Monday, July 8, 2013

I want to journal!

Let's see, where to start - how to start, it has been so long.  I joined the gym.  Granted, I've only been twice in the last week, but it's a start.  I'm hoping it'll help the aches and pains after the initial aches and pains from all the exercise...seems like something new pops up every week.  I haven't been able to get out and weedeat or take care of the yard very much, and it doesn't look like the surgery will be affordable any time soon.  How can one person blow both rotater cuffs at once?  not sure, but it can be done.

I went to the store today.  It's very different than it was when the Parks family ran the place.  I paused in the parking lot and tried hard to envision Daddy walking to his truck, or imagine Mom was inside waiting for me to help her.  Couldn't do it.  I guess that means I'm finally moving forward.  My God, it took a long time, but things like that do.  It's natural, I hear.

It has rained almost every day this summer - never have seen anything like it.  We're usually in drought this time of the year - in July, you can't buy a rain drop or coax one from the sky.  I remember summers gone by that I would leave the car windows down or hang out laundry in hopes of enticing whatever evil little devil that brings the rain at inopportune times to do his thing.  Sometimes, it worked! Now, we have trees uprooting from the sodden ground seemingly of their own volition.  Crops are drowning, but the grass isn't, and if you wait a week, you can make it through the back yard with a machete or a bush ax.  We can call this one our soggy summer.  I'm waiting to see what the rest of the month and August bring.  And I'm hoping the fall colors will be spectacular.

Well, I journaled.  Like the gym, it's a start.  And now to close this, and try again tomorrow for something that flows more easily.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Letter to Steve

I went to your grave today.
It wasn't as hard as I thought it would's the first time in about a month that I had visited, and it was easier. I'm finding it easier to laugh about things you did that made me so mad when you did them. Remember the time you and Jimmy Martin took my Boston album?? I never did find that, but if you enjoyed it, it's ok with me. Remember the time you stopped the truck on the railroad track with me in it - and the TRAIN was coming? It's a wonder, little brother, that Dad didn't have a big brown stain in the seat I was sitting in - you honestly scared the hell out of me that time. Never did understand why you did it. Now, I'm not laughing about that one, just shaking my head. Which brings to mind the time you took me out on the Gator - how long ago was it? Maybe a year ago...and that cliff, just before we reached the sandpits - you stopped on the very edge of it. I was afraid to move for fear we'd topple on over, but you laughed...Apparently, you liked living on the edge more than I do. You got a rush from things like that. You said so, yourself. I'm not like that...I prefer a little safety and a lot of sanity!
Remember when you took me one Thanksgiving to the tree stand you used for deer hunting. We climbed up in that thing, and you told me how much you liked the peace of it all, even when there were no deer around. You watched the birds, racoons...whatever happened along. I remember how nice it was to be there, to connect with nature.

I remember the birdfeeders you bought, and filled, and enjoyed. I remember the trees and flowers you planted. The twisted filbert is still living, just up the driveway. Your bearded irises have bloomed, and now a hundred others that I don't know the names of are springing up and out and decorating the back yard.

I was afraid I would forget the sound of your voice and the things you did, but you know what? I won't. I thought I would need this journal to maintain a connection with you, but I don't need this, either. It still isn't easy, but it's a tremendous sight better than the initial shock of your death, and the deep pain that ensued after the numbness of it wore off and reality and finality set in. I'll only see your face in photographs and videos. I know we'll never sit across a table from each other and laugh again, and you'll never take me around your yard and show me everything that's growing or tell me how beautiful you think it all is. But you did those things already, and I remember and will never forget. And when the wisteria blooms and its fragrance fills the air, I'll think of you. You'll always be a part of us, you just won't be here, physically.
I'm not deserting you, and don't love you a bit less than I did when you were here, but I don't think I need to write letters to you.

This was just a bookmark, a place to put all that love that some think has no place to go after the loss of someone important in their lives. Steve, I know where that love goes - right where it always was, and higher and deeper, and a universe wide.

Monday, September 1, 2008

September 1

I used to kid Steve about his birthday being a holiday (sometimes it was) and we all kidded him for being born on Mom and Dad's anniversary. 

