Long Day Sunday

Most of the time I live on the positive side.  There is always something to be grateful for, always.  The usual items on my daily gratitude list are still here, but there seems to be a black fog between me and whatever is good today.  I woke up pissed that I woke up before the sun so I flopped around trying to go back to sleep, even knowing that would not happen because I had to pee and once I make that trip to the toilet going back to dreamland is out of the question.  Coffee and the newspaper did not improve my disposition.  Even the husband’s hugs and his having enough sense to let me be did not give me the usual lift.

My go to for these occasional bouts of the blahs is usually getting together with family and I thought about calling everybody and making supper, but today I just don’t have a decent dinner in me.  What I have in me is grief.  I understand this intellectually and generally have tools to manage it.  I understand that I need to reach out for comfort.  I got in touch with a good listener who listened.  Still feeling down.  I understand that I need to be kind to myself.  I took a bubble bath and sat down with wine and a good book.  Read the same damn paragraph over and over until I realized my brain could not hold onto the words.

The usual fixes aren’t working.  The only place left for me to go is just accept that this day sucks.  It sucks, it hurts and it is lasting too long.  I miss my daughter.  Always will.  I will handle that better on other days.  This day I just give up.

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Long Day Sunday

Daily Prompt: Forlorn

via Daily Prompt: Forlorn Today’s daily prompt fits my current emotional state perfectly.  Certainly feeling forlorn today.  Kind of at loose ends and trying to find something to hold on too so that I don’t get blown away by the next wind.  It’s just too much effort to really care about anything and all I really want to do is sleep or just hide in a corner away from everybody.  I can’t completely claim forlorn though because the very definition of forlorn is hopeless and I am never totally hopeless.  What I am is sad and I miss my daughter, my buddy who would have said do what you need to do mom.  You deserve a day off.

There are people I could call, shoulders I could cry on.  But what kind of selfish asshole does that?  So, say I call up a friend and cry like a baby and rant and rave about how unfair life is and on and on and on so that I bring them down from the happy place they may be in.  Would I feel better? Maybe briefly.  But not for long and my friend would be sharing the sadness.  Right now I am not doing that.  Maybe tomorrow if I need to I will call but right now I can just carry this load myself.

 

Daily Prompt: Forlorn

Crazy and Confused

Each day when I first wake I have a headache.  For just a moment I wonder why, then I become aware that my daughter is still dead and I am still in a permanent state of grief.  It’s a strange thing, grief.  I thought I understood it before, having lost others I loved dearly and having comforted friends and family through their times of loss, but this is different in so many ways.  Grief for the loss of my child is so much more, so much more everything.  The sadness is deeper and wider.  The pain is more painful and intense and sneaks up to smack you without warning.

I find myself most distressed by my inability to concentrate.  I actually had to get out my recipe book to make biscuits the other day.  This is ridiculous.  I have been making biscuits from memory for years and now I have to measure out everything in separate bowls and cups before I start or I forget whether I already put stuff in.  Probably this will get better with time as I move through the stages.  The problem with there being stages of grief is that they do not line up single file where one can move from one to another, rather one stage seems to have passed and another to begin when all of a sudden your heart goes right back to the beginning and total devastation slams you to the ground.

Then just when I feel strong enough to go ahead and meet friends for a drink a song comes on the radio in the car that reminds me of a happy time and I break down and cry because that time is gone with her and will never come again.   Damn.  Now I have to blow my nose, repair my makeup, breathe deeply and go into the bar to order a drink.  I hug my friends, say I’m doing okay and find a way to make conversation.  It actually helps and I resolve to accept more social invitations.

Most of my life I have written to entertain myself, to record memories, to share ideas.  Now I find that holding a thought long enough to put it on paper is a challenge.  If someone asks me how I feel before I can put words to my current state it changes and I go from at peace to distraught to anxiety ridden to okay I guess and settle on saying I’m okay I guess.  Much of the time staying busy is the only way to get through the day.  So I clean, cook, shop, rearrange the house, take a walk, do pretty much anything that keeps me moving and requires the use of my mind so that there is no room in my head for anything else.

Today has been typical of my days since Teri died.  I have felt up, down, frustrated, grateful, lost, agitated, and even briefly calm.  It seems likely to me that there will be many more days like this one before there is a day of serenity.  Oh how I long for a day of serenity.

What I know is that I need to write down how each day changes, or not, so that when progress is made I can recognize it.

Crazy and Confused

The End is Only the Beginning

My daughter died.  That’s the end of her story.  It’s a beautiful, tragic story, but it has ended and everything else continues to be and that seems so wrong.  Practically I get it.  One life ends and all others continue as they always have.  My life continues, but I don’t know what to do with it so I go through the motions and wait to understand, to adjust, to accept.  Some have said the past is the best indicator of the future.  Okay, people I loved have died before and it was hard, painful even.  Time helped.  Staying busy helped.  Letting people help gave some relief. Helping others helped too.  All that will get me through this time too, but not soon, maybe not for a very long time.

