Category Archives: Death

Loved You May and Hello June


May was the most interesting month I’ve had for what seems like forever!

A new medication for sleeping has done wonders for me.  Instead of needing and getting 12 to 14 hours of sleep almost every day, I now get up after only 7 hours and feel pretty perky.  All my other meds are the same and seem to be working really well for the most part.  I think the weather helps too.  I’m not isolating 1380021_10155657943450221_190890452345083084_nmyself so much as I was a few short weeks ago.  I love my yard; the sun sucks all the dreary winter from my body and brings the summer into my soul.

We found a cute baby kitty that we were going to adopt and kept him in the house with us for a few days until we could get him to the Humane Society to have him checked out and neutered.  He got out just before one of the most weirdest storms I’ve ever been through happened.  Snow with lightning and high damaging winds.  Then he never came back.  I still grieve for him.  He was so lovable and sweet.

The end of May marked the first anniversary of the death of my dad.  I still have the image of him taking his last breath as my sister and I clutched his hands, crying, and telling him to go.  It was okay to go.  I should have left right away so I wouldn’t have had to see his empty, thin body lying there.  I can’t forget it.  I still remember my mom as she looked after her death too.  I dream of them so much.    His birthday was 2 days after his death as well.  It was hard this year as I’m sure it will be every year.  It’s funny when I dream of my dad because, in my dreams, apparently his death was all a big mistake and he isn’t really dead and is still alive.

What makes it better, though, is in between the anniversary of my dad’s death 11107728_10155729474615221_1500065792585678561_nand his birthday my youngest granddaughter had her first birthday.  I remember the joy I felt when she was born in spite of the sad, dark time of a year ago.  This year was no different, really.  She is cute as can be and I love both of my grandgirls to bits.  Such bright and wonderful children who give me so much joy.

My daughter turned 18 in March and is almost 30.  Yeah. But she’s really doing great.  Doing fantastic in school, winning 2 awards and made the honour roll!  So proud of that girl.

I also met a man.  I decided to give up on the “bad boys” after reading several articles written by nice men who never seem to get a chance.  I also read some blog posts and comments from them where women have been stuck with the bad boys just like I was. And they just didn’t get it either. So…I’m giving one a chance.  It’s only been a few weeks but holy moly…wow.  He treats me like a queen, takes me for dinners, lunches and breakfasts.  He lent me his truck for 4 days (which my kids thought was really weird).

I have had to stop him from spending so much money on me.  If he had his way he would lavish me with gifts.  He wants to find me a car. He wants to buy me clothes. I said no. I keep saying no. He really giftswants me to be happy and expects a commitment in the future.  THAT I’ve  never heard before.  It’s been all disconcerting as I have not met anyone like him.  He loves how I look.  He’s beyond eager to meet my kids.  He wants to be with me all the time and I had to tell him I needed space to breathe and learn about myself in this new role.  It was a battle at first, only because of his own insecurities I think.  I notice he really doesn’t have that many of those so far.  He lives out-of-town on a beautiful 4 acre lot with an apple orchard and all the toys near a beautiful lake.  I’ve stayed there a few times and love the privacy, the birds and the sun on beautiful days.

I had a surprise graduation party for my son, his wife and my daughter on Sunday because they are all graduating.  My son got his GED back in the fall, my 11224583_10155851597945221_3784232355226808323_ndaughter-in-law went to night school to finish her high school and, of course, my daughter graduates high school in June.  My fella paid for all the food and drove me around everywhere to find supplies and presents.  He wanted to come to the party to do the cooking but I held him off as we had only been together for such a short time.  I just felt it was too soon.

He smiles all the time. And that’s important to me. We like and love so many of the same things and every time we discover something new it’s such a surprise.  He wants to make sure I’m not stuck inside and plans outings all the time.  He missed me yesterday and drove the hour drive and showed up at 4 in the afternoon with Chinese food for supper.

To think I was fighting this.  Neither of us could really understand my imagesCA48VGCDreasoning.  I do though, of course.  All those failed relationships, all the heartache and all the work invested and lessons learned.  He doesn’t want me to lump him into the same category as those guys.  He’s assured me he’s different.  I’m starting to believe it. His health isn’t very good at this time but we both hope for improvements.

I have high hopes for this wonderful man.  If it doesn’t work out at least I know there are nice men out there.

So bring on June.  Graduations, beaches, long drives and love.  Bring it on.

