Monday, April 30, 2012

Surprise visitors. Quack.

They randomly showed up today. this you from beyond?
Are you trying to tell me something?


I cracked myself up!
Jesse would've laughed too.

I love you babe...

Raise Money for For Jesse and his girls | YouCaring

Maybe this is the universe's way of achieving balance.
So much was taken away from me recently.
At the same much was given as well.
Family, friends, sisterhood, love, support, hugs, words, care, laughter,, and so much more.

Eternally grateful,

Raise Money for For Jesse and his girls | YouCaring

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Think about this day and this moment..."

We went to the park today...the same one by our home, the one we used to go to all the time.

The stroller didn't fight back today.
The weather was pleasant.

I thought about one of the many times we walked there hand in hand. Maya was a few days old and I had her close to my body. Isis was mastering her bicycling skills and she was riding the bike around the park in circles...waving at us every so often. As the sun started to set, we decided to walk home.

We were sleep deprived and so tired.
Both of us.

You asked me to stop walking. You took my hands and you said..." Isn't life amazing baby. Everything is perfect...we are perfect. I want you to think about this day and this moment any time life becomes too tough to handle, okay?"

I said yes.
We hugged.
We walked back home.

Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for giving me moments like those to cherish for the rest of my life.

I love you...where ever you are.
I think about you all the time.
I hope you are thinking about those moments too and I hope you are peaceful.

Goodnight my love.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fucking stroller and car seat


I am so pissed!
I am sitting in the park crying while Maya is sleeping in the stroller.

The few times we used this damn stroller, you were in charge. I never bothered figuring out how it works because I didn't ever imagine that you would just die on me one day.

It is getting hard for me to carry Maya around in the wrap. She is a little over twelve pounds now.

I finally figured out how to open the damn stroller from the folded position, like you had last left it, I figured out how to fold it back down, which was a bitch and then it took me a while to load it in the car and I was ready to give up.

Oh and Isis was whining at me the whole time...

We finally get to the park and then I had to figure out how to attach the car seat to the stroller.

It's all done.
I know, I's just a stroller!

I cannot seem to enjoy this beautiful view.
I am...however calmer now than I was ten minutes ago.

Maya is snoring lightly. I love her so much.

Isis is playing like a monkey. I love her very much as well.

I fucking miss you! Why did you leave babe?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sleep and fear

After Jesse's passing, I continued to sleep in our bedroom, on our bed we once shared. Pippi slept with me in that room while she stayed with me and of course Maya always sleeps in the room with me.

Sleep is hard to come by.

I fall asleep for a few minutes and then wake up and stay up.
And sometimes...I don't want to sleep.
My eyes get heavy and I fight the urge to close them.

However, after Pippi left, I was all alone in that room with Maya.
It became worse.
I couldn't sleep at all.
I lie in bed...almost all night looking at pictures of Jesse, reading things he wrote, thinking about how I should organize his belongings, thinking about what I should keep, thinking about moving because this house is not the same anymore.
I nurse Maya when she wakes up and then continue to stay awake with my thoughts.

I look toward the door every so often...hoping...for Jesse to walk in. Or I wait and listen for his footsteps out in the family room.

Anticipation...cajoles me to stay awake.

Until two nights ago, I wasn't consciously aware of how traumatic this has been for me. My body is telling me, it is giving me signs.
I had to supplement Maya's diet with formula.
Oh, the sadness in accepting the defeat of being unable to nourish your child...!

The only time my body relaxes enough to fall asleep is during day break...when the sun just begins to come up. I open the curtains, let the sunlight in and then fall asleep for a few hours.
Anxiety sets in as the day nears to an end.

I have begun to dislike the night.

One, because I still look forward to Jesse coming home at 6:15 pm and
two, because I think about the way he left me.
Then I begin to obsess about what happened, what could've been done, what is going to happen...and then...too wound up to sleep.

Fuck it!

And then there is fear.
fear of not knowing...
fear of being unable to carry on
fear of wanting to carry on
fear of not being to wake up if I do fall asleep
fear that I will miss something
fear that I need to be doing something other than sleeping
fear of failing as a mother
fear of the future without Jess
fear of the unknown

Last night, I finally acknowledged my need for rest.
I took my mother's advice and slept in the guest bedroom. I was actually able to fall asleep and stay asleep for more than an hour.

To end the night, here is one of my favorite songs. I can still hear Jesse singing it in the car...
I love you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The hairy tooth fairy

Last year, when Isis lost one of her teeth, she was super excited as usual and she set it under her pillow for the tooth fairy. Jesse and I had this conversation about what Isis' thoughts were about the tooth fairy, Santa Claus....Easter bunny. As a little boy, Jesse was devastated when he found out the truth about Santa Claus. Haha. However, Isis is a mature girl for her age and grown ups love chatting with her. She can talk your ears off if you give her the opportunity. Really.

