Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A video about my mom

For anyone who doesn't know, my mom has Early Onset Alzheimer's.

She's 59, and she'll likely die within the next few years.

It's one of the most devastating diseases I've ever seen.

It's really difficult for us, as her children, to explain to people just how horrific this disease is. It's also difficult to know how to grieve the loss.

I write poetry and transcribe her journals. My sister Maquel writes a blog. My other sister Jenni creates photo montages and slideshows. My brother Chris writes songs on his guitar, and also lives with my dad and her to help take care of her.

My youngest brother, Chad, has been staying with me since Christmas. He has had a really hard time with her illness since getting home from his LDS mission in Tennessee--she changed a lot in those two years, and it really rocked him. He has spent a lot of hours--over the course of months--compiling a video that showcases what happened to her during his two year mission. He has done this to help himself cope with the grief he is feeling, and to feel more empowered in the face of this devastating tragedy. The video highlights the severity of the changes that happened to my mom during those two years, and tries to capture a least a part of the loss we all feel.

While it's a little bit difficult to watch, I hope you take a few minutes to view his video and come to understand more about the nature of this disease and how it is affecting my family. (And the fact that you're supporting Chad by watching means a lot too--thank you. Also, Chad links in the video to a gofundme campaign he set up to help my dad--who was forced to retire early to take care of her--with her astronomical medical expenses.)


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Post #14--Hope Springs Eternal

A few weeks ago I randomly started writing the story of something horrible that happened to my writing career in the summer of 2013. This is the last post in that series. You probably won't understand the impact of this post without reading the ones that come before it. They're all really short:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 79, 10, 11, 12

(Yes, I skipped 8 and 13 on purpose because they don't relate to the story. Also, #1 doesn't really contain story stuff, but it's teeny, and it's the post that got this ball rolling.)

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One of the stages of grief is anger.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Post #13--Ultrasound

I've worked for hours on the final post in this little series. It's LOOONG. It feels very cathartic to almost be done.

But, yes, you read the title of today's post correctly.

Lolly and I have an announcement to make:

We are having another spawn!!!

This afternoon, we left the girls at home with their Uncle Chad while we went off to the doctor to have the gender ultrasound. This December has been uncharacteristically sunny, but today there was rain. We drove in the dreary Seattle weather like we have in the past, and pulled up to the office we'd been to many times before. But this time, there was a finality to it. We know that this baby will be our last, and that after it comes, the Weed family will be complete.

We were both nervous as we sat in the waiting room.

Baby gender is such a strange thing. It determines so much.

For us, a boy would mean: lots of new experiences, having to buy all new stuff, and the thrill of something different. A girl would mean: having the special quality of having all kids of one gender (which I hear is very bonding for them), not having to buy new stuff, and settling comfortably into something familiar.

Soon, we were in the little office with the tech, and she was looking at every single feature of this child's body except its junk, and we were feeling nervous, and after seeing the baby's brain, femur, heart, arm, face, profile, placenta-home--just short of isolating each individual strand of DNA--the tech finally said: "Oh, and the baby turned. I can finally see its gender. Do you want to know it?"

And I now repeat the question. Do you want to know the gender of the final Weed child?

If so, scroll down