Thursday, December 29, 2011

the trouble with pets

With Clayton and Katie down south Rachel and I have been caring for the animals. Tucker, the dog, Sophie and Cloe, the cats and Jacks fish. All was going well then we got a wind storm, gusts to 50 miles per hour, that blew open the basement door, where the cats were. When I got to the house in the morning I find a very big male cat in the basement with Sophie between him and Cloe hissing up a storm puffed up at least twice her size. The big male runs out the door and I get it shut, wedging a chair against it hoping to keep the door shut with the very high winds. Didn't work. Rachel found the door opened again when she got there in the afternoon to take the dog out and found no cats in the basement.

Great, why couldn't this happen when Clayton was home! So I go up to look for the cats. Sophie is an outdoor cat, she'll come home when ready. Cloe on the other hand they don't let out. Clayton got her at work from someone who found her and her litter. She is a very young cat, that they haven't bothered to get fixed yet... by the time I got to the house Sophie is in her chair, taking a bath. No Cloe in sight.. Ok start with the kitty kitty outside, nothing....get some food shake shake shake....nothing. Well the only thing we can do is wait and see if she comes later. About 11pm I'm walking around Clayton's doing the same kitty kitty nothing....crap..his neighbors looking out their windows at the crazy person looking for a cat in what is going to be the coldest night we have had all winter, wind chills the whole thing.....hope she'll be ok, she'll be waiting in the morning I tell myself and leave before I get arrested!!

This morning, no cat... I walk around the house ...Cloe here kitty... who runs out from under the porch, the big male...great maybe she's under the porch....kitty kitty....nothing ....damn....go in the house open the basement door only Sophie...tied Tucker out....and started looking around, here kitty kitty...nothing ok hopefully she'll come when she gets hungry. All the while I'm talking to's all Clayton's fault for not fixing that old door...she's gone, all my fault...on and on....go into the house to feed Tucker and Sophie and who do I see sitting, washing her face...Cloe!

Where she was I have no clue, must have been in the basement through all of this, just didn't feel like coming out.....I am just grateful I don't have to tell Jack that Grammy let his Cloe get out and she was gone.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

365 DAYS

Today is the anniversary of your death. You have been gone for a full year now. I think of you everyday and wonder what my life would have been but for the blessing of you.

With all the bad choices fate, God, something found me worthy of finding you. You were far from a saint yourself but somehow we made it through all those hard times.

I can't believe how fast it all went by. It seems like yesterday you were walking into Paul's....."he's not big" I said to Gail, after seeing you for the first time, when she asked if a big black guy, Sgt G. had been in. As usual you laughed.

Of all the things I miss about you, your laugh I miss the most, full, loud and so genuine. You would laugh with you whole body, everything moved when you were particularly amused.

Rachel and I went to the cemetery to see you today. We were surprise to see someone had visited you before us, leaving you a nip of Seagram's 7, always your drink of choice.  I wish you well on your journey, my love. You are always in my heart.

Always and Forever

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sturbridge by Candlelight

Went to Sturbridge Village with some friends from work. Sturbridge is a living museum here in New England, 1830's. It was beautiful. All the paths lit by candles in lanterns, Christmas music floating out of the church on the common, carolers, and a wagon ride. It truly was a winter wonderland, minus the snow.

The Village is an annual destination for us in the summer. Rachel has always loved this place. I have been going there at least once a summer for as long as I can remember. My father was  big on history. A new museum every summer. We visited shortly before his death, his last look at a past he and my mother shared.

I had never been during the winter before. I will make a point to bringing Rachel next year. It was almost magical. The crisp clear night, almost a calming effect on everyone there. There were smiles and laughter all around. The children were wide eyed, looking everywhere, not wanting to miss a thing.

Just a Gee note, the first time we went together with my parents, Gee opens a closet door in one of the buildings and starts yelling "Hey Y'ALL, LOOK WHAT I FOUND" pointing at a vacuum cleaner and an electric outlet...told you they don't do everything the old fashioned way....... as they say couldn't take him anywhere!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

One Year

As I sit and think about this past year I am amazed that time has passed so quickly and yet at the same time seemed to have stood still.

I returned to work at the end of Christmas break, a few weeks after Gee's death. It was looked at as being strong and carrying on. What it was was fear. Fear of being alone all day with my tears. Once Rachel went back to school and it was just me, Fred and the cat I really was hit with the fact that Gee really was gone. The thought of having to go on without him just terrified me.

