Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not pleased

So my phone (10 month old Palm Centro) has mysteriously and suddenly to stop functioning as a "phone." I can still go on the internet, text, get my email, play solitaire, all that crap. But I cant make a phone call. Well that is not entirely true. I can make a phone call. And the person I call can hear me. And if I put it on speakerphone I can hear them. But I cant hear them on the actual phone. And apparently the only way to overcome this problem is for me to either mail my phone to Palm and have them either try to repair it or send me a refurbished one, so I wont have a phone for over a week. Or I can pay $25 and they will send me a refurbished phone and then I have to send this one back to them. I am not pleased. This is not the first time I have had a problem with this phone. But I love the Palm software. I love the Palm Desktop. All my stuff is in there. I dont want to be a Blackberry person or an iPhone person. I was perfectly happy being a Palm person. And I was so excited about the Pre. But I dont know if I can deal with Palm anymore. Sigh.

In other news, last night Matty and I went to the First Person Story Slam: Odd Jobs at L'Etage. We went to cheer Tre on. We hadnt been to one before, though we were supposed to go to the one on the 18th. But something got in the way . . . what was it? . . . oh yeah. Funeral. I guess it was an above average show last night, but Matty is totally hooked. He couldnt stop talking about it. Of course he was pretty drunk by the time we got home (after 1 on a Tuesday! I know! Scandal right?) so he was quite the talked. Right up until he passed out on the floor doing his situps. It was very cool and anyone in Philly should totally check them out in the future.

Let's see. Oh, I guess I can share some recipes. Last weekend we through the Triple Birthday Barbecue Party and had a whopping 39 people show up (not all at the same time, thank god!). And pretty much everyone brought food, which was awesome. But you know me, I cant not cook for my own party. What is the point of throwing the party? So I made a Mexican-y quinoa salad with black olives, black beans, tomatoes, peppers, hot peppers, herbs, lime. It was ok, Needed more salt and more hot pepper I think. And I made buffalo chicken dip. And Matty made me vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. My faves! And then I made a variety of dips and spreads to go with the grill items and some dippers. I made Roasted Tomato Relish with Thyme, a vegan version of Wild Mushroom Spread, Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Bean Dip, a vegan version of Remoulade sauce and a modified chimichurri. I think they were all good. I have been putting leftover tomato relish on EVERYTHING! I made double batches of everything except the chimichurri and the remoulade (half batch).

Oh and for my birthday Matty bought me the tea kettle! The big Le Creuset one that he wanted (in Flame [my color]). It is pretty neat. I tried it out on Monday, just to hear it whistle since it has been too gaddman hot to drink hot anything.

Ok, now for the recipes.

Roasted Tomato Relish with Thyme

12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large shallots, peeled
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place the tomatoes, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil (I used olive oil cooking spray); sprinkle with pepper. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes. Wrap shallots in foil; add to baking sheet. Bake an additional 40 minutes or until tomatoes are lightly charred and shallots are soft (about 35 minutes). Cool 10 minutes.

Chop tomatoes and shallots; place in a medium bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, and remaining ingredients to bowl; toss well. (I threw everything in the food processor).

Yield: About 1 cup (serving size: about 2 tablespoons)CALORIES 61 (55% from fat); FAT 3.7g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.7g,poly 0.4g); IRON 0.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 11mg; CARBOHYDRATE 6.9g; SODIUM 78mg; PROTEIN 1.4g; FIBER 1.2g Cooking Light, JUNE 2007

Wild Mushroom Spread

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 large) (I chopped in food processor)
3 1/2 cups finely chopped wild or cultivated mushrooms (about 12 ounces) (I just used cremini,
I chopped in food processor)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
16 (1/2-ounce) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette (about 1/2 inch thick) (I just served it in a bowl with dippers on the side)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots to pan; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; cook 7 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Place mushroom mixture in a medium bowl. Place half of mushroom mixture, cream cheese, and sherry in a food processor; process until smooth. Add pureed mixture to remaining mushroom mixture. Add parsley, salt, and pepper; stir until combined. Serve with baguette slices.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 baguette slices and 2 tablespoons spread) CALORIES 140 (28% from fat); FAT 4.4g (sat 2.1g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.4g); IRON 1.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 10mg; CALCIUM 17mg; CARBOHYDRATE 20.6g; SODIUM 399mg; PROTEIN 5.6g; FIBER 1g Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2007

