Sunday, June 29, 2008

Last Night I had the Strangest Dream...

Last night I had a dream about my brother, Michael. I was talking to him in a building of some sorts, kind of like the Hospice, and I was sad because I didn't want him to go. He said to me that he needed to go, it was his time. He had a look of sadness on his face, because he knew I was sad he was leaving. I tried to get him to stay, but he kept saying he had to go it was time for him to go. In the dream Michael looked like he did when he was healthy. It gave me some comfort but at the same time I wish he didn't have to go away.

Above is a picture of the elephant I bought Michael after he was first diagnosed. As I mentioned in my blog two entries ago, I talked about the skunk. Well here is a picture of the skunk hugging the elephant up by Georgetown lake.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another Chapter Closed

Michael's wake and funeral were on June 26, 2008 for the Wake, and June27, 2008 for the Funeral. This past week has been very difficult for me and my family. Last Friday, June 20, 2008 is when Michael really started to decline. My heart is so broken right now...I don't know how to put into words how I really feel. Michael was so young...he shouldn't have died.

Michael's beautiful Mandala art was displayed for everyone to see. We didn't know he was doing this art until he was placed in the Hospice. It gave him great comfort in the end. Art has a way of doing has always been therapeutic for me.

This picture is from the Wake. During the funeral, I read a book called Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery by Jaime Lee Curtis. The best way I can describe this book is it's a whimsical way to look at death. It never mentions death, but you know that's the hidden meaning. The book ends with these words: Where do balloons go? It's a mystery, I know. So hold on tight til you have to let go.

An interesting tidbit...this past Monday, June 23, 2008 the day Michael died...I mentioned to my family about reading this book at Michael's funeral, later that evening we went to dinner and as we were pulled up to a light a small, white balloon was rolling along the street towards our car, it rolled in front of us turned a corner and rolled up the cross street up a hill. Despite what you might think, to me that was a sign from Michael that everything is okay. He's still with us in spirit.

A mother's sorrow

A brother-in-law and a brother's pain.

A nephew's sadness.

I feel so sad for Cedric that he will only get to know his Uncle Michael through pictures and videos...I don't know how much he will remember Michael, because he is so young.

One last family picture with just a hint of Michael in the picture. I usually smile when someone takes a picture of me, but I couldn't find a reason to smile.

We closed the coffin together as a family. We all said our final goodbyes, and all I could do was weep as we closed the lid.

Goodbye Michael...we will always love you!


By Michele Blanco

Friday, June 27, 2008

It was not so long ago that the bad news came…

I never wanted to see this day,

I never wanted you to go away.

I’ve been struggling for so many months…

So many things I wish I’ve done and said.

Now you forever have gone to bed.

There was never enough time,

You were taken from us still in your prime.

And now my heart is breaking and I can’t stop the tears.

I wish I said I loved you more all throughout our years.

Seeing your body once again,

Lying so quiet and so serene.

Just a shell of a person who once was,

Now I can only see you in my dreams.

So young and so innocent you seemed on that faithful Sunday,

I just wanted to hug you and take your pain away.

I didn’t want you to suffer anymore.

Early Monday morning, you made the choice to finally close the door.

And now you are watching over me from above,

Soaring like a dove.

Goodbye, Michael…

Until we meet again,

You’ll forever be my brother, forever be my friend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Michael's Gone

Michael with my brothers Andy and Kevin and my dad at my wedding.

This picture is from a week ago, Father's Day. My brother had been progressively getting worse over the last couple of weeks. He was still coherent and talking at this point but on Friday, June 20th Michael was put on 72 hour watch. He was in a lot of pain when my mom and I showed up to see Michael Friday morning. His head was really bothering him, and he was all sweaty and clammy because of it. Cedric and I stayed for awhile, but it's hard when you have an active toddler.

John, Cedric, and I came back the next day, Saturday, to visit. My parents were there. The nurses at the Hospice had given Michael a diuretic to help with the swelling on his brain and all the fluid retention he was having. It made him very uncomfortable, and he wouldn't eat. He eventually went to sleep...although he was still restless.

