Sept. 18, 2008I was talking through messages with my friend Kris...and she said something that really spoke to how I was really feeling. I never thought about it myself...but her writing it down really opened my eyes to how I am feeling right now about losing my daughter Mariko. She said that people have probably stopped talking about her or mentioning her around me...and that's so true! In the beginning I heard almost daily from people about Mariko...and I cried a lot at the mention of kind words, thoughts, memories that they shared with me. So I think people just stopped because they felt it was hurting me too much. But what they don't understand is that 'not' hearing anything is really hurting me worse right now...because it's like she's disappearing. She's forgotten. It's only been a little over 8 months ago that she lived, breathed, laughed, cried...walked on this Earth, and I think people have already forgotten that I have three daughters...not two! I know you all care, and my expectations may not be fair because after all Life goes on.
I guess what I fear most of all is that she will disappear from 'my' memories. Not just the remembering of daily life with her...but the smell of her hair, the sound of her voice, her laugh & giggles, the way she spoke, the way she said mommy, the crinkle in her nose, the way she crossed her arms around herself when she was upset, touching my nose with her tiny fingers, the feel of her warm hugs, & her tiny hand in mine. Day by day I struggle to keep her alive in my mind.I just don't want her to disappear!..to be continued...
Sept. 29, 2008I have recently been giving a lot of my attention & time to Kari's Band (The Candy Bombardiers). Kari is a senior now and I really wanted to help her focus her attention on her music, and if it doesn't work out then help her to find what she really wants to do with her future. So I have been pushing the kids to practice, write lyrics & music, and record. I even let them practice at my house every Saturday from 12 noon until midnight or so. I help drive, pickup the drums, feed them, buy the accessories (microphone, drum key, ect ..), whatever they need. They have really stepped up and have really been getting into the music. I even suggested & helped them find a drummer who is working out 'perfectly'. They have put their recorded songs on their Music Myspace page...and soon they will have enough songs recorded for a CD. The next step is 'gigs'. But they need to work on getting their song sets together. I have even made each of them a binder for their songs. All this I do in hopes that they get somewhere with their music. If they don't try...then they'll never know. I don't expect them to be famous...but to get to a point where they can make some money playing gigs locally would be great. One success is all they need while they are young...to hopefully show them they can do anything if they work hard and give it their all.
I'm constantly listening to their sound...I offer suggestions and sometimes they listen and sometimes they don't. But that's cool because it's their music! But there is one thing I know that would make them so much better. That will improve greatly their sound and perhaps get more people to like them. But it's an impossibility, a roadblock that can't be addressed or remedied. It's to do with one area of the band...that if mentioned would destroy friendships and bonds. So we turn a blind eye (ear) to the problem ...and hope for the best. Hoping that the problem area will be realized in a way that no one gets hurt, and keep them moving forward. No wonder a band breaks up or someone quits...instead of accepting what everyone else sees as the problem and working it out... they live with it or break up. My God I want them to succeed and selfishly for Kari's sake...for all of their sakes. But we just can't go THERE! We can't break hearts.to be continued....
October 7, 2008 HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARIKO!Today would have been Mariko's 22nd birthday. Just one year ago today Mariko was so happy. We took her to the Mall and she had her hair done at Ulta Saloon. We had a Mall party for her and she shopped for all the things she wanted...clothes, makeup, dvd's, jewelry & accessories. She looked very beautiful and she was HAPPY. Today she wasn't here anymore!
I picked up the girls from school around noon. We packed up the new plants, flowers, and decorations for her grave-site. We picked up lunch and cake. We got to the cemetery and unloaded the car...filled up the watering container...we opened up the blanket and had our lunch. Tom put in the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus movie that Mariko was looking forward too seeing once it came out...into the DVD player. We played it for her facing her headstone. I started removing the older flowers & plants and rearranging the newer ones. I had bought a bunch of pretty butterflies at the fog fest that were on wires, and placed them among her flowers. (This is the first Fog Fest she missed in 19 years...she loved the parade). She loved owls (like Harry Potters owl)...so I found a small one on a wire and placed it in the ground. I rearranged her Angels...and made room for the brand new beautiful Angel that's holding a blue butterfly. I also set up the pink butterfly balloon...the same exact one that she recv'd for her 21st birthday. We sat and quietly spoke...Kari & Momi walked around a bit...we took short naps under the warm sun. And we All Missed Mariko so much. Tom & I cried and held each other.
