Archives for June 2012

Happy Happy

Today turned out much happier than I expected.

It’s my birthday.

Today was the group office birthday party for all June birthdays. I had a cupcake and a cookie.

Had dinner with my mom and Trish at the Dancing Elephant in Westbrook.

Then Trish and I went to Portland and had a drink at Local Sprouts and visited the Dyke March after party.

We’re home now, drinking Mojitos and talking.

A good day.

A prideful podcast

A prideful podcast

Sarah lounged with LannaLee and got a couch!

Sarah lounged with LannaLee and got a couch!

It’s gay pride week here in Portland, and to celebrate I talked with Sarah Holmes from the USM Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity. You should listen to it!

 

 

Me and Trish

Me and Trish at Port City Music Hall

I’m excited also because my pal Trish is coming down from DFC (Dover-Foxcroft City) and we’re going to do some advanced hanging out. Alcohol may or may not be involved. Mojitos, mead and whatnot. Pictured to the right are Trish and me at last year’s pride evening festivities at Port City Music Hall. We had a blast. This year our plan is to hit the festival during the day [Last year Trish went solo during the day while I did homework (NO MORE HOMEWORK!!!)].

Looking forward to it!

So the podcast: Listen you must. And the pride: you be having it. And the awesome: is a given.

Dot

Dot

Dot MitheeLast night, Dot Mithee passed away peacefully after a long bout with cancer.

I’ve known Dot Mithee my whole life. She grew up down the road from my mother, in North Guilford Maine. As a child, I looked forward to her visits. The house would ring with sass and laughter.

My parents rented the Mithee camp on First Davis Pond every July for close to thirty years. Dot would come and stay in her “Shanty”, a small cabin on the same property, and she and Mom would stay up talking into the night.

Camp
After her Mom passed, Dot started spending holidays with my family. She’d come for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner, this year she stayed over on Christmas eve last year. (Here is Edmund helping her shave her head.)

I don’t know what else to say without dissolving into a bunch of unseemly curse words. It was too soon. Too much. Mom and I went to see Dot on Friday, and when we left we felt like there was more time. That we’d see her again. That she’d get to go to camp again. And whatever pain I am feeling, I can only imagine what my Mom is going through. She lost both of her best friends, my father and Dot, within a space of a couple of months. I am so glad that Mom and I visited her last Friday night.

Another glorious day in suck city.

So I will do what we always do when someone we love passes. I will remember the good times. Dad and Bill teasing Dot unmercifully – and her giving it right back to them, or cackling merrily. Quiet nights on the pond, with Dot and Mom catching up after not seeing each other for a couple of months.

What I will remember most is her glorious sense of humor and positive attitude. She was a ray of light, put out too soon.

CampMom, Tom, Dot and Me

Cleaning House

Or my home office, anyway. (Sorry, no before pictures.)

I’ve already started, there is (was) clear space on my desk! Crazy talk.

So I’m going to be lame and call this a blag post and keep on cleaning!

Later people.

A Day for Lilacs

A Day for Lilacs

It would have been my parents’ 46th Wedding anniversary today.

Their wedding flowers were lilacs. This was for two reasons: they were in bloom and they were free for the taking. Every year since then, my father would find some way to get my mother lilacs when they bloomed. Here in Southern Maine they were blooming at the beginning of May, when we had my father’s funeral.

Pictured is the bouquet of lilacs my pal Trisha made up for us, refreshed with new lilacs stolen from the senior housing development next to my house. Lilacs have gone by now, but they’re forever immortalized in picture form, saying a thousand words and the like.

I love you Dad. You should be here right now.

I love you Mom. Happy Anniversary.

Welcome to “The Club”

Welcome to “The Club”

I’m coming up on a tough week. Tomorrow, Monday June 11th, would have been my parents’ 46th wedding anniversary. Friday, June 15th, is my birthday. And Sunday, June 17th is Father’s Day.

If this is your first time here, my Dad, Walter Maheux, passed away this spring. So to be hit with three “firsts” in one week is a bit daunting. And it brings me back to a private Facebook message my friend Bill Cook sent me a few days after my Dad died. Welcoming me to “The Club”.

Here it is in it’s entirety:

Hey Lanna,
I was just reading through your blog about your dad and crying and smiling.
I lost my dad October 27th, 2001.
He officially passed from complications with diabetes, but he’d slipped away to Alzheimer’s years prior.
When he was sick, everyone had advice, but one friend…who’d lost her Mom & Dad already…said you never “get it” until you’ve experienced the death of a parent.
She was right.

Welcome to “The Club”.

My unsolicited advice?
Never expect a “right way” for anything to unfold in your grieving.
Your writings for “The Last Picture Show” hit home on so many levels.
Talking about thinking there would be more time…
The last time I saw my dad was in The Barron Center. I’d visited, and he’d had a good day. “Can we go to “The Deli” (The Full Belly Deli)?”, he asked?
“Next time”, I said… thinking there would be. He passed 2 days later.