She also has a rabid imagination and she is constantly making up stories about dragons, zombies, werewolves and vampires while she eats her dinner...or they are popping up everywhere in her writing assignments for school. So we really wondered what she thought about the tooth fairy. I made a mental note to myself to have a conversation with her the next day because I was curious.

So that night, I crawled into bed early and I remembered that the tooth fairy was yet to make her rounds. I was feeling lazy so I asked Jesse to be the tooth fairy instead. He complained a bit, but agreed to do it anyway. Isis had just gone to bed and so I asked Jesse to be extra quiet, extra sneaky, and extra gentle while he moved her pillow.

Out came the tooth and in went two dollars.

Isis announced her visit from the tooth fairy and her earnings at breakfast the next morning. That night, after her bedtime story, we were laying in bed laughing and fooling around. Then...I remembered to talk to her about the tooth fairy. The conversation didn't last very long.

Isis said, "Oh yeah...the tooth fairy visited last night mama and I must say...that was one big hairy tooth fairy!"

There was a second of silence while we looked at each other and then we began laughing hysterically. We were laughing so hard that Jesse came in from the other room to see what was going on. As we heard his footsteps approaching, we both wondered if we should tell him about it or not.

Side note: I always told people I was taking care of two children, Isis and Jesse. When Maya was on her way, I told people that soon I was going to be taking care of three children.

Jesse was such a child at heart and I loved that about him. Thinking back, it is actually amazing to see how fluid and healthy our family dynamics were. Isis would assume the grown up role occasionally with daddy and I have seen it action. It was heart warming and pretty darn cute.

So here were are...deciding together if we should let daddy know that she is aware about the non-existence of the tooth fairy or if we should continue to keep it a secret. We decide to tell him anyway...but Jesse didn't want to talk much about it and shushed us because deep down inside he wanted Isis to continue to believe in these imaginary creatures. I also think that Jesse sometimes wanted time to stand still and he wanted Isis to be his little girl and never grow up.

I also wish for that at times...and other times, I cannot wait for her to figure out what major she wants to pick out in college and what career path she wants to take. Exciting!

Again...the milestones will be a sad reminder of his absence...for all of us.

Isis lost another tooth yesterday. She is proud that she holds the current record in her class for the person who has lost the most teeth so far this year. The count is three.

I am going to be sneaking in there in a little while.
Thankfully, I am not that hairy.

This also reminds me that I need to dedicate a post in the future to "Toothy the Tooth Dragon"...a character that Jesse created for Isis. He even drew Toothy.

We miss you....our hairy tooth fairy!
Love you always sweetie.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


This is for you
just for you
It is pure
just like our love

This moment is just for you
this heartbeat...right at this moment
just for you
the place you once occupied, now empty
the candle burns
this breath, in and out, just for you
the tears

I don't want anybody else near it
lets go
I want you to myself
keenly desirous of more memories
but how is that possible?
I fear
memories are finite, no?
then what?

Will you take me with you?
will you wait for me?

Just like the looks in their eyes
like this moment
reserved only for you, nobody else
like the beating of our hearts together
they still beat together
I hear yours
yet, unquiet the raindrops outside our window
Don't cry babe
here...take my hand.
Sit down.
let us breathe together
just me and you

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

P.S. I love you

I watched the movie, "P.S. I love you", a few years ago and for whatever reason it became one of my favorite movies. I loved the kind of love Holly and Gerry shared.
I asked Jesse to watch it with me and he was hesitant in the beginning and rolled his eyes, even though he watched chick flicks with me all the time.

Oh, and one thing about my Jess...he was a crier.
He sobbed during movies....even chick flicks.
He was so cute!

So one summer, we decide to rent the movie before we head out to Monterey for the weekend. The plan was to watch it in our hotel room. Isis was out of town for the summer, as usual, visiting the grandparents.

Jesse and I took maximum advantage of our child free summers and we felt, and sometimes acted, like teenagers without curfew times or limits.

Once we got to Monterey, and we had our romantic dinner date by the ocean, we realized that we forgot our movie back at home. I got sad. So Jesse looks up the closest Blockbuster near our hotel and we drive there so we could rent the movie. We were adamant about watching this movie that night.

So for those of you who don't know... the movie is about a young woman who loses her husband to an illness. But before he died, he plans a way in which he could continue to "be there" for her after his death through a series of letters. The letters, most of them related to the past they shared together, guide her and prepare her for a future without him.

