Archive for family

On the death of my grandfather

I have a mole on the side of my body, right between my right breast and armpit. It used to look like most of my other moles, small, flat, and brown, but it looks different now, and I’m kind of freaking out about it. Not because I’m scared it’s cancerous or anything like that, but because this mole is special, as my grandpa, Poppo, had the exact same mole in the exact same spot.

For those of you who follow this blog, but don’t know me in real life, my Poppo died at the end of this past December. If you do know me or read me, then you’ll know that this has been a devastating, however expected, loss. I won’t go into everything again (you can read more about him here and here) but he co-raised me and we were very close when I was growing up. For over a decade before he died, he suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. In the end he didn’t really remember any of us except my grandmother, and he lived full-time in a special home for people with memory loss.

A lot of people aren’t close to their grandparents, so they don’t really get it, and they say or want me to say that he was like a father to me, but it wasn’t exactly like that. I never had a father, so I wouldn’t know what that means. Poppo was my best friend and one of the only people who has ever made me feel completely safe and loved. Years ago a sentence like that would have never appeared in my writing, because feeling safe and loved is not funny, or really very interesting as far as the big story goes, but getting older and trying to get healthy mentally makes you say and feel all kinds of things that aren’t super amusing. I have lived for almost my whole life genuinely believing that I just can’t seem to do anything right, but my grandpa’s love always got through to me. He never made me feel ashamed or ugly.

I’ve been hard on myself for mourning so deeply. I can’t figure out why it still hurts so much, especially since he was so old and sick, so ready to go, and went so peacefully. But I suppose watching the person you love most in the entire world exhale for the final time doesn’t fit neatly into the definition of “peaceful.” It was harder in the end to watch him leave his earthly body because I had stuffed down my feelings about slowly losing who he was long before that. Just as my favorite mole is changing, I watched my grandpa change before my eyes for years and then had to turn away. It was too painful to see him, too difficult to accept that he was alive but not there to read my stories or meet the person I want to spend the rest of my life with (who reminds me a lot of him, by the way. Sometimes cliches work out). Of course, unlike the weird, raised, discolored mole (TMI), which I will probably have to get removed, my Poppo never turned into anything ugly. He was beautiful to the very end and beyond, from his last breath with most of my family by his side to the amazing pictures we shared at his rosary to the strength he gave my cousin to deliver his beautiful eulogy.

I know it will get easier, because there are more funny stories about Poppo than sad times, but I will miss him forever.

living ghosts

Those of you who know me or read my blog regularly know that I was very close with my grandfather growing up and that my grandfather now suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. He has lived in a nursing home for about three or four years, I think.

The years have sort of escaped me because, as you also may know, I rarely visit him for my own personal reasons that only I can wrestle with. I hope it doesn’t make you think less of me as a person. It’s really a lovely place as far as nursing homes go, and the staff is wonderful, but every time I go there I end up running out in tears, so for the most part the only times I see my Poppo are when they bring him out to visit. He can’t be out too long because he starts to get antsy and uncomfortable. People with Alzheimer’s do not like to be far from home, and that place is his home now.

Once upon a time, he lived with me. Or rather, I lived with him, my grandma, my aunt, and my mother. It was a happy home, if somewhat overly filled with grown-ups. I remember being small and sitting at his desk. I don’t think I ever knew what it was he did at that desk. Maybe it belonged to my mother or my aunt, but I associated it with Poppo because he was the one with all the papers. He had so many papers and letters, stacked and wrapped with rubber bands, on the desk, in his dresser, and in the drawers of his bathroom. Then there were the pens. There were pens everywhere. He seemed partial to black pens, belted at their plastic middles with silver rings and with a sliver clicker at the top. I loved those pens, and I would sit at his desk and play all the time. My favorite things to do were to write words and draw (poorly) on huge yellow legal pads, swivel around in the old 70s desk chair that was upholstered in marigold, and press the buttons on the fluorescent desk lamp on and off over and over again. This may not sound that fun, but I liked the way the lamp buzzed loudly and glowed softly if you pressed the button lightly, but then went into a quiet hum and bright glow when you gave it a good, hard press.

The more I think about this, the more I am starting to understand my unreasonable fondness for office supplies.

Anyway, I thought of my grandpa today as I searched online for a vintage desk lamp to go on the desk I rescued from the streets of Echo Park. The desk is old, cheaply made of wood painted a 70s shade of peachy pink. I hope to fill the drawers with pens and paper goods and use its surface to write all the things I will never get to show my Poppo. He is alive and full of love in his heart, I know this, but he is not with me as I wish he could be.

