Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring is just a thought

It has been sprinkling off and on all day. The dirt has also been blowing all day. Basically it is raining mud. Except for when the sprinkling stops. That is when the dirt sticks to every drop of moisture to be found. After fighting its way through dirt filled clouds the sunlight has a tan cast to it. Add all this together and our world looks like a sepia photo from the past.

 On days like today it is easy to remember that the plains have not recovered from all of the damage that caused the dust bowl. Experts say it will take centuries for them to fully recover, if we continue to take care of them. Lessons from the past are easily forgotten, especially when money is to be made by forgetting them. I do not have much faith in humans as stewards of the earth. We have all the potential to do a great job of it, but are blinded by short term gains.

I want to go outside and enjoy spring. The lilacs are blooming, strawberries plants and asparagus are up, but it is too miserable to be outside. I am instead enjoying the last remnants of a cozy winter. Soon it will be over a hundred outside and I will miss sitting here wrapped in a blanket drinking hot chocolate. Today, during my lunch break, I am enjoying that. I am also enjoying a quiet house while the kids are at school. Having three extra kids means quiet time is harder to find.



Sunday, April 27, 2014

My birthday party/date

A man I have known for years asked me out last week. I hesitantly agreed.  Before Jason became sick I only dated men inappropriate for a long term relationship. I knew I was not ready to make any commitments any time soon. While Jason was sick I did not have the time or energy to date. Now I am pretty sure I am not stable enough for a relationship. This is a man I have known for years. He is smart, funny, and kind. I have known for a year or two that eventually he would ask me out, if he ever met me in a social setting. I was invited to a party a few weeks ago that I knew he would be at. I went and had a good time. We were drunk; he kissed me. I went home without giving him my number. He messaged me on Facebook and mentioned that he did not have my number. I messaged him back, but did not give him my number until a week later when he point blank asked for it. I was not trying to be rude, but that was a hard week for me, and I feel like he may be a suitable boyfriend. I do not know if I am ready for one of those yet.

A week went past before he asked me out. We decided Friday would be a good night. Then on Thursday I realized that Friday was Rolando's birthday. He has been a blessing for the whole family for years, but it was really apparent when Jason was sick. He took an active part in his recovery. He checked on him daily while I worked. He did everything he could to support him. Then when he died he did everything he could to support me. I asked Miss Universe if anybody had made plans to celebrate. Nobody had thought to do anything. I offered to make cake and dinner. Suddenly actual party plans began to form. 

I sent a text to my date. "Not probably the best first date choice, but would you mind a birthday party tomorrow night? There will be food." My family can be a bit overwhelming at first. At a party we are loud, vulgar, and drink copiously. If I wanted to scare him off this might be just the thing to do it.

The night of the party he sent me a text. "To make the first date more interesting I may have my daughter." His youngest daughter is twelve. She was not going to be a problem for me, but I did wonder if he would regret exposing her to us.

I was making rum punch when Drama Queen called. She was drunk and not making much sense. Suddenly it dawned on me that she was saying her girls were on the way to my house. She was not sure when they left Wichita, but wanted me to make sure they came to my house and not to their dad's house. She made me promise to keep all three of them together. The baby has a different dad. She was afraid the older girls dad would take them. He was threatening to take the baby too.None of this was making any sense to me.

After talking to my mom it became slightly more clear. My sister had been drunk the night before. She locked all three of the girls outside of their apartment. Every since Jason died she has been threatening suicide. Beezus called her dad. He called a distant relative of his that lived in Wichita. She went to check on the girls and called the police. The police told Drama Queen that they were not going to release the girls back to her, but would release them to my mom. This girl offered to drive them to us, which was sweet of her. During the drive here the dad kept texting her telling her she had to take them to him. She was confused so at my mom's place she called the Wichita police. They told her to release them to their grandmother.

My sister is not the best mom, but she is the better choice of their two parents. He lives 17 miles from me, yet in all the years the girls lived with me he rarely took time to see them. He is only interested in them when he wants to fight with their mom. The two of them both love the action of fighting with each other. Often the girls are pawns in the game. He has a drug problem to match her drinking problem.  Beezus is old enough to try to pit them against each other to get her way. Ramona just wants to live a calm life with me. Then there is the baby.

The girls were here in time for the party. So our date was a loud party, with his daughter, and a crying baby. She was stressed out after being away from her mom for a whole day and now in a crowd of people she did not know. Over-stimulated and too tired to sleep she cried for most of the evening. Fria Chica was tired too. She took the baby home with her to sleep.

