice doc.

It's just always hard to start a day when I wake up crying.
When the bed is warm, my eyes closed, and I expect to feel him, and nothing.

There is fear and desolation.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Even I know I am sick when I spend the whole of sunday vomiting and then sleep 12 hours unmedicated. Soup. Need soup.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Like a rainbow

I am not touching the topic of Mother's day with a 40' pole right now. Moving on.

This week, with a lot of encouragement and support from my friends, local community, and most family, I decided to apply for a summer college programme abroad. I would be gone between 4-6 weeks, depending on how I can set things up before I would leave.
I am hoping to find out soon if I was accepted (it's a very selective Women's College) and if I can qualify for some scholarships to help out. I would still need to raise funds to go, but...

This is the first time since Wash died, and certainly the first time in perhaps the last 4 or so years I have felt like I desire to go back to a college environment and learn. Since Wash was sick with brain cancer, I have felt zero desire or goals to go back working forensics. To go back to bones, and skulls- of which all morph into his- to go back to Death, really.
No. I've spent too much of my life already in and around Death.
This is a chance at something new.
This is a chance for me to do some self-exploration.
To see what knowledge still excites me, what stokes my personal fire.

I can earn credits that can transfer back to the US. I can be in a (temporary) new place. I can clear my head, focus my mind, distract the pain in my heart.

Now, I'd have to be accepted first. I have to make sure my house here is taken care of, either house/cat sitting or subletting. It is one thing to go away for a month, it is a negative thing for me to come back and not have the home I have been living in with my husband since 2008. This much I have already talked to my Hospice doctor about. Now, there is a hope that perhaps when I come back I will be stronger personally to really start to not just sort through, but figure out where Wash's things and stuff will go. I have about a dozen packages I still need to send to his friends of his things. But, I am still letting Future Tashi deal with that, as right now I see a mountain of his clothes that will never be put back on his body. Fabric with a faint scent of him. Fraternity and Drama/Theatre shirts. Dress clothing.

His custom ties. Those I know what he wanted done with, how to get them to his friends, but it does not make it hurt less to do.

I had a moment last week. I was having a conversation (in my head) with someone, and my narrative said- "When I was married..." not "...I am married."
I think this was the first time my brain has phrased it for me. My world stopped last year, but things move. The Earth still spins, I still age, my cells grow and die, plants flower and die, and lives just move.

I had a Phoenix ComicCon brochure come to my house. Addressed to Wash, of course.
It was like a punch to my chest, all air gone out of me in a second.
It really sank in, Wash will never see another 'Con. I will never get to dress up or Cosplay with him again.
I am the one left. I carry the burden. I carry his voice, his desires, but in a way he will never see.
Too much emotion overwhelms my system and I just emotionally shut down. It hurts less that way.

Back to topic. I need to make sure my cats will be loved after while I am away (if I am accepted.). Leto really has not gone more than a day or two without human contact his whole life. He is a Comfort Cat, and he wants to be where he can get pets, attention, and love from other humans. Aelphie I am also worried about. She really only ever bonded with myself, Wash (after some years), and a great friend from college - and his sweet cat. I don't know if leaving her at my house, with me gone, is good for her, or if it would be worse to move her somewhere for a month where she can have more attention and less Leto/kitten escapades.
I worry about the TARDIS urn. I worry about leaving it, I worry about moving it. Anxieties and worry.
The cats are the closest thing to children I will ever have. Leto is the only living connection left to Wash- that is not me. (in my house)

I worry if I can raise the funds to go, to cover airfare and the costs for my home as well. It will be more than 7 more years before I will be able to get a loan, or not need a co-signer for anything. That puts me in an odd place for a 26 year old. Even harder trying to get really any job to get me out of the house, earning, paying bills. Part of me hopes this trip might help with that though, making new contacts and friends, or even just being able to say that I've done something in 4 years besides caregive (unpaid, thanks Arizona!) for my husband.

This is a chance to do something for Tashi. Not 'Wash and Tashi', not in his memory or honour, but for myself. Who I am, without him.

Wash always supported learning. We had a plan. He was willing to work to pay for me to finish my schooling once he was graduated and had done his Taliesin internship. I was willing to work and wait for him to finish. There was a plan, we both supported. We had even planned that if we had a child while I was in Grad School he wanted to be the Work From Home Dad. He wanted me to focus on school, and my desires. This I know. He would have supported me in this. He would be happy I have at the least, applied.

This feeling? It is not Depression. It is not Grief. It is like a horrid hybrid monster of the worst of both of them. It sneaks up in the quiet and calm before sleep. It strikes at a song, a moment, a memory.
It fills the nose with smells that trigger memories of happy or sad moments. There is no control. There is no bargaining to stop. It does not listen to pleas or rationality. It rears up, an angry wild stallion. It runs deep inside, pounding hoof beats to match broken heart-beats. It is tears at a kitchen sink that do not come from onions. It is a weight so heavy the body literally drops. It forms a Compassion, a desire to not wish it on any other human; though most every single human will experience it. It is the pain and darkness of a mile underwater, a place sunlight does not- cannot penetrate. It is the creeping darkness that whispers over and over and over- the worst broken record- "Is there really any Hope left?"

This is the feeling I have and fight every second, hour, day. I do not think English has a word comparable.
I wonder who else is aware of this? Who else knows this feeling? Who else knows this is what I am living with?

