Tag Archives: pain

Finding My Groove Again.


I may have found my groove today.

The last month has been getting steadily worse for me in regards to moods and thoughts.  There have been some really good things too, of course but then, as the night approaches, so does the sadness, loneliness and racing thoughts of doom.

Here is a little catch up for you since I last posted. I’m way behind:

I MOVED!  My daughter and I finally got a call from low-income housing and we movingmoved in to a beautiful townhouse at the end of February.  It’s been all renovated with new everything.  The bathtub is even slippery and doesn’t scratch my bottom.  hee hee.  Unfortunately I did re-injure my back during the move and it took quite a while for it to be tolerable again.  I still can’t go for my walks or stand for too long.  I’m pretty sure my depression is because of all the excitement of moving and the natural letdown that follows.  Never mind the stress from the move itself both on my body and my mind.  I just feel exhausted all the time.  I could sleep all day but make myself get up. It’s late in the day but I’m up before Carly is home from school.

I’ve seen my granddaughters more.  Such joy they give me.  I have one video of the 2-year-old in my lift chair saying “this is awesome” over and over while I worked the controls.  She says it in her very grownup 2-year-old voice.  I play it every day.  It really helps.

coffeeI met up with an old friend for coffee a few times after my last post.  It was nice to connect again.

My son turned 30.  I can’t believe I have a son who is 30.

My daughter’s 18th birthday is in 10 days.  My sister and I are going to the casino to ply her with liquor and bingo.  I can’t believe my baby is 18.

I finally had someone to talk to today.

I realized last night, while I was feeling my lowest, that I’ve been waiting for something.  I don’t know what it is but I figure it’s time to stop waiting.  Thinking back  I realized there are some things I took control of which felt beyond finishing.  A quick email to my lawyer telling him I want to go to court and not meet with that man ever again resulted in what I hope is finally action on that man’s part.  So it’s not done yet. But it feels like it’s getting closer.  It’s been 5 years since I left him.

I saw my mental health worker today where I spewed out words and feelings and spewingtears. On the bus ride over there I was listening to music I had downloaded on my phone (I finally figured it out) and every song was making me feel sadder and more lost.  When I left my worker, I felt better.  On the ride home I was listening to Paul McCartney sing “Hey Jude” live.  I had shivers up and down my back hearing the love from the crowd as they sang back.  Na na na naaaa.

I guess I must have been acting like I was really into the song because the guy next to me (young, in his 20’s) asked me what I was listening to.  I told him and he had no idea who or what I was talking about (!) so I started it again for him to hear.  It’s a long song but he listened to it all.

He thanked me for allowing him into my groove.  His words.

It might be time to let in a few more.groove

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.

 

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.

🙂

 

Away From Home


There we were, two of the most anxious females I know, going to a strange city by Greyhound.  Whatever gave me the idea that this was a GOOD idea?  Well mainly it was because Carly and I were going to spend some good quality time together.

My son was driving us to the bus depot and I was feeling pretty calm until we were almost there.  Then my mind started racing with questions.  What do we do?  Where do we go?  We started off doing what we thought was the right thing.  We went to the counter at the depot and told the guy (who turned out to be our driver) that we were going to Edmonton and what do we do?  He looked at our tickets and, very kindly, told us we would be departing at Gate 1 at 6:45.  We found seats nearby and waited impatiently.  It got later and later and Carly was coming up with more and more dire scenarios (What if we don’t sit together?  Why did I have to read about Tim McLean? What if people smell bad?)  then finally we saw the bus arrive and security being set up.  We were about 5th in line and finally got to the security table when we noticed we were the only ones without any tags on  our luggage.

Now, remember, we did go to the counter and no one said anything about tags.  We had to go back to the nice man and tell him we needed them. There was a lineup there too and only 2 people on duty.  One staff member was being held up by a guy who was trying to say his 3 bags were all carry-on’s and the bag that weighs 100 lbs. is free.  That was not true and vigorous arguments ensued.  We finally got to the nice man and he apologized for his mistake and even let me take my heavy carry-on with me.  By this time there was no line at security.

Security checked my bags and waved the wand over me.  Then Carly.  Good, nothing was pierced on her that I don’t know about.

The thing about the motor coach I noticed the most was the smells that made their way to me throughout the trip to Edmonton.  The first half hour I smelled vomit.  The guy across the aisle kept belching really loud and they were quite stinky too.  As were his farts.  Then I thought everyone was drinking on the bus because someone would walk by me and I would smell alcohol.  Turns out it was the hand sanitizer from the bathroom.  Good for them for being so clean.  At least I knew they washed their hands after they did their business.

