Archive for category grief

i really need stop thinking heavy shit while driving (g2)

So I’m driving one very bland day with nothing whatsoever striking to catch my attention, listening to a CD Spawn selected that I have really been enjoying and letting my mind wander.

I’m not sure why my head seems to want to direct my thoughts to heavy shit when my emotional stability isn’t very much under my control, but with one of the most bigoted, sexist, racist, fuckheads that has ever walked the planet now swathed in the title of “Mr. President”, I cannot help but wonder what the hell is happening to our society, especially when I’m bombarded with the amount of stupid shit he does every day.

The job of reporter in the US is no longer about getting to the “truth” and backing it up with sound researched information, it is now bought and paid for by a corporate agenda. And that applies to all of them now, even NY Times has fallen to the bullshit.

In order for the average US citizen to find truth, you have to look to comedy or foreign news. Yes, I said comedy. Because it is the last frontier where if you wanted to suck up to the GOP or a corporate sponsorship, you’d get booed off the stage before you could finish a set.  We know when we’re being fed shit in comedy, not so much when they call it “news.”

Crime is at an all time low, and is still dropping drastically, but no one ever hears about it. The wage gap still exists, but there are plenty of pseudoscience trying to convince you it isn’t. I see the invoices, every temp company we go through has at LEAST a 2-3 buck an hour disparagement between the guy and the girl hired to do the same fucking thing. Even one of my more intelligent and fair minded coworkers sincerely believes it doesn’t exist.

However, I found my thoughts not landing on these things, so much as race.

When people talk about the way the legal system is skewed to keep minorities in jail, they mean things like this… In this country, cocaine is mostly a white consumed drug (who besides lawyers or those who can keep one on retainer can afford it anyway?) Crack, being cocaine’s inbred  diluted cousin, is a mostly minority consumed drug because it is cheaper and markets to a lower income bracket. The max time a person can spend in jail for crack is almost twice what a person with cocaine would have to serve and they don’t have to carry much to get the book thrown at them.

I live in the South. Born here. Raised here. Went to a school that was about 60% black and completely freaked out when I moved to the midwest for several years and saw almost none.  It’s a real culture shock when you’re used to seeing more colors and shades in your crayola box of life and become suddenly surrounded with many shades of nothing put pink instead.

The black culture, despite or perhaps TO spite the horrific origin, have enhanced the culture in our area of the map in ways not seen anywhere else. I cannot imagine life without the blues, Creole, small pockets of held out languages, hoodoo, superstitions, or voodoo. The fierce defiance in spite of a calm facade is, to me, the mark of black culture. The passion for religion, music, family and vast support for one another.  The pride in spite of years of putting up with epic bullshit.

There’s just nothing like it.

Then I think about now when we have people who feel that since they got their white piece of shit in office, are now welcome, if not encourage, to come out and say whatever hate speech they want and they are somehow among kin. The next step being taking action? doing whatever they want without the risk of consequence, at most? For those that visit that link, fuck you CNN for just naming the victim and not billboarding the mf’ers names who actually DID the crime! Shawn Berry, Lawrence Russell Brewer, and John King, fucking die.

Those are the faces of a Trump supporter.

I think of Sandra Bland and how they ruled it “suicide” and alluded to “mental health,” as being part of her problem…if I was thrown in jail over a fucking traffic violation, you can call it “mental health” all you want, but I’d be ready to stab a bitch. I sure as shit would be making notes of badge numbers and calling any loudmouth I could to make as much noise about it as I could. On the slim chance she did really take her own life, which I don’t believe, can you blame her? After being treated like that? She’s probably put up with it her whole life.

I think of the cops that are mandatory now on school premises. Then I’m stunned when I’m trying to find the link to the ONE instance I know of, to find out abuse by cop towards CHILDREN is getting massively fucking common. The only difference between the American schools and the prison system is the latter gets a better lunch and a real recess.

This isn’t an isolated incident and it happens in a million subtle ways every single day. I go into a store where a group of minority kids are lingering near the door, chatting and laughing and just being, well kids. As i approach, they talk suddenly ceases. I can see the fear in their faces that I’m going to somehow cinch up my bags, or cross the street, or say something offensive. They brace for it. How fucked up is that? I don’t blame them in the slightest, I know why, it just kills me to still see it now.