So we settle down on the bed, cuddle and watch the movie. We laughed and cried...well...mostly Jesse cried while I held him tight.

Since then, it became one of our favorite movies. We watched it again last year with papa Steve and Mama Yoli and Jesse cried again... while I hugged him.

I decided to watch the movie a few days myself. I got me some ice cream and settled down on the couch after Maya was asleep. I cried the second the movie started, but soon I became numb...removed. I cried every so often and thought about the scenes in the movie that Jesse of the movie we discussed. But it didn't effect me the way I expected it to effect me.

It is a movie...
This is my life.

I never once imagined that I would find myself in the same position one day...with my husband gone. Although he didn't leave me any letters for the future, I have his memories, our memories, letters from the past, cards he made for me, and above kids.

They remind me of him and remind me of my strength...the same strength that he admired and fell in love with.

P.S...guess what?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Get my head out of the clouds

I wish I had the luxury to keep my head in the clouds and pretend like nothing happened, nothing is going to happen, and shrug away my responsibilities.

Today...somebody who I really don't have a real personal connection to, took the liberty of making a comment about my life and some of the battles that I have been fighting since my husband died. This person said that I needed to be proactive and do something about the situation and "get my head out of the clouds."

Excuse me?

You have no details about my situation since I keep my personal business private, especially when it comes to my children. But to assume that I am not doing anything about it is just disrespectful not only to me but also to Jesse and my family.

I am reminded of my pain the moment I open my eyes.
I go to bed each night with lingering anxiety and restlessness.
These struggles are mine, and mine alone. But I am thankful that I have people to fall back on.
I am not about to go ahead and make my business public so you can go ahead and continue to make judgments about my situation.

I don't need your pity.
I don't need your insensitivity.
I don't need your judgments.

If you wish to continue to support me and my family, it is my humble request that you refrain from judgments and criticisms. If you know of resources that you think I might find beneficial at this point, then please... please let me know and I will appreciate that.

But if you are going tell me what a shitty job I am doing, or tell me that I need to get my head out of the clouds...keep those thoughts and comments to yourself and just respect me and my family by remembering the happy moments you had with us or Jesse. That is the best thing you can do for us.

To the people who are part of my support system, near and know who you are. I love each and every one of you and I thank each and every one of you every single moment I get.
I am eternally grateful to all of you.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hate me

I cannot get this song out of my mind since Jesse passed. I was familiar with the song in the past, but Jesse discovered it a few weeks ago through the message board.

He cried when he listened to it and he said it described his early struggles in his life and also his relationship with his mother rather well.

He listened to it a lot.
It brought up a lot of memories for him and I think he also made peace with a lot of those memories.

Jesse loved his mother. He loved his father too...
...but his mom was his rock.

I told her about this song because I thought she should know what Jesse had told me just a few days ago and how he felt. I also told her that I could play it for her when she was ready to listen to it. I bet it wasn't easy for her. I am sorry if this post brings up more sadness for you mama. It's not my intention.

I just cannot get the words out of my head because it also reminds me of Jess's personal struggles. Some of the things he processed with me, things we processed together as a couple, memories that needed unburdening...bringing us closer than ever.

I love you babe.

I hope you are resting, flying, and watching.

The world spins madly on

I cannot believe that my Jesse has been gone for over a month now.
What did I do for a month?

When he passed, it seemed like I wont be able to breathe again.
I know there will be one day when even breathing will seem alright.

Right now it doesn't.

Yesterday I took the first step of saying goodbye to Jess. I picked out a giant plastic bin and put a few things of his that I wanted to keep with me. Inside it went the last two shirts he wore, the ones that have the smell of his skin. The last pair of pants he wore. Three of his favorite hats. His backpack. The last pair of shoes he wore, his harley boots that were a gift from me. I told him that he couldn't have the motorcycle...but he could enjoy the motorcycle boots instead. He eventually thought that was cute.

I also saved his cowboy boots that we purchased in a store somewhere on Route 66 during our cross country road trip. His favorite leather jacket, that also served as a baby carrier for Maya since she was a few days old. He walked everywhere with her that way, close to his heart, and Maya loved it.

The red Indian shirt/kurta that he loved so much, that he wore when he carried Maya in his arms while he skyped with papa Steve the weekend before he passed.

It also has his smell. 

The pair of boxer briefs he wore to bed that night after his shower is also in the box. They left it for me next to our bed before they took him away.

They left his wedding band on the dresser for me.

As I write all of this seems like I am saving a lot of his things. But there is so much more I want to save. I want to save every single pair of his socks if I could, every single thing he ever touched. But I know I have to let go. And I will.

