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Just another one girl revolution.

The Anniversary.

Today marks a year that my dad passed away.

My dad used to talk about dying a lot, long before he ever got sick. “When I kick the bucket someday,” he would always start out. We’d always protest this, and he would say, “Well, it’s gonna happen!”

Then about a year ago, after he passed away, after we finally got someone to watch Vincent and borrowed money to go up north so that I could see my mom and my family and pay my last respects, I was alone in my dad’s room, running my hands over books that he had. Well, Dad, that day you always talked about has happened, I remember thinking. The thought surprised me. I didn’t mean to think it. It seemed very cold and matter-of-fact. It felt separate from me.

It’s gonna happen!

One of the things my dad frequently talked about were his journals. He had one for all of us kids. He wrote in them specifically for us to read only after he died. When his mom died, he had wished he had letters or something like that from her afterward. Which I think would have been difficult–I was thinking that she couldn’t read or write very well. I am pretty sure my dad once told me she only went to the second grade.

We all got our journals while we were up there, along with the pens he had used to write in our specific journals. Of course, I recognized my journal immediately. Besides the labels he had on all of them (he had become very forgetful and started labeling EVERYTHING, including the pictures in his room), the journal was a notebook that I had given to him years before. I still remember buying it. I thought it was the prettiest notebook, and I had originally intended to buy it for myself, but then I thought my dad would like it, so I gave it to him instead. I was right–he loved it. In fact, that notebook is what gave him the idea to start all the journals for us kids.

What a strange feeling to get it back.

After I had come back from up north, it took a few days to get myself to read it, not only emotionally, but, well, Vincent was still a baby after all and demanded a lot of time. Finally, I did.

What was in it?

Mostly, “I love you” and “I wish I could see you guys more.”

I felt so bad. It was a whole notebook of longing. I left home at 18 and except for a month during my divorce, I hadn’t really been in the same town as my parents for very long. Hell, half of the time, I wasn’t even in the same part of the state.

And that was the hardest part of my dad’s death. Diana had been giving Jennifer and me updates. Jen lives in North Dakota, so she was in the same boat I was, having to rely on Diana to determine how good/bad Dad’s condition was. Diana kept saying Dad looked awful, we may need to prepare.

But last year was after all the ACA stuff took effect. There was no way that I could get out of work. And Dad had actually been moved out of ICU and from what Jennifer had heard, he was doing better. Jennifer and I discussed it. We love Diana, but Diana does tend to be on the dramatic side, and we thought Dad would probably be okay.

I remember it was the 23rd when Jennifer told me that she actually talked to Dad. I was surprised. My dad had suffered a stroke, and I have no clue why, but I had gotten it into my head that because he couldn’t really talk, he also really couldn’t understand, so I hadn’t called because I didn’t want to bother him. Jennifer said that even with her medical experience and knowledge that he was a stroke victim, it still choked her up when he tried to respond to say “I love you” to her. The words were garbled, but the intonation was there.

I remember this conversation was on the 23rd because it was the night before my dad passed away. I hung up with Jim and said,  Oh, my god, why didn’t I think he could understand? We agreed that I would call him the next day after I got off from work. I would call my dad and let him know that I was thinking of him.

But, of course, I got the call at 6:30 in the morning before I even punched into work that Dad had passed away. I never got to make the call. I never got to tell him anything.

***

Since then, my Facebook feed has had many messages of grief. A year ago, they were mostly of my father. Eventually, new faces have appeared. More photo changes to honor the dead, more words of longing.

I sometimes still don’t know if I’ll ever have the words to express how I feel about my dad’s passing. I knew it was coming, and it still was such a shock. And along with the initial grief, all I could think was that Dad may be happier this way. Dad missed a lot of people who had passed away–my father, a man who didn’t believe in ghosts confessed he had seen my grandmother once at the end of his bed after she died–but Joshua’s death shook him hard.