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Roller Coaster


Finally, I feel I have the ability to write again, both electronically and emotionally.  Well, I still don’t know about the emotional part.  Its been a very emotion-filled few weeks, with many ups and even more downs.  My laptop may overheat but I will write with breaks so it can cool down.

During these times I came to learn valuable lessons about myself:  I’m still strong, there is always something new on the horizon, and I have my pride intact.  There were lots more lessons learned but those are the big ones.

I was always waiting for something.  Exterminators because we had bedbugs.  It took the landlord 2 months to get them here so poor Carly and I would go to bed each night so the critters could feast upon our milky flesh.  All the info we read from the government and exterminator’s websites recommended you don’t sleep on the couch or they will find you.  Where. Ever. You. Go.  So I couldn’t sleep.  I would stay awake until the sun came up, killing any that crawled on me and put them in a jar of bleach and laugh manically as they dissolved before my eyes (I bet you didn’t know how sadistic I can be).  During the day I would pick though my daughter’s bed, trying to decrease her discomfort.  She would still have new bites every few days.

During this 2 month time we were banned from seeing my grandchildren as my son has an almost supersized fear of the bugs and he did not want to risk any hugstransfer from us.  Ditto for the boyfriend.  I maybe saw him 4 times in that 2 months and that was to go to movies.  I was so relieved when we were finally sprayed at the beginning of December.  My oldest granddaughter was overjoyed when I walked though their door.  The hugs!  Hugs beat the bedbug blues every time!

Unfortunately the bugs seemed to be the beginning of the end for the boyfriend. He called less and less and I saw him very infrequently. We seemed to have a plan to go to Cuba though, where I hoped some alone time would help.  Over the holidays, he just stopped calling except for a text telling me Happy New year and don’t be mad, I’m going to Cuba with my friend.  That was almost 2 weeks ago and not a word since.

I knew this was a man who has lived with a very traumatic past and this is the worst time of year for him.  It took me a while to realize that he could not be ready for a relationship.  He needs to find his own self before he could ever trust his life won’t be ripped apart again.  I, of course, have had my own traumatic past.  The difference is I have both professional and familial support.  He chooses to have a different way of handling his feelings.  I’m afraid it ended with me having a broken heart because of the silence.  Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit and he really is just a jerk.  I don’t believe that though.  I do know, really, it’s for the best because, unless there is help in his life, my heart would never heal and would keep going through these unresolved issues he carries.  I think I might be stronger in some ways.  Unfortunately, I’ve now developed some trust issues of my own.  My self-esteem is even more damaged than before.  Who would want me?  I don’t feel attractive physically or emotionally/mentally.  What a mess.

There was one day that I slept away.  22 hours.  That was when I knew I had to try to do something but everything was pretty dark for me.  For those who survive depression hopefully knows everyone feels it differently; it’s never a contest, like “I have more reasons to be depressed than you do” kind of thing.  No.  What I feel ????is physical (heavy like an elephant) and mentally (my brain is a foggy bog of poo).  It’s how to get out of it is the challenge.  Sleeping 22 hours may not seem like a healthy way to do it but that was all I could do that day.  The next day was less, more like 14 hours.  Then it was 12.  I can handle 12. I did the dishes.  I tried to go grocery shopping.  Then suddenly I had stuff to do and had to get out of bed to do them so my going to bed at 7 am was not going to work anymore.  I seem to have developed a fairly normal schedule.

How I felt is so hard to explain.  I wish I had the words to tell you how dark my world was.  My dreams were where I wanted to be.  I couldn’t wait to dream because what happened in them was so much more exciting and meaningful than what my life was.  My bi-polar dreams have always been vivid but never so much as during this time.  My awake-time flashbacks from the dreams would leave me  quite confused. Once, on the rare occasion I did go out, I was very nearly hit by a bus and leapt 3 feet in the air as the driver laid on the horn, inches from my hip, waking me from my musings.  I thought no one would care anyway.  Of course I know now that is not and never been true.  I have my peeps who love me and always will.

Before Christmas, I was on the bus after seeing my mental health worker and tearsjust broke down.  I was crying in public.  No one did anything except for the lady beside me who handed me a used tissue.  I sat there with tears streaming down my face, suffering in silence.  Which is what most people do.    All this was not necessarily because of a man.  I was on my way to my darkness partly due to the isolation I was in and the feeling of not being wanted anywhere because of the blasted bugs.  I was just so sad and lonely and alone.

