Bright Days Ahead, Dark Days Behind

August is almost half over and it’s already been too eventful.

We had our biggest fundraiser of the year at work on August 4th. The short version of that story is: we rock in the face of danger! We tried a new system, all digital, ran into a few glitches and pulled it off because we had an awesome team.

A few days after the event I had my yearly doctor’s visit and they asked if I wanted to get a Tetnis (sp?) and Pneumonia shot. “One arm or two,” the nurse asked. I figured it would be easier to have one working arm and said, “One arm.” I later learned that was a dumb decision.

I proceeded to run errands all day and clean our house in preparation of our road trip to Portland, Oregon for our friend Fred’s wedding. Wrong choice again. I didn’t realize it would hurt like a bitch AND give me faux pneumonia. By the time our friends came over that night I was in so much pain I could cry. I was still immobile by the next morning and had to call out sick from work and slept all day popping pain medication in between meals.

By Wednesday morning I was feeling more in control of my body and went back to work. However, by the time I got home my body started to revolt again from moving around all day and rewarded me with a migraine. “Fuck you”, my body was telling me, “I refuse to let you be productive.” This was our last might in Long Beach before we had to hit the road, and we barely packed a thing.

I tried my best to rest and make sure I wouldn’t continue to be sick with faux pneumonia on our road trip. Then late that night we got a call from our friend telling us that our friend Anna Oung had been found dead. We didn’t know any details at the time we heard the news, but we never suspected it be a suicide. The saddest part of this news is she had just given birth 3 months ago to their first child and now her husband is a single dad. 😦

My fiance knew Anna and her husband since they were in college together at CSULB. They were the happiest couple you’d ever met, and meant to be together. They got married about two years ago and seemed to have everything figured out. We hadn’t been very good about seeing them regularly because my fiance and I tend to work weekends and nights. We weren’t even aware they had moved back to Long Beach, or recently moved in with her parents while she was pregnant. It was only after her death we learned she suffered from postpartum psychosis and had been briefly hospitalized for her condition before she committed suicide. My fiance and I couldn’t make sense of the circumstances at first and were dumbstruck by all this new information. Meanwhile we had to prepare to drive to Oregon for a wedding.

By the next morning my arm felt almost 100% better and I was trying to get us back on track for our road trip. We both had work and came home to pack and clean up before heading out to drive. We planned to drive all through the night and then camp in Red Bluff on Friday to rest. We still couldn’t wrap our heads around Anna’s death and avoided reading more about it online, and tried to focus on the road.

The drive to Red Bluff wasn’t too bad, and we arrived just after 10am. However, we didn’t anticipate it being almost 110 degrees! It was so hot we couldn’t rest let alone enjoy our one day campsite. Every time we tried to rest we awoke in a pool of our own sweat. Bleh. We were able to sleep for a few hours but they weren’t restful. After dinner we decided we were never going to be comfortable enough to really rest and we started to become restless, so we decided to pack our camp and head back on the road and just try to check into our hotel a little early.

I had been a little anxious on the first leg of our trip, but nothing too bad. On the second part I was a bit more on edge and I didn’t know why. As we exited California and entered Oregon the road got more mountainous and curvy. My anxiety kicked it up a couple notches. I had forgotten to stay “medicated.” My eyes were glued to the road even though i wasn’t driving. I could not let myself relax. I was having a full-blown anxiety attack by 2am. We came to a rest area and decided to sleep until at least 6am before resuming the drive. I was so tired and grateful we stopped. I had hit a wall and was so panic-stricken that I needed to stop and rest. We both passed out immediately.

We awoke a new and were refreshed and ready to drive. My fiancé took the first shift and as soon as we crossed into Oregon and after the mountains we switched and I drove until we reached our hotel just south of Portland in Milwaukee. We got there a few hours early and our room wasn’t ready. 😦 Boo.