Well, today would have been his 43rd birthday.  He is very much on mind, and this day is another hurdle to overcome.  I have learned a few things since April - one is that love goes very, very deep, and two, grieving and healing is a long process.

Raising my coffee cup in salute to the life that was.  I wish he could be here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Laying Low

After Steve died, I started smoking like the proverbial freight train.  And when Daddy was diagnosed, I started smoking more.  And so, Saturday I began taking Chantix again.  Wasn't looking forward to starting it, but even I know when too much is more than enough.  ...and a strange thing happened after 3 days on Chantix...

I felt good.  I felt happy.  It's having an antidepressant effect on me, and I didn't know how bad I really needed that until I began feeling better.

Work went so well today, even with the 52 incoming shippers.  Mom came off of hospice because, in her words, she had too much time in.  Hospice is for those who have 6 months or less left to live...Mom has fooled the doctors yet again. 

I'll never forget when she was on life support several years ago.  Dad and I had gone to the hospital to sit with her, and the doctor had just done an examination on her.  He was dictating at the nurse's station, and even though I heard every word, the ones that stand out glaringly in my memory are "the patient will need rehabilitation...if she lives."  She stayed on life support longer than she was supposed to.  It was more than two weeks she was on a vent and was on the roller pumps for more than a week.  She was kept medicated in a state of "conscious unconsiousness" for what seemed forever.  She was not lucid, confused reality with her dreams and sometimes thought we were there to kill her. 

After a month, I had pretty much accepted my mother would remain in the same condition.  She was moved to a step-down unit after all that time in intensive care, and the medication she had been given took a good while to wear off.  Often upon entering her room, we would find she had moved from the bed to the chair, but she still wasn't speaking.  And then one day, I called her room from work to talk with whoever was sitting with her that day, and she answered the phone.  I cannot tell you what that felt like.  I said, "Mama??"  and she knew me.  When I hung up the phone, I cried.

She still had a long way to go.  Once when visited, she saw her reflection in the glass of a painting that hung on the wall.  She was mesmerized and a bit baffled.  "Look!" she said, "there's a portrait of me!  How did they do it?"

After she was discharged, she went to a nursing facility for two months.  She had a ball with the other ladies there.

Yes, she has fooled the doctors before, and she has fooled them once again.  I know that one day, when she's ready, she'll stop fighting. After all she's been through, not one of us could begrudge her that.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Because I feel like it...

Not a bad week.  I've been around the internet a little more this week than usual.  Lately, my daughter-in-law is online in my stead.  Where to start emptying the week...

We got Mom and Dad moved to the smaller house this week.  Mom was so excited - it was like Christmas, something new to her in every room.  That made us feel good.  I can only imagine the peace and quiet will be another package to open and revel in.  She has a spring in her step, now, and has actually been shopping.  Dad isn't as enthusiastic as she is, though.  He misses his own house.  The smaller house will probably never really be home to him, but he'll get used to it, and there again, the peace of it all should do him good.

I decided not to move into the big house (no pun intended, I go to the big house every day).  I'm not quite ready to move all my junk, only to have to move it again, later, when it becomes necessary.  I have 23 years worth of stuff here...

I joined a couple of groups on a community started by a local television station.  Posted up piece I did on Lacy, and someone commented "You should do this professionally, if you don't already."  That made me feel good.  At the same time, I don't know that I have it in me to write anything worthy.

Talking to Wilkins on the ramp outside of South Unit while on a smoke break...rather, Wilkins was talking to me.  He has found in me a captive audience - again, no pun intended.  The man can talk for hours and say nothing.  I might give up smoking.  He's a nice man, it's just hard to escape from him.

Dad goes on hospice next week. 



