Today is the funeral of a friend of the family who died as a result of Covid 19. My brother is there now, and there’s nothing I can do except be encouraging, even though it puts me into the headspace where I relive every funeral I’ve ever been to. Funerals aren’t usually anyone’s cup of tea, but my brother especially, is not good with them. He has his reasons, and they’re perfectly understandable. That’s why he texted me this morning to ask if he looked okay and to go over certain things since we don’t usually get asked to attend non-Jewish funerals. There are religious and cultural differences between the two, believe me.
I’m in an okay element at the majority of funerals I attend. I’m being brutally honest when I say I’m invited to funerals, but no one ever invites me to their wedding. I’m serious about this, too, so don’t invite me to a wedding out of pity. I have nothing to offer there.
Having always been honest about life and death is likely crucial to how I handle things as an adult. My mother didn’t try to pretty it up for me when my Grandfather died, or when subsequent family members passed away after the fact. There were no bullshit stories in my home growing up, and I had no tolerance when people attempted bullshit stories with me. I haven’t changed on that level.
I cringe when people tell me how they (tried to) explain death to a child (at age three-ish or so), and fucked up royally (My words, not theirs. They think they did the right thing. My eyes rolled to Japan and are on their way back. Excuse me one moment.). I’m mortified by the shit they tell their kids because that level of dishonesty will shape them as they get older, and I’m not good with it. To this day, I still can’t tolerate the lies people tell. If you ever wonder how dishonest you come off, ask me and I’ll tell you.
Yes, I was the kid who told all the other kids that Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy weren’t real. And I’d do it all over again, too. I mildly got in trouble for my honesty growing up, but it was mostly in the sense that my mother understood why I was being so honest, and told me it was the responsibility of other parents to also be honest with their children, or not. And if “not” was on the table, then I needed to try and keep my mouth shut, so as not to interfere with what they wanted their children to believe. I don’t think I’ve ever been on board with that.
In my eyes, a funeral is where you go and pay your respects. You’re not doing it for you or those involved (unless you’re really close with them), you’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do. Period. Respect is something I find lacking in so many relationships these days, and it’s disgusting to me. If you are unable to attend, then you send something, based solely on your relationship with the survivors of the deceased. I generally send cards and fruit baskets, but last year, when my cousins lost their mother to cancer, I had trees planted in Israel in memory of her, because I knew it would mean more to them, and it did.
When my father passed away, I sorted through hundreds of cards. I’m not exaggerating; cards came daily for over three months, and there were a decent amount of people at his funeral. When my mother passed away, I didn’t get five cards in total, and I got only three phone calls. It was bizarre as hell. My support system (i.e: Family) sucked then and it sucks even worse now. I cope differently than I used to. The person who buried her parents five months apart is a completely different woman now. I am colder, harsher, and darker, but I respect myself more for that than I once did. You see, these hard things change you, and when they do, you should honor the change, and not think of it as something awful. Change means growth. That’s not negative, and don’t let people tell you otherwise.
Did I want to burn my Aunt and Uncle’s house down after my father’s funeral? Absolutely, but I didn’t (Instead, I marched over to my Uncle’s grave and tore his spirit a new asshole. It felt good to get the anger out of my system, in the moment.). Did I want to rip people to shreds at my mother’s funeral? Yes. Instead, I stayed quiet, behind dark sunglasses, like a lady, and spoke when spoken to, after eulogizing my mother. I admire the woman I was that day because behind her pain, she was poised as hell. I am still poised. If you’re kind to me, I will be kind in turn. If you’re disrespectful, it’s not beneath me to throw you into the nearest open grave and shovel dirt over you. Everyone picks their own poison with me, no pun intended.
Today, I am sad. I’m sad that people still don’t seem to understand how serious this pandemic is and I’m sad many people have had to say goodbye to loved ones way too soon, and I’m angry with the knowledge that much of this could have been prevented.
I’d like to go back to normal. I’d like to not have to wear a mask (I’ve nearly walked out without one so many times.). I’d like to not have to worry about whether or not I’ve touched something that may be contaminated, etc. I’d like for people to feel safe again and not be worried, but I’m too realistic for that. Naturally, I have definitive opinions on the three vaccines that were pushed through and approved in less than a year, too, but that’s a discussion for another day and, possibly, a different audience entirely.
