Category Archives: Family

The Last Battle

Snow

“Where do you think we should bury her?”

This was not the question I was expecting to ask Chase two weeks ago, when we drove Honey home from the emergency vet’s office. She was still alive and breathing in the back seat, but just barely, and the writing was on the wall of the decision that faced us. We could have already decided to call her life quits back at the vet, but neither of us could stomach her last moments taking place in a vet’s office, where she was most likely confused, panicked, and wanting nothing more than to go home. So we drove her home, tears streaming down our face. Chase and I sat on the floor, petting Honey while she took a nap, and Henry called our regular vet to make an appointment for that afternoon.

Henry left, letting us know that the appointment was 2 hours away. Chase and I lay on either side of our beloved friend, petting her softly while she slept. We cried and held each other’s hands, and then 2 hours later we lifted her, dog bed and all, and carried her to the car. Honey slept peacefully while we drove. Chase parked the car in a sunny spot at the vet’s parking lot, and I sat with her while he let them know we were here. I had insisted that she not be brought inside the vet’s office, since it would only cause her to panic, and so they agreed to come out to the car. When I saw our vet, a kind and gentle man, begin to walk toward the car, my heart filled with a panic I have never known in my life, and continued while he tried to find a vein in her dehydrated, depleted body. This man was going to kill my dog, my friend, and it seemed inconceivable that my job was to simply sit by and watch it happen. For the benefit of her state of mind, I managed to keep it together and reassured Honey with a constant chant of, “Good girl, good dog,” until he had checked her heart and told me she was gone. The memories are vague from there, but I know that I wailed and cried like I cannot ever remember doing, and I hope that it is a long time, forever even, before I see my husband in the state he was in for the next few days. People told me it would be hard, but in the moment I felt wholly unprepared for the loss of our dog. Continue Reading →

What to say to a grieving person

I have often heard people remark that it is a struggle to find the right words to say to a person that is grieving. Now that I’m on the other side of this equation, that is, now that I am the one grieving, let me clue you in on a little secret: the “right” words don’t exist. When you’re losing someone you love, the only possible words that would make you feel better are, “We’ve found a cure!” Anything short of that doesn’t hold my interest.

Be aware when you approach someone that is going through a tragedy that even the most well-intentioned words can have the opposite effect. For example, I absolutely hate it when people ask, “How’s your Mom?” In fact, I dread this question with every fiber of my being. Because again, there are no words that will make this problem better. The only possible outcome to someone asking this is an awkward conversation where I stumble over saying that she’s dying, and try desperately to figure out how I can shift the conversation to any other subject but this one. I wish people would stop asking, and yet, if I knew a friend’s mother was dying, I would feel like the most selfish, callous cow if I didn’t ask about her from time to time. And I realize that everyone who has ever asked me has had the same thought. They just want me to know that they care, that they’re trying to be supportive. And instead, it makes me feel terrible when they ask. This is the reality of talking about tragedy: no one is ever going to feel comfortable with it in their lives.

Although I think, “How’s your Mom?” is a relatively innocent question and somewhat unavoidable, there are other things people say that I wish they would keep to themselves. Here are a few of the most common: Continue Reading →

Five Things

A sneak peak of my next recipe, which tasted a lot better than I expected, so I’m pretty pumped to show it to you. A hint – there aren’t many other ingredients then what you see here.

You guys, I can’t stop cracking up over this photo Chase took in Seattle. I can only imagine how many tourists got lost before this sign was there to guide them.

I’ll admit that at the end of a long day of drinking for Cinco de Mayo I was totally being a little Debbie Downer about going out to see the super moon.

Me: “Guys, it’s THE MOON. The same one that’s been there SINCE FOREVER.”

Everyone else: “Yeah, but it’s bigger tonight, and it isn’t going to be that big for another 10 years. That makes it way cooler.”

And you know what? Everyone was totally right.

A Mother’s Day card for my mom. I honestly don’t even know if she’ll be able to read it, but I tried to pick one out that had lots of colors and textures in hopes she might be able to connect to it that way. I ache for the days when I would pick out cards with witty jokes instead.

Our suitcases are packed. AGAIN. We’re leaving bright and early for a whirlwind trip to Kansas to see my sister-in-law graduate college, followed by a long drive to Galveston, Texas for a much needed family vacation. I’ll try my best not to neglect my blog duties, see you back here soon. xoxo

The post I didn’t want to write

I wrote this post a few weeks ago, and then immediately put off publishing it. However, today is my mother’s birthday, and it seems somehow an appropriate time to finally put this out there.

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.

***************************************************************************************************************

“How’s your Mom doing?”