The teenagers went out and started us a campfire. We carried our drinks outside to sit around the fire. In the past Miss Universe, who is insane, has said she would love to wear adult diapers and just sit anywhere and piss. The crowd had shrunk as the night wore on. She stated that she had to piss, but did not get up. a few minutes later she stood and unbuttoned her pants. I thought she was going to piss on the fire. Instead she pulled one of those blue hospital pads, the ones they cover the beds with,  out of her pants and threw it on the fire. She had found the pad in my bathroom. While Jason was in the Amarillo hospital, after his od, they opened a package and charged the whole thing to us. Being frugal I brought the rest home with me to find a use for. That was not the use I intended.

My date sent a text the next day saying that he had had a great time. He left before the pad in the fire incident.  He wanted to go out again on Saturday, but I felt like I should take a turn with the baby instead of sticking my mom with her all weekend. She is going to have to babysit all week while I work.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

life

It is interesting to me how different people are in the night as compared to how they are in the morning. At least I am anyway, so I assume most people are. In the night I am more susceptible to my fears. I worry more. In some ways I am more creative. I wonder if it is not the dark we are afraid of, but our own thoughts. In the mornings I am confidant and practical. I am creative, but in a more organized manner.

As an example, look at my last post. It was night; every negative thought seemed to be soaked in truth. I could not believe I would ever be myself again.  Yesterday morning I read something somebody wrote that said, "having kids doesn't change who you are." There was no context to it, just a statement hanging out there. I thought I had ignored it and went on. Later in the morning I had stumbled onto a learning site called memrise.com. I have been slowly trying to become fluent in Spanish for over fifteen years so I was trying out their Spanish session.  I mentally stepped back and looked at myself. I was curled on my couch wrapped in a blanket, cup of tea in hand, trying to learn something. Unbidden the thought, "Losing a child does not change who you are either."  I knew it was the truth. I love my son and could never have imagined living without him, but I am. My grief will always be a part of me. On low days, and lower nights, it will take control, but it will not change me or keep me from enjoying life as much as I can.

Normally I am not walking around repeating clich├ęs, but the morning I found Jason I kept silently repeating the phrase "life is for the living."  Instinctively I knew I had to remind myself to focus on my two living sons. The mantra helped me make it through the morning without breaking down. It helped me to clear my mind and make arrangements for my other children to be told about their brother, and arrangements for Jason's body as well.  Later, Grace told me about a couple she knew that forgot they had other children the day they lost a child. They had to be reminded about them. I can understand that. The shock and pain are enough to damage the mind. Slowly I am healing, learning to live again.

Monday, April 21, 2014

sleepless night

Earlier I read Clash of Kings until I my eyes were shutting on their own. I slept until 12:30. Now I am awake. As I woke I received a text from Lee telling me my gumbo was great. The jambalaya was too salty, so I should try again and resend it. I had froze some food and mailed it to him last week. I miss cooking for him. I was worried because Lane is not home yet, and he always has trouble going to school on Mondays. I was in the middle of sending him a text when I remembered there is no school tomorrow. So the text was revised to ask where he was and tell him I love him. This paragraph is a jumbled mess. I know that, but that is how my mind is feeling right now.

Something is keeping me awake. Something is making me feel like I should run, scream, do something. What is bothering me? My mind jumps from worry about Lane to worry about Lee. He is between jobs. I worry that he will not find another good one. That I will not be able to keep helping him financially until he does. That somehow I will fail. Maybe my failure as a parent will hinder my children in their adult lives.

My mind keeps running over the day. There was a long period when I was annoyed by a sibling and my mom. I wanted them to go home. Why should they have to leave and be alone at their houses because I am a bitch? I need to learn to be more generous. Later, I wanted everybody to leave so I can be alone. Now I am alone and wish someone were here.

I am replaying my role in conversations tonight, and conversations last weekend at the wedding. Thinking about things I have said, things I have not expressed well, jokes I should not have made, all of them make me cringe. More than cringe, I feel I am beating against myself from the inside. I realize I do not like myself. How do I become somebody I can like again? What does one do when the person who annoys you is one's self?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I was asked to celebrate 4/20 today. Not being much of a smoker the novelty of it did appeal to me so I half heartedly agreed. The stipulation being that I needed to put all of the food up from our holiday meal first. There was a part of me quietly saying that this was a bad idea. I did not understand why until my eyes landed on a picture of Jason. My first thought was "Why? Why aren't you still here with me?" I understood then that I am just not mentally strong enough for an altered state of consciousness.

