Thursday, December 17, 2009

And so it starts again...

I got a call from my dad last week. My sister had her annual mammogram and an ultrasound of her only remaining ovary ( I don't know why the latter was done). They found a lump in her breast and a cyst on the ovary.


The tech told her to just wait 6 months and get tested again. In an uncharacteristic move, my sister actually disobeyed and went to her regular doc. Given family history (which her doc knows all about), the doc has decided to give it a few weeks and do the tests again. So...the Monday after Christmas, my sister is having another mammy and u/s. If the cyst is growing, they're just going to remove the ovary completely. My sister said she's not willing to risk a single cell remaining and have it come back like it did with mom. Of course, they did a total hysterectomy on mom too...but I won't point that out. I don't know what they're going to do about the lump - I guess it depends on size. If it's small enough, perhaps they can just remove it and biopsy it like the did with mom's.

I...can't go through this again so soon. Or ever. But really - it's barely been 13 months since mom died. I simply cannot deal with the fact that my sister might have cancer. And what if she DOES? What if it becomes not a "might have" but a "does have"? I can't go down there like I did with mom - my sister lives 8 hours away. Then there's the whole "I'm not exactly THAT close to my sister" factor. We're sisters, but we're not best friends. We've spoken...4 times? since mom died. Maybe. That's being generous. We just don't talk that much. We're 10 years apart, we didn't grow up together - I was 8 when she got married. We got closer when I moved out on my own, but still - we're not close. She didn't even bother to tell me any of this - I had to hear it from my father. And when I asked how she was holding up? She just told me about the appointment. I don't understand her in the least. She also has more than just her husband to take care of her - she has two sons, at least one of which will help out. The youngest...he's taking the route of my brother, so I don't count on him. But still. I just can't do this. I can't fathom the possibility of losing another family member to cancer. I...

Can't. Won't. Don't want to. The idea makes me want to go into a full-blown panic. I want to run screaming. I want to cry. I want to throw things. And this is all before I even have any answers.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

If I Could

Meant to post this Thursday. Didn't. Woke up with it in my head today. Took that as a sign. Here you go.

A brand new baby was born yesterday,
Just in time
Papa cried, baby cried
Said, your tears are like mine
I heard some words
from a friend on the phone,
didn't sound so good
The doctor gave him two weeks to live
I'd give him more if I could

You know that I would now
If only I could
You know that I would now
If only I could

Down the middle drops one more
grain of sand
They say that
new life makes losing life easier to understand
Words are kind
they help ease the mind
I miss my old friend
And though you gotta go
we'll keep a piece of your soul
One goes out
One comes in

You know that I would now
If only I could
You know that I would now
If only I could

("If I Could" - Jack Johnson)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The first year

Tomorrow marks a year. A year already? Only a year? Either way...

I've made it a year - a year without her. Without my best friend. My mother. My sounding board. My comforter. The one person in the whole world who understood me the best. Who understood what I was trying to say when I couldn't find the right words even remotely. Who knew the right words to say to bring me out of the spiraling black holes that I used to find myself in, and that I may yet find myself in again some day.

I am not going to work tomorrow. I am staying home. Or maybe I'm going out. My wonderful husband took the day off - to "support me as I go to the cemetery and put down flowers, and then have however many breakdowns as I want during the entire day" as he puts it. His friend Timm told him he was a wonderful man - I happen to agree. We haven't decided what we're doing beyond going to the cemetery. I do know that I'm leaving my phone home, and turning it off. I probably won't check my Facebook, or my emails - they'll have to be dealt with on Friday or over the weekend. I'm in hiding. I can barely handle my own grief, let alone anyone elses.

I've already warned my dad, and my uncle already sideswiped me on Monday with an email that said (and I quote) "I was sitting here at my computer missing Linda as the first anniversary of her death approaches and I figured she also must be on your minds. May God be with us all as our journey continues without the one we loved and the one who loved us in her own special way. Hope and pray you are doing okay and doing the grief work that needs to be done. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep me in yours." It really was my initial reaction to email him back and say "Really? It's her one year anniversary is here already? huh - forgot all about it. She's completely slipped my mind - I never think about her. Idiot." To my credit, I did no such thing - I just deleted it and told my father to do the same.

Today I woke up with the familiar depression - deep enough I didn't want to get out of bed. I am not excited to see what tomorrow holds.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Grief and Grieving

I realized yesterday that one month from today my mother will have been dead for a year. For the most part I've been ok for the past year - there have been a few episodes of total and complete breakdown, complete with me wailing "I miss my mommy". Thankfully I have a very supporting and understanding husband. He hasn't been through this, but he's really good at just holding me and letting me wail and trying to comfort me.

