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Facebook vs. Real-Life

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I found this post that I wrote in October 2017. I guess I never published it...

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October 29, 2017

I’ve seen articles and even had friends tell me that facebook either depresses them or causes anxiety.  They see all the people in their social circles having fun, traveling, succeeding.  Everyone has perfect lives.  
I started thinking about the picture that I posted of me and my grandfather and all the reactions I was getting to it, and how it made me feel like a better person.  


Maybe you saw it. Maybe it made you feel good to know that someone was taking care of her older relative and you smiled. Maybe you even “liked" it.

Most times when I am with my grandfather now, I’ve given up trying to get him to tell me stories about the past.  He might remember, but most likely, he won’t.

But the day I took him to San Andreas Trail, he couldn’t even hear me or understand what I was saying.  For the most part it was fine. He just talked and talked about whatever was on his mind, whatever th…

Ba's funeral

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4:36a

Ba’s funeral is today. It’s weird to write / say words like that.  Somehow I am suddenly looking at myself when I was a little girl and I am speaking the unimaginable to her.

“What do you mean, 'Ba’s funeral?' Ba died? Ba can die?” she says. Her eyes are in shock and her little heart is torn in two. The look on her face is the same as when she was six years old and Ba left that file cabinet lying in the walkway in the garage.  Grandma did not see it and tripped over it, cutting her leg badly on one of the sharp metal edges. There was so much blood. It was a thing a six year old should never see happen to a beloved.  It was the worst thing she’d ever seen in her life and it terrified her. Ba dying is not a thing that should ever happen. That thing was far in the future and only happened to other unknown people, not Ba.

Now Ba and Grandma are both gone. It’s a day that I’ve dreaded, but never really thought would happen. I’m in a mirror dimension staring back at myself on …

Ba

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I am looking for different coloring book pages to print out on my watercolor paper.  Flowers would probably be best - he liked coloring flowers with me.  Should I print two? One is probably fine, we can share and do it together. My parents said my grandfather didn't even really understand what food was in the last couple weeks and didn't understand how to eat. 

We go to Easter brunch with my parents and I pack all the coloring stuff in my bag. Watercolors for Ba and me, markers and drawing book for my son Joss. 

"Are you going to draw pictures for Ba?" I ask Joss.

He says he will and is excited. "Can I do it now?"

"No, let's wait till we go see Ba," I tell him.

We walk into Golden Age and I am expecting to see Ba sitting in his usual chair in the living room with the other residents.

"He's still in bed," Connie says.

We make our way into the back where his room is. He looks so strange. He reminds me of my grandmother at the end. …

The Furry Warren

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I have an extra 20 minutes this morning.  I have some extra room in the office.  I have some extra room in the living room.  I have a dog door that can remain shut.  I have an extra bag of dog food and a few months of heartworm and flea and tick medication.  I have a whole bunch of dog treats and dog toys.  I have a hole in my heart that I did not expect to be so big. 
 Ruby is 13 years old. I still find it difficult to put her in the past tense. I love her. It’s not I loved her. I still love her. 
 Ruby, I’m sorry I had a baby in the middle of your last good years so that I didn’t have much time to play with you.   Ruby, I’m sorry I didn’t take you to Fort Funston more when you could actually run around and enjoy it.   Ruby, I’m sorry I didn’t believe that you really saw raccoons coming in our house and that you were trying to protect us all those years. 
 Ruby, thank you for always trying to protect us, even when you were deaf and could only bark when you finally saw new people in …

Becoming / Being an Artist

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Sometimes people ask me if I'm an artist and I usually just say that I pretend.  I love making art, but I've always felt that if my job wasn't in the arts, then I didn't really deserve to call myself an artist.

I guess I just don't really want to disappoint people or want people to judge me once I tell them I'm an artist.  For me, declaring you're an artist means that you are good at art. I've decided that even bad artists are still artists, and hey, I could be one of those!  I'll just be forever learning.

Sometimes I start pieces where the inspiration is huge.  I have this grandiose idea of how it's going to come out.  And then I get halfway through, and it's looking pretty good by my standards, and then I start to freak out because I think maybe the result won't be able to live up to my own expectations.

My five-year-old son drew this picture of a house and I think it's amazing.  

This prompts me to want to paint my own version of …

Lunch

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10/27/15

I've stopped calling Golden Age to let them know that I'm coming.  Sometimes I have to say it several times, and it often doesn't matter. Sometimes when we pick him up for dinner, they've already fed him.  And it's always too much, according to my grandfather. "I just can't eat that much anymore," he always says.

I walk in the door and Connie tells him that I'm here. He starts to turn around and I lean over the chair to put my hand on his shoulder.

"Hi, Ba," I say. "Do you want to go out to lunch with me?"

"Sure!" he answers brightly.

This is better than the last time I came over to pick him up for the afternoon this past Friday. That day, when I came over, everyone was watching TV and my grandfather had his head down, looking at his hands.  He did not look up when I came over, so I put my hand over his so he could see me.

He looked up, his eyes teary.  I told him I was there to take him over to my house, bu…

The Last Mother's Day

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When I went with my grandfather and my parents to visit my grandmother in rehab on May 3rd, I brought a drawing pad for him and some watercolor crayons.  He used to always draw with me and was a wonderful artist.  He sat at the edge of her bed and I sat in a chair next to him.

I asked him to draw something and he just looked at me confused.

"I don't know what to draw," he said.
"How about... a dog?" I asked.

He took the pad and stared at it for a while, the crayon in his hand.

"I can't," he said. "You were always the artist."

What? He had to be kidding.  My grandfather used to be able to draw and make anything and everything.  I remembered one time, he carved a beautiful Chinese New Year lion out of a bar of soap for a school project where I was supposed to carve something.  Now he couldn't even draw a dog?

He handed the pad and crayon back to me shaking his head.  I sighed and just started sketching some orchids that were in the r…