Missing children organizations are less likely to give ideal exposure to minority children, the excuse being that too many children being posted would dilute the sense of urgency among the community. Then fix the system so it notifies those in the area, you dumbasses, keep it relevant to the people in the region they disappeared in, then move out as needed I was nowhere near the Jon-Benet Ramsey story, did I really need her face thrust in mine every day? There’s a couple thousand miles of impossibility going on there.

When they talk about the wage gap as being about 80%, they are referring to the people in office jobs like I am, but what they don’t go over is that that when you add the minority element or just compare those in service industries, that gap can be as bad as 50%. It’s no wonder that so many minority mothers have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

I even thought about how the Women’s March had a great message and sure, it’s a great cause and its kind of sad when half the population of a country kind of hates its new leader. But it didn’t represent women at all well, and here’s the problem…The women who had to go to job 2 or 3, the ones most bitterly affected by the disparagement, cannot afford to show up for fear of losing their livelihood. So there is a huge chunk of women who just couldn’t come, and they are the most needed.

The ones most heavily affected by racial and sexist bullshit don’t even have the time and energy to complain. Few are in positions where they can take vacation time or make up the time later because the system is rigged to keep them oppressed. They could be fired for not going above and beyond the expectations of their minimum wage overlords. I’m looking at you, Wal-Mart.

Then my mind wandered to the young mixed race couple who had twins not so long ago, one pale and blonde, the other more of a mocha with eyes like onyx. Both identical otherwise, both adorable. If gives me a lot of hope to read, years later, they don’t deal with racial prejudice. Then I remember. Thankfully, they aren’t American.

Otherwise, one of them was going to be privy to “the talk.”

The talk where a minority parent has to sit down and explain to their minority child to never get visibly hostile, especially in the face of “authority” because doing so might get you killed. No matter how badly you’re being treated or baited into becoming violent, don’t do it, because cops, teachers, principals, the law, and anyone of non-color could very well be out to get you, to make you a monster. To use you as an example to keep oppression and racism alive and well

.And the thought of that cherub face having to be told that the world has a deep-seeded and irrationally violent fear of her for no other reason than by the color of her skin just hit me so hard I started sobbing to the point where I nearly had to pull over to get it all out.

I spent most of the day trying not to think about it because my eyes were sore and I know Spawn was wondering if I was getting sick and I really really didn’t want to have to go into it for fear I’d be rendered unable to speak. Nothing upsets a kid more than a parent being upset, I’ve found. Even if the reason for it should upset the hell out of everyone.

At a time when we WERE showing so much promise, so much evolution to our own thinking by FINALLY electing not based on  color, but intelligence, stoicism, wisdom… and then going this… the complete opposite of the ideal of unity, equality, fairness, kindness…. I cannot help but wonder how bad this period of backsliding has to get before we’ve just had enough.

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the little ones complaint (g2)

I asked my two little cousins if they’d seen their elder sister and the tone just darkened suddenly. The last time I’d seen them all together, things were pretty good, they were even acting much like full siblings, only with less “I hate you”, “I wish you’d die” that I’d seen between the two younger. If anything, their elder half-sister was shutting that stuff down.

On a sidenote, sibling behavior freaks the shit out of only children like Spawn and myself. We would never talk to anyone the way we hear siblings talk to one another. I’ve never understood if this is just normal stuff, or not enough intervention from like huge guys named Guido, floggings, duct tape, etc. 

On another sidenote, it freaks the shit out of people with siblings the way only children will talk to themselves. It helps us resolve things going on in our lives, but how in depth we can get really makes people think we’re nuts.

When both girls didn’t say anything, I asked again. Apparently, Knievel had indeed visited recently but it hadn’t gone so well. I cannot help it, the fixer in me pushed for details and I wanted to understand the hurt look on the younger sister’s face.

Then the older one pipes up and says “Apparently, she wanted to blame and punish us for having the father she never did.”

My heart sank. I’m often in awe the perception especially the older sister has about things but this is one of those moments I wish it wasn’t so good and they just thought she was being a bitch.