When I’m at my grandma’s house, where his dresser still stands, I feel like I can almost see him shuffling about from desk to drawer, stack of papers in hand. Sometimes I have to take a second look to really know he isn’t there. It scared me the first time this happened. It frightened me that I could see his ghost while he is still very much alive. Now I just think of that shadowy figure as a moving memory of the senses, a beautiful memory, like the kind triggered by the scent of jasmine on a summer breeze. Only mine visits with the smell of aging paper and, just the softest finger press away, the drone of a fluorescent bulb in an otherwise darkened room.

sisters, sundays, and a touch of sacrilege.

it’s not that i’m too lazy to write, it’s just that i don’t FEEL like it. i’m in a bit of a funk right now. it’s that age-old problem of what to do when your life is nearly perfect except for the inability to function in society, you know? no? oh. anyway, i’ve been thinking of a lot of ideas, and writing in my mind, but when it comes time to sit in front of my laptop, i can’t quite think of what to say.

Sisteractit is, however, rather out-of-line that i have not written anything for the entirety of may. i love may! june is my favorite month, but may is pretty good too. i had a great weekend because friday night joe and i hung out with my bff jenny. jen was over the moon because she just moved to a new apartment and her mom gave her all these old VHS tapes. we watched “sister act,” which is obviously a classic, but i haven’t watched that movie in years, and it is shocking to realize how utterly plausible the ridiculous plot seemed when i was ten. holy shit! it was during this time, a time i would venture to say comes in almost every young catholic girls’ life, that i was deeply considering becoming a nun. all musical comedies aside, it always just sounded like the good life. i went to a school that had very few sisters walking around, so all the nuns in my mind were perpetually young and beautiful, like rosy-cheeked saint bernadette, who were lauded for unselfishly giving their lives to god, never had to be any (mortal) man’s servant, give birth to any brats, and who were never lonely because they always had their sisters, aka bffs, around. i guess i pictured it like one big slumber party. then as i got older (okay, one year later) i re-discovered feminism, thought about how i’d never get to have sex or go out dancing, and how i’d have to pray all day and probably clean stuff. so much for that vocation. still, i got a little misty on friday night while watching sister act. something about when the young, skinny nun finds the powerful voice within her diminutive body gets me every time. seriously, i totally teared up and hid it from jenny and joe.

saturday was low-key because we had a big day on sunday. in keeping with the religious theme (whoa…), my little cousin was having his first communion and because we had a potluck to go to after and because, for some reason, joe really wanted to, i had to ditch my plans to avoid actually being at the church ceremony. if there’s anything i hate worse than sitting through an hour of mass, i don’t know what it is, but strangely, sunday wasn’t so bad. it was nice having joseph there, all dressed up in his button-down shirt and tie, sitting among my mom, aunt, and cousins. i actually felt quite relaxed. i like that joe likes doing family things with me. i told him that was the first time i ever had anyone i dated come to church with my family before and he didn’t believe it, since i was with my ex for five years, but my ex thought my family was creepy, what with our “seeing each other all the time” and “liking each other”. i definitely promised myself i would never date anyone who isn’t family-oriented again, and i told joseph that very early. he’s not used to big families either, but he is getting more comfortable with mine all the time, and they LOVE him, which makes me insanely happy. still, it was a little strange being “out” at church, but i guess we will never know if we were First_communion“passing” as a straight couple or if the rest of the congregation was simply being polite, as i didn’t notice any looks or anything, and that church is fairly conservative. anyway, it was a nice day. i found the picture to the right on google images, but this is basically me at my first communion. well, actually, i wish i was that bold. i’m probably more like the girl giving the side eye (my new favorite slang phenomenon) in the background. i do remember i WAS NOT HAPPY that day. not only did i have to go to mass, but i had to wear an uncomfortable dress it took forever to pick out, have my hair fussed with in the morning (i always hated that), and hang out with the other kids, who i disliked immensely, especially the boys. it’s kind of a wonder i didn’t turn out to be a raging bull-dyke, but within the next two years, i had a caboodles filled to the brim with wet n’ wild, tinkerbell cosmetics, and my mom’s cast-off estee lauder lipsticks. i’ve been a high femme ever since. i’m still not overly keen on boys, though, just joe mostly.

