For the Teabag in All of Us

Not that kind of teabag. Don't be gross.

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Location: South Florida, United States

If I go about this properly, the blog will (eventually) explain enough about me, so let me just explain the blog, or at least the title of it, here:

"A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


No no, no worries... I'm not saying goodbye to blogger... although I am leaving for that conference tomorrow morning... But I have some goodbyes that I need to say and, for different reasons, I can't say them directly to the people for whom they're meant. I know I'm overdue for a post and I've had this one brewing in my head for several days now, but it's just so damn BUSY around here! So I will try to do these goodbyes the justice they deserve while keeping this post short as it's late and I have yet to finish packing. And I will do Terry's meme next week-ish. Promise!

Goodbye Joanna.
We knew this was coming for quite some time now, but it's still a shock to accept the reality of it. Joanna was my friend Julie's sister, and she was diagnosed with lung cancer -- stage 4 -- about 14 months ago. I only knew her through Julie, but we'd hung out several times over the years... less frequently since she got sick. She really rocked that elfin short haircut that so many women sport after chemo. I mean she made it look GOOD. The last time I saw her, I cooked for her -- one of my specialties. Not sure I will ever be able to make that dish again without thinking of her.

The memorial service was at Julie's parents' house on Sunday afternoon, and it was very painful. Not only did her parents bury a child (she was 38), but her children buried a parent. They were all so strong, and the girls, who are 15 and 9, looked beautiful. I can't imagine what they're going through.

Jo, if I'd known it would be the last time I'd see you, I would have given you a hug.

Goodbye Ian.
I loved you and counted on you and thoroughly enjoyed our friendship, our conversations, and our music. I wish it didn't have to be this way. I wish you'd been more open with me about your feelings. I don't mean to say that doing so would have changed anything -- now or at any time -- but still I wish I'd known. In fact, even today, I wish I knew what it is that you feel. But perhaps it's moot, because things are what they are, and I do not want to put myself in that position again. Like we always said, if things were different... well, they're not. They probably never will be. And I'm sorry that suddenly means something different than it used to, or maybe it always meant one thing to you but you never told me. I do not know, but I have to respect your wishes, senseless as they may seem to me.

You left in a haze of beer and apology and you will be missed. Please know that my heart is open to you any time you want to talk. We'll always have Franz, Keane and the Arctic Monkeys. Oh and PS, I never told you, but I've always thought of Bend & Break as "our" song.

And now, little bloggers, I'm off to bed. No goodbyes, just goodnight. :o)


Blogger Natalia said...

Wow...I didn't know about Julie's sister. I hope she is coping OK, especially with the baby and all. I guess she's got to see the full circle of life in the last few months.

And well...Ian...I guess I always kinda thought that he might have something going in his head and heart that was more than what you did. Sometimes friendships can't take one of the people having that kind of feelings. You never know. Maybe he'll be back. It's good that you are staying open to it.

Yaay you'll be here tomorrow. I still need to go to Sephora.


8/17/2006 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger JMai said...

Actually I am here today! But with no cellphone -- what a bonehead thing to do. Derr.

You better not go to Sephora without me. Of course I don't have my gift card though. Dammit!

Also, can I just say? This hotel is fantastic. I got a robe and there's duck-shaped soap in the bathroom. Which, by the way, also has a television in it. Goodness!

8/17/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Natalia said...

Oh the Pea is am amazing place. Maybe you'll get to see the ducks when they bring them down. It's quite hilarious. Well I am tied up until 10, so it's prolly not pragmatic. But I did get your email and see that you forgot the mobile...hehehe...good thing Chulo will come to your rescue. I might get out a bit earlier tomorrow and we can hit Sephora at the Florida Mall...cause the other one doesn't have one.


8/17/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger masgblog said...

I recently started a blog, and stumbled upon your blog, and have been reading it pretty religiously. This particular post, however, hit home. I too recently lost someone very close to me, also lung cancer. She never told me how she really was (though I somehow knew), and kept all of the details to herself. She made her family swear secrecy.

While on vacation, I was told that she had passed away. I am pretty angry, shocked, and dismayed about the whole thing. She was such a really good person, and we were honorary sisters.

So sorry for your loss.

8/17/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Butt -- not only did I see the ducks, but I saw the ducks go poop. I figure they must have a special person whose job it is to run around after the ducks and clean up their messes.

Mas -- welcome, welcome! I can't tell you how tickled I am to have someone comment on my blog and tell me they read it religiously! Thank you!

Lung cancer is horrible. Joanna was a smoker, but the doc told her that even if she'd smoked 3 packs a day since she was 11, and before that grew up in a house where everyone smoked and no one ever let any fresh air in, she wouldn't have gotten lung cancer at such an elevated stage from that exposure. It's an extremely toxic disease made all the worse because there's such scant treatment.

I'm sorry for your loss as well.

8/17/2006 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger Natalia said...

I will try to remember that when I feel bad about my job.


8/18/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger masgblog said...

Thank you, jmai. I think I may have gotten your link through the Dork-O-Rama link, another that I enjoy. My blog is coming along. A work in progress.

My Pat, knew about her illness at Christmas, but would not tell me. She knew at Easter, when we got together, and would not tell me. But I had taken some pictures of her, and there was something in her eyes.

I had spoken to her 3 days before she passed, and she said that we would speak when I got home from vacation. She mentioned things during our conversation, that hinted but never admitted. Then she checked out on July 24th. I had accessed messages for the home machine, and there 2 from her husband; the second message included his cell phone number, instructions to call him, and ended with him crying.

So very sad, and I am having a hard time dealing with it.

I'll be back to visit your blog though. Chin up. Come and visit my blog sometime.

8/18/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Good-bye's are too sad. You just sort of jumped me with that sad post. Please give a warning the next time you do that! You know how sensitive.

8/19/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

thank you for sharing

i was ian once, but i told him the truth and he lied to me. lied so i would stay swirling around his little flame and feeding his ego.

i told him in a two page letter about the emotional train wreck he's helped create and asked him to be more aware of his behaviour in terms of others and he said he would.

and the next time that i saw him he was doing it again, turning us into a pair, sitting close with me and staying by me most of the time ... and when i went to shake his hand good bye he looked at me, clasped my hand and pulled me in to hug him.

standing there with his bare hand on my bare stomach i knew i could never be his friend again... because he wasn't mine.

so that's the other side of the coin when someone in a mess like that isn't honest.

amazing how in all cases telling the truth would have fixed it.

[actually, i had an ian once and he told me... and we're still friends and he's happily in love with someone else now]

8/24/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...'s really bad when you haven't even commented on your OWN blog for a week! those left reading me must think I suck. Or else have been sucked up into the vast unknown. Otherwise known as the office... ahhhh it's so busy! But I am happy ... and Chulo's great too... also keeping me occupied -s-

Masg -- that sounds terribly sad... I hope you know that she thought she was doing the right thing by not telling you.

Terry is brilliant. I love her blog, such a fantastic lady.

Phil -- Sorry! I didn't mean to bum you out. I guess my blog entries are usually a lot lighter. I promise a warning next time I veer off course :o)

Sass -- it all makes sense, but he never told me. Even now I feel a little stupid and like perhaps I'm being a bit unrealistic and arrogant about it. I do miss him, though... he's a good man and was a good friend.

Truth is nearly always best.

8/25/2006 11:31:00 PM  

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