Updated: Feb 6
Hello everyone! Happy 2020!
2019… What a fun thing that was! I tried so hard to get an end of the year/decade update out in those last few days but it just was not able to happen. I wanted to talk about the last couple of months of this past year/decade. A lot happened. My grandpa almost died of pneumonia, I knew some people who got into a TERRIBLE car accident (everyone is alive and well, thank god), it was the holidays, I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia, and I went to some concerts!
Let’s begin in October. Such a fun month for me. Right in the middle of October, 12th through 14th to be exact, I took an amazingly fun trip to Nashville with my sister and best friend. We were actually there to see one of our favorite bands, Greta Van Fleet. (here’s my review of their EP😊Nashville was quite the party town. I had heard it was crazy, but when one of our Lyft drivers told me that it’s crazier than Vegas? In the Midwest? But I do believe it was. Long story short, the band cancelled. After we had spent seven long hours in line behind a hundred people. (we arrived to line up at six in the morning) So that was the first one.
Fast forward to exactly two weeks later, October 26th. My sister and I were getting on a plane at roughly 6:20 am. We were taking a plane to the bay area to see some of our favorite bands perform at an event called “Uncool Halloween”. Skip ahead two or three days after this event when we were back home. The headlining band of the event, “SWMRS”, posted a statement saying that their guitar player, Max Becker had been in a terrible car accident. He had been in the car with the SWMRS sound guy, Josh, and someone who was a photographer and tour mom, Natalie. They slipped on black ice and caused the car to spin and flip. Natalie had some bruises and cuts. Josh had a broken arm. Max had it the worst. He had a traumatic brain injury, broken leg, broken shoulders, the list went on. I had just seen all three of those people a couple of days before that happened in person. Max has always been someone I’ve looked up to. Who I’ve shared conversations with. Whose voice always can light up my day. While he was living in a rehab center in Colorado, I mailed him a very long letter and some tea. That was the second event.
Fast forward even further down the road into Thanksgiving day. Thanksgiving was great besides the fact that I had to work at seven am that day (but we don’t talk about that here). I was informed a few days before the holiday that my grandmother (who is 78 but you would never know) had pneumonia. But she was doing and feeling so much better. My grandpa on the other hand, again 79 and you wouldn’t know it, was different. My grandpa is the kind of person that does not wanna sit down. Always greeting people, hugging, shaking people’s hands, talking to people. On Thanksgiving, he sat in one spot. He thought he had the flu. But was too stubborn to go to the doctor. Every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my uncle who is in a lot of local tribute bands, does a tribute to Journey at a place called The Family Arena. This past year, my grandpa told my grandmother that it would be a good idea if they skipped out on it this year. And my grandparents almost NEVER miss a gig. My mother was talking to her cousin on the phone who lived in Texas and was also a nurse that Sunday and was telling her she was really worried about my grandpa. My mother was advised by her nurse cousin to go over to my grandparents house and take my grandpa to the hospital. When she arrived at their house, he was on the floor. He had collapsed. He was very specific and picky about the hospital that he wanted to go to. He wanted to be taken care of by the best, as he deserved. His calcium levels were high. He hadn’t been eating or drinking much, due to he would just vomit it up. He was fighting for his life in the hospital. On tons of antibiotics, oxygen masks, medicine for his back, he was diagnosed with bone cancer. The doctors said, “everything that could be wrong with him, is wrong with him.” “This man is very sick.” My mother and grandmother were at the hospital all day everyday with him. They stuck by each other, hand in hand, side by side, did not wanna lose each other, or him. He was in ICU for over a week. The first day I had gone to see him was four days after he had checked into the hospital. Thursday. He was moving a lot. Caused by medicine and his back pain. He had an oxygen mask. He was groaning in pain. Barely able to open his eyes. We were told if he didn’t come in when he did, he would have died. He would have been in a coma. Seeing my grandpa like this was something I have never seen before. At almost 24 years old, I have had FIVE grandparents alive my entire life. All of them very healthy. I had never seen anyone so sick before. When I walked into the room and saw him, I wanted to collapse myself. I wanted to fall to the ground, cover my eyes and cry. But I couldn’t. I had to be strong. For my mother. For my grandmother. For myself. My