For today, I wish everyone the best and hope that you’re safe, healthy, and coping to the best of your ability. If you’re not, please know you’re not alone.
copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Today, #Covid19 claimed the life of a family friend. His crime? Being told it was safe to have surgery, so that he could get back to being the healthy, active person he was. 😡 They are NOT preserving a life if Covid is part of the diagnosis, and it’s important for people to know this. They’re too afraid to try and help them in any real way, except keeping them comfortable.
PLEASE, STAY HOME. WEAR A MASK if you must go out or interact with people for work. This person died less than a week after testing positive, and he died alone. I tested negative at the beginning of the month (And I’m STILL sick, but not severely.). This easily could have been me, someone who is immuno-compromised, or anyone I know who has been forced to proactively handle their health during all of this insanity that no one could possibly be prepared for.
My primary care physician keeps telling me it’s safe to go into the office. 🙄 Two other doctors of mine were much more honest, telling me to stay home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go in. “It ISN’T safe and they CANNOT claim to provide a virus-free environment. He should NOT be saying this at all.” No, he shouldn’t, and I will be canceling my March appointment with him. I will be canceling other appointments for the beginning of next year, too. I don’t want to risk exposure, and I really can’t afford to be put at risk. None of us can.
I’m not saying you should be scared to live your life, but please, be mindful. Use common sense. Take precautions. Be mindful of the situations you’re putting yourself in.
Yes, we’re all going insane with restrictions and closings, etc. But you have to be alive in order to go insane even a little.
Another family is shattered tonight. 💔 Do your homework. If you can get vaccinated, weigh your options (It’s too early to be good for EVERY person. There ARE risks involved.). If you feel safest at home, I will NEVER judge you for it. But please, think about receiving a phone call at 2:30 a.m. and then wondering how you’ll cope with the aftermath. And if you don’t think about your family and friends, think about how you’d feel if the person was your mother, daughter, wife, father, son, husband, sibling, etc., and they died because you exposed them, unknowingly, to this crap. Yeah, it’s not a good thought or feeling.
Rest In Peace, Robert. You didn’t deserve this. 😢
I’ve been here for a little over six years (Eight years in total with WordPress), and I am proud of how this site has grown. I appreciate all the new readership that has come on board over the past few months, and in general. I wish I could hug all of you, and I’m not a hugger, so I hope you know I mean well when I say this.
I still feel like 2020 just began. I was reading something I wrote the other day, right around this time last year, and it was exactly the same in terms of what was going on from a mood standpoint. Minus any mentions of Covid, because it was only slowly becoming an issue North Americans (and most of Europe) might face. We truly had no idea what was coming our way, and I remember thinking how limited our information was, at the time. It’s disconcerting to go into another year with so many unknowns, especially since I have friends who’ve gotten sick and friends who’ve lost loved ones, as a result. I resent people claiming it’s, “like the flu” or “It’s no big deal. People just want an excuse not to go to work.” Seriously? Most people don’t have a job to go back to, and the flu has never killed anyone I know, period. The ignorance is astounding, and it starts at the top and trickles down.
The fact that we roll into another year in twelve days makes me hesitant. I’d like to err on the side of caution with this one. I don’t want to get my hopes up. As someone who tested negative for Covid, I am still concerned that if I drop my guard for a second, I could end up sick. This virus is as unpredictable as a blizzard, and equally as dangerous.
I am saying a collective prayer tonight, and I hope it keeps a lot of people safe. As for direction, I hope there are many more December 19ths where I can thank all of you, and celebrate the victories of the year.
I apologize for not being able to write this weekend, as intended. I’ve been suffering a few weeks now, not knowing exactly what was wrong. I hadn’t been exposed to anyone, so I was more in the mindset that maybe my migraine treatment was not working, which can happen. It’s not an exact science and your body can metabolize certain things faster than the next person, but yesterday things got so bad with my migraines that I went back to questioning what was causing my skull and face to hurt so much.
I took my new CGRP drug (Nurtec ODT) and hoped it would help. It made things considerably worse. By the end of the day, my skull was on fire, and I pretty much knew what was wrong. Because I’ve been suffering for weeks, I also knew I needed to see a doctor ASAP.
I went to Urgent Care to be seen, and to avoid any possible Covid exposure in my doctor’s office this coming week because Boston is still seeing an increase in cases and hospitals aren’t very safe. I’m glad I did. For the first time in a long time, going into a new experience with someone I’d never met before, I was treated like a human-being who was not “drug seeking” or trying to be a pain in the ass. I was treated like an intelligent patient who simply wanted to feel better, not worse. In less than an hour, I had my diagnosis, my prescriptions had been sent to the pharmacy, and I was glad I know my body as well as I do.