I did agree that the person their father was before their mom was completely different than the person he became when she was a factor, but it was utterly unfair to take that shit out on them.

I apologized for her, which I know means nothing. I was both angry at her and for her simultaneously. She didn’t deserve the shitty parents she got, and it had to be an epic slap in the face when one of them really bucks up… for his other kids. But at the same time, it is completely out of fucking line to get mad at them for that.

But its hard to take it out on the source of the discourse when the dumbfucker is dead.

We talked a little about their dad after that. The older sister isn’t quite as venomously angry as she used to be, and his pedestal with the younger seems to have whittled down a bit. I went over what little I felt I could without either shitting on him or giving him more credit than he was due. I did talk about his lack of impulse control and how that seemed to play a factor in much of his life, how much of a ghost he was before their mom. How much more focused he was with her…

I looked at the older one when I said it, but I told her she needed to call her sister out on her behavior. Let her know her feelings were justified, but she was unleashing them on the wrong person. Put her foot down that neither of them deserved to be treated that way.

But don’t write her off.

She’d been written off enough.

Other than her mom, they were all she had.

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Betty Davis’s Daughter (G-uno)

Dealing with the family members of dying clients is like walking a circus tightrope. One has to be very careful with their choice of wording. Families are under extreme pressure trying to maintain their daily lives while dealing with a dying loved one. Yesterday was Betty Davis’s 6 month evaluation with Hospice. Her daughter came home from work early to be there with mom.
Betty’s daughter is like a blonde Liza Minnelli in appearance so we will call her Liza. I don’t deal with her very often in person. We mostly communicate through notes to each other. She is usually at work when I arrive so I meet every morning with her husband. This is Liza’s third marriage (her husband’s too), but they have been married now for 13 years. I’m not sure who the drinker is in this house, but based on the amount of Captain Morgan on hand I’m guessing both.
Both Betty, and Liza were worried that Betty would be removed from Hospice’s care. They were both equally anxious about the possibility. I tried to reassure them both that this would not be the case as gently as possible, but Liza persisted until I had to explain in the most honest way I could. The problem here is that the truth is quite brutal, and I don’t know Liza well enough to know the best way to deal with her. So I began with “Mom’s condition continues to decline, and Hospice will view this as reason enough to keep Mom under their care.”
Liza snapped back “What do you mean? Mom is not declining, have you noticed a decline since you started working here?” Now in my line of work every alarm in my head is sounding off “DANGER G-uno Danger!” So I pulled out two bar stools motioning for us both to sit (somehow sitting seems less harsh) then I softly say “Yes Liza Mom is declining.” She is still on defense mode, and says “How do you know this, why are you saying this?” So I softly say ” There are physical signs that begin to occur when someone with Mom’s illness begins to decline.”
At this point I am silently begging “The Universe” to let this be enough for Liza to let this subject rest, and of course no such luck. Liza grabs my hand, and pleads with me to just tell her what I see. Then I could feel the tears welling in my eyes, and I’m pretty sure she could hear the sound of my heart cracking. I place my other hand on top of her’s, and I say “Mom’s breathing is becoming increasingly more labored. I ask her if she noticed that Mom’s hands were changing in any ways that she may have noticed.” She said “No!” ( I want to kick “The Universe”in the balls now!) So I softly say Mom’s hands are darkening now because her lungs & heart are having a more difficult time delivering oxygen to them.”
I can see at this point that she is breakable. I hug Liza, and I tell her that she is an amazing daughter. I tell her that I am overwhelmed by her love for Mom. She began to cry she is bothered by the fact that her Mom tells me more regarding her thoughts, and health concerns. She wants to share this with her mother. She feels like my bond with her mother is becoming stronger than theirs.
I am in agony at this point, but then I know what needs to be said (Sorry “Universe” lost my faith there for a moment) so I place both hands on the sides of Liza’s face. Then looking her directly in the eyes I tell her “Your Mom is still your Mom, and she will try to protect you no matter what. She does not share these things with me out of love, I am her caregiver. She is not concerned about my feelings in this capacity. You are her world! She loves you more than life itself, and this is momma bear’s way of shielding the one she does love, and trust more than anyone else in the world.”
I saw both heartbreak, and relief in Liza’s eyes. Sometimes the truth is the only way to go. 😉