I will.

Right now, I want to continue to see his shirts, blazers, and ties hanging in the closet as I lay in bed. the world continues to spin madly on.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Maya got ouchies

Take Maya to her four month check up without Jesse. Check.

Maya had her four month birthday yesterday and today she saw her doctor for her routine check up and another set of vaccines. Last time we were there, she was two months old and she was getting her very first set of vaccines. I remember being scared and anxious for my baby. Jesse held her while she got poked because, one, he was brave and I couldn't do it and two, he wanted Maya to associate after needle ouchie comforts with mommy. So I took her and loved her and held her after the deed was done.

Today, I did both. I held her for the needle jabs and continued to hold her and comfort her after the pain set in. My heart hurt when I saw it coming and when I knew the pain would hit her. Oh my poor poor baby...

Pippi was with me for support, but I wanted to do it all on my own. And I am proud of myself for not crying.

She is going to start eating rice cereal soon. She is growing up. Fast.

Along with happiness, every milestone for Isis and Maya is going to be a melancholic reminder of what Jesse is missing.

I miss you so much babe. Goodnight.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return"

goes the poem "Nature Boy".

Bunny posted the poem on Jesse's wall on Facebook and mama read the poem out loud at the memorial service. I couldn't have picked better words to describe Jesse.

Jesse knew how to love and he loved deeply and passionately. There was love in the way he spoke to me, greeted me each morning, treated me as his equal..."my goddess" as he fondly called me. He was proud of my achievements and encouraged me to think bigger and stronger. He challenged me intellectually and he was my sounding board for issues big and small. There was that intrinsic deep love in the way we lived our lives.

He taught Isis well. He taught her to be open minded, be independent, have values, and more strong enough to stick to those values even when the rest of the world didn't agree with them. Isis is doing just that. She is just a wonderful young girl.

Maya is not fortunate enough to get to know her father personally. However, I know that through us, she is going to learn so much about her daddy and what he stood for.

I often wonder who will ever love me the way he did. Nobody...
He loved me fiercely. I am lucky to have known that sort of love because it does not come by often.

In return...he was loved! We loved him, fiercely too, in our own special ways. It shows in the way we miss him and it also shows in the way we continue to love each other through the sadness of his early, unexpected departure.

I love you Jess. Goodnight!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hey mama! I got me some socks

Aunt Carla recently compared the strength that she sees in me to the warrior that she sees in Jesse's mother.

That is a wonderful compliment.

I hold Jesse's mom, mama, as I like to call her, very close to my heart. After she arrived from Missouri is when I was really able to allow myself to sleep after that dreadful night. I think about her all the time. I think about the sadness she feels after losing her only child. As a mother, the amount of emotional pain and turmoil that she is experiencing is beyond my comprehension.

At the same time, I also draw so much strength and dignity from her. And to be compared to the warrior in her makes me grateful and proud.

While I was talking to her last night I was telling her about the mixed feelings that I mentioned in my last post. I told her that I went to a store with pippi who suggested I buy a little something for myself. I couldn't get myself to do that.

Wait...I couldn't even get myself to think that. I said that it is going to be a while before I shop for myself.

How can I buy something for myself while Jesse is not here with me... I thought.

I wanted to cry.

I wanted my Jesse.

So I was telling her about that and I also mentioned to her that all I wanted was some soft, fuzzy socks but couldn't get myself to buy it.

Today was a big day for me.

So mama told me that I should reward myself with some socks at the end of the day if things went well, for a job well done, or to comfort myself with socks if I felt like things didn't go well.

And that is exactly what I did.

I went and rewarded myself with not one, but two pairs of socks today.

And here is the best part...aunty pippi paid for them.

So the guilt can go suck it for now!

I love you mama.

Thank you for giving me my Jesse.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunshine and cliché

There are all these mixed feelings that arise when it comes to enjoying the simple things in life after a significant other has passed. It is not just the guilt...there is also pity, anger, the feeling that you don't deserve to be happy, the somber reminiscences that haunt you...coupled with the lucid past. 

It's all there.

After any sort of traumatic experience, the "everything will be okay" cliché gets thrown around a lot.
Please, Please, don't get me wrong.
I do appreciate those words and the heartfelt sentiments they convey. However,for me, they really weren't comforting and depending on how my day goes, they still don't bolster my hope because of the deep sense of loss I am experiencing.'s not like I have given up. 
It's the mixed feelings that I was talking about earlier. 

How can everything be alright now that my husband is dead? Dead...
How can everything be alright now that my children don't have their daddy around?
How can everything be alright when I cannot hug him, feel him, lay next to him, laugh with him, fight with him, live with him?
How can everything be alright after our dreams and my life came to a sudden,distressing, screeching halt?

