Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Scene
Very emotionally turbulent day. We're talking a 10.1 on the Richter scale.

Started with a surprise brunch St. JudE put together for M&M. She's been understandably having a hard time adjusting to being wheelchair bound. We wanted to remind her we're here for her, enjoy some girlie piggie time together.

We caught up about her new physical therapy center, the new car she's got her eye on and the other set of wheels (her wheelchair right now is rented) she's been looking to purchase. Gawd, how her life has changed in just 3 months.

When she gobbled up the menu and savored ordering, I smiled. At least her appetite hasn't been affected. That would have been a REAL tragedy.

I teared up a few times but just kept knocking back mimosas to put on a good face. Speaking of faces, Chowmein was a bit puffy after getting her wisdom teeth taken out. She was self conscious about how her cheeks would photograph. I said welcome to my life ;)

As brunch wrapped up, I realized M&M had no idea about my mom. So we cried a bit and then the flood gates opened. She shared what a financial strain the accident has become. How emotionally drained she feels. How frustrating it is to go out and be at home.

And I noticed all morning how people reacted to her in the chair. They either stared or they looked past her. They don't know what she's been through, who she is, that that wheelchair doesn't define her. Ugh.

She is such a tough independent woman. And she finds it hard to ask for help, show vulnerability. I can relate. So we just reminded her that we're here for her, WHATEVER she needs, she just needs to ask.

In the short term, we gleaned that housekeeping help is crucial. Doing the dishes, cleaning floors and laundry are Herculean tasks for her now. She asked the doctor the other day how women with spinal cord inquiries clean the house. The doctor replied that since 92% of spinal cord injuries are men, the women in their lives normally handle the household chores. F.

Some of us plan to chip in to hire a cleaning service to help her for the next few months. Just a little thing we can do to help. She's given us so much over the years. It's what she would do if the tables were turned.

While I was with the girls, Mr. Diabolina took my mom to see his cousin who is a doctor at USC Medical Center for a referral. Everything went smoothly and my mom and I had a nice dinner.

But soon after this picture, she had a total meltdown. An angry-at-the-world meltdown. Horrible. For the first time, she got negative and fatalistic. She said ugly ugly things.

It was hard to take and not breakdown too. But I tried to be patient, understand that it was just her fear talking. Many friends who have had parents with health issues tell me all this is normal. The stages of grief and all. Think it's going to be important for her to get into a support group. She just isn't one that has much faith in the mental health field. Sigh.

Draining day after a roller coaster of week. Felt like being in NYC. Something's always flying at your balls.

The Outfit
Trina Turk dress

The Accessories
Banks and Biddle bangle
Chanel sunglasses
Canal Street earrings
Stella McCartney bag
Manolo Blahnik heels

The Grade

The Commentary
Decided to turn it OUT for M&M. And for myself. And for my mom. Did my hair for the first time in ages. Choose this delicious dress because it's so girly and summery. Just screams "girls' brunch."

Got it at Great Labels. $45. The pattern isn't my favorite Trina Turk but the shape is just so flattering. This is one of the few dresses I have that actually creates the illusion of a waist convincingly.

The deep V is quite deep, no? Am realizing I do that neckline ALOT. I swear I'm not a hoochie :) It's just a cut that works well on me. Draws attention to the good gravity-defying bits not the wobbly, going-south-quickly parts.

It's a neckline JLo does often and well too. Likely for the same reasons.

Draws attention up instead of down to the hips that don't lie.

Like me, she typically balances the sexiness of the plunging neckline with pretty natural makeup. No red lips and sooty eyes.

And even this barely there infamous look was technically a maxi. The plunging neckline would skew ho if the hemline was sky high too. It's about balance.

I also tend to wear the neckline when I'm going to be in a group or with Mr. Diabolina. Lessens the likelihood that men will misread the fashion statement as an invitation.

Think the back view of this dress is a little chunky monkey unfortunately. Wah. But who's looking there, right? Not like I'm ACTUALLY JLo or anything.


amber said...

one of the doctors i work with suffered a spinal cord ~8 years ago. when it comes to household chores, i'm under the impression that she has a housekeeper that comes maybe once a week? i will say that she is one of the most independent people i know. she was always into adventure and since the accident, she has gone on safari, gotten her scuba certification, etc etc. she has her own van and i get the impression that it helps immensely. still thinking tons of good thoughts for M&M. the sooner she can get a car that she can drive, the better :)

it sucks to see a parent in pain, but it was probably good that your mom was able to let out some of the anger/fear/frustration. still thinking good thoughts for you both. {{hugs}}

on an up note, that dress is awesome!!

weezermonkey said...