I will be down for the count for the next ten days, perhaps longer, though, as they chose to run a PCR test on me for Covid, and the results probably won’t be back until the 14th. Suggesting I hunker down for the time-being was a given. Even though I am pretty certain I wasn’t exposed to anyone who is actively ill, the nurse practitioner thought it would be a good idea since I could very well be asymptomatic. I can already feel the first dose of antibiotics working. This one is new to me and hits hard, almost as if it’s telling you, “You are NOT okay. You’re sick and you need to take care of yourself.” This is true.
I’ve been dealing with so many rough things that when I first started feeling lousy, I attributed it to lack of quality sleep. At one point, during the summer, I was almost convinced I had Covid, except Fibromyalgia patients can experience many of the flu-like symptoms of this particular virus. When I started feeling better two weeks later and had no fever, I didn’t sweat it. I’ve been extremely careful. I am not running a fever. In fact, I’m running at about 95 degrees. I can taste and smell everything far more than one might care to. I’ve mostly had head and an insane amount of face pain, sometimes stemming from my neck (Stress and tension in an arthritic neck is horrendous. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone. Add in rain and snow. I wanted to rip my bones right out of my body. My injured foot from January was so bad the other day, I was nearly in tears from the pain.), and this morning I woke up with a sore throat. I am grateful to the person who saw me today because there was a lot of compassion present. I will be informing the company she works for how amazing she was, because everyone deserves to be treated as I was today, but especially as someone who has experienced over a decade of medical trauma, gaslighting, and neglect, it meant the world to me.
If you need me, I’ll be writing and reading this week, in between taking my medicine and resting as much as possible. Oh, and don’t touch my Starbucks cup. As of thirty minutes ago, it became Strawberry Bubly and a heavy pour officially made it 100 proof. When I’m really sick, I usually do a couple of shots of whisky or vodka a day to disinfect my throat and speed up healing. This is a tried and true method that always works for me, and it’s something I know other cultures also incorporate into healing. I can’t hang with you if you can’t shoot straight vodka. 😉 Not the American crap, either. It’s got to be Russian. There are rules.
Be well, everyone, and stay safe.
Everyone I spoke to this week, save two or three people, brought up today’s election. I am trying to be positive, yet realistic. I am not telling anyone who to vote for because I don’t feel it’s my place. We all have different things that are important to us when we vote. I have a list of things I have to weigh in order for someone to get my vote; it’s important to me that I elect officials who’ve earned the spot.
I am an incredibly free thinker. My father used to refer to me as, “My daughter, the liberal.” The truth is, I see things differently than he did and I see things differently than a lot of people do. Also, I am not one for strict party loyalty. That’s not how I envision the future of this country. It would be hard not to see the obvious division.
I’m a registered Independent and have voted this and that way from day one. I remember my voting record from my first election until now. I have always tried to make a fair decision, even in primary elections.
I come from a family of predominantly staunch Democrats (My Mom’s side and my Dad’s. I don’t know the history behind why this became a generational thing.). Often, I avoid political discussions with them simply because they stress me out to the Nth degree. If they suspect you think differently from them, it can become a fight. Never argue with the lawyers in your family; they are determined to argue until they turn one color or another.
My cousin, Amy, represents the 88th Assembly District in the state of New York. https://nyassembly.gov/mem/Amy-Paulin I mention this because I feel the need to be transparent about it. I disagree with some of the things she supports, like gun control, but not everything. She’s clearly done great work for the past nineteen years. Her reputation speaks for itself. Don’t worry; she wouldn’t know me if she walked past me on a street corner anywhere, but my mother and Aunt grew up with her and her siblings. I try to be courteous and respectful about this. Trust me, she hasn’t seen me since I was under the age of six. But, I digress…
For me, as I edge closer to politics to help get certain things changed in various communities, I find myself having to hold representatives accountable. Many people have pointed out that I am the right person for that particular job. Having a strong voice is one thing; knowing how to use it properly is another thing entirely.
I’ve voted in almost every state I’ve lived in, but this morning, I tracked my ballot as it pertains to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the General Election. 😒 It was accepted last week and is ready to be counted.