Do you get me? It's all of the above and much more that makes me a non believer of that cliché.

A temporary non believer. 

Once again...please don't get me wrong and feel like I am being dismissive about the support I have received. I do appreciate all the kind words.

Now, let's talk about sunshine.

Today was a good day. For the first time since Jesse's passing, I was able to enjoy the sunshine for a bit and also take a few deep breaths and smile.

I drove to Berkeley today to meet a good friend. Jess and I have so much history in Berkeley, so many...many memories. I remembered him waiting for me on the sidewalk, his face buried in his kindle. I would honk and he would look up with a grin and get in the car and reach out for hugs and kisses, and I would occasionally get a quick shoulder massage while I drove. Yeah...

I looked for him at our usual meeting spot.
I cried.
I felt him. The grin.
I really do feel him close to me, quiet a lot these days.

The tears are there even during the pleasant sunshine moments.

But as far as the 
cliché goes...
I know I will live through this all and so will my girls. 
We are a team.
We will make it. Even if we have to stumble along the way for a while...we will make it.

Goodnight Jesse. I love you babe.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In my heart

Today was the day.

We drove to the funeral home to pick up Jesse's ashes.

I didn't want to wake up this morning but at the same time I was anxious to "see" him and bring him home. The drive to the funeral home is always hard. I have made that drive a few times now. The chapel and the cemetery is a familiar place with memories of Jesse, Isis and myself. It is our old neighborhood. Piedmont ave is one of our favorite local haunts. Plenty of restaurants to pick from and of course our favorite creamery, Fentons, is there.

The last time Jesse and I went to Fentons...well...we took a detour after one of our birthing classes at the hospital before coming home. I was a little over eight months pregnant and had a major craving for chocolate milkshake and fries. Yum! But before we drove there, Jesse insisted that he take me to the vista point on Grizzly Peak, in the hills of Berkeley, since I had never seen the city in the night from there. It was beautiful. We stood there for a while, hugging each other, watching the shimmering lights at a distance...excited about our life, our dreams for Isis, and eagerly awaiting Maya's arrival. 

Then we drove to Fenton's for our fries and milkshake. We held hands and talked. People asked us when I was due and Jesse would loudly announce the due date and Maya's full name...Maya Rose Meenakshi Moorkoth Phelps. People's reactions were priceless. He was so proud...a proud daddy!

Driving to the funeral home is a reminder of all those memories. Right now those memories are painful and I want to avoid them.

I held myself together fairly well until we got to the funeral home and we were asked to wait for the process to unfold. I began crying then. It felt like a part of this journey was coming to an end. We were ushered into the same room where we had once seen his body not too long ago. As the door opened, I had memories of that day come flooding back to me.

His face.
The way he lay there...still, peaceful, handsome, soft. 

My sweet Jesse.

The bronze colored boxes stared at us today. The heart shaped urn that I had picked out, also sat there. 

We cried.

I requested for a moment alone with my Jesse. For the first time since his death, I was alone...with him, with my thoughts, my tears, and my guilt. I whispered to him. I said I was sorry for not taking him to the ER, sorry for picking that very night to catch up on my sleep in the guest bedroom for a few hours, sorry for not laying next to him, sorry for finding him after it was a little too late, sorry that he wasn't with me today and sorry that he wasn't going to be with me tomorrow. I also whispered to him to give me the strength to move on and to watch over me and the kids and to always stay with me. I whispered that over and over again.

Stay with me Jess...just stay with me, please!

I walked over...touched the boxes and the heart and at that moment, I was able to let go of a lot of pain that I had held inside. 

But there is still so much much pain...some of which I will hold on to until my last breath.

One of things that Jesse taught me was to live for the moment. So for now, he is back home. He is with me and he is staying with me.
Yes! A part of the journey has come to an end. 
I still have a long way to go, but Jesse is walking right beside me, holding my hand.

We always held hands.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Jesse is out of town

We had Mike and Colin over for dinner tonight. Jesse and I loved hanging out with these two. So we did our Chinese food, from our usual restaurant. Tonight, I felt like Jesse was just away...and out of town. It has happened to me quite a few times already where my mind and heart start to make up these scenarios around Jesse's absence and I begin to believe them. I don't know if it is "normal" but I tell myself that he'll be back next week and then we could do dinner again with Mike and Colin...or...I can't wait to tell him these stories when he calls me later. I guess it is just a way of preserving whatever sanity I have left.

Then there are also those moments during social conversations when I pause...waiting for Jesse to say something...or laugh...or make a snarky comment.

