Unidentified Flying Observations


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Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2006 I was cruising my old blog archives and found these interesting posts from the month my mom died. The blog was titled LIVE NUDE GIRLS--catchy title, eh?

Saturday, March 31, 2001
thank you, lael for that outstanding lesson on outlining. (i still dont fucking understand.) Why cant i just write the goddamn thing without an outline?i am so glad that i can still be liked after admitting that i like elton. i wont be around much for a bit. my mom is dying and i am pretty depressed. i am quitting my job on monday so i can feel free to have a prozac moment and not fuck up school at the same time. i have the bestest partner anyone ever had. i will be finding a job as soon as i can, but we can still pay the bills in the mean time.carry on without me, oh brave nude women. i'll lurk when i can. posted by cindi jackson at

Wednesday, April 25, 2001
My mom is dead. I am forever changed. posted by cindi jackson

Wednesday, April 25, 2001
let's review the situation. cindi's mom has died. lael is suing her dad. i'm getting divorced. at this point i believe we can get up and move around the cabin. the captain will let us know if we need to return to our seats and put our seatbelts back on. posted by maura mcmillan

Thursday, April 26, 2001
yesterday i was in good shape. today i am worse again. anybody know how to work a yo-yo? posted by cindi jackson

Saturday, June 02, 2001
BTW Cindi, enjoy your stay in Washington and your family... Sometimes being around people close to the heart makes us stronger--Other times it makes us completely insane (like when you're related to the people I am).posted by lael

Tuesday, May 29, 2001
last nite was fun, ithought of you, lael......i got puked on by my two year old niece who woke up screaming (i thought i twas just another night terror.....WRONG) its really interesting trying to clean puke off a screaming two year old and take a shower myself at the same time. EWWWWWWWspeaking of sicknesses........i am not a mom , so i kinda suck at this whole when to go to the doctor sorta thing.shes thrown up every hour on the hour since two am.....fever steady at 103.1 (thats WITH motrin.....not that the motrin is helping because she keeps puking it all up which makes for orange scented throw up.....)so, when do i pack her up and head for the clinic??posted by cindi jackson

Sunday, September 10, 2006

August 1, 2001

In 7 days, it will be time for me to move away from California....and the life I worked so hard to build here. In the last year or so, I have come to the conclusion that this is not really the life I had planned for myself. I cant do any of the things I love to do here, and my lifelong friends are too far away from me to hang out with. I want to live where I can see the whales when I miss them, sit around and watch the first snows of winter fall, and actually need a sweater on Halloween night when I answer the door to hand out treats. In California, there are "seasons", but they are so subtle, there is never a chance to bid anything farewell before the next change happens. In the Northwest, you can breathe the air and feel the difference. And it happens slowly enough to really take it in. One day the leaves will be green, and the next, you can see traces of red, orange and yellow in them. And a week later, you awaken to a golden rain forest....and I miss that. Besides being horribly homesick, I miss my mom. And I think part of me still hopes that she will be there planning some huge dinner for me to welcome me home....I even checked online and read her obituary again the other night, and I felt the blood drain from my face as I saw her name in bold print staring back at me. Ive never lost anyone who mattered this much....and when it is in the newspaper, there is no denying reality. And the finality. And I wish I had told her that I forgave her, because I did...I just didnt want her to know yet. And now it is too late.

February 7, 2002

I'm back in California. I packed up a lot of stuff today and spend the morning looking through old pictures and crying. I cant believe I wont ever see my mom again. And I cant believe she died. I'm worried about a lot of stuff, mostly my ability to box all this baggage up long enough to get a job and get my life on track before running back into my healing work. J is in a mood, and I am trying to be reasonable because I know we are doing the best that we can. But its so hard always feeling like I am not "enough". I am not even enough for me right now. And I keep looking to other people for the cure...even though I know the key is inside of me someplace. Deep. And alone. And I dont even know. I am tired of knowing, and sometimes I just want to feel like a normal person without trying to figure out why the fuck I feel a certain way. Forgiving someone is so much easier than forgiving yourself. As my mom lay dying, I was on a beach looking for answers to my own pain. I was thinking about ME. And I went on vacation instead of going home, where any good daughter should have been. And that feels bad because I SHOULD (yeah, I know....) have been there before "the end." But I really didnt know. Not even the doctors knew. I just want my mom to know how much I really did love her. And how much I wanted to be there. I was afraid to cry in front of her. Not because I was ashamed, but because I didnt want to scare her. And all I am left with now is this horrible image of my moms face looking at me, and not knowing who I was at all. And her last words to me "Did Dr. Raish have bad news, sis?" And my lie to her that everything would be ok, and that she could "go home" whenever she wanted to. And my fear. And my disbelief that my trip home for a nice visit entailed speaking at the funeral of the most powerful woman in my life. And now I am never, ever going to see her again. Not at Christmas, not at my graduation. Never. And no one really gets it. "Its been 7 months. I bet you feel so much better now." I don't even know what to say to comments like that. People mean well, and at least they think to ask me how I am doing "with all of this." People talk in code, like if they say the word "dead" it will mean something horrible. So they say things like "passed away" or "lost her battle". I've battled my whole goddamn life, and I'll never lose at anything, even if I die. And neither did my mother.