On other fronts involving my mothers death it has not been so easy. My father used to call me 3-4 times a day, just to chat. Bear in mind that my father and I are not...close. There is love, yes, but we are so alike personality-wise that we always butt heads...even when on the same side. My mother tried her hardest to get us to bond before she died and she more-or-less succeeded...but not enough for me to be able to tolerate being called all the time and having to deal with his grief on top of my own. Not that he's EVER directly talked about it - it's more the fact that he called me so much, to talk about things like his finances, how hard it was to have to take care of himself, etc. Of course, my internal response was "welcome to being an adult, dad" and my external response was just noise about it sucking. My siblings don't call, thankfully - we've never really been close and mom being gone didn't change that. I talk to my sister every 6-8 months or so, and go YEARS between speaking to my brother. My uncle (mom's last remaining brother) and I have never really been close, although he seems to think we are. I think he's a religious con man, although I've never said as much. I'm too damn polite for my own good.

At any rate, I can feel the grief creeping up on me. I have felt this way before, a sense of unspecific dread, around things like my first wedding anniversary, my ex's birthday, things like that. Usually only for the first few years, and it always took me a few days to figure out why I was acting like I was...and once I figured it out, it was ok. This time I know a full month ahead of time that it's coming up. I have a feeling this is going to mean a month of bad dreams - I really should say horrendous nightmares. They're full of death, chaos, murder, blood, violence. I get them every time I go to the cemetery to put flowers down for mom, which is why I don't do if often. Last night I had dreams of suicide. I also have a feeling that my father is going to start calling me all the time again - he's already calling me every day again, twice on Saturday...not for anything important, but to talk about the weather. I...I can't handle their grief. I can't handle his on top of mine, or my sister calling, or my uncle messaging me. I have always been the one EVERYONE turns to, and I want to wall myself off. Please...don't talk to me. Don't pile your grief on top of my own. Mine is crushing me as it is - I feel like my insides are one big rock. But I can't TELL them that - I'm their rock. I'm the first one dad will turn to, instead of friends. I'm the one my uncle is going to write, telling me how much he misses my mother, his sister, and how he's praying for all of us in our time of grief.

Prayer. What a joke. Do I believe in God? Yes. Do I believe most of the things I was taught when I was younger? Yes. Not blindly, but because I've thought about them. What I have a hard time reconciling is that my mother was a devout Christian - she prayed, others prayed for her, all asking God's will to be done. God's will was apparently to take my mother away from me. I am so angry I could spit nails. God's blessings on my mother? She suffered with cancer for 14 months the last time before she died. That's a blessing? I have such a hard time with religious types right now, but I'm too polite to tell them to fuck off and stop wishing "God's will" and "God's blessings" for people who are ill. It kills them. This goes for people on Facebook - I have several friends who are either religious or who have recently discovered religion and all their posts contain it and I just want to scream. I don't want to block them - what's the point in being friends with someone you've blocked? I don't really have the right to tell them to stop either, because it's a public place.

How do I deal with this shit? I can't just tell my family that I don't want to talk to them - that's selfish. REALLY selfish. God is my uncles world - he's a minister. I can't tell him not to talk to me about God - he'll just tell me every day that he's praying for me, which will get really fucking annoying. Husband says the best way to deal with anger is to just let it go - but I don't know how. I can accept the fact that my mother is dead and that nothing I do will bring her back - that has never been my problem. My issue has always been "why" - I don't "heart" understand it and it's making it difficult for me to move past this. I am angry, I want to hide...and I can't.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oh for fuck's sake...

My father has joined an internet dating site.

He wants my advice on what to put in the "who I am, what I'm looking for" fields.

I'm not ready for this stage.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Dating Game

My father is trying to date.

I'm not quite sure what I think about that.

Mom and I, as well as my sister and mom's two best friends, all talked about this while mom was still alive. She wanted to make sure we knew that she was ok with dad dating, and getting remarried. My sister and I both figured he'd be remarried within 6 months of mom being gone, simply because he is NOT cut out to be on his own. He's still bitching about having to take care of the lawn and garden, as well as take care of himself, pay the bills, and not having any social life.

