Sunday, December 14, 2008

That's Not Logical, Captain ~ Mr. Spock

I have mentioned that we are following the suggestion of one of Corey's doctors to help moderate his behavior. It's working very well compared to not doing it. We also have some other tricks and tools at our disposal that we use with some success. One of them is to have my mom let Corey stay with her for part of the weekends. This is great because it gives us a break, and because Corey's not being sent away for "being bad." He gets a break, too, and spends time with some of his friends.

The tools and methods we use, however, only take us so far. Some of the biggest problems we are having truly seem to stem from a breakdown in logic. Occasionally this causes smallish problems.

A couple of months ago, Corey had left home in the middle of the night and either got caught up with some gang members, imagined it, made it up... or some combination of those three (no, that's not the smallish part). When he went, panicked, to someone's house to ask for help, they (naturally) called the police and wouldn't let him in. Eventually he left their property, but the police did find him.

In the stress of the moment, Corey couldn't think of our house phone number or his address. He could remember my cell phone number, but didn't give it to the police because he's not supposed to give it out. So Corey told them the name of our apartment complex and they contacted the property manager, who had the pleasure of getting up and knocking on our door to let us know we needed to call to find out where to pick him up.

Yes, in our world, that is a smallish problem.

Last night Corey went to my mom's house. They had a great time, so she wanted to keep him a little longer than just after church today. We agreed that she'd bring him home this afternoon before the sun went down because I have been trying to get a particular shot of all of us for our Christmas card, and once it's dark, Mad's done for.

We put Mad down for her nap just after 1:00 this afternoon, and I went in to get some sleep, too. At some point, Tom joined us (the crib is in our room). A couple of hours later, Madelyn woke up and I brought her to bed to nurse a little bit. We must have fallen back asleep, because it was an hour later when she started playing around.

It was around the time Corey should have been home. I woke Tom up and he went to see. Sure enough, Corey was home. He hadn't been there for long, maybe a few minutes, but I could tell that he was agitated. Tom was too. He went into the kitchen and started doing dishes.

The next thing I know, Tom's asking Corey if he has any knives in his room. This is a recurring problem, but seemed like it was coming out of nowhere to me. Alas, no. When Tom had opened our bedroom door into the living room, there was Corey, pacing; he'd been carrying a knife. Tom wasn't randomly doing dishes, he was trying to account for all of the knives. We were napping with all of the doors in the home open.

We keep our knives locked in our office. Steak knives, butcher knife, paring knife. It's a little odd when we have people over for dinner if meat's being served.

Sometimes Corey will go into the office and get a knife while we're home, if the office is left unattended. He used to frequently "break in" to get them... or various other things we keep in there. I put not one, but two locks on the window, but it only meant he had to work harder to get in. I have placed a dowel in the window, which makes it impossible (so far). He's always one step ahead of us, though, so I have to be vigilant about checking that the dowel is still in place. For example, tonight while getting a knife, he also removed the dowel for later.

You're probably wondering why. Well, so are we. The best we can come up with ("we" being us, Corey and his team of doctors), is that he is arming himself out of a need for protection. The boy is hyper-vigilant about intruders and threats to his or our personal safety. Corey's explanation for tonight is that he was freaked out that our house was open, the cars were there, but there was no sign of us. Our bedroom door was shut, but he feared we might have been killed. Maybe the intruder was still there.

Have we ever had an intruder? No. Break-in? Nope. Well, one time our window was shattered... but that was an accident by a work crew at the apartment Corey and I shared back in the day. We were there when it happened, so there was no mystery. And our next door neighbor here had been burglarized, but it was from some creep who frequented his car stereo shop, not a random crime. That was solved in about six minutes (perhaps I exaggerate, but it was quick).

What caused this? I don't know. It seems to be clearly a mental health issue, but how did it start? As the mom, I figure I have to be to blame somehow. When it comes to this hyper-vigilance, the place my mind keeps going back to is that old apartment from back in the day. We moved there when Corey was about three and a half. When he was a little older (four? four and a half?), we played hide and seek. We only did it twice because he would get frustrated when I found him and so freaked out whenever he couldn't find me. Could that be the root of his problems? Or when he was in the fear-of-monsters-or-bad-guys-hiding age and I would take him from room to room and go through all of the closets and cupboards with him. Did that somehow start this ball rolling? It was something I would have liked for my parents to do for me when I was afraid (not that I'd thought of it then... oh, no... those doors had better stay shut!).

