Never forget.

In other sad news, my cousin’s mom on my mom’s side passed away late last week. Her name was Gittle, and she was a survivor of the Holocaust.

I remember like it was yesterday – December 19, 1987 – my Bat Mitzvah celebration. Afterwards, the out of town guests went back to my house to have coffee and watch me open presents (ok, that’s clearly a 13-year-old’s memory). My cousin Fay (daughter of Gittle) was there, and my mom told me that she was a survivor, born in a DP camp. Fay told me her family’s history, and I never forgot it. It’s been more than 30 years since I heard that story, and I still remember. Our family was part of this video below, documenting their experiences during the Holocaust. If you have 22 minutes, take a look.

 

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Winning.

Screenshot 2019-04-22 14.43.28.pngThis morning, I stopped at my local Dunkin Donuts for an iced mocha. I like it with almond milk (lactose intolerant) and light on the chocolate sauce (bariatric surgery). It was handed back to me with gunks of chocolate on the bottom. I told the guy behind the counter that I had asked for lighter “mocha” and he then handed me a cup of ice, no mocha, with a splash of coffee and almond milk. I couldn’t even get my straw into the cup. I then asked for a large cup. I started explaining that as ice melts, it expands and the cup would overflow, but then I stopped and said, “Please, just give me a larger cup.” I poured the medium into the large, and headed to work with enough ice to make a second iced coffee in the office. I call that a win.

Then I got back into the car and when I got to Newton Corner, where I have to cross over two lanes of busy traffic rather quickly to access our parking garage, no one would let me over. I finally jerked my car ahead, and quickly made it into the garage without having to circle around the block. I call that a win.

We then had a meeting that was scheduled from 12-3pm. It ended at 2pm. I call that a win.

So, when someone told me this weekend that the “Jews were responsible for killing Jesus,” I responded that “I wasn’t there so it wasn’t me” and left it at that. Can I call that a win? I can call it offensive, off-putting, and ignorant, but I don’t call it “surprising” because there is a lot of anti-semitism out there. Is it right? Nope. But spending the afternoon with this gentleman was quite pleasant, once we moved away from the whole different religion things. I call that a win.

70.

I weighed myself this morning and I hit the 70 pound weight loss mark. Crazy to think I’ve lost that much weight since October 22. I’m pretty excited about it. My energy levels are so much better. I can work out more and I’m not always out of breath. It’s awesome!

Things with work vary day by day. It’s a bumpy road that I hope with smooth out soon.

Exciting weekend ahead. Ted and I will celebrate Passover at my brother’s house, and then Easter at his brother’s house. We’re so domesticated. But, in all seriousness, things are going well with us.

Mom is doing great! She’s been gaining back her strength and is embarking on a journey to a friend’s Seder this weekend. I’m even hopeful that we’ll go out shopping together next weekend when I’m there to visit for the end of Passover.

That’s pretty much it. Off to watch makeup hauls on YouTube.

4/12/19

TGIFF, righScreenshot 2019-04-12 12.13.19.pngt?

It’s been a rough few weeks. Yesterday my depression hit me like a ton of bricks, but I managedto pull myself out of it by soliciting some chat time with my sister-in-law. It definitely helped to talk through the stuff that’s bothering me.

Mom is status quo. She’s gaining her strength back and putting in a lot of effort to get stronger. Go, mom, go!

Spending time with Ted and his kids this weekend, which should be fun. It is supposed to be 70 degrees tomorrow, so that’ll be awesome.

Work is…well, currently a 4-letter word…but I’m putting in my best effort to get through the days. 2 more people resigned this week.

Ciao for now!

Monday, Monday

It’s a new week. Pressed the reset button.

Mom is home. She was in the hospital last week because of bowel/colon obstruction. Remember that they had to rebuild her insides during her cancer surgery last June? Well, these are the side effects. She’s in good spirits. Just spoke with her for a while.

Had a nice weekend! On Sat Ted and I took his kids to a local museum and then out for bbq. Later that night my college besties came over for dinner. On Sunday a friend came by and then I did some wandering around the local mall.

That’s all for now!

Tumult.

Monday. Going about my business when we hear that our CEO has resigned. Our COO is out. Our CFO is now CEO. Our ED is now CDO. All announced in 30 minute meeting.

Phew. Needless to say, I’m wiped out and stressed out.

Guess I need to update my resume because you never know. That’s the problem – you don’t.

In other news, I had a lovely weekend, namely because I spent a lot of time with Ted.

My mind is spinning.