I missed my Dad so much over Christmas.  His joy was like a child’s when he opened gifts.  His place was empty at the table where we would squeeze his walker in.  I did have a wonderful day with my family though.  We all felt his presence there, especially when, for no explicable reason, glassware started banana-cream-pie-004falling out of the cupboard and breaking on the ceramic floor at my sister’s.  I was making the banana cream pie at the moment, which was his favourite dessert.  I had to stir and stir the homemade pudding for at about 45 minutes so it wouldn’t burn.  Maybe Dad thought I wasn’t doing it right but I kept right on stirring during all the crashing and sweeping and didn’t burn the pudding at all.  One of the best we ever made.  He was keeping me on my toes I guess.

Carly and I got wonderful news the other day.  We now have a townhouse we’re moving to through public housing.  Instead of paying rent I cannot afford it will be covered by the benefits I receive from Disability.  This is a huge financial relief for me.

I have lots to look forward to.  I will get to purge yet again.  The crap that weighs me down.  Crap that I hang on to.  Crap I can let go.   And it ain’t just because of the packing.

If I can help it, life is going be like taking a deep breath of fresh air.

 

I Need Naps


This week I finally had the chance to do a decent grocery shop.  And I went with my girl, Carly.  We haven’t been shopping together in close to a year.

It seemed that I could never get the shopping quite right; Carly wanted “healthy” things.  Well, so do I but our versions of “healthy” are two different ideas.  I had to teach her about balance and budget.  Since she was complaining so much I made her come with me.

So there we were with a borrowed van at the store and a good wad of cash.  I needed prescriptions and headed to the pharmacy while sending her to the fruit and vegetable section.  While my prescriptions were getting filled we met up again and started cruising up and down the aisles. I don’t usually cruise but I had a list too.

We agreed on some things that didn’t have much to do with food.  The most challenging was a new razor.  Ours was gross already so we agreed to buy a new one.  I was checking out the ladies and Carly insisted we get a men’s razor style.  I wasn’t too sure about that until she found a weird shaped one.  She was reading the package and exclaimed “It has a battery!?”  That perked my interest and it was only $7 on sale, half price.  Carly said she didn’t think we should get it as we probably were too technically challenged to use it.  It had an attached trimmer for heaven’s sake.  That must explain the battery, right?

I ignored her and got the last 2.  She has no faith.

Then it was groceries…she read every label on every box or container of food and exclaiming in a horrified voice every time; “OMG the sodium! …the saturated fat!…the CARBS!” and would quickly put the item back on the shelf.  I would pick it back up again horrifiedand show her what we had to do to make a balanced meal.  She had to realize it was OKAY to have fat, sodium and carbs to a certain degree especially since my cart was full of fruit and veggies too.  We picked up whole grains as alternatives to what we would normally buy.  We also bought a little more organic fresh food as well.  It was all starting to come together.

I must say, shopping with her took twice as long (at least) and three times the cost.  I’m just lucky we  had the money for this trip.  I asked her if she saw how much it cost us and she said she did and was shocked at how much we have to pay to eat healthy.  I warned her that, on our normally very limited budget, this shopping trip would rarely be like this.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though…I did manage to sneak in my Cheez Whiz.  🙂

Boy, I had my exercise this week too.  I’ve been looking after my oldest granddaughter while my youngest granddaughter gets her eating habits in order.  I swear I’ve never been so tired.  It’s a really good tired though.  I go to bed before 11:00 (!!!) and get up for 8:00 am.  Amazing.  And she  has me running.  Running after her, ahead of her, beside her and with her.  In between we watch inane children shows that make me get ridiculous songs stuck in my head which have replaced the songs we played for my Dad while he was on his death-bed.  I don’t know which is worse.

We also nap.  Grandma needs her nap.IMG_0985

So a good week all around. Thank you to all who gave me their support the last couple of weeks.  I really appreciate it as it had to one of the worse times in my life.  I don’t feel as alone as I did.  I feel better being busy and productive.

Until next time….

