Friday, December 31, 2010

my final blog..... of 2010

the blogger's version of the 'see you next year' joke.  remember, in school?  probably like middle school, when we all had THE BEST sense of humor.  the last day of school before the chrimbo holiday break, you'd tell all your friends 'see you next year!'.  like any of us would forget and be like - WHAT?? WHAT DO YOU MEAN NEXT YEAR? WE HAVE A SCIENCE TEST IN JANUARY. 


so now that we're grown up (ish) bloggers, i can say 'my final blog.... of 2010' and think that maybe you'll only see 'my final blog' and be like ZOMG STEPH GAS I LOVE YOU WHY WOULD YOU STOP BLOGGING?!??!!??! 

and then you see the 'of 2010' part and are like, oh.  okay then.  you got me.  well played, steph gas, well played.

not really.

anyway. my new job started this past monday.  while i was stranded in new york.  thankfully, they've been supergreat through the past month - cutting me some slack while mom was in the hospital, moving me into another class when she died and i needed time off, and the other peeps i'm working with have been really supportive.  they help me with my stupid n00b questions and it's a great group of people.  however, i feel horrible because when i switched classes, they dumped all my codes to access systems to help people.  sooooo i'm kind of useless right now. 

but still, they pay me and let me learn and don't say nasty things to my face.  probably just behind my back.

and when it rains, it pours, because i may have another top secret job offer in the works.  but it's totes, like, top secret.  so i'm not telling you yet.

all in all, the past six months have had super high highs and fucking ridiculously low lows.  it's been one hell of a roller coaster and i really don't know how i feel about any of it.

tarzipan helps.  no, really.  i get that kind of flat affect thing that anyone who's ever taken anti-psychotic medications is probably familiar with.

looking back over my year, i don't even know what to think.  the only thing i can really remember is my mom dying, and that was just a few weeks ago.  she's not even been gone a month.  i keep finding myself wanting to call her.  if we go out to dinner, i want to call mom and remind her to eat since i won't be cooking.  samantha did something really funny, and i wanted to call her and let her know.  when we were in new york, i wanted to call her to vent about being stuck in the blizzard. 

when i was in new york, i figured she was home with the cats.  when i'm in florida, i figure she's in new york living with my revbobdad.  i remember discussions i've had with people, saying i wouldn't be able to get on with out my mom.  how just talking about her dying was enough to get me borderline hysterical.  i always thought i'd never be able to function without her in my life.

so far, i am.  i'm not sure how well i'm doing, but i am functioning.  i'm surviving.  i'm living.  and i'm kind of enjoying it once in a while. 

i asked my brother if i could share what he wrote to read at my mom's wake.  this was the only thing i hated about mom's wake - he didn't tell me he was preparing something and he totes showed me up.  dick. 

anyway, here it is.  and remember how fucking precious life is.  i'm not going to get all tim-mcgrawy on your ass and say 'live like you were dying' (even though that's one of the very few country songs i like) but don't be a dick.  have fun.  love people.  try hard to love yourself.  and let people love you.  enjoy your friends and family.  don't fucking hold grudges.  and seriously - stop smoking. 

I never thought I'd be writing my mother's eulogy this far ahead of my 30th birthday; I always thought it would be a more adult worry for a more adult version of myself. It's hard for me to think of what to say in a situation like this. Our family has always been very open to speak about death, so that way, when it did come knocking on our doorstep, we would not react with fear or shock but with the ability to understand that it is the most inevitable part of life. But on a day like this, when death has not waited kindly on the doorstep but barged through the door right past us, raided the fridge, and sat down with his feet on the coffee table, how do you react? I can't help but find myself trying to make a joke about it because for as long as Mom had been a part of my life, that is how we've done it.

Mom never would have wanted us to sit in a room draped with black bunting, with the lights dimmed low, and with tears flowing freely. She would've told us we were wasting our time being miserable when there are so many more ways we could be out there making ourselves smile. I can almost hear her saying, "why bother crying when it's not going to change anything?" And for the most part, I think she was right. Mom always taught me to look at the lighter side of life, to find the happiness and joy in the small things and not get bogged down worrying about the things you can't have. I feel like everyone in this room would has their own personal story about Kathy that would bring a smile to their face, and I'm willing to bet that they're all completely different stories from completely different times and completely different places. Mom had an infectious personality that couldn't help but leave a smile on your face.

The one trait I could hope to have gained from Mom was her generosity of spirit. There are so many points in my life where I can remember mom putting my sister and myself before her own needs, making sure we were comfortable and happy before worrying about her own problems. Our lives may have had difficult times, but she never let us go wanting because of that. She always taught us that material possessions are not where happiness lay - it was in the experiences you had and the people you shared them with. I remember her always telling me when I was younger to live by the golden rule - treat others as you would want to be treated. It's a rule we all strive to live by but too easily forget, but a way of life that mom imprinted on me. I think it would be amazing if I could wind up being a tenth of the good person Kathy was.

I think if there is one thing Mom can teach us in her passing, it is to value not just what we have, but who we have it with. The amount of love and compassion that has been shown to our family has been mind-blowing; I could have never imagined how many lives she had touched. Whether you knew her as intimately as her brothers, sisters, or children did, or have just heard the stories we've been telling over the last few days, I hope that her spirit and generosity will stay with you through the years. I love you, Mom, and I always will treasure the time I had with you.

mom at sanaa, july 2010


  1. Damn it, I read this whole thing with a piano song in the background and now I'm all teary. What he wrote was beautiful and honest and touching. I hope your 2011 is many more highs than lows. Much love <3


  2. I'm with hed.

    Hope 2011 brings you much happiness, and that the pain and loss lessens over time. You'll never stop missing her, but hopefully the hurt and the shock will be less.

    You take care. I'm going to hug BF extra tight tonight.

  3. Steph, I loved that. It was honest and real. I'm sure your mom would be proud of it.

  4. Steph - I hate that your brother showed you up because I'm sure you would have had something equally as wonderful to say. However, he did what he thought he needed to do.

    It was touching and real and does make me think a little more carefully about those in my life and where my priorities lie.