Socializing will never ever be the same for me again.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We are ready to release your husband to you

Said the lady from the funeral home.

Jesse's ashes are ready to be picked up. Saturday is the day...he comes back home to me. My father in law will be driving me because I have a feeling I won't be able to keep it together.

Jesse will mostly stay with me and my girls but he will eventually travel to Iowa, Missouri, Texas, and India.

Yesterday was rough and so was today. Isis had her Spring concert in school last night and when she told me, my first thought was, "oh shit!" One of the last things we did as a family was the multicultural night at school, the Friday before he passed.

How am I going to do these events on my own without Jesse? We did it all together. I can't do this, I thought. But after a few dawned on me that I simply had to. There will be many more concerts, plays, recitals, and graduations that I need to attend without Jesse and I will be representing both daddy and mommy.

Jesse would do it for me.

Yes...our world changed dramatically but consistency and stability is what my children need from me now, especially Isis. So we went to the concert...aunty pippi, papa Steve, Maya and I.

I am so glad I did it!

Today was rough as well. I wanted to give up so many times and run away or dig a hole in the earth, crawl in, and stay there. I know that the kids need me but still...that doesn't mean I am not entitled to my own selfish feelings. Right?

Thankfully, I have people in my life who are constantly encouraging the warrior in me to keep going. Keep fighting. know you are sorry for leaving me and the kids this way. I can actually see and hear you cry. I know babe. I wish we could talk and hug it out like we normally do...but it's all good sweetie. We'll be fine.
I love you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I hate the word "widow"

I have been defined, categorized, labelled many things.
Immigrant. Woman of color. Bitch. Legal alien. Non Citizen. Asian. Feminist. Mother. Wife. Straight. Married. Whatever.

I however hate the word "widow".

It is just so depressing, pitiful, and makes me feel old, lonely and OLD. Well...I am lonely...but fuck, I am only 33. It doesn't matter. I don't want to associate myself with that word even when I am 93.

I am dealing with enough emotions already after having lost my husband and I don't need to fit into a label...ANY label just yet. Not ever. Not for you.

No I don't.

And yes...I am still married to Jesse.
I am Priya.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"My golden dear"

I don't feel like writing today.

I decided to wash the sheets we last slept on. Actually...I gave aunty pippi permission to wash them.

I miss your little love notes. I am glad I have them.

They soothe me.

I love you sweet Jesse.

Monday, April 9, 2012

What happens after death? Daddy took the train.

Aunty Pippi, Isis, Maya and I went for a walk down to Amy's donuts today. Your face and your voice kept coming back to me every time I looked down and saw the green grass, spring flowers, people around our neighborhood, parents with their children, the blue sky. The simple things around me make me sad...very sad. I am sad that you cannot see what I see, sad that you cannot take these walks with me. Sad that Isis and Maya are missing out on the awesome daddy-ness...and I miss you, my lover.

On our way back home from our walk, we saw a camping trailer and Isis and I immediately thought about the conversation we all had the weekend before you passed...about how you and I would travel around the country in one of those campers when we are old and Isis insisting that she would still want to hang out with us when she's 28. Uummm...not!

By the way, Isis doesn't like using the words "dead" or "died". So we have agreed that she can just use her comfort word "meep" instead. So, "...the weekend before daddy meeped..."

Isis and I have had a lot of conversations about you and death and what happened. One of the first things she asked me a day or two after you passed was, "Mama...what happens after death and where is daddy right now?" I paused and thought about it for a few seconds and told her that different people have different beliefs about it, but that I believe that people's spirits fly away and are reunited with the spirits of other loved ones who have passed. I also told her that you are probably having a great time and that your back doesn't hurt any more. I didn't know what else to say and I am not sure if my answer comforted her. I am not even sure if I am comforted by my own answer but I do believe that you are with grandma Rose and grandma Meenakshi, and other loved ones who have passed....especially after my dream that evening, a few hours before you passed.

A few hours before Jesse passed, I fell asleep next to Maya for around twenty minutes or so. I was waiting for Jesse to come home and I just wanted to see him and hold him because he was having a hard day. That's when I dreamt that my grandmother Meenakshi was dying. But grandma Meenakshi died in December of 2009. It was a strange and discomforting dream. I immediately woke up and sent a text to Jesse about it. He told me that it was probably my way of still processing her death since I never got a chance to say goodbye to her.

