Apparently Charles Dickens was right: Polar opposites can – and do – co-exist.

The worst of times, in my case, is clear to all my readers: My mother died just over 2 months ago after 9 long months of suffering (the disease itself was longer; My distinction comes from “just a disease” to the paralysis that began with tumor #3 in June, The Paralyzer). If you’ve read any of my posts, you already know the background and details of her disease, death, and all that has followed.

If you have paid close attention during the past month or so, both on my blog and my Twitter account, you may have also noticed that, as opposed to March 2009, April 2009 has been pretty wonderful.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have, for the first time in my 31 years, fallen in love.

Feel free to throw up.

Are you done?

Need another minute?


My intent with the aforementioned statement was not to make you gag (though that was a fun side effect – feel free to Twitpic your facial expressions), nor was it my intention to “show off” or have you share in my happiness.

Before you start commenting, I’d like to amend my previous lists of things I hate hearing that don’t make me feel better. Most of the things on those lists no longer anger me, though the list was compiled before my mother’s death, not to mention the fact that I am a lot calmer now than before she died.

The one thing people have been saying to me, in various forms, when they have found out about The Boy, is that my mother sent him to me. This probably annoys me more than anything else. I’m not sure what I believe as far as what happens to a person when s/he dies, but I don’t like thinking my mom had to die for me to find The Boy. I don’t want people saying she sent him, or that she’s watching from the sky, or other variations of that. Just so you know. 🙂

I am, as I have previously mentioned, a very private person when it comes to my feelings and private life. Consequently, this blog was established as a means for me to release some of what was building up inside that I was incapable of verbally sharing with my friends and family, though if you look through it carefully you may note that I do not share feelings as much as events, their aftermath, and consequences. As such, you may or may not deduce that this would have been the first time I would have ever told my mom about a boyfriend of mine.

It is, in fact, the first time I have told my family – and this is the first time I have ever brought a boyfriend home.

I have to say it was difficult, if nothing more than knowing that my mom is no longer here to protect me from my 29 year old sister’s probable desire to begin singing “Talia and ___ sitting in a tree.”

Which she didn’t do. Appreciated. Maybe motherhood has helped her. 🙂

My mother was always worried about me. Even though she wouldn’t say it, and I’m pretty sure I can only remember two times that she asked me if I was dating someone, I knew she felt bad that I wouldn’t share that part of my life with her. After she died, this suspicion was confirmed when I spoke to my mom’s best friend. As I have previously mentioned, unlike my sisters, I never really shared much information about my private life with my mom.

Thing is, I never felt I had anything to share, not until last month. As it turns out, it was the day after the unveiling of her gravestone, otherwise known as the day after my grandfather had a stroke, when I had my first date with The Boy. Excuse me for not giving him a better name for now, but we have known each other for a few years now, and since we have many mutual friends, and are not yet out of the proverbial closet, I cannot nickname him like the others because people will know who he is.

(This is how we keep the romance alive.)

(Not really.)

Anyway, things with The Boy are going remarkably well. Better than I could have ever imagined. After the perfect first date (followed by a perfect second, third, and 16th date), I had to share my excitement with a couple of my friends, even though The Nugget didn’t know at the time who I was referring to. It was only several weeks later, and really just the past week, where I have really felt the need to share with my mother.

I’m not sure that it’s me telling my mother so much as her hearing it. I want so badly to share my happiness with my mom, but it’s not out of my personal necessity to tell as much as the need to see my mom happy.

Yesterday, as I had a minor meltdown about the fact that I couldn’t share this with my mom, I came to realization that perhaps the reason this hurts so much isn’t the fact that she is gone; Clearly I knew long ago that if/when I would get married she wouldn’t be here. Rather, the timing of it, just a mere month after her passing, makes it ache that much more. It’s not that she just died 2 months ago. It’s the fact that she was this close to being able to meet him.

Worse yet is the fact that we’ve known each other for several years – they could have met each other before, but they didn’t.

Because it took us this long to get together.

Not that I regret that part. The Boy and I were talking about this a couple weeks ago. He told me he felt like me missed out on all those years. But I told him I don’t agree.

We are not the same people we were when we met, at least I’m not. And I sincerely doubt that any relationship would have survived the past year. I disappeared, sometimes for months, and while this is something you can do with friends, you cannot do that with a boyfriend.

