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April 12, 2013

Might as well write...

…Because really, that’s as good an option as any right now.

So.  My grandma is in a hospice right now.  If you’re a visitor of this blog, I’m assuming that you’re sharp enough to know what that place is.  If not, then I’ll go ahead and put it this way: there’s a pretty good chance she isn’t coming out of there.  Miracles do happen, yes, but right now it’s not looking good.

That’s pretty much where I’ve been for the past week.  Not a pleasant experience, as you’d expect, and I have absolutely no idea how to offer any comfort to my family.  I don’t even know how to comfort myself -- or even deal with it, to be honest.  I mean, I’m okay right now, but if something happened -- if the worst-case scenario came to pass -- I don’t know how I’d react, or how I’m supposed to react.  Am I supposed to cry?  Just act tired?  Shy away from everything and everyone?  Or maybe just go through those “stages of grief” I’ve heard about?

I don’t know.  And it’s likely that if/when it happens, I still won’t know.  I suspect that there will be some tears eventually, and it’s very likely that I’m not going to want to do anything for a while.  But it’s not like I’m not prepared for this.  I admit that I’ve been pretty lucky in life in that I’ve only had a few brushes with family losses, and while that makes what comes next all the more unpredictable, I feel like I’m…well, for lack of a better term, “mentally prepared” for whatever comes next.  Cold as it may sound, I can’t say I didn’t see this coming.  My grandma hasn’t been able to walk for years, her hands are extremely stiff, her muscles by and large have either atrophied or hardened, her bones are incredibly fragile, and she’s been calling me “Richard” for the better part of a decade.  And on top of all of that, she’s a few years shy of a hundred.  Really, how much time is left?

I don’t know what happens next.  I don’t know what’ll happen to my grandma, my family, or me, and certainly not when it’ll happen.    I’d assume that I’m going to end up slipping out again, either physically, mentally, or both if something happens.  But until then -- and even past that -- I’m going to do what I can.  I’ll just keep on writing.

I don’t feel like giving in to grief or despair.  Not now.  Not ever.  I’ll deal with those feelings as they come -- but even when they do, I don’t want to stop everything.  There are things that I want to do, and need to do.  I want more content coming steadily to Cross-Up.  I want to be able to see the work done by both followers and fellow bloggers.  I want to wrap up several projects and get them out in the open.  I want to take on tasks large and small to build my presence, and build my virtual space.  I want to keep moving.  I want to become a writing hero -- now more than ever.  Can’t stop, won’t stop.  There’s work to be done, and a battle to be won.

I’m not just saying this so I can have people marvel at me.  In fact, a part of me thinks that this is the most inappropriate place to mention my feelings, given past content.  But I figured that I owed the people who read this blog -- occasional visitors, followers, and even friends -- the truth.  The first step toward building a bond is establishing a common ground, right?  So I should try to provide.

And that’s where I stand right about now.  No telling what’s going to happen and when, but rest assured I’ll be okay.  Am I just trying to shove my feelings aside?  Maybe.  Over-rationalizing to build up a wall?  Maybe.  Likely, even.  But I’m no crazier now than when I started this blog, and I think I’ve got a good enough head on my shoulders to keep it together for a while yet.  There’s been some grim stuff over the past week for my family, but even then we’ve all managed to move on and keep our heads held high.  Ignoring the fact that I’ve been able to laugh at my brother’s jokes, rage at my DS, cheer at the sight of a certain towel-praising narrative, and make some genuine writing progress, just last night I had a dream about teaming up with Dog the Bounty Hunter, JonTron, and JP from I Hraet You to bust open an illegal pig-milking operation, and I ended up going toe-to-toe with a knife-slinging Japanese schoolgirl.  If my mind was going to fall apart on me, I think it would have already.

And where does that leave the blog?  In a good place, I think.  I need a little bit of time to get back in the swing of things, but I’ve got some content I’m hoping to get uploaded soon enough.  Some miscellaneous topics will be up first, but very soon I hope to get up Let’s Discuss posts on both Xenoblade Chronicles AND BioShock: Infinite (though maybe not in that order).  And maybe I’ll finally get around to making another addition to The Manly Song Repository.  I still have a list of songs I need to attend to, after all.

So…yeah.  Things are going to be interesting for a while.  Maybe good.  Maybe bad.  I’ll just have to see how it goes -- and keep moving forward from there.

And that'll do it for now.  See you guys around.  And...thanks.

Oh, one more thing.  I got my hair cut recently.  Now I can pass a regular brush through it, but the downside is that I look so generic now...


  1. Matthias PendragonApril 12, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    I'm sorry your having to through. I don't know if it means much to you, but I'm praying for you and your family.

  2. There is no right or wrong way to handle a situation like this, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Your feelings and reactions may be strange, even to you, but that doesn't mean they're bad. I appreciate your honesty and forthrightness in sharing this situation with us, and hope for the best. Stay strong.

