Archive for the ‘Blog News’ Category

I’m Still Around…

Hi everyone,

It’s been nearly a year since my last post! That’s ridiculous. I’ve been very busy, and I’ve been meaning to write a new blog post, but it never happened.

This is a quick note to let you know that I’m still around and kicking. I’ll try to post something new before another year rolls by. Yikes!

If you’re still sticking around despite this hiatus, thank you!

All I Want for Christmas Is You

Christmas TreeThis is the first Christmas without my dad. I wish he was still alive to celebrate this holiday. Not gonna lie – this season feels extremely empty for me. I hear the happy holiday tunes incessantly on the radio, and I see the people carrying shopping bags on the bus, but my heart doesn’t feel the same this year. Christmas means nothing if people you love aren’t around.

Ever since stores took down their Hallowe’en merchandise and put up Christmas goods, I felt a strong sense of loss and hurt. Why was I robbed of happiness during a season that prides itself on being the “happiest time of the year”? My dad was taken too soon, and it’s not fair. (Life isn’t fair, and the sooner we realize this, the better, but I’m still sucking on a raw lemon.)

I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer. I’m just trying to be real. And I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels like they’re hit the hardest in December. You look everywhere and you see parents and their kids together. Every time I see a father with his daughter since my dad passed away in March, I’ve felt an undeniable rise of jealousy. It makes my chest feel tight.

Yes, I still have my mom. And I do have a brother. But the closeness I shared with my father trumps all. It’s not like losing a best friend or a boyfriend – you’ve lost ties to your roots. You’ve lost the chance to sit down with the person and reminisce the good times. You’ve lost the chance to ask for advice. You’ve lost a person who you know loves you unconditionally.

Since my dad passed away, not a single day has gone by that I haven’t thought of him. And I pray for him often because he deserves to be in Heaven. I remember the great times we spent together, his funny antics, and the way he always managed to encourage me. I remember his strength, his devotion to Catholicism, his ability to talk for hours, and how much he loved movies.

One of my co-workers who also lost her dad (but years ago) said, “It doesn’t get better, but it does get easier.”

Whenever I’m hanging out with my friends, I’ll often bring up my dad – not in the ‘I feel sorry for myself’ way. But, for instance, if someone’s talking about building their DVD collection, it just makes me think of my dad and how he was such a movie buff. I’ll start talking about my dad’s DVD collection, and how much my dad appreciated the cinematic arts. I think that by constantly bringing my dad up in casual conversation, it’s helping me preserve my memories of him. It also helps others know what a kind-hearted, loving, and great person he was.

Another weird thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes when I go to places where my dad and I went, I’ll find myself looking for him as if he’s still alive and as if he’ll just appear and say, “Hi, Mary! I missed you! I’m back!” Then I’d cry, we’d hug, and I’d be so relieved it was all a bad dream. But, of course, I never see him. And I just see strangers bustling through the mall like insects in an ant farm.

Also, I’ve had lots of wonderful dreams of my dad – new situations and not just rehashing old memories of him. I’ve even woken up with a smile on my face after many. But I haven’t had any new ones for maybe a couple of months. And in my last dream with him in it, he was telling me how he can’t stay around forever and that he has to move on to the next stage in the journey. He wanted me to be okay. And I told him that I couldn’t expect him to stick around here for me, and that I wanted him to be happy (as he deserves to be).

I miss my dad so much.

This Christmas is going to be the hardest for me and my family. I just hope it doesn’t completely suck.

When Will Things Start Looking up for Me?

My life is falling to pieces. Personal and work life are horrible. I’m a strong person, but I’m really unsure if I’m strong enough to endure what I’m about to. Seems like ever since last year, I’ve been hammered down repeated with something new to stress me out.

We all worry about our inadequacies and what the future holds. For me, the future holds tough times ahead because Matty, my best friend (who also happens to be my ex-boyfriend, former roommate, and former co-worker), is leaving the country and will be living there for an indefinite period of time. We did so many things together – had fun and feuds!