Next “The Firsts”. Those were hard. Especially with my family. He died in October, and that Thanksgiving there was a big elephant in the room that everyone tip-toed around, until I said, “Remember when Dad would…?” or “Remember that time that Dad…?”
Talk about him.
Include him.
I have a feeling that won’t be a problem with your family.

And finally, “I don’t see this getting better for a long time.”
It doesn’t.
It just gets different.
At least for me.
The images of him sick get replaced by images of him healthy.
The wishing you could talk to him gets replaced with the knowledge that , well, you can.
The missing him though? That doesn’t change.
Honestly, not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.
Some days are better than others, even after 10+ years. And even now, there are some times I have a melt down.
I’d like to think that the more you love someone, the more it hurts when they leave.
So Cry.
Get Mad!
Curl up in bed.
Feel justified thinking, “DON’T YOU PEOPLE KNOW MY DAD HAS DIED?!?!?! F*CK YOU ALL!!!!!”

It’s a sobering thing, the death of a parent.
And life changing.

But I think the humor and love in your family will help out a lot.
And I think I know where you got both.
If you ever want to talk to a fellow club member, let me know.
xo

I asked Bill if I could share his message on my blag because it came to me just at the right moment. It’s a club that nobody wants to be in, but whenever I’m feeling down I think of The Club and know that I’m not alone.

Title Here

Title Here

Blag Post Here.

Write about interesting and amazing stuff here, but seem self-effacing and wonderful. Project humbleness. Make someone laugh here.

Mom doesn’t get this sentence.

Intro to really personal story. Make them cry.

Lenny & Squiggy keeping an eye on things

Insert cute kitty picture here

Talk about how awesome the kitties are.

A funny thing that husband did goes here. A sweet thing husband did goes here. Kiss up more to the husband (because he is pretty damn awesome.)

Describe big, stupendous idea here.

Close with a quip.

Sis

Sis

Mom, Tom, Dot and Me

Dottie, Tom, Dot (seated), Me

Mom, who’s name is Dottie, has four brothers and no sisters. However, she calls her childhood friend, who’s name is Dot, “Sis.” I talked about Dot on Christmas Eve last year, when Edmund shaved Dot’s head.

Dot has lung cancer. She is my mother’s best friend. We lost my father very recently to the same disease. Well, he had a different type of cancer cell than she does, but both had origins from the lungs.

This is where I curse cancer and whatnot. Because it really f*ck*ing sucks.

Dot has been in the hospital off and on over the past few weeks. She is now in hospice care at home and is surrounded by fantastic people who are taking care of her and making sure she is okay. Most of these people are volunteering their time. Twenty-four hours a day. Seven days a week.

We were just informed this week that she was feeling well enough for visitors. Mom and I decided to drive up Friday night (tonight) to visit. I called to let Cindy (the fantastic woman coordinating the care) know and we found out that Dot’s brother Tom was visiting from Missouri. Great! It was a date.

I worked from home and left work early. I picked up Mom at her house. We drove to Hallowell (where Dot lives). We had a lovely time. I hadn’t seen Tom since I was a kid. While he and I went to get some takeout, the two Dotties got some alone time. And we talked and laughed and joked all night. Then we had Archie, one of Dot’s angels, take our picture together on the camera Cindy left behind just for that purpose. Archie was also nice enough to take a couple with my camera (above).

And we talked about Dad.

Sometimes it’s just too much, too soon.

I am grateful for the good times, for the laughter we shared tonight. The teasing. The family stories. The love.

How many times can your heart break?

This Thursday Podast is so Magic(TheGathering)al!

This Thursday Podast is so Magic(TheGathering)al!

Tony and Mariah lounge with LannaLee and get couches!

Tony and Mariah lounge with LannaLee and get couches!

I am a total fan of Mariah Pagliocco, who is, as she says, “what you call a grinder (one who plays competitive Magic: the Gathering)”. She and her father, Tony Pagliocco travel all over the country to play, and they sat down and schooled me on the finer details about the game.

So take a listen. Find out why I’m a fan!

To Blag or Not to Blag

That is the question.

I’ve been blagging (blogging) every day since the end of last October. I’ve blagged for six full months (November, December, January, February, March, April, May). Last week I noticed I was really stressing about doing a blag post. And it occurred to me that I don’t have to do this. I am choosing to subject myself to this kind of torture. So I am reassessing.

[Note, it’s not always torture.]

My blag is not very popular. I don’t have thousands of visitors a day. I don’t have hundreds a day. But I do have visitors, I have tens of people who visit my blag every day. [And you’re one of them. Thanks!] The fact that an average of 10 people visit every day is heartening and makes me want to stick it out just for them.

Also it has been a great challenge for me to make sure I post something (whatever it is) every day on my blag. Having that discipline (if you will) has challenged me to be more creative. I’ve made crazy videos, done some pictorials, and shared some thoughts that I normally wouldn’t have. I feel good about that.

So do I need to blag every single day in order to get the same results? Or can I do it just 5 days a week instead. Should I keep up the momentum? If I stop posting every single day will I stop posting anything?