On the other hand, it's exceedingly difficult not to view this weapon obsession (knives aren't the only thing, just the focus of this evening) as some sort of a threat. With his occasionally explosive temper, the fact that he is taller than I and some of the comments he's made, it's hard not to worry. Nobody wants to be "that family" on the news, mainly because of what they have to go through to get there.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eight Months Ago This Night

I was in labor with Madelyn. It doesn't quite feel like yesterday. I know that right about now I was trying to get my family and Nance to play Boxers or Briefs with me. They were all sort of hesitant, being that the contractions were getting harder and closer and sometimes had no break at all. I saw their reactions and said that I still wanted to play, but maybe I should go take another walk first. When I got back, I was ready to sleep. Not that I could, but it was my pregnant person bedtime. So no game for us. It would have been fun to laugh that much through labor though, don't you think? Maybe make the waiting go faster?

Speaking of waiting, we got some information today about our... you know... thing, and it was good. We have an appointment Monday night to see what's next. Chances are low that I'll have any sort of firm answer then. Said answer might not come until the middle of our vacation (we leave in a week). I won't have Internet access until we get back sometime after New Year's. Well, I will, but I don't know how it works on my phone. Honestly, if it's anything like my email on the phone, I'm sure it sucks.

And last, but certainly not least, please keep Ken and Nance in your hearts. The leukemia, which was eradicated only a couple of weeks ago, is back and at higher levels than before. The new "chances" are zero (do nothing) or 10-15% (transplant). Like Nance has been saying all along, somebody has to be the 15 percent. Why not Ken? Right?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

Today I did something that will either lead to another something that is completely, overwhelmingly great... or not. We will either have so much to talk about during the visits with family over the holidays... or we'll say, "Meh... it didn't work out like we'd hoped." The thing is, there will not be any not talking about it. We've already brought it up in our excitement and anticipation.

If I'm honest, I'll tell you I think it won't happen. I, personally, would like to blame that on our jinxing it... specifically my jinxing it... by talking about it.

If it doesn't happen, I do know it just means we're not ready. And maybe we'll be able to find out what needs to be done so we are ready. And in the meantime, we've had a lot of fun exploring new possibilities. But I do hope that it happens, even though it would mean going through a period of extra stress, and who needs that, but I don't care, because this is HUGE.

What the heck am I talking about?!?

Did I mention that a friend gave me a cup of tea this morning? She wanted to soothe my cough, and had some tea that another friend had brought from London. It was lovely. Nearly the best tea ever (Indian tea is really my favorite). I forgot to ask if it was decaffeinated. It was not. I hadn't had a caffeinated beverage since July of 2007.

Any 12 things I can do for you?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Highs (okay, really... part way ups) and Lows

First off, let me say that things have been mellowing out around here. One of Corey's doctors made a suggestion, which we are taking, and it's working quite well. He's still making some bad decisions, a few of them supremely bad for people who haven't been down our road, but in comparison, it's not a terrible place to be. Kind of like living with a 15 year old boy.

Everybody in my house is some degree of sick. I took the kids to the doc today; Mad just needs lots of nose sucking, Corey's on antibiotics. There's no way that I'll get Tom to the doctor, really, unless he thinks he's dying. I would love to go to the doctor, however, he's not available. I didn't go to urgent care tonight because I have a feeling that I won't need antibiotics either (and I can't take cough syrup since I'm nursing), and I don't want to spend $10 to find that out.

I'm against antibiotics and chemical treatments whenever possible, and in fact, I got through my entire pregnancy without them despite a nasty bout with the flu (which I had to get because my OB was so insistent about my getting the shot despite my arguments that I hadn't gotten the flu since before Corey was born). It's not that I do nothing; fluids, humidifier, vitamins and more fluids works just as quickly as the rest of the methods, except for maybe the contagious factor. I don't know how long one is contagious with various illnesses without medical treatment.

As I've mentioned, Nance's husband is fighting leukemia and may be eligible again for a bone marrow transplant. We find out tomorrow or the next day. It was supposed to happen already but he went from a "pre-leukemia" something-or-other to "full blown" leukemia days before everything was scheduled to go down. Five days of twice-a-day chemo knocked it out (along with his hair), so that's good. Having blood and platelet counts that are roughly 16% of normal a few days after getting multiple units of each, not so good.