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i know it’s thanksgiving, but i’d just like to leave early because i don’t like you. (g2)

Well, per usual I spent Thanksgiving with my cousin’s family. If you have been confused with my family dynamic…. well, join the club. Why should I be the only one? As far as my cousins and I have been able to discern from our earlier generations…

Great Great and Great-grandparents = Embodied heavenly creatures brought forth to make entire childhoods more epic and special than even the most tear-jerking of xmas films. At least per Grand and her kids to some extent.

Dead grandparent = At least somewhat beloved by all four children, especially my mother. Despised by spouse, based on how they were mentioned our entire lives. Only one cousin remembers this person and yes, fondly.

Grand = one of the single most psychotic creatures I have ever had the misfortune to meet, let alone be raised by. When spouse died within a month of their father dying, Grand snapped and seemed to spend their life devoted to the sole destruction of their own family. Their children remember them mostly as “typical” but not “involved.”

Grand and spouse’s four children = four of the most worthless fucking parents, and sometimes people, the world has ever had the disgrace to have on the planet. Not one, as a parent, has been worth a shit. Yes, including my mother. For their children, this ranged from present but withholds love and pride in exchange for preferential treatment (especially competing with their daughter-in-law), too busy picking out the next ex-Mrs. to be bothered being a parent, too busy partying and trying to find Mr. Right in all the Mr. Wrongs, to I’d rather raise the other kids I made instead of my first born but only if it doesn’t interfere with my drinking.

Cousins = the group in which I am in…. we have families, good ones and good friends. For the most part, we all have our heads on pretty solid in spite of at least half of our genetic makeup. However, we are all such different people that had we not shared genetics in even the most minor of way, we’d never speak.

I used to say I was visiting “my closest cousin” or “the cousin to whom I was closest.” I realized over the years that not only was this strictly relative in comparing my relationship with my other cousins, but completely untrue.

We are maybe the two people who might have had more than a passing conversation if we’d met in a waiting room or similar since we are techies. In my family, that’s close. We also have seven years difference in age. He’s the child of the eldest, I’m the child of the youngest. They had 12 years difference.

My cousin and his wife have an awesome kid who is eerily similar to Spawn, interests-wise, despite their six years difference in age. Sadly, they don’t talk to one another. They will both contentedly sit in the same room and play on their phone, computer or draw and not say a word for hours. This makes me sad, but I understand if it doesn’t happen naturally on its own, it will backfire.

My cousin and his wife do very well. They travel quite a bit, spoil their kid rotten and just generally get to do a lot together. I think it’s awesome. Comparatively, I probably make less than a fourth of what they do and we struggle quite a bit. I’m ok with that. The only time I’m not ok with that is when I feel like I’m getting graded for it. This only occurs when I’m visiting them. “Well, you know… you could do X if you just sock a little aside…” Um, no actually I can’t, that ends up lumped into groceries and we need those.

I also get graded on my parenting. Spawn has my level of stubborn when it comes to something they don’t want to do and for the longest time, this mostly focused on putting anything in their mouth that wasn’t pizza, chicken nuggets or french fries. I blame daycare, since they considered mashed potatoes and rice balanced side dishes when served together. Spawn is older now, has made and tasted a quickie version of kimchi even, but if they don’t like it, they’re still not eating it. I don’t have a problem with this.

My cousin’s wife is an awesome cook and I would use these as good reasons for Spawn to try something they “thought” they hated. Spawn would dig in their heels about it not being on that very short list in their head and instead of letting the parent handle it, both my cousin and his wife would gang up on my kid to make them try it. My knee jerk reaction was to do the opposite and let Spawn escape the onslaught.

They didn’t see they were doing anything wrong, but more than once I would have to point out, “I would never have to audacity to parent your kid, it’s not my place. So remember that when the urge strikes you to parent mine.”

The sad thing is this hasn’t happened with just them among my family. It really breaks down your own self worth when you are overstepped because someone thinks they can “handle” your kid better. Is it due to family persistently thinking you are forever 13? Or do they actually see you’re an adult but just think you’re that incompetent?