Remembering is the worst and the best part of my days now.  Every happy time I recall makes me cry and makes me smile at the same time.  Every new card that comes in the mail sharing others’ memories of my girl makes me cry and makes me smile at the same time.  I think to myself that no one can imagine or understand this pain and confusion and anger and despair, but I am wrong about that.  Others have lost their children and know too well the world I live in now.  They have reached out to lift me up, or at least try to keep me from sinking any further. I am so grateful to them.

Gratitude is coming easier to me that I had hoped.  The kindness and compassion of friends, neighbors, acquaintances and even strangers are so appreciated.  Being cared for and  thought of keeps the loneliness at bay.  It has always been my practice to make a gratitude list most days, if not actually written down at least noted in my mind early in the day.  Right this minute if I try to list all that I am grateful for it includes:  My grandchildren.  Being here and being strong for them gives me purpose that I so need. My husband who reminds me constantly that we honor Teri’s memory by living a good life; that she would not approve of any wallowing but always wanted all good things for her family.  My son who makes me laugh just because he knows I need to do that. The usual other stuff; a home, health, neighbors, living above the poverty line.  Mostly I deeply appreciate that Teri was in my life and brought so much joy to so many.  Not that she was perfect, but she was close enough for me.  She gave more that she got from this world, cared too much too often and always kept trying against all odds.  She was my hero.

Now I have to find a way to carry on with all of us still here.  My granddaughter is expecting a baby in May.  She and her mother were planning a reveal party before, so we got busy and put together that party to announce that a new baby girl is on her way.  We decorated the house and put out punch and cookies, snacks and sodas, and enjoyed the company of friends and soccer moms and even one adorable baby boy for a couple of hours.  It’s a start.

Christmas is next.  All the trees (I put up only five this year) are trimmed and there are candles and trinkets from Christmases past all over the house.  Gifts have been ordered online and the baking has begun.  Finding some happiness in the holiday is my next goal.  Once that is done we will find something else to look forward too.  That is the only way I know to live this life.

 

The End is Only the Beginning

Feeling crowded

Here’s the problem.  The real problem with the world.  There are too many people.  There are more people on the earth than the earth can sustain.  Far too many of these people are starving and far too many do not have clean water.  When there is not enough to go around, well then those who have none take what they need from those who have some.  Therefore, since it is not possible to increase the finite resources of earth then the need must be reduced.  People have to stop making so many more people.

Mother nature is doing her part.  We have storms, floods, wild fires and drought eliminating many humans on a regular basis.  Humans themselves contribute to the elimination of large numbers of existing humans with wars and more wars.  Then of course there is disease taking out that many more and just plain old age finally freeing up some space.  But still, we have more  and more people.

What the hell is wrong with us?  It’s not like we lack effective birth control.  Unless you live in a cave alone it is not possible to see the refugee camps and poverty stricken cities all over the world and conclude that the world needs more people.  So why don’t we do something, or even acknowledge that something needs to be done?

Why indeed.  It’s partly because we are biologically designed to procreate.  We like making babies.  Well, really mostly we like having sex — not usually with the full intent to make a baby, just to feel good.  That’s where the birth control would be helpful.  Of course mostly we like babies.  They are cute.  We are taught, mostly by religious teachings, that every baby is a blessing.  I actually never met one I didn’t like.  Making babies makes a man feel, well manly.  Makes a woman feel motherly and fulfilled. Even siblings like each other.

How can we be convinced not to give ourselves this blessing?  China tried restricting the number of children legally allowed.  That doesn’t seem to have gone very well.  So far educating people about family planning has not been successful to any meaningful degree, partly because most religious teaching glorifies large families.

It seems I have identified, at least in my own mind, another unsolvable problem.  I don’t know what the hell to do about it.

Feeling crowded

They call me Granny

Here we go again with another Hallmark holiday, grandparents day.  I guess that’s okay for people who otherwise would not think of their grandparents and it sells a few greeting cards.  I am Granny every day. It’s my favorite nick name, and I’ve had a few of those.  Punkin and Sis when I was a kid, Mac (for my maiden name, McCandless) as a teen, from my husband Sweetie when he is happy with me and Darling with a sarcastic twist when he isn’t.  Then I got to be Mama, Mom and Mother (mother with that same sarcastic twist) and finally Granny.

I got to be Granny first when Curtis was born and then a few months later when his cousin, Tara, came along.  Then there was Brittany and when my son married again we gained Camille followed by her brothers Ethan and finally James.  Six of them!  I have a lot of grannying to do, my favorite pass time.