Roasted Red Pepper and Cannellini Bean Dip

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained
1 large garlic clove
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. With processor on, slowly add oil through food chute. Stir in salt and black pepper. (I just threw everything in all at once)

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/4 cup), CALORIES 62 (51% from fat); FAT 3.5g (sat 0.5g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.5g); IRON 0.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 16mg; CARBOHYDRATE 5.9g; SODIUM 272mg; PROTEIN 1.5g; FIBER 1.5g Cooking Light, JANUARY 2007

Remoulade Sauce (from the Gumbo Shop, this is the full recipe, I did half)
1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp Creole mustard
1/2 c mayonnaise (I used Vegenaise)
1/3 c canola oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp minced celery
3 Tbsp minced green onion
1 tsp minced garlic (I used 1 clove)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (I used tamari)
1 tsp Tabasco sauce (I used Frank's red hot)
2 Tbsp paprika (I used smoked)
1 tsp white pepper (I used black)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel, glass or crockery bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. This recipe makes about 2 cups. (I just threw everything in the food processor)

I will have to get back to you with the chimichurri recipe as it is at home at the moment.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Time keeps marching

That is what I learned this week. It took me awhile. Mostly because I wasnt sleeping. And a week and a half of sleep deprivation is just not good. I couldnt manage to stay asleep for more than 4 straight hours. And the only nights I could manage 4 were nights when I got messily drunk before going to bed. So I would sleep for an hour or two, lie awake for an hour or two, on and on. And so, understandably I was pretty zombie-like. Friday I left work early and took a nap. And slept. For almost 2 hours straight through. And then Friday night I slept for almost 8 hours. Not straight through, but in big chunks. And Saturday I felt more alive than I had since the 14th. And then Saturday night I slept again. And maybe part of it is because the weather is finally nicer. Of course it went from dark, cold and rainy to 90 degrees and sunny. Which seems a bit on the ridiculous side of things. But still. And so I have been thinking about things, since I am fianlly once again capable of thinking clearly. And I have come to some conclusions.

First off, I was wrong when I made up my mind about what I needed to get through the grief and the loss. Firstly, I thought what I needed was for all these people who were held together by this one person needed to stay where they were even though their tether was broken. I knew that it couldnt happen forever. But I felt that it needed to happen for an extended period of time. And secondly, I thought that people needed to be as close as they had been in that first week for that amount of time. And so when people started to drift away and when they started to go back to the way things were before I was really upset. Because I wasnt ready to go back to the way things were before. And I wasnt ready for all these people to drift away from me. Because I didnt feel like there was anything holding them in place with relation to me except for him. So without him, they would simply cease to be a part of my life. And I couldnt handle losing all those people (who had become so much closer immediately following his death) to just disappear, on top of him leaving too. But it was an artificial holding together. They were, in a sense, or all senses, artificial friendships.

Here's something I think I learned though. There is a completely opposite tPeople want to go back to normal because then it wont seem like anything bad happened. Ostrich with their heads in the sand type of things. So they keep doing the same shit to the same people and keep doing the same shit to themselves and they keep doing the same things, because they could do it before, they can do it again. And that is just as false. Because if he was truly as big a part of their lives as they say he was, they are going to keep coming up against holes where he was and they wont be able to get by them by simply doing the same old shit. Because he was part of the same old shit.

We have to keep living. Or we will die. Figuratively or otherwise. Every person I have known and met in the last weeks has had that in common, maybe it was the thing he collected. They all lived. They had lives. They had passion and they had spark, and most of them had snark to go with it. But they all lived. Maybe too hard, maybe too timidly, but they were not just drifting along. And in order for us to keep going, we have to start living again.

But it is a new life. A new normal. One in which maybe we make sure that we dont leave too many things unsaid. The good things and the bad things. Because we learned, too harshly, that if you dont say them now you might not get a chance to. One in which we make sure that we do the things we want and need to do. Because we learned, too harshly, that life can be too damn short.