Between his grief and his rapidly declining quality of life, I honestly think my dad chose death. I think this because he had been getting better. But people around him were also talking about putting him in a nursing home. There was no way my dad would have ever been okay with that. So he did what most people hope they have a chance to do before they die: He looked at my mom and mouthed I love you to her. And then he was gone.

***

Maybe one day I’ll get a handle on all this.

I’ve been reading another online friend’s blog, one who has recently lost her mom. It’s eerie how similar some of the thoughts are. Where are they? We can’t move because they won’t be able to find us.

But as someone who has gone through a major loss before…you do move. You move because life makes you, whether you want to or not.  And you trust that you will find each other again.

I can’t find the right words. In a year, I still haven’t put my finger on anything. And so I’ll borrow Amy Tan’s from one of my most favorite books ever, The Hundred Secret Senses, a book that is about love, annoying family members, and yes, life after death:

Now I’m looking at the heavens again. This is the same sky that Simon is now seeing, that we have seen all our lives, together and apart. The same sky that Kwan sees, that all her ghosts saw, Miss Banner. Only now I no longer feel it is a vacuum for hopes or a backdrop for fears. I see what is so simple, so obvious. It holds up the stars, the planets, the moons, all of life, for eternity. I can always find it, and it will always find me.

And that about sums it up.

Wth.

Called in work with a massive headache that has taken over half my face and feeling nauseated as hell. I keep getting these, and I don’t know if they’re just more mild migraines than I’ve had or what.  I don’t have the light sensitivity.  Well,  right now, I don’t LIKE light, but it’s not killing me like with past migraines.

Also, my legs hurt and I keep feeling hot. Not sure if it’s related, but it sure makes sleeping off this crap next to impossible.

Woe is me.  :-(

Things.

My mind has been a whir lately. There’s the usual financial stuff. When is that never an issue in my life? It was getting better, then I had my dental stuff come up, then Jim had his dental stuff come up, and it was like all the issues we had been putting off for a year came to a head, all at once, and I was like, “Well, good thing we paid these credit cards off this past summer because we’re about to run them up again.”

Work has been going pretty good, except I still only do some overtime rather than MAD AMOUNTS that I say I’m going to. In my defense, Jim will urge me not to. I think he gets lonely during the day. He doesn’t want to be lonely in the living room, listening to me tap away on the keyboard down the hall.

This, despite that this is the exact scenario right now: he’s in the living room, I’m in bed on the laptop. But I was about to break down just for this small piece of solitude. I love Jim, he’s a good man, and I feel bad because, man, he must feel really isolated, being a stay at home dad, but when I’m off work, it’s like there’s a Jim-cloud following me around, always looming over me. Do you need anything? Are you okay? Hug me. Can I get affection? Kiss me! I need, I need, I need.

Thankfully, he does understand that I need my time by myself. Last weekend, he took Vincent and went out for an hour. It was a good hour, a needed hour. But, still, only an hour after months. I managed to get a shower in by myself. It was nice.

On a completely different subject, Jim replaced the seal on the toilet to keep it from leaking. It was manly and I was impressed. I was chatting with my co-worker today, and I confessed to him that I was gaining more confidence in Jim’s handyman’s skills. Like, pretty much anything, Jim can accomplish. Even if he’s never done it before, he gets it done, and he does a good job. It’s both convenient and sexy.

“I like being able  to fix things for you,” he says.

“You say that now, but just think of all the things I’m going to start asking you to do,” I reply.

It’s true. There are a lot of things around this house I have plans for. The floor in the hallway still needs to be put down, I want to retile both the kitchen and the bathroom–shoot, redo just about everything in the bathroom–new cabinets, convert the current porch into a sun room, build a porch all along the back, shelves in the living room…the list goes on and on. It’s going to take years, money.

Money that is going to go to dental bills, grrr.

Still, though, this is something I’m looking forward to, making our house our own. One super awesome thing is that Jim and I seem to have very similar tastes with most things. It’s such a relief, especially having the experience with my ex where we had next to nothing in common. He had wanted to live in the city and be “cosmopolitan” (yes, his words, seriously), but I had wanted to live in a more rural place. He liked retro, 50s furniture. I liked 50s music, but I thought that the furniture is better left in the attic, where nobody can see it.