No, no, no, I am chunky monkey!

tam pham said...

reading this made me tear up. hearing about other people's pain, even if they're complete strangers, is so hard. constant good thoughts for your momma and m&m. they're so blessed to have you in their lives.

MissJordyPants said...

You're so strong... and surrounded by such strong women. You all are so amazingly lucky to have each other. I'm so sorry to hear about your Moms breakdown. Know that it's natural and, in the end, a good step for her. So good of you to sit there and simply be an ear for ranting/raving/releasing. Kisses to you.

dapotato said...

ok, first, the dress IS perfect for girly brunch. and you look hot. and the girls at brunch all seem like such an awesome bunch.

yeah, the angry at the world vent is normal. :(. i unforch have had to watch my mom in deep grief before as well before. she formed an informal group of women around her that became a support group. it helped her immensely. hopefully your mom finds something of the same--at least someone who knows exactly what she's going through to be there. sigh. hugs.

WendyB said...

I wear lots of deep V necklines too. Great for jewelry.

Nice of you guys to chip in for cleaning service. As for your mom, maybe she'd prefer to talk to someone one on one. My mother got very depressed by her cancer support group. The idea of people saying "me too" or being much worse off than you is good for some people but not for others.

Sable Crow said...

That dress is yum! I love the plunging neckline. I love when things are "technically" a maxi dress. And I love NYC, where somebody is always flying at my balls.

"I don't know how you're holding up on the inside, but your hair looks terrific." -Steel Magnolias

Squawks and kisses,
Sable Crow

Kate said...

"Something's always flying at your balls."


Wish I could give you big hugs. You touch on one of the hardest parts of helping a loved one through an illness - the moments they are angry and feeling negative. That part is unbearable! Not only because it's hurts to see them hurting but because it's really scary. AND! It's also quite hard to navigate and support because your own emotions become so intense. I know you are loving your mommy with all your might though. And it's simple, that's the only answer.


Anonymous said...

I love the deep V!

It's really good to have these people in your life to keep grounded and maintain perspective. All the best to you and yours.

Jean Bean said...

F to M's doctor for answering the housekeeping question on gender lines. But I'm sure M's hub is already doing a lot, so chipping in for the cleaning is a great gift. Once I was on crutches on 3 weeks and I couldn't even take my trash out. I got antz.

Sigh, so many people leaning on you now. You can lean on me! xxxx

lookrichbitch said...

That's so thoughtful of you guys to chip in for some housecleaning! M&M totally shouldn't have to worry about such mundane things. You're a good friend!

I'm so impressed with your bravery. You could easily be a pitiful mess right now, but you choose to be strong. When I grow up, I wanna be just like you.

Couture Carrie said...

Oh you know how I love backless -that dress is hot and you look fantastic in it, Diabbbbbs!

And thanks so much for your lovely compliment on my pics.

Now on to more weighty things: I think it was really important for your mom to have that angry moment - she needed to get that out, and it's wonderful that she has your shoulder to cry on! I think it's adorable that you two go shopping together, too. Sadly that is one interest that my mom and I do not share . . .

Stay strong and fabulous!


JillFantastic said...

I am loving that dress! You look wonderful. I too am a big fan of the deep V neckline.

I hope you are hanging in there. I had a friend who became paralyzed from the chest down at 18. He has gone on to graduate from college, work for a huge company, drive a customized vehicle, you name it! He does need a lot of help, but has a successful and fulfilling life. You are so sweet to help M&M out in any way you can. She's lucky to have you.

Good vibes for your mom. :)

R said...

Brunch sounds like a wonderful release and much needed friendship. As did your mom's outburst. Sometimes we all need a minute to be utterly human with people who let us.

When life is "flying at your balls" I say tea bag 'em! ;) Sort of a lemons to lemonade thing...

Da Fashionista said...

DYING about tea bagging em!!

kisses, R!

Lynn Tran said...

M&M is lucky to have you girls around to support her. It is a sign of true friendship that she could break down in front of you and share her frustration and concern.

It pains me that your mamacita is going through this difficult time. Continuing to send you guys my best prayers and thoughts.

Anonymous said...

(((HUGS))) to you! I know how awful it is to see a loved one go through something that you can't do anything about. I'm so happy for you that you have such wonderful friends to lean on!

PS, the dress is FAB! So glad you had a glorious girls' get-together!

Here's a question - I have a date with The Hairdresser soon. My hair is just past my bra strap. What do you think? Is it time for a lady-of-a-certain-age (36) to get a "mom 'do" or can I get away with growing it long?


Tiffany said...

that is so sweet of you all to help your friend out with something thoughtful like that. It's nice to have good friends.

that dress is a dream on you. one of my favorites that I've seen.


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