And while I now realize that the friends that I had, or thought I had, or just made are not going to stay where they are. They are going to keep on living, because it is life that is important, not the death. And I hope that some of them stay friends. Little pieces of my heart seem to threaten to break off when I think about them all going away. To think of not having them around for drinks on patios, for parties, for debauchery in the park. But they are not all going to stick around. And that is ok. Because I know that the ones who are still friends are friends because of me. And because of Matty. We may have met because of him. But we stayed because of us. And so that has to be ok.

I have learned a lot about emotions. Strong, frantic balls of screaming, crying, clinging emotions. I still dont understand them. But I learned a lot. I need to argue. I have alwyas known this but it came out again in grief as well. It doesnt matter about what. But if I can argue about it. Whether I win or lose or cry or lose my temper or cause my opponent to lose theirs, I need to argue. It is a release for me. But I also know that I have to choose my opponenet carefully. They have to understnad that what we are arguing about is not necessarily the point. It isnt about that. It is about something else, it is just a vehicle. I cant argue with Matty. He doesnt like to do it and more importantly he would rather I be happy than most anything else, and so he just agrees with me so that I am not upset. And that defeats the purpose.

I have learned about internalizing and avoiding too. I have seen people drink the pain away. And I have done that. I have seen people keep moving and keep doing and keep anything so they dont think. And I have done that. And I have seen people swallow tears and screams and protestations. And I have done that. I have focussed on making sure that everyone else is "ok" so that I wouldnt have to worry about me. And I didnt deal with things that I felt should have been dealt with. And I didnt sleep. And I turned into a zombie, especially at home with Matty. And I dont understand it. Because I never did the crying or the dealing or the accepting I feel I should have done. But I am sleeping now. And I am awake again.

I get it. It sucks. But we have to keep on living. And we have to make hard choices and hard decisions. And I wish none of us did. Because it doesnt matter if we are 23 or 28 or 33 or 38 or 2700, no one ever should have to go through as much pain as we have had to go through in the last two weeks if this life was perfect. If this life was perfect no one would die without warning. No one would leave people behind who couldnt be left behind. No one would treat people as badly as I have seen treated lately. And in a perfect world no one would actually live. Because it seems to be the loss that brings the life into sharp focus. So while none of us should have to go through this, we all still have to. But no one should have to go through this alone, or without as many people and help as they decide they need. But they have to go on living. And living is a singular thing.

So anyone who has read this far, congratulations. I am not a writer and my thoughts dont make sense even to me. But if you have read this far and you do need help. With anything. Please dont hesitate to call. Because I do. I get it. It sucks. But we have to keep living now. And so if you want to talk. Or not. Or if you need dinner. Or a kitchen to cook it in. Or company. Just call and I will try to do what I can. In honor of the people who are still around, who have helped and who have needed help. And most of all, in honor of him. Because as awful as he was to be around sometimes, and as many times as he made me cry - he cared so much about so many.

I will start posting real posts soon I hope. We watched John Adams. My parents' new boat is heading north in less than a week. We went to RI for a surprise 60th birthday party for Matty's dad. We went to MA for Easter. My Scienteering Science Fair happened. I had a birthday. And a party. With 40 people. The biggest party we had. With good and bad consequences for many of the guests. I dont know how much of that I will talk about. But time marches on. And life is going on now.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April is the cruelest month

This is something I have heard over and over in the last week and a half. And I have thus far simply ignored it. I am not as such as poetry fan. However my favorite, or at least the poem I quote the most (mostly in my own head as a bit of a mantra) is Eliot's The Hollow Man.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

So I guess it is appropriate that yet another T.S. Eliot poem with as dark a feeling should keep coming back now.