Yesterday the doctors seemed much less optimistic. I'm not sure why projection numbers are bandied about the way they are, unless maybe patients or their families are begging for them. Since February, Ken's "chances" have gone like this:

"Ken has a 30-40% chance of living five years IF he makes it through the transplant."
"He has three months."
***Four months later***
"Why did that doctor tell you that? I keep telling him he's got to quit saying things like that... he has a 75% chance of living five years as long as he makes it through the transplant."
"We can't offer a prognosis until we know what is happening."
"The leukemia is gone. If you do nothing, he has a 20% chance of survival. If you have the bone marrow transplant, he has a 40% chance of survival. Stop to think if you want him to spend the rest of his time in a hospital. Think about the donor, too. If he chooses to have this procedure, that may be taking away someone else's chance."


Nance isn't just one of my best friends. She and I also work together, side by side. She works fewer hours than I do, but of the hours she works, 90% of them we are together (potty breaks and petty annoyances... you understand). And of that time, most of it is spent in a car, driving between schools and employers and our office. So you can see that I can't just go sit at another desk until I'm well and then come back and resume our partnership.

There are a few things we can do away from one another, and it looks like that'll be the routine for the next couple of days. But the timing of it all just sucks.

"Hey, Nance, you just found out that the optimistic doctor isn't so optimistic right now, what do you *hackcoughhacksneezeUGH*... hey, can I call you back in a minute? My brains are on the table again and I need to clean 'em up and put 'em back in my head."

"Why don't we talk about this over lunch. Where are you going? I'll be at Casa Sanchez. I'll call you when I'm seated and we'll talk (over the phone) then."


As much as she needs a hug, I need to hug her and hand her tissue and hold her hand and say that whatever happens, she and Ken are surrounded with loving family and friends. They won't go through this alone.

A much smaller concern is that we leave for vacation a week from Friday. Driving halfway cross-country with an infant who has been struggling mightily to get those two top front teeth in for about two months will be interesting enough. (I really figured she'd have them in by now... didn't you?) But to go from here, where it's down to 56 degrees (brr!) to there, where it's currently 13 degrees while we're all sick? No thanks!

Not to mention that I disagreed with my MIL's suggestion that we should get Mad the flu shot.

***While I don't necessarily buy into the idea that getting the shot with a dead virus causes the flu, I do understand that the CDC is, at best, making an educated guess as to which virus will make it over here each year. Plus, a lot of nasty things are put into vaccines... and not just mercury... formaldehyde and aluminum and all sort of other things that are linked to various cancers. And then you've got the mutating viruses (viri?) becoming resistant to what used to work. Yikes!

So it's pretty much vital that we are well and healthy for this trip.

Speaking of well... I'm no longer quite sure what the point was I had been aiming for. Either I've made it or I've missed it. Or I need sleep.

G'night all!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mother Letter Project

I just learned of this project through one of the commenters on Lady with a View (yeah, it makes me feel kind of like a lurker, but now that it's out in the open, I feel a little less dirty). I'm submitting my own letter to the site, but I'm also putting it here. Take a moment and check it out. If you're a mom and you contribute a letter, I'd love to read it, too.

Dear Mother,

I don’t know anything about you, but in my mind, you are just starting out on your journey into motherhood. This fits well for me because I am just starting out again on my journey into motherhood. So I will sit here and reflect on what I've learned and what I wish I’d known more than 15 years ago when I became a mom.

The first thing I wish I’d known was that you have to choose an amazing person to be the father of your baby, or babies, as the case may be. My first husband was not amazing and we did not share a great love. He and I got along well enough… until we didn’t. Halfway through my pregnancy, I realized what a poor choice I had made. Understanding I made the decision, nobody forced me into marriage or pregnancy, I never really blamed him for the hard times I later had, raising a son alone. Not being burdened with those feelings was just about the only gift I had to offer myself at the time.

I have since remarried, to a man I recognized early on as the person I should have been waiting for all those years. He and I have an infant daughter. She is, at nearly eight months old, already older than my son was when I started making plans for going home to my mom’s. Unlike my son at this age, she has never ridden in the backseat of a police car to a women’s shelter. She is surrounded by love.