Also, I was getting really tired. I was too the point where I wanted everybody to leave so I could be alone for awhile. I love my friends and family, but I need so much more time alone than I used to. I excused myself from the smoking. They apologized for even asking me. That made me laugh. It is ok to ask if it is ok for me to decline.

So here I am alone and thinking of my son. Exactly where I need to be for now.
Maybe a happy post for a change, wouldn't that be nice? I can't say I am exceptionally happy this morning, but I am content. That is not totally due to the fact that I drank a glass of wine for breakfast. It is a beautiful day out. I have put a roast in for Easter dinner and am about to start some brioche dough. I just feel good today. Of course I have to do all the things I should have done yesterday, like dishes, peeling potatoes, cleaning the yard for an egg hunt. I find myself working extra hard on the good days to make up for the laziness of the low days .I do still have so much to be thankful for. Yes, life can be hard, but it is also beautiful.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Another low day

After having a good week today has been low day. I felt alright this morning, but as the day wore on I could feel my mood sinking. I wanted to be alone.  Relief swept over me when work was over and I could come home. On the ride home I kept tearing up and almost crying, but I could not quite do it. After so many days of pushing the tears away so I could function they were stuck and would not come when I needed them.

Lane and I watched the most recent Red Dawn movie. It almost made me cry a couple of times. Afterwards I was exhausted and decided to take a nap. Grace had invited me over for supper tonight. She was making home made beef noodles, which are excellent. Her daughter, who is also a good friend, and granddaughter, and brother were in town to visit. Her brother is a man I enjoy having long conversations with.  As I lied down I knew I was not going to feel like leaving my house again today. I did not think I would make it to dinner. I decided to scroll through Facebook before I fell asleep.

A teacher had posted a note she found while cleaning out her desk. Jason had took one of her customized post it notes, which had her name on it, and left a note saying that he loved her. That opened the tear gates; suddenly they were unstuck. That was the kind of person Jason was. He would rummage through a teachers desk, hack her Facebook page if she left her phone laying around, play pranks, but he always let people know he loved them.

My face was swollen and red when I left, but I made myself get dressed and drive to Grace's house. I drove slow and made myself quit crying halfway there. Once on the dirt road I slowed down and applied make up to cover the blotching. The noodles were good, but the company was better. My mood did not completely lift, however I did enjoy myself while I was there. I came home early to go to bed.

Once in bed I opened my laptop. It had downloaded an update, but insisted I plug into a power source before it was installed. "What else?" I thought. I felt as if the whole universe were against me. Honestly, I did not even have to get out of bed to plug it in. I may be getting a bit over dramatic.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I have been having a good days lately. Until today, today, I was off a bit. I went about my normal schedule. I went to work, talked, read, cooked supper for my family. I even helped my niece and nephew make Easter treats for their school parties. Even though nobody could, tell my grief was always there close to the surface today.

On a side note: those cute little yarn eggs with a piece of candy inside them are a bitch to make. First of all candy does not want to go inside of a balloon. I shredded several balloons trying to shove candy in. I think about every third balloon was successfully filled and blew up. Of those successful ones about a third of them had a tiny hole that caused them to go flat eventually. The up side was that I got to peel a lot of dried glue from my hands and table.

I know the minute my grief shot back up. I felt it rush to the surface last night. About a year ago an annoying man told me that I would be surprised if I googled my own name. He assured me that every picture that I put on Facebook would show up. I went home and tried that very night. No pictures of me showed up at all. For some reason I thought of that last night and tried again. All but one of the pictures that came up had nothing to do with me. One picture did, it was of Jason. It must have been a homecoming ceremony picture. He was wearing his basketball uniform. His hair was still sweaty from the game. One of his relatives on his dad's side, a woman he had never met, put his obit up on a find a grave website. It did not bother me that she did this, but somehow having it there, reading his obit again, the picture of him looking so alive, just jarred me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This is the first year in my adult life I have waited until past the deadline to file my taxes. I could do them tonight but I think I will lie in bed and read instead. This is the first night I have been in my bed before midnight in almost a week.

A couple of weeks ago Grace called me and asked if I wanted to go to a 'gay wedding' with her. Of course I was in. Then she told me it was in Roswell, which happens to be six hours away. That sounded even better. I wanted to get out of town for awhile. We left early Saturday and came home Sunday evening.