the potluck we went to after was tons of debauched gay fun, so everything evened out. i took some pictures, but they are stuck on my camera. i will post them asap, though. some of them are HILARIOUS! it was a pre-cinco de mayo theme potluck, so everyone brought mexican food. i made my mom’s friend noemi’s recipe for vegetarian ceviche and also attempted my very first flan (which i documented in photos every step of the way.) i’ll tell you all about it when i get the pictures up.

well, that’s all for now. i’m trying to sort some things out, so i’m really sorry i’ve been inconsistent with posting. i think it will all be worthwhile in the end, for the both of us, dear reader, but that will remain to be seen.

hey, isn’t it funny how when it rains it pours? i mean, like, on friday we watched “sister act” then that night jenny gave me a note she kept forgetting to give me that one of my best friends from junior high who ran into her mom sent along for me. in the note, she confirms that yes, she is planning on becoming a nun. then there was the first communion mass, THEN tonight we were watching “true life” on mtv and there was this rich OC bitch who wanted to become a catholic nun. crazy! maybe i should look into this “god” thing again. i mean, for the last couple of years i have pretty much been religiously devoted to susan miller of astrology zone, but maybe that’s because she keeps saying, Jesuscompindirectly, that i am totally going to become a famous writer. well, i read my may horoscope and she said that yesterday was supposed to be an amazing day for me, but NOTHING happened. granted, i did not leave the house all damn day, but still, JESUS! seriously, jesus? are you still there? we may need to have a talk… do you guys think he’s on iChat?

wanderlust, regular lust, and a journey inside the mind of a suicidal 5th grader.

Mapdespite the fact that i am virtually unemployed and absolutely broke, i am currently, in my mind, planning my one-year anniversary getaway with joe at the end of july. i’ve been dying to go to vegas lately, and this summer we are most definitely going to make a trip to portland, but where i really want to go is somewhere i have never taken anyone i was dating before and that is to my childhood home away from home, pismo beach, ca.

when i was a kid my family went to pismo almost every summer. pismo beach is north of los angeles, on the central coast, so even in august, the weather is usually very mild. one of the funny memories i have of visiting there as a child is that the hotel we always stayed in had no A/C in the rooms, as it never really got that hot. i thought that was SO INTERESTING, which is hilarious to think of now. what a so. cal girl i am!

Seacrestin the research i am doing to find us the perfect romantic hotel, many of the reviews i am reading are by parents and they always obviously comment on whether or not the hotels are “kid friendly.” as i’m reading this i’m thinking, “UGH. kid-friendly = no” which is kind of ironic as it is a place of childhood nostalgia for me. the things is, as i’m sure i have mentioned before, i was a weird kid. my memories of pismo are definitely pleasant, or i wouldn’t be dying to Pismocliffside1_l_2go back there, but they are a bit somber. each year we stayed at the sea crest resort motel, which is on a cliff overlooking the pacific ocean. to get down to the beach you have to walk down two long flights of rickety old stairs. at the top of the stairs there was on old bench where you could sit and watch the ocean. in the morning it is quite grey, and the sunset is beautiful. i would sit there for hours looking out at the sea, thinking that it would be nice if it came all the way up and swallowed me whole, and wondering how long it would take anyone to notice if i climbed the tiny fence and propelled my chubby kid body over the side of the cliff. yes, even then, i was a good time. in truth, i am exaggerating a bit. i mean, not about the early thought of suicide, that’s all true, but that’s not all i thought about. i would sit there and write little poems in my notebook, try to look for selkies, wonder if i would ever sit there with someone i loved, etc.

i guess in many ways pismo beach is where i nurtured my writer’s heart. my grandpa nurtured my mind as a writer, but the heart, it seems, is so often born in a specific place, and mine rose out of those murky green waves, strange, but strong enough to withstand being cast against the rocky coast, gnashed by broken shells, and poked by the irreverent sticks of beachcombers.

