When The Inevitable Happens

My mom is in her late sixties now. A few months ago, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was put on a thyroid medication (a replacement hormone or something). A couple weeks ago, she told me that her doctor thought she might have a couple nodules on her thyroid, so she needed to get an ultrasound.

My mom got her ultrasound a few days ago, and the results showed that she indeed has a couple nodules, about 2cm wide (I’m guessing that’s each). She’s now waiting for a referral to get a biopsy done to see whether the nodules are cancerous or not.

This is the first time either of my parents has had any sort of potential cancer scare. It’s still too early to tell, so I’m not really sure what to think. I certainly hope it’s nothing, but I’m a bit worried. My brother (the new doctor) said that thyroid cancer is very treatable in that even if my mom has to have her whole thyroid removed, she just has to take a pill every day. Still, that scenario doesn’t sound too pleasant.

My parents are getting older, of course, and they won’t be around forever, but I still can’t imagine what it would be like without them. My maternal grandfather is 91 and still kicking (although his pacemaker is apparently doing 95% of the work for his heart), so I guess I was hoping to be my mom’s age and still have my parents around. My parents were older when they had me, though, so it’s probably more difficult for that to happen.

During my lifetime, I’ve lost a few aunts and my paternal grandparents, but I wasn’t particularly close to any of them. I didn’t mourn for them in the same way I would expect I will for someone in my immediate family (or even my closer relatives).

My mind is definitely jumping to conclusions, but it’s hard not to think about these things when cancer is even mentioned. It’s probably difficult for anyone to face their parents’ mortality (or their own). I can’t imagine anyone is ever really ready for the day when the inevitable happens.


I Didn’t Cry

As if things couldn’t get any worse, I found out today that the wife of my company’s president passed away last Friday. She was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (or something like it), but her passing was unrelated (I think) and very unexpected. Needless to say, the president wasn’t in today.

With two significant deaths for those close to me occurring this past weekend, I’ve noticed something about myself. While I certainly feel saddened by death, I honestly don’t remember ever crying when someone died. I often see others react strongly when a friend or relative dies, and I always feel for them, but I also wonder why I don’t react strongly with them.

When my friend was killed by his dad in 1997, I didn’t cry. I’ve still never cried for him. When one of my aunt’s died about ten years ago, I remember attending the memorial service. I was respectfully quiet, but I distinctly remember feeling nothing. I felt like I was supposed to be sad but I wasn’t. That I was supposed to cry but I didn’t.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve bottled up my sad emotions for so long that I’m incapable of letting them show (or even really feeling them anymore). There are days when I want to be able to cry, but tears just won’t appear. Maybe it’s because I haven’t felt the pain of losing someone close enough. But I’m afraid that when that day eventually does come (hopefully not for a very very long time), I still won’t be able to express any emotion.

And yet I’m somehow able to tear up from sad movies. How is it that I feel more from movies than from real life?

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Bad Things

At the end of last week, my company laid off five more people. Considering that we laid off six people just four weeks ago (and one other person two weeks ago), I didn’t think we had very many people left to lay off. The current economic crisis is really starting to hit closer to home. Luckily, I’m still safe (for now), but I feel bad that a lot of my (former) coworkers are now out of jobs.

On an even more depressing note, my best friend sent a mass email this morning containing the obituary for his mom. She passed away yesterday. I can’t even imagine the pain my friend is feeling right now. I’m still trying to really process the news too; I don’t really deal well with death.

Life can really suck sometimes. I hate it when bad things happen to good people.

Car Accidents

My work crush was in a car accident yesterday. He was noticeably scratched and bruised up from the airbag, but he has no major injuries. He was complaining that his beautiful face has some scratches (he’s conceited, in a cute way). I’m just glad that surface injuries are all he has to worry about (though I have to downplay my relief in front of my crush).

I hate car accidents. I was in a car accident eight years ago (April 27, 2000, to be exact), and I got anxious sitting in the passenger seat for years after that (I still am, sometimes, depending on who’s driving). Much of my fear of driving stems from that accident. I’m a lot better now, but it always worries me when I hear about other people’s near-death experiences. Car accidents are so common yet can take away someone you love in a second.

I can’t fathom how upset I would be if one of my friends (or crushes) died. It’s a terribly morbid thought, but I worry sometimes that the unthinkable will happen to someone I care about. Sometimes, if I don’t hear back from certain friends for a long time, I go through hypothetical worst case scenarios in my head. The thoughts spark intense fear in me.

Coincidentally, my other straight crush had a car accident just before our trip to Las Vegas. Maybe I’m a jinx.

Ten Years Later

This is the story of a friend of mine.

I met this friend in 1st grade. We were classmates, and we shared many of the same friends. Even though I had transferred schools in 4th grade, we remained friends. The two of us, along with a mutual friend, used to go trick or treating together for a number of years. We went to the same junior high, but by that time I was already developing a new set of friends. We began drifting apart.

October 28, 1997. We were 15 years old, and the two of us had gone to different high schools. I hadn’t seen my friend in probably two years. In my biology class, the kid next to me told the class about what he heard happened to my friend. Apparently it was all over the newspapers.

My friend’s father shot his mother in front of him. My friend tried to run, but his father shot him as well. My friend’s father then went up to his room, burned some money (I think it’s a Chinese thing), and killed himself.

I could hardly believe the story. It’s always a little surreal when a friend dies, especially in such a way. It didn’t really start to sink in until I went home and saw a newspaper with his picture next to the story. I guess the whole incident actually happened on October 27th, but I usually think about it on the 28th because that’s the day that I found out.

Ten years have passed. To this day, I have never cried over the loss of my friend. I’m not sure why. But the last time I ever went trick or treating was with him, and that’s why I still don’t do anything for Halloween. Maybe that’s how I cope with his loss. It’s interesting that he died so close to Halloween; this time of the year always reminds me of him.