It was worth the trip. The wedding was lovely. It almost made my cold jaded heart cry, almost. One of the men getting married was Grace's cousin. His mom was not going so Grace wanted to be there for him. His dad and grandmother did show up. More of his family was supportive than we thought would be. It was a simple backyard ceremony. The focus was on the ceremony and then food and drink. There vows were adapted Unitarian vows. As they walked down the aisle I caught his eye and smiled. I saw the 'who in hell was that' look in his eye. I do not think he expected to have a perfect stranger there. After the calmer, read less fun, people left we sat in the yard late into the night drinking and laughing with the couple and their friends.

The weekend away was just what I needed. I had been back to a low place last week. I was trying to laugh and enjoy life, but found myself drinking too much and doing too little. As we drove back across the desert landscape I found myself making plans for projects I want to get done this summer. A voice at the back of my head said, "If you are going to live, live."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I am pleasantly drunk right now.   There is probably a rule about posting drunk. Lane turns eighteen tomorrow. We had a family dinner tonight to celebrate. Lane and his cousins and friends ate, but left early to celebrate on there own. We went ahead and finished the sparkling wine without him. Then we moved on to the peach moscato. I am usually a merlot girl, but some occasions call for sweet wines.

I do not drink too often. Once a week is a busy month for me. That is kind of unfortunate, because I am such a happy drunk. Right now I am splurging. Last night I wanted a glass of wine so I invited Lady over and we drank a bottle plus half of a tequila shot. Tonight my sister and I drank three bottles of sweet wine. I have a wedding to attend this weekend. This may be the month I go a bit crazy.

Night time thoughts

Dreams are waking me up again. They keep me awake when I should be sleeping. Tomorrow I will wish I could sleep when I cannot. I am physically exhausted yet unable to sleep.

Drama Queen tried calling me again at midnight. I woke up just long enough to silence the call. I never intended to go so long without talking to her, but whenever she calls I think 'not today, I just do not have the energy today.'

The other day Lane told me that he wants Lee to move back home and live with us. I know how he feels. I miss my son and want us all to live closer to each other. On the other hand I am worried about Lane. He had planned on joining the Navy until Jason died. Now he is not sure what to do, but is sure he does not want to leave home.





Tuesday, April 08, 2014

After my friends death I realized that I am healed enough to handle everyday life, but not stress, not over emotional situations.

Around a year a ago I was at a local bar. There had been comedians and after that dancing. The woman Fria Chica and I had rode over with got worked up about the place being full of demons or something and left us. We had never met her before that night. She was a friend of a friend so we had not known what to expect. Being good natured drinkers we decided to go on with our night confident that one of our friends would drive us the 17 miles home. That was no problem at all; we had four different offers.

One of the offers was from a young man I was two stepping with. A really young man. He was just barely 21, a month younger than Lee. He offered several times to drive me home. It was clear he did not plan on driving back to his house that night. Of course I did not take him up on that offer. Every once in a while I see him around town and remember that night fondly. It was good for my ego.

When a position came open in the office, where I work, he was picked to fill the spot. I did pause for a second to wonder if this would be awkward. He has been there for two full weeks now. Today would have been the start of his third. It has not been awkward at all. He has been pleasant and proficient at his job. I put on lipstick this morning before work. I have been skipping make-up for months now. Today though I laughed and thought I did not want to lose one of my few admirers. That would not be good for my ego.

He did not come in today. His step grandmother is my friend Pam. She recently retired. It is her spot that he was hired to fill. She called me and told me she was coming in to work for him. She filled us in that his mom had received a text that worried her. He had sent it in the middle of the night, but she had not read it until this morning. The family did not know where he was and were looking for him. A little later I answered the phone. They had found him, he was dead. He had shot himself in the head. The family still had not told Pam. I had to tell her.

After that her phone rang. They filled her in on the details. Just like that my stomachache was back. The headache was back. The complete weariness of grief was pressing down on me. Luckily it was a busy day at work. I tried to smile and be as cheerful as possible for the customers.

There was a moment when my computer did not work right. Of  course it was when I had a long line of customers to help. Not an unusual situation, not one that I usually am overly concerned with, but today I just wanted to scream and throw a fit during the few seconds I waited for it to straighten out. Until Jason died I never understood the inclination towards suicide. Now, when I feel so tired. Tired of moving on, tired of healing, tired of trying to smile, I kind of get it.