3/27/19

I had an interesting work meeting today where we discussed – among other topics – the assimilation of American Jews into society in the US. A professor at our meeting, who lives in Israel, said that the German Jews before Hitler also considered themselves assimilated. That’s some scary shit to discuss in a work meeting!

I have been sick all week with a nasty cold and now I’m having a terrible stomach ache. šŸ˜‚

Next post better be more optimistic!!

3/25/19 part 2

I can’t stop thinking of three suicides that took place this week. Two Parkland survivors, and the parent of a 6-year-old who was killed in Newtown. It breaks my heart to think that their suffering – their survivor’s guilt – whatever it was – was too much to bear.

It took 1 day for the Prime Minister to ban assault rifles in New Zealand after 49 people were killed for being Muslim. Why can’t we do the same? It may not prevent every shooting but it’s a start.

I don’t love this world we’re living in. Many of my Jewish friends tell me that they secretly sleep with their passports next to them in a drawer. That’s some scary shit.

Just needed to get this off my chest.

3/25/19

Sorry it’s been a while since I wrote – got a text from a loyal reader today asking about mom, so I promised him I’d catch you all up on things!

Mom is doing so well! She’s gaining her strength back, walking a bit, and appears to be in good spirits. Ted and I are heading there this weekend to visit & check in on the ‘rents. Mom said Sophia is heading out on Thursday for her break. I hope she comes back! She’s been amazing.

I’m dealing with a cold so been laying low. I haven’t been on the scale in a week or two so not sure about my weight progress. I don’t want to be obsessive about weight so I check it out every so often.

That’s all for now! Oh, and happy spring!!

3/17/19

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s amazing what a difference a few days can do. I am feeling so much better. Ted & I spent some nice quality time together this weekend, including walking 6 miles yesterday! My legs hurt but it’s worth it.

I participated in a Brandeis alumni focus group this morning which was a lot of fun. I always enjoy being back on campus. I then went and purchased my new washing machine – No Samsung this time!

I am going to Worcester tomorrow for a donor meeting so at least it’ll get me out of the office. Ciao!

3/15/19

Longest week ever! Seriously, it was so slow. TGIFF!

My week – well, in my world – was pretty shitty but when I think about it, it’s all relative since mom is getting better! Remember I said I’d know she was on the right track when she started watching Hulu again on her iPad? Well, she watched “Three Identical Strangers” last night! She’s been wanting to watch it forever. And she’s getting out of bed! She’s been sitting and standing. Soon she’ll be running that marathon. Ok. Ok. Us Rothman’s do not run marathons. But you get my point.

I’ve been looking forward to tomorrow all week! My beau & I are spending the day together. Can’t wait!

My job has been incredibly stressful and icky this week so let’s hope it gets better next week. I’m optimistic.

I have been doing spring cleaning too. Earlier this week, I packed up more donation bags and tonight, I threw out old makeup. I dropped my gorgeous Laura Mercier foundation on the floor but in true “me” fashion, I had a replacement one ready to go. Luckily I dropped the old one. But damn, that stuff is expensive!

I’m down 65 lbs. The big excitement this week is that I can fit into Victoria’s Secret stuff again. It’s not great quality but it’s symbolically fun not to have to only shop for unmentionables at Lane Bryant or Avenue. I have more options now. Of course this stirs up all sorts of feelings of “why can’t more stores be inclusive with their sizing?” But it’s also nice to be able to shop in a store for these things.

That’s about all for now. Doing a Brandeis alumni focus group on Sunday which should be fun!

Bought this dress at Target today. Cute, huh???

3/11/19

Monday again. This one was pretty good, though. I went to an interesting event at Brandeis and enjoyed learning in the middle of the day!

Did my taxes. Although it’s a lot less than 2017, I’m still getting a refund. So that’s helpful since I now need a new washing machine (cue the water gushing out of the bottom of the old one….).

I spoke with my folks a while ago and had a fairly long conversation with mom. She had a nice visit today from our cousins and has been enjoying her phone conversations/visits with neighbors, friends, family, etc.

Ted and I will plan to visit at the end of March. They’re thrilled for our upcoming visit. I’ll meet Ted’s folks in May when they’re back from snowbirding in FL.

Officially lost 65 lbs. Saw my recent photo on FB and could see such a difference in my appearance. I feel more like myself now. A less puffy version of myself. I refer to myself as the “incredibly shrinking woman” which makes me laugh.

That’s it for now.

3/5/19

Best part of the day: pjs. Who’s with me?

It’s 9pm and I’m snug as a bug on my couch with last night’s Bachelor queued up. So, why does Colton jump that fence? Anyhow….