He’s leaving because he doesn’t know what to make of his life, and he really hated the way things were going for him. It also doesn’t help that he has a significant amount of debt to pay off. He’ll be moving in with his parents and will try to find a new job (since today was his last day at work).

I want the best for him, but it’s hard for me because especially during this time when I’m still trying to cope with the death of my father and work is going pretty shitty, I feel like I really need him for social support. Two people have never been closer.

The last time I’ll get to see Matty is tomorrow. After that, it’ll never be the same again. Even the most exciting books you cherish come to an end.

I feel so alone.

Abandoned.

Weak.

Bitter.

Angry.

I’m certain that I’m going to bear a cross in the days ahead. But one thing I keep trying to remind myself of is that while everybody may let you down, you cannot let yourself down. Life is hard, but you have to put up with the bullshit if you want to make something of yourself.

Dear readers, I fully intend to write a proper blog post. It’s just that I’m going through a very difficult time right now. Don’t lose faith in me. I’ll return soon!

Blog News: www.Glockoma.com

Guess who finally got her first domain name ever? That’s right – yours truly! To visit Glockoma, all you have to do is type http://www.Glockoma.com.

Since landing the domain name, I’ve considered getting hosted. There’s a smorgasbord of things I want to modify to really personalize the look and feel of Glockoma. Nothing’s engraved in stone yet, but it’s definitely something I’m eagerly researching. (If you know of any good web-hosting deals, please let me know.)

R.I.P. Peter Shaw (1939-2010)

I still can’t believe my father passed away on March 2nd. Every morning, I wake up thinking that maybe it was all a terrible dream – it can’t be real. But it is real. It was so sudden, and came with little warning.

He had been recovering from a moderate stroke, but in the end, it wasn’t the stroke that did him in – he had an abdominal aneurysm. A blood vessel’s lining was thinning and burst. My father was internally bleeding to death. Thinking about my father suffering so much is unbearable for me. But at the same time, it shows you how strong he was.

The surgeon said that most people who have aneurysms like my dad don’t even make it to the hospital alive even if they call the ambulance immediately! But, of course, my dad was a fighter ’til the very end – he lasted about 8 hours. He’s so incredible, and even though he’s ‘gone’, he’s still teaching me new things.

New Things My Father Taught Me

Souls Really Do Exist

He was a really religious man who took great pride in being a Catholic. On many occasions he’d talk to me about faith and God. And I remember him telling me that the body is just on loan from God – it’s like a shell we borrow and we have to take good care of it because it’s not really ours.

I believed what my father said, but it was only when I saw my father’s body in the emergency-room operating table and then again at the funeral-home visitation that it really hit me. It’s hard to describe, but even though I was looking at my father, it wasn’t my father. Something was off.

I realized that my father was right when he said that the soul leaves the body when you pass away.

The body is nothing more than a shell. The soul is what gives a person that spark and personality. And then it made me think about how when we look at each other, it’s not actually the physical appearance we see. I mean, yeah, we notice a person’s build and hair colour, but when they’re gone, even those don’t look quite the same anymore.

When we look at one another, I now believe we see the soul. We just don’t realize it until the soul leaves.

Scientists and religious scholars may have struggled for centuries to prove that a soul exists. Naysayers can argue otherwise, but because of my experience, I will always know in my heart that souls really do exist. And it’s a comforting thought.

When Someone Dies, You Don’t Actually Lose Them

It’s become pretty common to say, “Sorry for your loss” to express your sincere condolences to the devastated family. I never gave it more thought until recently.

I realized that I didn’t actually lose my father. I found him. Where? I found him at the place where he’s always been – my heart. And there he will always be.

In an upcoming blog post, I’m going to share the eulogy I wrote (and read at the funeral-home visitation). It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write because nothing I said could ever do him justice. But I did it because he would’ve wanted me to. I’ll be sharing it because I’m proud to be Peter Shaw’s daughter and because everyone deserves to get a glimpse into this wonderful man I was blessed to call my father.

Later, I also want to share my experience when I saw my father’s urn placed in the niche at the cemetery and also all the headache regarding the myriad of legal matters you confront when a person passes away.

Please continue to say prayers for my father and my family. We need help to be strong.

I Love You, Daddy.

My father passed away on Tuesday March 2, 2010 at 12:16 am.

(He was recovering from his stroke, as you’ll remember me telling you in this post and in the bottom part of this post.)

I’ve been worn really thin planning the funeral and visitation with my mom and brother. I was extremely close to my dad, so although I’m trying to remain strong, it’s a huge cross for me to bear.

Since Tuesday, we’ve had to go through a lot and are really busy. I had some blog posts time-stamped to go live in the next few days, but decided to put them on standby for now. Just want you all to know that I’ll resume blogging again as soon as I can because after this sudden tragedy, I have lots to share.

I ask that you please say a prayer for my father and my family (whether or not you’re religious). It would mean so much to us. Thank you.

Blog News: Still Kickin’ It Without Smudging My Eyeliner

This is just an update to let you know what’s been going on with me lately and what I have planned for the future of Glockoma.

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet & Away We Go

Finally caved and joined Twitter today. You can find me under the username GlockomaBlog (Glockoma was already taken by someone else!).

And if you decide to follow me, don’t worry about being bombarded with tweets. I’ll likely just send out direct messages and the occasional tweet. They may be random thoughts that provoke a feminist discussion or it could be to let you know that I’ve posted a new blog entry.

Back to The Future

And since we’re on the topic of new posts, I’ve thought long and hard about why I don’t blog more frequently. It’s because I feel as if I always have to post a long entry or say something profound.

Many times I sit down to write an entry and end up scrapping it because I don’t think it’s ‘good enough’. That mentality turns blogging (something I consider fun) into a dreadful chore.

Well, it’s time to change that since I’m sure it must be pretty boring for you to have to wait so long for a new post. (They say that the most successful blogs have regular and frequent updates.) I really want to gain readership and build a community that can openly engage in thoughtful discussion.

From now on you’ll see really short (even one-paragraph-long) posts in the mix, too.

This is a feminist blog, for goodness sakes, and if I want to promote the idea that women’s thoughts are to be valued, I should start valuing my own thoughts instead of second-guessing myself so much. Sometimes the most interesting things we say are the things we just blurt out. And it makes us more human – less scripted…more real. Amen to that.

If there are any other bloggers reading this, I would love to hear from you. Let me know any suggestions you may have via a comment on here, e-mail, or Twitter.

My Father: A Stroke Survivor (Not a Stroke Victim)

After reading my previous post about my dad suffering a stroke in December, you may be wondering how he’s doing now. He’s out of the hospital and recovering at home.

A lot of the functioning he lost has come back – he regained the use of his left hand and his eyes can move normally again. His speech has also improved, but there’s still some slurring because part of his tongue has lost feeling. Another thing that was severely affected was his taste – things that he enjoyed eating before now repulse him and he’s complained about his loss of appetite.

All in all, though, he’s doing very well despite the annoyance of having to be on a drug (Warfarin) that affects every part of your life. He has to go see the doctor often and go for weekly blood tests to monitor his INR (International Normalized Ratio) levels. Those tests check the tendency of the blood to clot because it can be affected greatly by food with a lot of Vitamin K including spinach and broccoli. If the INR changes, his Warfarin dose needs to change.

It amazes and inspires me to see that he’s still a fighter despite having been through this ordeal. Sometimes I think that he’s stronger than I am. I mean, I’m not even the one who had the stroke, but I’ve felt worn down and broken. But my dad has maintained a positive disposition. He’s a living example of how we all need to cope with health problems.

Well, those are all my updates for now. Next time I’ll have a proper post for you. I’ve already got a bunch of topic ideas in the works – it’s just a matter of giving procrastination the boot.

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