After a lot of deliberation, I made a decision I can live with, one I know won’t harm my family or friends. It was not a, “red versus blue” scenario for me. I weighed so many things in my head. Mental health care was first, so that no one in this country slips through the cracks. I know how hard my own battle has been to find the right doctor (and I always make it clear that I am grateful to have insurance. My insurance has been a G-d send.), and to still be searching for a therapist after over a year of searching when my previous one proved to be way too flaky, and that’s putting it mildly. My doctor validated that I have done the hard work of introspection and healing on my own, without a therapist. He feels I’ve done a great job solo, but the truth is, I shouldn’t have to do it without an ounce of support, though he has been amazing.
Women’s rights are important all across the board, and especially women’s health care on every level. I am always going to be pro-choice. I don’t feel insurance companies should be allowed to dictate our care to us, nor should they drop patients with cancer or any high-cost treatment needs. I have never seen a man dropped from his insurance anywhere near as quickly as I’ve seen women constantly being cut off from crucial healthcare over the past ten years. Many women are losing their OB/GYN simply because they are on medication the doctor they’ve seen for 20+ years is not comfortable with them taking, so they are being let go as a patient with a letter of dismissal. The reasoning isn’t even valid, but I’ve seen the exact same form letter sent to hundreds of people all over the country, and I’m sure many more have not shared them with their pain groups or specific advocacy groups. Not a single phrase is different from one letter to the next. Don’t even ask me how pain patients are being treated because it’s getting worse every single day. My own doctor is playing games with my pain and the lack of treatment he is providing. I am angry as hell over how much money I have spent on CBD products in the past five months. Let me be clear; I know it is a privilege to be able to do it at all. I know it is a privilege to do anything to attempt to reduce my pain levels, despite the fact that my insurance fully covers medication I would much prefer to take. I don’t take that knowedge lightly at all.
Countries we give aid to was on the list, as well, because I take issue with how we help everyone (including a long list we should not be giving a penny to), but will allow our own people, many mentally ill individuals, even our own veterans to become homeless and/or to remain ill with no assistance at all. Not everyone who is homeless is an, “uneducated bum”. Let’s be clear about that because too many people say it without realizing how quickly it could happen to them. There are people on the streets with doctorates and truly brilliant, gifted minds. They were allowed to fall through the cracks of a broken system. That is not okay with me.
I thought a great deal about our entire healthcare system. I talked with two of my doctors, and friends who are doctors in this country (and in other countries). I have a few doctors in my family, too. They’re all quite furious with how Covid has been handled here. They’re still fighting for PPE all these months later. Many people were forced to purchase all of their own PPE materials, and they cannot afford to keep doing so.
I thought about all of the small businesses that were wiped out due to Covid. I see more empty buildings than full ones, even in bustling places like Boston, right near Fenway Park. I only know a handful of people who were able to keep things going, professionally downsize to one brick and mortar location instead of 2+, and many who created businesses during the start of quarantine which allows them to create amazing things from home.
I thought about all of the bigger businesses I never could have imagined closing their doors, including hundreds of restaurants which have been around for longer than you or me. I keep finding myself startled by the boarded up businesses that are no longer. It jolts me to my core because I don’t know how we get back to helping the working class, the middle class are the heart and soul of this country, and they have been epically failed. We MUST support our people with financial assistance until there’s a solid vaccine in place that is accessible to all, and we cannot allow them to be called, “lazy”, because there are far less jobs available now than there were this time a year ago. They must receive support until they are able to return to a job safely, and for millions, they will be starting over. No one who is able-bodied and healthy is sitting around not looking for work right now. People have bills to pay and families they provide for. Even if you’re single, you still need to be able to cover your expenses and food.
We must expand legitimate affordable housing and make homes more affordable to purchase. I have watched a lot of new construction go up this year and the prices are beyond ludicrous. Realistically speaking, most people cannot afford $5000 a month for an apartment, and even if they can, it’s beyond wasteful unless it is short-term. Many people can’t afford half that amount, even with roommates to help cover expenses. If you’re paying $2000 a month on rent, minus utilities, you just tossed away $24,000 in a year, and you don’t get any of that back on your income tax return. As a home owner, you are able to deduct a portion of your home each year, more so if you are working from home. Some people don’t make $24,000 a year, so when I say “affordable housing”, I am not saying let people live in disgusting conditions. No way. They should have just as much access to all the, “luxury apartments” that go up daily all across this country. The ultra rich should not be dictating real estate prices to the middle class, or to those who live below the poverty line. Everyone deserves a safe roof over their heads that cannot be taken away from them.