I feel so much guilt. The morning he passed I was so relieved for him, his pain was over and he was released from the body that had failed him. Always so strong never giving in to anything. He would never have wanted his children to see him so vulnerable during the last months of his life. Never mind helping with his care. Having Rachel help me move him, wash him, was not the memory he wanted her to carry with her.   He wanted them to remember him as the larger than life man he always was.

I still wonder what he thought that last time he looked at me. While I stroked his hair, he opened his eyes, looking right at me and was gone. Taking my soul with him. I still feel empty inside. I can see those eyes looking at me, trying so say something. Maybe he was just saying goodbye.

It was weeks before I didn't wake up at night thinking I heard him calling for me. If I looked towards the couch I saw Gee lying in the hospital bed. I still have piles of stuff that I don't know what to do with. I have old work boots and raggy old coats I can't bring myself to throw away, still hanging where Gee left them. I haven't even looked into the back sheds, let alone cleaning the basement. Instead I just leave everything saying I'll get to that later...

I don't know what I thought would happen when he finally left me. I have gotten used to living alone. Well alone with the animals. What would I do without the animals. Fred is my constant companion. He follows me wherever I go. Even the cat has become more friendly, sitting on my lap for a few minutes at a time. What I haven't gotten used to him not being here.

 I miss Gee so very much, everyday seems a chore to just get up. I put one foot in front of the other....the only way I can keep going.  If not for the dog and cat  I wouldn't get up in the morning. My friend Lynda worries about me, always coming up with ways to get me out of the house. She knows left to my own devices I would never venture out but to go to work.

I don't know what I had expected to happen over the past year. I have days when I talk of Gee with such joy and others where I can't even say his name out loud, if I did the tears wouldn't stop. I wonder if everyone feels like this, it can't be only me. Others have lost people they loved as much as I did Gee. I can't bring myself to ask them. It would be intruding on their grief or is it that it would expose my own.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Random Stuff

 Rachel and I put up the Christmas tree. So many ornaments, so many memories.

Gee's "Fowl" ornament, a bird in a striped shirt,  he laughed so hard when the kids gave it to him.  The old glass ornaments that came from my grandmother. The snowmen my mother made. The Santa that was my fathers when he was a kid. The ones the kids made that are beautiful to me, and they seem embarrassed about. Each one has a story, where it came from, who it belonged to, how it connects us to the past.

I think that is why I give ornaments to all the kids. To give them a memory of what was going on in  their lives the year they got them. So they can look at them and tell their children I got that ornament the year...

The "game night" ladies and I went to a John McDermott concert last night. What a voice. He was performing at a local college. Sometimes when you see a live performance you're disappointed. With editing and all the electronic clean up, if you will, the voice sounds different. Not last night, he was clean and clear, like you were listening to a recording. My only disappointment, he didn't sing The Old Man, one of my mothers favorites. Instead he sang some Christmas carols, Silent Night has never sounded so beautiful.

So where has the time gone? On Tuesday I will be 54 year old. To some they may say yeah and.... I sure don't feel "Middle Aged" I still feel like a kid. I get as excited as the kids each time we plan a new adventure. Be it Disney or DC, a whale watch off the Cape, or a road trip to who knows where. I don't want to grow up, stop getting excited about roller coasters, scary movies all that stuff. I really can't wait until Jack is older and can be adventurous with Grammy...what adventures lie ahead......

Thursday, December 1, 2011

mental health day

My friend Lynda has insisted I take tomorrow off. She says I look tired, that I need to take care of myself. I have to say I must really look bad for her to say something. I haven't been sleeping very well. I wake up at 2am and don't go back to sleep until 4 or so.

This week was so tiring. F has been one big pain in the ass. Doesn't want to be in school, isn't going to class, not going to do any work, not going to take his meds........finally after a full morning of trying to get him to work he tells me I'm so F--ing demanding......well he didn't get suspended, the principal asked if I wanted him tossed, no way thats what he wants. So he had to stay, that pissed him off.  He wont be my problem any longer, the new teacher starts on Monday.

Her name is Jamie, worked at some alternative schools. She graduated a year before Clayton. Sounds like she knows what shes getting into. We'll see how things goes.