These are the words that I dread to hear. Although I know that this is a question people ask out of concern and to show that they care, the truth is that there is no other subject I would least like to talk about. It’s sad and tragic, and talking doesn’t make anything better.

For the last few years my Mom has been suffering from a combination of Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy. In essence, her brain has been very slowly shutting down. Against all denial, I’ve had to accept the truth – that the woman who I knew as my mother is gone. I can’t call her for advice, or support, or to tell her about something funny that happened that day. I have to contend with the fact that she will never know her future grandchildren, and they will never know her. There are so many future memories that I had planned in my head that are gone, before they even had a chance to happen.

Despite everything, I still consider myself “lucky”. My parents were smart enough to take out long-term care insurance years ago, and it has enabled my step-father, Henry, to have in-home nurses to care for my mother seven days a week without going into debt, allowing him a break and to maintain whatever amount of a normal life that he can. I am blessed with family and friends who support us in whatever way they are able, whether it be cooking dinner for Henry or cracking jokes to keep everyone smiling. I have an amazing husband who will always hold me when I need to cry and has never questioned the cost of a plane ticket when I need to go home. I have to constantly remind myself that things could be a lot worse, and on most days I feel like my life is normal, if not blessed. But of course, there are other days when all that seems to matter is that I want my Mom and she isn’t here. Grief is more of a roller-coaster than I would have previously thought.

I have been debating writing about this for a long time. Because although I like to feel that this is my place to come and share parts of my life, there are topics that have until now felt inappropriate to post on this site. See those advertisements off to the right? They bring in money, however humble the amount may be, and although I have no moral dilemma with exploiting my talents with cooking or sarcasm, I would never want to feel that I was exploiting my mother or the situation she is currently in. Until now I have made a purposeful decision to leave her off of Pink Basil.

That is, however, until I read this post. After reading it I felt better, knowing that I am not alone. And when I reflected on how it felt to read the words of stranger and know that we were somehow connected, I knew that I wasn’t  helping anything by not writing about what is such a continuous part of my thoughts every day.

This situation and my feelings on it are not something I can sum up in one blog post (I’m doubtful that I can truly put some of them into words at all). Nor am I going to allow them to take over this site. But writing about it can make anyone else feel less alone, or if I can use this place to sort through my own complicated feelings, then I hope it will be worth it.

Thanks, as alway, for reading. XOXO

I think I was roofied

You all remember my Aunt Sara, right? You know, the one that left me this voicemail last year? I thought she had learned her lesson about leaving me incriminating messages, so you can imagine my surprise when out of the blue this showed up on my phone:

To be clear, Henry hadn’t told me ANYTHING, so I had no freaking idea what she was going on about. Knowing her, I was able to surmise that “I was roofied” meant “I had a killer hangover” and “I can take nourishment” meant “I can drink wine again.” There is something to learn from this though: if you ever find yourself with a hangover at an age when you really should know better – just say your daughter’s friend roofied you. That will sound MUCH better.

I texted my cousin Polly (Sara’s daughter) and basically said “FYI – your mother is leaving me weird voicemails about getting roofied,” and she was like, “yeah, she does that sometimes.” Then she sent me this photo, which apparently represents how Sara spent the entire day after her unfortunate incident.

I’m assuming that Sara thought leaving me a voicemail would help with the damage control to her reputation in case I decided to write a post about this incident. She obviously hasn’t figured out how blogs work.

Aunt Sara – I love you. Lots. *hugs*

Cooper

This weekend was pretty darn good. Except when it wasn’t. More on that later, but for now I’m just trying to ease back into the week by looking at pictures of this little guy. Cause he is super adorable and allows me to forget the pile of unanswered emails that I have. And yes, I realize that emails don’t form an actual “pile” but I’m trying to be dramatic, so just let me have that one, okay? Please and thank you.

Of course, what you can’t see are all the photos I have of him continuously trying to stick things in his mouth, which I guess babies do sometimes, but it really isn’t all that cute for photos. Except when it is. Then, holy moly is it presh.

Happy New Year!

Welcome back! Because I am a total space cadet when traveling, I kept forgetting to share some of these videos on my trip home, so here they are now. Consider them my bucket of randomness to welcome in 2012.

First off, this is my friends’ cat, that she taught how to open a freakin jar. So it could then pick up treats and put them in its mouth. Even if you aren’t on some sort of mood altering substance while watching, this is pretty dang cool.

My dad is a pilot. And he’s retired. So by law, he now has to buy his own plane and then tell us it’s his new “toy”.  As of this moment I am the only daughter that hasn’t flown in the Yak (that’s what it’s actually called), mainly because I’m all “I have seen how you drive and that is thrill enough” but Chase doesn’t know any better so he went up with him. He says it was “freakin awesome” but I’m pretty sure he’s lying or doesn’t totally understand that the effects of gravity can be lethal, so I stayed on the ground and played Gem Drop instead. And I made it to like level 20 so you can all guess whose adrenaline rush was higher.