The smell that started half way there and never really went away came from a cup of coffee that a woman behind me spilled which proceeded to go downhill where Carly’s backpack was directly in its path.  Carly was already so stressed out at this point she went over the edge for a bit.  She cried over her Vans backpack and her new toiletries bag inside, now reeking of and dripping with coffee.  The lady felt so bad and mopped up everything with toilet paper.  Then there wasn’t any TP for the bathroom.  Finally the driver found some.  Whew.

feetMy legs and feet swelled up so much it was ridiculous.  I have a history of blood clots and made sure I walked around whenever we had a stop.  My feet hurt so much throughout the trip.  The swelling never really went away.

When we got there, after 18 hours on the bus and with barely any sleep, we still went shopping.  I could barely walk and would send Carly into a store while I would find a bench to sit on and rest. I had to buy a sweater because it wasn’t summer in Edmonton.  Fall weather had hit and I was in shorts and tank tops.  I was miserly with money and was so glad to find a pretty good one for only $10.  Carly must have spent over $300 the first day.   Her money not mine.

I slept so good that night and was out like a light before 9 pm.  I loved the pillows.  Our hotel was nicer than I expected.  I used booking.com and found a pretty good deal.  I give it 3-4 stars.

We hit so many stores.  There were so many people, especially on Saturday.  It was almost impossible to get through some of the aisles as they were clogged with crazy shoppers.

Saturday at the Mall!

Saturday at the Mall!

Friday was my birthday and another day of shopping was planned.  I got some great deals just telling people it was my birthday.  My new fella had given me a card with strict instructions not to open it until my birthday and I actually obeyed.  It was one of the first things I did when I woke up.  Open it I mean.  Lo and behold it had money in it!  With more strict orders (he seems to be a little bossy) to spend it frivolously on myself.  So I bought Body Shop stuff, which I never buy because it’s too expensive.  Because it was my birthday I got free hand lotion thrown in.

Carly spoiled me rotten on my birthday.  She paid for all the meals and cabs and bought me a beautiful forever scarf which was handy on the way home in the air-conditioned bus.  She paid for more than half the food on the trip and half the cab fares.  Almost every time I looked at her she had her bank card out.  She was so patient with me and my sore feet, as long as she knew where I was.  Thank goodness for texting and cell phones.

I noticed a lot of things that makes Edmonton different from Winnipeg, besides the mall.  The noise is unbelievable and overwhelming. We had to shout to each other most of the time at the mall.  Everybody goes really fast there too.  Cars and people.  Some of the fashions I saw I haven’t seen here, at least not yet.  AND I didn’t see one butt crack when people were sitting down.  In Winnipeg you can count on seeing several in any food court, on the bus or even just walking around.  I didn’t see one and that made me happy.

Leaving Edmonton was very different then leaving Winnipeg.  For one thing there was absolutely no security check done.  This caused a whole new round of anxiety for Carly as now anyone could have a knife or a gun and cut off our heads.  No one did but even so the trip home was a nightmare.  For 20 hours we listened to a baby either screaming with misery or laughter, depending on her mood.  At least I had to listen, Carly had her iPod so she plugged into her music world and drowned it all out.  The baby rarely stopped and it was horrible.  When she did stop another would start.  There were 8 children on that bus under the age of 5.  One mom had 4.  Another mom had 2 and one of hers was the devil child who kept screaming.

This mom who had 4 children with her was amazing.  We were about to leave Edmonton when a man came running onto the bus looking for seats he said.  There weren’t that many, it was pretty full.  The driver announced that a family of 5 was coming on board at the last-minute and to be patient.  No problem.  Out the doorway I could see this tiny woman, maybe about 25 years old and 4 kids, ranging in age from 8 to 18 months, all holding something; pillows, blankets, books, bags of food.  They climbed on then the driver made ANOTHER announcement that these people had reserved seats so a lot of people had to shuffle around.   The dad then ran off the bus, yelling “love you kids!” and he was a blur going back into the depot.  The little family was in the back and we didn’t hear a peep out of them.

We had a layover in Saskatchewan and these kids totally entertained me.  They danced and sang and giggled and climbed and ran and hid.  All the while, their mother was calm, laughing along with them, getting them to settle down for only minutes at a time and not worrying too much when they started up again.  She spoke to them patiently and kindly and I could tell she does this all the time by the way the kids treated each other; the same.  She met my eyes and laughed telling me they only had 3 hours of sleep so they were really goofy.  I told her, “My dad used to say, It’s better than crying”.  She laughed more.  I could hear a little hysteria in it though.  She was so great.  She would crouch on the floor with them, rocking the youngest against her chest while talking softly to the others and feeding them apples and grapes.  How she could hold that position for so long boggled my mind.

