We’re just trying to survive

Loss makes you look at things in a different light. I thought of my parents like every one does, as parents. I didn’t see them as people. Now that they are gone, I have the ability to really see who they were. I wish I had seen them as they were before they died. I wish I could have seen them the way they saw each other. It might have given me some insight to myself. When I was 15 my mother asked me who I would live with if they divorced. I knew she was not happy, I heard them argue. I was invisible. However, she didn’t leave. It was just 3 more years of not being a family. Three years of trying to figure out what to do after I turned 18. I didn’t let my friends know. They thought my parents were cool. They didn’t know. Hell, I thought it was normal. I was so wrong.

It wasn’t until I was grown and had 3 kids that my mother had an affair. A chance to have happiness. I wasn’t surprised. I was angry with her for not ending it with my dad. I was angry for her betrayal. I didn’t see why you would hurt someone intentionally. I didn’t see her as a person , I was still seeing her as my mother. Regardless, of how my father made her feel or treated her, I didn’t understand. I couldn’t process the situation. I couldn’t agree or make it okay in my own head.

I have reached a point that I can see them as people who were making decisions trying to navigate life while trying to their best to raise kids and do right. I’m sure that decisions that they made were as difficult as some that I have made. I am sure that mine are not always perfect , right, or even proper. One thing is certain. I hope that I am not dead before my kids realize I am a person just trying to navigate water and some days, just trying to survive.

Things that make you go hmmm.

It sure has been a while since I was here. Life has taken its share of roller coaster turns, ups and downs, and weakened my stomach. I last checked in when this pandemic started. I wish I could say that things are better. I wish I could say I found the cure for my heart broken soul, but I can’t. My soul is literally hanging on by the thinnest of threads and it is about to shear off and fall into an abyss.

If you want to talk just my family; there has been so much loss. If you want to talk my extended family there has been even more. Since 2020, I have lost my mother, father, mother -in -law, aunt , great aunt, second cousin, and two important friends. I can say that without a doubt, none of them were Covid related. My mother suffered an anoxic brain injury when her life support tube was dislodged during transport to the cath lab. My Aunt had the same surgeon and died as well. My dad had treatable skin cancer that he didn’t treat until it was too late. My great aunt , I actually couldn’t tell you. Maybe she had heart failure, maybe she had people making bad decisions. My cousin (her daughter), long life of heart problems and being poor. My mother-in-law, dementia and old age. Then, there was my friend, depression…

I didn’t lose my brother-in-law, he had a brain abscess that left him paralyzed and recouping 6 beds over from my mother. He was lucky, he made it out of the hospital. I sit here and wonder. How can I tell people this and not have them have some kind of pity, feel sorry for me in any way. I don’t ask that, I just need an outlet to share this sadness, this emptiness.

When I was 15, my grandfather died and my life changed drastically. My mother went into a depression, her marriage started to fall apart, my sister moved out, I was alone. Nothing was the same. I have tried to keep everything normal for my kids. Keep moving when all I want to do is lay in bed and cry. But, I remember what that was like for me when my mom fell apart. I have fought this every single day for the last 3 years and I am tired.

Hindsight 2020

When the going gets rough the tough get going. Does that mean we run away? Because that sounds like a great idea these days. It sounds like I have universal permission to get in the car and drive as far from reality as I would like. Just not to Canada, they are on lock-down from this beer virus that has turned this entire world upside down!

I may have mentioned a time or two that I am actually in healthcare so I am mostly brainwashed to understand why the rules are the rules. However, this week I am a daughter and the rules fucking suck . The world fucking sucks and 2020 can go to hell!

Let me see how I can roll this out. Since July of last year I have been looking forward to 2020 being a fabulous better year. And so far, my Cherrios are full of excrement that comes with a side of urine all stirred together and served hot. It was suppose to be my graduation , my daughters graduation, my daughter in laws graduation, my son’s wedding. Instead, it has been  my grandmothers cancer, my dads cancer, my aunts funeral, my brother in laws brain abscess, my mothers open heart, my dogs death, covid 19, my cousins death, my other cousins new semi and trailer stolen, cancelled school, cancelled graduation, maybe cancelled wedding, post-poned graduation, and my mother coding 4 times on monday. I don’t know what else could be possible at this point and I sure don’t want to ask the universe for fear it is a Billy Blank commercial from heaven saying “but wait there’s more!”