Anyway...about my conversation with Isis, Nana Yoli walked in on it. Nana Yoli told Isis about what her aunt had told her when she was a little girl and Isis seemed to like Nana Yoli's version much better than mine. She told Isis that after people die, they go to the train station and they have the option of getting on one of two trains. The train that takes them to the "maker" or "heavenly father" or the train that takes them to the place where they can be reborn and come back to earth. Isis smiled and was excited and she said, " Oh...I know which train daddy got on...the one that will help him come back to earth again!" I was proud of our pagan daughter for picking that one. (No offense Nana Yoli, we love you). I also told Nana Yoli about my dream and she believes that grandma Meenakshi was there to help you through the journey that you were going to make a few hours from then. I don't know if I believe that, but it comforted me.

Meanwhile...enjoy the blossoms in our backyard baby. They are small reminders to me that life is still beautiful.

I love you Jesse. Goodnight.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Hi baby!
Isis is high on sugar...misbehaving.
Maya is fighting sleep and refuses to close her eyes and she's teething.
I am tired. Scared. Sad. Crying.
I miss you. How are you muffin?
I love you!
I am going to try and get some sleep now. I have a long week ahead of me and many battles to wage. Wish me over me and the girls and work your magic on us.
You owe me one...remember?
Again...I love you!


Last year for Easter, we were at our friend Robert's home in Salinas where we had a wonderful time. Jesse, Isis and I drove to Salinas for the weekend and we had just found out that I was pregnant with Maya two days ago. There was so much happiness in our lives. Jesse was ecstatic when he found out that he was going to be a daddy again.

Anyway...there is a story associated with the shitty hotel we stayed at that weekend and some of us know it as the "bloody hotel" story. Well...that's for another day...another post.

Like I always tell men throw the best parties ever! And Robert does throw some pretty dope parties. Last year was the Easter hat party. People showed up with some crazy creative hats. Isis even bit and ate a peep out of someone's hat. There were jello shots being passed around and I had to find ways in which I could casually decline the shots and still not call attention to the baby in the belly. Robert did ask me a few times if I was pregnant but I just kept giggling and saying no. We didn't want to tell anyone until I got to the two month mark at least. Trust me, it was hard for all three of us to keep that secret because we were beyond overjoyed. Isis and I did great with keeping the secret, but Jesse...not so much. He ended up telling his buddy Elizabeth and reasoned with me that it didn't count since Elizabeth didn't live in California. Haha.

Jesse drank most of the shots that were offered to me while being hit on by some of the bears, which he took in stride. As the day progressed and the evening rolled in, a small group of us moved out to the pool area. Isis, the water baby she is, was excited to get in the pool for a swim. However, it was a cold night, so we all settled for the hot tub. We sat in a circle with our feet in the tub. I remember thinking that it was going to be a while before I enjoyed the hot tub again. We shared stories and made nasty jokes at each other's expense...of course all of them sexual in nature. We laughed...and laughed. Fun times.

That was last year.

I woke up this morning and decided that Isis needed to do something fun even if I wasn't up for anything.  Aunty Ericka offered to take Isis with her to Sacramento to her family party, but Isis needed to be back home early since she has school tomorrow. So our friend Carla offered to take Isis instead. Carla's daughter Kaylin and Isis are classmates and good buddies. So Isis is away right now...hunting eggs, running around, getting high on sugar, pausing every now and then to think about her daddy, but also knowing that things will be ok and that she will be ok with mommy and Maya.

I also would like to take a moment to acknowledge EVERYONE...all our friends for being there for us and for being thoughtful and for doing everything you have done and for everything you continue to do. I am humbled and grateful. Thank you.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It's the weekend. I can't keep track.

I have had to go to several government agencies and fill out numerous forms these past few days. The first question they usually ask is, "How can I help you today?" And every time I answer that question, I say, "My husband passed away last week..."

It has been sixteen days to be exact. I don't want to keep track.

I am having a hard time moving forward from that week, from that day. This is the third weekend since Jesse's passing and I am thinking about what I am (we are) going to do during the weekends in future. I miss our weekend breakfast/brunch. Jesse would make pancakes, sausages, sometimes syrup from scratch from store bought strawberries or cherries from our backyard and we ate while we watched movies. Then there were those weekends when we'd just grab the stroller, diaper bag, the girls, and head out on some local adventure. He also made sure I got a "break" during the weekends no matter what we did. I would hardly change a diaper. Jesse would take Maya to the men's restroom and change her if were out and about. I usually got to see her and hold her only for feedings and then she would hang with daddy all weekend. He would sit and chat with me while I nursed Maya and he would wait for her to finish nursing on one side so he could burp her, play with her some more before he gave her back to me. He would insist I catch up on my sleep and get out of the house for some me time. When I did go out by myself, I would start missing them after 30 minutes or so. I would begin to think: Jesse would love this sandwich, Isis would love this pastry, Maya could use some fresh air, they all need to see this wall art and listen to this music...