Sanddollarfwslgwhich leads us back to my vacation. i really hope this happens! i would love to go back there and take joe, especially if we can stay in a suite with a hot tub. i don’t care what kind of job i have to get to afford this, there are sand dollars that need collecting, clam chowder to be eaten, and conservative people to possibly irritate with our gay passions! i’m kind of in a state of confusion because supposedly the resort motel (LOL @ that name) we used to stay at has become a big time dive, and thinking back, i do remember there being a lot of other kids there, but that’s where all of my memories are. on the other hand, the last time my fam went, a few years ago, we stayed at this great place right on beach level (no stairs) that had private hot tubs on every balcony, which was not too thrilling staying in a room with my cousins, but i think it could be a little more interesting this time around. then there are a ton of other romantic-sounding hotels. hmm.

in case you can’t tell, i am obsessed with going on vacation. it’s a combo of a lot of factors that don’t really make a lot of sense and even seem a little weird/gross together, but if you can name a time when i have given in to not wanting to sound weird/gross you will win a prize, so here goes:

1) i’m tired. i sleep better on vacation because there is no real point in staying up all night unless i am out drinking in which case i pass out like a rock. also, usually i have to wake up at a semi-decent hour so as not to be wasting my whole vacation sleeping and/or because of others. this is good for me because otherwise i will sleep all day. that’s what happened to me last time we went to portland because i brought my computer, we were staying in a windowless basement room, and we really had nowhere to be for two weeks. that vacation was fun but it made me more tired than relaxed for that reason.

2) since joe is out of classes for a few weeks i feel like i myself am on vacation from school/work, when truly i am simply a loser with no life skills.

3) we seriously had some of the hottest sex i have ever had in my entire life on tuesday night. i am basically trying to think of all the places in the USA we could re-create/one-up that sex. it’s quite simple, really.

4) the beautiful weather in l.a., strangely, makes me want to go somewhere else with equally beautiful weather. not really to get out of l.a. (obvs.), but because i want to be somewhere i can smell suntan lotion all day and wear a robe that isn’t mine as opposed to being like “wow, what a great day! well, back to craigslist/traffic/my mom’s house.”

5) when i really think about it, i miss family vacations. the last one we took to pismo beach, about three years ago i think, was the last that the whole family will have ever taken together. since then, my aunt’s husband john died, my grandpa’s alzheimer’s is way too advanced to travel with him, and my grandma, while in good health, can’t walk around too much. i would still love to go away with my mom, aunts, uncles, and cousins, but it’s hard for everyone to leave at once because of my grandparents. a bunch of them went to oxnard last summer, but i couldn’t get off work. hopefully this year, maybe they will do something and i will be able to go.

Splashin closing i would like to tell you all i’m not some crazy glutton for punishment when it comes to wanting to go to the site of my childhood gloom. as i mentioned, pismo beach also has some great memories for me, like eating fried clams at the splash cafe, waking up early to collect sand dollars and shells with miranda (if you don’t get them early, they get crushed by runners on the beach), the time my good friend (you know who you are) came on vacation with us and peed on a lounge chair by the pool, the little punk record shop where i bought my first 7 Year Bitch cd, and nini (my aunt) being so happy and radiant in those times.

of course, pismo is also where i lost my first true love… my stuffed animal pig wilbur, whom i insisted upon bringing then left there carelessly. i will never forget him, ever. just don’t tell joe.

pizza, puppies, and poppo

sunday afternoon my cousin had a birthday party for his son in my aunt’s backyard, which is adjacent to my mom’s back yard. joe and i went to the party and it was a wonderful day. it’s been a long time since i’ve chilled out with just joe and my immediate fam, plus my grandpa was there on loan from his home. they ordered pizzas from mama patrillos, my fav, and my mom made her famous salad dressing. as if things could get any better, my aunt and uncle brought their two new beagle puppies! there are SO cute!

if you will remember, my grandpa (poppo) has alzheimer’s disease. he wasn’t looking too great. days before he had broken into a run at his home, fell, and got rug burn on his face. at the end of the day, as my aunt and uncle were about to take my him back, i hugged him and said “bye. i love you poppo!” he said, “i love you too!”

i snapped my head back in his direction, as i had already turned away quickly after i said i love you to him. “what did you say, poppo?”

“i said i love you!” he smiled and his eyes became glossy, then he mumbled something about me being so young. i don’t know for sure, but i think he might have recognized me for a moment. i think he saw me.

this makes way more sense if you have read this post i wrote a while ago when he was really sick. his physical health bounced back somehow, but his mind is steadily deteriorating, and i miss him, but i also love seeing him outside of the home.

a failure, the heart

this isn’t very linear. i appologize in advance. my brain is swimming. my grandpa is in the hospital with horrible pneumonia and congestive heart failure. i’m just sort of… failing as well, you know? i want to pray, as that is all i can do, but i am unsure of what to pray for.

if any one person has defined my life, that person is my grandfather, poppo. he raised me from infancy along with my mother, grandmother, and aunt, all in the same house. i don’t believe i have ever loved or trusted anyone more, or know that i ever will.