  3. Strangely enough, it's been some of the sad, hard times in my family that actually brought the rest of us closer together to communicate better.

    Hang tough, man. I've been there - it's confusing, and weird, and sad, and then you get through it.

  4. You're in a tough spot right now, and by how you wrote this post, you seem to be handling this "normally". (...What does that even mean?) You're accepting what could happen and planning for however you may react. ...at the least it's a mature, no, a realistic thing to do.

    I know it's not exactly the same, but I had to say goodbye to my dog a few weeks ago. I was in a similar predicament. She was old, partially blind, and relying on numerous expensive medicines my mom could hardly afford. She could barely recognize us anymore... etc. etc. Her condition wasn't critical, but we didn't know if we wanted her to go through this anymore. I knew the day was coming when we had to let go (I mentally prepared over a year in advance), but I still had no idea how I would react. My reaction... in a way it still kinda confuses me. But it still felt like a reaction that fits my character, who I am, you know?

    Three weeks later... I'm doing okay. I miss my dog sometimes (I had her for most of my childhood), but I'm alright. I'm still alive.

    Sorry if this depressed you (even as a pessimist, I sincerely hope it didn't), but I wanted to let you know that I can relate. I understand where you're coming from. I asked those questions myself. And, as everyone says about things like this, it does get better.

    Take your time too, man. Don't push yourself too hard. Keep up with your content but remember to release them at your own pace. The writing hero needs to be on his a-game if he wants to leave a mark on the world. :)

  5. I admire your frankness; it takes guts to post personal stuff on a personal forum such as this. I've heard that writing is excellent therapy, but stressful situations like these make putting thoughts to paper all the more difficult. But, in a situation that would have probably sent me into apathy and withdrawal, you've chosen to give your problems form through words, so as to better understand them. Not only that, you speak of brighter days to come, of further Let's Discusses, Manly Songs, and IHY. As your casual fan, I believe you'll make it through this all right.
    Fight, Voltech! For everlasting peace of mind!

  6. In situations like this, I always wish that I knew the words to make it all feel better.

    Unfortunately, I do not know those words, if they even exist, so I'll just wish you and your family the best.

  7. Hey, don't worry about it. I doubt there's anyone who knows the right words to say. I guess what's important is just being able -- or just trying to -- say something. So in that regard, I've got to extend some thanks to you.

  8. Yeah, I'm gonna fight all right. I'm in no mood to give in to despair; I wouldn't want that, my family wouldn't want that, and my grandma sure as hell wouldn't. I just have to keep moving -- for the sake of readers like you as well as mine.

  9. Realistic, huh? Yeah, I guess that's as good a word as any to use. A part of me still wonders if I'm being too cold about all of this, but given what might happen soon...well, I'd say there's plenty of time and potential for me to go off the rails. I don't intend to, but stranger things have happened.

    And my regards to you and your family over the loss of your dog. I wish I could say more, and something that'd fix everything, but I guess words can only do so much. Still -- and I hope you don't take this the wrong way -- I'm kind of glad you shared your experience. It's a difficult topic to talk about, but in some cases maybe it's best to bring it to light. Opening up can really do some good -- for oneself, and for others. So...I don't know, maybe soon enough we'll both be feeling a lot better. And we'll be stronger because of it.

    But don't worry about me being depressed. I'm keeping my head up -- or focused on my laptop, as it were -- and I'll keep moving forward at a suitable pace. If the world needs a writing hero, then I'd better try my best to provide.

  10. Yeah, I'll keep that in mind. How does the saying go? "Adversity builds character", or something along those lines; even if we're about to lose a member, it's more than possible that my family might come closer together because of it. Though I'm hoping I can say the right words to them if the time comes.

    In any case, thanks for the well-wishes. I'll hang on. It'd be pretty out-of-character for me to just give up, after all.

  11. Yeah, I'll do just that. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel, or think, or react, but if this is the way I am, then maybe that's not so bad. I'll figure it out and keep on moving; I've got plenty of years left to sort it al out, and a whole lot more writing to do in the meantime.

    Thanks for the support. I really appreciate it.

  12. No, no, it DOES mean something to me. I may not know what I want right now -- and more importantly, what I should think -- but I'm starting to realize that maybe what I need is the support of people like you. So thanks for dropping by. Rest assured, I've got the message...and I'll remember it for a while yet.

  13. I'm really sorry to hear about you grandmother.We've had some family losses relatively recently, so I've been there and it wasn't pretty, so the least I could say is that I get what you're going through.

    Welcome to the SS Aspiring Writer, Mister Payne. It's kinda crap here at first, but you're gonna go places.

  14. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," as they say. It's painful, no question, but I guess that even experiences like these are important. It teaches you things that you never would have learned on your own; I've already figured out that much, and I suspect there's still a lot more I'm about to learn.

    But that aside, thanks for the support. I don't know exactly how to deal with this, but having guys like you tossing some kind words my way really does a lot for me.

  15. I'll pray too. There's nothing wrong with accepting willing support.