A Room Packed With Boomers


Well another week has gone by and my Dad’s memorial service is now behind me.  So was seeing some creepy family members I could have done without but I got to see some very beloved ones as well.  Especially cousins I hardly know but love.  The plan is to get to know them better.  It was rather a unique time…a room packed with Boomers is not something you see everyday.  I just ignored the creepy ones as best as I could.

dads finalIt was a glorious day filled with stories, the wind off the lake and my Dad’s ashes scattered at his final resting place.  It was banana cream pie, conversation and hugs.  It was sadness, relief, connections and my grandbabies.  It was seeing my Dad everywhere and hardly having to look.  My Mom too.

It was having to hold in all these emotions until leaving for home and reaching a short way from the cottage and then sobbing, uncontrollably, on my daughter’s supporting shoulder.  We held each other in our borrowed vehicle and cried for the loss of a great man.  Our ride the rest of the way was filled with silence but we could hear the songs and his voice in our heads.

That man was my Dad and I’ll miss him and my Mom so much.

Today was the 70th anniversary of D-Day and I found out more about my Dad today than I ever knew before.  My eldest sister sent out an email:

He said that he was suddenly put onto the minesweeper HMCS Minus & it was very much a secret as to where they were heading.
That Canadian ship was part of the huge armada of Allied ships that assaulted the Normandy beaches in order to invade Europe.
Dad was 2nd in command of the landing craft that took troops from the Minus to Juno Beach. He said that it was heartbreaking. The seas were
very rough & a lot of the other landing craft were letting the troops off too soon. He saw lots of men drowning & struggling in the water. He said
that they made sure that they went right to the beach to let off their troops.
On one of their trips into shore the captain of their landing craft (who was standing right beside him) was shot in the head by a German sniper. His head & brains exploded all over Dad.
Dad was now in command of the landing craft that was also now damaged by German gunfire. He could not turn the landing craft around to head back to his
ship so he had to take it in backwards. When he reached the ship the captain on the deck yelled at him for coming in backwards whereupon our father told the captain to “ fuck off”.
Dad said that one of his enduring memories of June 6, 1944 was simply the huge booming noise from the guns on all of the Allied ships that were there that day.

I know he experienced much more pain than even on that day.  I’m proud of him and can’t even comprehend the horrors he faced, even during the years following the war.  The nightmares never left him and he tried so hard to not let them into his daytimes.  He did a fantastic job.

I also said goodbye to a guy I was dating for 7 months who decided he wasn’t “that into me” and broke up with me, by text, the night before my Dad’s memorial.  I sure can pick ’em!  I don’t feel a great sense of loss though.  He was obviously emotionally challenged and I’m pretty sure I was the “interim woman”.  My life certainly moves on.

Well, another week is ahead of me with plans to be with my family and some friends who have been so great helping me get though the last few weeks.

I’m looking forward to looking ahead.

Getting Through the Week


This week my second grandchild was born.  My Dad died on Friday and Lexi was born on Monday , 11 days overdue.  Lexi was supposed to be a boy, according to three 3D ultrasounds but came out a beautiful, healthy girl.  She was a huge surprise.  Hopefully we can find all the receipts for the boy stuff everyone bought.

I was sure having Lexi in my life, now with a huge empty space from losing my Dad, would fill in that big gap in my heart.  She does in a way but I’ve had a cold or allergies since she was born so only saw her once. My Londynn was here, though, and kept me going for one afternoon.  She makes me tired.  🙂

I no longer have my daily visits with my Dad.  Those sure got me out of the Sage, fire, memoriesapartment.  I miss him so much.  Tonight there was a sharing circle at my sisters.  It was wonderful to hear stories about my Dad coming from people I barely knew and from family I love dearly.  I  shared some of my own stories while taking in the scent of the bonfire, the sage burning in the bowl beside it and listening to the birds singing and calling out to each other.  After I was finished I threw cedar into the fire and watched it get eaten up by the flames.  Everyone else did the same. I watched the smoke drift up to the sky.  The sky looked like it wanted to rain but it held off.  I was glad I went.

Never have I felt so alone as I have this week.  It’s been a confusing time and I thought I would have been prepared for this but I wasn’t.  I’m not.  His birthday was on Tuesday and that day was just a write off for me.  I spent that whole day in bed.  I just couldn’t get up.  The same thing happened the day after he died.

I’ve gone downhill in my mental health; feeling more isolated, sleeping so much more and feeling quite alone in my already little world.  Everyone in my family are grieving too and my sister is so busy with arrangements and such.  There are a few people who have written to ask how I’m holding up (badly) or one really nice man I know tried TWICE to get me out but I couldn’t bear to leave the apartment.  He even promised me ice cream!  I received a lot of support on Facebook from my friends.  I thank them all very much for taking the time to acknowledge my loss.

