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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.

Doing the Shuffle


I must tell you all, right off the bat, that I know I haven’t written anything for several weeks.  I really feel bad about it because I know it helps me get through a lot.  I’ve put my volunteer work on hold for this month because of the extreme anxiety I’m feeling about my health and the crazy developments with my father’s estate and, as such, the state of my family life.  The stresses have really gotten to me where I am, once again, staying away from candycrushthe outside world most of the time and hiding in my online games.  So boring I know.  I do go to my appointments and have made more effort into cooking some meals the last few days than relying on junk food.  It helps that Carly is home to eat.

After messing up the last 2 appointments booked with my new mental health worker we finally met each other for the second time.  It all went well until she asked me how my typical day goes.  I was quite embarrassed about it until I remembered that I do get up early twice a week for when my granddaughter comes over for the day.  (So fun to be with her…two years old and so cute and full of goof).  She asked me what my stresses are and I told her about the above mentioned in more detail.  It was a pretty substantial list but mostly I have such fast and negative thoughts.  Then I was to go over the positive things in my life which were fewer but still easy to come up with; kids, boyfriend, and my finances are a little better.  I was also to tell her about what I do to help the with stress.  Again the list was small but at the end of the meeting she said that column would eventually be full and she could see how low my self-worth and self-esteem were and she has the tools to work on those negative thoughts.

I so desperately want that.  So much.  Which is one reason why I’m writing tonight.

It’s been mind-numbing during the day and my sleep is filled with monsters and fear.  Restful sleep is really not a part of my nights.  It’s mostly 3 or 4 in the monstermorning when my brain will finally shut down and my eyes slam shut for anywhere from 5 to 12 hours of sleep.  I slept a day away a few weeks ago with a total of 19 hours.  Crazy.

One thing I told my worker that I was sure I looked like a “mental health patient” with my shaking and whatever.  She assured me I looked just fine and start thinking more positive about that at least.

Well, sure thing.  Except for last night…

My fella and I were finally getting to have some time together and were going out for supper except I kinda and sorta forgot about the going out part only because it was later than I thought we would be going.  He called and said he was here and I had just got out of the shower and was dripping wet, naked and just figured, no problem, I’ll just throw something on and let him into my building like I usually do.  I went to the front door, where he usually waits, then the back door but no fella.  I was quite confused.  I called him and asked him where the heck was he and he said at the front in the #1 parking space.  So, after wandering around the hallway in my nightie for another couple of minutes it dawned on me about the going out part.

Right.  He’s waiting in the truck.  For me.  So we can go out for supper.  Okay.  I got it now.

What to wear?  I felt all hot and sweaty after all that running around so I put on a tank top and jeans and put hair products in my very wet hair and ran out the door.  He asked me if I wanted to go to a fancy restaurant but I told him I wasn’t really dressed for one (that’s for sure!) so he suggested a favourite pizza joint we both like.

It was very crowded and we were waiting for a table when I noticed someone eating at a table nearby who doesn’t like me too much and the feelings are white winequite mutual.  I hid behind my fella after warning him.  He was worried about a cat fight or me being so uncomfortable that we should go.  I told him not to worry, I have big ovaries and can take it but could he please buy me a glass of wine tonight?  Absolutely, he said.

He’s such a nice fella.

So all the tables were full except for one right beside this person and a whole bunch of reserved ones.  The owner of the restaurant told us to sit in the reserved section for now until a booth became available.  “Don’t you guys leave,” she said.  Whew.  We sat in the reserved section (getting the stinky eye from THAT table) until a group of volleyball players started to arrive. It was then I noticed how hot my feet were as I listened to my fella regale me with his own restaurant stories.  I tried to remember which shoes I put on when, to my horror, I looked down at my feet and saw….

I was wearing my slippers.

I was sitting in a nice restaurant with soaking wet hair, a man’s lumber jacket, no slippersbra and a tank top and wearing my slippers and there is a person 20 feet away who thinks I should be locked up and felt the need to insult and treat me with such disrespect because of my illness I had to block her from my life.

 I looked like the stereotypical mental health patient.  Just like I thought…

A booth opened up and the owner had us skedaddle over there right away.  It was a really busy night.

My fella had me howling with laughter when I confessed to my slipper shuffle.  He does that all the time. He said he was going to get me a hospital gown to go with my slippers for next time we go out so I can really look the part.  It was then I remembered what I told my worker about the fear I had that people looked at me funny and man…I was laughing so hard.  We both were.  I had to put a little extra shuffle in my step for the rest of the night and the code word was “slippers” to make me start laughing all over again.

Supper was great.  At the end when my fella was paying the bill I asked the owner how her trip to Greece went.  She told us that she went there to find all her old boyfriends so she could fuck them since she was too young to do that when she lived there as a young girl.  She didn’t find any.

My fella was more shocked by her confession than by my slippers.  It just added to the general hilarity and weirdness of the evening.

It was great to get out.  It did me a world of good.  I’m so looking forward to Thanksgiving with my sister’s family and my group.

I’m also looking forward to working with my mental health worker in the coming months.

So I hope everyone has a great Canadian Thanksgiving and even if you’re not turkeydinnerCanadian, eat some turkey.