We wandered aimlessly and found a local comic book and collectibles shop, but it was mostly a Magic and toys shop. My fiancé wanted to see if he could buy stuff from the store online. We slowly made our way to a Starbucks for the free wi-fi until our room was ready. After we got settled at our hotel room our friends who were also in town called asking to meet up. We showered and changed and found our way into Portland and checkout their annual The Bite of Oregon festival. They bring all of northern, central, and southern Oregon together in one place where you can drink and eat the best of the best festival food and alcohol. It was only $5 to get in and $5 beers and wine at almost every booth. I abstained from the drinking since my allergies were on full alert, but my fiancé decided to break the diet and indulge in a few beers. It was nice to be walking around and enjoying the food and company of friends who all made the trip out there and hangout, catch up, and be merry.

We also met up with Fred’s brother, who came with our mutual friends from California. I was catching up with our old roommate when I hear Francis say something, but I can’t hear what exactly. I just turn around and he looks upset, like he’s been given bad news. I continue to hear Fred’s brother talk to my fiancé but I can’t hear what their saying. I decide to not worry for the moment and try to catch a moment to talk to him later. We get news the groom and bride and more friends are coming to meet up with us! Awesome.

We gorge on fruit covered in chocolate, more beers, and a few amazing fruit drinks. We tried really hard to stay away from fried food and too much junk food and did a pretty good job. We weren’t following the “diet” very well but we were at least trying to be good.

Later fiance and I was are walking alone behind the group and he tells me that Fred’s younger sister also committed suicide early last week. His sister had been struggling with coming out as a Lesbian and was very depressed. She was on college and hadn’t come out to her Mother or siblings. I didn’t know what to say. I was shocked, again. Two suicides in one week. I was so heart-broken to hear all this. And in just over 24 hours we would be attending a wedding as well. It just seems a little unreal. We did our best to be cheerful and cheer Fred up.

After a few hours in the sun I decided to head back to the hotel and leave the boys so they could go straight out for Fred’s bachelor party. Most of them were already on their way. I got a little lost trying to get back across the bridge to get to our hotel and probably made a legal U-Turn. Oh well. I got back just before nighttime and immediately passed out. With the hot weather and going in and out A/C my allergies were acting up something fierce. My fiance was fighting a stuffy nose and cough all weekend and I was on the verge of getting sick the day before the wedding. What a long, long week.

The day of the wedding we were hoping to have time to take a small trip in to Portland after we picked up our friends to go to the wedding. As usual we were all running a little behind schedule and my fiance and I over slept. No Powell’s Bookstore. No fancy coffee shops. No Portlandia sight-seeing. 😦 We had just enough time to pick up our friends, eat, and get dressed for the wedding.

It was a very small affair, but really beautiful. They had the ceremony and reception at the Amadeus Manor not too far from our hotel in Milwaukee. It over looks the river close by and had a perfect view of the hill-side. Unfortunately, their upstairs A/C broke and it was a little hotter than it should have been during the ceremony and reception. The building itself was really cute and built on the hillside. The bottom floor was where the bar and outside patio were for appetizers and cocktails, while the second floor was where the ceremony and reception took place. The third floor was where the bridal party got ready and the second set of restrooms were located. We had to make a break for the bar a patio a few times because we were all sweating up a storm from the heat. It stayed pretty consistently hot the whole time we were there. I guess it was fortunate there was no dance floor or dancing in general because we would have passed out.

The whole thing was over by 10pm, and we were some of the last people to leave the locale. It was still so early! Everyone else decided to continue celebrating by going out for more drinks, but we played it safe and headed back to out hotel room. We had to try to drag ourselves our of bed by 6am. Bleh.

I am now convinced staying in an air-conditioned hotel room fucked up my sinus’ and gave me a minor sinus infection. 😦

We are now in the last few hours of our road trip back home and it’s been hot as FUCK the whole time. Depending on how I feel tomorrow morning I may take another sick day…

In another week we will be attending Anna and Fred’s little Sister’s funeral. I still have a hard accepting that such smart, beautiful, and amazing people decided to take their own lives the same week, days apart. I wish things has been different for them. I wish they could have seen their baby grow up, their brother get married, and I mostly wish they had been happier. Despite all the ups and downs I hope all my friends and family never have to go through anything like this again.

The month isn’t over yet, and summers end is around the corner. I hope I can stay positive and healthy in the days to come because it’s gonna be a bumpy road for a bit.

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