Wednesday, June 18, 2008


..that transfer coordinator doesn't come her rear back to work, I'm going to Winston-Salem, putting her in my backseat and driving her to prison myself so she can take her job back.


abunchofstuffthatdidn'tquiteregisterinmyfoggybrain, but we got through it, anyway.  Spoke to the DA's office, a sheriff's department, a clerk of court, 200 DOC employees (seemed like it), put the release packets together, called inmates in to sign the release forms, and did the shippers list.  Around 2:00, the system went down.  The shippers list doesn't close until 3:30.  So at 3:30, I was on the phone with another unit asking them to please let me come over and run the final list and the trip tickets for bus day.  And they said yes!  So off to the hospital I went, ID in hand, and to the sergeant's office to do what I could.  Only problem is, the rpm's on my computer wouldn't print the list on my printer at our unit because the system was down and the printer in that office didn't have rpm's.  Shoot.  However, Medical Records welcomed me with open arms, let me log in and do my thing.  By 4:15, I was on the way back, list and tickets in hand.  And when I arrived there...

the most amazing thing was happening.  My supervisor, one of the case managers and the records room lady were pulling the field jackets from the partial list I had run earlier in the day.  I was floored.  NOBODY has ever done that for me before - not medical, not medical records...

I ran 14 copies of the list and the dental hygienist stapled them.  I only had to stay 20 minutes overtime...

and tomorrow, Deborah wants me to sit in on the disciplinary hearings so I can see how they're done.."Just in case you have to do it one day."  Aha.  I feel a position upgrade coming on.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Some things never change

I told a friend last night I just don't feel like journaling anymore...that usually unlocks a boatload of entries, because tonight, if I don't get this down and out, someone will be scraping me off of the walls and ceilings tomorrow morning.  I guess this really is my safety valve.

It was a rough day.  The last few weeks have been rough, in fact, but I'm not feeling so much sorry for myself as feeling powerless.  So God, if you're trying to drive the point home, you've done it...I am defeated - for now.  But somehow, you always allow me to get back up again.  Truth known, I don't know if I want to get back up this time.  Seems easier to stay down where there isn't so far to fall.

This is the first time I've had to drag out the relaxation music, but tonight it's Canon - Variations on, and a version someone who was once dear to my heart sent over the internet, and Steven Cravis...First Light, Dancing Spirits...acoustic piano solos, and the daughter-in-law, angel that she is, has gone off in search of Blackberry merlot.

It was a helluva day at work.  I've been filling in for the transfer coordinator, had all of 3 days - half days, at that, training.  My little minor mistakes popped up today, all of them at once.  My mistakes are mine..and I own them; they came at a bad time, though, on top of a weekend that was far from easy and a Monday I wasn't sure I would make it through. 

It's just all so overwhelming.  Steve, Daddy, job. My daughter on bedrest because of her high risk pregnancy.  Too many losses this year.  There were gains, yet they don't seem to measure up to those losses at the moment.

I'm not feeling sorry for myself, and if I were, just a little bit, that wouldnt be such a bad thing.  The fact is, though, I'm not.  I'm just...feeling.  Whether I want to, or not.  I wish I could go back to uncomfortably numb.  It wasn't the best place to be, but there, it didn't matter if everything was crashing and burning.  I didn't feel it.

I wish I could go back to a time when everyone was well and happy, and if our situations weren't quite ideal, they were liveable.  I would give anything for a Saturday night when Dad, Jack Daniels or Jim Beam, sang along with Fats Domino, Dad's leg propped up on the table, and just one more chorus, boys, and I'll be done for the night.  God, I'm so much like him.  He had Fats, I have whatever soothes me.  Pachelbel, Winston, Janis Joplin..Blackberry Merlot.

I don't know what to do, anymore.  It's all too heavy.  And sometimes I let myself sink and wallow in everything that has happened or is about to happen, and I feel bad about doing that because...I'm not the only one going through this.  And it isn't happening TO me, it's happening around me.  My job right now is to watch what I don't want to see.  And then there are people who are going through worse.

I don't know anymore what I'm supposed to do.  Maybe tomorrow I'll wake to brand new strength and will be able to shrug off the mistakes and will find it easier to accept the losses that were and the ones that are coming.  And like the friend who wrote to me last night, maybe I'll be able to reach pass my own pain and offer a hand to someone else who needs one to hold.  I hope so.