He quit his job that he's had for years and years because he got tired of the way the company was run - didn't give his two weeks, just 10 minutes. He already had a job lined up at Wal-Mart. He's been there about 7 weeks - he started there the same day I started my job. Today he calls me and tells me he's looking at maybe quitting there and getting a part time job elsewhere. Why? Because he "doesn't have time to do anything." He doesn't get to have a "social life" because he doesn't always have Wednesdays off to go bowling, or Fridays/Saturdays for bingo, and can't always go to church on Sunday because sometimes he has to work in the mornings. But the Dept Manager ALWAYS has Sat/Sun off. I told him "welcome to being a grunt in retail. Your schedule is never set, you work when they want you to." He doesn't get it, he really doesn't. It doesn't matter where he goes, he will be a grunt who doesn't really get much say in when they schedule him to work. He's too used to a M-F, 8-5 job like he's had for 15 years. He actually told me that if all else fails, he could go back to his old job because they'd take him in a heartbeat. With 10 minutes notice? I doubt it. Dad thinks he's just indispensable and everyone will do anything he wants.

I never figured my father for a stupid man, but damn...he has no idea how the real world works, I guess. Things aren't like they were in the "old days". You don't work for a company for life and get a gold watch when you retire - you get a cake, a clap on the back, severance pay. This company was damn good to dad while mom was so sick - they paid his insurance so he wouldn't lose it, even while he wasn't working. He took months off at a time to spend with mom while she was going up and down, and we'd think the end was near, and then she'd recover. How does he repay that? Gives them 10 minutes notice. I know that loyalty to a company isn't exactly a thing of the present, but still...

Anyways, back to the dating. I'm more or less okay with it, but it's still weird. Especially when he asks me for dating advice. You see, dad doesn't seem to realize that I never really dated. John (a guy I met in college) and I moved in together when I left school the first time. My ex-husband and I moved in together shortly after getting together. My ex-fiance and I lived together for about 20 of the 22 months we were together. DH and I have lived together since the day we met 6 1/2 years ago. No dating there, see? I have no idea. Not to mention I'm a girl and we do things differently AND I'm 30 years younger than dad. The girl he was dating? I use the term girl for a reason - she's 45, which is only 3 years older than my sister. I also say "was" because she hasn't contacted dad in a week. He keeps saying he's leaving it in her court, but then he sends her text messages. He doesn't know how NOT to be in control, even when he wants to be. They went on two dates...and he brought her a dozen roses on each. I'd have run screaming, if I were her. While romantic, it's WAY too strong. But I can't explain that to him, because that's what they did when he was dating, before he married mom. I don't seem to be able to get it through to him that it's different now; that even the definition of dating is different.

So yeah, mostly okay with it but frustrated. I have no advice to give, because he won't listen even when I DO give it. The idea of my FATHER dating is a little weird, even though I know mom was okay with it. Knowing that, and still having to deal with it...a little weird. At least I'm not alone - my best friends' parents got a divorce and her mom is trying to date again. So I have someone to talk to, at least, about how weird it is. Probably a little weirder for her, since her father is still alive...I at least only have one parent to deal with.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Today marks what would have been my parents' 35th anniversary. I'm not sure what to do with this. I'm certain that it must be a really hard day for my dad - I know it would be for me, if I were in his shoes. Do I call him and ask him how quitting his job went (he starts a new one in two weeks and told his employer yesterday) and just hope that he doesn't bring up the anniversary? Do I call and tell him I was thinking about him today, and let him talk about it while being all awkward because I don't know what to do? Should I just wait and let him call me, giving him space?

I also got an odd text message from my sister this morning. She asked me if dad and Sharon (one of mom's best friends, for 27 years, and one of the Three Musketeers) were dating. I told her not that I was aware of and why? Apparently my sister's half-sister Deb asked 'Shell if they were. Now...why Deb would ask this I don't know. She and my sister both live in another state, and neither are terribly close to my dad (although my sister more than Deb, what with being our mother's child and all). I know dad lives in a small town, but I still can't see how that information would have gotten to Deb even if it were true. So now there's this to add to the debate raging in my brain: Do I call dad and tell him about the text, see what he says? Do I ignore it and just wait for him to tell me? Do I call one of the OTHER Musketeers and she what SHE has to say about it? Do I call dad today, ask him about this, see if he says anything about the anniversary?

ARGH! Too many questions, no answers! And no - this is not the only post rattling in my brain. There have been many others recently - I'm just afraid to write them and put them into words, and I don't want to think about them, so I'm sticking my head in the sand.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom...

My mother would have been 62 years old today. Instead...well...yeah. I miss my mother tremendously. I didn't think her birthday would be this hard.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Six months

Tomorrow marks six months since Mom died.

Six months.

That seems like it should be such a long time. It's half a year. The distance between my birthday and Christmas. The beginning of third trimester for a pregnancy. A little longer than a semester. The grace period on student loans.