The second thing I wish I’d been able to grasp the importance of and to do is finding other moms who have children around the same age. Oh, I had friends, but not very many and none who were close, geographically. Having friends to share the journey, the laughter and the tears, could have helped me to be a better mother to my son. Once I was back home, I had friends whose children were all older and not so interested in a “baby” to play with. The neighborhood kids (also older) really just wanted to play with his abundance of toys, so I eventually shooed them all away. I see the effect of these choices in his difficulty making and keeping friends.

During my pregnancy with my daughter, I tried feebly to connect with other moms in my Lamaze class. It didn’t pan out because we were all too shy, and I was older than everybody there except my husband and one other dad. But when a new mommy group came around, I joined. Two of my Lamaze class “pals” were there. We still see each other at least monthly, and sometimes we’re joined by other moms from that group, as well as some of our personal "new mommy" friends. Having a mommy community means having someone to turn to for advice or reassurance (my husband is fabulous, but if he just spent the same long night trying to soothe our daughter, he probably doesn't have any more answers than I do). It means sometimes being able to share what has worked and to tell someone else that everything will be okay. And, while it’s too soon to tell if any of the babies will be lifelong friends, they have that chance. For now they are friends from life.
The third thing I wish I’d been able to do better for my son is to become really informed. Sure, I read a few books and took a prepared childbirth class, but the class was so large it was hard to get any answers. Plus, my life was so hectic it was hard to focus. The class was seven or eight weeks long; my husband attended three of them. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be there, but he wanted to get into an argument with the Executive Officer of his ship more, apparently, so I spent a couple of very pregnant months home alone while he was basically grounded to the ship. (Feel free to refer back to the first thing I wish I’d known if you’d like.) With my latest pregnancy, I signed up for a couple of different email services that showed the baby’s progress and development. Many similar services are available for the first year, too. I offered to retake Lamaze “for my husband’s sake.” Being in a room with only seven or eight couples and an experienced and knowledgeable instructor – who taught to the dads as much as she taught to the moms – made a huge difference in how my labor and delivery went the second time. Reading those weekly emails, along with the development and parenting books I prefer, has given me a sense of how wide the range of normal is, and where we fit in relation to it.

Item number four on this list of choices and opportunities is all about routines. Maybe it’s because I had my son when I was practically a wee babe myself (age 22), but I didn’t understand the parents and grandparents I’d met who seemed to know all too quickly what the likes, dislikes, needs, wants and personalities of their little babies were. It struck me as the worst kind of know-it-all behavior, pigeon-holing a baby like that, and I avoided it completely. The upside? I wasn’t a know-it-all. The downside? Well, I didn’t know what I needed to know. When does he need to sleep? When does he need to eat? What time should he go to bed? How is he going to learn to get himself to sleep? Which stuffed animal or toy is his favorite? What does he like to do? After floating through his first year or two, I eventually came up with answers for most of those questions, but at 15 years old, he still has a very difficult time getting to sleep and then staying asleep.

On the flip side, every night, my husband, son and I devote about three hours to our little girl’s bedtime routine. Even when someone in our family is upset with someone else, we put it aside until we finish her night with family story time. My husband and I agonized over how and when we’d teach her to fall asleep on her own. Once we found a method that closely resembled our parenting style, it was pretty easy to do. And when we did help her learn to fall asleep on her own, we also found that she napped better – twice a day for up to two hours at a time, instead of 5-10 minutes if I dared to put her down at all. On the weekends, errands and visits are scheduled around her naps. It turns out that knowing things about your child is a doorway to honoring their needs and who they are as a person. I wish I had known that for my son.

Here’s a little thing I learned just before my daughter was born: Babies reflect their parents’ faces. Infants react to smiles and frowns and deadpan expressions. I always made sure I wasn’t scowling at my son during the falling apart days of my marriage. I also always said about him, “He wasn’t a happy baby, but he wasn’t unhappy, either. He was okay.” I spent the first two weeks of my daughter's life remembering to smile, even though I was distraught that she had to start out in the NICU; even though I was exhausted; even though I was struggling to manage my son; even though, even though, even though. My daughter is the happiest baby. Oh, she’s like me in her need to get things dealt with immediately, but once the problem is resolved, it’s behind her. Sometimes she will try to smile while she’s crying. Last night she laughed through her little bitty, tired tears just because I came closer.