Yet, I still can’t help but sometimes regret that nothing happened before. That he didn’t get to meet my mom. That my mom didn’t get to meet him.

I know my mom didn’t understand what was going on around her for the last 6 weeks or so before she died. I can only imagine how much went through her head those last few weeks when she could no longer talk. I just hope that those thoughts weren’t worry about me and my sisters, though I can be fairly certain that they were.


Over the last couple of days, I have written about things that people say to me that only make me feel worse. Many of you – both people who know me offline and those who don’t – have requested that I let you know what makes me feel better, so here goes.

  1. Hugs are always welcome. Real and virtual. (If you’re a tall, single, sensitive, Jewish, straight guy, your hugs can be longer. Since I’m 31, I’ve dropped the “no criminal record” requirement.)
  2. Anything related to The Sound of Music. Anything. (I probably have about 10 eggs left at my age, and I have named them Leisel, Fredrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigita, Marta, Greta, Uncle Max, Baroness Schraeder, and Captain Von Trapp.)
  3. Knowing my friends are there for me at any time, even if I don’t utilize it. I haven’t gotten angry yet by anyone saying they’re here for me if I need it. I think it actually makes me feel better.
  4. The Britney Spears song Womanizer. Only becuase it’s the only song on the radio that has no chance of making me cry right now.
  5. Seeing my friends drop what they’re doing to come to me when I am falling apart (thanks T Nugget and O The Dos for The Truth About Cats and Dogs the night we got the devastating news).
  6. My ballet and lyrical classes. 90% of the time they change my mood. I love my teachers, I love the people who dance with me, and I love the dance studio, though I would love for the bathrooms to smell better and for the studio 3 floor to be cleaner.
  7. Sarah McLachlin’s Mirrorball CD. That’s my desert island CD.
  8. Seeing this unexpected outpour of support from people who I don’t know.
  9. People making me laugh in the most random ways. Thanks, RivkA. Much appreciated.
  10. Knowing people care so much that it affects their mood. This makes me feel bad, too, but knowing someone cares that much is very special.
  11. Cap’n Crunch and Life Cereal. I wish we had the cinnamon kind, but I”m OK with the regular kind. If it was good enough for Mickey, it’s good enough for me.
  12. Knowing these feelings will, eventually, go away, or at least subside.

Yesterday I wrote a top 10 (that became 11) list of things I hate hearing. There is actually one more, but it deserves it’s own post.

The absolute worst thing anyone can say to me is “be strong” or “you are so strong.” I am not strong. The fact that I don’t break down at any given moment is not due to my “strength.” No one knows what’s going through my head, and what I’m thinking or feeling.

I’m not in denial in any way. I know what’s going on. But when tumor #2 happened, and especially #3 (The Paralyzer), I developed a mechanism that, to this day, makes me feel guilty. I basically remove myself from the situation and almost “pretend” that it’s not my mom that I’m looking at.

Sometimes I accidentally switch the off button, like last week, which caused me to cry for 4 days straight (to the point where I didn’t even go to my ballet and lyrical classes, and anyone who knows me knows that I don’t skip those EVER).

It’s a double-edged sword. Either I fall apart (read: not strong), or I pretend that what’s happening is unrelated to me (read: not strong, just chicken, with a dollop of guilt).

This is the only way I get through my days, and especially the hospital visits. Seeing what’s become of my mom, in no time, is too terrible to be able to deal with if I wouldn’t pretend. Especially since none of this should have been happening for at least another 30 years.

Silence does not equal strength. Silence is just silence, at least in my case.

In no particular order, the following is a top 10 list of things I HATE hearing. They don’t make me feel better, they only piss me off. Most of my friends already have this list memorized, though most of them don’t know this blog exists:

  1. You’re in my thoughts
  2. You’re in my prayers
  3. G-d is with you
  4. Really, anything involving G-d
  5. Everything will be OK (Yihiye Beseder)
  6. This too shall pass
  7. Everything happens for a reason
  8. Things get worse before they get better
  9. Cheer up/smile/anything along those lines (stop trying to make me feel better!)
  10. Go to your dance classes/go to a party/go out with friends/don’t stay home (I go out all the time, if I’m not in the mood, don’t try to make me.)
  11. Don’t stop telling me your problems because “they aren’t as bad as mine.” If I don’t want to hear your issues, I won’t answer your phone calls.

Update: Number 12 received its own post.