The social worker came in today and sat with me and made sure I understand what will be happening on Wednesday when they remove my stomach. She brought in a pamphlet about bariatric surgery and the recommendations for a person have a total gastrectomy are relatively similar. She also brought me in a pamphlet about a Living Will and Advanced Directive, she went through this one with me, sitting on the edge of my bed touching my hand, but I don’t remember one single word she said. “Living Will”? You mean, like, if something goes wrong do I want to survive via machines or be removed from any life saving devices and allow “nature to take its course”? Wow.

For a 33 year old, mother of two, daughter of two amazing parents, sister to an inspiring brother, friend to only a few and fiancé of the most beautiful creature….this is a hard decision. The social worker told me it’s always a good idea to plan for the worst….blah, blah, blah. All I had nearby was a paper towel, I wanted to write something clever, but I can only manage some scribbling about my most precious experiences, things that caused me the most pain and the things that I did to myself to damage my, otherwise healthy, body.

The following is my ‘Living Will’. Fuck that paperwork, that’s not me. If I can’t write it my own way then I won’t write it at all. My brain is on overload and I’m having my own little pity-party at this moment, so I apologize for the dramatics….

Cori out.

The most painful things:
The loss of my Mimi
The feel of a rapist's hand on my thigh
A marriage of convenience
Jokes at my expense due to obesity
A slap from my mother
Fighting with my best friend
A punch from someone I thought loved me
The way "I hate you" sounds
A man stealing money from his children
Being called "the worst mother alive"
Hating myself for no reason
The feeling of absolute despair

The ways I chose to deal with pain:
Alcohol, in excess
Sleeping pills
Breaking the heart of an innocent man
Pain medication (Vicodin, Percocet, etc)
Binging and Purging
Directing my pain onto my children
Reckless spending
Adultery, in most cases out of spite
Aleve…lot and lots of this
Unhealthy eating habits

The best reasons to be alive:
I have air in my lungs
My beautiful son, Jordan
My "mother hen", Annabelle
Led Zeppelin
That feeling of falling in love
My family, Mom, Dad, Scott
My best friends, loyal to the end, Brandi and Mike
My beautiful nieces, my nephew Trevor
I'm not ready for the unknown
Last, certainly not least, my Shane, my savior

My wishes IF I die:
Mom & Dad, love my children
Brandi, make sure the girls love The Boondock Saints
Jordan, be amazing! Be AMAZING!
Annabelle, you shine brighter than you know, light up the world!
If a machine is breathing for me, turn it off
Don't keep me on machines hoping for a miracle, please
If my brain isn't working, I won't work, let me go
Don't wear black, do NOT bury me in anything pink

Remember me, but only 2-4 times a day
You're allowed to love someone else, minimally
Remember Baltimore, the moment we both knew
Don't let my children go to him, they will drown in sadness
Tell stories about me
Know that I loved you with EVERY part of me still alive
I pray that this is not the end of our story, search for me
Lastly, most important, know I'm with you and I'll find you again.

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