And the last thing that I wish I’d known? The importance of making a parenting plan. Oh, it’s not that I was just winging it, willy-nilly style for my son. But the extent of my plan, had I written it down then, probably would have been “don’t do what Mom did… and when he acts up, deal with it immediately, unlike those annoying parents I see at McDonald’s.” I’d say that, in general, I did accomplish that. Great.

Remember that new mommy group that I joined? One of the jobs we were given was to identify and write down our mission statement for raising our children. Most of the moms wrote beautiful, well thought out letters to their sons or daughters. My husband and I collaborated on ours after ruminating about it during the five weeks between the assignment being given and the date it was due. (Read: I told him about it after the first class. We talked about it once or twice over the next five weeks. On a humid early summer morning, on my way to the last class, while driving from flower shop to flower shop to find just the right plant for the instructor, I frantically called my husband’s cell phone until he picked up and we talked about what to put down on paper. At red lights, I wrote my own shorthand version of whatever he said. In the parking lot, 10 minutes before class started, I cleaned it up and rewrote it.)


It’s not as beautiful sounding as some of the other mom’s. One of my friends just took that same class and her letter made me cry. Last weekend we ran into the instructor and her husband, and she told him about my friend, "This is the mom who will always be the familiar face that reminds her son of home." All the same, in reading and re-reading our plan, it’s a good one. It says what we mean to do. I carry it with me wherever I go. I should have it memorized by now, but more importantly, I have it. We have it.

As I see the differences between what my son experienced and what my daughter’s life is like, I feel sorrow for my son. He is just as good and important and lovable a person as she is. She is going to know her place and her worth in this world. I am still working to help my son find his place.

So it's pretty simple really (ha!). All you have to do is choose the right father, find your place in a mommy community, educate yourself, accept and honor his or her routines and other needs, smile and know what you want the outcome to be for your child. I hope that these (to me) monumental lessons are valuable to you. It’s hard to say how much a person can learn from being told versus experiencing something. All the same, I wish someone had told me these things back when I was starting out.

Warmest regards,

Shan :+)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Banana Peel of Doom

For quite some time now, I've been giving death a lot of room in my brain. As a child of the Baby Boomers, the first exceptionally healthy generation of the world, I have not had to deal with it directly very often.

It's not that people around me never died, but they were rarely loved ones. Uncle Keith died after a bar fight when I was seven or eight years old... the same summer that our guinea pig, Trouble, died. My dad's great-aunt died before that, but I'd only met her once, so the memory probably lasts due to Dad's sadness over the loss. Aside from that, one of Dad's coworkers died a few years after Keith. Every other death I knew about was either an animal or I learned about it through friends or the news. I was insulated from it for most of my life.

Maybe if I’d had faith or more experiences dealing with death, I wouldn't have been so obsessed about it. Who knows? But I recall as a young child, worrying every night that my mom was out doing a Tupperware party. Was she alright? Would she make it home? Later, when I was a teen, it was just Mom and me living together. She got a job traveling the western half of the US. I would drop her off at the airport with nearly as much barely contained emotion as if I'd never see her again. Waiting at the gate to pick her up (which in those days meant waiting outside for her to deplane by taking stairs down to the tarmac), would find me fighting back tears.

I suppose in both instances, the Tupperware parties and the traveling, I was terribly afraid of being left alone. Sure, I had Dad, but he was really my stepfather with his own kids. I wasn't as comfortable around him as I would have been if he'd always been there. And when the traveling job came around, he and Mom were divorced; I wasn't sure where I fit in with him and his new family then.

Maybe some of my fears come from the fairly random religious education I received. In San Diego, the children (four of us) would go to a Baptist church on Sundays with my grandparents. Images of hell haunted my dreams for years. When we moved close to LA, my parents sent us to a Gospel church with the neighbors ("the neighbors" from whichever place we lived were often my parents' source of a free Sunday morning). The father of that family was also the pastor of the church, and he was the leader of Sunday school for kids my age. He had a very strange view of people, especially considering that he had such a large family. I recall his lectures about how all of us were born liars... even babies just born, crying when they didn’t need food or a clean diaper, were lying. Naturally, it all led back to hell.