Very long workday. Getting adjusted to the fast pace of the office. I feel very behind with my work. Will need to spend many hours catching up, but I’ll do it.

Mom did not have a great day so dad turned away calls and visitors. Please check in first with dad or Sophia before stopping by. Speaking of Sophia, I spoke with her today. She’s the best!

Thank you to my two friends whose names begin with H for supporting me today during a rough patch. Trying to juggle a broken washing machine, getting acclimated back to work, doing my taxes, finding clothes that fit me, and the like – I’m spent!

Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s hope mom has a better one. ā¤ļø

3/4/19

It’s 9:32 PM and I’m back home. Today is Monday, and we got a foot of snow, but I was able to get to work by 11:30 AM. It was so good to be back at work! That’s when you know you like your job. It was also clear that I was missed, so that’s always encouraging. Our new assistant started while I was away so there’s a general good vibe in the office right now.

I’m a little behind in my writing because I took the last few days to decompress. I needed to catch up on sleep after the last few weeks of extreme stress and decision-making.

I spoke with mom earlier today and she sounded good. Sophia is a blessing. She is helping her eat, which I believe is giving her more strength to move her body in the bed. Her mind is strong, but her body is still very weak. I can’t wait till the moment when she said she wants to watch her new Hulu subscription. I will know at that moment that she is getting better.

I bought myself quite a few new items of clothing over the past few weeks, so I just went and packed up two more black trash bags to donate to the Vietnam Veterans of America. I also have a bag packed to sell to ThredUP, an online consignment shop. So far I’ve made about $100 from selling things there. I realized how much I needed work clothes! I’m buying things in sizes medium, large, and extra-large. I’m getting close to the size large, but in some things I still need the larger size. I’m trying really hard to get rid of anything that is over an extra large (besides pajamas) so I’m not walking around looking “frumpy.” Again, I’ll use my favorite word here: surreal.

I’m starting to make plans with friends again. I was holding off because I never knew when I’d have to leave for New Jersey at a moment’s notice. I feel like I can make plans again now that we have Sophia living with my parents. I think she knows how important she is in my life, but I’ll make sure I tell her again. I told my dad to tell Sophia that I missed her! I hope mom doesn’t get jealous šŸ™‚

2/28/19

9:24am

one word: exhaustion. I have been couch surfing at my parent’s since we have Sophia here so I haven’t slept well. I’m grumpy and want to sleep for days. Mom seems to be adjusting well to home life. Dad and Sophia are figuring out their roles to support mom. Yesterday, I did a big Target run for them.

And I had coffee with my friend T, who I’ve known for 30 years! Thank you for the break.

I’m heading home tomorrow. Ted will come over after work & hug me for hours, I hope.

I have to do a work project this morning. Ciao for now.

2/26/19

11am. At my parent’s place working. Waiting to hear if mom will be coming home today. We have no hospital bed for her yet, so there is no where to put her right now. So we wait.

11:13am. Bed will be coming “at some point” today. That’s all I know. So, hopefully that means mom will be coming home today. I think around 4pm but it may be later. Please check here for updates. I love you all. I get between 15-20 texts, calls, emails, and FB messages a day, which is so thoughtful, but remember, I have to respond to them all! So, this is the best place to check for thorough updates. If you are just saying hi or thinking of us, please keep those coming!! Mom and I thrive on the social stuff, as you know.

I am drained. About 50% depleted, I think, which means I’m running on 1/2 of a tank of energy. My thyroid levels are WAY off so for those of you who deal with that, you know it completely messes with your body chemistry. Tack on caring for mom (and dad), trying to work, and keeping my own health in order – it’s a ton to deal with at once.

If anyone is interested in helping, I can tell you that our friend Michelle brought over a bunch of prepared meals from Wegmans and some Girl Scout cookies, and those went over huge with dad! I’m on a strict diet right now post-surgery so I need to take care of my own food needs. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t partake in some Girl Scout cookies! A lot of people want to come and visit mom – give her a few days to get settled in before coming over. Dad is still getting over bronchitis and she still has Cdiff, so please do not come over if you have any colds, flu-like symptoms, or if your kids or grandkids are sick, avoid Chez Rothman for now.

What else to share with everyone…I think that’s all for now. More news later!

5:34pm Mom is home. She’s snug as a bug in a rug in her hospital bed. Dad is getting her pills and apple sauce ready. Sophia is a delight!

 

Manic Monday

It’s 12:30pm and this morning has been chaotic. While I was trying to catch up on work, my phone and my parent’s home phone was ringing and blowing up with texts. The texts from people who were checking in were great, as usual.