This video is kinda boring. Unless you’re a guy. This is a stealth bomber (right?) that flew over us while watching the Rose Parade, which is something I wouldn’t be normally be super psyched to watch, but everyone else around me seem to think this was amazing. So…here it is. React however you want…

And you remember this right?

Well…my Feast of the Seven Fishes totally happened.

And Aunt Sara came.

With gifts.

That were half frozen.

Seriously, I love her.

Alright, 2012. Let’s do this.

Dogs, Dresses and Dances

I went to Charleston this past weekend for a wedding.

I walked down to the beach. The very same one that Chase and I were married on only a year ago. I wish that I would have had time to lounge in beach chairs with a rum beverage, but sadly that will have to wait for another anniversary trip, especially since Chase was stuck at work and couldn’t make it this time.

I did find the time to send Chase the above photo with the caption “Wish you were here.”

Hi, my name is Caroline and I am a shameless cheese ball.

I met my sister’s new greyhound, who originally came with the name “Judge” that was promptly changed to “Dobby”. Obviously he was way too silly looking for something as dignified boring as Judge.

And BTW – no, that is not a dead dog in the photo above, it just happens to be what Dobby looks like about 90% of the time. Apparently greyhounds are actually some of the laziest dogs you can have, exhibiting about as much energy on average as a lethargic sloth. For my sister, who is in her final year of residency and barely has time to change clothes or feed herself between shifts, this type of dog is exactly the sort of companion she needs.

Oh, and the fact that you can pile things on top of him and he is far to lazy to actually move away? That’s just the cherry on top. It would be a shame to tell you how much time I wasted doing this while I was there. It’s also a shame that my sister didn’t have more plush toys lying around, cause my skills in stacking were definitely not pushed to their limits.

The highlight of the weekend – I tried to iron my dress and totally BURNED A HOLE IN IT an HOUR before the wedding started!@#!$&!! This was immediately followed by me trying to act like I was fine in front of my stepfather, (No really, I mean, it’s only brand new and made of shimmery fabric, but I really didn’t like it anyway) which was then followed with a phone call to Chase that resulted in a total tearful meltdown which would have been more fitting if a real tragedy had occurred or if I was four and had lost my favorite My Little Pony (That shit will scar you for life).

Finally, I put my big girl panties on… drove to a nearby Kohl’s… bought a dress and…went to the wedding. See? I am totally getting better at being an grown-up.

And oh yeah, there was a wedding. It was beautiful, and was immediately followed by this first dance from the bride and groom, which should give you an idea of what kind of a couple they are together.

Chris & Morgan – I will be sure to hang onto this video so your future children have something to roll their eyes at. I love you and you’re welcome.

I don’t think Mickey would approve

This is my cousin Emily. Don’t let that innocent watermelon eating face fool you, she is not to be trusted. When we were about 10 years old my parents took us on a trip to Disney World and one afternoon we came up with a HILARIOUS game at the hotel pool where we would go under water, rip our bathing suits off and then slip them back on before coming up to the surface.

Remember the good ole days when all you needed to do to be entertained was rip your clothes off in a public place in daytime? sigh…

Okay, so this was all clean, innocent fun until yours truly got her bathing suit tangled up and COULDN’T GET IT BACK ON. Instead of remaining calm and simply standing in the pool with just my head above water until I could untangle it, I went in to full panic mode and would only come up for a quick gasp of air before ducking back under the surface and trying to fix the suit by staring at it underwater with my chlorine-soaked eyes. You can only imagine how well this went.

And you know what my loyal cousin Emily did? She laughed her ass off. She laughed so hard that she was completely unable to help me at all, which only contributed to my panic. Soon I was near tears for fear that I was going to have to get out of the pool naked and explain to my parents how my suit had magically flown off my body and then been tied into knots, and Emily was laughing so hard she was in danger of cramping up and drowning. Which honestly, would have served her right.

I did eventually get the suit back on, no thanks to Ms. I-like-to-laugh-at-other-people’s-naked-misfortune. All I can say is that the next time I find myself without clothes in public and need assistance – I am sooooo not gonna call this girl.

Family Photos

For some reason whenever you put a camera in front of my cousin Emily and her dad, Steve, instead of smiling for the camera they try and figure out what kind of funny face they can make. Which is how this happened.

And then this.

They kept going, even when my camera decided it no longer wanted to focus.

Eventually Emily started to tire of the antics.

So my Aunt Sara got in on the fun.

And then we all ate watermelon. The End.