If there is one thing that I have learned, it’s don’t tempt fate. So I am officially selling shirts that say #hindsight 2020 if anyone is interested! I am thinking that I will only sell them in shades of diarrhea or poop since that seems to be this years theme. The back will read, ” never saw that shit coming”.


Is it ever too late?

I think of all the things that I have put off over time.I can’t help but wonder is it ever too late? I sit here writing this and all I can think about is all the homework I should be doing for my master’s class. Come Wednesday, I will be in complete panic mode and by Sunday, unbearable. This is just what I do. I think that I have just adjusted my life to this pattern and I hate it! I absolutely hate it! I just get so overwhelmed that I feel stuck. It truly is a sick feeling that sits in your soul like bad Chinese food on Christmas.

I don’t know why I chose that analogy, I’ve never had Chinese on Christmas, but a lot of people do so I hope they can relate. Recently, my grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer and she is now going through chemo and radiation. It sucks, cancer sucks, asking yourself, ” is it ever too late” sucks. The answer is YES. Yes, it can be too late.  She was a 1/2 pack a day smoker for 45 years, quit in 1990. For her, it was too late to quit. The damage was done. She was having chest and back pain for the last year and getting short of breath. The doctors never saw the mass hidden behind her heart thriving in her lung. They were too late finding her deck of cards sitting in her lung, too late to simply remove it and be done. I just hope that this chemo and radiation are not too late. That is what it all boils down to now. Will this treatment be too late?


Oh the things I’ve seen (3)

Back to work at the walmart. Another day another dollar. After school I headed to work. Off to fix the worlds problems, or at least their watches. Maybe pierce an ear or two. After all they are usually done two at a time!

It was middle of the week when he showed up. just cruising through with his half cocked smile and beautiful features.  He approached the counter and began asking about jewelry. Mostly the necklaces and bracelets. He had this fascination with Herring-bone necklaces. He wore one with his shirt slightly unbuttoned. He wasn’t all Italian with the hair hanging out and dancing in the wind. In fact he didn’t look to have any chest hair at all. I attributed that to the blond hair . Everyone knows blonds have less body hair.

He chatted and distracted me from work until I was reminded as security passed by that I still had work to do. He went on his way , flashed a smile and made note that I would see him again.

In fact I did, for three weeks, see him again, and again, and again. I saw him so much that security asked me several times if I needed assistance. I assured them I was fine, he was harmless.

He approached me several more times over the next few weeks asking about going out. I put him off because I still had an uneasiness that I could not place. I had an uneasiness that would not go away, but I carried on with my day to day life. After all, I was in my senior year and still had grad-night, prom and graduation to get through.

Oh the things I’ve seen (2)

Friday night arrived and it was time to go out. He arrived in a silver jaguar wearing a gold tone paisley shirt with the sleeves rolled up to three-quarter. His golden blond hair parted down the middle feathered with his sunglasses atop his head. He came to the door and my mother seemed to appear less than impressed. As usual my father was off with his friends spending money that we didn’t have to support a hobby no one cared about. This object of attraction was courteous to my mother as she told me to be home by curfew. Out the door we left.

I can’t tell you much detail about the movie I was a bundle of nerves. I had many thoughts in my head. I didn’t really know this guy and what if something went wrong? When does the gut get a say in what happens? When would have been a good time to listen? I can honestly say, I wish more than anything I had listened. But I was so smitten with his interest in me and his kindness and good looks, that I was deaf to my own intuition.

After the movie, he needed to run by his house to pick something up. So we went. He was ” living with room-mates” in a nice upscale neighborhood. We arrived and entered into the foyer where just to our right was a dining room where three adults older than my parents sat playing cards and smoking cigarettes. In the living room was a large grand piano just past the sofa. He introduced me proudly to his two room-mates and their friend, an older gentleman in his 50’s.  They seemed nice. I just didn’t look at the scene in my head through their eyes. I really wish I had.