The whole reason I ever came to this area… I blame first on my mom’s death, the holidays, or those fucking Budweiser holiday commercials… not sure. I sure as hell wasn’t remembering my actual blood relatives when I came up with this idea.

I had a kid on the way and suddenly family took on a very intense meaning. My family was all over 3k miles away, Grand was getting on in years and none of their kids wanted to deal with them.

I would. I’d dealt with their crazy shit most of my life, another 10 years would be nothing to get them out of the solitude they were currently living in. It would give my kid exposure to at least one member of their own family. I was hell bent on making Grand’s twilight years an epic adventure as I learned what it meant to be a parent.

It wasn’t long before, due to Grand and her minions (the three surviving children) I was soundly ousted from that scenario. Grand was packed up and moved off into a house with a friend of the eldest and not long after…. an assisted living facility and then state-funded type you die in.

I’d managed to get some weight and blood sugar meds off Grand just long enough for the eldest to stuff them on a shelf where they put that and more back on. The degeneration was rapid… so so rapid. Within one year there was a walker… and a diaper.

Greed had always been a driving factor for Grand and her eldest was no different… eerily so. The best I could figure is they were under some assumption I had come back to take advantage of Grand and the… wealth? Grand has social security and a mortgage still, in their 80’s. They had lent 25k to the pathetic piece of shit of their youngest son. The same son who told me during that time period “Family decisions will be made by the family… not you.”

Those were our last words.

Example, I took Grand to the grocery store about 2-3 times a week. Grand was addicted to shopping and I noticed they would go up each and every aisle no matter how much they really needed to get. Did you know just doing that, Grand dropped a couple pant sizes in no time?

Grand had an almost desperate need to shove stuff in their cart. Macular degeneration helped a lot during this time period as Grand would focus on one side, while I pulled things out of the cart from the other and put it back. I always made sure there was at least something there to buy for their fix, but it had to stay under 10 bucks total.

With us grocery shopping so often, the food was fresher. Grand loved fruit and I only allowed 3 servings at most per trip, and all had to be different colors. Grand got pissed at me when I wouldn’t let them buy a 10lb bag of oranges (did I mention Grand was diabetic?). I got calls later that I was accused of not feeding Grand.

Whenever I did something that Grand didn’t like, they would start some shit with their kids in order to bully me, I guess? I would take the infant Spawn to visit their other and only living grandmother. Grand told anyone who would listen I was running around with various people, the allusion was that was sleeping around.

I remember one night I had just gotten back to Grand’s about midnight, Spawn conked out in my arms and Grand was rocking away, arms folded, look of disgust mounted on their face. I asked what was wrong. I was told that someone had called Grand to say I’d been out with some member of the opposite sex.

I’d heard shit like this my entire life. I would tell Grand where I was going and give a number, I would come back accused of all sorts of atrocities. This was before caller id, so I had no reason to believe it was wasn’t true. I just could never figure out who the hell looked like me enough or if their friends were just blind and stupid. I didn’t know how to not be defensive growing up, and always felt guilty for nothing.

I quietly walked over to the caller id when Grand refused to tell me who called… there’d been no calls in 27 hours. I asked Grand why they had spent my entire life sitting in that fucking chair coming up with bullshit lies to sling at me for no other reason than their own twisted amusement.

Then I sat down just opposite Grand, got close and said…”If I want to fuck half a dozen people of both genders in front of my infant kid, I’m almost thirty and you cannot do a damn thing to stop it as that is none of your fucking business. Are we understood?”

Grand was pissed, but a small nod told me what I needed. I rose and as I headed to bed I just said “You know, even if that were some sort of weekend hobby I decided to adopt, I still don’t think it would ever make me as shitty a parent as you.”

As time wore on, Grand tried various bullshit in order to regain “control.” With Grand, that’s all it was really about. I wasn’t letting Grand do what they wanted, or control me, so I needed to be disciplined and put in my place.

Thing is, I was the grandchild. Hearing enough various awful things I was apparently doing to Grand was enough to make her surviving children, at least two of them, wonder what the deal was.

