Sunday, January 13, 2013

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bad News Comes in 3's

It's been a rough week for me and I can't get past a few things that have happened, but I am working on it. Last week, my ex-husband and father of my children died. He has not been doing well for the past few years and it was really not a surprise. The surprise was that when his sister called, trying to locate my daughter, a policeman got on the line and said they need to speak with my daughter and that they were taking possession  of the body for an autopsy. That shook me up, but I soon found out that's what happens when it's a suspected drug overdose. A very sad ending to a really tragic life...and it makes me sad. I cared about him and even though we had a terrible relationship and I felt like I'd gotten out of prison when I left him, we had made our peace. He would call just to talk or to complain about our kids not calling him, or to talk to my husband about a Red Wings game. He stayed at our house once when he had no place else to go for a few days. But over the past few years, he had called less and less and I probably only heard from him once in the past year. I wouldn't buy into his BS and would confront him about his abusing his pain meds and he would totally deny everything - even though he'd OD'd twice in the recent past and at one point was on a ventilator for a week or two afterwards. When he overdosed and lost his low income apartment, my husband and I went down to help move his stuff to storage. So I am sad about his death, and even sadder about his recent life. I feel really bad for my kids, who loved him but couldn't stand him...if that makes sense. They hated his drug obsessed lifestyle most of all.

He had 2 other kids by 2 other women and the oldest was a girl who was about 13 years younger than me. He had no relationship with the kids and both of their mothers had their new husbands adopt them. (I really knew how to pick 'em when I was young, eh?) When the girl, G, was 15, she got in touch and came to live with us in Colorado for a few months. I was so young and didn't know how to deal with teenagers. We were way too lenient. She eventually wanted to go home to her mom. I think she had some problems at school and also her dad beat me so bad one night while she was sleeping in the other room that my neighbors heard me screaming. I called the police and it was really a very bad scene. I had black eyes and bruises all over...looked like one of those posters you see about domestic abuse. (It was not the first time, and it wasn't the last, either. I wanted to leave, but was too afraid to.) Anyway, when we moved back to Michigan, she was 18. She came to see us one time overnight and then we would talk on the phone, but one day I called her and she wouldn't take my call and she never called or talked to us ever again. I really don't know why. My daughter was 6 at the time and that was her sister, but she never tried to keep in touch with her, either. My son never knew her because he was a tiny baby the last time we saw her. I heard many years ago that she'd moved to Florida and had a cocaine problem. I heard she had a baby, but no other details. So my daughter and I were discussing trying to get in touch with her because their father had died. I had looked for her many times online over the years, but didn't know if she'd gotten married or what her name was, etc. I could never find anything - until last night when I looked again under her maiden name and found her death notice. She died 3 yrs ago and none of my ex's family knew it. How could nobody know? I woke up early this morning and hoped that it was a bad dream, but it wasn't. We have no idea how she died. She was just 41. I think the kids might try to get her death certificate to see what the cause of death was. In the end, I am glad her father never knew she died. But my daughter has now had 2 losses to deal with this week.

Then this morning I took my new kitten to the vet because he was coughing and had runny eyes and I figured he needed to be wormed and checked out. The vet tested him for some diseases, and it turns out he has feline leukemia. I have cried half the day. He is the best kitten I've ever had and I have just loved the way he and our dog get along. My one granddaughter is totally in love with him and it just seemed like a good fit, and now I find out he probably won't live very long. It's crazy how quickly we get attached to a new pet, and  the thought of losing him just kills me.

That's 3 bad things in a row, so hopefully our luck will turn now.  The stress of this past week has me in pain tonight. But I'm going to go count my blessings and pray that our new grandbaby is born tomorrow. We need something good to happen.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I just started reading The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. I am so excited to start my own happiness project. Have you started one, yet? I think this should be our life's work - figure out what makes us happy, and then DO it. I know that's easier said than done sometimes. I will keep you posted.

I do know that it's much easier to think about what makes us happy when we are feeling good. I didn't have a good day, I am aching from my collar bone to my pinky and have no idea why, but feel pretty certain it will be gone tomorrow, because that is how it usually goes. I really hate not being able to count on feeling well. As much as I'd love to leave Cushing's behind me, it still affects my life more than I'd like.

Quote from the aforementioned book: "The Epiphany of the Back Spasm. Money doesn’t buy happiness the way good health doesn’t buy happiness. When money or health is a problem, you think of little else; when it’s not a problem, you don’t think much about it."

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My close friend's husband died this morning. It was expected for a long time, but it still always comes as a shock. He'd been sick with heart disease for over 20 years and everyone knew his days were numbered. His last days were in a hospital where he'd received 2 artificial pieces for his heart. His family held hope - up until yesterday. Yesterday they realized that the end was near. The family gathered to be with him at his passing and now they are experiencing that pain that no one understands until you've been through it yourself. And even then, grief is so individualized. I wish I could make them all not hurt. But the fact is they have to hurt so that they can heal.

The next few days will be a blur to them when they think back on it. They have funeral plans to make, logistics to consider, rooms to clean, memories to remember.

I want a funeral where people tell stories and share memories and laugh (and maybe cry a little), but mostly laugh. And I want lots of where I live, people don't really do flowers and I think that's odd. I don't want religion - I want some classic Rock and Roll and a little bit of country, and just closure for my loved ones. I want them to feel "she lived a good life and now it's over" and to feel like the circle of life has done it's thang. The reasons I don't want religion at my funeral are many, but mainly they have to do with my relationship with God being very private and individualized. I don't think God requires pomp and circumstance to praise him. And I have resented very much going to a funeral of a close loved one and having an "invitation" during the service. To me, that was so wrong and it is still painful for me to remember that. 

I want people to tell my kids stories about things we did together and talks we had and how proud I was of each of them and how happy my life turned out. Because my life did turn out happy. It turned out happy against many odds.  

How ironic that I am writing about funerals and death when I just renamed this blog's description "Living Life". But, as much as we don't want to accept it, death is part of life.