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Life on Mars

I learned a new word today. The word is: mung.

Mung: green mossy shit that apparently grows on all moist outside walls in the Pacific Northwest.

Let’s use it in a sentence that I heard today. “Honey, don’t forget to take off your shoes at the door because mung will get all over the carpet”. Mung. This place is weird.

I feel like an alien dropped down on a strange, green planet. Used to sun, palm trees, and marine layer on the daily, suddenly I am in a world of overcast days, crowded roads, and a strange store called Fred Meyer. Who is Fred, and why is his store so big? And, come to think of it, Meyer reminds me of the Oscar Meyer Weiner song. But I digress.

It has been 26 days since Daddy passed over into the next life. Mostly my days blur together and I can’t keep track but Sunday is the one month anniversary since… everything exploded…. and I find myself crying a lot more than usual. Once a day I allow myself a really, big belly cry. My mother is staying with us until the end of October and that means that from now until Halloween her eyes scrutinize every carb I put into my mouth.

Why is it that carbs taste better when we’re grieving? All I want to do is eat cake and cry. But, alas, I can’t with my mother watching my every move. So, it has been a steady diet of oatmeal and salads galore. >.> Thanks mom.

Washington State, at least where I live, is like a different planet. The people here live in hoodies and boots. I haven’t seen one flip-flop (or tsinelas in Tagalog), or tank top since I arrived a couple of days ago. I also haven’t seen many Prius’. I suppose California cornered the Prius market on that one too. Hmm…. maybe I’ll need to change my wardrobe.

On a positive note, the locals here love all kinds of Asian foods. This makes my “inner Asian” very happy. Kiddo and I are giant nerds who love all things Asian, anime, etc. When Daddy was here it was a breeze to have an Asian home. But now I feel like I have to work a tad harder to make it come to life. So, I took one baby step and got myself a Crunchyroll subscription. I’m looking forward to binging anime at night when the house quiets down.

I confess that I’m having bouts of homesickness lately. It has only been two days since I arrived here, but I miss so many things about California. The change has been hard. Thankfully, kiddo and I have our shared bedroom mostly unpacked. Our soft, blue bedding swaddles us at night. Our plushies smile at us from a chair nearby. And Daddy’s love notes to me cover two, large bulletin boards on the wall. For now, this is home. But I know it’s only a stepping stone until I figure out where to move to put down more permanent roots.

I don’t want to come across as ungrateful, because I certainly feel grateful to be here. In this space and time when everything hurts, it’s difficult to accept all of the things that have changed. I’m a small town girl dropped in a large city. That makes me want to retreat into a hole and hide. But, I cannot hide. Little by little I have to face this new planet and learn to adapt. That’s hard….. and new…… and scary as shit. But, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Thank you, again to all of you who leave me loving comments on here. I have been taking your suggestions and weaving them into my everyday life now. Get all-season tires. Move slowly and allow myself time to just grieve. Cry when I need to cry. You all are amazing to keep reading these posts when so much has changed.

When my daughter and I have the house to ourselves at the end of the month I plan on taking small bits of time for Little Space. I wrote so long ago that you don’t need a caregiver to be an Adult Little. And you don’t. But, in my case, I know that Daddy will be watching over me and grinning from ear to ear as I regress and watch an animated show. For those few, precious minutes I can press pause on my life and simply be small. I’m really looking forward to it. Kiddo and I also made a small bucket list today of ways to “ring in Fall”. It isn’t difficult here as the trees are a multitude of colors and everyone has their Halloween decorations up.

Our Fall Bucket List:

  1. Drink apple cider
  2. Buy 1 good smelling candle
  3. Watch 5 Fall-themed movies
  4. Read a good book under cozy blankets
  5. Hand out candy to the neighborhood kids
  6. Bake pumpkin bread
  7. Try 1 new Fall recipe
  8. Take Fall photography

Admittedly, this list is tame for my daughter and I. Daddy, kiddo, and myself absolutely LOVE Fall and that makes this time even more painful. So, “Hocus Pocus 2” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” will just have to wait until next year when the wound isn’t so fresh. 🙁 I miss seeing Daddy’s face light up when the cool winds finally blow in around my birthday.

Sighs… my birthday. I’ve been trying to ignore it in my mind.

Daddy and I are only 2.5 months apart in age. He turned 38 in August and I’m turning 38 on the 17th of this month. Losing Daddy so suddenly and at such a young age has made the mortality of life feel so… real. I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I just miss him with every fiber of my being. What I would give to touch him one more time…

So, for my birthday the plan is simple: instead of receiving the love letter/card from Daddy as usual I will be writing one to him instead. His co-workers gave me a memory box at the memorial service and it’s the perfect place to put the annual letters on my birthday. (I wonder how many years it will take until God reunites us back together again?). I will also be having 5 candles on a single cupcake as per tradition. Why? Because I’m 5 years old.

Turning 5 for the 33rd time. Forever 5 in Daddy’s eyes.

I miss you, Daddy. Forever us. <3

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