well, “trust” is a funny word for me, because really i don’t trust anyone. especially because i am terrified of vampires. i used to be convinced when i was a kid that it was only a matter of time before the night came where i would be awakened to find that my entire family had turned into vicious, bloodsucking vampires ready to sink their teeth into my young flesh. sometimes these fears even carried into the morning, whereupon poppo and i would be riding to school in his rickety, blue datsun pickup truck. i would stare out at the grey sky fizzing with dry autumn leaves and think, “if poppo turned into a daytime vampire right now, that would be so scary. but at least he would make me a vampire too, then me and poppo would be vampires together.”

i was a strange child, but i loved my grandfather very much.

in fact, everyone has always loved him. my mom and aunts used to call him “the phantom of san gabriel” because sometimes he would rake other people’s lawns as well as ours and on the eve of trash day he would go around to several of our neighbors houses and, under the cloak of twilight, drag their trash cans out to the front for them. and this was before all the trash cans had wheels.

when we were little, he made all of us laugh and scream by turning his eyelids inside-out. whenever my mom got really pissed she would tell him to spank me with his belt. he would take me to his bathroom, where he kept all of his belts rolled and filed in the wooden drawer. he opened the drawer and showed them to me menacingly, but he never hit me. never once.

the scent map i made of him is original old spice deodorant, the cracked vinyl of the seats in his truck, yard work sweat, the cheap wooden cabinets of his bathroom, cepacol mouthwash, and old, yellowing hardback books.

he taught me to always have a pen. he taught me that you can make a game of the dictionary. he read me a story over and over again that taught me that art can save your life. he taught me that republicans suck. he taught me to go out of my way for others. he taught me to appreciate a good pun. he helped teach us all every fucking thing we know about love.

he has been in a home for about a year, i think, or a little more. they (i say they) had to put him there when he started wandering away from home. i rarely visit. it breaks my heart. i know it is selfish. i gave him my letter then never followed through.

the alzheimer’s disease has killed his memory. he does not remember me. he does not remember how i used to say, “i love you poppo!” and he would say, “thank you!” and then i would say, “poppo, that’s not the answer!!!” and then he would smile and say “i love you too.”

today, in the emergency room, i leaned down and tried to choke the words out, but i don’t know if he could hear me. i would have given anything for him to just say “thank you!” i would have known what he meant by that.

Poppoamandatreecrop_2
poppo and i with our favorite, the meyer lemon tree

a toast: to habit, and rehabbing

i was getting frustrated today because i have gained so much weight that my clothes simply are not fitting properly and in my mind there really should be no reason for that, as i have been so poor i have been eating next to nothing. then i remembered that when i do eat, i basically eat jam. jam is high in carbs. okay, i don’t eat plain jam, cause that is absolutely hitting rock bottom, but i have been eating a lot of toast.

my old bff alex used to get SO PISSED because i would say “i want a toast!” instead of “a piece of toast.” i understood her frustration, but it’s one of those things we just sort of grew up saying. sometimes my grandma, grandpa, or my mom would say stuff strangely because they are from texas and speak a lot of spanglish, and it would annoy the shit out of me, but some things, like “a toast” just slipped through the cracks and became part of my vocabulary.

it sucks as you get older and realize what a shitface you have been to your parents for things that are simply not their fault or even necessarily bad. i can specifically remember one time when i was in high school and i snarled at my mom that she was saying the word “sandwich” incorrectly because she sometimes says “sangwich.” my mom and i fight like two cats in a sack and sometimes she gets way out of line with me and says fucked up things, but i remember that time she looked at me with genuine hurt and said, “i’m sorry i say that word wrong. it’s really hard for me to say that.” and i felt like a fucking douchebag, but i didn’t let it show.

sometimes i wonder if i will end up doing things like my mom and aunts do. i am so lazy and so incapable that i have never actually made a steak, but i wonder if i tried to cook one, would i inadvertently season it the same way my family would? i just wonder…

i already make the same silly faces as my mom and tell everyone how ugly i think i am, like she does. it’s so funny because it embarrasses me to no end and makes me so sad when she does that, but i do it too, all the time. it’s like an out of body experience. i can hear myself saying the words and regretting them. i can hear whomever i say it to becoming uncomfortable.

where does it end? what is true? do i know how to make a piece of meat taste exactly like my grandmother makes it just because i have eaten it like that a hundred times? was i ugly before i learned to say so, to anyone who was listening?

there are some steps you can never retrace.