When I came home I slipped into sleep...to that quiet place away from reality for a little while.. Happy Birthday Mariko...I hope you had a beautiful birthday in Heaven.to be continued...
October 11, 2008I live my life for my Kids & Tom!!! Every thing I do...every thing I think...every move I make... it's always with my children & Tom in my mind & heart. They always have and always will take priority over anyone or anything. My love for them is so intense ...and that intensity has only magnified since I've felt the unbearable loss of Mariko.
I've lived through this loss only because of the need to protect & provide the best possible life for those that remain. The reality of losing Mariko has only made me more aware of how precious Life is...and how short our time in this life really is. I have been slapped in the face with Mortality...and the reality (& fear) of the fragility of Life.
I ...nor any living human being can change the fact of life & death. We can only do the best we can to appreciate the life we were given. To love, to live, to forgive, to go on, & to remember. I would not be the person I am without Mariko...and I will spend the rest of my life trying to live the life she was not given (although it's not the same without her). I will try to laugh more, sing more, dance more, love life more...because these were the things Mariko never took for granted. She loved her life...(such as it was with so many limitations). So who the hell am I to hate what she loved.
So that's why I open up my home to so many teens ...who are all friends in my kids lives...because I want to be around children laughing, singing, squealing, sharing, & LIVING. It is the sound of Joy & happiness & some foolishness...but it's so alive! Sometimes I don't get why other parents don't do the same. How they don't enjoy the 'noise'? Maybe it's the mess (but amazingly the kids like to pitch in together to do a quick pickup), maybe it's the cost of feeding a bunch of teens (somehow we manage).
All I know is if the teens like coming to my house then I must be doing something right. There's no drugs, no sex, no underage drinking...just the 'natural' high & energy that comes from being young. These teens bring pure Joy into our lives...and one day when my kids & all their friends are grown and out on their own...I know it will be a little sad & quiet in my house. But I hope they will always remember that we treated them with the utmost respect, love & trust...and that Casa Biel was a nice place away from home & to remember us fondly. And hopefully they all grow up to treat others with kindness & respect with open minds & heart as well. Maybe they'll look back and say that our home was a part of their Wonder Years too! I truly love all of you teens. Thanks for coming by and bringing "Life" into a home that really needed it...and thanks for remembering, loving & missing Mariko too.to be continued...
October 13, 2008Today was Columbus Day...I Had to Work!Got up at 0430...barely made it to work on time...didn't feel good in the clothes I chose to wear. So ended up feeling uncomfortable all day. Worked hard pushing papers here ...pushing papers there. Oh yeah ...yesterday finally got around to balancing the check book after like putting it off for a couple of months and realized 'Sh*t' ..money is tight! So at lunch I planned to mail a couple of bills 'priority' since I'm almost late. Got to the post office by my work and realized 'Fu*k ..it's a Holiday and it's closed. So I think the post office by the Airport is 24/7 so I drive there...'Fu*k' it's closed too! So that was a waste of time and effort. Finished up my day at work and rushed to see Mariko...got stuck waiting for a long funeral procession and thought again what a horrible year. Just before I left work Tom called to say he was using the weed whacker in the front yard and it caught a rock and cracked the big front window. He asked did I want to hear the sound of the window cracking as it spread. "NO"! Shit! Finally got home and found out that our front window is double paned so we had a backup window...as Tom cleaned out the broken glass. Spoke to Momi about a school issue only to have it thrown back at me with attitude...here I am the parent and my kid feels it's OK to basically get mad at me for questioning her issues. Surprisingly although it was basically a crappy day... I didn't lose it (a couple of cuss words to myself )..., or cry... or get angry (well maybe a little at Momi ...not for the issue but for the way she was speaking to me). But all in all...I'm pretty calm.
Because after all How Bad Can it Be? Nothing could ever be as bad as that day January 8, 2008...the last time I held Mariko as I said goodbye.
