The Adventures of Kidney Boy

A Journal About Living With End Stage Renal Disease. Dialysis. Transplants. Love. Family. Friends. The Unsung Donor. This is my life, from the end of a needle to the bottom of a pill bottle.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Nanny Chicken

 My great grandmother was alive for most of my life - which was a pretty amazing gift. I came to appreciate it much more as I aged and realized not everyone had that. And not only did I have her in my life - she was just amazingly awesome.  She loved all of us great-grandkids too; there were a lot of us!! My mother was one of nine kids... so she already had nine grandchildren... and then came to have 20+ great-grandchildren... and she always was there for us. My mom would take us over to her house, a really cool little ranch with a neat garden out back, a walnut tree... a candy dish full of Brach's mixed candy for us to have whenever we wanted, and a basement full of books.  Just thinking about it all as I write makes me smile.  I miss her very much, especially as I've aged and had children of my own. But I am so happy for the long life she lived.

At family gatherings, she used to make trays full of what came to be known as "Nanny Chicken". Now the actual secrets of preparation are secret, but in my own estimation, it's basically "Shake n' Bake" with a few twists. Whatever the case, it was always delicious - and a hit at our large get togethers! What I love is that now she's gone, my Mom and her sisters will make it for family gatherings now.  It's referred to as "Nanny Chicken" and every time we have it... the taste reminds me of her, and all the great things she brought into our lives. This kind of silly thing is how people live on - and, let's be real - food is love.  I love that in this small way, we keep her close during important family times. I love that I have the honor of this in my life... that I get to be a part of something that celebrates someone like that.  The old matriarch of our family. These are the things that really matter in life - and not everyone is gifted with them. I was just very, very lucky to be born into what I was, and I remind myself of that on the harder days, when I start to feel like life's been unfair to me. I have had to deal with a lot over the years - but now more than ever I realize it's the idea and celebration of things like "Nanny Chicken" that have carried me through the tough times.  That's love.  That's real. That is what the fight is all about. That is what the struggle to survive in the face of doom is about. 

Course, I love the esoteric idea behind it all, but right now... I want a plateful of Nanny Chicken all the same.  Cause that stuff was delicious.

Monday, August 2, 2021

It's almost always the lonliest at 2:30 AM

 Middle of the night. I'm.... not sleeping. Of course. I fell asleep on the couch for a half hour earlier, so for some reason now, I'm awake. And alone. I have the snoring of my beloved Boston Terrier to keep me company, but other than that - it's me. Alone. With all these thoughts in my head.  My head feels like it's 6 miles across in times like this. I didn't know I could have this many thoughts.

But here I am. Awake. Forty-Three years old, at 2:30 AM on a Sunday Night in my empty house. My kids will be here in about four hours. I should sleep. But I'm lost in my thoughts. And of course, I'm lost in my loneliness.  Truth is, I could be in a room filled with people, and I'd still be lonely.  It's always lonely in my head, and honestly, there's where I exist. At least for me. I can see why some people develop soliocism. But I know the world and people exist outside of me.  But me... truly me, just me, exists in this ole noggin and I have to live with that.  It's a weird mixture of extreme happiness, joy, excitement and passion - and crushing lonlieness, sadness and regret. Both in large waves. Sometimes I think I like to sleep so much just so I don't have to be conscious with my own thoughts. Sure, I'll have weird dreams. But I can kind of ride those out.  Here, I have to live with every dripping second of what now feels like - and in full transparency, I do not like how now feels.  I am not happy to be alive right now.  I am not.  I hope I can ride this portion of my life out and find a new, better place inside me somewhere. Because right now, it hurts to exist, and while I am exceedingly good at living with and dealing with pain, I am tired of it and I hope a positive change is coming.  I have people depending on me, and I want to be there for them.