Tag Archives: family

I am here

Facing the reality of the fact that no matter how hard you try, you may fail sometime, and trying to figure out what you’re supposed to keep working toward and what you’re supposed to let go of is a lot of work.

It requires humility and strength of endurance that I do not always have. Sometimes it results in being overwhelmed by your own inadequacy, and being unable to try to hold on any more, and twenty minute sobbing sessions in your room where no one can see you.

Eventually loved ones find you and try to console you while you simply recognize the fact that you have no control over the situation and don’t want to be crying, and really don’t mean to be bothering them with your pain, but you just can’t handle the stress at the moment and you need to cry.

Then you get ready for bed, read a novel for four hours, and go to sleep thinking that at least your life is better than the character’s in the dystopian society, and at least you can enter a different world for four hours at a time, and step into the life of someone else, be it ever so briefly, and be okay. Not only be okay, but maybe grow stronger with the recognition that we all struggle as human beings, and nobody has everything under control, and that while you may be crying about a situation you see no way out of, the pain is temporary and ultimately, some way or another, it will be solved.

You are loved, and it will be okay.



Filed under Cdukulele's life.

Pondering what I didn’t do on Thanksgiving…

“Yes, I’m introducing you to my family strictly to get their opinion of you. What you do and say does matter and you are being judged for it. The outcomes of this meeting could either make or break our relationship. Good luck!”

I’d like to go back in time to when this was acceptable and use my family as a screen for potential suitors. Oh wait, that is totally still acceptable, right?

I’d like to find the guy that I’m comfortable enough around to say this too, and for him to totally understand my degree of seriousness, and rush into the task of meeting my family headlong.

I don’t trust the opinion of every single one of my family members when it comes to suitor potential, but I definitely think some of them would have something good to say, and a potential suitor would have to meet their minimal requirements in order for me to truly accept them.

…Or maybe I’d just accept them and then my family’s approval would just be the cherry on top of being happily in love.

It’d be nice to be happily in love.





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Filed under Cdukulele's love life.

ODR: 15 Things I learned while recovering from Neurosurgery.

Hello, it’s officially been three years since I had my crazy neurosurgery operation, and in honor of the fact that I am still alive right now, I’m posting about it.

Handily I’ve written on this topic a couple times and in honor of my new spirit of, actually publishing old drafts, I’m taking this post from  January 24th, 2014, fixing it up, and presenting it for you today.  Here it is:

15 Things I learned while recovering from Neurosurgery.

1.Learn to live with surprises: Even if you really, really, really, think that it’s the end, and you’re completely prepared for it, you can wake up fourteen hours later incredibly thirsty, and with the odd sensation of being unable to move your upper body.

2. I don’t know how to phrase this but: Eleven pm in the ICU  seems to be the perfect time for the construction crew to jack hammer something. Either that, or morphine has some crazy effects. Point here, you’re not sleeping, but that’s okay, you’re just in the ICU.

3. Appreciate the little things: Recovering in the ICU after surgery 24 hours since your last sip of water gives you a new appreciation for the meaning of the word “thirst”. At this point, the tiny sponge lollipop they give you to dip in water and moisten your mouth with is like an oasis, and the nurse who brought it to you is a saint.

4. People have a great capacity to do good. All nurses are saints. They are amazing people who look upon you in your hour of need, and give you morphine. Or some other pain killer, or bring you a lavender scented hot towel to wipe the dried blood off your head with.

5. People may not always live up to your expectations. The nurses that are part of the night staff may also be saints, but of the tough love variety. They favor doing things like “calling your doctor” before giving you an extra dose of meds, which results in you waiting 45 minutes in agonizing pain to get those meds, and hope they kick in.

6. The stomach has its own clock. Hospital kitchens close, so be hungry when the kitchen is open, and not at 3am when you and your sister are looking at the menu picking out what you actually feel like you could possibly consume. This will result in bitter disappointment that is only satisfied by handfuls of crackers and jello.

7. You are capable of amazing things. Like being spoonfed and not choking to death or dying. While you are capable of doing this, I recommend you avoid being spoonfed at all costs. If the nurse decides that you need help eating because you haven’t eaten in three days, while she may be right, she may not be the best person to spoon feed you. Surviving being spoonfed by an impatient nurse is a great accomplishment, as it means you’ve miraculously found a way to swallow food and breathe at the same time.

8. Curry soup does not deserve to exist. I don’t know why it is even considered a food. It is a malicious attempt to make you suffer for three days while it brings back memories of the spood-feeding horror of the past with its lingering smell on your unwashable neck collar.

9. Pain is relative, EXCEPT NOT. Apparently the official hospital pain chart is on a 1 to 10 scale, and not 1 to 5. Know and memorize this fact. Getting the allotted portion of medicine for the “I’m just unhappy enough not to smile” face when you’re really at the “All pain I experienced up to this point in my life was nothing” face is not fun.

10. Know your limitations, other people won’t. Physical Therapists have both too much and too little faith in you.  You get to walk around the entire building with just a walker! But no, you can’t go the two feet from the bathroom door to the toilet alone.

11. Sometimes you just need to get away. FLYING PTERODACTYLS OF DEATH! Are preferable to another night in the hospital, agonizingly reclining in your bed, wondering if this moment in torturous space and time is ever going to go away.

12. Visitors help time go by faster. They are also far more accurate gauges of how poorly you may or may not be doing, as their faces contort into looks of pity upon seeing you, while doctors just take blood and give instructions.