Recently, Jim and I had an interesting suggestion made to us. Jim’s dad is looking to buy another property on this road. He was thinking of taking his current property, rezoning it, building houses on it, all that stuff, moving some family members in, but he had asked Jim if was interested in their place. Jim brought the idea to me. “Would you be interested?” he asked.

I thought for a moment. It’s a nice place. I have to admit, the lot is much better than ours. We’d have more room. But I like our little house. It’s cozy and I have plans for it. For some reason, this house has always felt like ours, like we were meant to be here. It’s hard to explain.

I like our yard. It’s smaller than most of our neighbors, hillier than I’d like, but it is by far the biggest yard I’ve ever had. It’s a good size for us, though, as while we like to have room, it’s not so big as to be too cumbersome for two people who have a small toddler and a limited amount of energy.

I don’t know them very well, but our neighbors seem nice. The neighbors on one side came over after Jim put up the Christmas lights to compliment him on it. The other neighbors dropped by and gave us free eggs from their chickens. We reciprocated with fudge. Vincent likes their horses; we all like their big, white dog.

And, of course, there’s Vincent’s grandparents down the street, the other grandma working across the street, and now, Jim’s dad is wanting to buy more down this road and, from what it sounds like, move more of Jim’s family down this road, which sounds awesome.

Yeah, I think we’ll stay where we’re at. Jim and I have some long-term plans we’re kicking around, but we’ll see how it all pans out. For now, I should go to bed. One day at a time, one paycheck at a time. We’ll get there.

 

Enough.

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Help!

Jim has officially posted on his Facebook that Deadlands is a go. He has a start date and everything. And I have no idea what to play. I’m not good with this RPG stuff. My only idea is a nun who took a vow of silence. I think that was my first concept for Jim’s Spell Jammer game. Don’t ask what’s with me always wanting to play mute celibate types.

Don’t ask.

Yeah, I updated the theme. I just wanted a change, you know? I don’t know if I’ll even stick with this.

So, I got a lot of dental work done. Bills are piling up fast. Jim’s is about to have major work done next week–more bills. Luckily, my job allows for a lot of overtime. One teensy problem: My husband and son miss me. And I miss them!

Okay, that would be two problems.

At least I work from home. I can see them on breaks and lunch. But still, today, I worked from 7 AM until after 6 PM. Two fifteen minute breaks and a lunch just doesn’t cut it for this wife and mama.

But, let’s face it, it’s gonna have to.

Watching Supernatural with Jim right now. Neither one of us are in the mood for Warcraft tonight. I haven’t been in the mood for it for a while. I’m just tired at the end of the day.

Speaking of Supernatural, I’m totally thinking about getting a Supernatural case for my phone. Am I too old for such fan girl type of things? Probably. Totally. Do I care? Not really. I think seeing Sam, Dean, and–if I can find a good case–Castiel is just the type of phone case that would cheer me up during the day.

Oh, and my new smart phone? OMG, I LOVE IT. It’s so awesome.

Hm, what else? Weather has been really nice. I got some really great pictures on my super awesome phone over the weekend when I took Vincent to the park. It was even warm enough to take our jackets off. Gotta love southern Illinois.

Work has actually not been so bad this year, at all. (Knock on wood.) I’m pretty blissful about that. It’s amazing how much work affects my life. If I have a bad day at work, it makes me miserable at home. It’s hard to leave that stuff behind, especially when you work in your bedroom.

Other stuff going on: Jim is preparing to run a Deadlands game. If I understand the plan, it’s to run it twice a month. One Saturday here at our house; the other Saturday, in St. Louis. Jim’s mom will take Vincent. I was very hesitant about doing this–I don’t like foisting our son off on other people to watch–but Jim claims that his mom actually wants to do this so she gets a regular time with him. I guess kind of like how we have dinner every week with Jim’s dad and step-mom. Which, honestly, is good because I wanted Vincent to get a regular time with Jim’s mom as well. I just feel bad she’s getting it in babysitting capacity rather than a grandma capacity.