I grew up middle class, in one of the greatest cities in the world. I had no clue my father actually made a very good, often six figure, living and didn’t always make the best decisions with money. One decision he made cost his family a house that would be worth millions or tens of millions now. I try to make the most responsible decisions possible so that I don’t have to look back on regrets that large.
All too many people on the front lines have lost their lives to Covid, predominantly healthcare and food workers, simply by going to work and trying to help others. That is not something I can abide by, either.
I am thinking a great deal about the violence in this country, especially coming from police officers. A man was shot in Massachusetts today, all because one officer pulled his weapon while others tried to contain the situation with a taser, which failed to work somehow. They killed someone who was mentally ill. I am beyond outraged by how many mentally ill people are being murdered in cold blood by officers with itchy trigger fingers. I am equally outraged by police murdering people and judging them based on nothing more than the color of their skin. Racism in this country is at an all-time high, as are anti-Semitic attacks (New York City, take a long hard look at your mayor, governor, and some of your elected “officials”.), and attacks on places of worship from homegrown terrorists. I am all for peaceful protests, but not supportive of destruction of property or burning anything down. Unfortunately, many people don’t feel they have any other choice. 😦 This needs to be addressed, over time. There’s no quick fix for any of it.
Have you been shopping online more now than ever before? I absolutely have. In the ten years I’ve been an Amazon shopper (I might be off by a few years), I have never relied so heavily on any kind of service as I have with Prime this year. I probably see a dozen, or more, Amazon trucks each day. This doesn’t include all of the people delivering groceries in their personal vehicles. Oftentimes a vehicle is down the street and I am the tenth stop. They might be dropping off something minor, like when I had to replace a belt and saw that I was also low on socks, or they might be delivering roughly 80% of my grocery list for 2-3 weeks. Please, if you are using grocery delivery in any capacity, make sure your driver receives a tip. If you want to pay them in cash, put it into an envelope and let the driver know in your delivery instructions where it will be. Show them your appreciation because it is a true privilege to have your groceries brought to you. People in other highly developed countries have not mentioned this to me at all. The drivers may be going to tons of homes, but they’re working harder than you might realize. Be appreciative. Many of them are working for Amazon to make sure they aren’t stuck at home looking for a job right now that may not be available for another year or two. Many of the people who’ve delivered for me were genuinely shocked when I came out with a mask to make sure they got a tip (Sometimes, the credit card system doesn’t allow me to add it in and, obviously, it leaves me frustrated. I don’t want anyone to feel unappreciated.). One woman nearly cried, and I want to stress the importance of being courteous to those who are doing a service for you.
Please stay safe if you’re headed to the polls today. I’ve had people report long and short lines, among other things. I am concerned about people’s safety and the so-called, “poll watchers”. I’ve never rolled my eyes harder, or maybe I have. It will be hard to escape the news in the coming days, weeks, and possibly months. Please place your safety, and that of your loved ones, above all else. Cast your ballot and breathe calmly in the safety of your own home.
Side note: November is #NationalVeteransMilitaryFamiliesMonth. I’m repping #Green💚 for #MentalHealthAwareness and for our #Veterans.
I wore this shirt yesterday (The design has been discontinued, but you can find others HERE by looking for Mental Health Awareness. I highly recommend this t-shirt company. Their products are high quality and the shirts are really soft.) and my first manicure in eight months is Essie in Heart of the Jungle (lighter shade) and Sweater Weather on the ring fingers. Top coat is Nail-Aid Gel Xtreme Shine. Hand care is AHAVA (15% off right now) and Gloves In A Bottle. I will change up the color before Thanksgiving, but clearly, I’m showing my support. I practice what I preach, even if I do it a little more colorfully than others might.
My local Congressman is up for reelection. It’s my second time voting for him. He’s a Marine veteran, and a Scorpio. He’s a crucial component to the future of this nation. As a registered Independent, I proudly back him. No, he didn’t pay me for my endorsement as a #Writer.
G-d help us all. Again, stay safe. 🙏
copyright 2020 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Please contact your state representatives, Congressmen, and Senators. We aren’t, “all in this together”, unless we’re all using our voices correctly and achieving the goal. Even if you aren’t affected by this yet, imagine how you’d feel if no one had your back if this is what you needed during a pandemic. #UseYourVoice
Photos fully credited to extendpua.org
This is NOT okay. Please help spread the word. Every single unemployed individual in America should continue to receive the additional $600 a week of #PUA until this pandemic is completely behind us, as a nation. #FPUC #ExtendPUA