I don’t know.

Scanned

Scanned

“There was a problem with the photographer at my wedding,” my Mom said.

“What was that?” I asked.

“We didn’t have one,” she replied.

 

 

 

My task tonight was to scan in some pictures of Dad and Mom at their wedding. Here is what we’ve got. Of course, there are also lots of fun pix in the mix.

This is the best picture. I scanned it in from a copy Mom had enlarged.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And look what I found hiding behind it! This picture looks like they’re auditioning to be the next models for American Gothic or something.

 

 

 

 

 

I had to scan this one in. Dad (Walter Maheux) looks so handsome in uniform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOL! Walter Maheux wins with 37 votes!

 

 

 

 

 

And now for the embarrassing. Yes, I went to high school in the 1980s. Yikes.

I think I’m 15 in this photo. I look like I’m ready to pick up kids after a soccer game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The back of this photo says “Lanna Age 16.”

I have no words.

I almost forgot to Blag

Busy night. Got out of work at 6:00 p.m. Went grocery shopping. Ate some rotisserie chicken and potato salad. Made some curried rice and packed up some lunches for me and Edmund. Back to my desk to scheme some on Lounging with LannaLee. Next thing you know, It’s almost midnight. And I almost forgot to blag. And I have to get up early tomorrow.

Clearly, I did not totally forget. For I am writing this at 12:53 p.m. I have less than seven minutes to post this. I think I’ll make it. Because I am not going to write anything else.

Or am I?

Somnolent Sunday

Somnolent Sunday

I’d post a picture of myself sleeping but a) It’s not a good look for me and b) I don’t have one. Regardless, that is what I’ve been doing today. That and reading.

Helpful Lenny is HelpfulSo I leave you with this fantastic picture of Helpful Lenny being Helpful.

And I am now off to a shower, might go see a movie, and may go to bed early.

And you? You can carry on with what you’re doing. World Domination, perhaps?

Saturday is for Sherlock

A rainy day. I slept late, internetted, and decided NOT to go to the second day of the Westbrook Together days.

Instead I purchased Season 2 of Sherlock for my Kindle Fire, made some popcorn and watched all three episodes. Cumber-tastic.

Now I’m going to bed soon. With my hubby and my Kindle.

Nighty nite.

…everything’s tinged with a miasma of suck.

…everything’s tinged with a miasma of suck.

Goodnight BalloonLet’s see if I can do this. Talk about how I’m really doing. [If you didn’t know, my Dad, Walter Marshall Maheux, died on March 24th, a little over a month after we found out he had stage 4 lung cancer.]

I mentioned in the most recent Bureau of Awesome Podcast that I was cheerfully depressed.

I’m functioning. I’m going to work. I’m doing side projects. I’m keeping busy. I laugh at jokes. I smile. I feel happy. I find things beautiful. But as I said on twitter today, everything’s tinged with a miasma of suck.

I drive to and from work on I-95: Westbrook to Kennebunk, Kennebunk to Westbrook every day. It’s spring and the green forest on either side of the highway is very vibrant green. And on a sunny day, the blue of the sky is bluer than blue, and the combination takes my breath away. That is so beautiful, I think. And then I’m crying, because how can anything be beautiful any more?

When Dad died it felt like someone or something sucked the light out of the world. How can life be fun without him, I thought?

So I pretend I didn’t think that.

It’s easy.

I just push it to the back of my head. But it’s really still there. Sending out suck-waves everywhere.

On his blog, blurbomat.com, Jon Armstrong talks about his experience when his father died:

I was talking about grief with my family over the holiday weekend and I was struck by the time it took me to feel normal after my dad died. I figure it was around 3 years.

Great.

Balloon at Westbrook Together DaysTonight Mom and I went to the Westbrook together days. They have live music, a carnival, lots of vendors from local businesses and non-profits. Edmund and I live very close to the park, so I picked up Mom, parked at our house and we walked over with our camp chairs.

I bought some fried dough and a soda. Mom helped me eat it.

As we sat there listening to the Bob Charest Band cover Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Gnarls Barkley, I remembered that last year it was me, Mom and Dad hanging out at Westbrook Together Days. They drove over separately, and parked near our house and we all walked over together. In fact, I took a picture of my parents that day, from which I cropped out my Mom (with her permission), that I’ve used several times when talking about Dad in this blag. Here it is in its entirety:
Dad and Mom, Westbrook Together Days 2011Last year my parents got up to dance a couple of times. This year Mom and I did some chair dancing. Without Dad there to drag one of us (Mom) to the dance floor, we weren’t going.

Without Dad.

I haven’t had a melt-down yet. Will I have one? I’m not sure. Maybe I should have one. Every time I start getting really worked up, I stamp that shit down.

Yet. Life has lost some of its awesome. Or said awesome is obscured by a funk cloud the size of Texas.

So yes. I’m doing okay. Because to do otherwise would be paralyzing.

Just wait until I accept I’ll never see him again.

Check back in three years, why don’t ya.