I have always like April. My mom hates March. It is the month of her birthday but also the month in which both her parents died. And tends to have awful weather in New England. The need for sunlight and spring gets strong but the actual sun stays away. I always vowed that I would not hate a month, it seemed so silly. Especially a month with my birthday in it! And many times Easter is in April. And I love Easter. And the weather starts to get better. And April vacation (when I was younger) and the end of the school year (when I was at Pitt). Lots of birthday. Matty's dad and sister in law, college friends and roomates, Dan, Tara. Though there have been some bad Aprils. My appendix burst on my birthday in 5th grade and that combined with a subsequent post-op infection left me hospitalized for an extended period of time. And my best friend in high school's mother died on Palm Sunday which may have been in April that year, but may have been March. There was the year I put off celebrating my birthday until after I passed my prelim in the first weeks of May, and then failing, completely ruining that birthday. But this year has really pushed my limits a bit. The weather has been awful. Either cold or rainy and cold. With little teasers of nice weather followed by even worse weather. My Scienteering Science Fair was yesterday so I have had to deal with these kids, who are tough to deal with int he best of times. I started the month with a stomach flu that left me home sick for several days. Then we took a trip to Annapolis to help my parents with their new boat which was lovely. Then in the second week I discovered a rat in my backyard and then the next morning I sprained my ankle looking for it which has left me in an ankle brace and hobbling as I am an awful patient and refuse to use crutches. Easter was good. I met my new cousin for the first time. He is adorable. And then shit just totally hit the fan. Philadelphia mourns the death of Harry Kalas. Everyone in Philly who matters to me personally mourns the death of Joey. My boss's close friend from college dies last week. The owner of a loved local bar dies early this week. The little brother of a coworker dies last weekend. My other coworker's (who lost his father last fall) grandfather has a heart attack and is in the ICU last night. Seriously. What. The. Fuck. Could people just calm the hell down and stop dying, or getting sick. Just for the rest of the month. I know it is silly. But I think if we could just postpone some of this shit for another week we would deal with all this better. K thnx.


APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering 5
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten, 10
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie, 15
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, 20
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock, 25
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust. 30
Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu.
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?
'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago; 35
'They called me the hyacinth girl.'
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, 40
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Od' und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe, 45
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations. 50
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water. 55
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City, 60
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet. 65
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying 'Stetson!
'You who were with me in the ships at Mylae! 70
'That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
'Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
'Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
'Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
'Or with his nails he'll dig it up again! 75
'You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!'

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I promise to try to . . .

I promise to try to hold less back and give more forward.
I promise to try to do what I can and then ask for help.
I promise to try to hold on to what is important and let go of what isn't.
I promise to try to remember but not dwell, look forward but not run.
I promise to try to say the things that need to be said when they need to be said.
I promise to try to appreciate more loudly and thank more fervently and love more clearly.
I promise to try to not wait until too late.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Please Don't Stop the Music

I dont do emotions real well. I tend to laugh at awful times. I tend to make sarcastic remarks when I should be sensitive. I tend to burst into tears when I (and everyone around me) least expects it. But this blog has int he past served me as a place to say what my mind keeps telling me to think about but which sometimes I cant. If you know me real well, you know what this is about. And so you might not want to keep reading. This isnt here for you to read. This is here for me to say it. As out loud as I can right now.

Joey Ruggiero was the first friend we made after moving to Philly. In fact, if you go through the guest list for my birthday party all but two of the friends we have made in Philly, we have because of him. He invited Matty and I to dinner at Buddakan within a few months of meeting Matty. I had never met him. We refused because it freaked us out. The first time I met him he insisted on picking me up at the airport after Christmas. I could have taken the train or a cab. But he insisted.

Yesterday I got a phone call from Matty. I answered and all he said was "Sara?" and I knew something horrible had happened. My first thoughts went to his cousin who is in charge of the Canadian Navy's boarding party for captured Somali pirate ships. But the tone was wrong. It must be one of his parents. Something had happened to one of his parents. So when he said "Someone just told me that they heard from his office that Joey is dead." I knew I must have heard him wrong. I had to have. Joey couldnt be dead. Joey is 28. Joey is moving back to Philly. Joey has to take care of Tank. Joey couldnt be dead. Matty told me he didnt believe it, I told him to call his cell phone. I stayed on the other line. When I heard Matty say "this is one of Joey's friends" everything else just disappeared. No one else answered Joey's phone. Joey was attached to his phone. All I could think was that Matty had to get home. That there was some sort of mistake but Matty had to go home, because I could here in his voice as he talked to his best friends mother that he was not ok and he was not going to be ok. As soon as he hung up with her, after getting what he could, (Joey went upstairs at his parents place to watch a movie with tank Monday night, this morning his alarm went off and his mom went into his room and found him) I told him to go home, I would call Tara, I would meet him at home. I called Tara and in the least tactful way possible I lost it and blurted it out. She started screaming, on a street corner, and that was when I snapped into taking-care-of-shit Sara. I talked as much as I could to her. I left a note at work for someone to help with my shit and I rushed (as fast as I could on my week-old sprained ankle) to a cab.