🙂

 

The Search…


The search continues in my life for many things.  One of them is for love.  I keep thinking there has to be a guy out there for me somewhere.  I know I don’t need a searchman to make me feel good about myself or make my life complete or any of the other things my friends and family keep trying to pound into my head and I totally agree.  Not having a man in my life is NOT causing me great anxiety.  Just so my readers know that.

I like men.  That’s it.  I like the company of a (good) man.  I like doing things with a (good) man.  I don’t mind going alone to places and I do.  I also go out with some women friends and that’s nice too.  Male company would be great though.  I’ve had enough of just me.

I joined a different dating site this past week and was inundated with messages the first day.  Great!  The problem was I couldn’t read any because the site wanted me to pay them to read the messages!  What was the point of having a “free” site?  I don’t know.  I know I was on this site last year and it wasn’t like that then.  So what I did was pick a couple of the guys and messaged them backonline telling them of my dilemma and to email me at an email address I made just for this purpose.  Only one responded and we had a great back and forth email conversation for the last 2 days.  He said he’s been on the site for a while and has never had to pay a dime.

It’s a ridiculous way to get to know someone but, for someone my age, there aren’t many options.  Some of my family and my married, well-meaning friends and acquaintances suggest “meet someone at the grocery store” or “borrow a dog and go to the dog park” and my daughter says “Well. you don’t go anywhere!”.  Well, the men I meet at grocery stores are in there to dog pooquickly get their pork and beans and bacon to go with their beer and as for borrowing a dog, that would mean picking up their poo.  No thanks to the poo especially.

I had supper with a friend tonight who told me I was a beautiful person.  I believe that.  I know guys are looking for Barbie dolls and I have never been, nor will I ever be one.  I forget sometimes that I’m a beautiful person.  My outside is a bit worn and chubby, but I continue to grow inside and I can feel that every day. I’m stronger and more able to handle stress in my life than ever before.  I would love to share that with someone who appreciates it and would be proud to be with me.  Hopefully around a bonfire, or on the beach or on a couch watching movies.

So who knows what will happen.  I’m not in any rush and know whatever or whoever will happen will happen. Or not.  In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes open in Aisle 4.

Ciao…

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

Where Some Things Came From…


Ipain the ass always thought the teacher who influenced me most in my life was my junior high math teacher, Mr. Burns.  I had to learn algebra and I didn’t even know my times tables so I was a real pain in the ass.  He was so patient and kind and always offered to help me outside of class. I know between the two of us there were mountains of frustration. He was definitely a good influence and helped me enough to know algebra for at least the 5 minutes at a time I needed to pass his classes.  That’s how long it stayed with me after I left there too.  High school math was just a lost cause.  We don’t talk about that at all.

timestablesMr. Burns’ left arm was deformed and totally useless and I remember it would just hang there or he would simply toss it or swing aside if it got in his way. The other kids used to make fun of him at first until they could see he had heard it all before and could care less what was said about him.  He had a tough skin that one did.  He was smart and didn’t talk down to the kids.  Then there was nothing but respect from everyone.  It was my first time respecting a teacher too.  He was a really good teacher but I still don’t know my times tables.

The teacher who did influence me and my life the most was Harry (Hersh) Zetner who was first my anthropology teacher and then my English teacher in high school.  At that time I really didn’t know anything about the world, certainly nothing like what Mr. Zetner taught me.  Mr. Zetner was Jewish and lost a great deal of his family in the Holocaust.  I never knew there was racism and hatred in the world like that until his classes.  Or anything so horrible as the Holocaust. It was unbelievable but I believed it.  My eyes were opened so wide I could never close them again. The books we read, the films we saw never left me. I think there was only one or two  Jewish girls that I knew of in my classes and in my friend circle but I never knew they were until Mr. Zetner called upon one of them to talk about some of her family history.  I was fascinated with her after that. It would never have occurred to me that anyone was different from anyone else I guess.

My parents would be into the stereotypes of different races and cultures and I don’t even want to write down what those were here. They, of course, learned it from their parents and so on.   I was truly fortunate that it didn’t rub off on me which is so surprising. I found myself, as an adult, correcting them quite often about labeling people and trying to get them to see people as individuals.  They always looked so surprised there could be any other way to look at things.  How the heck did I turn out this way? Don’t get me wrong.  My parents were kind and tolerant people and very simple folk is the only way to describe them.

Oh and I never seem to stop learning about the indignities genders, many races, and cultures face.  It’s trying to understand the “why” of it all.

Anyway,  Mr. Zetner died in 2002 and I re-read his obituary today.  I found out more about the man then I knew before and I never doubted he would do more wonderful things after I left the school.  After he became ill and could no longer teach, he spent his time going to schools talking to children and teens about the Holocaust and how it could easily happen again.  I think he opened a lot of other eyes.  We need more people like him.

He was a truly sincere and hard-working teacher that taught me a lot about life and its cruelties but also that there are good souls out there leading the rest of the world to a better way of thinking.  I learned there can always be another way. He is one reason why I’m so interested in how the mind works and where people came from and where do we go from here.  And just, again…why?

I admire him because he took something he had a passion for and knowledge of and made it his life’s work to educate the world as much as possible.  He wanted to end the stigma.  This is what I want to do about mental illness.  I think it might be something for me to look at in the future and I very well think I could do it.

I have an appointment, finally, with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s intake worker, after 6 months of being on their waiting list.  They are going to get me more organized and help me get back to work.  Or maybe speaking too?  I don’t know but it’s on my list.

Peace and love.  Please.