Missed Signals

Another sleepless night. My thoughts are with Dad and Mali.

We went to Dad’s home today. We picked up things that were our kids, pictures and things they made for him. We also picked out some things from his home as we have to have the house cleaned out by the end of the month.

It was a somber day. I watched my poor sister, devastated and still in shock, We lost Dad to cancer not even a week ago. I am helpless to asuage her grief.  I didn’t think he would pass on so quickly.  Nobody did.

I felt like a vulture going through his things. I would trade his things to have him back. Like our Mali.

I listen to his voicemails and I cry.

I don’t get how God can keep piling deaths on this family who seems to keep getting smaller and smaller.

Reflecting back on Mali’s death, I am going to share a thought that has been sitting in the back of my mind for sometime now. I think I have always known this.

Many people have said she was bullied. They didn’t know our Mals the way our family did. She was strong and would not tolerated that behavior. She would have called that out. She would have defended herself and spoke to either her Dad or me about it

What I do think was the straw that broke the camels back was her need to do well at everything she tried.

She was smart. She did well in school, she was a great debator, Ran track with all her strength. She played her violin with passion. Her softball skills continually improved. Giving of her compassion to help the less fortunate. All this plus trying to get awesome grades.

I repeatedly stressed the importance of staying close to the top of her class so she would get scholarships for college. I stressed the importance of having God in her life. She didn’t believe he was answering her prayers.  I didn’t want her to end up like me. On the 15 year plan for finishing college and finally getting a good job.  I made her life about myself.  For that I will never forgive myself.

She strove to excel at everything. She was already looking at Stanford for university.

The immense pressure she felt to do everything right pushed her over the edge. She felt like a failure.

I sit back and think about the note she left. She was sorry for being a failure at everything. Being perfect fueled her depression and anxiety.

Why did I not see this as a parent? I mistook her appearance as a hard charger. I forgot she was a kid.  A teenager, with many fears about life, her future.  Instead of being a comfort to her, I encouraged her thought process of perfection.

I am so ashamed of myself.  Instead of noticing the warning signs, I cheered her on.

Can I change any of this?  No, it’s too late  I have to suffer the consequences of my inaction.  By the time I realized there was a problem it was too late

It took almost a year to come to this.  I am thick in the head  I only hope that she will forgive my shortcomings as her Mom.


Death and a New Life

When Mali took her own life last April, the shock and finality of her actions sent waves of anguish over my entire family. Not just my family but our extended family.

She lived her whole life in 14 short years.  It still baffles me and can bring me to my knees in a flash.

My father in law passed away yesterday. He had been battling cancer for many years. He never referred to me as his daughter in law or I as my father in law  he was my Dad and I his daughter.  I will always be grateful for that.  The last 29 years he was my Dad.

Our entire family supported him through his time of struggle. Each family member reacting and responding to his impending death the best way they could. Some actively and others from a distance.

It reminds me that we are all human with our reactions to the dying. It doesn’t make us saints or terrible people who couldn’t actively participate to the way some may think is appropriate. Everyone grieves in their own way.

I was so privileged to spend his final night with him. He became unresponsive around 330 that afternoon. I got to speak to him on the phone about 20 minutes before he passed into the phase of active dying.

I watched old tv shows with him that night. I wiped away tears and kept his lips hydrated with my sisters chapstick. I talked to him. Sometimes begging him to open his eyes and talk to me one last time. I wiped his forehead with a cool towel

I prayed a lot of night.  I started saying the rosary, when his nurse came in to check on him and then pulled a chair up next to me, pulled her rosary beads out of her pocket and jumped right in to recite the 5 decades with me  I was so touched by this act.  She came back later and recited the divine chaplet of mercy with me.  We listened to classical music.  We listened to the two songs he wants played during his cremation.  I sang Ave Maria to him in Latin.  (sorry Dad if it was a horrible rendition) 😂😂😂

There is no way I can describe how being with him that last night than noneother than a privilege. He meant the world to me. I love him.

The one comfort I can draw from all of this is in my heart is I know he is with Mali now. It brings peace to me. He is with his family that proceeded him. What a great day in Heaven that is. Free of pain and with his loved ones.

Hug the people you love and tell them you love them every chance you get. Life is so short. 14 years or 77 years. It doesn’t matter about time. Only the love we have for one another. Don’t judge or put yourselves on false platforms.  Be kind to one another.  It all starts at home.  These are a few of things that Dad taught me.  How blessed am I?



As the 11 month approaches, looking back to the things that have happened since Mali left us have been downright hazy.

Reflecting on the last year has shown me that even in her absence I am still breathing. Autopilot is a real thing. It’s how I operate most days. Ambivalence, numbness, anguish have become a part of my vocabulary. So is hope, smiling and good days.

I cant seem to bring myself to sit in her bedroom. Untouched mostly from the day she left this world. It makes me melancholy and I don’t need help with that department.

Mostly I long for escape. Escape from this pain, from this house, from this city and everything that reminds me of her. This is naturally impossible while  she is always at the front of my mind. Trying  to push her away won’t solve my issues.

Life kept moving on. Mostly watching it as an onlooker and not particularly interested. This is probably not a good path either.  It’s safe though and doesn’t require much energy.

A close family member is fighting for their life. I am helpless to do anything but watch and try to comfort. I know what lies at the end of that path. I am terrified to go there.

I’m not sure what is worse, not getting to say the I love you’s and goodbyes or watching a close loved one suffer.

I don’t have the luxury of pondering that road at the moment. It’s fucked up that God doesn’t operate on my schedule. Instead he lays down more shit on my plate. I don’t think he realizes the plate holder is broken and out of superglue.

Spring is almost here. Robins have come back and have been cleaning the apples of last year off her tree. The green will be back soon and I am still here watching the wheels.