I hope you know that I am writing. I hope you are communicating with me like it often seems. I don't see why it wouldn't be because things don't make sense if you're not.
I am so sorry for all you had to go through. I never wanted you to be so sick or to be hurt or to suffer. I tried my best. I tried to get doctors to pay attention. I tried to get doctors to get you a decent diagnosis.
I had hope for you when Adult Protective Services took you from the house. Then, it got sad when you had to go t oth medical group home. I hated that for you and the fact that they never told me anything.
Then, I had hope for you in the nursing home I knew that you would have trouble talking after a bit as I couldn't understand you, even though you wanted to talk. However, it seemed you were doing better.
Yet, I know you chose palliative care, I wish there was more I could've done for you.
You were always there for me before being taken from the house and I could talk to you when I had feelings of missing Daddy or Mama or any of our doggies.
Not having somebody to talk to is going to be the hardest.
It's never a relief to lose a loved one. I had hope for Briana when she got to the nursing home in Plaquemine. They were giving her some type of medicine to break up her secretions. They had her eating and she seemed to be doing better. They had sent her to the hospital when she had aspirated and they sent her up again soon after thinking she had aspirated, but she didn't, so I felt pretty good as that meant they were keeping a close watch on her. She had even told me that she had a physical therapist and there was a nurse or therapist that would come and help her brush her teeth. She seemed to be so happy about that. At least she was somewhere she enjoyed much more than the group home.
Yet, thinking about that, I can only think about how I was being "groomed" all my life to be a caretaker, but one never realizes when they are being groomed. It's not just for sexual abuse or cults. It can happen for almost anything.
In high school, I had to start cooking dinner for my family and make sure to get it done by 5pm most nights because of my Daddy's diabetes. Yes, it was almost every day.
Then Daddy got sick and had his left leg amputated below the knee and I would have to go shopping for groceries while he was in the hospital and when he came home. I didn't always have to cook, but if my Mama didn't want to cook, I often had to cook or pick up dinner. Briana and I had to do things to take care of Daddy. I had to do a lot for Daddy with his wheelchair. I even remember how one time he wanted to go to a store and he still was not strong enough to truly go out to do things, but he made me go out with him in his wheelchair and he was not just letting me push him (though difficult) and was acting like he could move and then he fell over in the yard and was passed out and a neighbor had to come help me and get him into bed. Then he was asleep for hours and I thought I was fine with things, but he woke up and then he was angry that we never went to the store and acted like it hadn't been hours.
Once Briana got her diagnosis of Asperger's, my parents never went to the counseling sessions with her. It was always me. I had to take her. I had to go. I had no idea why my Mama wasn't going. Of course, we also found that Mama probably had Asperger's and then she did get the diagnosis or close to one or something like that. So, I was the one that was being groomed to take care of Briana, even though when younger, she usually drove me crazy and the leniencies our parents gave her compared to how they treated me drove me crazy.
Then, after Daddy passed, Mama supposedly took care of things. She did have control of the finances, but I was always asking her if she was sure that we had enough money. She would say we did and then when she got so sick, I realized the truth as I had to handle the finances. Briana did help, but, of course, I was running around, bringing Mama to doctor's appointments and hospitals. Mama did drive and sometimes drove, but it came to where I could not trust her to drive and it was more of a nightmare when she insisted on driving somewhere, but I wasn't able to keep her at home, no matter how much I tried.
So, then Mama passed and of course, I wasn't going to not take care of Briana even though it was not always the best. And while it was a chore to still learn how to communicate with her better, it was worth it. It was never easy and having people judge me for how many people judged her (which they shouldn't have done, anyway) was never easy. Learning to communicate and interact with Briana over the years helped us be closer together even with the tons of challenges that I always had and that never really stopped. You have to choose your battles.
Everything is so back and forth with my emotions. I cry and then I stop and then something makes me laugh and I like that. Then, at times, I feel fine and comforted and even like Briana is communicating with me at times.
Then, I go and have these feelings of "What was I even fighting for?" but, I know, of course, that I wanted my sister to live. Then, the feeling of complete helplessness because I had no idea about her medical conditions. I had no idea what to tell the doctor from Baton Rouge when he called. I was never happy that they would just keep doing the same stuff and not try to find anything new.
Then, I think, Briana was probably pretty miserable with her body betraying her. Yet, she put on a brave face at least at the end.
Then I also get angry at Evergreen and their doctors for ever giving her Wellbutrin and not even letting her know as she was never supposed to have it. It was SO OBVIOUS when she got off of it. When they had her on it, she would message me on Facebook, "Why am I here?" and when I called her she would ask, "Why am I here?"