The original plan was that Grand and I would me moving in together but there was no way I was moving back to Grand’s house. So in the midst of all of this, on the weekend I was to be moving into the new place (we got Grand up there in advance), I showed up with van full of stuff and find some friend of Grand’s eldest is already living there. I call my cousin to ask what is going on. They have no idea.

I get back in my van, and I head back to Grand’s old house. In three days, I’ve moved to my own place in the next city and I haven’t given anyone the address. I cut off all contact Grand’s kids in the area.

I get calls from Grand begging me to come get them. My paranoid mind is telling me the eldest is recording all of Grand’s conversations, but my logical mind is telling me not even they are that crazy.

They are that crazy.

The eldest proudly declares this when describing a conversation where Grand called their youngest to check on me and then called me to tell me to call the police if they showed up. Seriously.

I tell Grand that they were the catalyst for 99% of this. It sucks that their kids are as stupid and mean as they are, but they should be proud they’d done so well turning them into exactly what they wanted. That being jobless, homeless with an infant was the last situation I wanted to be in and be surrounded by that goon squad. That I didn’t want a damn thing from any of them and I sure as hell wasn’t telling them where I was.

This is also shortly after hearing about how Grand had enlisted the help of their eldest son to take me away from my mom almost 30 years ago. The one time I remember coming near Grand Jr aka the eldest is to pick up the rest of my things that actually did make it up (there’s still more), Spawn is staying with a friend of mine for the day as I will not have them around my kid in case anyone gets any wild ideas for a do-over.

Fast forward to this past holiday. This eldest child of Grand’s I’m civil to out of respect for my cousin. This is the only family he has to invite aside from me and he loves his parent. I get all that. I loved Grand even though I didn’t like them. Unfortunately, the eldest is hellbent on trying to delve right into the past slew of shit I’ve managed to dodge the past ten years.

I don’t want to hear it. I don’t care anymore. Grand had a shitty final ten years and that is on Grand and their kids. I did my best and like all of my life I have never felt a part of this family. I was the unwanted runt Grand brought home, put on a pedestal and proceeded to sink every dime into buying truckloads of unnecessary shit for, making it obvious to every other member of the family who the favored child was, most especially among other grandchildren. Doesn’t help any bonding with your family peers, I can tell you that. I grew up feeling like there was always going to be a sizable bill at the end. That I was expected to make a large income that would enable Grand to have a life they intended to become accustomed.

What a disappointment I must have been.

This eldest went on about how that friend was only staying there until I got there. This stunned me. They asked why I didn’t ask. I told them I did ask, I asked Grand, I asked my cousin when they weren’t available and they were all as clueless as I was.

I was accused of being insanely picky about everything I wanted down to the minor details. I told them that was ridiculous. Sure, I had a lot of things I liked, everybody does, but I wasn’t allowed to be involved in any of the decision-making enough to be accused of being picky. That the entire time any of this was going on, I saw one realtor, who showed us a bunch of overpriced insane shit and next thing I know there just is a place, it’s purchased and their friend is living in it. What I thought didn’t matter and no one asked.

To some degree, it kind of felt like an act and in some other, it seemed like the eldest kind of figured out where they fucked up. I’m sure, if they are like Grand, this will be rewritten in their mind in about a week, much like the “insane demands” I apparently made about… spigots, tiles? I remember a conversation once about things I thought were cool in kitchens. This is the only reference material I can recall on this and it had nothing to do with any places we’d seen. I want a completely stainless steel kitchen with sealed cabinets, a pressure washer and a drain in the floor… because I’m fucking lazy and that sounds awesome. I also want a more awesome chest and thicker hair.

My cousin’s wife… I’m not sure if she was trying to be comforting, but it really just pissed me off more. They were saying that not having someone as venomous as Grand around Spawn is something I should be thankful for. That I should be grateful to the their kids for all of it since it meant I was free of it.