grandmother said to me, “You’re very brave to see grandpa like that”. I just kinda looked at him at first. My mom went over to his ear, the one he could hear out of and said, “Bethany’s here”. He automatically reached for my hand and squeezed it so tight. I was so happy to know that he knew me and that he was still there. I also remember that my mother looked at him and said, “You’re gonna get through this” and he nodded. I also went to see him the next day. He was better. He no longer had the oxygen mask. I went over to him and immediately grabbed his hand and said, “Hi grandpa”. He looked at me and said, “Hi sweetie”. That helped me to know that he was coming back. He had been watching a repeat of a college state championship football game and he asked me, “Did you go to this game?” He was still a little out of it. He then said, “I can’t believe they won the state championship!” I teased him and said, “Did you want the other team to win?” He looked right at me and said no. Later on that day, I was getting ready to leave soon so I wanted to say goodbye to him. He was sleeping so I just decided to admire him for a while and then go back into the waiting room. However, my sister stayed in there with him and he woke up. He looked at her and said, “Do you know where Mimi is?” Mimi was what my sister and younger cousins have always called my grandmother. So not only did he know that he was talking to my sister, but he also knew to call her Mimi. My sister replied with, “Yeah she’s in the waiting room with my mom. Do you want me to go get her?” and he said yes. So since I knew he was awake, I decided to go back into his room. Fast forward a few days, he was out of ICU, didn’t have an oxygen tube, feeding tube, was only on a few antibiotics, was listening to The Eagles from his Ipod on his ihome in his room. Whistling as usual. Said “Hi Girls” with a smile as my sister and I had walked in. He was back to normal. Maybe not completely, but he was doing so much better. He then had to live in a rehab facility to regain strength from being in the hospital. He was home for Christmas. Which was all my family and I wanted. You wouldn’t even know he had gone through all of that. He was and is so strong. And also has some damn good genes. He just recently started chemo for his bone cancer and has been doing great with it so far. Before I left my grandparents house on Christmas, I hugged him and said, “I’m so glad we got you home for Christmas” with a smile on my face. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “Amen to that”.
After Christmas this year was weird for me. Usually after Christmas, I have money and gift cards that I get as presents and I am usually dying to spend them. This year, I put the money into my bank account and used that money to pay bills and into my savings. Two days after Christmas, I went to see the new Star Wars movie, “The Rise Of Skywalker”, which was SO MUCH BETTER than “The Last Jedi”. But let’s be real, nothing’s ever gonna beat “Return Of The Jedi”. While in the movie theater, I had started coughing like a smoker. Never smoked a day in my life. I had a cold for a few weeks, but it went away for about a week or two. Being exhausted from the holidays, coughing and working, my sickness got worse. I had to work that Saturday and Sunday after Christmas and felt like a zombie both days. I wasn’t doing much. So on Monday, December 30th, I finally went to the doctor. I had a fever of 99.8 (my normal body temperature is 97.8). My lungs were making a lot of noise. I apparently had walking pneumonia. (Still kind of do) My mother was thinking that was the illness I had. For those of you who are not aware, walking pneumonia is when younger people get pneumonia. You are still able to get out of bed, do normal things, and are still able to function. You’re coughing your brains out, but you can still function. I was put on a strong antibiotic and given an inhaler. I spent the entire second to last day of the decade in my bed after that. Having a Star Wars marathon. And to top it off, I wasn’t allowed to use the water at my house for half the day. So when I had to go to the bathroom, my boyfriend took me to the gas station and library. I thankfully had enough water to drink for a few hours. It was hard to drink liquids and not have to go to the bathroom. The next day, New Years Eve, I felt better. I only spent half the day in my bed. I got to watch Return Of The Jedi. I watched IT Chapter Two with my family in the living room. My mom, sister and I played 80s trivial pursuit as we made fun of people performing on TV. I ate chips and dip, vegetables, bubble juice, cherry coke, even mixed a little Malibu into my drink. Once the new decade hit, me and my boyfriend took pictures, did small fireworks and then went to bed. Despite everything negative that happened during that last bit of the decade, I ended it on a high note.
Some positive things during the final months of 2019 included: Nashville trip, Bay Area trip, Palaye Royale concert, More zero waste items.
More posts comin’ to ya soon.