When she got them to finally stop, her brain cleared up and she seemed to understand more. I don't know if she remembered everything, but she wasn't asking me "Why am I here?" When she got to call me from the nursing home in Plaquemine, she talked to me about things, mainly missing her dogs, but I could usually get her to talk about Niblet and Radar and get her to love that they could hear her over the speaker phone.
It's so difficult and as other siblings (apparently, that's what caretaker siblings of special needs individuals call themselves as I am in a group) have said it is a very specific type of grief as we've had the issues of caretaking.
And it is hard and confusing. And yet, it is good to know that Briana is not suffering.
And yet, it is not like when my Mama passed. Yet, both basically ended in questions of why did I fight so much?
However, I also know that Briana chose to be on palliative care. She was always very strong willed and I have a feeling she would have found a way to eat something by mouth even if she was not supposed to eat by mouth. I don't think she ever got to try a hazelnut M&M, but I'd imagine that food in heaven is much better than anything on earth or that the food in heaven can taste like anything you want and is still better than anything on earth.
But, for me, it's hard and it's strange. I go back and forth from feeling like she should be here and wondering what I'll do (as I saw from back in 2016 a post when I told her that I didn't know what I'd do without my sister) to the feeling of, "Well, I now get to be completely myself" again.
And, then, I think of things like how she said she was proud of me for different things and I wonder, "Who will tell me they are proud of me for things I do?"
And I don't look forward to being alone for the holidays, especially with this virus that makes it so much worse.
Not long after I posted the status about the questions being answered, I went to look at things posted as comments and there were googly eyes on a falcon hood.
Briana LOVED(S) googly eyes.
When she was in the nursing home in Lake Charles (that was quite a long time ago now), I was going to try to buy some Googly eyes and we would put them on things so she could have something she loved, but I never got the chance. Things got too hectic with trying to take care of her and trying to get everything else done.
Briana, if you are looking down from heaven and paying attention (I think you are, or at least are listen to me), you heard that Trevor from The Arrogant Worms answered the two questions we came up with when we were going to Seguin back in 2006 (I think) to see Jonathan Rundman.
Where is planet Urf? He said it is right next to Flarvorgame (or maybe it was Flarvorgain?) and if you look right by it, then you see Planet Urf.
Can Gene Simmons lick his elbow? Yes, of course, but it's gross.
Last night, I had this weird thought, "What if you could take a pill that made your farts smell like unicorns and rainbows?" And it kinda seemed like Briana was giving me the second half of the thought.
I was getting really sad (I'm still sad, but not quite as bad) with missing Briana. Then, in my work, a ticket (that's the term for the requests from restaurants and customers with e-mails) from a restaurant showed up and I saw it had been there for 11 minutes and the name of the restaurant is Pretzelmaker. Briana loved(s) the number 11 and loved(s) pretzels.
I was looking for something happier and hoping I could find it (a stylized picture of Radar that Briana drew one time - I think it was when we went to Austin and Marble Falls to see Lost And Found at the last concerts in Texas).
I kept coming across my posts from all the times she was sick, and excuse the language, all the crap the hospitals and doctors put us through. I never thought she had it easy along with all the stress that I had. It's not like she was eating and having a relaxing time in the hospitals. I was always concerned about her and, of course, wanting to visit her and I was reading how much doctors DID NOT do in my posts . . .
Never given a diagnosis. Even the doctor from Our Lady of the Lake would call me and he would ask ME how long she had been having trouble managing her secretions. Um, you're the doctor and she hadn't been with me since October 2019. You need to be asking people who would know these things.
I know we wanted to see each other again so much. Maybe she gets to see me every day now.
I still cry because I miss her (sometimes I still cry because of missing my parents or missing my past doggies . . . so, duh?)
Yet, I am more at ease and can smile and laugh more than I ever did after each of my parents passed. I KNOW Briana believed in Jesus because we had those discussions often. Briana also definitely has a legacy that is hers as she made her games and she has some on Kongregate, and at least my favorite one works. I'm also going to try to be true to a story that she wanted to write, but I don't remember EVERYTHING, so from up in heaven, she'll have to forgive me if I don't get it all right with what she explained.
At least I would always remember to tell Briana that I loved her when she would call me and thankfully the last time she called me, it was not while I was working, so I got to talk to her a bit
. Briana LOVED to draw dog noses and she was good at it. It was so cute.