September 23, 2001

the world is all fucked up. and although it distracted me from my pain, i knew it would come back. it does everytime someone in my family tells me what an "incredible" tribute I gave to my mom when I spoke at her funeral. I dont know what was so incredible about it. It was hard, but my friends helped me have the strength to do it. And it wasnt really a very good speech, it was written in five days of total obsession, with absolutely zero sleep. I miss my mom today. I spent last night watching old video of her and seeing the same goddamn flower fifteen times in a row. there is a portion of the video tape where mom and everyone are just idly talking about nothing at all. and i listened. and listened..........and she said nice things about me. my mom did love me afterall. i kne she did. that is all. its weird being the only person you know who has lost a parent. its like im supposed to "know" something that they dont. well, i guess i do. im different now. the minute my mom died, i was forever changed. i belonged to the daughters without mothers circle of people i do not know. or maybe i do and just dont know it.

July 29, 2002

And fuck it all, why is everything so connected to my mom? Even my cat's death is connected. But at least the deaths have occurred. It is officially a tragedy "in threes." First mom, then grandma, then the cat. Or do cats count?

June 30, 2002

The anniversary of what should have been a landmark in my mother's life, her 60th birthday, is over and here I sit listening to music. I selected a song that had significant meaning to me to be played at her funeral. It was "I Hope You Dance". Who would have known that this song would have reached number one on the charts and be played so often? It heals me and hurts me at the same time. My mother is never far from my mind, and hearing this song always brings tears, but sometimes it brings strength. I never thought I would miss her so deeply. I still cry almost every day--I'll see something and want to tell her about it, I will pick up the phone and think "It's been awhile since I called home....." and then remember she wont answer the phone. When I was a kid, I resented my mom for things. I hated her sometimes for not nurturing my sensitive spirit better. It seemed to me like I could never do anything right sometimes. Yet, as I grew up, I realized that my mom was almost always my biggest fan. She cheered me on, bragged about me to her friends, and accepted me for me most of the time, even with the other problems we had. I was her favorite child, her "baby" she used to say. I was never "close" to her, but I wanted to be. I was getting to be friends with her. When she got cancer, she told me right away. She asked me to be brave and not to worry. She was the one with a deadly disease and she was asking ME to be brave. It made no sense to me. Cancer was not something that happened to "us", it always happened to random people on television telethons, or the old lady down the street. Surely this was a mistake. It couldnt be "that bad". My mom would surely beat it and we could continue to build on our relationship.One year after she told me she had breast cancer, my mother died. 13 months to be exact. I will never,ever be the same woman I was the day I learned my mom could die. The day I took a step closer to my own death. We all really die, and nothing is certain when it comes to the future.I always thought I had all the time in the world to heal and to do the things on my "list" before I die. And now I find myself wondering when I am going to find a lump. Its not even "if I get cancer", I find myself thinking "When I get cancer"....I know more about this disease than any well person should know. I've read all the big studies, and I've taught myself all the jargon so I actually understand it. I am sure I have a point in all of this. Or maybe I just miss my mom today. I used to feel like there was something wrong with me because I am still grieiving hard for my loss. I guess this is just how it is for me. I am grieving on multiple levels for a relationship I once thought was impossible. My mom was trying hard to get to know me, and I was actually trying back. Only I thought there would be time. Our family was spared tragedy for a long time. We were lucky all those years and didnt even know it. The last "big death" was my grandfather having a stroke at 64. I was 5 years old. My dad cried. I felt scared because my dad was seemingly falling apart. I remember this day because it was my mom who glued everything back together. She was a "fixer" when it came to times that were hard. She gathered up all the kids (at least me and 5 or 6 cousins) and we made Christmas ornaments. She wanted to make us ok, and give all the other adults a break so they could grieve their dad. And this in turn gave my dad a chance to be with his siblings. I was 5 at the time. I didnt know any of this then, but looking back at my life, my mom did things like this all the time. And I feel terribly ungrateful and sort of like a huge jerk for never portraying her as she usually was. I never told any of the people I had therapy with all the neat things about my mom, only the awful ones. My mom was always the one organizing BBQ's, she played with us instead of cleaning the house (our house was always trashed), and she was usually the first one to say "Alright!" when something good happened to someone else. She wasnt selfish the way I portrayed her. It doesnt mean I cant be angry for all that happened to me, and that my mom wasnt there to help me and protect me. But if I had to pick my mother over again, I would still pick her. I guess that sounds insane if you know my life story. I loved my mom a lot.

December 8, 2003

So its my birthday. And here I sit wishing my mom would call me to say Happy Birthday. Perhaps I need therapy?

January 7, 2004

So I was cleaning out a drawer today, and I found this paper stating that I do not have chlamydia, syphillis, HIV or herpes. Whew, that's a relief.

January 13, 2004

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, by golly!....people like me. (And if they don't, fuck 'em.) These are the words I say to myself when I look in the mirror. I called 16 therapists in the greater Portland area. None of them are willing to work with me. I guess I am never going to be ok. I either need a lot of money or a lot of luck. Because I can’t pay the money, so I need to find someone who cares more about people than they do about getting rich off of other people’s suffering. Yeah, that’ll fucking happen.

As for work, I am still trying to figure one kid out. Time is running out, and we still have so much work to do. I feel terrible because I just don't seem to be able to connect with this kid, and none of the other children will even play with him....and this compounds the problem because then he just wants to irritate me. The new plan is to carve out 20 minutes everyday to work 1:1 with him. I hope God is keeping score, or at least watching this scenario. Because this one should qualify me for sainthood.