A WHOLE NEW WORLD

I’m finally doing it.

I’m finally sitting my butt down and WRITING. A. NEW. POST.

Phew… 

Getting that first sentence down is a HUUUGE step for me.

Apologies for my prolonged absence. I feel like life is crazy… as it is for all of us. You start with the best intentions. Yet, somehow, you never seem to find the time.  

You may be saying, “Bridget, you don’t have a job. Don’t you have ALL the time?”

It seems that should be the case, but surviving on dialysis IS a full-time job.  

MONDAY

WEDNESDAY

FRIDAY

(repeat, repeat, repeat, forever)

On those days, I go to treatment first thing in the morning. By the time I return home, in the afternoon, I’m usually too drained to do anything but lay down. Even most of my “OFF”  days, all I am doing is replacing actually doing treatment with recovering from treatment. 

Well, let’s just say A LOT has changed since my last post over a year ago!

I moved (again)…

I got a new (to me) car after a scary accident I was involved in while heading home from dialysis, and

…drumroll, please…

I was evaluated for a KIDNEY TRANSPLANT!!!

…that was then…

This. Is. Now. and I’m just going to say it.

WTF? Seriously… WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F*CK?!

I started writing this post back in AUGUST! 

2019! (Don’t worry. It’s not just you… it does seem like a literal lifetime ago)

I started this back when a car accident and possible transplant, which FYI – I was denied for, was THE big news. 

As I write this now we aren’t saying farewell to a lovely summer… oh no.  

Instead, we’re ushering in whatever kind of a clusterf*ck of a summer 2020 has in store for us.

We all know 2020 has been a sh*t show. Let’s be real. It’s been a freaking hellfire.

I will just go ahead and give a brief rundown of what’s been happening these past few months…

Well, 2020 started off as usual. I enjoyed a lovely, relaxing night at home as my boyfriend and I rang in the New Year. Everyone was thinking 2020 was going to be THE. YEAR.  The Roaring 20’s were back! And we were going to rock it.

The first half of January was great. Everything was normal. Things were plugging along as usual. *If you can just disregard the decimation of (practically) an entire continent with those pesky fires in Australia. (Again, seriously… WTF?!)

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Mid-January I had an amazing trip visit to Washington state where I got the rare opportunity to spend quality time with my long time girlfriends.  

It was a perfect weekend.  

We all had so much fun just being together as we always do.  

We chatted. We ate. We drank.

We even recreated professional photos we had shot way back in 9th grade (aka 1997).

What I didn’t know at the time was that weekend would kick off the worst. week. of. my. life.  

I returned home only to learn the next day that while I was having this magical weekend my beloved brother/twin/soulmate/bestie passed away.  

It was sudden, unexpected, and changed my entire life.

I can’t get into details here because it’s still too fresh and painful to write about.  

I’m in tears… now… just writing this down.

The culinary experience that inspired Chris to become a chef.

My brother was a constant in my life, we shared so many of life’s ups and downs on the same timeline and always had a special connection. He was always there if I really needed him. Even as he lived his own life and fought his own battles, he cheered me on.  Shoot, he even took the time to answer all my stupid culinary questions (he was a CIA trained Chef).

Our last texts with each other were even about restaurant goals for the future and FINALLY trying to live in the same city again. 

That weekend I had even sent him a text with one of those silly culinary questions…

It was a text never received. 

It was a question left unanswered.

When I lost him my world seemed empty and pointless. For so many years I have fought for my life, always expecting to be the one to go first.  Never had it crossed my mind I would ever live in a world without him. It’s still hard to believe today that I do.

Just as my family was grieving and needing to lean on each other and be together more than ever, the LITERAL world stopped. 

There’s this thing going around, you may have heard of it.  It’s named after a beer. SomethingVirus… oh right… Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, aka The Rona, aka SARS-CoV-2.  

Whatever you want to call it, “it” has taken over the world.

All of the sudden, and without any real notice, we were all forced to STOP. Stop life, stay home, and protect those we love by staying far away from them.  

And, well … you know the rest.

In January my world stopped and changed dramatically… it just took a few extra weeks for the rest of the world to catch up.

Now, here we are over three months later still trying to make sense of what’s been happening around us. Trying to reconfigure our entire lives. 

Now, amidst all of this chaos, my birthday is coming up… again

(Funny how that keeps happening.)

Instead of planning a fun celebration with friends IN PERSON (oh how long ago that seems), I am following suit of so many others and planning some ZOOM celebrations instead.

And, as it seems to do every year… 

This birthday is weighing on me.  

For whatever reasons, I always seem to get a little misty-eyed about my birthday; but THIS year. Ugh

Between the state of the world, the unknowns of the future, and knowing that I will be turning 38 (an age my brother will never reach), this year is surreal. 

I feel down. I feel excited about a new future. I feel broken and heavy from the weight of my grief. I feel so many things, all conflicting with each other. Stuck between looking back and looking forward. I’m coping by taking each day as it comes. Surviving each moment… but somehow thriving too.

With all the changes happening around us, I’m just trying to hold onto today.

Today we are both 37.  

Today we are twins.

In less than a week I will be 38, and though I usually have a brief period of time when I’m the older one (as step-siblings I’m 5 weeks older), this time… this time it is forever. And I don’t like it.

Our last family vacation in 2018

While I felt like I had so much important news to share back in August, all of that seems so far away and ridiculously unimportant today.

Today, I am in a new uncharted world.  

in this new world EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT… and I’m just trying to find my place.

***

This Memorial Day I am remembering my dear brother,

and thanking him for his service to this country.

But, most importantly, 

for the smiles, joy, and love, he brought into this world.

6 Comments

  1. Christianne Lindka

    Oh my Bridget, first of all my heartfelt sympathy on the very sad and sudden loss your darling brother, I am sitting here tears streaming down my face, I so wish I could take your pain away. But you are strong, now you have even more reason to keep on living best as you can, that’s surely what your brother would want you to do and he is with you and watching over you all the time.
    You are a fantastic writer for sure.
    I never got bored once while reading your story, wriyten wish such honesty, compassion, humour and insight, it’s not often that a blog holds my attention to the very last punctuation mark.
    I am going to check out your other pages and am looking forward to your next update already.
    Sending big hugs, wishing you courage and strength and all that you wish for yourself 💚💚💚💚💚🧸🧸🧸🧸🤗🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🐾🐾🐾🐾😽😽😽😽

    Like

  2. Christianne Lindka

    Oh my Bridget, first of all my heartfelt sympathy on the very sad and sudden loss your darling brother, I am sitting here tears streaming down my face, I so wish I could take your pain away. But you are strong, now you have even more reason to keep on living best as you can, that’s surely what your brother would want you to do and he is with you and watching over you all the time.
    You are a fantastic writer for sure.
    I never got bored once while reading your story, wriyten wish such honesty, compassion, humour and insight, it’s not often that a blog holds my attention to the very last punctuation mark.
    I am going to check out your other pages and am looking forward to your next update already.
    Sending big hugs, wishing you courage and strength and all that you wish for yourself 😽😽🐾🐾🧸🧸💚💚🐾🐾🤗🤗🌈🌈

    Like

  3. Mitchell Raynes

    Bridge,

    Thank you for sharing. This was beautifully written. It tugged some heavy tears from my eye. C was my best friend and I can tell you with 100% certainty that he cared for you tremendously. He beamed when he talked of your strength and your fighter mentality. He wasn’t one that liked to talk about himself much but he sure liked to share your war stories. I remember hanging with him shortly after the 2018 Family Vacation you posted a picture of; he was infinitely proud of his bad ass sister who wen’t and fought through dialysis in MX when you weren’t feeling good. He was so happy that he was able to play a part in helping you feel better. That’s the kind of brother we all lost and miss terribly. Keep fighting. It’d make him proud.

    Like

  4. Jacqueline Ratto

    Thank you for sharing this raw and truthful moment with us. It’s true what they say, you never know how long you’ll be hear, so we need to enjoy the time you are here. You are a true inspiration. I ❤ you!

    Like

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