I'm sad because I miss Briana, but then she also still seems to talk to me from heaven in a way. One of the things that REALLY bothered me for some reason after my Mama passed was "Are there books in heaven?" Tonight, Briana seems to be telling me, "And you can read ALL THE BOOKS!"#RememberingBriana #BrianaStillTalksToMe
Every now and then I would call Briana "Noodle Nose." She knew that I was just being silly. I was probably in 5th or 6th grade and we were on a grocery shopping trip at Kroger. There was a book at the checkout that was called, "Things to Call Your Sister," and it was just full of silly things. I picked it up quickly and one of the pages said, "Noodle Nose," so I called her "Noodle Nose."
I told her why, so she understood that I was just being silly.
I've never found that book anywhere.#RememberingBriana
Sometimes it seems like Jesus is letting Briana talk to me from heaven and I pray it is true. Answers or silly conversations seem to enter my mind at times. They've not been AS silly as things could get with her in the flesh, but they are still silly.
Tonight, I was thinking, "Well, if I want to be happier at times, I could think that Briana went back to her alien family." (This was a running joke that they were going to come back to get her.)
I seemed to be able to understand her saying that she got to go back to Planet Marshmallow Fudge.
Then, I was thinking my response of, "But you said Planet Marshmallow Fudge had been destroyed."
And then I seemed to get the answer, "But it was restored in heaven."
I hope she always gets to talk to me all my life like that. I pray to Jesus that she does.
And, who knows, maybe there is some Planet Marshmallow Fudge in heaven as Briana created it in her mind and God could make whatever places he wanted in heaven - or Briana was being completely silly because that's who God made her.#RememberingBriana #BrianaStillTalksToMe
I'm coping and praying and asking Jesus if Briana can somehow communicate with me, though I will always miss our fun sister conversations. I mean, I am going to miss being able to sit with somebody and just randomly have a discussions about things like if children stay vampires after losing their baby fangs (https://www.facebook.com/notes/bridget-ilene-delaney/questions-to-which-we-want-to-know-the-answers-/10152896488787695/
), or how IHOP has the best scrambled eggs and yet IHOE wouldn't be a good name for a restaurant, or listening to Briana's songs or silly stories she would create while doing chores.
Of course, none of that was really happening since she was sick in March 2019, but I know that she hoped to be back doing those things, too.
Perhaps Jesus can let her tell me stories in my dreams and I can remember them. They were always these funny short stories and funny short songs.
Here's one of her things she created while she was washing dishes back in 2014.
"Welcome to the LIE-brary. We have a non-fiction section, but none of the books tell any truth. Here you will find such information that Abraham Lincoln was a three-legged apostle and that the word 'narthex" means to intimidate your opponent with cheese. And that the game Angry Birds was based on a true story that occurred during the 14th century. And that Franz Schubert died after eating so many blueberries that he exploded."
I think I might have written this before, but I loved that Briana named her feet Fred and Ginger after not liking that somebody we knew would say, "Use Pete and Joe" for walking places. She said that it made sense to name them after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It didn't matter which was which. I asked her a few times and I think it would change. I know at times she would shrug.
Sometimes, I try to think of things as I know that any one of those times that Briana threatened to run away, if she had actually found a way to run away, I never would have known where she went, but it is difficult because she never did succeed and we became much closer.
It makes me sad seeing Facebook always giving me games asking if I can beat her at them.
I started getting sad when I was regualarly beating her at word games because when she was healthy, that was rare. She was so good at word games. She loved things like Boggle and Scrabble.
It seems so wrong, losting your little sister at the age of 36 - but I know she has gone on to her eternal glory. It is so very difficult, though.
And it is difficult for me to think, "You did your best." My parents were like that with school work, but not things at home as I got older. "My best," wasn't okay . . . I was supposed to live up to their standards . . . and yet, my home was full of love. My parents let me live with them while I kept looking for a job and then when Daddy died, Mama, Briana, and I all decided it would be good to get a house together - we were a very loving family - but the "do you best" thing somehow disappeared for me UNLESS it was school work (and then, sometimes in college, it wasn't that beause I was in journalism and not the hard sciences). When I thought I was supposed to be pursuing Youth Ministry, one time my Daddy literally yelled at me, "What's more important: God or a job?" And he wanted me to answer, "a job."
When Briana was alive, okay, and had her adult trike, she would "adopt" a homeless man. There was a man she had that was "her homeless man" for a while and I got to know him, too. Sadly, he died of pneumonia.
We had always seen him outside of the Dollar Tree that was the closest one to our house. Radar loved him and he her. He was a very nice man and it shows the heart that Briana had.
It was common for her to do such a thing.
I'm sure I've written more as it is so complicated