But then my doctor’s office called to tell me my insurance was cancelled and they’re sending me a bill (their error). At the same time my surgeon was calling me about some vitamin deficiencies and my thyroid levels are a record low (overly medicated).

And dad apparently threw out some of mom’s friends when he arrived at the hospital in a rude way….and then I’m running around trying to find out when mom will be transported home.

Sigh. Taking a deep breath.

It’s a lot. Thank you to T & M who both reached out today to have coffee/chat (one is in NJ/one is in MA). I hope to see you (T) and talk to you (M) soon. And to my cousin Fay -we’ve been devouring your valentine goody basket! Yum!

And thank goodness for Ted who chats with me before bed most nights and calms me down.

It’s all starting to take its toll on me, I think, so bear with me balancing things. I have to remind folks that I had surgery only 4 months ago & I’m still recovering.

Mom is sleeping now. She’s excited to go home. We hired a private P/T guy who will help her (hopefully) walk again.

I asked dad last night as I ordered size small adult diapers on Amazon: when you married mom 50 years ago, did you ever anticipate you’d be arguing with your daughter over getting size small or medium?? Sometimes it helps to put things into perspective!

More later! Thanks for reading.

2/24/19

No major update today. I stayed home to catch up on sleep. Dad went to see mom – she was weaker today but mentally in ok spirits. More tomorrow when I see her. Was watching Oscars but they were boring!

Saturday 2/23/19

It’s about 2:45pm and I’m sitting with mom. She’s snoozing so I’m writing.

She’s good today. I told her all about Sophia and the fit flops and whatnot. She’s looking forward to going home on Tuesday. I made a hair appointment for me for some normalcy.

Overall, I’m pleased with her progress & attitude. We believe she has situational depression so we’re treating that. Who wouldn’t be after all she has dealt with over these last 10 months??

She’s looking forward to Helen’s visit (hello, I told her you’re coming). She said, “we’ve been friends for 50 years!”

Dad has bronchitis. He’s home resting. Poor man. He’s been through so much. If you call him and he hangs up abruptly, please don’t take it personally. We get a lot of calls & texts every day, which is lovely, but can overwhelm him when people probe for more info. If you have my number, call or text me. I’m here until Friday and I can handle the “chitchat” better than him. If I can’t, I’ll write it here! If you need my info, message me!

More later!

Home Sweet Home

We spent the day getting all of our ducks in a row to get mom home! We have a lovely aide named Sophia lined up to start on Tuesday, so with mom’s blood tests in order, she’ll be coming home then. We are working on getting her a hospital bed and all the trimmings. I got her a fluffy, bright twin-size comforter for her temporary bed.

So, overall, a positive day. In between, I worked. Hard to balance everything so I’m glad it’s the weekend. I spoke with one of my donors today & she said I’m the “utmost professional.” I needed that!

I went to Old Navy and got a few things since I’m down 60 lbs now. šŸ˜ƒ

Tonight, I went through mom’s jewelry and “inherited” some necklaces. She had offered many of them on my last journey home but alas, they didn’t fit. They do now! Wearing her clothes and jewelry makes me feel close to her. I try to wear something everyday that was hers.

I recently donated these super cute size 8 fit-flop sneakers because they were swimming on my feet. Then I remembered she had gotten them in a 7! I asked her before she got sick if she’d be willing to donate them to her “incredibly shrinking daughter.” Of course she agreed. I dug through her sneakers & found them! They’re about 10 years old but as they say, what is old is new, and they’re right in style again!

So. Things are a bit brighter tonight. I may even sleep!

2/21/19

Quick update as it’s 11:46pm & I’m spent. Mom was better today – a bit stronger – and her oncologist believes she has more life in her. We’re working on getting a 24/7 aide to help us so we can bring her home.

Word is spreading within our friends & extended family. Lots of people are planning to come in to visit. My cousin is flying in from Florida, my aunt & uncle plan to come, other friends will be here next week. The love is wonderful! Please just be mindful that mom needs her rest so keep the visits short & sweet. Today she commented to me on how exhausted she was from guests (I’m her keeper!).

I am wiped out. Thank goodness Ted’s been checking in a lot and we’re making plans for when I return home, which will probably be a week from tomorrow. I have to help dad get everything settled at home before I am comfortable leaving.

Tomorrow I’m going to take a break and get a Fitbit at Target – I want the rose gold & lavender one. #selfcare

Goodnight, sweet dreams, and see you all tomorrow.