But I’m not. They fucking meddled and pushed me to the side and instead of discussing anything with me, they just meddled more and dealt with Grand like baggage. There is no way NOW of knowing how any of it would have turned out. Grand might still be here, as cantankerous and shitty as ever, but on less meds and less weight and busy… I just wanted them busy and active and not sitting in that stupid rocker all day brooding over who they would fuck with next. Sure, it would have been trying for both me and Spawn, but maybe not as much as it was at the start had we all been allies versus enemies. We were just NEVER given that chance.

All of this BS aside, it shit on so many relationships with my family as well, I have nothing but bad feelings from all of that. If I’d known that then what would have occurred, before coming back to this area, I would have never come and probably headed further west and away from them.

THAT I could have been truly thankful for.

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mom died over a dozen years ago today…but it still seems so very recent (g2)

Over a dozen years ago today I was working a double shift at a telecommunications center that was trying to ramp up for holiday volume. My mom and I were instant messaging back and forth about plans for the upcoming holiday well into midnight. We said our “I love you’s” and “good night’s,” her very last message being how her boyfriend would be coming down.

I didn’t like how my mother behaved around the men she was dating, and this one was no different. This was the first one that wasn’t married, a junkie, a drunk, a loser, or some variation thereof and I could tell she was pretty serious about him. I didn’t dislike him either. I truly felt my mom deserved someone good for a change.

However, I hated how she spoke higher and more sing-songy when he was around. How her very quick and sharp wit was dulled and muted in order to keep the spotlight on her man. My mom was the type of person you’d want to have your back in a beer brawl. Her Mrs. Cleaver act around guys just pissed me off.

I sent a final message opting out of spending the holiday with her, using work as an excuse, and wishing her a good time with the boyfriend.

I cannot express enough the relief when I found that message unread two days later.

When my message arrived, my mom had dozed off in front of the TV, and in less than an hour a blood clot traveled to her lungs and suffocated her in her sleep. She never reached fifty years of age.

A little over a day later, her boyfriend would be the one to find her still on the couch.

I’m sitting at work, on a Saturday, working another double shift with a hundred pairs of eyes on me while a coroner calls me to tell me casually my mother is dead and how by the decomposition and smell of the body, how he managed to estimate the time of death.

I’m also pissed that this man dares to fuck with me over such a thing. There is no way my hiking, fishing, outdoorsy loving mother would be dead.

I put the call on hold and walk to a back office. I have no clue what my face shows at this point, only that all one hundred sets of those eyes are watching me in shock.

When I pick up this call, I start tearing into this man for the shitty human being he is, how my mother would kick his ass if she knew what he was trying to pull. He never responded, except to give me his number and I hang up on him.

It wasn’t until my friend Cris calls me on my cellphone and tells me that she is with my mom’s boyfriend and they are there to pick me up that the weight of it hits me as truth.

Cris was close to my mom, but she’d never met the boyfriend. If she was with him, it was because she is one of those on a short list of emergency numbers my mom keeps of people who know how to find me.

I feel like a building just fell on my chest, I don’t really remember breathing. It gets worse when I see Cris, the boyfriend standing behind and off to the side with downcast eyes as though he somehow doesn’t have the right to be there.

This puzzles me.

I suddenly feel very sorry for him when I realize he has to be one who found her. I also realize I don’t… I don’t want to see her at all.

I also realize this is one of the few people who might actually be hurting as much as I am.

I realize that if I don’t make any other calls, I do need to call Grand and tell them their baby is dead. I’m still at work when I find an empty office and give them the news. It galls me the first response Grand has is “are you ok?”

Cris deals with most of it. I don’t remember much of anything except that it isn’t long later when Cris and another one of my close friends are with me at home. I’ve not cried, I doubt I’ve expressed much of anything. They intermittently ask me if I want anything. I finally tell my friends I love them and appreciate what they are trying to do but I really need them to get the fuck out.

I stared in the dark in my quiet little house for only a little while before I got in the car and headed to my mom’s.

I had my own set of keys to her house, as she did to mine.

I suddenly remember my last text message blowing her off for the holiday. GUILT. It’s blinking unread in her notifications. *SIGH*

I read an email she sent to her boyfriend where she mentioned being just a little disappointed that there had not been any grandchildren from my failed marriage. GUILT.

I curled up into a ball on the couch she died in and for a long time… I cried.