He quickly became an addiction for us. He made you feel special just being with him. Like it was a privilege reserved for only the best. Which sounds worse than it is, but if you know what I am talking about you know what I mean. We changed plans to spend time with him. We left the apartment (and changed our outfits) when he insisted. He knew how to get what he wanted and wanted you to have what you wanted too. As long as he got more attention than you. Tank is the only chihuahua I have met whom I instantly fell in love with. Everyone did. Even my mom. You could say whatever you wanted because he usually said something much worse.

And it seems so perfect that I had an impromtu get together at our apartment last night for 16 people. I had something to do. I had to make sure that we got through our list of people that we had to call. I had to make sure that they all got somewhere so they werent alone and they could be taken care of, and if that meant our place then all the better. I made a pot of sauce and some went to the market. 2 lbs of pasta? check. Brie and strawberries? check. OJ and cranberry juice for mixers, marshmallow iced devil's food cake, lots of fresh bread? check, check and check. We watched the funeral scene of Steel Magnolias. We finished Matty's 12 year Jameson's. His birthday present from his brother last year. And most of a full bottle of regular old Jameson's. A good portion of our tequila, someone brought a bottle of White Star, someone brought a bottle of Prosecco, someone brought beer, someone brough more whiskey. Someone stopped at Wendys. And everyone brought stories and memories. And tears and grief. And anger and questions. He would have loved that I had this get together, without my normal anal planning stages, without allowing Matty to clean first, where people drank what he wanted us to drink and talked about what he wanted us to talk about. Him. It was always about him. How we met him, what we would have wanted to wear for his funeral, what he would have wanted us to wear at his funeral, who should get his Hello Kitty bling, our most infuriating memory of him, our best memory of him, what he would have thought about the weather (cold and rainy) and what we were wearing (Matty and Johnny both in argyle sweaters). All about him. But it was also a little bit all about us. And i think he would have appreciated that too. That we were all doing exactly what we needed to do. However uncomfortable that made anyone else. And for me, most importantly, I had something to do. Make sure they have food, make sure they have drinks, make sure they have tissues, make sure they could use a computer, make sure make sure make sure.

We all ended up going to the Westbury. I had never been there without him before. And without something to do I started to think. And I couldnt stop it, there were too many people. Too many familiar faces. Too many strangers. Too many familiar songs. So we came home and I couldnt do it. I couldnt cry the way I needed to cry. I couldnt think the way I needed to think. I started slamming little doors on thoughts. That is what it feels like. Physically slamming shut thoughts. I catch myself shaking my head a little bit sometimes.

This morning I went to a hearing of the PA House Committee on Education regarding the acceleration of science, technology, engineering and math education in PA and specifically Philly. It was a good distraction. I took copious notes and just tried to listen to every word they said.

I still havent been able to do it. To think the thoughts that need to be thought and cry the tears that need to be cried. Some have been. I made homemade mac and cheese with andouille sausage and a spring vegetable couscous salad. I cant eat any of it. I am not hungry and I feel sick to my stomach. But I had to do something. I couldnt be here by myself with nothing to do. I couldnt go to work. I cant say it again out loud. I keep practicing, to myself. And I cant. So I cooked. And talked to my dad. He is so upset that he cant help. He doesnt like me in pain. But he told me that when my grandparents died I did this. I didnt cry the way they thought I should have. I didnt ask the questions they thought i should have. They were scared at first but eventually realized that that is my way. I hope it feels better soon. Because I have so many questions.

How could you do this?
Who is going to encourage us to drink too much too-expensive champagne in too-loud too-dark bars?
Who is going to comment on every outfit we wear, every haircut we consider?
Who is going to drive us crazy spending all their time on their cell phone instead of interacting with us?
Who is going to be the life of the party and announce when it is over?
Who is going to make the snarky remarks that no one thinks they should say out loud?
Who is going to be my kids' Uncle Joey?
Who is going to organize Matty's bachelor party?
Who is going to keep us all together?
Who is going to take care of Tank?
And who is going to take care of all of us?

We arent ready. We need more time. We need a lifetime more time. And we all knew we never had that. But we need more.