We grabbed the things he was after and he drove me home. As he dropped me off, he asked if we could have another date. Clearly, I said yes.

Oh the things I’ve seen

Imagine being only 18 and working your first real job. Now imagine being an 18 year old girl working your first job and approached by a handsome much older man. Yes, that is how my story began.

I was just 2 months from graduating and had just turned 18. I was at the age where I considered myself grown just because another year had rolled by. It had absolutely nothing to do with my understanding of how this roller coaster called life works.

I didn’t know it then, but I was about to get on a ride that forgot to post the warning signs: caution do not ride if you know what is best for you! Instead, as the cart arrived I found myself not even waiting in line. I entered , and no one pulled the emergency brake, no one.

It was April and I was standing at the jewelry counter of my first real job. I was working to pay the insurance on my 1979 Ford Pinto. It was the first car that my parents could afford to by me. It was a whopping $300.00! It doesn’t sound like much, but to them it was more than they wanted to pay. Somehow my mother had managed to get the money out of my dad. I didn’t ask questions, I was just glad I finally ranked up there with my sister. Her first car was a 1979 ford fairmont for which they payed a grand. They said she needed reliable transportation. Funny, I don’t remember that in any of my pleadings for a car. Keep in mind, this is just a teenage kids perception of events. It wasn’t until 6 months later that I would experience life and the harsh realities it had in store.

I had worked for 2 weeks and during that time a nice looking guy had come buy three or four times to purchase jewelry. He had golden blond hair and deep blue eyes. His jaw  line was chiseled with perfection. He had wide thick shoulders and smelled incredible. I am sure that he was wearing Eternity.  He began to circle more frequently. I assumed he was just flirty, the security asked me at one point if I needed them to intervene. The red flag never went up. Not once.

He managed to get the nerve to ask me out. I said yes without hesitation. I did gulp a bit at the prospect of what my parents would think. I mean he was 31, which was much older than anyone my age should be dating.


It’s been a minute

It’s been a minute since my whole world was upside down. Like the house in Pigeon Forge , Tennessee, sitting right on its roof. It’s an attraction that many pay to see. Well sister, I wouldn’t have paid to see my house turned upside down. In fact, I would have paid anyone any amount to set it right!

Sometimes the mess is there and we just don’t see it until it’s too late. We trust people and they use it to gain power over our well-being. Then one day you are sitting outside and see that the house is now upside down and things are just spinning like a top at Christmas. BAM! it’s just too late.

I know because that is where I was, but I’m not anymore. I have found peace finally and it feels wonderful. Like the first day of fall when you open all the windows and that crisp fresh breeze blows in, causing the curtains to nearly rise to the ceiling. That kind of amazing.

The sadness now comes, not for me, but for them. Those who didn’t want to understand where the hurt grew from, what the cause of the festering blister may have been. It wasn’t the thorn that was stuck in the paw, it was the walking away and leaving it there to grow that hurt.

They are so far removed from the source of the pain, that they don’t realize I have moved on. I did pick myself up, dust myself off and I am happy. My happiness doesn’t depend on whether or not they approve of my life plan, whether they call me or rather not call me. My happiness comes from within. Knowing that I am achieving my life goals and that my kids and my husband are celebrating these moments and these wins with me. Isn’t that what it’s about?

What do you do?

It is so hard as a parent watching your kid struggle at life. You internalize and battle with what you missed as a parent. What could you have done differently? What would have made a difference? you start to second guess every decision, every let it go, every time you didn’t just let it go. It is so hard. Then poof, they are grown and you watch from afar.

It hurts, it hurts deeply. You told them all the time you love them, supported them, went to every parent teacher meeting, got learning help, put them in sports and attended the games, whatever was needed. What didn’t you do? Why can’t  this person that you raised accept love, give love, or love themselves?

I wish I had the answer. I wish someone could tell me, because it is painful to see them post on their facebook how sad they are that life never works out. But when you reach out to them they shut you down.

The reality is they are grown and I can no longer affect the happiness they feel or rather don’t feel. The things that make their life difficult are results of repeated behaviors that he doesn’t want to change. It is hard. Because you just want your kids to be happy and be positive people and productive.

What do you do?