So I would come home and be surrounded by love and hugs again while Jesse continued to explain to me about the importance of alone time.

I do plan on getting out eventually with the girls and enjoy the beautiful California weather. But for now, I want to stay inside. I want to sleep in our bed, wrapped in our comforter, on his pillow, while I look outside the window and think about him. I still use his towel, I wear his t shirts to bed, I use his toothbrush, his bar soap...things that touched his skin. That's all I got.

"I braved the cat, Lance- for cherries to make my sweetie some cherry
syrup for her pancakes this morning- I wish y'all were here to eat them!"- Jesse, talking to our friend Lance on Facebook last year.

Friday, April 6, 2012


My Jesse was cremated earlier today.
His cold body no longer lying at the chapel.
Be warm baby.
Fly away.
And wait for me.
I will fly with you one day.

Everywhere I go.

I see you.
I see the things we used to do
Places we ate at...not too long ago
Streets we walked, holding hands
We always held hands. Always.

I see your smile
Your love for good food
Your craving for my company
Constant chatter about
Things we need to do
Things we need to see
We laughed. A lot
You were goofy
You always had your arm
Around me
My big spoon.

I sit here at this cafe
Eating lunch with your father
You look like him...
He is sad, but still smiling
The cafe reminds me of our times
At Alta Bates
Getting ready for Maya
You loved the cafeteria food
You held my hand through
Every birthing class
"Jesse, you'd make a great doula..."said the instructor

It's so lonely here without you
Close my eyes
I see you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Moments of quiet...

There have been a few times since Jesse's death when everything slows down and I have nothing to do. I am not on the phone, Maya is asleep, or I need help with whatever needs to be done and I cannot get the help right away...forcing me to take a break. These moments are terrifying and sad because they make me think about Jesse, which is not a bad thing in itself, but it forces me to acknowledge the fact that he's gone. Gone. Never to return. It causes me unbearable pain to know that he is not here to see Maya laugh for the first time. Maya used to laugh only in her sleep when Jesse was here. I remember putting her to sleep a few hours after Jesse had passed and she laughed and laughed. I like to believe that Jesse had something to do with it. On the day of his service, which I will talk about later in another post, she actually started laughing while playing with my sister, Preethi. I didn't believe it, but I witnessed it the next day and it was amazing. I wish Jesse could see it and laugh with her. She is also babbling quite a bit and expressing herself through coos and "aahhhhh's". She looks just her daddy to me. Sometimes, I also have conversations with Maya after she has nursed where she maintains complete eye contact with me and I talk to her about daddy and why mommy is sad lately and she listens attentively. I know...I know...she is only three months old, but I think she understands. She really does.

On March 19th, two days before Jesse died, we celebrated Maya's three month birthday. Jesse took this picture that day. I happened to be in Berkeley for my last post delivery appointment with my midwife Jeri, who is amazing by the way. I picked Jesse up from work and we had a mini date night. We ate at Jupiter and we both had shrimp pizza for the first time. I didn't know then that he was having chest pains while we ate that pizza, and I didn't find out until after his death. I am pissed off that he didn't tell me and I am pissed off that I couldn't figure it out telepathically. Yeah...fucking survivors guilt.

How is Isis doing? sweet Isis! She is "adjusting" fairly well given the circumstances. Watching your mom frantically try to revive your dead father in the middle of the night is not something I wish on any child. I hope the universe gives her a break. She is such a brave and strong little muffin. I will have many, many more posts dedicated just to Isis.

Well...going back to moments of quiet, there is so much going on in my head as you can tell from this circumstantial post. I keep thinking about all these things that happened recently because Jesse was just here, he was just here and now he's gone. How can I ever make sense of that?

Maya is awake now.

Writing amidst chaos

Here we go. I finally decided to start a blog for myself and create a space where I can share what I am going through since I can no longer talk to Jesse. I miss our daily, mundane conversations and also our deep discussions about politics, racism, parenting, life and everything in between. I am hoping this blog will continue to help me celebrate Jesse's life, help me grieve, and also serve as a place where our children can come back to and read memories of daddy and get to know him through my eyes and our relationship. He was a wonderful human being and I miss him dearly. I plan on writing at least once a day but I know that there will also be days when I am probably going to avoid writing or simply wont find the time to write. I know Jesse is proud of me for taking the time to do this while I am taking care of a zillion other things at the moment.

Please feel free to leave comments or say a few words or share something as I continue to fill these pages. I must warn you that I do have a tendency to cuss quite a bit so some of my posts may not appeal to you, but's my space and my words. I look forward to sharing our journey with all of you.