It seems like it should be a long time...but it's really not. I'm still at the "it seems like there should be a hole, a big hole, she's only been gone for six months...but she's been 'gone' longer than the time since she died so I guess I've gotten used to it but I'm mad that I'm 'used' to it" stage.

Dad is being stubborn, as usual. Broke two of his toes at work and won't go see a doc about it. Why? Because having them taped would make it more difficult for him to bowl in the state tournament this past weekend, and harder to walk in general. I know mom would have made him go, but I have no way to do that. I feel like I should take her place, and take care of him, but I don't have that power. I'm not capable. And when he whines about having to "do the laundry, and the dishes, and make my lunch, and keep up on the lawn, and weed the garden, and I hardly have time to watch TV", all I want to do is say "welcome to being an adult, sucks, especially when you're single, but it's the way it is." Mom took care of him for 33 years...I wonder how she managed? It's like payback - for all the time that he didn't help her while they were married, now he has to do it all himself...just like she did. I have a very distinct lack of sympathy. I feel like such a bad daughter.

Dad is also planning on coming up here on Mother's Day to put flowers on her grave. I know I'm going to be expected to go with him. I don't want to. Every time I go to the cemetery, I have nightmares that consist of death, chaos, decay, mayhem and chaos for 2-3 days after. I guess I'm still processing. I'm glad he's coming up here to do it, though. Mother's Day is going to be a double whammy for me this year - even though the whole "never going to be a mom" is getting better, it's still a reminder that makes me terribly hostile. But now "never going to be a mom and never going to have my mom again" is even worse, I think. Sunday remains to be seen.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's the little things...

When you think of things that involve presents, most people think of Christmas and birthdays. I knew Christmas would be hard for me, just because I usually spend it with my parents. Thanksgiving wasn't too bad, but I've been out of the house for 13 years - I rarely go home for Thanksgiving, as I've always been married or in a relationship with it's own traditions.

I did, however, forget about Valentine's Day and Easter. Mom always sent me little packages with candy, a stuffed animal, a card. For Valentine's it was usually a bag of giant conversation hearts and some trinket that she got from Avon. Easter has always been a bag of Starburst Jelly Beans, and chocolates, and regular jelly beans. She'd line the box with Easter grass and make it into a basket. This will be the first time in my life I haven't had an Easter basket. At 31 that probably shouldn't bother me, I know. Somehow I don't think it's the lack of candy that is causing me to want to burst into tears..

My dad isn't the type to keep up with stuff like that - that was always Mom's gig. She loved doing stuff like that. At Christmas time she'd send gifts to people or leave them presents where they'd find it, from "The Christmas Fairy". Once she did the 12 Days of Christmas for the "crazy cat lady" down the street from us who used to give me piano lessons. She was a single woman whose mother (who mom called Miss Merry Sunshine) lived with her - and they had about 30 cats. They weren't traditional gifts either - mom delighted in being craftsy and creative. Bottles of Moose Poop (small bottle with milk duds) or Snowman poop (bottle with Junior Mints) make their way into Christmas Baskets on a routine basis.

I expected the major holidays to be hard. I don't know about my birthday. Maybe I just won't have one this year. What I didn't expect was the "elephant on my chest" feeling I get when I think about Easter, 4th of July, Valentine's Day. On my Facebook this morning, a friend had sent me a plant for my virtual garden. I went to send one back and the limited time included Calla Lilies...which is one of my mothers favorite plants. Maybe I'll go put some on her grave this weekend...on my own initiative....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

One Year

I apologize in advance to those who are reading who have angels - this post is quite likely to piss you off. If you read it, please do so with my headspace in mind. My anger is not directed at you in the slightest.

One year ago, I made this post . It was my first one here, and I'm not sure what to make of that. I plan on re-reading my entire blog today, but I'm pretty sure it's going to leave me sobbing. Just reading the first post made my eyes well up.

One year, and so much has changed...and yet, most days, it doesn't feel like anything has changed.

One year, and the anger has finally arrived. I almost yelled at my father on Valentine's Day, when he came up to put flowers on mom's grave site. He picked them out and on the way out of the store he said "She'll like these". I almost responded with "Really? Do you really think she will? Do you think she has nothing better to do with her time than sit around on a fluffy white cloud and stare at her fucking grave, pining over flowers? Do you really think she gives a flying fuck what we do down here? She's DEAD! I'm pretty sure she doesn't care. Do you HONESTLY believe she cares??" I actually said this to Aaron, while dad was getting water. He said that yes, dad does actually believe this. And I thought "how sad"...and that made me realize just how angry I'm getting. If it makes him happy, if it makes it easier for him, what do I care? If it eases his pain to think she's right there beside him at the grave, so what? I know I'm just angry, because I can't believe that. I know she's in Heaven, but beyond that I know nothing and knowledge makes me happy. I'm too logical, too practical, to accept that she's on a cloud looking down at us. I don't believe in the wings and harps theory. I can't.