(Carly hates my people watching.  She thinks I’m nosy.  What the heck else would I write about if I didn’t watch other people and what makes them do what they do?)

Meanwhile the other screaming kid was still screaming with the mom begging her not to cry.  The dad did nothing; he just looked mad.  I know the child was tired and they were on a long trip but it was really hard to take by hour 15 of the 20 hour trip.  By the time we got home, I wanted to kiss the ground.

We had a delay before we left Alberta.  A young woman was hanging out with some of the younger guys on the bus, taking smoke breaks with them, etc.  These young men always smelled like pot (SECURITY!).  Anyway, we made a quick stop in a small town and I walked by her where she was commenting to some of the other women (who also smoked) with some concern about how she was swelling up.  I wanted to show her my own feet but didn’t dare scare her.  We all got back on the bus and started off again when she left her seat and went to talk to the driver.  He turned around and took her to the hospital.  According to the guys she hung with, she had taken opiates and then one of the guys gave her something else which didn’t react well with her.  We had to leave her there in the middle of nowhere, hopefully in good care.

I totally had a good time although in pain. Tylenol Arthritis was my best friend.  I’m pretty proud of myself but not totally surprised I could do it.  I had to be a good mom to Carly, who was anxious a lot of the time and keep her calm from her day-mares.  Never mind the hundreds of people or the guy who wanted to give me a makeover and wouldn’t give up, even when he saw me later and practically chased me.  I handled it.  I did good.  It’s taking me a few days to recover from the overload and the swelling but I’m just about there.

I’m still not sure about social situations though.  This was very impersonal as I didn’t have to interact with many people.  Just doing this trip and knowing, even if I am anxious about it, I can breathe through it and continue on.  I don’t know what the future holds but it sure looks good from here.  Going into big crowds like that was amazing and overwhelming at the same time.  We kept it simple; using cabs to get to the mall and back.  We didn’t do any sightseeing at all.  The fear of getting lost is still too strong.

Would I do it again?  Not on a bus.  No way on a bus.  I would fly for sure.

My world just got bigger.

Where Did You Go?


I have a sister who has been absent from the family for several years.  No one has heard from her for a very long time.

My sister has schizophrenia.

Since my Dad died a month ago my family has been hoping she will show up or call.  She hasn’t made any contact and my younger sister has gone to extraordinary lengths to locate her, short of hiring a private detective.

It amazes me how someone can disappear like that.  No Manitoba Health card for over 5 years so no medical treatments in that time.  She didn’t even have a card when we know she lived here for sure.

I feel so sad.  Where could she be?  I don’t want her to hide from us, to be afraid of us.

I remember going to see her at her old apartment about 3 years ago and knocking on her door and hearing her drag furniture and boxes away from her door.  After being allowed to enter, seeing her Spartan ways overwhelmed me.  She was scared, lonely and very, very ill. She couldn’t wait for me to leave and when I did, I heard all the boxes and furniture being barricaded on the other side of the door once again.

The last place she was known to live over 2 years ago the landlord said she snuck out of her apartment in the middle of the night, not taking much with her.

The fear.  I can’t know the fear she must live with every day.  All I know is the fear I have for her.  She won’t have ID so if something should have happened to her we might never find out.  No hospital stay information or death certificates would be available because no one will be able to know who she is.

This sister has become a ghost.  I know she might not want to be found but now it’s not about estates and letting her know the news about our Dad.  Now it’s about knowing she still lives, in whatever world she might find herself and hopefully still on the same earth as me.

Mental illness…another one allowed to slip through the cracks.  I can’t blame anyone for that though.  As her family we tried.  Her illness was so frightening.  I couldn’t even let my son drive her home at one time (for which he kindly volunteered) for fear of anything she might say he did or what she might do to him.  Her actions and words struck terror in my gut many times.  The medical community did their best short of locking her up for the rest of her life to make sure she took her meds. The one time she was on meds she was our sweet sister again but it didn’t last long.  Now it must have been years since she’s even seen a doctor.

I remember her when I was a very little girl.  I was very ill for the first few years of my life and still see her lovingly mothering me; taking me for walks in the carriage, scratching my back (which calmed me very much) and giving me treats.  When kids bullied me in school later on she went out and had a T-shirt made for me that said “Marie Boomer – Superstar”.  I wore that thing until the letters fell off.  It made me feel like a superstar.

I’m trying really hard to remember the wonderful sister she could be.  She left home when I was very young though and I rarely saw her until I was an adult again and her illness had progressed so much.  It’s not easy to keep the good memories alive since there are so few of them but I will.

I just hope she knows we are still here for her.

Please come home Sue…

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.