Sunday...John, Cedric, and I arrived around 1:30pm. We couldn't go in, because they were working on him. John and I wandered about the halls, and we saw my parents. They had just come back from eating lunch. They filled us in on Michael's condition. He was having trouble going to the bathroom, and he was in a lot of pain. We waited to see him...Andy showed up about an hour later. We watched the Rockies/Mets game in the lobby while we waited. We finally got to see Michael around 4:00pm. He had really taken a turn for the worse. They had him laying on his matress on the floor of his room. He was suffering and very incoherent. They had a cathater in him, and he kept wanting to take it out. They kept giving him pain medication and medication to help relax him. It would always work for a little while then he would get agitated again. So they would give him more....this process went on for hours. He was suffering and he kept having sleep apnea...I just want the pain to stop for him.

John, Cedric, and I stayed for as long as we could...we eventually left around 8:30pm. In the room, Cedric kept pointing at something and he was looking up. I think he saw an angel or a past family member who was coming to help Michael journey to the other side. I kissed my brother goodbye and told him I loved him. Cedric waved goodbye to his Uncle was so cute and sad at the same time. All my brothers were there....we had some trouble getting a hold of Chris, but he eventually was contacted and he came. (I have to mention when we were all in the room surrounding Michael there was an energy that is just indescribable...I guess you can say it was an outpouring of love.)

As we were leaving, my brothers were outside. They each took turns holding Cedric. When Kevin had a hold of Cedric, Cedric kept pointing up and saying up as he did it. Cedric's amazing how babies just know. We didn't want to leave, but Cedric needed to sleep and he wouldn't fall asleep where we were at...too much was going on.

Monday morning, June 23, 2008 at 12:45am, Michael stopped suffering and he is now at peace. Andy called me around 12:50am to tell me that Michael had passed. I feel bad that I wasn't there...John and I both wanted to be. We just didn't want him to suffer anymore. My parents, Andy, and Kevin were there so at least he wasn't alone. Andy went outside and told me how when people die you see an animal, and he saw a skunk. He saw the skunk while he was talking to me. I can't help but think that was a nod to me, because that was John and I's connection at the beginning of our relationship. He use to tease me that he could see skunks through his back window at the Windsor...I was jealous cause I wanted to see cute, wild animals, too. Our first bike trip downtown, we found a stuffed animal skunk at the Tattered Cover and John bought him for me. We named him Manhattan. John also has a necklace I bought him with a skunk on it. I also found out from the nurses that Michael would talked to them at night at the nurses station. He talked a lot about me and how much he liked me. It makes me feel good that he could still remember us even at the end. I only wish I could of had these conversions with him while he was still alive.

It hurts so much to see someone you love leave this world at such a young age. He was only 38, and I can't believe he's gone. I feel like a part of me has died along with him. I'm glad I got to spend a lot of time with him over the last year...I only wish I had more time. Despite our differences over the years, he was one of my brothers I felt closer to...we shared a common bond of attending the same junior high and high school, but we were also only 2 and a half years apart. Right now the pain is too real to feel anything but numbness. I have to help bury my brother this week...I don't know how you get past this moment. I guess time will eventually heal. Goodbye Michael...Please know that I have always loved you and my heart is breaking because you are no longer in this world. I will forever miss you...I wish Cedric could have had the time to get to know you, but your memory will have to live on in videos and pictures. Godspeed....sweet dreams. :(


Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm Voting Republican Video

This video sums up exactly why I will never vote Republican...sad to waste a great animal like an elephant on this pathetic party.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

It Has Been Awhile....

I never posted about this past Mother's Day....Cedric and I had fun with John and my parents. We went to Tiny Town in Morrison, Colorado, afterwards we visited Michael in the Hospice he is staying in, and after we left Michael we went on to eat dinner at Red Lobster. It's amazing how much Cedric has grown and changed over the year. Last year's Mother's Day he was just a little guy as you can see below:

I love him so much....I could give him kisses all day, but I don't think he would like that. He is too busy walking and getting into all sorts of mischief as you will see from the videos below. I'm wishing for Mother's Day next year I'll be able to share my kisses with another addition. (Please note that as I write this blog I have no announcements to make.)