One year ago, I knew my mother would be dead before the end of the year. Yet...nothing in my dreams could have prepared me for the end. It was both better and worse than I could have imagined.

One year, and I've only written 20 posts. I suck. Thanks for sticking around for the last year, through all the sporadic ranting, raving, and hysterics.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Two Months

I can't believe it's been two months since I've written. So much has happened, and yet nothing has been accomplished. I normally hate bulleted lists, but it's how I'm thinking lately. Also? There's a video at the end that I think expresses a lot for a lot of people.

* In mid-December, my SIL and her fiance moved back in with us. Yes, I'm nuts. For those of you who read my other blog, you know that we just got all family out of the house in May. Now...we have people living with us again. At least it's not MIL and FIL. SIL I can handle, most of the time. There's been a lot of drama lately, and she's got some decisions to make, but we're all ok. At any rate, they moved in with us because things went sour very fast with the person they WERE living with and she kicked them out because she's a royal bitch. Not having any other options, really, they asked to move in with us. We don't turn family and friends away, so we rearranged the house again and in the moved. It's good, though, because...

* even though I graduated in December, I still haven't found a job. Two months of searching, almost, and not even a blip on the screen. I've applied for tons of jobs. I'm qualified for everything I'm applying for. Not even an interview. Things are not going well on the financial front. Having $50 in the bank account and $300 in bills that are due is not the correct proportions. :(

* I miss my mother terribly these days. With all the drama going on, I need her. I need to talk to her. I need her advice. I'm not ready to take up her mantle and help others by myself. I'm in over my head and I'm floundering. How dare she abandon me when I need her? I demand that she be available to help me.

* My father is also driving me batty - I can't deal with him. I've taken to avoiding his calls. He's finally stopped calling me 3x a day, but he still talks to me about stuff I don't care about. I really, really don't. I find it hard to care when he tells me about his Avon for the 18th freaking time. I don't care how much he made this campaign, how "on track" he is for President's Club when he's not even eligible for it because he started halfway through the year, or how he doesn't have time to deliver it. He knew that he was going to responsible for doing everything his own self (laundry, food, errands) while working full-time. He's the one dumb enough to think he could keep up with the Avon on top of it. I have a hard time working up sympathy when all I want to do is say "Uh, dad? Welcome to the world of being a single fucking adult. I'm sorry that you worked the entire time mom was alive and didn't learn how to take care of yourself, but mom did it all and worked at the same time so SHUT UP AND GROW UP. If she could work, run the household, and take care of you, then you can certainly take care of yourself and run your household and work. Just like mom."

* My meds aren't working as well as they should be these days - probably because I've been on them for 8 months and it's time to switch, but I don't want to go to the doc. Back to the whole "$50 in the bank, $300 in bills to pay" problem. I don't want to pay a co-pay, or for my drugs, or anything. I don't want to go find a new doc because I've graduated and can't go to the one I've been seeing for 3 years, and I"m not sure my old one is covered. I hate new docs. I have to prove myself over and over, and get them to listen when I tell them the med isn't working any longer, and NO, upping the dosage is not an option. That just makes it cost more. Also? Could someone please actually bother monitoring me while I'm on the metformin? Could I get on the proper dosage to actually make a difference? 500mg doesn't do much. I'm in no rush to have fire butt, but I'd like to be able to eat cheesecake without getting sick. Possibly actually ovulating would be nice too, but since I no longer really care about getting pregnant, oh well.

* I need to write more. I find myself writing posts while I'm waiting to fall asleep. I never remember them in the morning, but I should probably start taking time to write again. Things are piling up in my brain and I'm going bonkers. It's been two months since I've been to a counselor (again with the graduating and not having access to my counselor, and not really wanting to start up with a new one, or being able to afford it). Perhaps if I go insane and get checked in somewhere with padded rooms it will be better. :D Blogging at least gets shit out of my head.

I leave you with this video. I heard this song for the first time on Saturday morning and it's been stuck in my head since then. It's called Angels on the Moon, and it's by Thriving Ivory. I've thought about it on a lot of levels and...well, listen and think for yourself: