Growing up.

I just peeked into the mancave to see if Joshua was still asleep. Sure enough, crashed out with all his blankets wrapped around and around him. I recalled how my other younger brother used to love being wrapped “burrito-style” when I would tuck him in, and it made me smile to see Joshua sleeping the same way. Walking back to the kitchen to refill my coffee cup, I thought about Joshua’s bedtime ritual when he first moved in with me, how I would wave his blanket over him and he would swat it away, laughing more hysterically with each attempt I made to get the blanket to touch down. It was so playful and childlike, and while it may not have seemed “age-appropriate,” he didn’t experience that sort of thing when it would have been. Last night I told a friend about a couple of things Joshua has said and done lately that show just how much he’s grown, just how significantly he has developed on multiple levels over the last three years. I realized that I rely on Joshua for things that, three years ago, I didn’t dare believe he’d be able to do unassisted. I realized that we’ve moved from a debilitating stutter and monosyllabic responses to coaching on “May I” versus “Can I.” I realized that I really love the individual that he is, not just because he’s my brother or because he lives with me, but for the funny, quirky, helpful, random awesomeness that is Joshua. And I realized, most likely prompted by my friend’s saying so last night, that I can take some credit for that.

It’s hard, accepting praise for his accomplishments. It’s hard to believe that I have done more than give him the resources to do what he was capable of on his own. But then I remember a giggling twelve-year-old, gleefully batting blankets from the air above his bed. And then I think of the young man who put a scrap of wrapping paper from a gift from Mamau in his “Nostalgia” box. They say kids grow up so fast, but it’s exceptionally true in his case. And we did that, together.

Update.

I haven’t written anywhere in a long time. I’ve put it off, more out of a lack of motivation than an active writer’s block or similar obstacle. But, the only way to stop not-writing is… to write. Right? Right. So, hi. Here I am.

My grandmother died at 1:50am on October 18. My aunt April, my sister Kayla, and I sat with her as she took her last breaths, and I was glad that April asked that the oxygen tube be removed. I wanted Mamau to do it on her own. I think she would have wanted that, too.

She was buried in her minister’s robes… and the purple and hot pink “Nerd” tube sock I gave her. I was going to ask her if she would take it with her, but I didn’t have to… She refused to have it taken off.

Life since then has been… All of the things. I’ve reconnected with my Uncle Matt, who I’d not seen in two decades plus. I’ve made an absurdly last-minute weekend trip without one shit given for the money I spent that I didn’t have. I’ve waited for the other shoe to drop – for Mamau’s death to hit me. I’ve received love and support from unexpected sources, and not heard a word from people I thought would at least send their condolences. I’ve had wonderful and horrible experiences with immediate family members. I’ve been completely useless at a wonderful Thanksgivukkah dinner and not apologized to my chosen family hosts for not cooking or cleaning enough, even though I really want to, and kind of am right now.

I’ve also belly danced. And will start a new session January 15.

And shit, now I’m crying. Maybe for the first time since the last time I wrote. And this… this is why I need to write. And why I’m so grateful for you. You, reading this. I’m just gonna publish this now, cuz, yeah. It’s about time.

[INSERT PICTURE HERE. Because wordpress hates me right now and if I don’t just publish this shit now, it’ll be left in drafts forever. Is Mercury retro again so soon???]