So to all of you having a bad day...remember Life sucks sometimes, and sometimes a lot of shit comes at you at one time. But "most" things & situations are fixable & forgotten in a couple of days. Don't drown in the misery. Let it out if you must...bitch about it.... but always remember things could be a lot worse! So be grateful that it's not. to be continued...
October 24, 2009God the past week just flew by. Sometimes I think days, weeks, months just flies by...flies by so fast pulling me quickly towards the end. The end of what...this life! I know that sounds morbid. But I see it in my face...I feel it in my bones...I know it in my soul. I remember when I was young playing in the woods, building forts, catching frogs, and dragonflies, & bees... The day's lasted so long. I remember the times riding in my parents Ford...and thinking I can't wait till I grew up and I could drive and have my elbow on the side and how cool I would be. I remember hanging with my friends, wondering what I would be when I grew up. I remember playing marbles and wishing I had money to buy more 'cats eyes', because I was never good enough to win them myself. I remember Christmas and being so excited about all the packages and counting how many were mine...and in what order I wanted to open them
But 50 years have flown by and all I feel is 'weariness' . I'm tired of waking up every morning at 430am and working a full day, I'm tired of paying bills and worrying about them. I'm tired of going grocery shopping & planning dinner.... and I'm sure as hell tired of having to color the gray in my hair every 6 weeks or so. But the worst is living yet another day without Mariko.
Have you ever longed for something so bad...that it becomes an obsession. Have you longed for someone to love you...have you longed to go somewhere that you've only dreamed of...have you longed to meet your idol whether an actor, musician, whoever...have you longed for money to get whatever you could ever want or need whether it's a home, cars, clothes, jewelry, travel. ..have you longed for your dreams to come true... I long for my child.
I know that the only thing that keeps me going is the love I have for my kids & Tom. I live to try to make their life as happy as possible. I want my kids to look back on their lives and always know without a doubt that they had a good life. I don't want to regret that I didn't do enough within my means to make them happy. Sometimes I know they don't understand when I push them...but maybe one day they will. I try to let them know how much I love them and how proud I am of them everyday.
Last week October 18th was Tom's birthday and the kids went all out for him. Greg dressed up like a character in Blue Velvet and acted like him by singing IN Dreams, then they all went out to the deck and played a punk version of the song. Greg then dressed up like Bob Dylan singing Tangled up in Blue. Kari & The Band then played their music, and Momi sang a Beach Boys song "And then I kissed her" for her dad. Kari spent a lot of times making a special mix CD for her dad with favorite lines from movies he likes with music thrown in. It was a Great birthday.
October 20th was my mom's birthday and I called her...I am so sad to be so far away from my parents. I worry & miss them so. I feel so helpless that I am unable to help them with my dad's failing health and the stress my mom has to endure. I thank God my brother is there to help them...but my guilt is overwhelming that he sacrificed his own life to take care of them.
Let me end in a more positive note. Kari's band the Candy Bombardiers received a message on their music myspace page from a promoter interested in putting them in a show in December. Turns out the show is on December 14th at SLIMS! It's an amazing opportunity and the winner will win 16 hours of free studio time. Plus when they are older they can look back when they were 17 and say they played at SLIMS. It's a famous venue and it's owned by Boz Scaggs and many famous bands have played there. The following week they have their own holiday gig at the Pacifica Boy's & Girls club. They are doing great. Who knows where this will lead? Maybe it'll lead to something bigger for them...or one or two of them in the future. Or maybe it will just be a beautiful memory. Where I had marbles & forts...they played music!to be continued...
November 2, 2008Wow...it's been an interesting week. It really started badly...Momi had a meltdown on Monday. We were really worried about her. She has been going through so much since her sister passed away. She's this emotional roller-coaster and we are on for the ride. She's been so angry...I don't even think she realizes what she is doing or saying half the time. She's just so agitated. She blows up at almost everything...which is putting a strain on the family because we are so on edge at times wondering what she is up too, or what she will do. It also doesn't help that it's been a hell of a year and the last thing any of us can handle is living with the fear of something bad happening to Momi. We love her so much but maybe that's not enough.
She needs more and in our own grief we neglected to recognize the profound effect this loss has been on her. She is so young and she has experienced death...that it's a reality...and that it hit so close to home. Most of us live well into middle age before we are touched by death of a loved one...especially death within the immediate family. Momi was only 12 when her big sister died.. I have to remember that if it's so painful for me at 50...what the impact must be for such a young child.
I believe that she is trying to get the most out of life and to hell with the consequences at time. Her grades are failing...her selfishness is manifested...her anger is intense. All this I think is somewhere deep in her subconscious that she must do what she wants NOW...because who knows what tomorrow will bring. I also believe that most of the year Tom & I have been living with our own grief and everything centers around our thoughts of Mariko...only recently have we been also dedicating our attention towards Kari and her band, who are actually getting somewhere and doing great things at the moment. It's exciting. While Momi is at a standstill...just hanging with friends. So I believe a lot of it is the need for attention whether it be 'negative' attention...it's Attention. Don't get me wrong most of the time she is her sweet, normal loving self...but moments of disagreements end in a lot of emotion & hurtful words. Yes...a lot of this may be normal teenage angst...something we didn't experience with Mariko or Kari...but I believe it does go beyond to deeper pain.
So Tom and I have had many a discussion and we both are working on getting Momi back on track with school...and getting her into some activity that she is interested in. So she mentioned kick boxing & she's trying it out...and other interest that might make her feel good about her accomplishments. She is a beautiful, sweet, sensitive, bright, happy & a very loving young girl...who's just a little lost at times. Tom & I agreed that we need to pay attention to her, and reason with her, and help her in any way we can. She just needs a little more patience, attention, and love. What all of us could use from time to time...especially a very young teen who lost her sister just 10 months ago.to be continued...
November 2, 2008After just reading what I wrote about Momi...I thought some of you might be wondering about Kari. If you know anything about Kari...you know that she has never, or will ever wear her feelings on her sleeve. In other words she doesn't outwardly show deep, sad, emotional feelings to a lot of people. She has always been quiet in the sense that she never opens up to just anyone. She doesn't trust easily...but once she lets you in you are basically a friend for life. She is what I almost like to call...a "watcher". She seems to study people & situations from the outside looking in. You will never be able to really know or understand what she is thinking...unless she let's you in. You can count yourself lucky to be let in to her exclusive World. She is a very private person. That's why a lot of people don't really know who she is. They might think they do...but they will undoubtedly be wrong. But once you're accepted into her life...at her discretion....you can count yourself so very lucky. She absolutely LOVED Mariko as much as all of us and she has cried, and she does miss her dearly. Also know there are dark places that she can't go...because she herself will never be able to handle it without a total breakdown. She would prefer her memories to be of all the great, fun, wonderful times we had with Mariko...and to uplift those memories. I just wanted to clear that up with some people...who I won't name.
One of my co-workers who I'm not close too at all had the nerve to ask me why she didn't cried. What??? You don't know her...why did you come to the funeral for to see how many 'TEARS' we cried? You don't know Kari...and you certainly don't care about me. So why did you come ...for Show?? Sorry I'm so annoyed with this person. This person everyday at work show's how 'rude, unprofessional, selfish, lazy & really mean they are. Always looking to blame others for their own problems and low self-esteem & who only feels empowered by demeaning others & constantly finding fault & exaggerating the negative....and I can't help but get angry that this person only came for the wrong reasons. Yes...I'm probably using this person as a scapegoat for all that is wrong with this World...but if they only start living for themselves, their happiness & their family...then they wouldn't make the lives of others so miserable. I mean life is short...focus on your own happiness and then maybe you wouldn't spread your poison, jealousy, & misery on others.
Sorry...except for this one person I so appreciate all the love & support my family received from truly loving, decent, kind, & caring people...who truly loved Mariko or cared for our family.
Anyways for all those who don't know Kari (aside for the "normal sibling rivalry" as she has pointed out to me.. with Momi), she is the most caring, funny, artistic, creative, sensitive, smart, honest, & truly COOL girl I know. And no one could be prouder.to be continued....
November 7th continued...Yesterday I found out that my good friend & coworkers' husband...who I also work with and he's a good friend as well...his brother died. And what was worse was that it was his mother's birthday and they had planned to go over there last night to celebrate. Instead it became a gathering of sorrow. My heart hurts for that family and especially his mother. Like I said before no matter the age...when your child dies a part of you dies. It will be such a painful time for them and I pray that somehow they find the strength to endure. His parents are in their seventies and they will need all the love, support they can get. He was 49...a year younger than me. My God all I can say again & again ...when will this year finally end. It's like I want to believe that if we can get through this horrible year then the next has got to be better.
I live in fear of 2008. I don't want to see any more pain near me, or a degree away from me. How much more can we take. Is God telling us something...is he preparing us for something. A shocking thought came to me that God called Mariko home (the weak), because she would not be able to endure what's coming. It sounds scary...but maybe if this World doesn't get better then God will smack us in the face and say WAKE UP!
I had a nightmare not long before Mariko passed away that some great catastrophe happened to the World. We were running in a group of people through darken neighborhoods (no electricity) and it felt so real...so scary. But like dreams I awoke with no memory of which of my kids were with me. I laid awake and my thoughts turned to the fact that without medication & hospitals...and Mariko being weak and sickly she would not survive...also, without my medication I would not be able to move without excruciating pain. But now that fear is no longer there because Mariko died anyway...but she died not during a catastrophe. Does that make it better? Maybe in a way it does because she did not suffer as long as that scenario. Oh I don't know.... it's fear speaking I guess.
My eyes are open and I am waiting & watching...and God I promise to be good...to be better...just spare my other two girls from suffering....pleasssssssseeee!. to be continued...
November 25, 2008I had another dream about this book called THE ROAD. It's about a father & son trying to survive after something had destroyed the world years ago. Food is impossible to find and trying to protect his son is the only reason he lives. I don't understand why I keep having these kinds of dreams...nightmares. I think it has to do with depression and not being able to see above worst case scenario's...because I'm already living with it. Trying to live with it.
It's the beginning of the Holiday season and I'm usually excited about this time of year...but not this year. I don't want to celebrate. I don't care about Thanksgiving...I'm not Thankful. I rather avoid it all together. But I have to consider the feelings of Kari & Momi. But all I feel...remember is the last Thanksgiving ..the last Christmas with Mariko.to be continued...
November 29, 2008Well Thanksgiving just came and went. I couldn't bring myself to have a "Normal" Thanksgiving without Mariko. I've been breaking down again. Something that I thought was under some semblance of control...but this Holiday season is killing me. I absolutely could not bare Thanksgiving...I'm not Thankful. So at the last moment I cancelled Thanksgiving with my sister and her family. I felt absolutely guilty...especially since my niece Joy was home for a visit. But I was so out of control with my feelings and emotions...so I explained to my sister and brother-in-law and they were so understanding and reassured me that it was OK. They were of course concerned about my girls. But I explained that we needed to be alone with Mariko that day. I know they worry...but at the same time they know. So that day we visited Mariko and brought her some poinsettia’s. We then took the girls to watch 'Twilight'. The theater was empty except for two other families. The movie was unexpectantly good. Then we took the girls to dinner at Gulliver’s. It's like a steak house. It turned out to be a very calming day for all of us.
Except for Momi who has been struggling for a while now. Sometimes the frustration level is so high that I want to turn my back...but I never will because I love her so much. She had another meltdown where a lot of awful things were said in anger...but then we had a breakthrough and she starting crying about missing Mariko so much. She has been fighting depression as well but at such a level that she's trying to push everyone away. She was the one that was the closest to Mariko in a lot of ways. She gave her baths...she washed her hair...she was the one Mariko consistently called to for help. So now she is hurting for the loss & the GUILT as well.
You see she was not always patient with Mariko...especially when Mariko at times make it difficult to help her. She would complain about getting her hair washed when she didn't want it washed...which frustrated Momi and of course like the rest of us we would get annoyed and show it. So even though the majority of the time it went smoothly for them...there were times that it was difficult for both of them...and this is the guilt and depression Momi is living with. I tried to reassure her that she should in no way feel guilty...she didn't do anything wrong...that she did the best she could...and that Mariko with absolutely no doubt loved her so much. We treated and reacted to her like any loving family would. She was one of us and was never made to feel different. And she treated us the same. I mean she would get just as frustrated with all of us and was not always sweet about it...Like "Leave Now"...when she kicked us out of her room. Mariko was just like anyone us...but not. She was better then most in so many ways. She made us all better for knowing and loving her.to be continued...
December 16, 2008SLIMS was great!!! The band (The Candy Bombardiers) played their hearts out...and I came away feeling so very proud of them...especially for Kari (my kid). She did it! They did it! It's been a whirlwind since they first found their drummer...practiced their songs...wrote new songs & music...recorded...opened their music space...and finally had the most wonderful opportunity to place at Slims. They ROCKED it! It's been a long road to get to this point... with a lot of laughs, disagreements, annoyances, tension & a lot of hard, hard work. But they got through all that, and the results were they had the time of their lives. They will forever look back at this time and remember with pride that they did a Great show at Slims when they were only 17 (and 14). There's only a handful of young teens that can say that. Whether they go on further in their music...or they fizzle out and face the real World...they will always have that memory...and no one can take that away from them. One of the few ALL Girl Punk, Garage, Rock bands out there. And even though they were not the best out there...(gimme a break this is their first show)...they were by far the most exciting, interesting, different (in a good way) band that played that day. The crowd was wound up...they even had 'moshers' hahah. Wow...this was the best thing in an otherwise dreary year. And I was so happy for the first time this year.
But back to reality...haha!I have been very honest...or as honest & open as I can possibly be in my Blog entries. I've said some things that have been misconstrued, or misinterpreted, or hit the nail on the head. I write how I feel 'IN THAT MOMENT'. It is my blog ...it is my feelings at the moment when I wrote it. Sure I let my emotions guide a lot of what I write whether good or bad.. it's still my emotions...my feelings. I've received a lot of comments & messages about what I've written. Most of it very caring & understanding, because most of the time I write about Mariko...but I also write about my life & what I'm going through.. Some of it is something I carry with me...but some of it is based on that 'one day' as I wrote it. This is almost like a diary I guess. So just because I wrote something in anger doesn't mean I still feel that way anymore. But if I believe something I will continue to write about it...until I change or the circumstances change. I know I'm blabbering on...but sometimes I just do that too! No one should tell you what you should or shouldn't write ...Right? If you know me then you know me...and will take what I write as just a part of me. We have good things about ourselves...and a lot of things that we are not proud of. Trust me no one is harder on me than myself. I absolutely know my faults, my failures, my shortcomings. But I will admit it to anyone and accept responsibility for them. I've said Sorry more times then I want to admit. But please be correct when you confront me on them...because I will also stand up for myself if I think you're wrong or not getting it.
If people were REALLY honest...and we write the absolute TRUTHS of what is in our heads...then we would never have a society of reasonable people. We've all learned at an early age to sensor ourselves in an effort to spare peoples feelings. I've heard on a news report that people lie in conversation constantly to fit the situation. I mean really think about it...we're all so judgmental in varying degrees. We're fooling ourselves if you can say honestly that you're honest!!!! I mean unless I'm obviously being a bitch...would you come up to me and say " you are a bitch" when I didn't do anything seriously bad to you? Unlikely...you would make excuses or say I'm not feeling well or happy...or whatever. If someone did a job, or made something or accomplished something...would you go up to them & say "I hate it"! No you would say "it's nice...wow that's amazing". If someone got a new haircut...would you say "eeewwww you shouldn't have done that to yourself"....and on & on... If someone was wearing the worst possible outfit...would you go up to them and say "you look fat"? No!!! In a polite society we sensor ourselves constantly to get along.
The one person who I can say is incredibly honest or should I say BLUNT...is Kari. And yet she has friends that accept her as she is. But she does sensor herself too to a point. She won't cross a line. Maybe being honest & not phony is the way to go?
Whatever....I'm blabbering again ...but seriously think about it the next time you talk to someone. Do you ever really say what you are really thinking?!!to be continued...