You know, with D&D, I had an idea what I wanted to play, but in Deadlands, I really have no clue. My interest in it is much less. I think it’s just because I know even less about it. All I know is that I don’t want to role play and Jim says he won’t force me. So there’s that.

Okay, it’s 10 and I’m tired. One thing about all the dental work they’ve done is that I have these wonderful pain meds that make me sleepy.

And happy. At least there’s that. ;)

Morning.

Jim had another rough night of almost no sleep, so I’m watching Vincent.

Scarfing down pancakes

Scarfing down pancakes

I think we’re doing okay. :)

So, today.

Today:

Wake up after fitful sleep. Jim had a lot of tooth pain last night and was super anxious in general, so I went to sleep late and then Vincent woke up at 5:30 AM.

Jim asks for me to punch in at 8 instead of 7 because the tooth pain kept him up almost all night. He looks exhausted.

Decide to call in. Jim’s teeth have been bugging him for quite a while now. Needs to be dealt with. Today preferably.

Jim wakes up and looks grateful when I tell him I called in so that I can watch Vincent while he gets some rest. Argue over whose dentist to call. Jim calls his. Soonest they can get him in MARCH 5TH.

He calls my dentist. Monday, first thing. Today would have been better, but Monday is certainly better than MARCH 5TH.

Get babysitter lined up.

Jim rests, I watch Vincent and do a little cleaning. Stress a little over money. I have a lot of my own dental work going on. Credit cards are mounting up and we need to start paying Jim’s dad back for the down payment of this house.

Stress, stress, stress.

Pick up Haytham. Look! Worm segments. Jim, the same man who was going to settle for a March 5th dentist appointment  despite having intense tooth pain that is starting to keep him up at nights, calls the vet within minutes of discovery of said worm segments and makes appointment for the SAME DAY.

Take cats to the vet. I let Vincent run around the vacant parking lot next door until I decide it’s full of rocks and cliffs to an excitable toddler. Jim has the cats in the office. Not only do we get the worm treatment for both cats, we also get antibiotics for Haytham and Gremlin’s updated rabies shot for $65. Even my tightwad heart is happy.

It’s a beautiful day out. It wasn’t the reason why I called in today, but I enjoy it.

Go home. Jim’s mom stops by after work to play with Vincent before returning home. Vincent looks happy, fusses after she leaves. Chill  out a little longer, then we take Vincent to dinner at Jim’s dad’s and step-mom’s. Vincent plays with dogs and instruments with his other grandma. I show off pictures of him on my new smart phone to Jim’s dad. Vincent is loved, loved, loved.

Jim’s uncle Dan stops by. He’s miserable. He’s lost his cat, the one that EVERYONE knows about because this cat is his baby, and he’s seriously grieving. I feel for him. I remember what it felt like when I lost Kili, how heartbroken I was. I still think about him.

Come home, brush Vincent’s teeth, Jim puts him to bed. Jim’s jaw is still throbbing. I hope he can sleep, so I can try to do some overtime tomorrow  because with these bills we’re running up, we really need it. My biggest fear is that it’s going to get taken away again. I want to pay off as much as I can as soon as I can, just in case this happens.

I would like to not need to have work overtime. That is the goal. For now.

Damn, I’m tired. What a day.

 

And so ends the honeymoon?

World of Warcraft account already frozen again. It’s got about two weeks on it. We bought this laptop, thinking that Jim and I would play together. We’re not playing together. The end.

I’m officially awesome.

Finally got the smart phone from Jim’s aunt working with my old number. It’s a bit of a learning curve from the regular flip phone, but I’ve already done a bunch of work to make it mine and have already installed several apps. Now I just need to get all my old contacts into my old phone. Problematic, since my old phone is dead. Not sure if a transfer or whatever it’s called will work. :\

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