I cried over the fact that the only thing my mom ever wanted from life was the whole marriage and happy home bit. The closest she ever got was the engagement she hadn’t told me about yet to the current boyfriend. He let it slip in the chaos and I’d yet to process it.

I cried over the fact that in all of my almost thirty years on earth, if you took the years that were robbed by Grand, my former spouse and my own stubborn anger… my mom and I had only have seven years of time together. SEVEN.

I was an orphan. I’d long been abandoned by one parent and had spent most of my life feeling like the other one was just half-assing the same. It would be a few more weeks before I would find out just how much of a lie that was, and I would grieve even more.

I stayed on that couch for days.

Then I buried myself in work, and when it came time to leave work, I hit the bars. I had a precarious balance between burying myself in work and inebriation.

I volunteered to train classes at other centers when I couldn’t deal with the fact my co-workers knew about it. When I had to have paperwork notarized, it was a branch manager at another center who did it. They just asked “Why are you even here?”

Grand and my closest cousin came to help clear out paperwork and see if we could find a will. I opted to cremate her, requested a lock of her hair. I’d never done funeral things and we weren’t members of a church. We were outsiders to the area we lived really. I drug my cousin along on my alcohol binges when we had decided to cease and desist in the evening. To this day, we don’t talk about it. He took on the mantra Nevada did… “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” kind of thing. For me that kind of wildness was pretty normal, for him the family man, it was very eye-opening.

By the time I could tolerate other people and could host a wake, only her boyfriend and a few of my friends had come. I had just waited too long for people to keep an eye out for it. I just did everything wrong. MORE GUILT.

I know deep down my mom would never stress about that kind of shit and she would likely make fun of me for doing so. Unfortunately, logic doesn’t seem to have a lot of pull over emotions. It’s sucks like that.

I know my mom would feel bad to know that the holiday season is very bittersweet for me. She was such a massive kid about the holidays, she loved them all and was excited about them and ran at them with wide open arms. It would kill her to know that losing her makes me want to curl back up on that couch every holiday season until its over.

So I don’t.

I try to channel my mom in spite of the scroogy spirit that I have. I realize now I started doing it for Grand’s benefit right after losing my mom and I’ve been doing it for someone’s benefit ever since. Thank goodness it only took a couple years before Spawn came along, since now I don’t have to work to find a focal point.

I try my best to give my kid the kind of holiday environment that would make the grandmother they never knew proud. It’s the least I can do.

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The { } And – g2

Can you imagine if you could sit down with a particularly significant ex and ask them all the questions you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask?

I’m torn. There are a few things I would like to know from my past sigs, but none that I would want to answer. Not because I couldn’t, but because my responses would inflict unnecessary trauma, or open hope where there is none any longer.

If you could ask someone from your past anything you wanted, who would it be and what would you ask?

Source: The { } And

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When There Are No More Words (G-uno)

There comes a time when everything that you could possibly say has been said, and there are simply no more words. Yet they all kept on speaking. I found myself locked inside my own head begging for silence, he was dying on the outside while I was dying from the inside. We sat by his side for ten days watching his life force slowly drift from his worn, tired body. We made sure he was never alone. We held him, kissed him, bathed him, shared precious memories, and made sure that we kept his room filled with love. We made sure he heard our laughter, because that was how he lived his life. If we found ourselves overwhelmed by a moment we quietly stepped out of his room.

As each day passed I found myself wondering if he was holding on because he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving a life he loved so much, or was he afraid? Everyone who so adamantly spoke about letting him go being the right thing to do found themselves unable to sit beside him as his life slipped slowly away. I found it ironic that those of us who were tortured over the very idea of removing the feeding peg were the only ones able to see his journey through to the very end. Yet they kept on speaking. Maybe it was out of nervousness, fear, or grief, but inside my mind I kept begging for silence.

Our loved one spoke to us for the first four days. He even attempted to joke with us, that was always his way. Then there was silence. A deafening silence that spoke so loudly it became impossible for me to continue to listen to the others speak. Then on the tenth day there was the final silence as his last breath left his body. He was surrounded by his family, I held on to him just the way I always have. In that moment there were no more words, only love.

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