I hope to be in a better frame of mind next week.  My routine goes back to normal with volunteering and seeing Dr. G again.

Now I better check myself for wood ticks.

Ciao

Songs, Birds and Goodbyes


After an incredibly long fight my Dad finally let go in the early hours of May 23.  Every day for weeks you could see the struggle within him; wanting his aging, ailing body, mind and soul to hang on, to stay here with his family and to live another 95 years.

My Dad’s final days were spent with his family surrounding him every chance they got.  I spent a huge amount of time with him and have some very happy times I really want to share.  Little things, like when we first played bird songs on my sister’s iPad and the smile that came across his face.  He wasn’t really in the same world as we were at that point so this was really nice to see.  He spent a lot of time in this another world so any indication that he heard us or recognized something else was wonderful and so very special.

The nurses all had stories to tell and all said how much they love him, how he was a favourite there.  Dad was known for his hugs after putting up big battles whenever he had to be turned or changed as it gives him so much pain.  He would fight, kick, hit and swear at the nurses and then, when they were done, calmly ask for each of them to give him a hug.  They loved it and made it worthwhile they said.

The day before he died I was there with him and my sister.  We were playing music from his era as well as songs he used to sing to us when we were little girls, all from his era as well.  “You Beautiful Doll”, “I Did It My Way”, lots of Frankie and Bing and some Al Jolson.  Of course it was hard not to cry when we heard these songs.  We even sang them to him too.  When he could still talk he told me, very politely, to stop singing please.  So when he couldn’t talk anymore, I started singing to him again.

One song, “If You Were The Only Girl..” we played over and over because he seemed to react to it the most.  I was holding his hand when he started tugging on it, urging me to get up off my chair.  I did and his other hand was searching for my other one so I grasped our hands together.  Suddenly, he started swinging my arms to the music!  We were dancing!  It was marvelous and my sister and I were laughing so hard and he was grinning as he was trying to push me over on one side then all the way over across his bed.  Finally, his incredible strength got me to almost topple right on top of him where he had me in the most incredible bear hug and had my arms all twisted like a pretzel.  I honestly couldn’t move!  My sister was laughing so hard she finally managed to choke out, “need a little help?”  I could only squeak, “yes please” when a nurse appeared, shocked at the spectacle and he let go.  I will never forget that last dance with my Dad.

I spent a night there and would have spent many more but I was on baby alert, waiting for my grandson to arrive, which, as of this date and 10 days overdue, he has not.  But I would spend all day every day with my Dad.  Yesterday, though, my sister told me something was different and maybe I should get there quickly.  So I took the hour-long bus ride earlier than I was going to, praying that he will hold on just long enough for me to say goodbye again and arrived there in plenty of time.

I leaned over him, giving him my killer smile as I always do, and, lo and behold, he smiled back, tried to say my name and wrapped his arms around me in a huge hug.  After that though, his morphine was working and he really wasn’t conscious anymore.  More family came to say goodbye and all we did for hours was watch his chest move up and down, then nothing, then up and down again.  Fooled us many times.  With his apnea, this was expected we were told.  My sister and I were finally left alone with him for the night.  My son was getting someone else to be on baby alert.

Before he finally let go my sister and I were trying to conjure up my mom so she could come and get him since he wouldn’t leave on his own.  Not 3 hours later, I noticed his breath getting shallower and quieter.  Then I went to his mouth and nose and felt for his breath.  There were only one or two more breaths, then nothing.  Still nothing.  I checked his heartbeat and got my sister to call the nurse.  The nurse came with her stethoscope and confirmed what we already knew.   My mom found him and took him home at last.

It’s so hard to believe that this is over.  My Dad is gone.  An era is finished.  It’s very strange not climbing on the bus everyday.  It’s very strange not to hear him babble about his mom and dogs and horses and call me by his sister’s name or him thinking I’m his mom or even knowing it’s me.  It’s very strange connecting to family I haven’t seen in months or years.  It’s very strange to have the first love of my life leave this earth so quietly after arguing so much and so long with whomever is in charge of our length of time on Earth.  That’s it.  All done.

But my Mom did come and get him.  I know she did.  Thanks Mom.  Love you both so much.