13. Hold on for dear life. Having a “Wheel chair pusher in training” kind of feels like you might as well be wheeled to the MRI machine by your five year old niece. Also, why does she have a volunteer tag? WHY ARE VOLUNTEERS IN CHARGE OF TRANSPORTING THE GIRL WHOSE NECK IS HELD TOGETHER WITH STAPLES????

14. Be happy to be alive. As you were probably never closer to death than you were in those moments, going under, being operated on, and recovering in the ICU, and you survived that, this means you can probably survive anything. Survive it or not, the main point is that:

15. You are loved. People love you. Enough to drive nine hours in a car with their 9 month old son, a giant stuffed tiger, and a perfect get well card with a kitten on it. Enough to sleep in an uncomfortable hospital chair three nights in a row, keeping you company and massaging your legs when they hurt from not moving for so long. Enough to have their faces contort into looks of pain when they see you suffering. Enough to spoonfeed you until you’re about to choke. Enough to tell you that you should have this operation because otherwise life might end.  Love is limitless, and experiencing the love in this world is worth the pain.

God is good.


Filed under Cdukulele's life., ODR: Old Drafts Revisited


Being on stage, being viewed,
looking out at all of you,
faces from throughout my life,
the times of joy and times of strife,
all united to watch me

In that moment it could be bad, reflecting on the trials had,
I could fail and flail and sink
I could merely stand and blink.
Awkward stares could meet my eyes
shifting girls and wary guys,
I could miss the mark completely,
and make you all wish you couldn’t see me.

Strangely though, I share my heart,
my poems in song, my life in art,
you see my sides, light and dark,
and in those moments, despite the stark
revelation of who I am,
of what I think and what I can’t and can
do and say and be and show, despite all that, and while I’ll never quite know,
you love and smile and applaud and cheer,
and make me feel so very dear.

So I stand on stage and take the risk
of being loved or not being missed,
just to remember that moment clear
of being thought of and held dear
just for being all myself
for sharing the joys and pain I’ve felt
for going on stage and being me,
and finding out that I’m okay to be.

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Filed under All Poetry

Family values

I want to get married and have babies and take care of them and love and protect them and raise them.

I totally will probably stop writing sappy love songs if I ever actually get into one of those relationships.

Something must be up with my hormones. They’re in the I want to be a mother mode.

It’s like when my sister turned twenty-something and started running around the house and updating facebook statuses with things like “I WANT BABIES”.

It’s crazy the things you’ll say. Except she was in that mode for a good three years, and I think she’s still in it, she’s just less vocal about it since she broke up with her fiancee…

Anyway, I’m also willing to adopt small humans or just volunteer to help them with homework. That works too.

I’m too poor and totally single to actually become a wife and mother right now.

It must have been that country singer at the concert last night. His little daughter came over to me before the show and started trying to strum my ukulele, and she was freakin’ adorable. Then he invited his wife to come up on stage and sing some songs with him, and it was beautiful.

I want that love, you know? I want that purpose and that commitment and responsibility to taking care of a life and sacrificing your own life for the good of others. Plus I’d get to hold precious children in my arms and love them.

I get to do that anyway, I mean, I always have the opportunity to love others and sacrifice for them, and with my number of nieces and nephews there are plenty of small children to love…But it’s different than actually having your own little family unit, and your own children, and your own house and people to take care of.

So yeah…I want my own family someday. Some little grouping of people who might think I’m crazy and whom I occasionally embarrass with my ukulele playing and stupid jokes, but who love me anyway, and who play ukulele too because I taught them when they were old enough to walk. …

Anyway, that was just my random want-to-be-a-mom rant. It might be a sign of my aging…I did just turn 24.

Happy Sunday.


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Filed under Cdukulele's love life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day of Thanks I’ll refrain from grumbling about how certain hair cuts scare me and about the three major assignments I have do at the end of this holiday break.

Oh look, I just grumbled.

I won’t write an entire post about it at least…Probably.

Okay, I got to sleep so that I can be well rested for seeing all my family tomorrow.

At least I’m in grad school, so that means I’ll avoid the questions like, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE CATHERINE????”.

Of course the “Man, you’re gonna owe a lot of money” and “Are you seeing anyone?” phrases might be heard a couple times.

Actually, I’ve become pretty insignificant in the family lately. It’s all, “Oh, are you actually doing that grad school thing, when does that start up?” and “That’s a great idea, do invite your boyfriend to my wedding,” to which I respond, “I’ve been in school three months”, and “I don’t actually have a boyfriend, that was a joke”.

I don’t know how much sense this made, I spent the last hour in a weak attempt at doing rough drafts of my school assignments, and words are hard. Plus, Netflix is melting my brain…and I’m letting it.

Oh, anybody else ever start talking to someone, and then the entire relationship got ruined, and now every time you see someone with a similar haircut as them you have a mini panic attack? Like you’re afraid that whoever that person with the haircut is THEM and that somehow you will be hurt? Not really hurt but just, you are, for some insane reason, drawn to them and their odd ways, and you know that the end result will probably be your unhappiness, and so anyone that remotely looks like them makes you want to run in terror?


I am thankful for osteoblasts and healing nerves, and family members that do care about you and give you good hugs, and for the other family members that keep you safe from the friendships that went wrong and openly mock the hair cuts that they don’t even know belong to specific people you’re avoiding. Also, I’m thankful for broken phones and lost numbers and the false sense of security that the isolation of the internet provides.


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Filed under Cdukulele's life., Cdukulele's love life.