let me cater 2 u

Ktchafl if working out of the restaurant on catering jobs has taught me anything, it’s that my family rules. well, i suppose the real lesson is that most people suck, but seeing as one of my greatest hobbies is bringing it all back to me, i have decided to compare all other parties to the parties my family throws. at one of our family parties, there is no way there would be a tiny dining table with huge, shitty sculptural candelabras the NO ONE CAN MOVE OR ELSE that the caterers have to somehow arrange a giant trough-like chafing dish full of fucking spinach and artichoke dip and chips and salsa between. at one of our parties, there would be no skinny, orange hags wrinkling their noses at the food before settling on half a chicken breast. at one of our parties, there is no way my mom would allow a bunch of riff-raff looking kids who had to drive a hideous van, lug out a bunch of hot food, and stand around all night serving mashed potatoes and making entertaining banter leave without at least two full plates each. it’s not even that i want to eat the stupid food (i mean, i do), but it’s the principle.

i can’t help but think about my mom in situations like that. sometimes she annoys the shit out of me M460103_strawcupcakescreamcheessmalbecause she is always giving stuff away and it gets kind of embarrassing. like, the appropriate response to “ooh, i really like your bracelet!” is not “thanks! you want it?” but that’s my mom. and once i got really mad at her because she tried to give all of my birthday cupcakes away to the staff at my grandpa’s nursing home even though i wanted to take them to another party i was going to so my friends could eat them. still, being away from my family and out and about seeing how other people do certain things has brought me to a whole new level of appreciation for her and for all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. especially, though, for my grandparents, who taught us all the importance of being generous and caring towards others, even those who are working for you. um, and obviously how to throw fabulous parties.

i wanted to try and start to take the reins as the future generation of my family, but i am lazy, fuck up everything i touch, and get easily frustrated with children, adults, and the elderly. not really much of a people person. you can see, then, why i felt it was a fine idea to enter the food service industry.

sometimes i really do wish i was the kind of girl who was, like… how any glimpse into my closet or vanity drawer would lead you to believe the good lord meant to make me. sweet, pretty, and domestic, with a flair for matters of the home and family, and who possesses an inexhaustible tolerance for high heels. in reality, i am a sweet-ish, pretty-enough booze-hound who likes to laugh, dance, write, and fuck or talk about laughing, dancing, writing, and fucking. the high heel thing is kind of true though. almost.

p.s. how much do you LOVE the carrots photoshopped into that pic of a chafing dish above. hahahaha.

a little letter to god

dear god,

so, it is becoming increasingly clear that what you have in store is for me to become exactly like my mother.

in general, i don’t really have a problem with this. i love my mom. she is funny, kind, and extremely popular at parties.

i do, however, have one request: if i am to become exactly like her, which incidentally includes being absolutely bat-shit crazy, can it please wait a few years?

all i ask is for ten more years of relative sanity, lord, before i become a raging neurotic.

i don’t think that sounds like too much to ask. i went to catholic school for eight years, getting fear and shame down to a science, and applying that in my daily life. plus, i don’t wanna say you “owe me” anything, but what gives with my disproportionately large upper arms?

thank you, btw, for blessing me with a big, wonderful, fun, warm, caring family whom i love unconditionally. except when i’m PMSing or they call me before noon.

your loving, however gay and fornicating friend,

amanda-faye

i love him, absolutely

Img_0707 today i was writing a new poem for my class. it is a prose poem about my grandfather, whom i love absolutely so much and think i owe at least 80% of the good parts about me to. he has alzheimers and has to live in a home now, which i never visit. i beat myself up about this on almost a daily basis, but it’s so hard for me… i know that sounds so selfish. i can’t even say… i know. the thing is i can’t even think or write about it without breaking down. now, as we all know i break down easily, and a lot, but this is the most real and complex situation in my life… the most painful, so painful i can’t even stand it and i’d rather hide from it. he does not remember me. i owe my life to him, and he does not know me. it’s so unfair, i could die. when i was little i always planned that i would kill myself when my Poppo died, knew that i would die too if he ever left me. what to make of this then? what the fuck do i make of this disease that has stolen him from all of us, too fucking soon? i know he’s not gone, but it’s so hard to see him. i just found this old picture in my camera. i took it at my cousin’s 21st bday party, when my grandpa would get confused, but he still knew me. i remember thinking if he was on friendster (hahaha, friendster!) that this would be his pic. it’s so emo-boy. he is gorgeous.