June 9, 2018: Gathering of Friends

Today my fiancé and I went to Queens to gather with Johanna’s brother and special friends in her life. It was the first time that I met most the friends in Johanna’s college and high school life. It was a very relaxed environment, a group of us gathering together to share stories of Johanna’s resilience and good nature. My poetry therapy mentor was one of the participants who gathered this afternoon, and it was great to see her again, after several months. We’re both hopeful that we will meet each other again soon.

Every time I visit New York, I’m reminded of how special this city is. I lived in NYC for a few years, and I learned a lot about myself during my stay. Johanna made my time in NYC very memorable, and she gave lots of advice in reaching for my goals and dreams. I really hope and pray that I can venture up there more regularly. Johanna wanted to see me thrive, and I don’t want to let that fall by the wayside.

June 7, 2018: Family

I almost called my grandparents this evening, but something prevented me from doing so. Looking back, I’m not sure why that happened. I’m always thinking about my grandfather, hoping that he is doing well. It was around 7pm when the thought came to me to call him. Just for a couple minutes, just to see how he’s doing. Then I busied myself with making dinner, then went to read my book, then wash my hair…and before I knew it, it’s 9pm. Too late to call him.

Tomorrow I’m going to call him. And make sure it’s at an early enough time to talk.

June 6, 2018: Ending Therapy, and New Story

Today was my last OT session! I was told that my left hand has shown significant improvement. With regards to pain, the only time I have an issue is when I’m working. I wear my hand brace while working every day, yet I every now and then I feel discomfort. The feeling is very minimal when I’m not working/at home. I am very hopeful that I can regain more strength in my left hand in the next couple months. And to do more activities with it.

I began reading a new book called ‘After Alice’ by Gregory Maguire (it’s been out for a while, but new for me). I’ve always been curious about his books since ‘Wicked’ came out, and I came across this story in Barnes and Noble last week. It’s always exciting to begin a new book.

June 5, 2018: ‘Our Kind of Cruelty’: My Thoughts

‘Our Kind of Cruelty’ by Araminta Hall tells tells the story of Michael Hayes and his extreme love for Verity Metcalf. The story begins with Michael receiving an invitation for Verity’s wedding, as Michael is designing the perfect home for his ‘dream’ girlfriend Verity to live in, despite the fact that they no longer speak. He believes that this lack of correspondence is all part of a game they used to play when they were seriously dating, a game that heavily relied on avoidance. What follows in this story is the narration from a character whose desire for someone falls heavily on the line of obsession. Michael has a personality that falls on deviance and anger, molded from the hardships from his past, and hardened by his inability to understand when to let go when things come to an end.

Araminta Hall writes beautifully the views of both a the jilted, dangerous lover unable to take no for an answer, and the woman taking the steps to move on, yet pays a steep price for her decision. This story was very moving, and kept me rivited through the end of the story.

June 4, 2018: One More Session

This is the last week of OT sessions. I was told that I could request more sessions, but there would be a lapse in therapy, due to wait time. I feel like my left hand has felt better than it was from when I began therapy. I’m a little nervous about therapy ended, but I can’t wait for my hand to get better. I really can’t wait to crochet again. My OT explained that my hand would still take a couple months to heal completely, and that I need to protect it. I would love so much for my left hand to finally feel better, so I can crochet again. I haven’t touched a crochet hook in almost 3 months. It will feel so blissful to create with yarn again.

 

June 3, 2018: Family Visit

Today Andy and I made the trip to Paterson this afternoon. It was a much needed visit, since it’s been a few weeks since I last saw my grandparents and my mother’s gravesite. It’s always a moving experience whenever I visit my mother. It’s been 9 years, and it still feels deeply meaningful to visit her site.

The rest of my family is moving along. My grandfather is home, yet he’s still enduring breathing difficulties. He has a chronic asthma problem, which has only grown worse the last couple years. Despite his worsening condition, he’s very wary of returning to the hospital. He recently came home after being hospitalized for over a week. We’re hoping that his condition does not worsen again, since he was in bad shape the week before my aunt drove him over. We’re all hoping for the best.

My niece was also there, playing with her cousins. Her mother was grilling in the backyard. They were all having a great time in the back area, blowing bubbles and playing ‘balance’ on the cement path. It reminded me of the days when I played in the back yard with friend when I was younger. Ana is living her youth in the same family home I was raised in, but we’re unsure how much longer our home will be safe. My grandfather raised concern of his block being possibly bought out, due to the high school around the corner needing extra parking for staff. So far no move has been made to ‘claim’ the neighborhood. For now, it’s another afternoon for the family to relax, feeling blessed to gather together for another weekend.