Most of these babies got their first bath at home in my kitchen sink.  Soapy, slippery babies can be a challenge but I was always up for it.  They are so sweet smelling all fresh and clean and a nice warm bath can be so soothing for a baby.  And, what could be better than that toothless smile when they are wrapped up in a fluffy towel?  My theory with grandchildren is if they are grumpy put them in water or feed them something sweet.  So, when they got past the kitchen sink bath age we graduated to bubble baths, then a wading pool, then a swimming pool or a dip in the lake in summer.  On vacations when a hot tub was available a little time in there followed by a banana malt made for sleepy boys at bed time.

When water didn’t work to settle down the toddlers a ride around the block in the stroller would do the trick, or maybe a ride in the car in cooler weather.  Of course there’s always books read while snuggling in the rocking chair or just snuggling and rocking while softly singing.  The singing always had to be softly for me because I am tone deaf and can’t really sing, but I can fake it close enough for little kids who don’t know any better yet.

As the grandchildren got school age they developed an interest in various sports and I had new entertainment opportunities.  There are hundreds of soccer games in my past and more than a few little league games, an occasional basketball game or track event and some swim lessons.  All of them a treat.  Turns out the cheerleading experience from high school served me well.

The four eldest are adults now and finding their way in the world.  I think they are going to be okay.  Each of them are intelligent, caring people.  Each of them have their own dreams to pursue and their own unique qualities to contribute.

The two youngest, my wonder boys, still have adolescence in front of them.  They show signs of growing into good men.  It’s a joy for me to watch as they leave the funny little boys they were behind and make the journey toward responsible citizens.

Happy Grandparents Day to me.  Granny is my absolute favorite thing to be everyday.  I am spending this particular day dog sitting the grand dog, Tyson.  He gets extra treats at my house, just like the other grand kids but ninety pounds of black dog is too much for me to handle in a bubble bath.  Tyson doesn’t care and he doesn’t need soothing.  He is perfectly content laying on my feet as I sit in my recliner.  I can’t say he is my favorite but he is the easiest to take care of.

 

 

They call me Granny

Birds

This summer I put up three hummingbird feeders.  There are also several plants and flowers in my yard along with trees and a small raised garden.  My favorite ordinary day pleasure is sitting on the patio enjoying my coffee in the morning or my wine in the afternoon.  Entertainment is provided by the squirrels, birds, rabbits, an occasional raccoon and once even a deer wandering through the neighborhood.  I enjoy the Cardinals and Blue Jays that hang out at the bird feeders and fairly often a squirrel carrying a nut walks within a couple feet of my chair.  Someone in the neighborhood has a big, grey tom cat who usually shows up and glares at me from under the Cedar tree at the side of my patio.  This is my happy place.

Now that we are at the end of summer and approaching autumn the hummingbirds are here.  Lots of them.  This morning there were two flitting from one feeder to another and perching in the Caster Bean plants.  This evening, however, there were at least five zooming from feeder to tree to planter to the garden to the roses to another feeder and past my head as I sat there on their way to do it all over again.  I am always amazed at how fast these tiny creatures are.  When they fly over my head the sound reminds me of a buzz saw.  I love watching them, but they zip from one place to another and back again so quickly that I can’t always ascertain whether the feathered friend on the feeder is the one I saw flying in that direction of the one that came careening in from the opposite direction.  They are inclined to dive bomb each other in mid air and chase one another through the trees.

When I took my wine out to the patio to watch the day fade into night I was wearing my red t-shirt and had on my red rimmed reading glasses for the book I thought I might read a bit of.  You probably know that hummingbirds are attracted to red.  I knew that , but did not actually think about it as I sat in my lawn chair with my feet up to watch the tiny bird circus.  When one of the tiny creatures flew under the gazebo and was hovering only a little more than a foot in front of my face I held perfectly still wanting to see if it would stay a minute.  As I was holding my breath, watching, another miniature bird came zipping past my nose and buzzed the other bird so that they both zoomed into a tree so fast I did not have time to blink before they were gone.

I picked up my book and read only a few lines when I heard that buzz over my head and then there was that bird, hovering in front of my face.  This is beginning to freak me out.  He only stayed a moment and was gone to perch on the feeder for a drink.  When he blasted by my head and hovered to look me in the eye again I finally thought about that red shirt and glasses.  Obviously I am a slow learner.

Have you ever noticed that the beak of a hummingbird closely resembles a needle?  I began to consider what might happen if a needle moving at the speed of a hummingbird met with my face and decided it would be better to move inside to my recliner to finish my reading.  I’m not really a coward, just practical.

 

 

Birds