There is a lot for me to ponder lately. I have been trying to focus on the positive ponderings, less on the negative ones. It is a battle. Every day. For me, time does not ease up. Time allows no real respite inside my head.

That is where I have been, Dear Readers. That is where I am.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Fellowship

I got out tonight! I went out, and socialized, and shared, and made at least one new friend (hopefully).
Feeling a little proud of myself.
I am anti-social.
I have Asperger's.
I am a recent widow.
This is big.

Step by step, hour by hour, day by day; I am rebuilding my sense of self. I am allowed to be proud for trying something new, for putting myself in an unknown situation, and for enjoying it.

I do not know how tomorrow will go (though I actually hope to have some good and exciting news!) but I know that today I tried, and when I eventually get to sleep and wake up on Tues, I have another chance to try to live for myself.

Every day is hard. Not a day goes by without thoughts of Wash.
Gaius-Wash comes and goes as he will.

I want to try. I am not certain what it is, but there is a growing part of me that wants to just try instead of simply being, which is all I am right now- most days.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Moment of Silence

I saved my "ExtraBucks" from CVS lately, and bought myself a scented candle last night when I picked up my 4 new scripts. That brings my total for the month of May at 9 scripts. I always *love* (sarcasm) spending time deciding if I need to buy electricity or medicine each month.

But. I splurged and bought a $3 candle.
And my room smells nice. Relaxing.
Reminds me of the candles Wash would buy for me/us. Reminds me of the small signs he cared.

As I was walking home from the pharmacy last night, I realized with some quick math that Wash and I had walked that same stretch at least 600 times together. Probably closer to 800.
I could see the changes, like small photographs being flipped together. Winter, summer, seasons changing. Building being torn down and built up. The first few hundred walks, and then a Ghost Rider bicycle on the corner appears on 10 May 2010.
There are flashing lights, sirens. We are escorted to the other side of the street, and decide to walk home instead of further down the street.

It is now cooler, almost "cold" for Arizona. We are walking, hand in hand as always, Wash to my right side. He is wearing his "GEEK" black knit hat. He is laughing at something. His beard is thick, and I can see all the colours in it. Reds, blondes, browns.

It is a spring night. I am holding his hand with my right, and a bag in my left carrying Ginger Beer for us. He is walking slower now, but still laughs. There is a slight breeze, carrying the spiced scents of the Thai restaurants towards us. He is excited about his upcoming Stand-Up show.

It is summer now, and hot. Blinding. No more shade. Even the birds are standing in a single file row in the 4" of shade cast from a light pole. Wash is at home, no longer able to walk with me.

The photos blur faster. Rewind. I am out of breath pushing him in his wheelchair. We are trying to get early to "Wicked", our last anniversary present. Wash is angry and yelling, I am stressed and tired. Everything feels uphill at that moment.

Backwards. It is late fall. I am tired from work and moving. Wash is tired from moving, work, and school. He stops me from my load of laundry and pulls me outside. It is November 2008. We are on our first walk through our new neighbourhood together. His hand holds my right one. He is pointing out the styles of the apartments, townhomes, brownstones around us. He is wearing his work/welding boot and walking with large steps. I have to remind him to slow down, I cannot walk as fast.

Time ceases to be linear in my mind. It is past and present at the same time. Blank spots for the future. Images imagined of what could-have-been, what should-have-been.

He throws his head back, his neck long and scruffy with red tinged hair. He laughs. He smiles.
He leans closer and kisses me. I am flush with warmth.

I am home. The street is dark. The trees and front flowerbed across the street are gone, along with the kind older woman who tended to them daily, and spoke often to me about plants and gardens. The lights in front of my complex are different, installed a few years ago. The tree in our front yard is missing the large branch that a storm blew into my neighbours' bedroom window three winters ago.
Everything is different, and the same.

But I am now walking alone. The feeling of Wash holding my hand fades.

I walk inside my home. No longer "ours". He is gone. His welding boots are still on the shoe bench by the front door.

I light the candle. The scent takes me back in time again. I eat, I take my pills. I try to sleep.
I snuff the candle, but the smell hangs in the air, light, and comforting.

I am awake now. It is dark, still nighttime. I am hearing shadows of voices. Male? Female? Faint, but untraceable. My house is empty save for the cats and me.
I go back to my dark bedroom and hug Hoban tight. It is faint, but he still smells of Wash. The stuffed bear hold many hugs, and a small stuffed heart kissed by my Love when we had the bear made.

For the first time in weeks, I sleep.
I sleep, and I am thankful I do not dream.

The room is silent now, save for the typing and fans. My candle is lit again.
Tears are falling while I write.

There is a sense of emptiness. The last exhalation before a gasp and holding.
There is Silence.

I am Alone.

There is only physical self. Gaius-Wash is silent today.
Sleep at last! A good ten hours. Literally more sleep than this last week combined. My head feels better at least.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day

May is National Brain Tumor Awareness Month.

Time again to post the first story of how we came to find Wash's brain cancer.
Please Read.

To learn more about Wash's brain cancer, GBM, visit SaveWash 

I'll have a proper update later on.

Share the warning signs. Be aware. Reach for help if you need it, or know someone who does.

I don't want anyone else to die because they were sick and could not afford a licensed Doctor.