As a teen, I dated a guy who all too easily changed my whole wobbly belief system by pointing out different proofs of evolution. I should have been relieved that his explanation would have eliminated my concerns about hell, but that thought never occurred to me. Instead the focus shifted from an almost certain trip to eternal hell to nothing (cue crickets... wait, don't... there's nothing).

In any case, you put all this stuff into the blender of my mind and add my own thoughts on the subject, and death is a scary thing.

Five years ago I started a new job. Within the next six or seven months, nine people I knew (directly or not) passed away. One of them was my ex-husband's grandfather's funeral in Oklahoma. It might have been then that I started to realize that I'd spent so many years fearing death, but I hadn't truly dealt with it for a couple of decades.

A few years later, Corey and I went to Utah to visit my grandparents. My dad and his buddy were heading up to Salt Lake City for a race, so they dropped us off on the way. I'd had a few sessions in the tattoo chair by then, but nothing very recent. I'm not sure how long it had been since we'd been to Utah, but it didn't occur to me to cover the tattoo on my chest... until my grandfather stopped short of giving me a hug to tsk-tsk at what I'd done to myself. Between that and the fact that my grandparents hadn't seen my dad since the divorce – for some reason I believed they'd be happy to see him again – I guess no one should be too surprised that my grandfather had a heart attack that night. It was fairly mild, as heart attacks go, but tests revealed that a quintuple bypass was needed to clear out the major blockages. (Yes, I see that our visit and my tattoo weren't the only things at work here.)

The surgery had to be done in Salt Lake. Grandpa spent two months up there, and they only let him go back to St. George when they did because depression from missing his wife was creeping in and inhibiting recovery. He made it back to St. George, but he never made it home. Two years were spent declining in a care center due to depression, possible strokes and then the onset of dementia. A few months before he passed away, Corey and I again went to St. George. We helped Grandma run errands and visited with Grandpa quite a bit. Despite his troubled memory, he knew who we were each time we dropped in for a visit.

It was clear we were likely seeing him for the last time, and I tried to gear up for it as best I could. One thing that helped was knowing that my brilliant, funny, steady old Grandpa would never have wanted his life to end that way. When he died, it was tough, but he wasn't suffering anymore. My old Baptist upbringing told me he was in a better place.

As I said goodbye to him, I mentally looked around at all the people I loved. With the exception of Corey, everybody was older than I. That type of extended youth... of always being "the kid," I believe, was pretty common for people of my generation. It was time to get ready for a new reality to set in. I pictured my life as some sort of modern day battle scene from Gone with the Wind, with dead bodies and smoke and dust everywhere.

It hasn't been like that, thankfully, but Grandpa's was the first in a series of springtime deaths. He was followed the next year by Grandma and last year by my good friend Carol. It was getting so that I was semi-jokingly warning my friends and family members to be extra careful this spring.

Fortunately, this spring brought Madelyn's birth and no deaths for me to handle. There is something that happens to a lot of new (again) parents, though, which is probably nature's way of protecting families. My risk tolerance has dropped way down. Not that I was a huge risk taker before, but now I find myself stepping more carefully and taking the time to really look where I'm going.

As an imaginative person, I see myself falling down the stairs that I always insist on taking at work, tripping over the wooden curb outside my home or doing any number of incredibly silly things that result in my immediate death. As a clumsy person by nature, my concerns aren't entirely unfounded. But how much time should one give to worries about dying stupidly? And how much of my life's energy have I wasted worrying about something that hasn't happened? It's not as if I'm psychic (well, Tom says I am, but with another syllable in the middle), so there's no reason to believe that my imagined body at the foot of the stairs means anything other than I'm worried about leaving. (Well, that or it could just be me recalling the times I have fallen down the stairs, both as a child and as an adult...grr!)

I recognize the need to prepare for most of my loved ones to pass before me over the coming years. But how much time have I already spent worrying? How do I find the balance between the very real concerns that Mom won’t be around as long as I’d like with the very real fact that I should be making the most of whatever time I do have with her?

I guess the question I’ve been struggling with is this: Why do we act like we’ll live forever, when those who know they are dying seem to get so much more out of life? How can I maintain that sort of end-of-life appreciation now, when the people I love are here and I’m here and we can make a good life together? And is it possible to do that without obsessing about death all the time? Because I can totally see myself slipping and falling to my demise because I was too distracted thinking about how I might slip and fall to my death.
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