oldsunbird

"I have been more outrageous and more alone and more courageous than the world has known. Passerby, my heart is like your own."

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

My name

I started the process today of having my last name changed. This is the story behind such an action:

I was married to Forrest for 51 years.  He died in 2007.  I was lonely, met Richard and married him in 2011.  Just weeks  after our wedding, Richard fell ill and he died six months later of pancreatic cancer.  We spent a lot of time with hospice health care givers and Richard’s family and friends.  The circumstances prevented us from developing the give and take of a real marriage.

I was able to keep Richard at home, which was his greatest wish.  He died in his favorite chair in the living room with his family and friends around him and me holding his hand.

I knew that Richard’s first wife had been the love of his life;  I placed her photo on the mantel where he could see it and just be with her as he watched TV.

I’m glad I was there for him and able to help him die at home, but now I want to finish my life with the name of the husband I grew up and shared my love and most of my life with. I spoke with a lawyer today and the process has begun.  I feel as if I’ve taken the first step of coming back home.

Dear Scott

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday was your birthday, Scott.  You would have been 50.  Thinking today was the 10th, I’ve thought of you all day, trying to picture what you would have looked like and what you would be doing.

I can’t believe you’ve been gone 14 years!  It doesn’t seem nearly that long.

You once told me that if you killed yourself, I’d get over it and go on and live a happy life.  You were wrong, Scott.  I haven’t been happy since you did that unthinkable act.  Yes, I’ve gone on with my life.  What else could I do?  And there have been some moments of joy, not in living, but in nature.

I have not felt happiness in a long time.

Last Thursday, Beulah, one of my closest friends died unexpectedly.  I’m still in shock.  Then Connie, another close friend, was admitted to the hospital with clots in her lungs.  Wednesday, your brother, Ken, found out he has a hole in his heart.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what’s wrong with him.

I’m not so well myself.

All this makes me wonder about life, it’s purpose, and what happiness really means.  And what difference any of it makes since it all ends and is repeated and ends again.

I resent it that we have to die, that we go through life with ambitions, dreams, desires, failures, accomplishments and then have to go and leave it all behind.  We take it with us, as if we had not  walked on this earth, breathed in the air, watched the grackle with the broken wing, read Mary Oliver or Thomas Merton, seen “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off” three times or eaten that piece of cherry pie.   Two hundred years from now, none of it will have mattered.  Sometimes I think of those who lived hundreds of years ago and I honor them in my heart.

This day is almost over.  I’m relieved.  Next month, we have to get through the anniversary of John’s death.  And so on.  It seems that every month, there’s a hurdle to get over.

I’m trying very hard to find pleasure in something.   To experience faith, and hope, and love.   To enjoy giving while losing so much.  To find a reason for it all.

I’ve been a giver all my life.  What happened?  The well has run dry.

Too Much Bad News

Beulah, one of my closest friends, died unexpectedly Thursday.  I’m still in shock.  Skip, her husband, has been ill for several years and everyone thought he would go before Beulah.  As a matter of fact, he’s been in ICU for over a week.

I don’t have details.  Don’t know if she had a stroke or died of a heart attack or what.  She was home alone.  Her daughter found her.

Beulah was such a lovely, caring, upbeat person.  When she walked into a room, the sun came with her.  She worried about her husband so much and I think she must have neglected herself.  She seemed well and always said she felt fine when I asked how she was.  She was taking meds for hypertension, but all my friends do that, as do I.  We talked about two weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about calling her.  Procrastinating, as usual.  I’ve done that so much, you’d think I’d learn.  I feel such a void in my life.

I talked to Connie, another friend, today.  She’s just been discharged from the hospital where she was being treated for a cluster of clots in her left lung.  She’s on coumadin now.

And Ken, my son, is going tomorrow for a test to determine if he has an aortic anuerysm.

Beulah, bless her heart; I can just imagine, with Skip in the hospital, how she went back and forth to be with him, probably not eating right, getting too much salt, being stressed out because of his illness.  I feel so bad for her.  The world is not the same without her in it.

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I wish I had a strong faith to get me through.  I’ll work it out.  I always do, but I do have issues with death and loss and being alone.  At my age, loss is inescapable.  Always knocking at my door.

Reading and Remembering

I thought I’d review my experience of 2012 tonight and maybe list some wishes for 2013, but my mind took me to another place.  Earlier this evening I started a novel by Helen Garner, “The Spare Room,” and I started thinking about my son, John,  johnshome.wordpress.com , who died of colon cancer in February, 2001.   The book is about two friends, one of whom is dying of cancer.  But when I thought of John, Cancer wasn’t what I thought of.

I remembered an experience John had at a new middle school he attended after we moved to Connecticut from Indiana.  He was taken into a booth in the boy’s bathroom and beat up by a boy from a corrective institution.  The boy was there on some kind of grant from the government, I believe, a trial program for delinquent boys.  The boy took John’s watch, gave him a black eye, a busted lip and a messed up face.  John was borderline autistic, a mild mannered, gentle soul who was trusting.  Even though the other boy had no marks or injuries, the incident was treated as a “scuffle between boys.”

Even though John was hurting physically, he was mostly injured emotionally.  He drew into himself, stayed up late at night teaching himself to play the guitar, picking out soft, haunting tunes.  He checked a book out of the library called “Violence in America.”   It broke my heart.

I was so angry, I took him to the principal’s office and insisted the principal explain to him why nothing was being done about the boy who hurt him.  I don’t remember the explanation, but it was lame.  It was obvious that something political was going on.  I took John to the head of the education board,  Again, sympathy, but no help.  I called the local newspaper.  A lot of sympathy but no help when the reporter learned where the other boy was from.

I think John and I both lost faith and respect at that time for people in high places.  It’s been a long road trying to change my opinion.

Not a very pretty story.  I’m sorry I can’t do better, especially today when I should be looking back at the positives in my life and thinking about going forward.  But this is real; anything else I might write would be forced.

Tomorrow, perhaps, I’ll take stock and look ahead.  For now, I’m sending John a hug and a prayer, and then I’ll get back to my novel.

Thank You and Best Wishes

Just want to wish everyone a healthy and happy new year.  May 2013 bring peace and safety to all parts of the world.  Thank you, my blogging friends, for your interest and support in me and my imperfect blog.  I’m amazed by the warmth and caring I’ve found here.  I can’t tell you how I’ve benefited from knowing you.  I hope to have more to give to you in 2013. Love and hugs. XO  Mary

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