2/20/19 part 2

It’s almost 11pm. Dad and I both took sleeping pills in the hopes it gets us through the night. I came home and worked for about an hour to get my colleagues up to speed on an event I’m supposed to be running next week. I have a great turn out so it’s bittersweet that I likely won’t be there but I’m grateful for my work peeps to cover for me.

I’m back in mom’s bed and thinking about what life will look like without her. It’s not easy to imagine a world like that. You all know how close we are. But as I said to the neuropsychologist at the hospital earlier, while I have my faults, I’d like to think I’ve also inherited my mom’s people skills and some of my dad’s intellect (he’s still way smarter). I am honored to carry the torch.

She’s amazingly at peace. It’s inspirational, really. I am proud to call her my mom – now & always.

My nephew is arriving tonight from Colorado, and my sister-in-law’s folks will be here tomorrow. We’ll all be together, which is great.

Dad said he hopes friends understand that we’re surrounding mom with family now. She likely wants to go peacefully without a lot of rigamarole.

Dad, my brother and I discussed the next steps together in the meditation room at the hospital. We don’t want Dad to be alone so he may come & stay with me for a while. Or go to my brother’s. I told them I was worried about my depression and dad said he’ll be there for me. I couldn’t ask for more. Then we had a big group hug.

Mom, we love you always. šŸ˜˜

2/20/19

It’s 1:15pm and I’m alone with mom while the rest of the family took a walk into town to get lunch (in a snowstorm). Mom and I have talked about her wishes for her funeral and I’ve asked her if she’s ok with me dying my hair back to brown. šŸ™‚

Thanks for the outpouring of support. It’s all appreciated.

It’s 6:30pm now. We went home; I napped. My brother & sister in law went to pick up my car. My poor bro blew out 2 of my tires last night (I wasn’t in the car) so they got them replaced. Always fun when life gets in the way.

Dad and I are with mom. She was moved back to the cancer floor for hospice care. We love the staff here. They all greeted us with hugs and warm wishes. My parents spent their careers working at this hospital. It warms my heart to see how much they are revered and admired.

Another big thanks for all of the outpouring support and love. It means the world to me.

Iā€™m her girl.

We sat around her, staring into her hazel eyes, peering out from a pale, grey haired face. My brother threw out humor; Dad said he spent the day reminiscing; and I, of course, started sobbing immediately.

This morning, Dad called me around 9:30am and said that things weren’t looking good for mom. I asked if I should come. He said yes. He called my brother; he said he’d be joining me. We wrapped up things at work (thank you to my wonderful supportive job and boss), and arrived at Riverview Hospital around 6:30pm.

The room was darkly lit and mom was resting peacefully. She greeted us with a voice that was stronger than I anticipated. She was happy to see us. So was Dad. He actually greeted us downstairs in the lobby.

Mom told us that she wanted to close her eyes and not wake up in the morning. After taking that in for a few moments, we started chit-chatting and a bit of joking, reminiscing, and crying (again, me).

We left an hour later, feeling fairly sure we’d be seeing mom again tomorrow.

That was a few hours ago. I’m laying on mom’s bed, writing, after speaking with Ted. My brother went to pick up his wife at the airport. Dad is watching some nature show downstairs – on full blast – after having a few snifters of whiskey.

I know many of you reading this love mom and want to speak with her. She’s peaceful, at the end of her life, and she just wants to rest. She spent her life caring for everyone and now it’s our time to respect her wishes – quiet, peaceful, rest. She can’t have an influx of visitors. It’s just family time now. It isn’t personal towards anyone. It’s just what we need right now. No cell phones, iPads, laptops.

Please remember that I’m going through something really tough. While I know you want a response on my cell or here or email, please be patient. All love and prayers are appreciated. And, a few people have felt the need to tell me how to feel or how mom should be treated. Trust our judgement, please, to do what’s right for our family. Most of you have been wonderful & I thank you for that.

Dad just came in to say goodnight. I’m sleeping in mom’s room tonight. A great comfort, I told dad. He said, you’re her girl! That I am. Always & forever.ā¤ļø

The Big D

I used to write an anonymous blog and referred to depression as “the big D.” I don’t call it that anymore because it gives it too much power.

I can feel my depression rumbling. I’m back home now, not in the throes of having to make immediate decisions about mom, and my mind starts to wander. I have time to process now.

So, what can I do to help myself? I can write about it (ahem, thank you blog!) and talk it out (thank you Ted). But sometimes I can’t stop it so I have to live with it and try to take away its power.

I’m a people pleaser and when I know I’ve messed up, it messes with me. I said a few things in the last few days that I regret. I opened my big mouth & shouldn’t have done it. How can I get over my regret? Time will tell.